Physicians for Social Responsibility releases startling analysis of the death and destruction inflicted upon Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan from the “War on Terror” in Body Count
Deaths Caused by US War On Terror are 10 Times What is Typically Reported in the Media
On March 19, 2015–the 12th anniversary of the onset of our country’s ill-fated military intervention in Iraq–Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is releasing the latest edition of Body Count for North American distribution.
The pdf of Body Count is available for download here:www.psr.org/bodycount
The report, authored by members and colleagues of the German affiliate of the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), is a comprehensive account of the vast and continuing human toll of the various “Wars on Terror” conducted in the name of the American people since the events of September 11, 2001.
This publication highlights the difficulties in defining outcomes as it compares evaluations of war deaths in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even so, the numbers are horrific. The number of Iraqis killed during and since the 2003 U.S. invasion have been assessed at one million, which represents 5% of the total population of Iraq. This does not include deaths among the three million refugees subjected to privations.
Dr. h.c. Hans-C. von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary General & UN Humanitarian
Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000) calls the report, “a powerful aide mémoire of their legal and moral responsibility to hold perpetrators accountable.”
Afghanistan Victims of a February, 2012 US air strike that killed 8 children in Kapisa
A U.S Army staff sergeant is accused of leaving a base early last Sunday morning and murdering 16 civilians in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The soldier has been identified as 38-year-old Staff Sgt. Robert Bales of Washington State. Bales is married with two children. He was serving his first tour in Afghanistan after serving three tours in Iraq.
According to CNN, Bales is accused to have left a base from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday morning, and headed to villages nearby where he went door to door and opened fire. 16 Afghan civilians were killed. Among the victims were nine children, three women, and four men. Witnesses of the shootings reported seeing the soldier pour chemicals over the bodies of the victims and burning them.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales of Washington State including murdered 16 civilians including seven children in Afghanistan.
An heroic soldier or a psychotic bully?
Argentinean political commentator Juan Gelman thinks the Iraq war has “entered into perfect forgetfulness,” at least in the United States. He implies U.S. leaders enjoy impunity, despite having lied to rationalize their invasion and despite civilian deaths from their war. Memory may indeed be at fault, but maybe what’s happening is that not all U.S. Americans know. Perhaps their politicians prefer not to know.
Media coverage of the Iraqi disaster has been sporadic and never comprehensive. Yet that may be changing. Recent initiatives promise easy access to basic information. The contention here is that knowing what has happened in Iraq is essential for awareness of crimes there and for establishing guilt.
A study released on October 15 shows, for example, that the Iraqi death rate between 2003 and 2011 was 4.55 per 1,000 person-years, a figure 50 percent higher than rates for two years immediately preceding the war. That means 405,000 excess wartime deaths. As of 2005 – 2006, the risk of death had risen 70 percent for women, 290 percent for men. According to the study published by PLOSMedicine, violence accounted for 60% of excess deaths with the remainder caused by “the collapse of infrastructure and other indirect, but war-related, causes.” PLOS, the online journal’s publisher, is an “organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.”