Today, I met another Afghani from Kabul and I described the man of peace to him, remarkably he said he knew him. "The heavy guy", he confirmed. He gestured as if he was hugging a tree. Apparently, the lieutenant’s burns are far more extensive than I could have known. A clash with a tank left him with a permanent memento, a tragedy of a kind that embarrasses us all.
My new acquaintance relies solely on his family in Kabul for reliable reports on current events. “Two years ago there was a wedding in the street and we have a tradition, we shoot the guns into the air. The Americans thought they were shooting at the plane. They bomb the wedding. One hundred and fifty dead, killed.” I wondered afterward why he told me this particular story among all of the possibilities, was it the injustice, the insanity or his own lingering denial?