About a year ago, October 24, 2012, a 67-year old midwife grandmother was slain when an American drone death machine struck her to the ground. She had been gathering okra to feed her grandchildren.
This happened in Waziristan, Pakistan.
Momina Bibi's grandchildren were standing nearby: 13-year-old Zubair Rehman, and his 9-year-old sister, Nabila. They saw, heard and felt the whole thing.
Now a year later, on Tuesday of this week, October 29, Congressman Alan Grayson conducted a Congressional hearing to discover more facts about the killing. Five Congressman and a few other people present heard testimony from the children, and their father, Rafiq Rehman, son of the deceased Momina Bibi.
So in Washington, two days ago, in the Sam Rayburn building, Rafiq and his children explained to Alan Grayson, and to our nation and to the world, what had happened in that okra field back in Pakistan a year ago. Rafiq testified to us that his mother was dead, but he could not say why.
Neither can I say why. How about you?
When I heard about this, I was reminded of an old scripture:
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
And the Lord said unto Cain, 'Where is Abel thy brother?'
And he said, 'I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?'
And the Lord said, 'What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.'
Now here is the 21st-century version of homo sapiens' depravity scenario:
And Uncle Sam watched over a grandmother of Pakistan who was picking okra in the field. And it came to pass that Uncle Sam shot off a drone against the old woman, and slew her.
And a year later, the Congressman raised the question to Uncle Sam, 'Where is this innocent Pakistani woman?'
And Uncle Sam said: 'I know not: Am I a Pakistani okra-gathering grandmother's keeper?'
Now this American citizen (I), hearing of it, said, 'What the hell hath our Uncle Sam done over there in Pakistan? The voice of this woman's blood crieth unto me, and yeah, even unto the Lord, from the ground.'
It was not so much the news report of this killing that caught my ear, but rather:
the cry of Momina's innocent blood from the ground, half a world away.