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Western Media Manipulates Coverage of U.S. Soldier’s Self-Immolation to Protest Gaza Genocide

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
News
29th February 2024
Western Media Manipulates Coverage of U.S. Soldier’s Self-Immolation to Protest Gaza Genocide
Western media avoided detailing Bushnell's self-immolation (Getty)

On February 25, the American soldier Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C, during a live broadcast, passionately shouting "Freedom for Palestine." Security forces rushed to the scene minutes later to rescue the soldier, but he tragically passed away while being transported in an ambulance.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide," Bushnell said before setting himself on fire. "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."

Aaron Bushnell

Aaron Bushnell, aged 25, enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2020, serving in information technology and development operations. He had expressed his intention to depart from military service and pursue a career in computer programming, as mentioned on his LinkedIn profile.

Western Media’s Misinformation of the American Soldier’s Self-Immolation

After Bushnell's self-immolation protest against the Israeli war in Gaza, Misbar closely monitored the coverage by major Western newspapers and media outlets. It observed a concerning trend of selective reporting, omitting key details about the incident and Bushnell's motivations. This was evident in headlines that avoided mentioning the direct cause of the protest: Israel’s genocide against Gaza residents.

Aaron Bushnell

Al-Hurra Channel’s Reporting on the American Soldier’s Self-Immolation

According to a report by Al-Hurra, a U.S. government-owned Arabic-language satellite TV channel, the original video capturing the soldier’s approach to the Israeli embassy in Washington was aired. However, at the 1:37-minute mark, a crucial portion of the video was omitted, wherein Bushnell accuses the occupation of committing genocide in Gaza. His self-immolation is not an extreme act of protest compared to the atrocities experienced by Palestinians at the hands of their colonizers.

The Guardian Omits the Reason Behind the U.S. Soldier’s Self-Immolation

The British newspaper The Guardian, in its coverage of the same incident, fails to mention the reason behind the American soldier's self-immolation in front of the Israeli occupation embassy in the headline of its article. Similarly, within the article's content, the newspaper does not directly address the motive behind Bushnell's actions, merely stating that he shouted "Free Palestine" before setting himself on fire. Thus, The Guardian's article, through its headline and narrative, implies that Bushnell’s act was solely in support of Palestine rather than a direct protest against the genocide suffered by Palestinians in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli occupation army.

The Guardian Omits the Reason Behind the U.S. Soldier’s Self-Immolation

The Washington Post Suggests That Aaron Bushnell Has Anarchist Tendencies

The Washington Post reported that U.S. soldier Aaron Bushnell has a religious upbringing and leans towards anarchist beliefs, indicating a tendency towards extremist ideology. The article does not delve into Bushnell's remarks in the video but highlights his previous expressions of discontent with American policies, particularly after the killing of African American youth George Floyd by a police officer. According to the newspaper, this incident prompted him to reassess U.S. history.

The Washington Post Suggests That Aaron Bushnell Has Anarchist Tendencies

Reuters Omits Reasons Behind the American Soldier’s Self-Immolation

Reuters news agency covered the incident with a headline stating that it was a pro-Gaza demonstration. However, in the article’s details, there was no mention of the content of the video or the reasons stated by Bushnell for setting himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy. This includes his references to the practices of the occupation and his accusation of the United States' involvement in the genocide against Palestinians. Reuters simply stated that he set himself on fire while demanding freedom for Palestine.

Reuters Omits Reasons Behind the American Soldier’s Self-Immolation

A Memorial for Soldier Bushnell and Gaza War Victims Outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington

A gathering of protesters convened in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, February 27, outside the Israeli embassy to show support for the protest initiated by Bushnell on February 25, where he self-immolated. The demonstration served as a memorial for Bushnell and the Palestinians who have been casualties of the Israeli war on Gaza. Since the commencement of this war on October 7 last year, the death toll has reached 29,878, with over 70,215 individuals wounded.

A Memorial for Soldier Bushnell

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