Friends, kindred spirits, civilized people all…
I’m not here to defend evil or the Taliban.
“Behind the Veil” has exposed them as a
weird breed raising sabres against beards and TVs,
ankles and artefacts: a savage breed turning stadia into
arenas of blood, and doubtless, given a free hand, will
execute their way back to the Stone Age. But if any
among you asks, speak to us of good versus evil,
terror versus justice, Taliban versus Americans,
then I say I’m not here to speak of them either.
There are American Indians and Blacks, Palestinians
and Japanese, Vietnamese and Iraqis, Slavs and Slovaks,
whose knowledge is intimate, whose suffering irrevocable.
Let them tell their stories. Let them speak of the bombardment
of nations, the conflict of races, the squabbles of neighbours.
There are Afghans whose children died because
the colour of bombs bears the colour of food cartons.
Let them tell their stories. Let them tell why and from whom
they had fled. My knowledge is little, my suffering trivial.
Ask them. Let them speak of good versus evil.
17. 10. 2001