News Release

Vets on Aaron Bushnell’s Self-Immolation


See images of a vigil from Monday night for Aaron Bushnell who immolated himself in front of the Israeli embassy, shouting “Free Palestine!” over and over again.

Ferner is national director of Veterans For Peace, which just put out a statement: “Aaron’s motivation is strikingly similar to that of Norman Morrison, a 35-year-old, Quaker activist who set himself ablaze in the Pentagon parking lot below Secretary of War McNamara’s office, November 2, 1965. …

“We could call our policymakers ‘madmen arsonists’ because they go around the globe setting fires much faster than we can extinguish them.”

MATTHEW HOH,, @MatthewPHoh
Hoh is the associate director of the Eisenhower Media Network. He is a former Marine Corps captain, an Afghanistan State Department officer and a disabled Iraq War veteran. He said today: “It’s important to note Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation was not just an act of resistance to genocide and a statement of non-complicity but that it also came from the pain and distress caused by the great and wide wreckage of this war and all wars.

“The moral injury Aaron was enduring by being part of a military whose purposes were not the interests of the American people but rather the political, economic and financial interests of the American Empire, and the great harm and suffering that those interests bring to so many millions of people, is a pain and distress felt by generations of American veterans. …

“Aaron realized he was not wearing a white hat but a black one. The distress and guilt caused by that realization, coupled with his desire to stand resistant to the genocide in Gaza, led to his act of self-immolation. We have to be careful not to celebrate his death, for this act of self-immolation is an extension and agent of the wicked violence of this war in Gaza, and his loss, like the tens of thousands killed in the war, is an act of permanent destruction and moral desecration. We should honor his act of sacrifice, while recognizing the moral injury he was suffering, and utilize his memory to sustain our resistance to genocide, war and occupation.”