In a shocking example of protest (that went unnoticed by the media for days) a Chicago man named Malachi Ritscher set himself on fire on a Chicago street to protest the war in Iraq:
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 US 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.
It took five days for the Cook County medical examiner to identify the charred-beyond-recognition corpse. Meanwhile, Ritscher’s suicide went largely unnoticed. It wasn’t until a reporter for an alternative weekly, the Chicago Reader, pieced the facts together that word began to spread.
Jeeze, what do you gotta do to get peoples’ attention nowadays? Apparently setting yourself on fire just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Lame jokes aside, his point is well taken. We are over in Iraq, killing people for no apparent reason. They certainly don’t represent a threat to us. But the bastards have somehow placed their country on top of our oil!
Don’t worry, Cowboy George will get it back. I wonder if he can repair the dead and burnt flesh of a man who was so opposed to Bush’s policies he killed himself.