The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Thursday, September 17, 2009

let us speak of brigadiers

Me and my feminist cousin Pauline barely tolerating each other in the Cafe Costa on Dawson Street.
Evening traffic sighing in the street.
Last sunlight playing on the pavement.
"Why do you think Amnesty International didn't send the Brigadier?" wondered Pauline.
We had been talking about an Amnesty International investigation into Israeli actions during one of the recent wars in the Middle East.
Amnesty had asked an army officer of our acquaintance called Colonel Trunners to go to Lebanon and look for evidence of Israeli war crimes.
Pauline was wondering why they hadn't picked a more senior army officer, again an acquaintance of ours, known to scholars of my work as Brigadier Berrigan.
I weighed her question.
Pauline wouldn't sit still if I tried to slip in my usual gentle pro Israeli propaganda.
Best to stick to the subject.
"Amnesty International regard Colonel Trunners as a safe pair of hands," I told her. "They knew he'd give them the result they wanted. They knew they could send him to Lebanon and that sure as eggs are eggs he'd accuse Israel of war crimes. Brigadier Berrigan is not regarded by Amnesty International as such a safe pair of hands. He's got too much integrity for them to risk asking him. Of course the goodish Brigadier would never endorse my analysis of the permanant Arab war against Israel. And I'd never endorse his. But Amnesty International simply couldn't depend on him to uphold their own crassly partisan view of the conflict. They just couldn't trust him. The Brigadier would be walking around Lebanon and he'd be liable to say exactly what he thought without fear or favour. He'd be liable to ask where the peasants of South Lebanon got their hands on high calibre military hardware with Iranian markings on it. From Amnesty's point of view the Brigadier himself would be a loose cannon. Great Scott. The Brigadier would be liable to accuse the Arabs of war crimes. We couldn't have that, now could we. Amnesty International couldn't risk getting the wrong result. Best to stick with Trunners. He's a sneaky little Irish Times reading anti Israeli shit. He'd be only too happy to accuse the Israelis of war crimes until the cows come home regardless of the facts. Brigadier Berrigan on the other hand might just aspire to telling the truth. The truth as he saw it, mind. Whatever that truth was. Amnesty International couldn't take that chance. The Brigadier might start talking about the acts of war carried out by Hezbollah from Lebanon. He might dwell on the deaths of Israeli soldiers in the cowardly Hezbollah sneak attacks. He might discuss the Hezbollah practice of torturing and murdering Israeli captives prior to prisoner exchanges so that the Israelis only ever receive dead bodies. He might mention the Ayatollah's dicatorship in Iran whose proxy army Hezbollah is. And he might even end up accusing the Islamists themselves of engaging in unprovoked aggression, terrorism, and heavens to Murgatroyd honest to God old fashioned war crimes. No. Amnesty International could never take a chance on that happening. They were always going to send the Colonel rather than our old friend the Brigadier."


Anonymous MissJean said...

And what did she say in reply?

1:52 PM  
Blogger heelers said...

As far as I remember, she didn't say anything. Just applauded.
Welcome back MJ, I've missed our little chats...

11:57 PM  

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