US airman dies after setting himself alight, to ‘no longer be complicit in [Gaza] genocide’

This story should have been top of the news agenda all day.

A serviceman in the US Air Force walked up to the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight, saying that he would “no longer be complicit in genocide”. He has since died of the injuries he sustained.

That man was Aaron Bushnell. He was saying US support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza makes every member of the American armed forces complicit in the murder of more than 30,000 people – half of them children, and in the horrific injuries inflicted on around 70,000 others.

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That’s not even mentioning the wholesale destruction of Gazan buildings and societal infrastructure.

Some have called Mr Bushnell’s mental health into question. It is possible that his mental equilibrium was disturbed by events in Gaza. Who could blame him, as a member of the military-industrial complex that is Israel’s biggest supporter and therefore the largest supporter of the genocide?

For a more general appraisal of this man, let’s have the words of one of his colleagues:

Here’s footage of what actually happened. Be warned: you may find this extremely disturbing:

Notice that even in a situation where the only harm this man was committing was to himself, a member of Israeli embassy staff still drew and aimed a gun on him:

In the video clip above, you can hear someone shouting, “I need fire extinguishers, not guns!” But the man wielding the gun still doesn’t leave or put it away.

This is the last Facebook post he published:

The event attracted almost no coverage from TV news crews – at first. Here’s a summary of what happened in the States, with a fair opinion of why:

There was a report on it in Good Morning Britain…

But as I type this, the article on the BBC News website appears to have been up for only an hour or so. It’s 8.50pm (GMT). Was it withheld until the amount of material on the social media made it impractical to stay quiet any longer?

Oh, but Israel seems to have had something to say about it, even if the western news media did not. Try to hold your bile down:

Self-immolation has been a known form of protest since at least 1963, when Thích Quảng Đức set himself alight in Saigon, in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

It is also a form of protest that has been subjected to news blackouts in the recent past.

This Site has reported on the failures of UK news media to report on such protests – by benefit claimants whose mistreatment by the government had pitched them into depression.

I wrote, then, what I’ll repeat now:

We are left with evidence that those with the ability to bring this horror to the attention of the public have been deliberately covering it up.

… To prevent the kind of social change we saw in South Vietnam, Tunisia and other Arab states, prompted by the same trigger?

If so, it would be grotesquely irresponsible of all those involved – they would be colluding to allow persecution of the extremely vulnerable to continue.

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