Only little brown men*

The journalists came to the country
to discover the truth, so they said.
“The good folks back home need to know
why so many are tortured and dead.”

The people didn’t want to show them,
they feared for their own lives, it’s true,
but the hacks persisted in asking,
’cos they had their assignments to do.

At last they found a poor boatman
to ferry them over the lake;
their expense sheets would scarcely notice
the twenty dollars he’d take.

So they came to the scene of the slaughter –
an entire village wiped out.
These words cannot do justice to the graves,
to the flesh and the bones spread about.

Though they almost were drowned while returning,
the boatman got them safely away;
back in the city they develped their films
and wrote their reports on that day.

The papers did carry the story,
it made the front page everywhere.
The newsmen felt proud of what they had done –
they’d make us all more aware.

But the death squads didn’t like the attention –
their public image looked bad –
so they gave the poor boatman four bullets
to go with the dollars he had.

The price of truth can be heavy –
when you’re poor, twenty sounds like a lot,
but tweny’s not much compensation
when for a bonus you get yourself shot.

Our ‘civilised’ liberals worry,
shake their heads and ask again why:
why the rich do such things to hold on to power,
why do so many poor people die?

Stop asking your self-serving questions.
Stop pretending you haven’t a clue.
Journalists and mercenaries doing their job
and they’re doing it all just for you.