Sometimes things happen that are hard to write about. Not just because they’re so cruel, or horrific. The torture I wrote about last week was hard to stomach, but there was plenty to talk about. But sometimes it’s hard to think of something to say that will actually have meaning.
Yesterday in Peshawar in Pakistan, seven Taliban militants broke into a school run by the Pakistani army for children from 10 to 18. They went from room to room shooting students until as many as possible were dead. They chased students through the hallways, and shot bullets into children on the ground until they stopped moving. They didn’t take hostages, but instead tried to kill as many children as possible. When surrounded by the army, they either blew themselves up or fought until killed. At least 132 children were killed, and 9 teachers.
What do I say about this? I could look at who the Pakistani Taliban are, or how they justified their attack by saying that these are the children of army officers. I could talk about the fact that the attack will turn the country even more firmly against the Taliban.
But how much meaning does that have? The Pakistani Taliban’s ideology now justifies attacks designed to kill as many children as possible. They found seven men willing to slaughter children in the most up-close way possible in the name of their ideology. What can any analysis say to that? How do you respond? I have no real words. Nothing can give this meaning.