All posts tagged: 1-year-old daughter

As a Tactic, Self-Immolation Is Often Counterproductive

As a Tactic, Self-Immolation Is Often Counterproductive

In 1963, the monk Thich Quang Duc soaked himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire to protest the government of the Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Within a few years, dozens more had killed themselves the same way. A Quaker named Norman Morrison stood outside Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s office, handed off his 1-year-old daughter to a stranger, and cremated himself. Back in Vietnam, a nun named Nhat Chi Mai wondered to a friend whether the tactic had lost its power through overuse. “Fasting and even self-immolation no longer wake people up,” she said. “We have to be imaginative!” She suggested they take part in a mass public disembowelment. Her friend said she’d think about it. In 1967, Nhat knelt before statues of the Virgin Mary and Quan Am, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and stuck with Plan A. She was 33. This past weekend, a 25-year-old U.S. Air Force enlisted man livestreamed his self-immolation in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. He said he could no longer abide being “complicit” in …