In this country - the UK - any British soldier who has been fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq is called a hero by most of the mass media. Something I have always had a problem with, because these wars as we all know - or should know - were unlawful or plainly crimes against humanity fought in the interest of some huge global corporations who sought after power, control and resources in these regions. Of course we were told these were wars against terrorism but as we have all seen you cannot fight successfully one terrorist hiding in a village by bombing the whole town. All you will end up with is a lot of innocent people and even more angry victims who might become terrorists as an answer to the pain that was brought to them.
Any soldier who signs up for an army who fights in these wars is either ignorant or supportive to the real aims of these wars or was successfuly brainwashed into believing that he was doing the right thing. In both cases I would refrain from calling any of them hero - I'd rather call them fools or victims of the ruling elite. I know this might sound harsh to people who are relatives or friends of soldiers who served in either country - and maybe even died. But I do believe these families have to face the truth - that there was and is nothing heroic about these wars despite all the hell and hardship their beloved ones had to go through.
The only (U.S.) soldier I know who would deserve to be called a hero is sitting in military prison at the moment - facing a life long sentence or even the death penalty. This man is called Bradley Manning. In 2010 while being stationed in Baghdad he got hold of more than 260.000 partly top secret diplomatic cables. Manning decided to hand these over to WikiLeaks wich prior to these had already shoken up the world with the massive Afghan and Iraq War document leaks.
The information reveiled with Manning's help showed the real often ugly two-faced relationships the U.S. diplomats had with their international counterparts plus many facts that worldwide leaders would have loved to keep secret as they often showed their questionable or wrongful doings.
Leaders of the Arab Spring revolution pointed out that the cables worked as catalyst for overthrowing the corrupt government in Egypt.
In May 2010 Manning was arrested and the first hearing was held on 16 December 2011 the day before his birthday.
Yesterday on Saturday a group of activists gathered in front of the U.S. embassy in London to call for a release of Manning. Passionate talks were held by members of the Occupy movement, the Pirate Party Veterans for Peace and others.
I wished there would have been a thousand times more people - but I guess they all had more important things to do - such as Christmas shopping. Bradley Manning in my eyes did something brave and heroic. He decided to risk his own freedom to better the world for all of us.
Check out the lastest information here: http://www.bradleymanning.org
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