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5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced—Think That Bothers War Boosters?

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Posted on Jun 23, 2010
U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. JoAnn S. Makinano

The remains of an overpass in Mosul, Iraq. This photo was taken roughly five years after the U.S. invasion.

By Fred Branfman

(Page 2)

  —Millions more who lack jobs, electricity, water and health care: Reuters reported on June 6 that "according to government statistics cited by the ICRC (the Red Cross), one in four of Iraq’s people does not have access to safe drinking water." The unofficial unemployment rate is estimated to be as high as 30 percent, security is shaky, the entire non-oil economy decimated. "As recently as the 1980s, Iraq was   self-sufficient in producing wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables, and sheep and poultry products. Its industrial sector exported textiles and leather goods,  including purses and shoes, as well as steel and cement. But wars,  sanctions,  poor management, international competition and disinvestment have left each industry a shadow of its former self," the N.Y. Times  has reported. It also reported  on June 20 that “(Basra’s) poorer neighborhoods, by far the majority, often have just one hour of electricity a day, a situation not uncommon in Baghdad and other regions. The temperature in Basra on Saturday was 113 degrees. 

 

War advocates are correct, of course, that much of the responsibility for this suffering rests with Iraqi and Al-Qaeda extremists who have no compunction about inflicting civilian casualties. But this in no way absolves them and the U.S. of their own responsibility for Iraqi civilian suffering, both directly from U.S. war-making and indirectly by the U.S.  failing to meet its legal responsibilities as an occupying power to provide security for the civilian population.

Nonhumanity, Not Inhumanity

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U.S.  leaders killed large numbers of civilians during World War II, of course, in an earlier age of "inhumanity" marked by the depredations of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. But they did so relatively openly. They did not claim, for example,  that only “enemy insurgents” were killed at Dresden, and Americans relatively soon learned what had happened at Hiroshima.

It was only as U.S.  leaders constructed America’s first global empire after 1945— increasingly waging secret, massive, illegal and unconstitutional bombing campaigns in   countries like Laos and Cambodia, refusing to even acknowledge the countless civilian deaths they caused throughout Indochina, failing to help rebuild it after the war, and supporting savage local dictators and policies destroying local economies around the world—that they created a new age of "nonhumanity."  By now U.S. leaders’ Third World victims—whom they have neither acknowledged nor made amends for—number in the tens of millions. 

  We have entered a new Orwellian age in which continuous "fighting ... takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can only guess at," and its innocent victims are simply airbrushed out of history. Nothing symbolizes this nonhumanity more than U.S. leaders’ use of the term “collateral damage” to refer to millions of innocent human beings who have as much right to their lives as those who so mercilessly snuff them out. Generals Tommy Franks and Colin Powell say "we don’t do civilians" when asked how many civilians they kill, and their countrymen are so indifferent to civilian murder that no one even asks why not. Who is in a better position to discover how many innocent men, women and children U.S.  leaders kill, and help them avoid further civilian murder?  The only act more nonhuman than not caring is killing civilians in the first place.

  U.S. indifference to civilian suffering is particularly noticeable in the case of "liberal war hawks" who justified the Iraq invasion on humanitarian grounds but then largely ignored its human costs as much as conservatives who do not even claim concern for the civilians they destroy. Slate, for example, asked an online panel of 10 such folks in March 2008—when civilian victims were in the millions—to explain how they had gotten the Iraqi war wrong.

While all but one (Christopher Hitchens: "How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I Didn’t") acknowledged error, and a number expressed pain over civilian suffering, the reasons listed for their mistakes included misjudging "Bush’s sense of morality," "I wanted to strike back,"  "I believed the groupthink," “I didn’t realize how incompetent the Bush administration could be,” and the "the self-centeredness and   sectarianism of the ruling elite."

All failed to acknowledge their own moral blindness in failing to imagine what millions of their fellow Americans clearly saw: the havoc that the U.S. war-machine would inevitably wreak on innocent Iraqi civilians whatever its stated intentions or claimed benefits.

U.S. Responsibility For Civilian Suffering in Iraq

  One of the panelists – the diplomat Phillip Carter—did,  however, make a key point. After explaining how a former Iraqi law professor he worked with was presumably killed by Al-Qaeda, Carter wrote, "I felt guilty for not doing more to protect him. I felt guilty for not doing more … to make Iraq safe.” His words point to the considerable U.S. responsibility for post-invasion civilian suffering, whether caused by its own troops or others. An occupier assumes not only moral but legal responsibility for ensuring the safety of civilians in the zones it occupies. By both disbanding the Iraqi army and not using its own forces to maintain law and order U.S. leaders failed that responsibility, which was thus not merely a “mistake” but a war crime.


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

I think if you want other people to tolerate your weird beliefs and practices—and much of the numerous rules of the Old Testament are fairly weird, like the prohibition against wearing cloth of mixed fibers—then you should tolerate the weird beliefs and practices of others, as long as they don’t bother you actively.

Although I sometimes wonder if we unbelievers—people who don’t believe in slaughter, torture, oppression, hatred, violence and so forth—should be as tolerant as we are of the major religions, all of which advocate these things.  70% of Christian Evangelicals voted for George Bush after it was publicly shown that he was a liar, murderer, and general all-around war criminal.  A figure like that tells you something.  And Islam doesn’t seem to be any better.

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By T. A. Madison, July 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

It is astonishing that after reading about the unjust imprisonment, torture, and murder of thousands of people in ghastly and unnecessary war that someone calling himself a Christian would lack the rectitude to offer anything other than concern for the disposition of another person’s crotch.  This is the level your attention and empathy, Christian?  It is such flagrantly petty disregard for the suffering of the living and the sacrifice of the dead.  Perhaps you would consult the words of Jesus:  “How you treat the least among you is how you treat me”.  Or, if you have a mind, try Jean Baudrillard:  “… it drops us into limitless banality; morally, we have fallen into a style of indifference where we are not in the Nietzschian style ‘beyond good and evil’ but where good and evil are beyond us.”  A person incapable of shame is insensible to God.

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By christian96, July 4, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie—-Besides being forbidden in the Bible
Lesbianism is an act against nature.  It is deviant
behavior for someone to put their mouth where another
person eliminates urine and feces.  It is also
dangerous.  While in the Cleveland Clinic several
years ago for heart problems I was watching an
educational program on health produced by The
Cleveland Clinic.  It stated that Lesbians could
catch AIDS along with other sexually transmitted diseases. Lesbianism is popular in pornography from
Southern Califforia which is having influence
on the minds and behaviors of females beginning their
psycho/social development throughout the world.  God
destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because
of their sexual perversions.  The Bible says this
was done as an example to others.  Sexual deviancy
is one of many sins plaguing the world and causing
financial problems, aberrant weather conditions,
etc.  God is saying “Repent and return to loving
Jesus and keeping his commandments.”  If not prepare
for things to get extremely worse on planet earth.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 4, 2010 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Lesbianism is some kind of problem?  What?

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By christian96, July 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ—-After the killing of 50,000 males in
Vietnam we saw an increase in the number of Lesbians
in America.  To prevent this in the future our
leaders in Washington should pass a law outlawing
the abortion of males until we can compensate for
the number of males lost in Iraq and Afgh.

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By Mark @ Israel, July 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think war in Iraq could still be taken as a “human intervention.” The so -called human intervention is just used to justify their political decisions. Who dares to say it’s human intervention when people are treated and slaughtered like animals in the midst of war? It’s utterly sickening.

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By christian96, July 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ—-After the killing of 50,000 males in
Vietnam we saw an increase in the number of Lesbians
in America.  To prevent this in the future our
leaders in Washington should pass a law outlawing
the abortion of males until we can compensate for
the number of males lost in Iraq and Afgh.

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By Mark @ Israel, July 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think war in Iraq could still be taken as a “human intervention.” The so -called human intervention is just used to justify their political decisions. Who dares to say it’s human intervention when people are treated and slaughtered like animals in the midst of war? It’s sickening.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 29, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Sodium – Na

The issue of war crimes is a useful argument but, I believe, the likelihood of Nuremburg like trials would require a total political upheaval in this country, or outside intervention. Using the laws established by the Nuremburg Trials, I’ll suggest that the numbers of war criminals would exceed even your numbers. 


Christian96

This issue is off topic, but since you don’t seem to have access to a search engine, I’ll give you the range of authoritative numbers. Technically speaking no children have been killed by abortions. The terminology used when calculating abortion deaths (?), includes children, babies, and fetuses. Note that some people don’t consider abortions to be deaths. The estimates vary from 30 million to 50 million abortions in the U.S. since Roe V. Wade. Like all issues, this issue is replete with claims and counter claims regarding periphery issues.

Fundamentalist Sharia Law states that life begins after four months of pregnancy. Most Islamic views on abortion state that abortion is allowed up until the first four months of pregnancy, only in cases of rape, or if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Attitudes about abortion vary from Islamic state to Islamic state and from Muslim to Muslim. The Taliban are considered, by many, to be the strictest adherents to Fundamentalist Sharia Law. It’s also clear that many Muslims believe that the Taliban have distorted Sharia Law and Islamic teachings.

Whether an aborted Muslim fetus would have one day contributed to world peace, if that fetus had not been aborted, can only be speculation. The idea is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility, but the opposite potentiality is also within the realm of possibility.

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By christian96, June 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ—-I didn’t express a view on abortion.
I wanted to know HOW MANY children have been killed
by abortion since the supreme court’s decision to
legalize it?  Your reference to the Taliban does
raise an interesting question.  Is abortion legal
among the Taliban and other Arabs?  Is it possible
that one of the boys or girls killed by abortion
could have had ideas which would have contributed
to world peace?

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By gerard, June 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Excuse me, Christian:  The Supreme Court did not authorize killing children.  It authorized (if you can call it that) the aborting of human foetuses of less than a certain level of maturity, in the belief that foetuses are not children - at least not yet!
  Uncomfortable as I am hazarding any judgment on this wildly inflammatory subject, I will venture to suggest that, by killing already born, completely viable young people (via war, starvation, lack of health care, ignorance and other injustices) the world is robbed of more future possibility, more creative energy, more hope than abortion can ever eliminate. It is also far, far crueller—unless you are forced to use a coat-hanger!
  In addition to that there is the increasing problem of “over-population” though just who is “over” is a question of “you, not me,” which also dogs the abortion debate.  Everybody wants to fix the world by eliminating the other guys.

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By Sodium-Na, June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Re: DrgideonPolya,June 24 at 7:45 am.

DrGideonPolya,

I read your above Re with interest. And I have appreciated what I read. Thank you.

You and I seem to think at the same wavelength. Please see my post dated June 25 at 12:32 pm.

However,the end of the content of your above Re reflects more specificity than the content of my post of June 25 since you have named names that should be brought to trials,as war crimnals, while I have not. But,if and when the issue of bringing the war criminals to trials becomes serious,I have in my files,at least,24 additional names that can be added to the names you have mentioned in your above Re,as war criminals. The list of names I have comprises names of instigators/pushers for the wars in Iraq and war profiteers.

To my knowledge,there is No status of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is a good thing.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 28, 2010 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

Christian96

I’m sure that DrGideonPoyla can respond for himself, if so inclined, but I’ll comment that your comment is off topic, and serves to detract from the issue at hand, and to diminish the importance of one evil, because of another evil.

Your question is, clearly rhetorical, and the authoritative answers list numbers that are indeed staggering. I personally, don’t believe there is no relation between the two issues, and contemplation of the two issues gives rise to the possible existence of a conceivable greater evil, which may in fact be responsible for the existence of the two perceived evils in question.

Both issues are volatile and both sides in the issues claim moral authority. I’ll suggest that only one side in these issues has actual moral authority, but the concept of living human beings killing other living human beings, seems to me to be more definitive and more easily confronted.

Reluctantly increasing the volatility, and complexity, of the debate I’ll point out that, of the most definitive opposing sides on the issue at question here, on this thread, is the obvious fact that one of the opposing sides in this issue would unqualifiedly endorse your view of the secondary issue you have added to the debate. More specifically, the Taliban would whole-heartedly endorse your apparent view on the issue of abortion.

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By christian96, June 28, 2010 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

DrGildeonPolya—-You appear to have a good understanding of statistics.  Do you happen to
know how many defenseless children have been killed
in the womb since the Supreme Court, playing God,
decided it was appropriate to kill children?

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By JDmysticDJ, June 28, 2010 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Robert Byrd said on the floor of the Senate, regarding the sport of dog fighting,

“The training of these poor creatures—weigh those words—the training of these poor creatures to turn them into fighting machines is simply barbaric—barbaric…”

These words by Robert Byrd would be better applied to our militarism.

Our trained fighting machines, who are angered by General McChrystal’s rules of engagement, are willing to sacrifice; the lives of the innocent.

The magnitude of the barbarity, better described as “non-humanity, is accurately quantified by Fred Branfman, and DrGideonPoyla.

In order to claim humanity for ourselves, we need to actively and energetically sacrifice our time, apathy, and comfort, to end the “non-humanity.” Doing so would be a small price to pay for being human, and rewarding beyond our ability to comprehend.

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By DrGideonPolya, June 28, 2010 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

Excellent article.

According to the 2006 Revision UN Population Division data, medical literature data, and other authoritative sources, the Iraqi Holocaust has been associated with 1.1 million post-invasion non-violent avoidable deaths; 1.4 million violent post-invasion deaths; and 0.8 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to gross US Coalition violation of the Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War which demands that an Occupier supplies food and medical requisites to “the fullest extent of the means available to it.”

In addition, avoidable deaths under Sanctions (1990-2003) totalled 1.7 million, violent deaths in the Gulf War totalled 0.2 million and under-5 infant deaths under Sanctions totalled 1.2 million. Iraqi refugees (both inside and outside Iraq) total 5-6 million.

The ongoing Iraqi Holocaust (1990-2010) involves 1.6 million violent deaths, 2.8 million non-violent excess deaths, 4.4 million violent and non-violent excess deaths, 1.9 million avoidable under-5 year old infant deaths and 5-6 million refugees – an Iraqi Genocide according to the UN Genocide Convention definition of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group“ (for documented details see “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ ).


Bring on the ICC war crimes trials for George Bush Senior (US), George W, Bush (US), Bill Clinton (US), Barack Obama (US), Tony Blair (UK), Gordon Brown (UK), John Howard (Australia), Kevin Rudd (Australia), Julia Gillard (Australia)and their war criminal subordinates.

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By gerard, June 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Once again, before this string flies off into outer space:  The original article recited a list of unholy horrors perpetuated by (mostly men) on men, women and children (mostly innocent).

The article said something about anyone who knows these horrible things are being done “can only shudder.”

So one more time, in closing:  As an adequate human response, shuddering doesn’t quite “get it.” There are hundreds of more adequate and helpful responses.
It drives me a little crazy to see such colossal human suffering so belittled with a sop thrown in its face.  Like slaking the thirst of Jesus with vinegar!

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By Blackspeare, June 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

There’s one thing about sacrifice——it’s very easy to rationalize as long as you and/or family are not the ones doing it!

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By christian96, June 27, 2010 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Spooky-43——The killing of many innocent civilians
immediately reduces world population but we also have
a more long range plan in effect to reduce world
population more slowly. As soon as the military
conquers a location then we rush in fast food, candy bars, coca-cola, donuts, cakes, pies and CIGARETTES.  That strategy will reduce world population but it just won’t be done as quickly as
is done with military weapons. When I was in Jerusalem in 1999 I saw a large sign advertising
Lucky Strike cigarettes.  I thought, “Good God, not
in the holy land!”  It was Lucky Strikes that killed my mother and father.  They will continue to kill
globally because they are not interested in people.
THEY ARE INTERESTED IN MONEY.  Don’t ever forget it.  Our government contends the war in Iraq was to
save the people of Iraq.  I wonder why our government doesn’t try to save people in America by
making selling cigarettes illegal??

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By Spooky-43, June 27, 2010 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

By JDmysticDJ, June 26 at 1:27 pm #

“I find your “theory” interesting. Since your friends did all the work, could you offer another source that might provide more substantial evidence of your “theory”?”

Your knowledge of Margaret Sanger is extremely limited. 

It is not my personal theory that powerful people are planning serious world population reduction. 

It is not even a theory, since these people are so arrogant that they actually openly write about their efforts.  There was a monument to their efforts built in Georgia.  I am sure you have heard of the Georgia Stones, or whatever they are called. 

I am very familiar with demolition, and I saw the planned demolition of the WTC towers on 9/11.  It was a picture perfect demolition, and anyone with half a brain can recognize it.  An airliner crashing into the middle of a building could never take it down perfectly straight like that. 

So these people who would plan such a thing have no problem murdering thousands, nor millions, nor billions, as far as that goes.  What is the difference to them how many zeroes are on the end?

As far as who they are and what their plans are, it is all readily available for googling.  Just do a search on “world population reduction” or some thing similar. 

I don’t feel it necessary to make this my personal crusade.  I just knew two men who spent a good part of their lives ransacking offices of individuals whom they knew had evidence of the details, including the technologies being developed.  It has mostly all been documented and published.  Unfortunately both of the men I knew are now dead, from what I don’t know.

The question is whether ultra-rich individuals would conspire to undertake plans, unilaterally mostly, but with the aid of many cooperating governments, to develop the technology, such as scalar wave technology, to be able to create natural disasters and other mass population destruction methods. 

This thread is discussing millions of people dead, displaced, whatever, due to one war, so the idea that these events may be manipulated by higher powers is a perfectly reasonable part of the discussion.  Very troubling, but legitimate and very well documented.

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By Richard_Ralph_Roehl, June 27, 2010 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

Let’s be candid. The UNITED $TATES OF PERPETUAL WAR PROFITEERING was born from foul seeds infected with religious fanaticism, chavinism, $exism, grrreeeeeeeeed, theft, violence, torture, genocide and $lavery. Heck! Ask Leonard Peltier (Amerika’s longest incarcerated political prisoner) or any other native Amerikan (a.k.a.: Indians). Yeah! Ask any Indian. They’ll give it to you straight.

Since the U.$. victory in WWII, the fascist Amerikan nation $tate has caught an insatiable bloodlust for killing people. It’s like a rogue rabid animal that has killed a human being… and has now developed a taste for human flesh.

Frankly… I think Amerika’s military invasion in Iraq-NAM, Afghanistan-NAM, Western Pak-a-Nuke-NAM and elsewhere tempt fate. And the faster poo food consumer citizens in Amerika invite a horrifying karma that is now screaming for their evaporation. Amerika has become a violent war mongering beast that threatens the very survival of humanity. This terrible, evil beast must be stopped.

After the $ellection and re-$ellection of PRESIDENT Dick (‘Darth’) Cheney… and the vicious dry drunk $ociopath known as Bush the Lessor… I am of the opinion that the UNITED $TATES OF PERPETUAL WAR PROFITEERING is probably the most violent and evil empire in human history.

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By Mike3, June 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

A good point made by the writer. The rise and success of Hitchens says more about the state of America than it does about the state of Hitchens’s soul. Like bacteria in sewage, people like Hitchens will rise to the top. And indeed Hitchens is at the top. But being the educated (sic), snob that he is, I’m sure that he has read Doctor Faustus. So he is aware of what happens when one makes a “Faustian bargain”, a deal with the Devil? Sooner or later that deal will have to be paid. But for now his book is selling well and he is basking in the adulation and bonhomie of his well wishers. However: the Devil too has his standards, most who make a packed with him do so to help mankind, but in Hitchens case it was pure and utter self aggrandizement. So Old Nick will have reserved a special place for our friend Hitchens.

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By gerard, June 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarchissie: Thanks for your response.  I thought I could draw Samson out to try to verify some of my thoughts as a result of considerable experience with the peace movement over the years.
  There were times when there was minor friction over inconsequential differences among groups trying to unite but coming from different religious beliefs and class and race-based experiences.  Of course there was no way of knowing whether these disagreements had anything to do with cutting back on attendance at rallies etc. (There were also examples of unity that overcame such differences, so it was a mixed bag as far as I could see.)
  Class mattered somewhat in that the “respectable looking” better dressed protests, stand-ins, sit-ins, vitits to Congresspeople etc. were noticeably better received by press and public that the noisy, unplanned, unprepared for, spontaneous, sometimes out-of-control displays of anger.
  We “respectable” people always resented the anarchic minority that never helped with planning but showed up unannounced with the express purpose of making trouble.  That was very sad, but we always felt they mgiht be at least partly stooges for the FBI, sent in to deliberately make trouble, and it seemed to negate what we were trying to get across.
  We usually had all financial levels participating from the factory and service jobs, the semi-professionals, and the liberal social elites, movie people, musicians etc. 
  “Security” and media were stand-offish, but nothing like the agressive provocation and misinterpretation that you see today.  We were often portrayed as idiots but never as terrorists. though most of the leaders achieved some FBI files of sorts.

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By gerard, June 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

felicity: 
  Ironically, soldiers can’t flee or they will be at least called cowards and at most, court-martialed.  The gruesome paradigm is Jesus on the Cross, and the tormentors are rumored to have said:
“Physician, save thyself!”  which of course he could not.  And remarkably—as with so many of these old legends—he “saved” others by not saving himself, not being able to flee.  How?  Because it is rumored that he prayed for his murderers: 
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Or words to that effect.  The spiritual jiu jitsu of doing the unexpected, returning good for evil, etc. which almost nobody really believes in anymore, and therefore has stopped being creative in difficult situations, simply uses kneejerk responses.  You hit me.  I hit you. I was fairly disgusted to see, in the new Karate Kid film, not a smidgin of the philosophy of real karate bult only force, violence and pain.  Extreme pain. People pay money to be hurt—by watching other people get hurt—gracefully, if possible.

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By Anarcissie, June 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

gerard—I thought Samson’s question pointed the way to a particular anti-war strategy, which is to convert the people’s dislike of our various wars into votes against the wars and war enthusiasts.  Offhand, this would seem to mean putting political pressure on Congress in the usual ways, since Congressional elections are coming up in a few months.  This is not the only possible strategy but it’s one of the semi-reasonable ones.  Unfortunately people seem to prefer preaching to the choir and taking umbrage, but maybe this just isn’t an activist venue.

Another needed action seems to be the formation of an umbrella anti-war group or coalition, since UFPJ seems to have been neutralized and everyone hates ANSWER.  Presumably such a group could organize political movement in the mainstream (since, as Samson noted, most people are now against the war(s).)

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By Earthling, June 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

However, it seems that only a selfless, unbounded altruistic moral forgiveness could construe this “nonhumanity” of Western-European-American Empire as a new or relatively recent phenomenon. Rather, this nonhumanity is its very signature.
    From the 15th-16th century adventures into West Africa, the 17th-18th century adventures to the Western Hemisphere and those later into Asia, the nonhumanity reported here has characterized the “enjoyment” with which our civilizing force has razed the Others’ worlds.
    Aren’t the Conquistadors baby-tossing competitions comparable to the “de-fingering” of a Black man to prevent his climbing the tree at whose base a flame threatens to cook him alive, so that hundreds of White spectators can continue to enjoy the BBQ’s festivities, or comparable to his posthumous dismemberment that provided the festivities’ souvenirs, or comparable to “taking down” a bleeding, screaming, dashing 5-year-old target at 50 paces out, or the exacting of eating utensils that aesthetics have rendered medical tools against a child’s genitals to satisfy some perverse concept of those from whom love is to flow without restraint, “or to,” and again “or to” again, and again, and again again???
    After researching to suicide’s threshold - and denouncing that all-too-human “underachiever-of-underachievers” our Maker - I can only think that the ‘nature’ that these “comportments” betray signifies a “disease” of Western consciousness, one that articulates itself in concepts of “race” and “sexuality” and “natural resources” - after all, we violate the hymen of the Gulf with the same nonhumanity that characterizes our violations of those of our own species.
    Perhaps, it has always only been an etymological mis-entry in the OED: it should always have been “nonhumanity,” and “inhumanity” a ‘rare form’ (or an ‘archaic form,’ say one common “Before the Fall”).

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By Inherit The Wind, June 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

LeMoyne, June 25 at 5:17 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW you have sown this wind: “But I stand by my statement about THE TITLE.  It IS a lie.” and “Your perpetual pettiness and inability to see a fact without warping it ...”

You could’ve perhaps noted that there is a missing conjunctive as in “5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, [OR] Displaced”.  It is possible you see the missing conjunctive as ‘and’. I am sure that some of the Iraqis have suffered all four of these horrible fates at the hands of the US spooks.  But clearly it was an OR list so by calling it a lie you say you know the accurate figure for all of these catacylismic categories.

So Inherit The Wind here is your whirlwind: just what are the correct figures, hmmm?  You don’t believe the estimates of the UN and the best public health schools in the US whose estimates MORE THAN COVER 5 Million people Killed, Maimed, Tortured, [OR] Displaced.  Perhaps you mean to say its 7,890,345 people Killed, Maimed, Tortured [OR] Displaced?

There can be no assertion of absolute truth because War is Hell -  war is the opposite of civilisation.  The count is not now known nor will it ever be known.  Enough is enough.  On to Afghanistan!
*********************************************

Who are you and where do you come up with this crap?

I never once challenged the figures in the article itself.  Try reading what I wrote.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis  

I’m 1% confused.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 26, 2010 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie

Your first analogy is a bad one. There is no interrogation involved here, unless it’s your interrogation of me. I suspect that you would be a pretty “Good cop,” (Prettier than the picture that accompanies your posts, at least.)

Your second analogy is much better. I am certain that the innocents who are being killed, maimed, tortured, and displaced don’t care which political party is doing the killing, maiming, torturing, and displacing.

Inherit The Wind

Note that I did not imply that virtually all innocents are being killed, maimed, tortured, and displaced.

Anarcissie (Cont.)

The impetus of my argument has to do with avoiding the greater of evils, the best method of achieving a goal, and being pro-active as opposed to non-active.

I’m not an authority on philosophy, but I do consider myself to be an existentialist. According to existentialist philosophy as I know it, doing nothing equates to being nothing. I suppose that doing little would also equate to being little. I’m trying to do my little bit to end a very, very, big problem.

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By gerard, June 26, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

What ever happened to Samson?
Many comments ago he offered a pregnang suggestion:
“It’s time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”

He hit a nerve with that one, and I asked for more than just that flat statement because I share that concern.  But, sad to say—no answer, no more Samson so far on this string.  Samson I hope you are okay.

Meantime—the statement is important, I think, because it raises the problem in the anti-war movement of lack of democracy.  The question is, what kind of lack?  Racial inclusiveness?  Religious exclusion?  Class exclusion? Educational divisions?
Lack of international organization?  Let’s talk.

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By Ben L, June 26, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A radio interview of the author of the John Hopkins University survey aired over a local S.F. Bay radio station about 4 years ago. He stated that about 20%, if I remember correctly, of Iraqi deaths were by U.S. helicopter machine gun fire into homes. I think his estimate at the time was 600,000 Iraqi deaths. G.W. Bush claimed he had no credibility with such a high number. The author also established his credibility with a survey of the Rwanda massacre in the 1990s. Now the English survey ups the toll to 1,000,000 deaths. This article reflects my own moral torment. I’m glad to hear such an intelligent argument.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 26, 2010 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Spooky – 43  

Margaret Sanger was the founder of The American Birth Control League and an advocate of birth control. She had abhorrent views, but she opposed Nazi Eugenics. She believed in preventing the births of those she considered “Human Weeds.” My own view is that she could be classified as a “Human weed” in her own right.

I find your “theory” interesting. Since your friends did all the work, could you offer another source that might provide more substantial evidence of your “theory”?

I have my own theory; it has to do with people contaminating discussion of important issues with interesting nonsense.

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By Anarcissie, June 26, 2010 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, June 26 at 4:53 am:

‘... The Democratic Party is the Party most opposed to the wars.’

So the choice is between the guy who laughs as he shoots you, and the one who cries.  But you’re still shot.

Or it’s between the soft cop and the hard cop, but you still go to jail.

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By kalpal, June 26, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

You should by now be aware that all headline writers are as sleazy as humanly possible since their job is to mislead you into thinking the article may have some important previously unknown information which will be confidentially imparted to you if only you would click on the headline and maybe on one of the ads.

This is very much like local news teasers that promise to reveal previously unavailable secret information that turns out to be something you saw on the net last week. Teasing the public is a way to keep eyeballs tuned in so as to increase income. rarely is there any content once the story is told.

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By ofersince72, June 26, 2010 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

There is not going to be any homo saps left in less
than one hundred years, we are all going .....
but then , we all were going to die anyhow….

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By LocalHero, June 26, 2010 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

It used to be said (not that it was true) that Democrats voted welfare, while Republicans voted warfare. Now it’s all warfare, all of the time. And we love the stench of the hot, steaming blood on our hands.

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By Spooky-43, June 26, 2010 at 2:52 am Link to this comment

The international power elite, “money without borders” does nothing to hide the fact that they believe one of the most critical agendas they need to carry out quickly is their ongoing efforts of population control.  They have a specific maximum earth population they are shooting for, and they are far behind schedule.

They have developoed a 10-pronged program for carrying out their goals, and war is fairly predominant on the list.  The past few decades has seen a flurry of undergound luxury shelters being built, mostly overseas, but also in the US.  The Denver facility has been in the news recently, as it is directly underneath the airport. 

It would seem to me that the preparations are nearing completion, so it would not be surpising to see some of these ongoing hostilities start ratcheting up.  If Pakistan falls to Muslim extremists, or if Iran develops or buys their own weapons, that is probably all that will be needed to bring it all on. 

The numbers are absolutely staggering, with the goal of reducing the earth’s population by 90%.  I am sure everyone has heard stories such as these.  The powerful try to supress them, but the stories are so outlandish that the majority write them off as “conspiracy theory”

I know a couple of guys who have spent the past 20 years tracking down some of these stories, and they have me totally convinced.  They speak of technologies which are extremely advanced, yet not utilized to any extent at this point. 

I am not a conspiracy nut, but some things seem self-evident.  The systems and events that kill people are going to speed up in the near future.  Don’t worry though, the only ones who will be killed, hopefully, are those that one of my favorite population control proponents, Margaret Sanger, called the “human weeds”

But, yeah, maybe if we all marched around with PEACE signs, the powerful would relent and have a change of heart.

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By ofersince72, June 26, 2010 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

House   356 - 65 pro war
Senate   80 - 13 pro war

I am glad that u understand that Capitol Hill’s lack any
significance,  but it sure demonstrates something.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 26, 2010 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

Ofersince72


These numbers you keep posting over and over again, lack any significance, and demonstrate nothing. Clearly the House and Senate have voted to fund the wars. What is significant is the numbers of Democrats voting against, as compared to Republicans voting against. There is no comparison. Nearly all the no votes came from Democrats, which clearly demonstrates the very real dichotomy between Democratic and Republican thought. The Democratic Party is the Party most opposed to the wars.

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By Anarcissie, June 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na, June 25 at 12:42 pm:
’... All the questions cited above and the possible answers to them mean nothing,as long as the INSTIGATORS of the war that has destroyed Iraq and made its people destitutes have not been brought to justice yet. ...’

It should be obvious that nothing like that is going to happen until political conditions change profoundly.

Since some of you seemed to be interested in that, I’ve suggested some obvious ways in which some sort of change might be brought about, might at least begin.  As Samson said, “Since we’ve won the anti-war debate, its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”  Preaching to the choir and complaining about one another’s reading and writing style are probably not going to do anything, however.

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By ofersince72, June 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Senate   80 - 13   pro war
  House 356 - 65   pro war

The numbers don’t lie….........
Grassroots movements may fix this…....in thirty years..
which we and the men, woman, and children that are
going to be murdered in the meantime don’t have time for.

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By T. A. Madison, June 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Peace Present

When considering war it is possible to recognize the injured person, this devastated person, even, this dying person, —is also me— I have been at war so long…
…the immediate necessity of stopping war at its root becomes apparent.  With that beginning something remarkable can be done.

I can stop the war RIGHT HERE. 

With this recognition, I have initiated the necessary intention to put an end to war and, I might add, cultivate nothing other than peace. 

From now on, I will never add any energy to war again.  This much, I can do.

It may seem a tautology to say peace comes from peace.  Yet, this can go from a mere phrase to a completely available wellspring.  Like drinking water, this is refreshment that becomes an embodiment naturally.

Peace is a present. Peace is already present. Anyone can heave a sigh and embody this physically. 

One can immediately see that peace is not the shriveled absence of war.  Look at any horizon.  Look at the sky.  Peace is huge. You are a part of peace. You come from within peace, and this peace arises within you —just as mountains arise from the land, and oceans rise from rain and rivers.  Peace is immediate wealth.  It is essential nourishment, and it is yours as you attend upon it. 

For goodness sake, take care of yourself. 

Peace is the gift of life. Take care of this.  Peace is not lost or destroyed.  Peace is the cure.  Peace is the power of the entire present:  Complete, available, and brimming.  Peace ends war. 

Now one can get to work with whatever moves the process forward.

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By redspades, June 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,


Title is a lie? Big deal.


Now, has lying for the sake of peace/non-violence ever been a bad thing?

Not in my book.

Great article by Fred Branfman.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

I began to provide a record of every vote in the House and Senate regarding authorization for the wars, every attempt to limit our involvement, and every attempt to cut funding for the wars, (The information is available on the web.) The information clearly shows that the Democratic Party has been the Party most opposed to the wars. My time is limited, and my technology is: antiquated, over-worked, painfully slow, and fraught with non functional interruptions, so documenting this evidence would be a chore I’m not willing to complete at the present time. However, the evidence is clear, and available to anyone who wants to do the research.

My hope, and the hope of many posters on this thread, is that an anti-war third party will suddenly come into being, and be a viable alternative to our current political parties. I also have hopes for a long list of other, highly unlikely occurrences. I advise those who seek to end these wars to focus their political support for anti-war candidates, but not to abandon our most rational hope for ending these wars, thus enabling those who are our worst enemies, on so many levels, to regain power. Using the example of the Viet Nam War, I’ll suggest that a combination of political pressure, and events, will be our strongest allies in ending these wars. Ideally, public protest and political demonstration would be employed, but these actions being employed is also not likely to occur. Advocating these actions is met by negativism by some, and counter productive defeatism by others. Such actions would, I believe, be productive, and help us to achieve our stated goals of ending these wars and advancing the cause of social justice.

The vast majority of posters on truthdig recognize the magnitude of our nation’s difficulties, and the grotesque consequences that these difficulties produce, but few people on these threads offer anything but criticisms, criticisms that are valid, criticisms that reinforce, criticisms that provide undeniable truths, criticisms that should inspire real action, but don’t. These criticisms in and of themselves, are of little real value. Some, like Gerard, sincerely offer solutions that could have positive results when practiced by individuals who are dedicated, and have the necessary leadership skills. What Gerard advocates is grass roots action; grass roots actions with competent dedicated leaders, and with dedicated rank and file members has been proven to be effective in the past, but again, advocating these actions is met by apathy, pessimism, and defeatist rationales.

There is a malaise in this country; I believe that it is a malaise born of moral decadence. Moral decadence, I believe, leads to apathy, cynicism, “non-humanity,” and nihilism. I must admit to having disdain for some of the posters here at truthdig. Many appear to be unmoved by the contents of Mr. Branfman’s superb article. The article is criticism, but it is criticism of a higher order: Criticism which quantifies the magnitude of horrors caused by our nation’s policies, criticism that educates, criticism so profound that any human being reading it, who doesn’t suffer from the “non-humanity” should find the article inspiring and motivating. This article may be old news to the informed, but the article presents a message that can not be reiterated too often, and the article should provide a rallying point for those not consumed by the “non-humanity.”

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By JDmysticDJ, June 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

(Cont.)

Some of the posters here at truthdig test one’s patience, and they incite me to a, hard to resist, negative impulse to berate and castigate them. Some remind me of recalcitrant pre-schoolers who kick and scream because they can’t have exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. Others display their fascist mentality with no remorse, and attempt to advance their proto-fascist agendas while openly displaying their “non-humanity.”

Again I’ll reiterate my belief that the struggle for social justice will be, and has been, a long and arduous one. The struggle, to be successful, must be accompanied by rational action and good judgment. Our angrily abandoning our best hope of achieving our goals, strikes me as being foolhardy, and dangerous. 15 million people are currently unemployed, and over a million of the unemployed will soon be without an income because of action taken by the Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate. I’ll suggest we’ll see: more foreclosures, more bankruptcies, more homelessness, more hunger, more poverty, and declining economic indicators. I believe that these declining economic indicators will serve the political ambitions of Republicans. Furthermore I’ll suggest that this action by Republicans will serve as a trial balloon, and that if Republicans can take this action without political consequences, we will see more “austerity measures” in the future. We need federally funded jobs programs, to expand markets and increase tax revenues, but Republicans will obstruct these necessary jobs programs. Republican economic policies have failed miserably, and the Republican push for deregulation has lead to financial collapse, environmental catastrophe, and deaths. Republican energy priorities have been misguided to the point of causing death and illness. Even feeble attempts to change course in our energy priorities will be obstructed by Republicans. All the while, Republican propagandists will blame Democrats for the results of Republican policies. At the back of every Republican mind is the reality that actions that have the effect of alleviating our current difficulties will be politically costly to Republicans. Obstruction is their strategy for regaining control of our government; obstruction that will only increase hardship, and lead to the outcome of their being in a position to continue their failed policies.

Corporatism is fascism, and there are Democrats that are Corporatists, but Republicans are the grand masters of Corporatism, and their every inclination is to promote policies that benefit Corporations, and to reject and roll back programs that benefit people. Republicans state their opposition to big government for only one reason. Lacking massive populist insurrection, only government can provide a countervailing balance to Big Business. It is class warfare, and a miniscule percentage of our population is the class that is winning every battle, in spite of the perfect storm of evidence that shows that they are leading us to ruin.

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By poonckie, June 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Samson, you totally left out the two Reagan wars. Panama and Granada. In Panama we sent troops in, killed more than 4000 people, arrested their President and drug him back here for trial. I believe Noriega is still in a FL prison. In Granada we were supposedly freeing a group of students held by Marxist. We bombed the hell out of the tiny Country killing thousands. Since there was very little news coverage and we don’t count civilian casualties I don’t know how many Granadians were killed or maimed.

But rest assured the rest of the World counts casualties and what Americans fail to realize is that we are being marginalized by the rest of the World.

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By Edward Riggins, June 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No amount of number crunching will remove the fact that Saddam Hussein is responsible for steering Iraqi society into a Jihadist regime that attempted to cannibalize neighboring members of the Arab League. It was death to own a satellite dish and posses western media. It was death to oppose the one-party state. Buildings dedicated to torture. Buildings dedicated to execution; human slaughter factories where sometimes hundreds were hung a day from the same pole.

However painful it is to even address this system, it was put into place by the Saddam Hussein wing of the Baath movement - that would be the same one that received support from the United States CIA. It is our responsibility to choke the life out of this system. The wounds of Saddam’s regime will remain until it is done.

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By felicity, June 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

gerard - PTSD is also caused when we get ‘stuck’ in a life-threatening situation.  Example:  A few years ago there was a horrific school bus accident.  The bus landed on its side down an embankment, children were thrown all over the place (some seriously injured), the driver was dead. One boy, and only one, got up, got out of the bus and ran for help.  Nobody else moved.  The boy was the only child to not later experience PTSD. 

Theory has it that the children who stayed where they were remained emotionally in that state of terror, got ‘stuck.’  Whereas the boy who fled ‘got past’ it, survived it.  Makes sense.  (I happen to have PTSD and it really makes sense to me.)

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By elisalouisa, June 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Of course you are correct Sodium-Na. However. Americans would never demand that their political and military leaders be tried as warmongers and war criminals. That just wouldn’t happen. The horror of it is not seen now by many Americans who watch msm but our actions shall be questioned and judged at some future date.

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By Old Man Turtle, June 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe some worthwhile insights could be gained by asking Mr. Hitchens and his ilk Mr. Branfman’s question.  Why not broaden the inquiry to make it about war in-general, including the all-out one being waged by civilization against Life on Earth, of which the Iraqi operation is no more than a minor skirmish?

We could at-least include the AfPak raid, and open up the Obama’s and Patreus’s of the world to similar scrutiny.  What we’re certain to discover, though, is that anyone and everyone who thinks any offensive “war” at all isn’t evidence of its wagers’ utter insanity, are themselves utterly insane.  Defensive actions are, of course, something else altogether, and are thus considered “illegal” by aggressors everywhere and always.

That’s probably why no one really wants to know the answer to these kinds of questions.  An already incredibly grim “situation” is revealed suddenly and undeniably as being terminally grave.  Let’s set-up a “focus group” to deal with that though, why don’t we?

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By LeMoyne, June 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW you have sown this wind: “But I stand by my statement about THE TITLE.  It IS a lie.” and “Your perpetual pettiness and inability to see a fact without warping it ...”

You could’ve perhaps noted that there is a missing conjunctive as in “5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, [OR] Displaced”.  It is possible you see the missing conjunctive as ‘and’. I am sure that some of the Iraqis have suffered all four of these horrible fates at the hands of the US spooks.  But clearly it was an OR list so by calling it a lie you say you know the accurate figure for all of these catacylismic categories. 

So Inherit The Wind here is your whirlwind: just what are the correct figures, hmmm?  You don’t believe the estimates of the UN and the best public health schools in the US whose estimates MORE THAN COVER 5 Million people Killed, Maimed, Tortured, [OR] Displaced.  Perhaps you mean to say its 7,890,345 people Killed, Maimed, Tortured [OR] Displaced? 

There can be no assertion of absolute truth because War is Hell -  war is the opposite of civilisation.  The count is not now known nor will it ever be known.  Enough is enough.  On to Afghanistan!

——————————————————————

“Since we’ve won the anti-war debate, its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”

I assert that corporate personhood stands in the way of ALL reforms and is at the root of all the intractable problems we face (banking/dredit card/foreclosures/derivatives/health care cost/campaign finance/the CMIC permanent war/etc.).  We all need to elevate the issue of corporate personhood at street level - the MSM will never help us.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

No TD3:

The point should have been apparent: you don’t know how to parse a simple sentence.  You deliberately misread and mis-interpreted my original post.  You deliberately inferred what I did not imply, and then angrily accused me of implying it anyway.

You twist and turn everything to fit your narrow, dogmatic view of the world beyond all recognition of fact.

I stand by my original contention that the author deliberately misleads the reader into thinking that the number “5 Million” refers to dead, maimed and tortured when in fact it refers almost COMPLETELY to the last item—displaced. I’m not defending displacement, but I sure as hell would MUCH rather be displaced than killed, maimed or tortured.

(though trying to convince you of a logical, rational and fact-based argument is pretty close to torture)

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By gerard, June 25, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Interesting point:  So the Laotian refugee asks:  “...Do they know all the unimaginable things happening in this war? Do they?” There is a difference between “knowing” and “comprehending”,
“understanding”, “feeling”, “internalizing.  People at war or condoning war, intellectually (mentally) know they are condoning it.  But through some as-yet-unknown, seldom investigated mental/emotional mechanism they are able to deceive themselves by cutting their human feelings (sympathy) off from their knowledge. They are able to separate themselves from the pain of others. 
  The end result is cruelty, either overt and more or less intended, or covert—unadmitted, unrecognized (often disguised as “heroism” or “strength” and honored as a virtue).
  PTSD comes about when soldiers and other people shell-shocked by disaster are forced to recognize their feelings of guilt, concern, sorrow, shared pain. In that case they “know sin” as Robert Oppenheimer eloquently revealed when the first atom bomb was tested in Nevada. 
  The shock is deep and extremely traumatic, causes sleep disorders, fear, and often violence and substance abuse. It can be treated, but the Pentagon, never into “nannyism”, would very much like to ignore it. 
  Mother Nature is now forcing many more of us to experience trauma of all kinds including war and disaster, information-sharing is universal, and we are on the edge of admitting to—guess what—mutual understanding, tolerance, acceptance, sympathy, and a giant leap forward for the human spirit.  Or else.  Hokahey!  as TaoWalker used to say.

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By chasm, June 25, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s have a little fun with arithmetic.

Americans killed in 9/11: ~3000
U.S. population 2001: ~280,000,000

3000/280,000,000 * 100 = 0.001% of the U.S. population

Iraqi deaths first gulf war: ~30,000
Iraqi deaths sanctions period: ~1,000,000
Iraqi deaths second gulf war: ~1,000,000

Total: ~2,000,000

(We can argue about these numbers below.)

Population of Iraq, 2001: ~24,000,000

2,000,000/24,000,000 * 100 = 8.3% of Iraqi population.

8.3/0.001 = 8300 9/11s

In just a couple of months it will be 20 years since the US/UN first attacked Iraq.

20 * 365 = 7300 days

8300/7300 = 1.13 9/11s EACH DAY FOR 20 YEARS

Or, put another way:

7300/8300 * 24 = 21.1

A 9/11-equivalent disaster every 21 hours for 20 years.

But wait! To be accurate, we’d have to fill at least one of the two towers entirely with children.

So, the Iraqi people—who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 and have never attacked the U.S.—have suffered the equivalent of more than one 9/11 attack EACH DAY for almost 20 years, and that doesn’t even begin to cover all the internal refugees, the homeless, the wounded and maimed, the destruction of society, devastated literacy rates, horrifying child mortality rates, etc.

Imagine if on 9/11 one of the twin towers had been filled with children. Imagine it happened again the next day in a different U.S. city. And again the day after that. How many days (not weeks, days) do you think that would have continued before some significant part of the planet was a radioactive wasteland? Consider how devastated Americans were by ONE such attack, and without so many children.

Yet the U.S. government with the regular and occasionally overwhelming support of its citizens has done this to the people of Iraq more than 8000 times over.

Isn’t arithmetic fun?

OK, for all the anal-retentive nitpickers: Let’s be more conservative. Let’s reduce our death toll to 200,000—only 10% of what we arrived at above. I think we can all agree that it’s likely much higher than that (2 million might have been conservative).

Well, golly, that makes it one 9/11 (with one tower full of kids) every 8 or nine days. Let’s just say one a week.

Feel better, now? Thank God it’s only ONE 9/11 PER WEEK FOR 20 YEARS STRAIGHT. Lucky Iraqis!

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By felicity, June 25, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

There was a time, when we did seem a bit more realistic and rational, when the term “Ugly American” was coined and applied freely to us by much of the rest of the West, or course the East, and even ourselves.

Then almost over night we, and especially our military became un-ugly and in fact the great benefactors, the good guys, out to win the hearts and minds of the rest of world (by bombing, invading and occupying them if necessary) and to satisfy no other purpose.  I submit that only the rhetoric changed, we’re still ‘ugly.’

Is is possible that our arrogance, our sense of exceptionalism have blinded us to the possibility that “American values are universal” (according to Condi Rice) may not be the case?  Has it ever occurred to us that perhaps Iraqis, Afghanis…may just prefer the UAE model, a loose federation of 7 tribal states, each overseen by a prince and ruled by a president/king? Of course not.  It’s the American Way or the highway.

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By Sodium-Na, June 25, 2010 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Questions:
==========

~Does it really mean anything if the title of the article is a lie or not?

~Does it really mean anything even if the statistics embodied within the content of the article are accurate or not?

~Does it really mean anything when every poster thinks he is ABSOLUTELY correct in his comments and everybody else who disagrees with his “AUTHORiTATIVE OPINION?” is wrong?

Comments About All The Questions Cited Above:
=============================================

All the questions cited above and the possible answers to them mean nothing,as long as the INSTIGATORS of the war that has destroyed Iraq and made its people destitutes have not been brought to justice yet. I have not seen or,heard of yet,NUREMBURG’s type of trials being conducted against the war criminals who destroyed Iraq and have made its people helplessly destitute,and after they were considered,before the war,amongst the most educated and advanced people in the Middle East,and after they kept Iran’s ambition for hegenomy over the whole region in constant check,and after,and after and after,and I could mention more:“and after(s)”.

Now the drums of war is being directed against Iran. It looks like there is a trend or rather a pattern of trends whose objective is to eliminate all regimes which did not conform to certain policies. Destruction of Iraq was and will remain an incredible blunder!!

Saddam Hussein,the once strong man of Iraq,was indicted,and convicted by a Kongaro court in Baghdad,supervized by the Cheney/Bush criminal administration on one single count of atrocity: his men slaughtered 148 Iraqis who revolted against his regime. Whether he gave the order or not to commit the slaughter was irrelevant to the court,since the slaughter took place under his rule.

As a result,Saddam was executed by hanging for the whole world to see. I,for one,saw his hanging on TV. What a sight!! I will never be able to forget!!

That was the verdict of a Kongaro court for the 148 Iraqis who were slaughtered by Saddam ‘s men. I wonder what verdict or verdicts,however inaccurate the statistics of Mr.Fred Branfman,the instigators and pushers for the wars deserve??,a war that resulted in the destruction of Iraq and slaughter of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis?

By extrapolations,similar questions can be raised about the slaughters in Afghanistan and Israel and Palestine.

Where is the conscience of the entire human race against the war crimes committed in those places,regardless who had committed them?? I want to see trials like the ones held after the Second World War: The Numerberg Trials. 

All war criminals must be brought to justice,if humanity wants to prevent similar war crimes in the future.

So far,I have seen only lukewarm interest in chasing the instigators,pushers and war-profiteers:

* The attempts conducted by the Center for Constitutional Rights against George W. Bush have failed to produce any tangible results.

* The attempts made by Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Congressman Waxxler of Florida to indict George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were lost in the usual Congressional bureaucracies. There was no follow-up.

* What could Kucinich and WaxXler do when the Speaker of the House,declared publicly,after the Democrats had won the mid-term election in 2006,that and I quote,“impeachment is off the table”.The Speaker of the House was referring to impeachment of George W. Bush.

Such lukewarm interest in bringing the war criminals to justice should be the challenge for all self-respecting Americans and self-respecting human beings world wide.

Otherwise forget about justice and peace in this
miserable world of ours. The warmongers and war criminals will have,unfortunately,their way as they please.

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By Peetawonkus, June 25, 2010 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

“Bush’s sense of morality,” “I wanted to strike back,”  “I believed the groupthink,” “I didn’t realize how incompetent the Bush administration could be,” and the “the self-centeredness and sectarianism of the ruling elite.”

To those of us who protested, marched against the war(s), never believed the groupthink, raised a small voice of facts against a roar of lies, and always saw Bush as an immoral and empty flight suit, we can only say: WE TOLD YOU SO. Same as it ever was. Now come the tepid mea culpas used to mop up the blood…

...even as fresh, shiny new lies are being manufactured in the same old lie factories. This year’s model. People like Hitchens are just the marketing arm of the war economy, which is apparently the only economy America has left. They are trotted out to re-sell the old lie in order to make the new lies seem grounded in history and given tradition. What is despicable about Hitchens is that once upon a time he was able to see through the lies to the brutal political truth underneath of them.

Or was he? Maybe he was always one these people who will eventually betray whatever cause they are currently advocating. Aside from whores who found Jesus, no one is more welcome on the book tour circuit than ex-Marxists who have embraced the wonders of neo-Liberal colonialism.

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By Anarcissie, June 25, 2010 at 6:17 am Link to this comment


“Since we’ve won the anti-war debate, its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”

That’s certainly a good point, although the debate isn’t generally anti-war but anti-this-war, anti-that-war.  Anyway, in a representative democracy, you have to work on elected officials.  I’ve written to my local Congresswoman and her leading competitor to suggest that opposing the current wars (all of them) and imperialism in general would be a really good idea, supported by a majority of voters in the district.  (I think this is the case.)  Where anti-war candidates are not available in either major party, there are other parties, like the Greens, who will offer them.  The point should be publicly made that the people are opposed to the wars and the imperialism and that their wishes ought to be respected.

That’s a general program of sorts.  You’ve got four months until the Congressional elections in November.  There may be some primaries to affect before then for some of you.

One could also start a web site containing a public pledge not to vote for any candidate who supports, speaks for, or votes for any of the current or threatened U.S. wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, etc. etc. etc.)  Hopefully many big deals would sign on to it.

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By Benjamin Tasker, June 25, 2010 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

I’ve had my disagreements with ITW before (not many -
I’m not a reg poster like most of you) but I’m going to
come to his defense - part way.

I did NOT assume after reading his comment that he
implied that the entire article is a lie. It was very
clear that he was criticizing the title alone. And his
criticism is valid to a point.

With that, it’s still pedantic to criticize the title.
There’s a reasonable chance Branfman didn’t even author
it, as many titles are chosen by publishers
(cough*Scheer*cough.) It’s sole purpose is to hook a
reader and the article subsequently lays out the facts.

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By Benjamin Tasker, June 25, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

I’ll jump on that band wagon:

“Its time for the anti-war movement to become a
democracy movement.”

Aye, aye!

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By truedigger3, June 25, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

Re:By Inherit The Wind, June 24 at 11:49 pm #

ITW wrote:
“TD3:

Your perpetual pettiness and inability to see a fact without warping it like a pretzel means I’m too bored by you to bother. You….....”
____________________________________________________

ITW,

Instead of answering the point I raised in my post, you revert, as usual, to ad hominem attacks coupled with your trite and now very boring cry-baby “poor me, I am misunerstood, and how awful you are”!!!
GROW UP.!!

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By Arabian Sinbad, June 25, 2010 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

But recalcitrant humans’ history keeps repeating itself; first as a tragedy, second as a farce!

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By T. A. Madison, June 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

“Its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”

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By Conrad Elledge, June 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for this post.

Hitchens is, of course, just another of those silly
little bitches who would go down with one punch if he
could ever find the guts to enter the fray.  Got the
mouth going the whole time but not much else—sound
familiar?

The height of the non-humanity you describe: “I
rather tended to assume that things of this practical
sort were being taken care of.”  So then he and his
pals don’t give a damn about the depleted uranium
sprayed throughout Iraq now causing horrible birth
defects.

Thank you for this courageous post and any of the
detractors here ask yourself what you have done and
what has been done in your name.  The first sign of
your cowardice is your inability to see the
destruction and admit your responsibility.  I support
bringing the troops home and putting the war
criminals in prison.

Conrad C. Elledge

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By gerard, June 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Samson:  Please, please, please.  Push it a little farther:

“Since we’ve won the anti-war debate, its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.”

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By Samson, June 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Bill Clinton to Monica:  “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  Unless its in the hands of Dr. Love.  Come here girl.”

—from great moments in the imperial presidency.

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By Samson, June 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Never forget that we are the most successful anti-war movement in American history.

We’ve already convinced a vast majority of Americans that we must leave Iraq, and a majority and growing that we should leave Afghanistan.  They have to keep churning out propaganda like this Hitchens book just to hang on to their 35-40%. 

The problem is that we no longer live in a country where the majority of people can influence policy.  That’s what we have to change next.  Since we’ve won the anti-war debate, its time for the anti-war movement to become a democracy movement.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

TD3:

Your perpetual pettiness and inability to see a fact without warping it like a pretzel means I’m too bored by you to bother. You can infer whatever you like.  There’s no limit to what fantasies and conspiracies you can conjure up.

If I were to say “The sky is very blue today” you would conjure up some bizarre idea that I’m therefore defending polluters, implying they haven’t affected the sky.

I believe it was Freud who said: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.

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By Samson, June 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Hitchens has no trouble making himself look like a fool.

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By Samson, June 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Fascinating that I can only go back to ‘91 and not exceed the site’s 4000 char limit. 

This is from the more extensive list this site that came up when I googled this ....

http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

I was going to give the list since Vietnam, but that’s so long it would trash this thread.

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By Samson, June 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Latest US military actions that fit within 4000 char limit:


IRAQ   1991-2003   Bombing, naval   No-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south; constant air strikes and naval-enforced economic sanctions
LOS ANGELES   1992   Troops   Army, Marines deployed against anti-police uprising.
SOMALIA   1992-94   Troops, naval, bombing   U.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.
YUGOSLAVIA   1992-94   Naval   NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
BOSNIA   1993-?    Jets, bombing   No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs.
HAITI   1994   Troops, naval   Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.
ZAIRE (CONGO)    1996-97   Troops   Marines at Rwandan Hutu refugee camps, in area where Congo revolution begins.
LIBERIA   1997   Troops   Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
ALBANIA   1997   Troops   Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
SUDAN   1998   Missiles   Attack on pharmaceutical plant alleged to be “terrorist” nerve gas plant.
AFGHANISTAN   1998   Missiles   Attack on former CIA training camps used by Islamic fundamentalist groups alleged to have attacked embassies.
IRAQ   1998   Bombing, Missiles   Four days of intensive air strikes after weapons inspectors allege Iraqi obstructions.
YUGOSLAVIA   1999   Bombing, Missiles   Heavy NATO air strikes after Serbia declines to withdraw from Kosovo. NATO occupation of Kosovo.
YEMEN   2000   Naval   USS Cole, docked in Aden, bombed.
MACEDONIA   2001   Troops   NATO forces deployed to move and disarm Albanian rebels.
UNITED STATES   2001   Jets, naval   Reaction to hijacker attacks on New York, DC
AFGHANISTAN   2001-?    Troops, bombing, missiles   Massive U.S. mobilization to overthrow Taliban, hunt Al Qaeda fighters, install Karzai regime, and battle Taliban insurgency. More than 30,000 U.S. troops and numerous private security contractors carry our occupation.
YEMEN   2002   Missiles   Predator drone missile attack on Al Qaeda, including a US citizen.
PHILIPPINES   2002-?    Troops, naval   Training mission for Philippine military fighting Abu Sayyaf rebels evolves into combat missions in Sulu Archipelago, west of Mindanao.
COLOMBIA   2003-?    Troops   US special forces sent to rebel zone to back up Colombian military protecting oil pipeline.
IRAQ   2003-?    Troops, naval, bombing, missiles   Saddam regime toppled in Baghdad. More than 250,000 U.S. personnel participate in invasion. US and UK forces occupy country and battle Sunni and Shi’ite insurgencies. More than 160,000 troops and numerous private contractors carry out occupation and build large permanent bases.
LIBERIA   2003   Troops   Brief involvement in peacekeeping force as rebels drove out leader.
HAITI   2004-05   Troops, naval     Marines land after right-wing rebels oust elected President Aristide, who was advised to leave by Washington.
PAKISTAN   2005-?    Missiles, bombing, covert operation   CIA missile and air strikes and Special Forces raids on alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban refuge villages kill multiple civilians. Drone attacks also on Pakistani Mehsud network.
SOMALIA   2006-?    Missiles, naval, covert operation   Special Forces advise Ethiopian invasion that topples Islamist government; AC-130 strikes and Cruise missile attacks against Islamist rebels; naval blockade against “pirates” and insurgents.
SYRIA   2008   Troops   Special Forces in helicopter raid 5 miles from Iraq kill 8 Syrian civilians
YEMEN   2009   Missiles   Cruise missile attack on Al Qaeda kills 49 civilians.

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By poonckie, June 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Since WWII there has not been a generation of Americans that has not known war. We have invaded and destroyed Countries on a steady clip decade after decade. What we fail to understand is that we are no longer the most powerful Country in the World.

I read these comments and wonder how we can split hairs as to the numbers of dead/injured in the Iraq/Afganistan wars. We have assumed the right to invade terrorize and kill at will. We develop and deploy the deadlest weapons imaginable but take no responsiblity for their effects.

We snipe at Dems and Repubs while they are both culpable. Both parties have rigged the political system to prevent a third party and both parties feed from the corporate trough. Until Americans have the heart to elect a third party we will sit by and watch our Country descend into third world status where a few at the top are obscenely rich while the clamoring masses struggle and fight amongst themselves for the crumbs trickling down from the top.

100,000 dead, 1mil dead, 4mil displaced, those are just numbers. The fact that we have seen very little of the carnage is the success of the corporate masters limiting our access. We don’t see the carnage in the Gulf. We are protected from the evil deeds done in our name.

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By Mike3, June 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Hitchens is an arrogant British scumbag part of a class that you only come to understand if you have been born in the UK and have lived with them. Martin Amis his friend is another. It is not surprising that this scumbag fitted in so well with the neocons, the Zionists and the hawks. But he met his match when he faced off with George Galloway in that famous Iraq invasion debate with Amy Goodman as the moderator. Galloway reversed the tables and it was Hitchens who was made to look the fool.

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By gerard, June 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

T.A. Madison, thanks for your supportive comments.
I don’t know whether you see events in a similar light and find them—one disaster after another—encouraging.  Yes, surprisingly.

Each one, following upon the heels of the one ahead, is doing a huge job for us—alerting millions of people to what is happening at all levels and reinforcing an awareness that problems have to be faced and that if we face them we may not be overwhelmed, whereas if we refuse to see them, we are lost.

The negligent media are forced, by the very enormity of the problems, to publicize them even though the information lacks all indication of what can be done about them.  People (even bought media people) are not able to dodge them, and every day more ordinary citizens are thinking “What can I do?  What should I do?  How can I do something?”  And eventually—“I have to do something.  I’ll try this.”  And Mr. A will hear of Mr. B and Mrs. C and Miss D (because of the Internet, probably) and, and, and….

I deeply regret the tragedies and losses of the war, oil and coal disasters, illness, starvation, government stupidity, corporate cupidity and all the rest.  But—they are, in a perverse way—all doing the work that the media would never take the initiative to do, controlled as it is.

When corporations begin to realize this and start to control the disasters, we have halfway won—if and when.  If not, masses of people everywhere are getting informed whether they want to or not.

Rejoice?  Well, not exactly!  It’s a mixed bag right now of hope and despair.  The main thing is not to give up too soon—if ever.

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By T. A. Madison, June 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Gerard: 
You are certainly right. Every person of conscience should weigh in to benefit peace and the larger good. Many of us have never given up the steady boycott against war since Vietnam.  Every action helps however small and empowers the democratic process.  However, since Vietnam, citizens have been subject to an as yet inconceivable level of political manipulation.  Yet, it seems to me that the public has barely a glimmer of how deceived we are.  We are still looking at the media as benign and we haven’t understood how the laws that protect and empower the public have been changed with the so-called Patriot Act, and the nature of assault against democratic process characteristic of nearly all legislation during the Bush/Cheney years.  We need to focus on the democratic process, and the media to get traction.  Having said that I hope underscore your important comments with the following:  “Nobody ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” ~Edmund Burke, (1729-1797) Anglo-Irish statesman, and philosopher who supported the American Revolution.

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By truedigger3, June 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

ITW wrote:
“But I stand by my statement about THE TITLE.  It IS a lie.  Got that?  The title, not the article, about which I was NOT critical.”
___________________________________________________

ITW,

Are we splitting hair here and talking about “it depneds on what IS really means”??.
Anyone who read your post will imply correctly that you mean that the article is a lie.
You are wrong, again. The title is not a lie either.
There are about 4 millions Iraqis who have been displaced from their homes, either to other parts of Iraq or they fled the country to neighbouring Syria and Joradn and few to Turkey and Europe.
The estimated number of killed vary from 100,000 to a million, and who knows how many maimed and disfigured if that was the number who have been killed.!

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By gerard, June 24, 2010 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

T.A. Madison:  Another 3000 anti-war protests might help to get the ball rolling—but I’m not talking about that.  It’s very likely to happen any urgent moment.  But—I’m talking about the slow, steady, consistent, concentrated, dedicated hard work of actually taking on a relevant responsibility and seeing it through with relentless steadiness, subject to revisions, adaptations, increases, giving up of privileges, learning how to organize, cooperate, built a solid foundation, pay attention to the needs and opinions of others, etc. etc. etc. on and on. 
  Protests are easy.  That’s one reason why they are good beginnings, but they require consistent. multi-faceted strategic follow-up over a period of years.

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By felicity, June 24, 2010 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Robespierre justified the reign of terror in France thus, “Out of pity and love of humanity, you must be inhuman.”

And then there’s the American military’s task - “to win hearts and minds,” which seems right out of Robespierre, doesn’t it.

And then there’s the invasion of Iraq which was the most evil calculation in American history.  With Bush’s numbers falling, with bin Laden apparently not to be caught, Bush needed a ‘proper’ war, a number raiser,an evil doer - Saddam and Iraq would “do the trick.”

Writer, Norman Mailer, who had studied and written about war decided that fighting a war to fix something worked about as well as going to a whorehouse to get rid of the crap.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 24, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

If the article title was the same and the ACTUAL number of killed was <10, maimed < 10 and tortured < 10, but displaced was 5 million would you STILL say the title wasn’t deceptive?

Yes, far too many people have suffered as a result of this macho-posturing war.  It’s not news.

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By T. A. Madison, June 24, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

36 million people demonstrated in almost 3,000 anti-war protests around the world attempting to stop the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  This happened between January 3, and April 12, 2003 according to the French academic Dominique Reynié and listed in Wikipedia.  Hundreds of thousands of these demonstrators were American.  I expect that these numbers have only grown since then.  It is sobering, therefore, to consider the immense engine of propaganda and suppression that has kept the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan going at the expense of nearly everyone and for the profit of a very few.

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By gerard, June 24, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

The usual thoughtless, unconscious(?)  evasion in this article—again.  Like:  All these terrible problems, and poor me!  There’s nothing I can do about it.  Oh, well . . .”  The big extensive buildup to an empty, wimpish conclusion:
  “Any American who tries to look at U.S.  leaders from the perspective of a Lao refugee, an innocent Iraqi prisoner, a Haitian slum-dweller or a Helmand housewife terrorized at the prospect of the next U.S. offensive, can only shudder at such questions. 
  “CAN ONLY SHUDDER?”  Who are you kidding?  There
are thousands of productive things for “any American” to do, now and continuousy, that would be more constructive and to-the-point than shuddering!
  1.  Get together in your neighborhood and form groups to take a specific action on a specific problem—whatever you and your friends see as essential to help the country crawl out of its miserable decline.  Campaigns financed by corporations?  Domination of policy-making by business interests exclusively?  War after war after war, killing and wasting ourselves and others?  Jobs that pay a decent wage for honest work?  Better more accurate media coverage of the world, minus “American supremacy” nonsense?  Whatever.  There is, unfortunately a wide choice.  Anyone can find something to take hold of and help work on.
  The evil of war and of deliberately ignoring its sorrows is the same evil as presenting the gorey details advocating some specific action
  Contact specific organizations working on specific problems.  Volunteer to help.  Most of them are understaffed and starving for funds.  Google a problem. Google Oxfam.  Google Quakers.  Google International Red Cross.  Google UNICEF.  Google, google, google, and find something worth supporting.  It’s easier than you think.  And you are more important than you think.  Go ahead!  Save the world!  It’s what you have been wanting to do for years!  Be part of the solution.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 24, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

No apology necessary, or offered.

The “Title” does not claim 5 million Iraqi dead. You are smart enough to know that. Your insistence that the title is a lie is only stubbornness.

Do you recall me saying, “Hopefully, the content of this article won’t be ignored, while debating the truthfulness of the truthful title.”?

Forget it.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 24, 2010 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Diminishing the magnitude of death in Iraq may soothe the conscience, but that diminishment does not reflect the reality of those deaths.

From Wikipedia

“The Lancet is the world’s leading general medical journal and specialty journals in Oncology, Neurology and Infectious Diseases.”

“The second (Lancet) survey published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. The new study applied similar methods and involved surveys between May 20 and July 10, 2006. More households were surveyed, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths. 601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were due to violence. 31% (186,318) of those were attributed to the Coalition, 24% (144,246) to others, and 46% (276,472) unknown. The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56% or 336,575), car bomb (13% or 78,133), other explosion/ordnance (14%), air strike (13% or 78,133), accident (2% or 12,020), and unknown (2%).”

“Poll Confirms 1 Million Estimate of Iraq Death Toll
by Robert Naiman”
   
“Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 12:36:53 PM PDT”

“The Los Angeles Times reported Friday on a poll from Opinion Research Business, a British polling agency. The poll suggests that more than a million Iraqis have died from the conflict resulting from the U.S. invasion and occupation. As I demonstrate below, the ORB estimate is quite consistent with the Lancet study and the Just Foreign Policy extrapolation of the Lancet study.”

“The poll asked people how many in their household - people living under the same roof - had been killed due to violent conflict since the U.S. invasion. 22% said at least one member of their household had been killed. Based on their responses, and the estimated number of households in Iraq, they estimate a total of 1,220,580 deaths since the U.S. invasion in 2003.”

These numbers do not include the 1 million deaths reported by the Lancet as a result of the Gulf Storm War, and the imposed sanctions following that war.

An absolute definitive quantification of the death toll may not ever be known, but let us concede that the death toll has been enormous.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 24, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

JDMystic:

I don’t live or die on your “disappointment” in me.  You and A-S decided to read in my comment what you wanted.

I did NOT imply the entire article was a lie and you know it! (A-S may not—he’s a fanatic) 

But I stand by my statement about THE TITLE.  It IS a lie.  Got that?  The title, not the article, about which I was NOT critical.

I anticipate an apology (but not, of course, from the abusive A-S).

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By William W. Wexler, June 24, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

The simple answer to the headline is NO, it does not.

It does not because we have been totally insulated from that news item through government/corporate media control.

When I saw Jim Lehrer shilling for Dubya’s Iraq invasion, I knew the cycle was complete.

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By elisalouisa, June 24, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Not disagreeing with ITW, I have found that titles that border on the sensational and stretch the truth are not uncommon.  Room for debate on this one.
Do posters tend to take sides? Of course not.

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By Anarcissie, June 24, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

ITW is right.  The article (in this environment) is more preaching to the choir; therefore, it is reasonable to subject it to close literary criticism, since no one disputes its content.

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By elisalouisa, June 24, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Concerning your last paragraph Arabian Sinbad I submit that perhaps the lost sheep of America can not envision what is really going on for msm has pulled the wool that keep them warm over their eyes.
JDmystidDJ  The goal of msm is focus attention away from the non-humanity aspect of our wars. Do Americans really want to know about the maimed, tortured, displaced and killed?
A very informative article that msm should pick up. grin

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By Ouroborus, June 24, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, June 24 at 7:47 am #

5 Million Iraqis have NOT been killed, maimed or
tortured, which is what the title leads us to believe—
the 5 million are the number that have been displaced. 
The number of killed listed in the article is 100,000,
and maimed is suggested to be twice that, the 5 million
implied in the title.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-1 Fail!

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By JDmysticDJ, June 24, 2010 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

You disappoint me. I had considered you to be a valuable ally against the “non-humanity,” and not a person who would come up with this knee jerk criticism of what I consider to be the most important article I’ve seen on truthdig.

When I selected this article to read, I was aware instantly that the title was a statement of truth, but designed to attract well deserved attention. I believe that the realities related in this article should be known to all Americans, and required reading by all our politicians, so I’ll forgive the sensationalist title. The title is based on truths that have been ignored by most, because of institutionalized “non-humanity.” Attracting attention to this “non-humanity,” should, in my opinion, be the preeminent goal of journalists today.

Your focusing on the title, and branding it “… no better than a lie” serves to discredit this extremely important article, and its author.  I’m guessing that you bear some culpability regarding the issues discussed, if so, let me suggest that you deal with that culpability, and not resort to frivolous knee jerk criticisms.

Hopefully, the content of this article won’t be ignored, while debating the truthfulness of the truthful title.

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By Arabian Sinbad, June 24, 2010 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

First, thanks to Fred Branfman, who is likely to be a conscientious Jew, unlike one screwed up faithless Jew, who wrote a comment above focusing on the frivolous issue of the so-called “mis-ordering of the contribution,” and thus rendering the whole article as “no better than a lie.” This fanatic, faithless ITW is in league with the despicable, faithless criminals of the types of Christopher Hitchens who were warmongers for the criminal war in Iraq.

Branfman’s article is the type of article that should appear in the MSM at least once every month to remind the lost sheep of America about the crimes committed in their names and with their tax-payer’s money, thus making every tax-payer, including this writer, as participant in the crimes and having the blood of innocent Iraqis, Afghans and Palestinians on their hands.

I lamented previously on Truthdig that the seventh anniversary of the criminal Iraqi war came and gone, and not a single serious article to appear on Truthdig, let alone the MSM in general.

If this article serves a purpose, it serves to remind us that sad America, which we are its lost sheep, has lost both its soul and its moral compass and that each one of us is responsible for evil consequences of the wrongs we inflicted on innocent people half way around the world!

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By elisalouisa, June 24, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

In one of his last paragraphs, Mr. Branfman asks if
Americans too will be treated as non-people by U.S. elite should America now be entering a period of long economic decline and resulting political instability . . . will its elites move to secure their own wealth and respond to the protests this will inevitably create with harsh measures?
This question is rhetorical for Mr. Branfman has already provided the answer in his revealing critique of Christopher Hitchens.

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By bogi666, June 24, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since Vietnam 90% of war casualties are civilians and it is the Pentagon casualties that are the “collateral damage”. Current USG wars are designed to attack the unarmed civilians of women, children, elderly, disabled. Furthermore, the pretend christians provide the excuses of “I’m not responsible, god told me to do it and/or Satan made me do it but I’m not responsible”.This is the appeal of today’s pretend christians or are they the real Christians? I provide, you decide. Then their is the propaganda for the being of mindlessness, the inability to discern thoughts, including the thoughts of others, being construed into facts. This is evident daily on TV. Mindlessness has been institutionalized by business, governments and churches which give mindlessness legitimacy.

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By ofersince72, June 24, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Every credible source says over one million have died
since the U.S invasion….


  and since the dems didn’t end it when mandated they

ARE GOING TO GET A WELL DESERVED T R O U N C I N G
IN THE NEXT TWO ELECTIONS..
  THE DEMOCRATS ARE A RACIST ORGANIZATION
  THE DEMOCRATS ARE TOAST ,!!!
  THE DEMOCRATS ARE A LAME DUCK…HISTORY, GONE, GONE,
  AND GOOD RIDENCE DIMOKRITS BYE BYE BYE..SO LONG DEMS

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By Inherit The Wind, June 24, 2010 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Without commenting about the criminally unnecessary suffering brought about the Iraqi people to satisfy neo-con chicken hawks, the title is misleading.  It says “5 Million Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced..”

Usually when a series of items is listed contributing to a number you start with the biggest first.  5 Million Iraqis have NOT been killed, maimed or tortured, which is what the title leads us to believe—the 5 million are the number that have been displaced.  The number of killed listed in the article is 100,000, and maimed is suggested to be twice that, the 5 million implied in the title.

The deliberate mis-ordering of the contributors to the 5 million is designed to deceive the reader.  It is no better than a lie.

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By ofersince72, June 24, 2010 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

But Democrats just as complic
In 2006 the dems could have stopped this madness

However, I suggest everyone look at the
Raining oil in Louisianna video, then go
to Fire Dog Lake and go to that dig and get some of
the feeds they give and find where are right now.
according to Russian Department of Resourses the
corexit is , well go to the European Union Times Paper
and read what else, and what we don’t know

The banking gangstas and oil gangstas have done more
harm to america than any terrorist ever could have
and just look into the mirror because we elected them
The government is getting ready to evacuate al least
10 million people,  screw republicans and democrats
What we did to Iraq is happening to us now.

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poonckie's avatar

By poonckie, June 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

As stated early in Bush/cheney’s wars, “we don’t count civilian casualties”.

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