Maybe if U.S. Airman Aaron Bushnell had set fire to the Israeli embassy instead of setting fire to himself, his act of protest against the genocide in Gaza would have gotten more attention from the establishment media machine. As it was, the first instinct of a cop arriviing on the scene was to draw his gun instead of grabbing a fire extinguisher or a blanket with which to smother the flames. I guess the cop feared that without gunfire, the fire might spread to some pretty valuable real estate in the vicinity.
The police reaction and the ensuing media silence on this tragedyare simply reflective of the fact that the the powers-that-be consider the destruction of property to be far worse than the destruction of human beings. This also applies to the destruction of oneself in an act of political protest.
And when it's a military service member who self-destructs so spectacularly to protest against a genocide in which he potentially would be ordered to participate ,it renders thr masters of war and their media lackeys completely speechless. Their own cowardly acts of self-censorship speak for ithemselves; to the extent that outlets like the New York Times have covered the tragedy, they have done so in as perfunctory and repressed a style as they can indecently manage.
"Man sets self on fire in front of embassy " is pretty much the gist of it. It's rendered as pathetically humdrum a stunt as the latest disturbed White House fence-jumping or at least no more remarkable than a particularly gruesome traffic pile-up.
"Move along, folks," the media cops on the beat seem to chide those rubbernecker readers. "Nothing to see here."
It's especially awkward for them as Election '24 is in full gear. Genocide Joe would find it especially difficult to shamble up to eh podium and slur out his thanks to Airman Bushnell for his service and his sacrifice. And his standard closing line of "God protect our troops" would neither fit the occasion nor contribute to the kind of for-profit patriotic fervor that he's always aiming for.
And it also wouldn't do for Biden to bring up suicide of any kind during this election year, when deaths of despair in America are at their highest level in years - despite his boasts of an economy so booming that only MAGA Republicans are mired in the slough of American life,. They are so cynical when a Democratic future obviously beckons to one and all.
To hear the politicians tell it, our military heroes and martyrs have all willingly and valiantly killed or died for us. Never do the masters of war tell us the real truth: that the vast majority of people join the military to escape poverty, either actual or threatened. That is because wages have been stagnating for decades. A military job means guaranteed food, lodging, job training and guaranteed, cost-free health care. Recruiting efforts, largely done in high schools in poor districts, take great care sell the benefits and to downplay the physical and mental risks.
The first place I learned about Aaron Bushnell's death was in the right-wing, sensationalistic Daily Mail. The headline in its follow-up story today was. predictably enough, aimed at arousing outrage against lefties burning Israeli flags in a vigil outside the embassy, and glorifying the airman as a martyr. It is the same kind of stereotypical language the media uses when they cover Muslim jihadists fomenting mayhem in the Middle East just for the crazed fun of it.
But surprisingly enough, the body of the Daily Mail article contains interviews with Bushnell's neighbors and plenty of background and photographs. Even though it's buried deep within the body of the story, it even quotes a psychologist warning that to the extent that the establishment media will cover the self-immolation in any depth, it will be a smear job, calling into question Bushnell's mental health. Absent any radical tidbits, The Times and its cohort probably will continue to ignore the story.
Besides, they're too busy covering Joe Biden's campaign appearance on a late-night NBC talk show while studiously ignoring the scores of anti-genocide protesters gathering outside 30 Rock. They're too busy analyzing whether Joe's genocide will hurt his chances in today's Michigan primary - where, we're told, only his victory will prevent the Second Coming of Trump.
They figure if they just ignore Bushnell's death, it will go away. So let's make it impossible to ignore. Otherwise, his death will indeed have been in vain.