Integrity refers to the condition where an individual adheres to the virtue of honesty. In this case, a person who observes integrity tells nothing but the truth. In most instances, lying may imply lack of integrity. Indeed, a leader who is not honest is likely to lie for self defense or with the motive of subjecting others to agony. However, honesty contrasts with lying, and an individual can possess only one of these traits. Thus, one must decide whether to be an honest person or a liar. In the political arena, lying is usually occurs in form of propaganda. Therefore, in order to avoid instances of lying, integrity should be a core value of every leader.
Sometimes lying may be justified. Nevertheless, this highly depends on the context and the people involved. For example, when individuals feel that telling the truth will have negative consequences, they may opt to lie to keep things in order. This is common among the leaders. At times, lies may outweigh the virtue of telling the truth. As a result, one decides to lie as his or her course is justified. However, lies are totally unacceptable for some individuals who resort to them for personal gain (Roger, 87). Notably, there are situations where the government may decide to hold the truth that impacts its public. In such situations, lying is not justified as the public needs to know the truth. If such vital information is withheld for a long time, the public is usually on the receiving end. Therefore, some lies are normally shifted by some politicians from personal to the political platform.
Recently, war against terrorism has been at its peak. The United States has been on the fore front to ensure that terrorism is completely wiped out. John Crawford in his story “Power and Responsibilities: Lies” depicts some effects of power and how people, especially the army, are affected. He also establishes some instances of lying that culminates into suffering, desperation as well as loss. In the story, Crawford and Seller are deeply engaged in a conversation. They are among the soldiers from the United States who have been deployed in Iraq in the war against terrorism. They are disgusted by their leaders. At the time, Crawford had just finished his short leave in the United States and had returned to Iraq. He argues that some soldiers have been there for months. He states, “Eyes and ears picked up details, and rumors encapsulated us all” (Crawford 601). He adds, “We had been away from home for only ten months” (Crawford 601).
An aspect of lying is brought out by Crawford as he states that, “There was this illusion that none of us would ever have to buy a drink again, that everyone would treat us differently” (Crawford 602). This is a lie that has been used to maintain them in Iraq as they were promised great things by their leaders, which they might never have. In addition, Crawford states that, “He and Sellers were volunteers of a sort” (Crawford 602). This is due to the fact that they had been retained in Iraq for months where one is not free. There was a curfew that did not allow people to move freely especially at night. Moreover, Crawford could not dissert the army as he could not find a good reason. In most cases, lies are used by the authority to deploy soldiers to war zones in the name of maintaining national security. Surprisingly, such leaders may be out there to settle their grudge against the so called “enemy of the public” (Roger 63). Others may wage a war in the name of looking for weapons of mass destruction, whereas in reality, there are none. Soldiers are promised great rewards in order to fight. Some do not live to see the accomplishment of these promises. Common people normally feel the weight of such wars and not their leaders. For example, German Nazis used lies to recruit, train, and deploy their soldiers in other countries to start a war against these countries. This has been a common phenomenon where soldiers sacrificed their lives for their countries yet their efforts were not recognized.
When one of the soldiers was given leave, Crawford notes that, “At the airport, he was only met by reporters who swarmed like angry bees” (Crawford 602). There were no leaders. This evidently shows instances where leaders drive their people into war and no longer care for their welfare. They leave people in state of desperation. For instance, at the airport, Crawford noticed that, “Some people were so desperate to greet their husbands, sons, and fathers… others hung back, unsure of how to react to a stranger who looked so familiar” (Crawford 602).
According to Goering, people do not have desire for war. The leaders of the country have the power to determine the policy and drag people into war (Roger 48). With or without their content, people are likely to be drawn into war. This is evident in wars that took place in Russia, England, Vietnam, and Germany as well as in other countries. Therefore, people are always brought to the bidding of their leaders. This is through the use of lies such as telling them that they are being attacked by their rivals. Evidently, this has worked out in many countries around the globe. Crawford states, “I knew all over Iraq there were a hundred forty thousand poor soldiers who could give anything for leave” (Crawford 602). This implies that when soldiers are deployed to war zones, they begin to face the reality, while the people at home begin to have great expectations for their heroes. This marks the beginning of their suffering. Eventually, most soldiers leave their war areas broke, rudderless as well as embittered as some are led by incompetent officers (Crawford 220).
As analyzed above, lying in most cases signifies lack of integrity. This is evident from the Crawford’s story where leaders use lies to engage their soldiers in wars. At times, war may be justified, such as the war against terrorism in Iraq by the United States. However, as Crawford states, some lies are in form of false promises and statements that are used by the leaders to gain public attention, which leads to aggravation of the situation. As a result, people end up suffering as some desert their families for years not certain of their fate. If all leaders could have the virtue of integrity, we could be living in serenity and the public would be aware of the reality as they were told the truth on issues that directly affect them.