Man gave military salute to Capitol before setting himself ablaze
Oct. 7, 2013
The man who died last week after dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself on fire at the National Mall in Washington D.C. may have been staging a political protest against any number of the Obama administration’s corrupt activities, from the recent implementation of Obamacare to the barricading of national monuments in response to the government shutdown.
According to The Washington Post, a cameraman named Javier Soto reportedly snapped photos of the man as he began to set himself ablaze. Soto claims the man “gave the Capitol a crisp military salute,” before starting the fire with a lighter.
The fact the man was witnessed giving a military salute lends credence to the notion he was engaged in some form of civil disobedience or political protest; however, don’t expect the compliant lapdog national media to call it what it is.
As Slate notes, self-immolation has long been a powerful form of radical political protest, “and the location (within sight of the Capitol) and the timing (during the shutdown) raise the possibility that was the case this time.” According to Slate, however, the evidence is not nearly convincing enough to prove the man’s setting himself on fire was in any way political.
One of the most memorable self-immolation protests involved a Vietnamese Buddhist monk by the name of Thích Quảng Đức who set himself on fire in protest of South Vietnam’s persecution of Buddhists. A photo of Quảng Đức sitting calmly in the street while flames engulfed his body led President Kennedy to state, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”
News of the man’s fiery protest was overshadowed by the previous day’s events, in which police gunned down a 34-year-old mother and dental hygienist near the White House in front of her 1-year-old daughter.