Thursday, December 27, 2007

Weep for Sister Benazir

Weep, O World, O tragic world, for Sister Benazir. Weep, all you who long for a little more justice, a little democracy, a little better prospect for the masses who yearn for a more decent life.

In a nation where most options range from bad to worse, she was a glimmer of light, a beacon of hope -- limited though it may have been. Maybe she was corrupt, as they say, but still she was the best that Pakistan had for the near future. Now she is gone.

Why, O why, dear Sister Benazir, did you have to stand up in that car to wave once more, when the bullet-proof car might have saved you? Maybe they would have killed you anyway somehow, someplace, some way, but at least you could have lived one more day to wage the fight.

Dear Sister Benazir, today you join all the other martyrs who tried to shine a light in the darkness and hate symbolized by Chairman Mao's dictum that "power comes out of the barrel of a gun." You are with Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Anwar Sadat, who joined Yitzhak Rabin in saying, "Enough, enough of blood and tears!" All together in a great cloud of witnesses with all whose efforts over the centuries to improve the lot of humankind cost them their lives, they will welcome you, Sister Benazir, to watch what we will do with their sacrifice.

Today, then, let us weep for Sister Benazir and for the better days she might have brought to that troubled complex land. But tomorrow, somebody else has to light a candle in the darkness that might light other lights that might light others until . . . . . .

And in despair I bowed my heart;
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to all."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth God sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to all."
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

O Sister Benazir, O Sister Benazir . . . . For her and all who like her long for a better day, we must keep the hope alive, but today we weep for Sister Benazir.

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