It would seem, that in the battle for free speech, my editors have found it prudent (against my strong objections) to publish an open letter by a known terrorist who has assassinated both foreign nationals and good Starfleet officers. In recognition of their sacrifices, the Federation News Service published an article by the madman who claimed their lives, giving him an open forum and aiding and abetting his crimes by trying to rationalize them. Since this is all about ‘free speech’ I found it prudent to exercise my own rights and pen a letter of my own.
Nikael Kalre is a murderer, a butcher, a terrorist. He is not some misunderstood, melancholic anti-hero fighting against an impossible cause in remembrance for those lost in a tragic incident. The 1.2 million people of Ohmallera are dead, and in some sick orgy of violence and hate, Mr. Kalre seeks to add to the body count. Kill more people. Destroy more families. Forge more people like him. I would hate to be him when the families of his victims hunt him down like the mad dog he is, committing murders and acts of treason, all in the name of some great cause, when all it is just the insanity of misplaced grief.
I covered Setlik III, one of the many incidents that defined the brutality of the Cardassian Wars, and no doubt led to the eventual development of the Maquis. I cannot tell you how many letters I received; now many outpourings of grief and anger I had to read from hundreds, if not thousands of people. Some of them weren’t even related or connected to the colony, and others had nothing to say to me specifically, or about the reporting I had done. They were angry, they were enraged that such acts could still occur in an age, in a nation, defined as ‘paradise’. At the end of the Wars, a group of people still had a bitter taste in their mouths about it all. Years later, they still hadn’t let go, and were willing to drag everyone else down with them.
The Humans say an eye for an eye makes the world blind, and that’s what the Maquis ‘struggle’ really was. Unable to conceive of a world where people make sacrifices for the greater good, they decided to resist the Cardassians. No one knows how many Cardassian soldiers they killed, how many ‘Cardies’ they collected neck bones from. And no one knows how many Starfleet Officers died in the intervention to stop their madness from endangering the entire Alpha Quadrant.
It didn’t matter to the members of the original Maquis though. Blinded by hate, consumed by rage they lashed out again and again, using trite and clichéd rationalizations for their behavior and constructing a grand cause to make the deaths around them seem justified and logical, in contrast to the senseless takings of their loved ones. Everyone who has lost somebody wants revenge on someone, and will go to any lengths to get it.
That’s who Nikael Kalre really is. He’s a man who has lost his family to a heartbreaking, inconceivable tragedy, and as he struggles to make sense of what he cannot change, the anger has built within him. As a mother, as a decent woman, my compassion ends there.
Just because one’s motives can be contrived, or understood, it does not excuse the conscious decision to take lives. Nikael Kalre is a terrorist, a madman, who will go on killing with his merry band of thugs regardless of our own sympathies for him, regardless of how eloquent we find his letters of grief. What should have been a foot note in history at best, is now an article to be laid bare for the entire Federation to see. He has tricked us, manipulated us, into false sympathy so that we may second guess our resolve. No matter how bittersweet his words for his wife and dead children are, they are spewed with the venom of an enemy of the Federation and its citizens. He wants to see our way of life burn, never forget that.
He talks of reform, but is unwilling to do in an arena of ideas or an open forum. To him, actions speak louder than words, the bloodier the better. He claims that he wants to preserve the soul of the Federation against those who are corrupt and in power, and yet he fails to tell us who they are in specific terms, or how they might be dealt with. No, his calls for reform are flimsy attempts to distract us and rationalize his violent methods. As a woman who has exposed corruption of the highest order with just words I tell you Nikael Kalre is wrong, misguided and the bane of all decent and civilized worlds. He is not a man to be admired, he is not a man to be sympathized with and he is not a man who deserves to be published in the premier news service of the greatest society this galaxy has yet known, which is always, always reaching for greater epochs of rights, freedoms and civilization.
In the wake of this gross miscarriage of justice and common decency, I was prepared to tender my resignation after my concerns and protests were blatantly ignored. But that would be giving up. That would be giving in to intimidation. Citizens of the Federation, as I have done for decades I will continue to write my opinions on the events of the day. I will continue to sit at my desk, writing my opinion pieces. And I will not rest until my pen and my paper have convinced those that must be convinced, we do not negotiate with terrorists, and we do not print their transparent and flimsy attempts to weaken our resolve. We must never give in, and we must never doubt.
“The gunfire around us makes it hard to hear. But the human voice is different from other sounds. It can be heard over noises that bury everything else. Even when it’s not shouting. Even when it’s just a whisper. Even the lowest whisper can be heard – -over armies… when it’s telling the truth.”