Article Overview:    Be wary of burning yourself to death.    The Beast of Fire Terrorism lurks about.


Monday, March 8, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 908
Self Immolation--The Ultimate Terror

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar. 8, 2004 -- I have seen people set on fire.  It is a horrible scene.   The stench of such death lingers forever, an odor whose pungent spears are indelible.

I witnessed many burning deaths ...

         In Vietnam I saw many deaths by burning.   A flame thrower spits out hellfire upon those in its path, and the more they run, the brighter the flames. Vietnam

 At Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, I saw the burning bodies leaping from the Twin Towers.    They chose death by falling to that of being burned out of existence.  
          For months after the Terrorist attack, the smell of burning human flesh permeated the atmosphere where I live in the East Village, clinging to one's clothes and skin as though to remind everyone of Terrorism's ability to gnaw its way into the pores of the living through the remnants of the dead.    Deep in the bowels of the earth, the smoke rose for months as the fires of Hell burned, perfuming the air with the toxic mortality of all who thought they were exempt from Terrorism.

I was familiar with the scent of burning flesh

        I was familiar with the scent.   When people asked me: "What is that smell?" I said nothing.   I didn't remind them it was nearly 3,000 bodies burning amidst the rubble.  I didn't want them to wake up at night screaming as they thought of inhaling the molecules of the victims, their scents carried through the night to the nostrils of the living.
         I awoke many times, often gagging.   I knew what I was inhaling.  I wished I didn't.   The decay of human souls swarmed through my lungs, mixed with my blood, was part of the gaseous exchange of fuel for life, a strange cocktail of the living and the dead.      

Twenty-year-old Afghan woman attempted self immolation

           All this was brought back in vivid color this morning when I read about the self-immolation of Afghanistan women.    Still repressed by years of customs and traditions, many Afghan women in villages are treated like chattel, according to an article in the New York Times.
           Young girls are given in marriage to husbands two and three times their age, as compensation for debts or crimes.    These young women are often brutalized, as slaves in the household ruled by the mother-in-law.    Many are beaten and abused and as a result choose to kill themselves rather than live in the daily torture of a hellish existence.
          Kerosene is their weapon of self destruction.   Readily available since it is used for cooking and heating, they douse themselves with the fuel and light themselves.  
          Local hospitals have had a surge of such deaths recently as human rights groups have become more active and track them.   The Times presents insights into the minds of some of the women who survived, and the Fear they live with that leads up to their attempted suicide.

Can I burn myself up with my anger?

           I think of statements we make:  "I'm burning up with anger!"    "That burns me up!" 
           Perhaps there are more than one way to burn up ourselves?   Maybe kerosene and a match is one way, but can we burn ourselves up without the kerosene and match?  Can we destroy our sense of worth by turning rage and anger, or futility and frustration into raging flames that destroy our self worth just as real kerosene and fire destroys the flesh?
            The Beast of Terror is not always so obvious as to ignite someone in real life.   But, if we were able to see people "burning with rage" or "consumed in the flames of jealousy" or "ablaze with anger" we might see virtually hundreds of people on a busy street in all varying degrees of self immolation.
              Vigilance may be nothing more than being a good fireman or firewoman.  That is, if we are truly Vigilant, we might keep our eyes attuned to those feelings and emotions which enrage us, that spark our kindling points and drive us either into a state of rage, or depress us into a quagmire of frustration.    Both the high and the low of our emotions are inflammatory.

The Beast of Terror wants us to burn ourselves up

         Perhaps the Beast of Terror wants us to spontaneously combust because we keep things to ourselves, and feel the world is "out to get us" and we are tinder, ready to explode at the smallest spark.
             I'm not sure, of course.  But I do know that each of us has a "burning point" where we "can't take it" any more.  Some of us have a higher thermostat than others, but none of us is exempt from the dangers of exploding or imploding.
              Any of us can set ourselves on fire through Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.    We can only stuff our emotions so long; we can only be victims for a limited stitch in time.

Vigilance allows us to let off steam

               This is where Vigilance allows us to let off steam.  We can learn to counter the impact of the Beast of Terror by opening the doors and ventilating our souls with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children.
               We don't have to burn ourselves up, especially in the eyes of our children.
              Children can see a mother or father seething on fire in front of them.  They can see the flames firing off the end of the parents' tongues.  They can smell the burning of their parents' flesh as they sleep.
              We can stop the burning.  We can take the Pledge of Vigilance.   We can all hope that one day the women of Afghanistan will stop burning themselves, but in the interim, we can help, by insuring we don't burn ourselves.

Mar 7--Sexual Vigilance Among Teenagers

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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