Monday, November 27, 2006

Iraq War's Fiery Protest

"I Dreamt That I Was Dreaming." - Malachi Ritscher

In an intriguing news blackout that may have been due to several parts politics and some portions circumstances has occurred regarding the fiery immolation death of anti-Iraq war protester Malachi Ritscher. The event has gone mostly unreported in the mass media since his death in Chicago on November 3, 2006.

I don't think it is a coincidence, however, that Ritscher's death happened so closely to the date of Norman Morrison's immolation on November 2, 1965, which took place underneath the window of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at the Pentagon, Washington, D. C.

Here's how the media is reporting the news of Malachi Ritscher's death on November 27, 2006, with large doses of popular psychological phrasing near the end to lead one to the conclusion that Ritscher's protest was more about a mental illness than it was a political protest:



CBS News - Chicago

Fiery Anti-War Suicide Goes Unnoticed

He carefully planned the details, mailed a copy of his apartment key to a friend, created to-do lists for his family. On his Web site, the 52-year-old experimental musician who'd fought with depression even penned his obituary.

At 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 — four days before an election caused a seismic shift in Washington politics — Ritscher, a frequent anti-war protester, stood by an off-ramp in downtown Chicago near a statue of a giant flame, set up a video camera, doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.

Aglow for the crush of morning commuters, his flaming body was supposed to be a call to the nation, a symbol of his rage and discontent with the U.S. war in Iraq.

"Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country," he wrote in his suicide note. "... If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."

There was only one problem: No one was listening.



The rest of the article is here.

1 comment:

The Pagan Science Monitor said...

This is an interesting take on things & i emailed the link to several folks in the local Chicago (loose-knit) group "I Heard You Malachi!" i didn't know about the 1965 self-immolation protest suicide you cite. The group has a website: http://iheardyoumalachi.org/ and i'm involved in a local Chicago group blog that has been hosting a debate on "Was Malachi Ritscher Crazy?" - at
http://pagansciencemonitor.typepad.com/
Thanks for having a thoughtful analysis.