by Adrian Luca
Abeda Wali is in mourning for her brother this morning.
Hours before, in the black of night, Mohammed was terminally,
collaterally damaged when a U.S Navy F14 Tomcat dropped a
bomb on their downtown Kabul hovel.
"One minute I was fast asleep. The next I was lying under
a pile of mud bricks and ceiling struts", she says, waving
away the flies that continue to settle on her open, untreated,
facial collateral damage.
The bomb that fell on Abeda and Mohammed Wali's house was
a 5,000-pound laser-guided weapon known as a GBU 28, and was
personally signed by the crew of the USS Enterprise.
Unsurprisingly, Abeda,a former chemist, widowed 17 years
ago when the Moujahedeen executed her husband for teaching
math at a co-educational high school, holds no-one but herself
and the Taliban responsible for the collateral damage of her
brother, who, under the Taliban's harsh form of Islamic law,
was her only source of food. "It's like Pentagon spokeswoman
Victoria Clarke said on CNN today. Collateral damage, although
unfortunate, is the inevitable result of the U.S's necessary
actions against Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network
and the brutal thugs who support and protect him. How could
I blame any American for what has happened, when at this very
moment, near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the US Air Force
is airdropping thousands of care packages containing baked
beans and oreo cookies?'
What does surprise Abeda Wali is the news that the bomb that
fell on her home was daubed with the slogan "Highjack(sic)
"It's amazing", she says, tears filling her eyes. "I just
don't know how those sailors on that American aircraft carrier
knew that my brother was a homosexual! Obviously nobody in
our village guessed, or he'd have been strung up from the
nearest lamppost the day the Taliban took over. My brother
had to live a lie for many years, and it's just another sign
of America's belief in diversity and pluralism that its military
specifically and openly offers its services to people of alternative
Unlike Abeda Wali, New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Community Center has condemned the specific targeting
of homosexuals in Afghanistan. "Afghan civilians should be
collaterally damaged in an entirely nondiscriminatory manner,
without reference to their bedroom preferences," said center
spokesman Gerald Quince.