Unworthy victims: Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990

2015-04-20 10:03:29 | Al Muslim News
Unworthy victims: Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990

 

Landmark research proves that the US-led ‘war on terror’ has killed as many as 2 million people, but this is a fraction of Western responsibility for deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two decades

Last month, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.
The 97-page report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-led counter-terrorism interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The PSR report is authored by an interdisciplinary team of leading public health experts, including Dr. Robert Gould, director of health professional outreach and education at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and Professor Tim Takaro of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.
Yet it has been almost completely blacked out by the English-language media, despite being the first effort by a world-leading public health organisation to produce a scientifically robust calculation of the number of people killed by the US-UK-led “war on terror”.

Mind the gaps

The PSR report is described by Dr Hans von Sponeck, former UN assistant secretary-general, as “a significant contribution to narrowing the gap between reliable estimates of victims of war, especially civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and tendentious, manipulated or even fraudulent accounts”.
The report conducts a critical review of previous death toll estimates of “war on terror” casualties. It is heavily critical of the figure most widely cited by mainstream media as authoritative, namely, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) estimates of 110,000 dead. That figure is derived from collating media reports of civilian killings, but the PSR report identifies serious gaps and methodological problems in this approach.
For instance, although 40,000 corpses had been buried in Najaf since the launch of the war, IBC recorded only 1,354 deaths in Najaf for the same period. That example shows how wide the gap is between IBC’s Najaf figure and the actual death toll – in this case, by a factor of over 30.
Such gaps are replete throughout IBC’s database. In another instance, IBC recorded just three airstrikes in a period in 2005, when the number of air attacks had in fact increased from 25 to 120 that year. Again, the gap here is by a factor of 40.
According to the PSR study, the much-disputed Lancet study that estimated 655,000 Iraq deaths up to 2006 (and over a million until today by extrapolation) was likely to be far more accurate than IBC’s figures. In fact, the report confirms a virtual consensus among epidemiologists on the reliability of the Lancet study.
Despite some legitimate criticisms, the statistical methodology it applied is the universally recognised standard to determine deaths from conflict zones, used by international agencies and governments.


Politicised denial

PSR also reviewed the methodology and design of other studies showing a lower death toll, such as a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which had a range of serious limitations.
That paper ignored the areas subject to the heaviest violence, namely Baghdad, Anbar and Nineveh, relying on flawed IBC data to extrapolate for those regions. It also imposed “politically-motivated restrictions” on collection and analysis of the data - interviews were conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which was “totally dependent on the occupying power” and had refused to release data on Iraqi registered deaths under US pressure.
In particular, PSR assessed the claims of Michael Spaget, John Sloboda and others who questioned the Lancet study data collection methods as potentially fraudulent. All such claims, PSR found, were spurious.
The few “justified criticisms,” PSR concludes, “do not call into question the results of the Lancet studies as a whole. These figures still represent the best estimates that are currently available”. The Lancet findings are also corroborated by the data from a new study in PLOS Medicine, finding 500,000 Iraqi deaths from the war. Overall, PSR concludes that the most likely number for the civilian death toll in Iraq since 2003 to date is about 1 million.
To this, the PSR study adds at least 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, killed as the direct or indirect consequence of US-led war: a “conservative” total of 1.3 million. The real figure could easily be “in excess of 2 million”.
Yet even the PSR study suffers from limitations. Firstly, the post-9/11 “war on terror” was not new, but merely extended previous interventionist policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secondly, the huge paucity of data on Afghanistan meant the PSR study probably underestimated the Afghan death toll.


Iraq
The war on Iraq did not begin in 2003, but in 1991 with the first Gulf War, which was followed by the UN sanctions regime.
An early PSR study by Beth Daponte, then a US government Census Bureau demographer, found that Iraq deaths caused by the direct and indirect impact of the first Gulf War amounted to around 200,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians. Meanwhile, her internal government study was suppressed.
After US-led forces pulled out, the war on Iraq continued in economic form through the US-UK imposed UN sanctions regime, on the pretext of denying Saddam Hussein the materials necessary to make weapons of mass destruction. Items banned from Iraq under this rationale included a vast number of items needed for everyday life.
Undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children.
The mass death was seemingly intended. Among items banned by the UN sanctions were chemicals and equipment essential for Iraq’s national water treatment system. A secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document discovered by Professor Thomas Nagy of the School of Business at George Washington University amounted, he said, to “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”.
In his paper for the Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Manitoba, Professor Nagi explained that the DIA document revealed “minute details of a fully workable method to ‘fully degrade the water treatment system’ of an entire nation” over a period of a decade. The sanctions policy would create “the conditions for widespread disease, including full scale epidemics,” thus “liquidating a significant portion of the population of Iraq”.
This means that in Iraq alone, the US-led war from 1991 to 2003 killed 1.9 million Iraqis; then from 2003 onwards around 1 million: totalling just under 3 million Iraqis dead over two decades.


Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, PSR’s estimate of overall casualties could also be very conservative. Six months after the 2001 bombing campaign, The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele revealed that anywhere between 1,300 and 8,000 Afghans were killed directly, and as many as a further 50,000 people died avoidably as an indirect result of the war.
In his book, Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950 (2007), Professor Gideon Polya applied the same methodology used by The Guardian to UN Population Division annual mortality data to calculate plausible figures for excess deaths. A retired biochemist at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Polya concludes that total avoidable Afghan deaths since 2001 under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around 3 million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under five.
Although Professor Polya’s findings are not published in an academic journal, his 2007 Body Count study has been recommended by California State University sociologist Professor Jacqueline Carrigan as “a data-rich profile of the global mortality 

Ref:  Nafeez Ahmed, Middle East Eye

.

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

EID UL FITAR

EID UL FITAR : Regarding Eid-ul-Fitr, the Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “When the month of Ramadaan is over, and the night of Eid-ul-Fitr has arriv... More

Why are Indian Muslims utilizing the Arabic word "Ramadan" rather than the conventional 'Ramzan'?

It's that time once more year. As the yearly month of day break to-nightfall fasting comes around, individuals wherever are bracing their web-base... More

Child kidnapping, most horrifying backgrounds.

Al-Muslim News Desk: According to police report 1808 chidren kidnaped between 2015 and 2016.Report more stated 767 in seven month of 20... More

Muslim world and instability issues

Al-Muslim : In that modernized age, all nations in the world facing most painful and dramatic security issues, either it is a Muslim state or Non... More

where we were and what we had done to save Kashmir`s people lives ?

An E mail Letter to UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki- Moon. I urge everybody to send E mail to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at his E mail address. bkm@un.org This... More

Why does the Western Media Highlight Qandeel Murder But Silent Over Kashmir?

Al-Muslim News Editor: Western Media always claims for voice over human rights and high light issue where the seem some Muslims involves. if we look a... More

Ramadan Blessings

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness, Ramzan is the holly month and it is ninth month... More

legends Muhammad Ali Proud being Muslim.

BOXING made Muhammad Ali famous, but his conversion to Islam — and the meaning the world attached to it — made him a global historical fig... More

Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of... More

Islam is a Religion of Peace

I have always wondered that why do people try to give their opinion even when they realize that they do not know anything about the subject. Perhaps i... More

6