Through war and genocidal sanctions, the West has killed 3,303,287 people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan over the past 27 years – an average of 329 every day.
This is the most depressing article I have ever written. As a scientist, it is my job to calculate things. But to calculate the reaction kinetics of enzymatic processes is one thing – to add up dead people up to the sky another. Get ready for your safe western bubble to be burst.
The Gulf War 1991
In the Iran-Iraq War (First Persian Gulf War) between 1980 and 1988, Saddam Hussein was a close ally of the West, even when he was conducting genocide against the Kurds in northern Iraq with poison gas made in Germany.
However, when he subsequently raided oil-rich Kuwait, he became persona non grata and provoked a massive US bombing campaign where over 110,000 air strikes against Iraq have been launched in 43 days, destroying vast quantities of civilian infrastructure big-time. Welcome to Operation Desert Storm, the Second Gulf War.
In the single most lethal incident for civilians in modern air warfare, US stealth bombers dropped two laser-guided ‘smart bombs’ on a protective bunker in Baghdad on the night of February 13, 1991, killing 408 civilians that burned in the inferno.
The US government refused to investigate the victim statistics of the Gulf War. “We have no way of knowing precisely how many casualties occurred,” Defence Secretary Dick Cheney said after the war, “we may never know.” However, Beth Osborne Daponte, a young demographer with the University of Chicago, compiled these very numbers for the US Census Bureau – and was eventually fired from public service due to her results.
In her solid scientific study, Daponte assessed data from UNICEF, the US State Department, and Harvard University among others and concluded that 205,500 people were killed, including 74,000 children, by the direct and indirect consequences of the US bombing campaign. The UK Medical Educational Trust calculated almost the same number.
“Sanctions as a weapon of mass destruction”
As a punitive measure for Saddam’s raid on Kuwait, a near-absolute financial and trade embargo was imposed on Iraq. The brutality of the blockade was virtually unknown in modern history and literally bled dry the country from August 1990 until Saddam’s fall in May 2003, killing hundreds of thousands of people.
The oil sector, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of Iraq’s GDP, was massively curtailed, per capita income fell by 87 per cent in a few years, the majority of the population became dependent on food aid, imports of almost everything were cut back to near zero.
The Iraqi healthcare system, which had been regarded as exemplary in the Arab world, collapsed. Simple medical goods such as plasters and bandages were a scarce commodity. Child mortality rose by 127 per cent in 10 years. According to a UNICEF study, almost half of Iraqi children under the age of five fell sick with diarrhoea, and more than a third suffered from acute respiratory diseases.
The total ban on the import of water treatment chemicals and equipment systematically destroyed Iraq’s water supply and sewage systems – an outcome that was intended, as Thomas Nagy of the University of Minnesota concluded in his paper, citing a document by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) that was classified for years. As the DIA report predicted, epidemics of water-borne and actually eradicated diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis, diarrhoea, and polio were raging.
Article 2 of the Genocide Convention defines genocide among other things as the act of “deliberately inflicting on [a national group] conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.
Can we seriously claim the Western sanctions regime does not meet the UN definition of genocide?
Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq in the 1990s, described the sanctions as “steady genocide” just before he quit his job in protest after 34 years at UN.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark set up an international tribunal that accused the US and British governments of “crimes against humanity” as defined in the Nuremberg Charter of 1945 and the Geneva Conventions: Both governments “have committed genocide as defined in the Convention … against the population of Iraq including genocide by starvation and sickness through use of sanctions as a weapon of mass destruction”.
The West commits “genocide” by using “weapons of mass destruction” – words that ought to remain reserved in the post-Hitler world for African warlords and Arab butchers.
Ramsey Clark, the US Attorney General, stated the numbers of Iraqis killed by the sanctions by 1996 were as high as 1,500,000, including 750,000 children under the age of five.
Renowned Middle East analyst Nafeez Ahmed, in his 2003 book Behind the War on Terror, cites 1.7 million people killed by the sanctions, up to 600,000 children among them, referencing the UN Population Division.
The New York Times in 1995 reported on a study of the World Food Organization, which found that in the first years 576,000 children died from the sanctions. These numbers are the origin of the infamous Emmy Award-winning 60 Minutes interview with the US Democrats’ icon Madeleine Albright:
‘War on Terror’ – Iraq is being wiped out
With the 9/11 attacks, the world entered a new era of historiography: that of the endless ‘War on Terror’. The word’s medial omnipresence stunted our analytical thinking. We’re supposed to forget the absurdity of this oxymoron: violence to combat violence. Or eating meat for the wellbeing of animals.
In 2015, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) published a groundbreaking study aiming to determine the casualties of the ‘War on Terror’: the Body Count, a scientifically sound report, the most comprehensive of its kind. The Body Count is a joint project of the PSR with its German, Canadian, and US affiliates, set to work under the auspices of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (also a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), analysing vast amounts of data from a myriad of sources.
The PSR study concludes that as a direct or indirect result of the US-led war in Iraq, about 1 million people have been killed, explicitly emphasizing that these are highly conservative estimates and the actual number could be significantly higher.
Reuters, the world’s second-largest news agency, reported in January 2008 on a British study stating that more than one million people were killed in Iraq at the time, reinforcing the figures in the PSR study.
It is often argued that George Bush’s 2003 invasion plunged Iraq into misery by “bombing the country back to the Stone Age”. That is perfectly true, but as explained above, it is only telling half the story: it was Bill Clinton’s sanctions that devastated Iraq from within and tortured its people. George Bush’s carpet bombing finally made the house of cards collapse and physically destroyed Iraq. Together, the Democrats’ economic war and the Republicans’ bomb war went hand in hand to exterminate a country in which, 6,000 years ago, humankind’s high cultures were born, and which is considered the cradle of civilization.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia
The PSR scientists determined the number of ‘War on Terror’ fatalities killed in Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001 at 220,000; and that in Pakistan at 80,000. A much-cited study from the renowned Brown University estimates that the number of people killed by indirect consequences of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan could even be around 560,000 higher. However, as the Brown estimates are not as meticulously supported as those in the PSR study, this number is not included here.
In the period after the PSR’s records ended, Obama’s illegal drone warfare in Pakistan added at least 311 dead, and 3,334 in Afghanistan, according to the conservative records of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the authority in the research field of drone fatalities.
In December 2013, one of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama’s drones attacked a wedding ceremony in Yemen, killing 15 people. A terrible tragedy, one would think, but the US bombed at least eight weddings in its ‘War on Terror’, killing as many as 278 people.
But it’s not only weddings being bombed – newborn naming ceremonies have also been attacked, and cynically, a drone fired missiles at the funeral of people killed by drones (in addition to the many attacks on „ordinary“ funerals).
Libya is being destroyed
In 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was next in line. Apart from the catastrophic consequences of NATO’s illegal 2011 war in Libya, Libya became the melting pot for terrorists in Africa and helped the rise of ISIS in North Africa. This war of aggression by the West also led to thousands of dead people.
While the US government unofficially assumes “around 8,000” fatalities and the leadership of the Libyan rebels stated 50,000, a comprehensive study by the University of Tripoli, published by Elsevier, found that 21,490 people were killed as a result of the war.
“By the time NATO intervened,” writes Alan Kuperman in Foreign Affairs, “Libya’s violence was on the verge of ending.” Kuperman calculates that no more than 1,000 people were killed before the NATO bombing.
The above-quoted study also states that virtually all fatalities were recorded after NATO started bombing, which is why it is appropriate to understand the total casualty number in fact as a result of the Western aggressive war.
Seumas Milne concludes in the Guardian: “Nato has not protected civilians in Libya – it has multiplied the number of their deaths.”
The fight against ISIS
As a direct causal consequence of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, from within the resistance against the US occupation, a gang of murderers organized, which made even the butchers of al-Qaeda look like amateurs. As a side-note, these people were from a generation of young men who grew up without any prospects as starving, sick, and traumatized children in the hostile environment of Bill Clinton’s sanctions regime.
The monitoring organization Airwars, which painstakingly keeps a record of the anti-ISIS coalition, concludes that since August 2014, between 11,140 and 32,967 civilians have been killed.
During the “liberation” of the IS capital Raqqa alone – in which the US coalition was guilty of unimaginable war crimes – far more than 1,700 civilians were killed, 200 alone in the bombing of a school in which civilians had sought shelter.
After Trump had promoted the slaughter of families of terrorists during his run at the presidency, he then set out to keep his promise in office: in one year of fighting against ISIS, Trump killed twice as many civilians as Obama had in two and a half years. In comparison to 2015, Trump killed almost four times as many children in Syria in 2017, and nearly seven times as many women.
According to the US Special Operations Command, between 60,000 and 70,000 ISIS fighters have been killed in Iraq and Syria, as its commander Gen. Raymond Thomas announced at the Aspen Institute’s Security Forum in July 2017.
At the end of 2017, Airwars began investigating civilians killed in the fight against ISIS in Libya and has already created a database of 77 US attacks on allegedly killed civilians, which are still in the evaluation phase.
Why do they hate us?
If all the numbers in bold are added up, we come to a figure of 3,303,287 people killed by the West in the Orient since 1990. This results in an average of 329 killed people. Every day. For 27 years.
The West kills as many people in the Orient as were killed in New York in the September 11 attacks every eight days.
At this point, it should again be expressly emphasized that the numbers used here generally represent the lowest end of the error margins of conservative estimates. Also, a variety of grossly negligent acts, secondary phenomena, events without solid data or wars, in which “our” allies killed with “our” support on a grand scale, were not factored in.
If all this were taken into account, we would come up with a multiple of these numbers.
Add to the dead all the wounded, the mutilated, the orphans, the displaced, the generations over generations of broken children – and now ask yourself with an open heart:
Why do they hate us?
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This article is the translation of Jakob’s German piece that appeared here on JusticeNow!. The English version was created in collaboration with Chris Graham, publisher and editor of the leftwing Australian website New Matilda where the English piece appeared first. JusticeNow! sends the best wishes to Chris to Australia and the whole New Matilda staff and says THANK YOU to everyone involved for their great job – connect critical journalism worldwide!