It took a little time to get him out of the crowd afterward and geared up for his own aska kraiya speech, and the crowd took some time to settle.
When Chevenga stood up to make his address Kallijas was at his elbow and Che nodded at him and waved him back.
“My People, Whom I love…” is how he started. There are multiple accounts written of this famous address, but what I paid most attention to was what he said about the conquest of Arko, of course.
“Every Yeoli knows all too well what Kurkas and Arko did to us in the war against us. We know how many died, we know how many were tortured or maimed, and how severely; we know how many were kidnapped, we know how much property was stolen. We know the breadth and the depth of our grief and our pain, and how it has changed us.
What we are less aware of is how our fear, our anger and our fighting against Arko has changed us. To be fearful and enraged was natural, and fighting was necessary, but we undertook it at a price—that we would accustom ourselves more towards the ways of war, and away from the ways of peace. The clearest sign of that change we showed the way we often do, by a vote, which history will always know. We made ourselves into what we have never been before—conquerors.”
He is thinking about this in detail... more than I have really. The Yeolis certainly are listening intently. All of us are. This is important to everyone listening. This is important not only to Yeolis but to foreigners.
“First, I am not denying or lessening my own part in our decision to conquer, though I maintain still, and will to my dying breath, that it was improper for me to have been asked. Nonetheless I was, and I spoke chalk to it because it was my preference, and I don’t pretend it wasn’t.
Second, I am not saying even that it was a wrong choice. There are many reasons that can be reasonably argued, that ultimately it was best not only for Yeola-e but for the world and even for Arko itself, chief of which are the removal of Kurkas from the Crystal Throne, and the transformation of Arko into a state ruled by its people through the vote.
But nonetheless the invasion was most certainly the mark of a change in us, brought about by anger and fear, which had their roots, of course, in the pain we suffered. I do not, I cannot, castigate any Yeoli for that, because it was natural, and I think that most peoples in the world in the same position would have done the same.
Nonetheless, as we know in our hearts, where anger and fear rule, love and peace are driven out.”
Yes, in war, love and peace are indeed driven out. My sire would have laughed hard at that. ‘Of course my boy! There is no place for anything but death and the best orgasmic spasm in war.’ That is what he would have said.
He cited several Yeoli philosophical texts and poems talking about what war does to people.
“Second Kilalere knew what we still know, that in fear we feel helpless and so forget that we choose everything, and so we lose our ability to choose, which is by far the worst of any loss of freedom.
Now it is the same for us, after the Arkan occupation and after the Arkan war, as it was in her time; and yet we went even beyond that, in becoming the aggressors for the first time in our history.
When I look back, again, I see it most clearly in myself. I do not regret invading, but I will always regret, with the most bitter remorse, that I allowed the sack of Arko, that I gave free reign to Yeolis to kill and rape and torture Arkans. And I know that error came out of my own pain, out of the change that Arko had wrought in me personally.”
Oh Ten, yes. It’s not just nations. It’s individuals. And you wear on your skin the mark of Arko, Second Amitza’s initials. And the mark on your spirit of my father, since he didn’t care to leave such crude marks, but rather the scars upon your soul.
My thanks to Karen for the parts of the asa kraiya address. To read the whole thing see http://chevenga.com/node/244