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.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

German Copycat

The AFP News Service disseminated an article, "Police foil plans to attack school" on November 25, 2006.

German law enforcement officials said on Friday, November 24,

...that they had foiled an attack by a teenage boy on a high school in Berlin just days after a firearms fanatic shot and wounded 11 people at his old school in western Germany before committing suicide.

The police said that they were tipped off by fellow students whom the 17-year-old had told that he planned to storm the Bertha-von-Suttner High School in Reinickendorf in northern Berlin.

Police arrested the boy on Thursday and searched his home. They found evidence pointing to an attack, including a list of names of people he wanted to kill or spare, but no firearms or explosives. He has been sent for psychiatric observation.

AFP reviewed the Sebastian Bosse incident, and then also mentioned:

In April 2002, a former pupil at a school in the eastern German city of Erfurt massacred 16 people before turning the gun on himself.

The triggering of the German copycats has begun.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gill-Bosse Links

A Trenchcoat Chronicles writer opens with a less-than-surprising observation about the German school shooter Sebastian Bosse and the Montreal Dawson College shooter Kimveer Gill sharing "similarities." These are the trenchcoat clothing, fascination with guns, taking photographs of themselves with their guns, and being outsiders. Of course, there is mention of isolation (which is an underlying factor in every school shooter, as they are all suicidal). "Bullying" is also noted, although people quickly forget that the ultimate form of bullying is killing your classmates, former classmates, or school children in general!

The TC blogger uses an article upon which they are basing their comments, and that news item gets sidetracked on the "video game" excuse. The media looks away from itself and the copycat effect, instead trying to blame the gamer personality, which in and of itself is symbolic and reflective of the cult of Columbine followers who appear to be Goth, but are not. They are the violent death worships who mirror their behavior contagion on the killers at Columbine, but they, in the end, have more to do with a separate cliche developing versus Goths who share a lifestyle that merely freaks out and is misunderstood by the mainstream status quo society.

The following is the German article TC points to as having extensive information, in English, about Bosse. Read it critically:

Spiegel Online

November 21, 2006 

Armed to the Teeth and Crying for Help
By Julia Jüttner in Emsdetten

When he strode into school wearing a flowing black coat and a gas mask the children laughed at him. But the shooting rampage that followed has shocked Germany. The 18-year-old former pupil, named only as Sebastian B., wounded 37 before killing himself. He left a farewell message vowing revenge for a life of frustration.

It was shortly before 9:30 a.m., in the middle of the first break of the day when he strode into the schoolyard dressed in a long black coat and wearing a black gas mask.

"At first we all laughed at him, the way he was standing there. He looked totally ridiculous," said Dennis, a pupil in the seventh grade of the Geschwister Scholl secondary school in Emsdetten, a small town of 36,000 in northwestern Germany, near the city of Münster.

"Then he suddenly started firing and it scared us." Dennis ran to safety with his friend Jannick, 12. The bullets wounded a pregnant teacher, the janitor and seven pupils. Other people were injured through smoke inhalation from the smoke canisters he set off in his rampage around the school on Monday morning. None of the injuries are life-threatening.

Fellow pupils used to call Sebastian "Man in Black." "He was always totally dressed in black." He often hid his bright blue eyes behind sunglasses "even when the sun wasn't shining." "No one liked him," said Jannick. "But we didn't think he'd be capable of something like this. He somehow always seemed so shy, never laughed and always stood on his own in the schoolyard."

Sebastian killed himself at the end of his rampage and his body wasn't recovered until late on Monday night after experts had removed the explosive packs strapped to him. A total of 13 pipe bombs were found distributed around the school and in his car.

There's no school today and probably not tomorrow either but Dennis and Jannick aren't happy about it. "I'd rather never have a holiday again than go through something like this again."

Filled with hate

It's the same pattern as with the many other school shootings that have shocked communities around the world for years: Lonely teenagers obsessed with guns and violent computer games venting their frustration.

Sebastian was a good example. He was a gun freak who filmed himself posing in full combat gear wielding an array of weapons, setting off small bombs and carrying out a mock execution in the woods with a friend. He posted photos and video clips of himself in the Internet. He was due in court on Tuesday for illegal possession of a Walther P38 pistol.

Sebastian had planned his rampage long in advance, as a final showdown with all the people who he felt had humiliated him over the years. Guns blazing like in the computer video games he played, he wanted to eradicate himself and take his former fellow pupils and teachers with him.

"If you realize you'll never find happiness in your life and the reasons for this pile up day by day, the only option you have is to disappear from this life," he wrote in a farewell message he posted on the Internet. "The only thing I learned intensively at school was that I'm a loser," he wrote.

Peer pressure seems to have plagued him throughout his adolescence. He said he realized he lived in a "world in which money rules everything, even in school it was only about that. You had to have the latest cell phone, the latest clothes and the right 'friends.' If you didn't, you weren't worth any attention. I loathe these people, no, I loathe people," wrote Sebastian. "What's it all for? Why should I work? To break myself and retire at 65 and kick the bucket five years later?"

He entered his old school with two rifles with sawn-off barrels, a pistol, a gas-powered handgun, three bombs strapped to his body, a knife attached to his leg, 10 further homemade bombs and a petrol bomb in his backpack.

"It was clear he would flip out at some point, the way he used to talk," said a 17-year-old pupil who knew Sebastian. He was known as someone who spent all day at his computer playing games such as "Counterstrike", a game in which the player moves down corridors trying to shoot as many people as possible.

Obsessed with computer games

"He had a huge hatred of the world. Of his school, the teachers, everything," said the young man who declined to be named. "He was boiling with rage." He vented some of his aggression by listening to aggressive Death Metal music, and he dreamt of an army career. "He thought that was cool, going into battle in a uniform or combat gear. He liked to wear camouflage gear, no one objected to it."

In school breaks, Sebastian, generally known as Bastian, used to stand on his own, possibly because he was ashamed of having had to repeat two school years due to poor grades, and because he felt alienated from his new classmates.

In June 2004 he had posted a message in the Internet making his intentions clear. "This fear is slowly turning to rage. I am consuming all this rage and will let it all out at some point to take revenge on all the arseholes who wrecked my life! For those who haven't understood it exactly: Yes, this is about a shooting."

Yet he finished school with good grades in 2005 and even got an A in arithmetic. His rage remained, though. "Much of my revenge will be directed at the teachers, because they are people who intervened in my life against my will and helped put me where I am now: On the battlefield!" he wrote in his farewell note.

"I hate you and the way you are! You've all got to die! Since I was 6 you've all been taking the piss out of me! Now you're going to pay. Finally, I want to apologise for all this to the people who mean something to me or who were ever good to me! I'm gone ..."

Rudolf Egg, a criminal psychologist, described the letter as a "harrowing document" that marked a last appeal for help. It's unknown what relationship he had with his parents. He often went hunting with his father, a postman. Both collapsed after hearing the news and were treated in hospital for shock. His 16-year-old brother and 15-year-old sister are also receiving counselling.

In Berlin, the shooting provoked new calls for a ban on violent computer games, reigniting a debate that followed the Erfurt school massacre in April 2002 when former pupil Robert Steinhäuser shot dead 13 teachers, two pupils, a police officer and himself in Germany's worst shooting since World War II.

Gun controls were tightened in Germany after Erfurt with stricter checks on gun buyers. Pump-action shotguns with pistol grips were outlawed and the minimum age for gun purchasing was raised to 21 years from 18. Certain types of knives have also been banned.

Steinhäuser too was a games fanatic. Wolfgang Bosbach, deputy parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, said: "If it's true that the 18-year-old perpetrator intensively played so-called killer games, it's finally time for parliament to take action."

The interior minister of the eastern state of Brandenburg, Jörg Schönbohm, said: "Killer games make a fatal contribution to a growing tendency towards violence and they promote aggressive behavior. That's why strict action is needed against games that glorify violence."

The opposition Greens said the real problem had been the man's isolation rather than his obsession with computer games.

"We need to discuss this growing readiness to behave violently," said Jürgen Rüttgers, premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia where Emsdetten is located. "We can't allow our children to be confronted with violence in their daily lives."

"A lot of these students had a guardian angel yesterday and it will take them time to come to terms with what happened. One boy told me about how he slammed a classroom door shut and a bullet came flying though it."

Monday, November 20, 2006

German School Shooting

A masked man, now dead, stormed a German school at about 9:30 am (8.30 GMT), Monday, November 20, 2006, in the town of Emsdetten, near the Dutch border, and injured eight people when he opened fire. Among the injured were several students and a teacher, though a police spokesman said the injuries were all minor. Apparently hostages were taken for two hours, per recent media accounts, before the crisis ended with the death of the gunman.

According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur:

Emsdetten, Germany - A masked ex-pupil opened fire in the playground of his former high school in Germany Monday, wounding at least nine people before apparently killing himself with his pistol.

Police had to delay an inspection of his prone body because it appeared to have explosives attached to it. A school caretaker and two pupils were in serious condition, said Ingo Wolf, interior minister of North Rhine Westphalia state.

The youth, 18, left a farewell message on the internet that suggested the attack was retaliation for being mocked at the school in the town of Emsdetten near the Dutch border.

Several students were grazed by bullets, but it remained unclear if the youth had taken any hostages during the two hours when the ex-pupil was holed up in a school building ringed by armed police.

School children scattered as the youth arrived and fired his pistol, just under two hours after the start of school. Most took refuge in another building or on nearby premises. The youth later threw smoke bombs.

Police said web pages which contained photos of the youth holding weapons including a sub-machine-gun appeared to be the youth's own.

Criticising his former high school, the Geschwister Scholl School (GSS), the youth said, 'The only thing I was properly taught at GSS was that I'm a loser.' The message contained the words, 'I hate people,' and ended with the words, 'I'm outta here.'

Teachers in Emsdetten, 150 kilometres north of Cologne in North Rhine Westphalia state, said the attacker had been a loner who had been interested in Satanism and gothic music.

A prosecutor in the nearby city of Muenster said the youth appeared to have shot himself, but how he died could only be proved by an autopsy. Police said they had not shot him.

Explosives experts were called to remove what might be bombs attached to his body.

A teacher told the TV broadcaster WDR the attacker was not a dropout but had graduated from the Scholl school.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Six-Day War: Bobby

Bobby is a 2006 motion picture written and directed by Emilio Estevez. The film is a fictional account of the lives of several people during the final hours in the life of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), an active candidate for President of the United States, at the time of his assassination. RFK won the California primary that occurred on June 4, was shot in the early morning hours of June 5, and died on June 6, 1968.

The movie Bobby was set for release on November 17, 2006, but apparently the general release date is now Thanksgiving Day 2006.

What few have pointed out is the importance of the date of RFK's assassination. As I detail in my 2004 book, the date has twilight connotations.

On June 5, 1968, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, 24, who is generally described in quick historical overviews as a "Jordanian Arab," shot RFK in the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles. RFK died the following day, but the actual day he was shot – and this is a significant fact overlooked time and time again - was the first anniversary of the first day of the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors that began on June 5, 1967 (or as Charles Bishara Bishop, the young man who flew into the Tampa bank building on January 5, 2002, labeled it in his suicide note as "the 1967 Israeli-Syrian war").

The Six-Day War, also known as the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Third Arab-Israeli War, Six Days' War, an-Naksah (The Setback), or the June War, was fought between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria, from June 5 through June 10, 1967.

Sirhan Sirhan's shooting down of a successful presidential candidate is often characterized as one of the first acts of Palestine or Arab terrorism to take place on American soil, with 9/11 being the most recent example. Sirhan Bishara Sirhan saw himself as a Palestinian militant.

In a diary police found at Sirhan's home, he allegedly wrote: "My determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more the more [sic] of an unshakable obsession. RFK must die. RFK must be killed. Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated. .... Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June 1968."

Sirhan and his family had been uprooted from their home in Jordan by the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and prosecutors at his trial claimed Sirhan, who was a Christian Arab, was vehemently anti-Israel. Charles Bishara Bishop, whose suicide note clearly indicated he was a student of the 1967 Israeli-Arab conflict, may have also read what another Bishara, as America's first Palestinian assassin, had done because of it.

I don't expect to find anything about the Six-Day War in the new movie, Bobby, but at least now you know.