Aaron Bushnell - The Courage of Principles

On Sunday, February 25th, 25 year old US Airman Aaron Bushnell acted with extreme courage, self-immolating in protest against the ongoing Palestinian genocide funded by America and Israel. This highest of self sacrifices, made himself a martyr to send a simple and powerful message. "I will no longer be complicit in genocide."

"I am an active duty member of the United States Air Force. And I will no longer be complicit to genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest. But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers—it's not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal."

There were rumors of US troops alongside the IOF troops months ago, claims of seeing American flag patches coming from Palestinian sources. It's been widely reported [1] that US has special forces to help with the hostages in Gaza and to provide support to Israel, Biden even sat down with these soldiers before they were deployed on their mission to support Israel's genocide.

Looks like Aaron's protest verifies that. American forces are acting as the overseers for the Palestianian genocide happening in Gaza. Perhaps worse. All of this on the heels of one of the worst massacres of the genocide happening mere 12 hours ago. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed and some 700 others wounded after Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinians trying to get flour for their families ssouthwest of Gaza City as intentional starvation at the hands of Israel. [2] Slaughtering and starving children is genocide, no amount of jets flying over NFL games can change that.

The United States, including her servicemen and women, are complicit in the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians to further the interests of the capitalist elite. Whether you joined to escape poverty, or homelessness as I once did, or if you joined out of familial obligations or a sense of duty, let Aaron's actions wash over you as they have me. Don't re-enlist. Do sham. Make appointments, get quarters. Work to rule and get the hell out. Don't contribute to this genocidal empire, don't enlist or re-enlist. If you're a veteran like I, it is your duty to prevent others from joining, no amount of benefits are worth the shame, the psychological abuse and the piss-poor pay. This isn't 2003 anymore, no one will think of you has a hero, not even yourself.

The death of this young man is an indictment on all of us who consider ourselves communists or anarchists. There is no political movement for this feeling of helplessness to be channeled into. Individual acts of heroism, while powerful, cannot defeat the beast. We must continue to strive towards actual organization. It is moments like these that puts many things into perspective. We must continue to push towards class consciousness, to unite the working class against the horrors normalized by the ruling class, this is our goal.

"Many of us like to ask ourselves, "What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?" The answer is, you're doing it. Right now." -Aaron Bushnell

That was his final post to the world, and something we should all consider. Aaron Bushnell was a man of honor and principle. He embodies what it means to control the spectacle, to break the chains, to be Houdini. This is why so many recoil in disgust at his actions, why so many are quick to call him a coward, or quick to criticize this protest, his self-sacrifice. We live in a world without prinicples, one where standing for something with conviction is seen as weakness. We must reject this mindset. We must continue to stand with the utmost conviction, those that disparage this are the true cowards, no matter what they may lion us into believing. Aaron Bushnell's act of resistance will not be forgotten, nor shall it be in vein.

"The oppressed peoples and nations must not pin their hopes for liberation on the "sensibleness" of imperialism and its lackeys. They will only triumph by strengthening their unity and persevering in their struggle." - Mao Tse Tung