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Old 06-19-2003, 11:16 AM   #1
Undertoad
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6/19/2003: Iranian afire



People on fire are very likely to make the IotD. Now let's consult the scorecard to see whether we can make any sense of this event.

On Tuesday, France decided to crack down on the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, otherwise known as the Mujahedeen Khalq. This organization is listed as a terrorist organization by both the US and the EU.

Maybe they are. I don't know. I do know that they say the Iranian government has killed 120,000 of them since 1979.

On Wednesday, this man and a few others in Paris and across Europe set themselves afire to protest the French crackdown. One woman died from her burns.

The crackdown happens at a very key point in history. Iranian students are protesting nightly in every Iranian city. The rule of the Mullahs there appears to be near an end in what may, with the greatest of hope, be a bloodless revolution.

The crackdown is seen as the French taking sides with the Mullahs.

Also on Tuesday, French foreign minister de Villepin said that the EU should not list Hamas as a terrorist organization.

It seems obvious that if you light yourself on fire, you are a Ghandi-like protester; if you light yourself on fire and in the process intentionally light others on fire, you are a terrorist. This simple math seems too difficult for French politicians, and their country will suffer for it.
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:38 AM   #2
warch
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What an amazing and horrible image.
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:00 PM   #3
hot_pastrami
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Seeing that image as a photo is deeply disturbing. Imagine seeing it first-hand. The screams of pain. Ugh.
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:07 PM   #4
juju
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Instead of looking for a bucket of water, the reporter grabbed his camera. What a nice guy.
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:25 PM   #5
ndetroit
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Something about journalistic objectivism, right. .... ?

the guy on fire was making a political statement.... by choice.

the journalist had no choice but to get his camera... a bucket of water would have surely put him in a very non-ethical position.


interesting stuff, eh? save a life? let him die? don't interfere? do your duty and capture the event on film.... (which is really what the guy wanted, isn't it? I mean, you don't light yourself on fire for fun.. you do it as a last resort to bring publicity to your cause)...


does it come down to our personal need to save the life (out of guilt, or doing what we believe is right) vs that mans need to give his life to further his cause ?


What about journalistic objectivity?


This is one of the most disturbing images I've ever experienced at the cellar.
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Old 06-19-2003, 02:21 PM   #6
cin
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Wow...

In the past several months I've had to deal with mobs of angry (confused) anti-war protestors toting their "No Blood For Oil", "Stop Bush" signs, etc. When I drove by these herds of followers, I thought about what they were saying, but was more interested in the traffic jam they were causing. Imagine what the guy driving the car on the other side of this protestor was thinking. Did he honk? Yell something? What's his reply to this?

If people want to do things to their bodies to bring attention to something they think the world should know about, I have nothing against it. Although, I can't think of anything that I'd torch myself for.
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Old 06-19-2003, 02:31 PM   #7
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Yeah, but he's running around like a big sissy. No one did it better than the most famous, Thich Quang Duc. Just sitting there all calm... that guy had balls.
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Old 06-19-2003, 02:41 PM   #8
elSicomoro
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It's being discussed on PRI's The World right now. (The program is available at their site after 5pm EDT. It airs here in Philadelphia on WHYY 91FM at 8pm.)

Here's more about the protests from the BBC.
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Old 06-19-2003, 03:14 PM   #9
cin
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Quote:
Originally posted by dave
Yeah, but he's running around like a big sissy. No one did it better than the most famous, Thich Quang Duc. Just sitting there all calm... that guy had balls.
Hell yeah.
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:04 PM   #10
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Yeah, but he's running around like a big sissy.
Sissy?Sissy? C'mon Dave, he may be a lot of things, but sissy?
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:38 PM   #11
dave
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Any asshole can set themselves on fire. BFD. The real test is sitting there and taking it like a man.
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:42 PM   #12
lhand
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Ruined clothes

Nice shirt. Nice pants. If I were going to do this, I'd at least wear something already worn out. What a waste.
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Old 06-19-2003, 06:10 PM   #13
juju
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Quote:
Originally posted by dave
Any asshole can set themselves on fire. BFD. The real test is sitting there and taking it like a man.
I doubt it. It takes real willpower to set yourself on fire.
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Old 06-19-2003, 06:28 PM   #14
xoxoxoBruce
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I doubt it. It takes real willpower to set yourself on fire.
Or really, really, really good/bad drugs.

Oh yeah....or a woman.
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:10 PM   #15
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"Pussies will never be heroes."--unknown
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