October 27 2006
The Case For Iraqi Genocide
By Ghali Hassan
For nearly sixteen years, U.S. and British forces have been killing Iraqis with impunity. The number of Iraqis killed is increasing rapidly and could easily reach 3 millions if the U.S. refuses to end the Occupation. Iraq is an example of how the West uses the word genocide selectively. Genocide is used to describe the internal conflict in Sudan (Darfur region), but not the mass killing of innocent Iraqis where the U.S. and Britain are the main perpetrators of violence and destruction. What is happening in Iraq today is genocide, as clearly described by the Genocide Convention.
Western violence against Iraqis started in 1990. The so-called “Gulf war” and economic sanctions were a deliberate and calculated destruction of an entire nation accompanied by massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians and retreating conscripts. The war was followed by more than a decade-long genocidal sanction that killed more than two million Iraqis, a third of them infant under the age of five.
In 1995, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimated that over a million Iraqis, including 567,000 children had died as a direct result of the sanctions, which targeted vital goods such as medical supplies and water-treatment technology, including chlorine, to purify clean water for drinking in contravention of the Geneva Conventions. According to UNICEF, 4,500 children were dying each month and 825,000 Iraqi children were at risk of acute malnutrition and possibly death.
Substantial evidence supports a deliberate policy by the U.S. and Britain to destroy Iraq and empty Iraq of its human resources. Former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, Dennis Halliday, resigned in protest in 1998 as the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. He described the sanctions as “genocidal”. “I’ve been using the word ‘genocide’ because this is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq. I’m afraid I have no other view,” said Halliday. The “sanctions of mass destruction” killed more innocent Iraqi civilians than were killed by all weapons of mass destruction in history. It was arguably the greatest genocide since World War II. [See article by this author here. – Ed]
After studying several documents declassified by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Thomas Nagy revealed that the documents suggest “a plan for the deliberate massacre of the Iraqi population by judicious use of economic sanctions, and through the deliberate targeting of Iraq’s water supply” . It is possible that the U.S. and British government were deliberately embarking on systematic depopulation of Iraq.
In a short essay in Harper’s magazine, Professor Joy Gordon of Fairfield University in Connecticut, described the sanctions as; a “legitimized act of mass slaughter" of innocent Iraqi civilians. Gordon noted: . . . epidemic suffering needlessly visited on Iraqis via U.S. fiat inside the United Nations Security Council. Within that body, the United States has consistently thwarted Iraq from satisfying its most basic humanitarian needs, using sanctions as nothing less than a deadly weapon, and, despite recent reforms, continuing to do so.
To avoid mass starvation of Iraqis and the collapse of the Iraqi state, the Saddam Hussein government was able to break the sanctions by bribing and corrupting many governments, including Australia, Greece, Italy and Arab governments. In 2002, Iraq showed signs of recovery before the leaders of the U.S. and Britain committed another ‘supreme international crime’ by attacking Iraq unprovoked and in violation of the UN Charter.
The March 2003 illegal invasion and subsequent violent Occupation were planned in advance to destroy Iraq and control its wealth. The people of Iraq did not invite Bush and Blair to invade and occupy their country. They are rightly and legitimately resisting the invasion and occupation of their country. The invasion was justified by lies fabricated in London and Washington, and filtered through the Zionist mainstream media to demonise the Iraqi people in order to manipulate public opinion.
A new study published in the most respected and peer-reviewed British journal The Lancet estimates that 655,000 – the midpoint between 426,369 and 793,663 people – Iraqis have been killed as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq . In other words, at least 2.5 per cent of Iraq’s total population have been killed as a result of U.S.-led murderous invasion and occupation. “Deaths are occurring in IraqTop of Form now at a rate more than three times that from before the invasion of March 2003," said Dr. Gilbert Burnham of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the lead author of the study. With 95 per cent of accuracy, the study is the most credible so far. The larger sample validates and confirms the Lancet earlier study released in October 2004 that found an estimate of more that 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. force
The “cluster sampling” method is the best method of measuring mortality in times of war and disaster and is used widely, even by the U.S. government. The methodology used by the authors has long been standard practice in estimating mortality in populations affected by war. It was developed by the U.S. centres for disease control and endorsed by the World Health Organisations. The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University found the study to be methodically sound and accurate. “The scientific community is in agreement over the statistical methods used to collect the data and the validity of the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the study”, writes Rebecca Goldin of STATS.
President George Bush and his lackeys (Tony Blair and John Howard) quickly rejected the study findings and disputed the number of Iraqis killed as a result of their unprovoked international crimes. Their comment is insulting not only to Iraqis, but also to scientists. Can you imagine Bush’s response if anyone disputed the number of people who died in 9/11 attacks? Iraqis do not count as people. Bush alleged that Iraqis “tolerate violence”. To the contrary, Iraqis do not tolerate violence. The majority of Iraqis, including a large number of “parliamentarians” in the U.S.-imposed government, are in favour of an immediate end to the Occupation, and are overwhelmingly rejecting Bush’s agenda.
From the outset of the Occupation, the Anglo-American strategy was the creation of chaos, characterised by looting, corruption, violence and mayhem. The disbanding of the Iraqi Army and Police, and the creation, financing and arming of militias and death squads to murder Iraqi prominent politicians, members of the Ba’ath Party and professionals (‘de-Ba’athification’), were the preludes to the current chaos. Iraqis continue to be killed in larger numbers than they ever did. Most of the crimes are perpetuated either by the occupying forces or under the radar screen of the occupying forces. Furthermore, the intent to “kill all military-age males” is designed to completely pacify Iraq and make communities’ survival difficult in a society where men are considered the ‘breadwinners’.
Prior to the U.S. invasion and occupation, Iraq was a country characterised by extensive social programs, including the protection of women’s right, education system and health care services that made Iraq the envy of the region. In today’s Iraq, most Iraqis are deprived of security, education and health services, adequate employment and sufficient food. Since the invasion, Iraqis lack adequate electricity and drinking water supplies. The Iraqi standard of living has deteriorated. “Nearly 5.6 millions Iraqis are living below the poverty line, according to our most recent studies. At least 40 per cent of this number is living in absolute and desperate deteriorated conditions,” said Sinan Youssef, an official in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The number of people living in “absolute and desperate deteriorated conditions” has increased by 35 per cent since the U.S.-led invasion. The unemployment rate is estimated to be over 60 per cent, while food prices have increased dramatically.
The U.S.-imposed undemocratic system and its puppet government of expatriates have failed to provide for Iraqis and create a safe living environment. The purpose of the puppet government is to legitimise the Occupation and looting of Iraq’s wealth by U.S. corporations. The illegal building of U.S. military bases throughout Iraq and the construction of a monstrous U.S. embassy in the heart of Baghdad are flagrant violations of Iraqi sovereignty and independence.
Furthermore, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is estimating 1.5 million people are now displaced, driven by ongoing military raids and militia violence. UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said: “Our staffs [are] seeing about 2,000 people a day coming across [to Syria], so it’s more than 40,000 people a month just into Syria”. Most of the refugees have not registered with the UNHCR, in what the UNHCR calls a “silent exodus”. Many more Iraqis have moved on to Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Europe. It is not just a violent Occupation; it is a calculated ethnic cleansing. Those minorities who remained become increasingly vulnerable.
In addition, the Iraqi brain drain is the worst in history, and is destroying Iraq’s capabilities. According to the UK-based charity group, Medact; “A quarter of Iraq’s 18,000 physicians have fled the country since 2003, and doctors and other health workers are being attacked, threatened or kidnapped daily”. An estimated 250 of those who remained in Iraq had been kidnapped and, in 2005 alone, 65 killed. The deliberate destruction of Iraq’s health service is increasing the death rates and suffering of Iraqis, particularly children.
The Western media, particularly in the U.S., are deliberately ignoring the genocide in Iraq. Instead the media continue with a campaign of disinformation, portraying the violence as “sectarian violence”, “civil war” or “violent insurgency”, removing the Occupation as the generator of the violence. Indeed, the word Occupation, like the word Resistance, has been completely removed from the media’s vocabulary.
There is overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and Britain are directly responsible for the current “sectarian violence” in Iraq. For example, the recent violence in Balad and Amara was deliberately provoked to counter the growing demand for an immediate end to the Occupation. The violence is used as a propaganda tool to demonise Iraqis and to justify ongoing Occupation. The media portray the U.S. as mediator (not occupiers) trying to help the Iraqis. It is important to remember that until the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq, the Iraqi people had lived and intermarried peacefully for generation.
In addition to this media disinformation, the so-called “progressive Left” and the “socialists” in the West are more concerned with Iraq becoming “a catastrophe for U.S. imperialism”, and that “Communities all over America are paying a bitter price for [the Bush Administration] program of militarism” (WSWS, 17/10/2006). The aim is to blame Iraqis for everything. The destruction of Iraq is irrelevant and Iraqis are ‘not’ paying a “bitter price”. This deliberate and deep ignorance represents a conscious choice to obfuscate reality and cover up war crimes perpetuated by Western leaders against defenceless Iraqi population.
A recent report by the Program on International Policy Attitudes found that the “overwhelming majority of Iraqis believes that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing. More broadly, most feel the U.S. is having a predominantly negative influence in Iraq and have little or no confidence in the U.S. military”. In fact, the head of the British army, Sir Richard Dannatt admitted recently that the presence of foreign troops (U.S. and British) in Iraq is “exacerbating” the violence.
Meanwhile, while a genocide is being perpetuated in Iraq, President Saddam Hussein is on a U.S.-staged illegal trial accused of allegedly ordering the execution of 140 people found guilty of conspiring in July 1982 to assassinate Saddam as president of Iraq, and of allegedly ordering the removal of Kurdish families (to southern Iraq) associated with the Kurdish insurgency.
Under international law as stipulated in The Judgment of the Nuremberg Trials; “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the ‘supreme international crime’ differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”... It follows that the war on Iraq is considered the ‘international supreme crime’, therefore, all those who are responsible must be held accountable.
A report prepared by Consumers for Peace.org with the advice of Karen Parker, a distinguished lawyer in human rights and humanitarian law, found that there is ample evidence for full investigations of war crimes committed by “individual military U.S. [and British] officers in Iraq and on up the whole chain of command”. In other words, U.S. leaders and their allies (Blair and Howard) bear full responsibility for the ongoing genocide and destruction in Iraq.
The number of Iraqis killed since 1991 could easily reach 3 millions if this modern day genocide is not stopped. The Bush administration and their Western allies described the Darfur internal conflict as “ongoing genocide”, contradicting accurate reports and using the Darfur crisis to divert media and world attentions from an actual genocide in Iraq. If the death of few thousands of people in Darfur is considered genocide – by Bush and allies – why the death of millions Iraqis is not?
It is morally reprehensible playing a double standard, condemning the crimes in Darfur while ignoring the far greater crimes in Iraq. More than 150 countries, including the 15 members UN Security Council, are bound to stop the Iraqi genocide and demand an immediate and full withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.
 Nagy, Thomas (2001). The Secret behind the Sanctions, How the US Intentionally Destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply.
 Joy Gordon (2002). Cool War, Harper’s Magazine, November, 2002.
 Burnham, G., Lafta, R., Doocy, S. & Roberts, L. (2006). Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey. The Lancet, published online 12 October, 2006.