The first casualty when war comes is truth: whenever an individual nation seeks to coerce by force of arms another, it … insists that it acts in self-defense” (1)

American senator Hiram Johnson, born on 2 September 1866, said this in a speech, in 1918 during World War 1. He died on 6 August 1945, the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

A similar idea had already been expressed in 1758, when the famous English lexicographer Samuel Johnson (1709–84) penned a short item in “The Idler” which included the following statement:
Among the calamities of War may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.” (2)

Some attribute the concept to Greek tragic dramatist Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC), who wrote: God is not averse to deceit in a just cause. (3)

A question: does this photo represent the ‘Truth’?

(1) “La prima vittima quando arriva la guerra è la verità: ogni volta che una nazione cerca di costringere un’altra con la forza delle armi, … insiste sul fatto che sia per auto-difesa”

(2) “Tra le calamità della guerra può essere giustamente annoverata la diminuzione dell’amore per la verità, per le falsità dettate dall’interesse e incoraggiate dalla credulità”-

(3) “Dio non è contrario all’inganno per una giusta causa”.

Domanda: questa foto rappresenta la ‘Verità’?

40 thoughts on “Truth

  1. This is so true. I hear it daily–and now many politicians are declaring war on truth itself. In Act 1, Scene III of the famous play, Hamlet, Polonius says:
    “This above all: to thine own self be true
    And it must follow, as the night the day
    Thou canst not then be false to any man/Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Should have had my second cup of coffee this morning. I saw the image and failed to pay sufficient attention to it. I saw a television show yesterday that does have a particular slant (that I happened to agree with) that showed several prominent politicians talk about the American planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2020. These were the men that negotiated that Taliban agreement . Now they have changed their tune 180 degrees because there is somebody else to blame.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently watched the movie “The Hiding Place” with my granddaughters, 10 and 11. It was the story of Corrie Ten Boom, whose family hid Jews in their home during WW2. One of several “teachable moments” was when the Nazis were going door to door and confiscating radios, so no one could know what was going on elsewhere. Knowledge/truth is powerful – a force to be reckoned with.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Personalmente sono una pacifista, detesto le guerre per tutte le vittime innocenti che fanno, detesto la violenza in genere e anche I più semplici diverbi se i toni sono troppo alti. In quanto a Nazioni in guerra non mi sto neppure a porre la domanda di dove stia la verità, dal mio punto di vista è ingiusta sempre e comunque.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This statement is as true now as it was when Hiram Johnson made it. It’s also interesting to note that Samuel Johnson called lies a ‘Falsehood’ A term that can be still used in the British parliament today, but if you call somebody a liar then you’re immediately thrown out of the chamber.

    Liked by 1 person

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