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War is Not a Contest (and Has No Heroes)


The war in Ukraine needs to end; neither side is going to “win”. Worse yet, the conflict would spill over to other countries.

It’s nice to “pick sides” and cheer, especially when you’re far away, but the perpetuation of current tensions (and rising death toll) will elevate risk.

Choose the side of peace. The aim should be to end this as soon as possible, by diplomatic means if possible. Concessions are likely still possible.

When dealing with nuclear-armed nations there’s no prospect of “defeating” the enemy, only destroying the world.

Media in Ukraine

Governments Typically Lie (Because That’s Just What Governments Tend to Do)

Angry Russian Guy: I hate that other country so much!

There’s this stigma or stereotype associated with people who allege that the government, through politicians and state media for the most part, misleads its people. Sure, they typically lie to populations outside the country too. The stigmas or stereotypes are intended to discourage such view being held or publicly expressed. Of course the government does not always lie (absolutism), but oftentimes there’s more incentive to tell supposedly ‘white’ lies.

Over the past few months I’ve covered many examples where both our government and the BBC lied to us, mostly for business reasons.

Governments aren’t in the business of science, mere facts, truth, evidence…

Governments in modern history — even in supposedly civilised nations — act more like front groups of wealthy businesspeople. The politicians are beholden to them.

This does mean we should expect lies; this is especially true at times of war. I’ve decided to archive this old and rusty page, seeing it’s likely to be offline altogether some time in the future and it’s likely Fair Use given the diversity of voices and of course key quotes going centuries back. The underlying HTML looks like something from the 1990s.

Who coined the phrase, “The first casualty of War is Truth”?

Mike Owen, Hebden Bridge UK
  • In 1918 US Senator Hiram Warren Johnson is purported to have said: The first casualty when war comes is truth. However, this was not recorded.

    In 1928 Arthur Ponsonby’s wrote: The ‘When war is declared, truth is the first casualty’. (Falsehood in Wartime)

    Samuel Johnson seems to have had the first word: ‘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.’ (from The Idler, 1758)

    Peter Brooke, Mewmachar Scotland

  • The original quote is “The first casualty when war comes is truth”. Hiram W Johnson, staunchly isolationist senator for California, to the US Senate in 1917 (the year of his election to the Senate, where he remained until his death in 1945).
    Philip Draycott, Leicester UK

  • …”The first casualty when war comes is truth,” was coined by Hiram Johnson a Republican politician from California who served in the United States Senate for nearly 30 years, beginning in the midst of World War I and concluding with his death in 1945–as it happens, on the same day the U.S. dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima…
    Gareth, Leeds UK

  • Rudyard Kipling.
    Paul Hardy, Croydon England

  • It has been attributed to both Athur Ponsonby in “Falsehood in Wartime” (1928) and US Senator Hiram Johnson in a 1918 speech. However, the true origin may be 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.”
    Andy Ward, LONDON UK

  • Hiram Johnson (USA). The full qoute is “The first casualty when war comes is truth”.

    Coincidentally Johnson died on August 6th 1945 (of old age!)

    Kevin Wooldridge, Lowestoft UK

  • Boake Carter, an American Radio Reporter. Not sure when though. I seem to remember hearing the original broadcast in a TV origram some time ago.
    Ken Blair, Stirling Scotland

  • Hiram Johnson (1866-1945) – a Progressive Republican senator in California. His actual quote, ‘The first casualty, when war comes, is truth’, was said during World War 1. He died on Aug. 6, 1945, the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
    Gilbert Sharp, Bury St Edmunds UK

  • Michael Herr in his book “despatches” based on his experience as a journalist in the Vietnam War.
    Martin Togher, London England

  • Aeschylus.
    Joy, Doha Qatar

  • In war, truth is the first casualty.
    Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC – 456 BC)
    B Smith, Chicago Il USA

  • The most fundamental of the Chinese fifth century general Sun Tzu’s principles for the conduct of war is that “All warfare is based on deception”.
    Ed Richardson, Deer Lake, Canada

  • Alfred E. Neumann
    David Page, Gatineau, Canada

  • Aeschylus

    Frank Olsen, Ringoes United States

  • Although frequently attributed to Sun Tzu (544?496 BC), “All warfare is based on deception”; the Sun Tzu quote actually refers to methods of subterfuge in war and goes further to explain, “Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

    The first corroborated quote reflecting the true essence, almost verbatim is “In war, truth is the first casualty,” attributed to Greek writer/poet Aeschylus (525BC – 456BC).

    Reese, Jeffersonville, IN United States

  • “In war, truth is the first casualty”, this quote is from Aeschylus

    Ensar, Dusseldorf, Germany

  • Read “the First Casualty” by Philip Knightley – a history of deception in war – it’s all in there.
    John, London

  • Aeschylus

    “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

    Susanna Richards, Somerset West, South Africa

  • Aeschylus greek tragic dramatist
    525-546 BC
    In war, truth is the first casualty
    Andy, South Boston, Ma USA

  • There are now two books that give authoritative answers to these kinds of questions, namely the Yale Book of Quotations and the Dictionary of Modern Proverbs. The latter records that Mrs. Philip Snowden wrote in the Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the National Education Association: “Someone has finely said that ‘truth is the first casualty in war’.” A similar quotation appears in E. D. Morel, Truth and the War (1916). The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs further notes that “Currently the proverb is often attributed to Aeschylus, but the attribution seems to be no older than the 1980s.”
    Fred Shapiro, Bethany, Connecticut USA

  • Soooooo many answers…. yet sooooo many of them are wrong, ignorant, and ethnocentrically shortsighted!

    The first to coin such a phrase (and then be PLAGIARIZED by all these other people that you all tout and argue over) was a Greek writer (Dramatist – theatrical arts) named Aeschylus.

    Good job proving the ignorance of the masses (especially since you can learn the etymology of this particular phrase with a little researching online these days… or by GOING TO COLLEGE and taking a dramatic literature course or two!)

    “Ignorance is a disease that can never truly be cured”

    James T., San Diego USA

  • Perhaps “James T., San Diego USA” would likely to cite precisely where Aeschylus wrote it. As presently he’s is looking the most ignorant poster here.
    Davey F=Dave, Ickenham England

  • This quote was stolen from Aeschylus “In war, the first casualty is truth.” Aeschylus lived from 456 B.C. to 524 B.C
    Jayme Ariss, Shelburne, Canada

  • Let’s cut the sniping. Would anyone like to support their arguments by accurately citing the primary source?

    Many thanks,

    Ian Buckingham, Norwich, UK

UK Government (Tories) and National Broadcaster (BBC): Take Off the Mask, as It’s the Worst COVID Week in Almost a Year!

What the media says:

BBC lunacy

What the official data (NHS) says (deaths per day):

COVID-19 deaths

Notice the effect of so-called ‘freedom’ day (mid-July)

Today, 25/1/2022, Worst COVID-19 Death Toll in Nearly a Year in Britain, But This is the Leading BBC Story on Coronavirus

You can’t make this stuff up!! Right next to it: “Holiday bookings jump as Covid travel tests axed” (so it’s business as usual?)


As a side note, today I learned that my nephew had tested positive. He’s first in my family that I know of.

This past week (deaths registered by date):

25-01-2022: 439
24-01-2022: 56
23-01-2022: 75
22-01-2022: 297
21-01-2022: 288
20-01-2022: 330
19-01-2022: 359
18-01-2022: 438

New Lows for BBC Misinformation: People Who Die of COVID-19 Aren’t Really Dying of COVID-19 (Updated)

Related: BBC is Not on the Same Planet as Us | Bill BC (Bill Gates-Bribed BBC) Lies About COVID-19 Data, Again…

This weekend (deaths are 45 percent up in the past week alone):

Deaths are 45 percent up

BBC’s face-saving propaganda for Tories (and evidence of vaccination strategy being insufficient, necessitating another wintertime lockdown):

What’s really going on with Covid deaths data?

Excess mortality is already confirmed in England for the last week of the year 2021 and hospitalisations have soared. BBC is COVID denier.

Update: BBC right now is something along the lines of, we don’t like the numbers, so please disregard the numbers.

BBC: ignore the infections

BBC gone “full Borisnaro”. Next to it right now is a story which normalises “herd immunity”, a.k.a. defeatism.

NHS Data Shows That UK ‘Freedom Day’, a PR Stunt of UK Conservatives, Was a Costly Mistake

Related: Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young

From the official NHS data: (annotated for improved clarity)

Hospitalisations linked to COVID-19

The United Kingdom Lacks Responsible Leadership

We’ve found our own ‘Bolsonaro’, Borisnaro Johnson


BEFORE even starting, an important disclaimer: I am a vaccine proponent, but I also acknowledge the limitations. Moreover, vaccines aren’t an excuse for spreading a lethal specimen to millions of people; survivors can suffer long-term harms. Eradication should be the real goal, or at least containment of the threat/hazard.

Another clarification: This post won’t be dealing with “the economy” and politics associated with organisation of wealth, labour etc. Not because those things are irrelevant but because I wish to focus on other aspects. Not the profiteering associated with abundant testing, patent/monopoly aspects etc.

I previously spoke about first-hand experiences of friends of mine who took the AstraZeneca jabs (or just one; some were harmed so badly by the first that they chose not to get the second). All of them, bar one (female, about 34 years old), say they regret taking the jab because of severe or permanent damage caused. I’m not kidding and I don’t mean to scare people; those are the stories of people I’ve known for a very long time and they’re not lying. My friend who’s a professor in a medical field told me yesterday that his swollen knee (he has struggled to walk for a while) was definitely the result of the jab and professionals/specialists he met told him the same; they saw a surge in such cases after the vaccination. It inflames the already-sensitive tissue. I can say with sincerity that every friend of mine who took it got side effects, in one case not severe enough to cause regret. Nevertheless, there are still risks associated with AstraZeneca’s products and efficacy will vary based upon mutations/variations, genetics, among other factors. Masking and social distancing are good for those who can afford it, depending on their jobs and lifestyles. Those can change and adapt sometimes. We need to at least consider the possibility. My wife and I stopped going to the gym. We exercise outdoors and at home instead. Depending on the weather/season…

Vaccine scepticism and hesitancy, no matter the context, are nowadays all being caricatured/stigmatised as “anti-vaxx”, a rejection of science, “conspiracy theory” and so on. That’s putting aside ethical issues associated with patents of AstraZeneca. Again, not the subject of this post (it merits a separate discussion). There are also business aspects that deserve rejection; a patent waiver is well overdue.

There’s no doubt that taking a vaccine — almost irrespective of whose — will improve one’s chances of surviving COVID-19. My friend told me that had the government taken DNA samples from millions of people before the pandemic and then analysed those statistically, they’d know a lot better whose genetics would likely be more vulnerable to this virus and should be vaccinated as a matter of utmost urgency.

With new numbers in, of of 4PM yesterday, another ~55,000 new COVID-19 cases were added to the tally. In one day! Deaths are up 50% in one week, obviously with a ‘delayed effect’ or correspondence between cases and deaths (people take a few weeks to die once they contract the thing; they fight back for a while). The media and Borisnaro Johnson don’t want to tell us that, but we’re doing vastly worse than last summer. What do the medical professionals say? Here’s a new article: “1,200+ Scientists Denounce Boris Johnson’s Plan to End UK Covid Restrictions”

I was a bit angry, not optimistic, to see what I saw yesterday. There’s a heatwave, so more people go outdoors and reject face covers. People here have quit distancing and few are wearing masks (you have to dodge people as they don’t respect distance). It probably won’t be long before we have a quarter million new COVID-19 cases per day and our blowhard ‘Bolsonaro’ (Borisnaro Johnson) just says nonchalantly (surrounded by flames): “THIS IS FINE!”

They don’t find this alarming and they plan to open everything, putting at risk those who choose the freedom not to get infected.

What’s generally happening is, some people listen to our totally reckless government instead of using common sense.

It’s past 3AM here and the people across the street from us have loud parties. No isolation and no masks. This is the lessons taught by Borisnaro Johnson, our reckless superspreader, who basically wants people to think that even a million cases a day would not be a cause for concern. This sort of insane approach was tried elsewhere already… and we know what happened as a result. I hold our government fully accountable for all the superspreaders I saw yesterday in town, including the ones across the road having a party right now. There are many more parties to come next week. Will the rest of us be their ‘collateral damage’?

Two years ago we acted similarly and we know what happened months later. Then came ‘Brexit’ for no net benefit other than a shallow sense of nationalism. And now? Now we’re supposed to think that winning against a bunch of football teams is more important than defeating a virus that paralyses our economy. Forcibly reopening everything like there’s no tomorrow is economic suicide for temporary and short-term gains.

My advice to people is, do get vaccinated if your job requires meeting many people; otherwise, isolate as much as is feasible. Generally speaking, we’re nowhere near defeating this pandemic. We’re only pretending here in the UK; wait a few more weeks to see hundreds of deaths per day; wait until winter and we’ll be back to over a thousand casualties a day. “THIS IS FINE!”

As a side note, even if corporate media uses numbers like “90%” for vaccination rates remember that only 35,732,297 people (out of almost 70 million in total) got two shots; some never intend to get a second one.

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