Words continue to fail

Fire is all that makes sense

CW for grievous self-harm

It appears that the self-immolation of an active duty Air Force member, Aaron Bushnell, outside the Israeli embassy in DC is getting more coverage than the previous self-immolation of an Atlanta woman, which I wrote about here. That person remains anonymous, and there has been no follow up of her case as far as I can tell. Aaron Bushnell filmed his own act of sacrifice, and the images are circulating widely. I have not watched them, and do not believe that subjecting ourselves to such images is necessary or even helpful, especially if we already understand the stakes of the actions that lead to them. But this may guarantee that the news spreads more widely and consistently, and in any case I honor Bushnell’s choice to do so.

His last words were “I will no longer be complicit in genocide. Free Palestine!” As he approached the embassy, he said “I'm about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers it's not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

As he burned, a police officer drew a gun and pointed it at him, while another yelled “We don’t need guns, we need another fire extinguisher”. Police have exactly one solution to every problem, to kill. They have trained with the IDF, and the forces share tactics, goals and methods.

Biden deals with Israel’s genocide the same way he did with COVID, which is to say, actively normalizing and increasing the death and destruction while releasing tepid PR information implying he’s doing everything he can to stop it. The Biden back to normal doctrine is to normalize death, disablement, and destruction, to quietly and consistently increase the body count while threatening us with how bad it would be if Trump were in power.

Congressional staffers are reporting that they are instructed to no longer inform their congresspeople about the calls they receive, seeing as they are almost exclusively pro-Palestinian. The political class has covered their ears. The media has gone largely silent on the ongoing Palestinian Solidarity movement. Marches aren’t even registering locally much any more. Something more must be done.

There are places all over this country that can face more direct and intentional consequence for their role in supporting this genocide. This too will likely not be enough, but the continuing horror and slaughter is too damaging to all of us, to destructive of our very souls, to warrant any less than everything we can try.

Rest in Power Aaron Bushnell. Rest in Power to the 29,000 Palestinian martyrs most of whose names I do not know, and who deserve so much more than any of us can provide: The only tribute we can offer is in dedicated struggle, memory, and mourning.