The First Casualty of War is Truth
The adage that truth is the first casualty of war is ascribed to Aeschylus in ancient Greece and/or U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson in the 20th century. Regardless of who coined it, truth is murdered by the powerful to advance their own class interests, especially during war. Lofty rhetoric mask realities. “We want peace in the Middle East” the president and his appointees loudly proclaim. Like moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in defiance of international law. Or selling weapons to Saudi Arabia which then turns around and destroys Yemen. Or propping up the Sisi dictatorship in Egypt. Or pulling out of the Iran deal. Or spending more on arms than the next seven countries in the world combined. The United States of America, the permanent warfare state uses propaganda to cover its intentions. The lies are directed primarily at its domestic population. As the global body count mounts from the ravages of Washington’s militarized foreign policy, truth is the first casualty.
Recorded at the American University of Beirut.
Vijay Prashad is an internationally renowned historian and journalist. He is the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and chief correspondent for Globetrotter. He is the author of many books including The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and Washington Bullets: CIA, Coups, and Assassinations.