Sunday, April 11, 2010

Winning Heads and Bodies!!!!


These days I have embraced all gamuts of insomnia. There is so much we hear and read about Afghanistan in the media, above all what we go through in Afghanistan.While we happen to be a piece of news for the rest of the world, for us its the epic tale of our realities, that doesnt seem changing.

Last night as I was reading the last pages of Ghost War, a genealogy of planted terror in the Afghan lands guised in cold war rhetoric, received an email from an angry friend with the link of the CNN video about the massacre of 5 family members in Khataba of Gardez. I might be accused of naiveness for using the word massacre on the killing of 5 people, but I am not a prisoner of political correctness, for me every loss of a human life, and that with such a blind deliberation is a massacre. You can decide for yourself.

The email said "Shame on us witnessing this and still being able to sleep..." That sentence irritated me. I havent slept well for many years now, especially not these days, the legacy of news addiction. With a sense of reluctance, I clicked on the link and in a blink of an eye, heard an old woman weeping and saying something in a language that was too familiar. I shivered. That was the voice of a mother who lost her two pregnant daughters in a blind night raid. The video showed the plight of the family members of the five people who were brutally killed in a night raid by the international troops, who upon the shooting, removed the bullets from the bodies , and washed the wounds with alcohol. I couldnt stop the tears flowing on my face as saw those images of dragged bodies that was filmed in a mobile by another member of the family. The media calls it as graphic, a real life horror graphic.

Can you imagine your friends and protectors being this heartless? In 2001, we were made to think that the marines are on a feminist mission but kills women like this?

Doesnt such a cruelty mirror the claims of 'winning hearts and minds' ? and for a moment, I lost the sense of anything such as winning, hearts, minds, heads or bodies. The video concluded that the Nato spokesperson accepted the cover up of the incident by its forces and sought an apology from the family. I imagined what would have been the wordings of an apology - Sorry, we mistakenly raided your house in the dark, shot at first sight as we saw your sons in the yard and then when the women came out shouting , we fired on them as well. Because it was an emergency situation , we didnt allow any other member of the family or the neighbors to touch the wounded. Some might have survived if they were rushed to a hospital. Then our troops got worried that they had targeted the wrong place, so they removed their bullets from the bodies and washed the wounds. They shouldnt have been worried because even if made-in china American bullets were found in bodies, who would know? We covered up the incident. And by the way, our troops carried out the raid based on credible intelligence that there were militants in your house.
And then the voices go silent and the story is over. After all , what do we know of justice- we have always been at war.

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