11 million dead in Afghanistan and Iraq?
By Dr Gideon Polya
08 February, 2008
The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 with the ostensible excuse of the Afghan Government’s “protection” of the asserted Al Qaeda culprits of the 9/11 atrocity that killed 3,000 people. In the light of as many as 6.6 million post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan as of February 2008 (see below), it is important to consider the major problems with this Bush-ite and neo-Bush-ite version of events as summarized below:
1. The US has a long history of “questionable” excuses for war e.g. the explosion of the Maine (the Spanish-American War), the sinking of the US arms-carrying Lusitania (entry into World War 1), the Pearl Harbor attack with now recognized US foreknowledge (entry into World War 2), North Koreans provoked into invading their own country (the Korean War), the fictitious Gulf of Tonkin incident (the Vietnam War; recently similarly but unsuccessfully attempted in the Persian Gulf as an “excuse” to attack Iran) and the extraordinary 1,000 post-9/11 lies told by Bush Administration figures, most notoriously about non-existent Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (the Iraq War; post-invasion excess deaths now about 1.5-2 million).
2. The US supported and funded Al Qaeda and the Taliban from the late 1970s to the early 1990s associated with its anti-Soviet policies (see William Blum’s “Rogue State”).
3. Oil- and hegemony-related plans for the invasion of Afghanistan were all ready to go before 9/11.
4. No Afghans were involved in the 9/11 attack according to the “official 9/11 story” of the egregiously dishonest Bush Administration.
5. Even the right-wing, neo-Bush-ite Democrat Al Gore in his recent book “The Assault on Reason” (Chapter 6, National Insecurity, pp178-179) condemns the Bush Administration for effective passive complicity in the 9/11 atrocity i.e. they let it happen, just as a fore-warned US Administration permitted the Pearl Harbor attack to happen in 1941: “Their behaviour, in my opinion, was reckless, but the explanation for it lies in hubris, not in some bizarre conspiracy theory …These affirmative and repeated refusals to listen to clear warnings [prior to 9/11] constitute behaviour that goes beyond simple negligence. At a minimum, it represents a reckless disregard for the safety of the American people.”
6. However, further to point #5, the extremely eminent former 7-year President of Italy, law professor, senator for life and long-term Western intelligence intimate Francesco Cossiga recently (November 2007) told one of Italy's top newspapers that (a) the US CIA and Israeli Mossad committed the 9/11 outrage in order to further US and Zionist aims and that (b) major Western intelligence agencies are well aware of this (for details and documentation see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/18569/26/ ).
As of February 2008, analysis of UNICEF data (see UNICEF statistics on Occupied Afghanistan: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/afghanistan_statistics.html ) allows the following estimate of 3.3-6.6 million post-invasion excess deaths (avoidable deaths, deaths that should not have happened) in Occupied Afghanistan:
1. annual under-5 infant deaths 370,000.
2. post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 2.3 million (90% avoidable).
3. post-invasion avoidable under-5 infant deaths 2.1 million.
4. post-invasion non-violent excess deaths 3.2 million (2.3 million /0.7 = 3.3 million; for impoverished, worst case Third world countries the under-5 infant deaths are about 0.7 of total non-violent excess deaths (see A Layperson’s Guide to counting Iraq deaths: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/5872/26/ ).
5. post-invasion violent deaths about 3.3 million (assuming roughly 1 violent death for every non-violent avoidable death i.e. roughly as in US-occupied Occupied Iraq where the ratio of violent deaths to non-violent excess deaths is 0.8-1.2 million to 0.7-0.8 million; see Continued Australian and US Coalition war crimes in Occupied Iraq: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/2008/01/rudd-australia-report-card-1-continued.html ).
6. upper estimate of non-violent plus violent post-invasion excess deaths 3.3 million + 3.3 million = 6.6 million excess deaths.
For detailed documentation of the above see “Australian complicity in continuing Afghan genocide”: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/ . A major cause of the carnage is revealed by WHO (see: http://www.who.int/en/ ) – the “total annual per capita medical expenditure” permitted by the Occupiers in Occupied Afghanistan is a mere $19 – as compared to as compared to $2,560 (the UK), $3,123 (Australia) and $6,096 (the US). This is in gross contravention of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (see: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm ) which unequivocally demands that the Occupier must provide life-sustaining food and medical requisites to its Conquered Subjects “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. Compounding this is the appalling reality of 4 million Afghan refugees.
What is happening in Afghanistan is an Afghan Holocaust. One sees that post-invasion under-5 infant deaths in Occupied Afghanistan (2.3 million) vastly exceeds the number of Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in World War 2 (1.5 million). The upper estimate of post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan (6.6 million out of an average 2001-2008 Afghan population of about 25 million) exceeds the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis in World War 2 ( 5.6 million out of 8.2 million Jews in German-occupied Europe in the period 1941-1945) (see: Gilbert, M. (1969), Jewish History Atlas (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London) and Gilbert, M. (1982), Atlas of the Holocaust (Michael Joseph, London)).
Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (see: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html ) states “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
From the data summarized above, it is apparent that the Afghan Holocaust is also an Afghan Genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention.
Outstanding US Law academic Professor Ali Khan of the Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas has also described what is going on in Afghanistan as genocide i.e. an Afghan Genocide (see “NATO Genocide in Afghanistan”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/19831/42/ ).
The key legal verdict of Professor Khan is as follows: “The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (entered into force, 1951) is binding on all states including the 26 member states of NATO. The Genocide Convention is jus cogens, the law from which no derogation is allowed. It provides no exceptions for any nation or any organization of nations, such as the United Nations or NATO, to commit genocide. Nor does the Convention allow any exceptions to genocide "whether committed in time of peace or in time of war." Even traditional self-defense - let alone preemptive self-defense, a deceptive name for aggression – cannot be invoked to justify or excuse the crime of genocide.”
Professor Khan proceeds to analyse the campaign of extermination of the Indigenous Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan in relation to International law. He states that in relation to Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention “In murdering the Taliban, NATO armed forces systematically practice on a continual basis the crime of genocide that consists of three constituent elements - act, intent to destroy, and religious group.” His detailed analysis can be succinctly summarized as follows:
1. “The Genocidal Act” is prohibited as defined in the Genocide Convention as “a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” – but is is clearly occurring on a huge scale as indicated by the above data.
2. “The Genocidal Intent” is expressed in the Genocide Convention as “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”- but is clearly present in the statements of the NATO leaders. The “Intent” is also apparent from the sustained, resolute conduct of this horrendously bloody war for over 6 years.
3. “The Genocidal targeting of a Religious Group” is clearly prohibited by the Genocide Convention by “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” – but is clearly being carried out with the accompaniment of immense Islamophobic propaganda in the West.
Professor Khan concludes: “It may, therefore, be safely concluded that NATO combat troops and NATO commanders are engaged in murdering the Taliban, a protected group under the Genocide Convention, with the specific intent to physically and mentally destroy the group in whole or in part. This is the crime of genocide.”
As an agnostic humanist I certainly don’t care for the Taliban beliefs – but what agnostic humanists (such as myself) or people of other philosophic persuasions think about the religious beliefs and interpretations of the Taliban is beside the point from the perspective of the UN Genocide Convention.
And while I strongly object to human rights violations by the Taliban (especially in relation to women and application of their extreme interpretations of Sharia Law) one has to objectively give credit to the Taliban for (a) bringing Peace through victory in the middle 1990s and (b) for destroying 95% of the Afghan opium production in 2001 (as well of course banning the vastly more deadly use of alcohol and for prohibiting Afghan Government employees from the even more deadly practice of smoking tobacco in 1997). Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs kill about 7 million people annually, the breakdown being 5 million (tobacco), 1.8 million (alcohol) and 0.2 million (from illicit drugs, about half opiate drug-related).
It can be estimated that 0.6 million people have died world-wide due to opiates in the last 6 years, about 0.5 million of these deaths being due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry from 5% of world market share (2001) to 93% (2007) (see UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, World Drug Report 2007: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/world_drug_report.html ).
The 0.5 million global US-NATO-linked opiate drug-related deaths plus 6.6 million post-invasion Afghan excess deaths bring an upper estimate of the carnage due to the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan to 7.1 million deaths. If we include excess deaths associated with UK-US actions against Iraq in the period 1990-2008 (about 4 million) then the gruesome carnage of the Bush I plus Bush II Asian Wars now totals about 11 million excess deaths (and this ignores the impact of the Bush Wars through oil price rises and other factors on Third World avoidable deaths).
Occupied Afghanistan is the New Auschwitz of the US and its complicit allies (including former Axis countries Germany and Japan who have on US instigation joined the US-NATO Afghan Genocide) (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/7616/26/ ).
Those Bush-ite and neo-Bush-ite politicians, military and Mainstream media executives complicit in the Afghan Genocide should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court (see: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/ ).
In his 2005 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/arts-pinter081205.htm ), UK playwright Harold Pinter urged the arraignment of Bush and Blair before the International Criminal Court for war crimes and stated “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought.”
Eleven million? More than enough, I would have thought.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ).