Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How Much For Your Wife?

Aparently, accidents also happen in war zones that are costing taxpayers money as well.
Three days earlier, two Afghan brothers had been killed in a collision between a U.S. Army truck and their motorcycle...

The Americans had been advised on a gesture of somewhere between zero and $2,000 per death. They had brought $500.

Pashtun code has it that parties do not speak directly to each other but instead through representatives. So, in response to the American gesture, Dr. Mohammed Nasir, a medical doctor trained in Kabul who works as Agha's translator, explained the family's expectations.

"You have two options," Nasir stated. "One is by the Quran, by Shariah. In that option, you give the driver (of the truck) to the father, and he can deal with him." One did not need to look at the Americans in the room to know that this was not an option.

"The second choice," he continued, "is our local tradition. You give either 90 camels or 2 women. So for the 2 boys, 180 camels or 4 women. Or the driver."

Not wanting to seem unreasonable, Nasir added that the price of one woman was $8,000, so a payment of $32,000 also would suffice.

...Dressed in an elegant charcoal turban, with his own graying father hunched down behind him, the man broke down almost immediately.

"You have the power. You have the tanks and the airplanes. I had only my two sons," he said, sobbing. "My wife is too old. Now I have nothing. Now I have only to wait for Allah."

Then he added, "You can help me in the way of the Quran."

He wanted nothing of the money. He had seen loss. Now he wanted only possession of the American driver and to see to it personally that loss was shared.

The warlord intervened, as did the uncle, in an attempt to repair the situation. They did not succeed.

Grief comes in many forms, but this poor man won't be getting his sons back. Meanwhile, no doubt, a US family could reap substantially more for another accidential death, this one killed Erika Hills.
The family of Erika Hills, the San Francisco socialite who was killed in a bizarre traffic accident in Napa County, has filed a wrongful death suit against the trucking firm and driver whose heavy trailer nearly ripped her Mercedes-Benz in half last month. The suit, filed Monday in Napa County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages from equipment and construction businesses owned by Glen and Shirley Ragsdale and from Arnulfo Avina, the driver of the Ragsdales' truck and trailer.

Maybe the father in Afganistan needs the same lawyer. Indeed, many survivors with relatives that were killed by presidential malpractice in the Gulf Coast will be needing similar services.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Afghan proverb

Rich enough to pay, rich enough to rob.

''You have the tanks and the airplanes ...''