22nd August

The Envoy of War

I come more in sorrow than in anger. This is how I always come. That way it is your fault.

I have told you before, don’t do these things that provoke me. Do nothing, or do things that I can tolerate. If you had paid attention, I need not have come at all.

I drew a line in the sand. You may ask, what line, what sand? I think I made myself clear. But whether you saw the line or chose not to see it, I never said I would not rake the sand or erase the line. If you don’t see the line now, that is not my problem. You should have been paying attention.

Some crimes are so terrible that they cannot be tolerated. Your crimes were tolerated until they became intolerable. You crossed a line when you committed your intolerable crimes. Do not ask whether that line was the same line as the one I drew in the sand. You should have been paying attention.

Do not speak to me of inconsistency. Do not speak to me of one hundred thousand dead here, of fifty thousand dead there. Do you think that I count the dead on my fingers? That my sorrow is touched only when I reach a certain number?

Do not speak to me of hypocrisy. Do not speak of napalm, depleted uranium, cluster bombs and Agent Orange. Do not speak of rendition and torture. Do not speak of arms manufacturers and arms sales. None of this is relevant. We are not talking about what was done yesterday. We are talking about what was done today, by you.

Your crimes are not merely intolerable, they are evil, barbaric, monstrous. I can speak freely now. They are crimes against humanity. An example must be made of you, so that the rest of humanity knows where it stands.

Humanity stands on the same side of the line in the sand as I do. Do not complain that you cannot see the line, now that I have raked the sand. You should have been paying attention.

If only your crimes had remained tolerable, none of my sorrow or my anger would be necessary.

Reader: Charlie West
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Piano: Kit Downes
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