Saturday, June 18, 2005
Don't mention the war
"NOW IT'S WAR" screamed the front-page headline in Friday night's London Evening Standard, reporting the breakdown in talks at the EU summit.
No it isn't. "War" is when countries fight one another with bombs, bullets and missiles. "War" is when thousands and sometimes millions of people get killed. "War" is something few journalists on the Evening Standard have ever experienced.
All that these hyperbolical journalists would need to do to find out the real meaning of war is to step out into the street, stop the first Londoner they find over the age of 70, and ask about the blitz.
The current disputes within the EU are among the greatest in its history. But when the worst that political leaders do to one another nowadays is to push back their chairs and walk off in a huff, and when their most lethal weapons are soundbites at the post-summit press conferences, it suggests that Europe has made some progress since 1945.
It is a shame that so many of our newspapers seem to miss the fact that one of the key reasons for the establishment the EU post war to to reduce the likelihood of further wars between western european nations.
This has, of course, been hugely successful.
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