"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The First Casualty

The First Casualty of War is Truth

The coining of that statement has been attributed to both Athur Ponsonby in "Falsehood in Wartime" (1928) and US Senator Hiram Johnson in an undocumented, 1918 speech. 

Samuel Johnson
However, the true origin may have been the English writer, Samuel Johnson, as published in the edition of "The Idler" magazine from 11/11/1758, which says "...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."

OK that's a little long-winded, but everyone was in the 18th century, and it says largely the same thing. One significant difference though, is the term 'love of truth' as opposed to just truth. If there was a 'love of the truth' in the 18th century, it was long gone by the end of the First World War, and has certainly not been revived in the 21st century.

Truth is no longer just a casualty of war, it has been abandoned in most areas of life all over the planet. No-one believes anything a politician says anymore - and for very good reason. Politicians in every country lie continuously for fear that telling the truth will prevent them from getting elected, or even tossed out of office.

Military commanders lie incessantly thinking it may give them an advantage over their foes. And very often they simply lie to fool the people in their own country that what they are doing is good and successful and patriotic.

Muslims are taught in the Quran to lie to infidels.

The hyperbolic media cares less and less about the truth every day. They exaggerate, they distort, they neglect relevant stories that might not be compatible with their world-view. Talk show hosts and web site editors vilify people with outright lies and outrageous conjectures.

Big businesses lie to cheat on their taxes, to gouge their customers, to make themselves look like good corporate citizens when they are the epitome of greed and avarice, and have no regard for individual people's well-being.

Pharmaceutical companies falsify test results or neglect to include some test results when applying for permission to launch a new type of poison. 

I could go on and on, but it's just too depressing. Who is there in the world that you can trust? Your doctor, maybe. 

Natalia Antelava
The BBC's Natalia Antelava and Abdujalil Abdurasulov investigate the story of a 10-year-old girl reported killed the other day in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine - and discover that all was not as it seemed.

The story had been reported on 3 Russian TV networks.

Rebel leader - an emphatic 'no!'
Natalia started by asking an eastern Ukrainian rebel soldier for information about the girl and her family. He would not divulge the information 'to protect the family from harassment'. 

She then went into the town where the girl was killed by shelling (presumably from the Ukrainian military). She inquired if anyone knew the girl. No-one knew the girl which was highly unlikely in a town where local news spreads quickly. Furthermore, she could not find anyone who had heard any shelling on the day the girl was supposed to have been killed.

Natalia visited the local morgue where the manager told her that he had not received any body. He also told her that that was the only place where a body would be sent. He had no idea where the body was.

Finally, Natalia and Abdujalil found some Russian reporters who were amazingly forthright and truthful. "There was no girl. She doesn't exist!" 

"Then why did you report that she was killed"? Natalia asked. The answer was stunning, "we had to"!

Natalia contacted the 3 networks that reported the story and asked where they got it from. Two networks did not respond, the third told her that they heard it from the commander of the rebels.

In the end, Natalia correctly concludes that it is just such things that fuel the bitter hatred between the two sides of the Ukrainian 'civil' war.