Who’s the first casualty of war?

NUJ BANNERS, below, on the Stop the War rally in London on 28 September. After some wild oscillations the BBC reports settled on "over 150,000" people on the march. TF1, the French equivalent of BBC1, reported « entre 150 000 et 350 000 » - but CNN could muster only "thousands". Whatever, there were so many that the London Freelance banner and poles were unable to find each other.

NUJ members march on 28 September

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear is reported by Media Workers Against the War (www.mwaw.org) to be supporting the day of nonviolent direct action called by Tony Benn and the Stop the War Coalition for 31 October.

"Not only would a war put journalists' lives unnecessarily at risk," notes Freelance editor Mike Holderness, "but the old cliché that 'Truth is the first casualty of war' has already been re-confirmed." In fact the cliché seems to be a summary of Samuel Johnson's dictum that "Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages." You may want to engrave this on all your colleagues' brains, along with the logical consequence that subs should replace the phrase "security sources" by "liars" unless they have documentary evidence that the spooks - accidentally, one presumes -  told the truth.

The September LFB Branch meeting passed the following motion:

This branch calls on the British government to oppose calls by George Bush to go to war on Iraq. A war on Iraq will not solve the problems facing Iraqi citizens under Saddam Hussein, and will actually result in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians and massively destabilise the whole Middle East region.

Therefore this branch agrees to support the anti-war demonstration on 28 September.

Last modified: 14 October 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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