All I could think of is running
cross posted at the demise
About five real people were there when he was describing the thin blue air. A normally perfect day, the kind of day you may see that a kid could have drawn with crayons in that universal.kid.artwork way. Puffy lines as clouds, a ball with radiant lines our sun, the normal trees gigantic in kid perspective to the family home drawn from memory and with love.
They knew the sound they heard again, they were no longer alone. There is no need to speak its name. In fact, that’s really unspeakable anyway. And the 13 year old’s story continued;
“When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black smoke rose up. The air smelled poisonous. We ran, but several minutes later the drone fired again.”
The teen Zubair’s nine year old sister Nabila picks up the story;
“Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything. I heard a scream. I think it was my grandmother, but I couldn’t see her. All I could think of is running.”
The young boy told the real people that even when his leg heals from the surgery that he received to remove the shrapnel, he would no longer go outside to play as his friends never do anymore – some also refusing to go to school when the drones fly;
“When the sky brightens and turns blue, the drones return and so does the fear…Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”
The children’s father also bore testimony to the mechanically amoral extrajudicial bug splatting crime that had been perpetrated. He told the five assembled real people in Urdu that on that day his mother, “aik lari main pro kay rakhna” (the string that holds the pearls together) had been murdered in a nonchalant exceptional.ly brutal fashion in front of his eyes. Rafiq ur Rehman said to the testimony takers;
“I would just like to ask the American public to treat us as equals. Make sure that your government gives us the same status of a human with basic rights as they do their own citizens. We do not kill our cattle the way the US is killing humans in Warziristan with drones. The indiscriminate killing has to end and justice must be delivered to those who have suffered at the hands of the unjust. I would say to President Obama if I had the opportunity to meet with him: ‘What happened to me and my family is wrong.”
The primary school teacher continued,
“As a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this? How do I explain what I do not myself understand? How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too, if I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children.”
It was then that the person translating the Urdu testimony into English for the real people broke down in tears, unable to go on.
I applaud the five real people who decided to take this urgent and what should be pivotal testimony as this nation realizes its international crime spree cannot continue and it falls on its face submitting humbly and in abject apology for what we all have done. It shames me to think that only five democrats came to witness the savage wound that we have created in this family, as it is only one of the million gashes that we daily inflict on the body of this world that we are torturing. Bewildered seeing my criminal visage in the mirror and angry – but determined to do penance for my crimes by standing up for peace, I must tamp down my inclination to think that all I can do is run.
“When you stand up, you stand for all. When you sit down, they win. To the streets!”