The ultimate weapon

During yesterday’s peace rally in Athens (which was larger and more spirited than the picture painted by those who rushed to condemn an alleged lull in anti-war action), I saw the ultimate weapon pass before my eyes – the only thing capable of defeating a Tomahawk missile and overcome the propaganda of war. It was nothing more than a crutch – and not a traditional one but one with a tripod at the base. An old lady was using it to steady herself as she followed the march. Ordinarily, an old lady would have stayed at home and watched the chaos that ensued on television, so as not to tire herself. And who could have blamed her, in her fragile state? But she took to the streets to join the protest. And she was not driven by allegiance to any particular party – as some cynics might maintain – but was staging her own silent protest, detached from the banners and slogans. And so her aluminum crutch was transformed into an anti-tank, anti-aircraft missile. I don’t know whether this old lady has ever taken to the streets in protest before. I can only speculate that she was probably deeply affected by the images of mutilated civilians over the last couple of weeks – of babies with missing limbs, of young and old maimed by the bombs ostensibly being dropped to free them by those blinded by an excess of power and indifference. And perhaps she also felt a certain shame at being relatively able-bodied, despite her reliance on a crutch – as well as shame for those who remorselessly raze to «rebuild.»