[Marxism] Iraqi war casualties: US imperialism causes murder, death, terrorism and cancer

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Tue Feb 17 02:26:44 MST 2004

I have commented on this before on Marxmail list. For American war veteran
stories, see http://militaryweek.com/casualties.shtml. As regards Iraqi

(1) Abu Dhabi TV said on April 8 that Iraqi sources claimed
1,252 civilians had been killed and 5,103 had been wounded in this conflict.

(2)  On April 29, Reuters estimated a minimum of 5,227 Iraqi civilians
between March 20 and April 29, including incidents such as an anti-American
protest in Falluja on April 28.

(3) Associated Press then investigated civilian casualties between March 20
April 20, based on data from 60 Iraqi hospitals from March 20 to April 20,
and estimated a total of 3,240 Iraqi's were killed. However, this survey
sample included only half the country's hospitals. Thus, the real figure had
to be
in the vicinity of  6,000.

(4) In June 2003, Iraq Body Count (IBC), the British and US volunteer group
of academics and researchers, estimated that between 5,000 and 7,000
civilians died in since March 2003; between 1,700 and 2,356
civilians died in the battle for Baghdad alone.

(5) Project on Defence Alternatives, a research institute from Cambridge,
Massachusetts, subsequently estimated Iraq's war dead from March 19 to April
20 at between 10,800 and 15,100 using a more rigorous definition of
"civilian", suggesting 3,200 to 4,300 civilian non-combatant deaths. This
study suggested 5,726 Iraqis were killed in the US assault on Baghdad, of
which 2,195 military and 3,531 civilians.

(6) through interviewing hundreds of undertakers, hospital officials and
ordinary people, Dr. Mohammed Al-Obaidi of the Iraqi Freedom Party estimated
the actual number of Iraqi civilians defined as being killed
by war violence since 19 March 2003 until mid-June 2003 (including those
killed after the fall of Saddam's regime and who in a way of another caught
between gunfire of the US troops and the Iraqi resistance) was 37,137. This
estimate excluded militia, para-military, Fedayeen and Kurds (Baghdad 6,103,
Mosul 2,009, Basrah 6,734, Nasiriyah 3,581, Diwaniyah 1,567, Kut 2,494,
Hillah 3,552, Karbala (including Najaf) 2,263, Samawah 659, Amarah 2,741,
Ramadi 2,172, Kerkuk 861, Diyalah 604, Tikrit 1,797).

(7)  in November 2003 the British Guardian newspaper estimated that between
13,500 and 45,000 Iraqi soldiers (not civilians) were killed by American and
British troops during the six weeks of war. This would suggest
that in reality total Iraqi war deaths from March to May (civilian plus
military) might be as high as 70,000-80,000.

(8) According to Medact's 11 November 2003 report "Continuing Collateral
Damage: the Health and Environmental costs of War on Iraq" , between 21,700
and 55,000 people died in Iraq between March 20 and October 20, 2003. See
http://www.medact.org/tbx/pages/sub.cfm?id=775 (there are Arabic, Italian
and Finish translations).

(9) The LA Times reported on 11 December 2003 that Dr. Nagham Mohsen, head
the  Iraqi Health Ministry statistics said that officials had ordered a halt
a count of civilian deaths from the war, and have told health workers not to
release data anymore. The Health Minister, Dr. Khodeir Abbas denied that he
or the CPA had anything to do with the order, and said he didn't even know
about the survey of deaths. Mohsen claimed the order came from the
Ministry's Director of Planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who told Mohsen the
order was on behalf of Abbas. She said the CPA didn't like the idea of the
count. Mohsen claimed "We have stopped the collection of this information,
because our Minister didn't agree with it."

(10) Iraq Body Count said on 7 February 2004 that over 10,000 non-combatant
civilian deaths during 2003 have been reliably reported so far as a result
of the US/UK-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, within a range of a
minimum of 8,235 and a maximum of 10,079. A maximum of 7,356 were deaths in
the invasion phase up to and including 1 May 2003, the day on which
President Bush declared "major combat" was over. There have been 3,000+
civilian deaths in Afghanistan due to Bush's war on terror, and paramilitary
forces hostile to the USA have killed 408 civilians in 18 attacks worldwide.

(10) An international scientific symposium on the use of Depleted Uranium in
Iraq was held in Baghdad in December 2-3, 1998.  Analysis of cancer cases in
Mosul in 1989-90 and 1997-98 showed the frequency of cancer cases increased
five-fold, espcially lung, leukemia, breast, skin, lymphoma, and liver
cancer. In 1996, one researcher reported an increase in uranium
concentrations, especially in southern Muthanna and Thi-Qar. The big
increases are in lung cancers, lymphoma, breast cancer, larynx cancer, skin
cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer, hyper-nephroma, malignant myeloma,
liver cancer, cancer of the ovaries, and peri-anal cancer. Leukaemia has
become the most common type of cancer in Iraq among all age groups, but is
most prevalent in the under-15s. In Basra, the overall incidence rate of all
cancerous malignancies for persons below 15 years of age only was about 4
per 100, 000 children in 1990, about 7 per 100, 000 children in 1997 about
10 per 100, 000 children in 1999. Leukemia has increased way above the
percentage of population growth in every single province of Iraq without
exception. Women as young as 35 are developing breast cancer. Sterility
amongst men has increased ten-fold. But by far the most devastating effect
is on unborn children.

(11) The total effect of chemicals, including depleted uranium used by
American forces, on civilians will not be known for decades. In 1990, the UN
development index, which ranks countries in terms of provisions of
healthcare, education and life expectancy rates, placed Iraq 50th out of 130
countries. By 2003 and before the recent invasion, Iraq was 126th out of 174
countries. Iraq was never a true third world country, having a fairly
developed infrastructure and healthcare system established by the Baathist
using oil money. But continuing war in Iraq means the impact on the
healthcare of future generations will increase. Dr Ahmad Hardan, special
scientific adviser to the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and
the Iraqi Ministry of Health, documented the effects of depleted uranium in
Iraq between 1991 and 2002. Depleted uranium remains when natural uranium
has been enriched. It is 1.7 times denser than lead and effective in
penetrating armoured objects such as tanks. Depleted uranium has a half life
of 4.7 billion years. That means thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children
could suffer from the effects of using it for many generations, until we
find a way of removing it. Dr Hardan stated that whereas American forces
admit to using over 300 tonnes of depleted uranium weapons in 1991, the
actual figure was closer to 800, and it has affected almost a third of a
million people in Iraq as well as American soldiers. US armed forces used
another 200 tonnes of DU just in Baghdad, in April 2003. There was no need
for using DU shells because US conventional weapons are quite capable of
destroying tanks and buildings. Hardan said that within the next two years
he expects to see significant rises in congenital cataracts, anopthalmia,
microphthalmia, corneal opacities and coloboma of the iris - and that's just
cancerous malformations in people's eyes only. Added to this are foetal
deformities, sterility in both sexes, an increase in miscarriages and
premature births, congenital malformations, additional abnormal organs,
hydrocephaly, anencephaly and delayed growth. If the experience of Basra is
similar to the rest of the country, Iraq is likely to experience an increase
of over 300% in all types of cancer over the next decade. Maternal mortality
rates, acute malnutrition, water-borne disease and vaccine-preventable
diseases have continued to increase. About half of the Iraqi population is
under the age of 18. Children are particularly vulnerable in post-war Iraq,
with one in four not receiving immunisation injections. Mines and unexploded
bombs also continue to kill and maim.

(12) Associated Press reported on February 16, 2004 that a bomb exploded
Monday in a schoolyard in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood in the Kadhamiya area
of Baghdad, killing at least one child and wounding three other people
Iraqi police found a second unexploded bomb, and called a U.S. military bomb
disposal team from the Army's 1st Cavalry Division. The U.S. official said
two people were killed and three were injured, but he did not have
information on the ages of the victims. However, Iraqi police said one child
was killed, and three children were injured in the blast at the Asmaa
Elementary School.

The official 9/11 death toll in the USA (as of October 29th 2003) was 2,976


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