There wouldn’t have been any settlement of the war if people hadn’t given up on having their story accepted as the story.
That’s what I think. Not everyone agrees with my way of looking at it. That’s fine… It’s healthy to have competing stories, different interpretations, various points of view.
Some people feel the need to have the last word. They can’t let sleeping dogs lie. They can’t let the British Army leave with taking a last opportunity to propagandise their take on the situation.
Fintan O’Toole proved himself to be one of those in his yesterday’s The Irish Times column, entitled "The blunt instrument of war".
He fell the need to have the last word.
"Both militarily and ideologically, the army was a player, not a referee … It arrived with a colonial mentality… turned a complex, largely internecine conflict into an ‘anti-imperialist struggle …"
As if that was fact, the truth, the intelligent commentator’s way of looking at it…
Fintan O’Toole has a reputatation for examining history critically, and with innovation. Yesterday, he peddled one story, as if it was the right way of looking at the complexity.
My view is that there are many stories:
the Loyalists have their angle; the IRA have their view; the families of those who died have many stories… Simply, ‘truth’ has many faces & voices.
I wish Fintan O’Toole had used his talent to describe the many faces that have comprised the time of the British Army. Instead he lapsed into a sectarian exposition, set out one stall as if it were ‘right’. To put it post-modernly, he privileged one of many stories.
What a squandering of talent.