Blog 12BC. Stone, Rocket, TIC. Irish’s Day continues…
So much shit happens in a day here, that it takes a long time to reflect, contemplate and try to organize it into something that makes sense; even if it isn’t acceptable or understandable from a western cultural perspective. Some will never make sense of it and it will linger.
…..We sat at the FARP having a quick, Redbull refreshment and a pee when Irish looked at his watch. He started to get time compressed. He jumped in and spun his finger in the air demanding me to wind up the engines to keep on schedule.
“Roger that.” I announced twisting the throttles open.
“Shakedown Flight cleared take-off X-ray east RIVER, altimeter is two-nine-nine-eight.” The tower instructed. We departed from the FARP.
On the north side of three-mile mountain between KAF and Kandahar was a large Bedouin village. It was mostly canvass and mud huts dug into the ground. The occasional brick factory chimney added smoke to the dusty air. Today, there was a gathering of about fifty people in a circle near mid village; I veered away not to disturb them. Zorg was watching from his side. As a gunner they observed detail in activities, screening for strange behaviors or weapons that could harm us.
“What the hell is going on down there?” Zorg inquired.
“I didn’t notice. A circle of people? Are they kids playing?” I queried.
“Oh my God sir, it’s a fuck’n stoning!” Zorg sounded distressed. “They are stoning her!”
“What?” I challenged.
“About a kilometre back, they were stoning a woman – a girl, like a teenaged girl!” He ranted.
“Your kidding me!” I asked.
“We gotta do something! We gotta go back.” Zorg was adamant.
“Two-six this is two-five, did you see a stoning back there left side?” There was a pause; apparently a similar discussion going on in their aircraft.
“Roger that…Continue Steve! We can’t interfere.” Professor’s tone was different. Professor knew my crew would be discussing possible methods of intervention. He knew it would be a huge mistake.
I paused for about three seconds. In those three seconds my mind raced through scenarios. We could turn back. Force an interdiction and extract the young girl. There would be anger. Possible fighting and bloodshed. If we got away with it, shame would be brought to the family for us escalating the situation causing westerners to be involved. Great shame. There would be further stupid punishments. Yet we had the power to disperse it. But our prevailing orders were to report and not interfere. I felt helpless.
“Roger.” I replied. The Professor was right.
“We have to continue with our primary mission guys. All I can do is report.” My voice was heightened, heavy. I didn’t know what to do. It was deathly quiet as I went out on the radio to Slayer.
‘That ain’t right – that ain’t right – we can help!” Zorg stated.
“Zorg, we gotta carry on with our task, we’ll talk later!” I was concerned due to his tone.
“Too many people dying for stupid reasons here.” He stated quietly.