When does "collateral damage" so dwarf
combatant deaths that war becomes genocide?
illegal invasion of Iraq has cost 655,000 Iraqis their lives. That is the
conclusion of a study financed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Center for International Studies and conducted by physicians under the direction
of Johns Hopkins University epidemiologists. These are deaths over and above
the pre-invasion mortality rate. Bush's illegal invasion raised Iraq's mortality
rate from 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people per year to 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people
per year. The study is published by the distinguished British medical journal,
The Lancet, and is available
on the journal's Web site [.pdf].
The study uses a scientific method known as "cluster sampling." In
87 percent of the deaths, the researchers requested death certificates, and
more than 90 percent of the surveyed households produced the death certificates.
Violence accounted for 601,000 deaths, and disease and destruction of civilian
infrastructure accounted for 54,000 deaths. The violent deaths are attributed
to gunshot wounds, coalition air strikes, and car bombs.
Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Gilbert Burnham says, "We're very
confident with the results." Columbia University epidemiologist Ronald
Waldman says the survey method used is "tried and true" and that "this
is the best estimate of mortality we have."
When asked about the report, President Bush stated, "I
don't consider it a credible report." Bush, of course, is not reality-based,
and he knows that any unfavorable news is "enemy propaganda." That's
what the neocons who pull his strings tell him, and that is what he believes.
What percentage of these 655,000 deaths were insurgents or "terrorists"?
Probably 1 percent and no more than 2 percent. Bush's "war on terror"
is, in fact, a war on Iraqi civilians.
Bush's invasion has also spawned sectarian conflict or civil war, although
the Bush regime denies it. Even Bush is smart enough to know that "bringing
freedom and democracy to Iraq" is not compatible with setting off a civil
war in Iraq. Since Bush the faith-based believes that he is bringing "freedom
and democracy to Iraq," he cannot accept the fact that he has started a
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are not the only innocent victims
of Bush's illegal aggression. The New York Times (Oct. 11) reports that
Department of Veterans Affairs documents show that about one in five U.S. soldiers
who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan have suffered at least partial disability.
To date, more than 100,000 U.S. troops who are veterans of these wars have
been granted disability compensation. Although the U.S. cannot put on the ground
in Iraq more than 150,000 troops at one time, 1.5 million troops have served
so far and 567,000 have been discharged, of which 100,000 are receiving disability
Paul Sullivan, director of programs for Veterans for America, says that the
current rate of injuries will produce 400,000 American veterans suffering 30
percent to 100 percent disability. Apparently, one of the severe forms of disability
is post-traumatic stress, which does not count as a physical wound.
What is America's reward for Bush's illegal wars that have killed 655,000 Iraqis,
an uncounted number of Afghans, and disabled as many as 400,000 U.S. troops?
According to the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate and to practically every
Middle East expert, Bush's invasions have radicalized the Muslim Middle East,
created legions of recruits for extremists, undermined America's puppet rulers,
imperiled Israel, and destroyed America's reputation.
We are talking about over 1 million casualties that have no other cause than
blatant lies by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, the bloodthirsty neoconservative
cabal that occupies Bush's subcabinet, and their corporate media propagandists,
especially The Weekly Standard, Fox News, National Review, CNN,
and the Wall Street Journal editorial page. The Bush regime deceived
America and the world with its lies that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass
destruction that would be turned against the West by terrorists. By giving speeches
that continually mentioned Iraq in the same context as 9/11, the Bush regime
created the widespread impression, still prevalent among Americans, that Iraq
was responsible for 9/11.
What kind of government would destroy the lives through death or disability
of over 1 million people for no valid reason?
The same kind of government that fires its own lawyers for doing their constitutional
duty. Navy lawyer Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift was assigned the task of bringing
Salim Hamdan to a guilty plea before the unconstitutional military tribunal
that President Bush created for Guantanamo detainees. Instead, Cmdr. Swift did
his duty and defended his client, winning in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bush
administration retaliated by blocking Cmdr. Swift's promotion, which killed
his military career and sent the chilling message to all U.S. military and government
attorneys that constitutional scruples are career-enders in the Bush regime.
Anyone who stands for the U.S. Constitution is against Bush and his neocon regime.
The Bush regime is proceeding exactly as the Nazi regime proceeded. First,
eliminate every person of conscience and integrity from the government. Second,
redefine duty as service to the leader: "You are with us or against us"
– a formulation that leaves no place for duty to the U.S. Constitution. Patriotism
is redefined from loyalty to country and Constitution to loyalty to the government's
Americans are too inattentive and distracted to be aware of the grave danger
that the neoconservative Bush regime presents to American liberty and to world
stability. The neoconservative drive to achieve hegemony over the American people
and the entire world is similar to Hitler's drive for hegemony. Hitler used
racial superiority to justify Germany's right to ride roughshod over other peoples
and the right of the Nazi elite to rule over the German people. Neoconservatives
use "American exceptionalism" and "the war on terror." There
is no practical difference. Hitler cared no more about the peoples he mowed
down in his drive for supremacy than the neoconservatives care about 655,000
dead Iraqis, 100,000 disabled American troops, and 2,747 dead ones.
When Bush the Decider claims unconstitutional powers and uses "signing
statements" to negate U.S. law whenever he feels the rule of law is in
the way of his leadership, he is remarkably similar to Hitler, the Führer,
who told the Reichstag on Feb. 20, 1938: "A man who feels it his duty at
such an hour to assume the leadership of his people is not responsible to the
laws of parliamentary usage or to a particular democratic conception, but solely
to the mission placed upon him. And anyone who interferes with this mission
is an enemy of the people."
You are with us or against us.