There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Sunday, March 23, 2003

About the TV War

Former BBC war correspondent and former member of the UK parliament Martin Bell, a man who has seen more than his fair share of war, has an interesting article in The Independent on Sunday about the impact of television on the war and on people's reaction to it.

What television is showing us is something that we should already know, but need reminding of: that war is not a glorious, cost-free adventure. It is a nasty, bloody, dirty business of killing people and blowing things up. It can only ever be justified as a last resort.

...

"Embedding" journalists with military units, done partly to control them and to show them the realities of soldiering, has brought warfare home to us as no war has been brought home before. Much as we can admire the courage under fire of our soldiers, I doubt whether we have the stomach for it.

Much good may come of this. The television war will make the next real war much harder to justify. It will force us next time to go the full UN route. And it will make us more reluctant to go where the Americans wish to lead us.

We can only hope.

Posted at 10:33 PM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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