March 1, 2007
MWC NEWS readers may have encountered a recent article of mine in which the post-invasion excess deaths (avoidable deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) in Occupied Iraq were estimated at 1 million (ONE MILLION). This estimate was based on the very latest medical literature and UN Population Division data sources that were carefully documented in the 2 February 2007 article (see MWC News).
|Iraq [by Ben Heine /MWCNEWS]|
Now there is something peculiarly fascinating to people about numerical milestones (or indeed gravestones as in this case). Thus we talk of "millionaires" and thence "billionaires". Cricket fans in the English-speaking world (excepting North America) are absolutely absorbed by a top batsman making 100 runs (known as a "century"). Accordingly one might have supposed that this grim milestone of ONE MILLION post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq would have sparked some interest in the Mainstream media for which the Iraq War is of major daily interest.
I attempted to assess media response to this macabre statistic by doing a Google Search for the phrase "1 million" coupled with word "Iraq". This search yielded 1.37 million URLs – a very promising start giving rise to the wild surmise that the English-speaking world has suddenly changed and has started to massively regard Iraqis, Arabs, Asians and non-Europeans as regular human beings. Unfortunately my joy was short-lived.
As I went through URL after URL in the first 100 URLs I found NO mention of excess deaths (avoidable deaths) in Iraq until I reached URLs #91 and # 94. In most of the other articles the "1 million" referred to "Iraqi refugees"or to "dollars" or other currency.
#91 was an article dated 11 October 2006 in the "Majikthise" blog of New York free-lance writer Lindsay Beyerstein quoting the recent expert Johns Hopkins medical epidemiologists’ estimate (published in the top medical journal The Lancet in October, 2006) of "655,000 excess deaths in post-invasion Iraq as of July 2006".
#94 was an article dated 24 April 2006 in "LabourNet, UK" by Dr Gideon Polya of Melbourne, Australia in which he estimated from UN Population Division data post-invasion Iraqi excess deaths (avoidable deaths) totalling 0.5 million as of April 2006.
Why do I still have faith in humanity? Perhaps it is because of my lovely family and friends. To reassure myself about wider humanity I modified the search to have the phrase "1 million" now coupled with "Polya" as well as "Iraq". This modified search yielded 900 URLS or a miniscule 0.07% of the total of 1.37 million "1 million"/ "Iraq" URLs.
This sad experiment has yielded a kind of PROOF of horrendous media lying by omission and of passive holocaust-denial in the English-speaking world.
At this point one begins to doubt one’s sanity – rather like poor Winston in George Orwell’s "1984" in which he is impressed by Big Brother with the message that "war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength and 2 plus 2 does not equal 4" (for a detailed analysis of our present Bush-ite Orwellian world see MWC News ).
However old habits die hard. I have been a scientist for 4 decades and still cling to the belief that "2 plus 2 equals 4". Further, as a humanitarian Humanist, I still cling to Thomas Jefferson’s great contribution to the American Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal and have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
Accordingly I have RE-CALCULATED the "post-invasion Iraqi excess deaths" as of March 2007, making 5 ESTIMATES using 4 INDEPENDENT SETS OF DATA as set out below. The key sources are UNICEF, the UN Population Division and scientific papers from the top US medical epidemiology group in the World’s top Public Health Department (the Bloomberg School of Public Health) at the top Johns Hopkins University and published peer-reviewed in the top medical journal The Lancet (for further details and detailed documentation of what follows see MWC News and HERE ):
(a) From UN Population Division Data using the death rate in Iraq’s peaceful but impoverished neighbours Jordan and Syria as a baseline, the post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq totals 0.6 million (by way of comparison, the corresponding post-invasion under-5 infant mortality figure is 0.5 million).
(b) Detailed analysis of infant mortality and avoidable mortality (excess deaths) for every country in the world since 1950 reveals that for impoverished Third World countries "under-5 infant mortality" is about 0.7 times the "total avoidable mortality". From the latest UNICEF data we see that 122,000 under-5 year old infants die each year in Occupied Iraq i.e. 122,000 x 4 = 488,000 would have died over the 4 years since the invasion; dividing by 0.7 yields an estimate of 697,000 post-invasion avoidable deaths in Occupied Iraq i.e. 0.7 million.
(c) Roberts et al (2004) in The Lancet estimated a post-invasion Iraqi annual death rate of 12.3 persons per 1,000 of population. Subtracting the annual death rate in impoverished but peaceful neighbouring Syria and Jordan (about 4 deaths per 1,000 of population) we get a post-invasion annual avoidable death rate of 8.3 per 1,000 or 8,300 /million. Assuming an average population of 27 million this yields an estimated post-invasion avoidable mortality of 8.3 x 27 x 4 = 896,000 i.e. 0.9 million.
(d) Using the latest 2006 Johns Hopkins data ( indicating 13.3 deaths annually per 1,000 people and an Iraqi pre-invasion death rate of 5.5 deaths per 1,000) yields an excess death rate of 7.8 /1,000 i.e. 7,800 /million and a population of 27 million yields excess deaths = 7,800 x 27 x 4 = 842,000 i.e. 0.8 million.
(e) Taking the 2006 Johns Hopkins data but using a Jordan/Syria baseline of 4 deaths per 1,000 (as opposed to a baseline of 5.5 deaths/1,000 for Iraq after 12 years of crippling Sanctions) gives an "annual excess death rate" of 9.3 per 1,000, 9,300/million and post-invasion excess deaths totalling 9,300 x 27 x 4 = 1,004,400 i.e. 1.0 million as of March 2007.
Using the most comprehensive and authoritative medical literature and UN demographic data yields an estimate of 1.0 million post-invasion excess deaths in US-occupied Iraq as of March 2007.
Coupled with (a) UN estimates of 3.8 million Iraqi refugees and (b) WHO estimates of "total annual per capita medical expenditure" (2003) in Occupied Iraq of merely $64 (international dollars) - as compared to $23 for Occupied Afghanistan, $2,874 (Australia), $2,389 (UK) and $5,711 (US) – the 1 million post-invasion Iraqi excess deaths constitute an Iraqi Holocaust and an Iraqi Genocide (as defined by the UN Genocide Convention) in which the US and its Coalition allies are complicit through gross violation of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that unequivocally demand that Occupiers keep their conquered subjects ALIVE (see Articles 38, 55 and 56 in particular).
Am I mad or is the world mad? 2 plus 2 still equals 4 and the authoritative data from UN agencies and the world’s top medical epidemiologists indicate 1.0 million post-invasion Iraqi excess deaths as reported in MWC News. Mainstream media are clearly involved in genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring i.e. in passive holocaust-denial.
Decent people are obliged to inform others about horrendous human rights abuses. Tell all your associates and local media about the appalling ONE MILLION post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq as reported by MWC News. Just like my hero and Polish hero Jan Karski who tried to tell a disbelieving and unresponsive world about the Jewish Holocaust as it was happening, we must speak out – we cannot walk by on the other side.
Dr Gideon Polya, MWC News Chief political editor, published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global mortality