"..we are forced to rely on statements by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, the U.S. Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, a U.S. Air Force spokesman, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef and Arab TV stations. But in all of these parties to the war have cases to make. History teaches us that we have no reason to trust any of them. Where, oh where, is the voice of the informed, objective war correspondent?"

"The lies, manipulation, news management, distortion, and the gullibility of the coverage of Kosovo, so soon after the debacle in the Gulf (where the military showed just how effectively it could manage the media) had brought traditional war correspondents to crisis point in their short history."

"No matter how you "spin" it, the spectacle of two of the most powerful, industrialised nations on Earth bombing a Third World agricultural country in the middle of a famine can only cause humanitarian concern."

"Geoff Hoon [UK Defence Secretary] has insisted that Allied strikes have specifically targeted Taliban military installations, airfield and air defence sites - and added that civilian populations have been deliberately avoided. He said: 'Neither the Afghan civilian population nor their homes or property have been targeted.' They may not have been targeted, but were any hit?"

"...both Bush and Blair realised that all it would take to shatter this support would be one image - TV or photograph - of an Afghan woman cradling in her arms the body of a baby killed by an air strike...For this reason, the greater the secrecy surrounding the air war the better, so far as the British and American governments are concerned."

"Secrecy surrounding any ground war in Afghanistan will be even greater because of the involvement of the SAS and American special forces. The last thing they want is a pack of war correspondents following their every move and filing stories as troublesome as those surrounding the SAS killings of IRA terrorists on Gibraltar turned out to be."

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