Consortium News publishes three reports into the numbers of casualties, that is, actual fatalities, the U.S. is responsible for since September 11th, 2001. At TruePublica we conducted a study in 2015 and arrived at similar figures. However, we included all casualties from all causes including sanctions, disease, starvation and lack of medical facilities directly related to these wars of aggression. At the time we were the only organisation to have done so and our findings were published in Stop The War Coalition and Global Research among others. This latest research makes for truly grim reading as the numbers are far worse than our best efforts at the time.
Barbara Lee, was famously the only member of Congress in the US to vote against the original authorization of force that led to the invasion of Iraq. Explaining her decision at the time, she warned, in language that annoyed many as the smoke still swirled from ‘ground-zero’ in ruins of the World Trade Centre after 9/11:
“As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.”
The crimes committed remain, as Nicolas JS Davies reports – are an urgent moral, political and legal imperative.
In part one of “How Many Millions of People Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars?” – Davies starts with Iraq.
“The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the U.S. Invasion” which I co-wrote with Medea Benjamin, estimates the death toll in Iraq as accurately and as honestly as we can in March 2018. Our estimate is that about 2.4 million people have probably been killed in Iraq as a result of the historic act of aggression committed by the U.S. and U.K. in 2003.
It should be noted that all these figures are only estimated violent deaths as a direct result of invasion. None include deaths from the indirect effects of these wars, such as the destruction of hospitals and health systems, the spread of otherwise preventable diseases and the effects of malnutrition and environmental pollution and sanctions, which have also been substantial in all these countries.
Davies explains that estimates of war deaths regularly published by UN agencies, monitoring groups and the media are nearly all based on fragmentary “passive reporting,” not on comprehensive mortality studies in all the countries being researched.
At best, passive reports can reveal a minimum number of war deaths. But that is often such a small fraction of actual deaths that it is highly misleading to cite it as an “estimate” of the total number of people killed. The huge disparities epidemiologists have found between the results of mortality studies and passive reporting (between 5:1 and 20:1) have been consistent across many different war zones all over the world.
From here, Davies deep dives into the hell hole that Iraq ended up being with his research.
“The figure of 655,000 deaths in the first three war years alone, however, clearly points to a crime against humanity approaching genocide.”
This historic act of aggression by the US and UK, says Davies, is ongoing to this day.
By late 2011, over 650,000 Iraqi people were now dead. For comparison, this number exceeds the 450,000 of British troops and civilians killed FROM ALL CAUSES throughout World War 2.
A bicyclist rides by the destroyed old Mosque of The Prophet Jirjis in central Mosul, Iraq on July 27, 2014.
By now three million refugees were created, 1 in 6 households destroyed – each one losing an average, one family member. Around this time in 2011, places like Fallujah spiralled out of control, with 40,000 losing their lives in the bombardment of Mosul alone that followed. Approximately 80% killed were found to be civilians.
The research from all sources concludes:
“That gives us an estimate of 2.38 million Iraqis killed since 2003, as a result of the criminal American and British invasion of Iraq.”
However, that is not the upper number given, which the report says, could reach as high as 3.4 million.
Final words from Davies in part one of this terrible three-part report says it all.
“The world will never hold major American and British war criminals accountable for their crimes as long as the public does not understand the full scale and horror of what they have done. And the world will not know peace as long as the most powerful aggressors can count on impunity for “the supreme international crime.”
However, as an example of including ‘other civilian deaths’, not in this report, we can refer to TruePublica’s own report which found that: “undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children” – prior to the attack of Iraq by America and Britain. Remember, Davies does not include deaths from all causes such as lack of medical care and the ongoing crisis from birth defects as a result of the widespread use of depleted uranium artillery that follows these wars.
In TruePublica’s report, we were able to cite a secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document discovered by Professor Thomas Nagy of the School of Business at George Washington University. Nagy concluded it was “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”.
Afghanistan and Pakistan
In Part Two of How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s post-9/11 Wars – Davies turns his attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“As I explained in part one, the U.S. has attempted to justify its invasions of Afghanistan and several other countries as a legitimate response to the terrorist crimes of 9/11. But the U.S. was not attacked by another country on that day, and no crime, however horrific, can justify 16 years of war – and counting – against a series of countries that did not attack the U.S.”
His research continues a grim story with huge numbers of nights raids in Afghanistan perpetrated by the McCrystal and Patreus killing machine that largely went unreported. In 2010 alone thousands died in over 5,000 night raids that took place away from the gaze of the media. As senior U.S. military officers letter admitted to Dana Priest and William Arkin of The Washington Post, more than half the raids conducted by U.S. special operations forces targeted the wrong person or house, so a large increase in civilian deaths was a predictable and expected result of such a massive expansion of these deadly “kill or capture” raids.
If only one thing is clear, says Davies, about the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reports of civilian deaths, it is that nobody should ever cite them as estimates of total numbers of civilians killed in Afghanistan – least of all UN and government officials and mainstream journalists who, knowingly or not, mislead millions of people when they repeat them.
There has been no attempt to conduct a serious mortality study in Afghanistan as there was in Iraq but using similar techniques to arrive at the body count in Iraq, Davies concludes that approximately 130,000 – 150,000 Afghan soldiers and police were killed. As for innocent civilians, the estimate is about 875,000 to have been killed since 2001, with a minimum of 640,000 and a maximum of 1.4 million.
The U.S. expanded its war in Afghanistan into Pakistan in 2004. The CIA began launching drone strikes, and the Pakistani military, under U.S. pressure, launched a military campaign against militants in South Waziristan suspected of links to Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. Since then, the U.S. has conducted at least 430 drone strikes in Pakistan according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the Pakistani military has conducted several operations in areas bordering Afghanistan.
Our own reports at TruePublica along with media partner, Drone Wars UK concluded that the fatality rate of civilians in drone strikes is well over 90 percent against their intended target whilst their use in the first place is illegal.
“The beautiful Swat valley (once called “the Switzerland of the East” by the visiting Queen Elizabeth of the U.K.) and three neighbouring districts were taken over by the Pakistani Taliban between 2007 and 2009. They were retaken by the Pakistani Army in 2009 in a devastating military campaign that left 3.4 million people as refugees.”
This catastrophe went unreported universally in the Western mainstream media.
The conclusion here is that about 325,000 people have been killed in Pakistan as a result of the U.S. War in Afghanistan spilling across its borders.
The final death toll as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 is estimated to be approximately 1.2 million. Don’t forget, related deaths are excluded and Afghanistan is now once again, practically over-run by the Taliban with opium sales higher than ever.
Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen
In part three of How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s post-9/11 Wars, Davies highlights the very different nature of the American war machine, disguised as a quiet media-free approach to war.
“These wars have been catastrophic for the people of all these countries, but the U.S.’s “disguised, quiet, media-free” approach to them has been so successful in propaganda terms that most Americans know very little about the U.S. role in the intractable violence and chaos that has engulfed them.”
The war in Libya killed far more civilians than any estimate of the number killed in the initial rebellion in February and March 2011, which ranged from 1,000 (a UN estimate) to 6,000 (according to the Libyan Human Rights League). So the war clearly failed in its stated, authorized purpose, to protect civilians, even as it succeeded in a different and unauthorized one: the illegal overthrow of the Libyan government.
There was a large group of women and children holding signs up that said “tell the TRUTH”, “thank you NATO for killing our people”
Final estimates using all data available leaves Davies to conclude that about 250,000 Libyans were killed in the war, violence and subsequent chaos that the U.S. and its allies unleashed in Libya in February 2011, and which continues to the present day. The maximum estimate of all deaths is 360,000.
David Cameron’s intervention in Libya directly led the country to become a failed state with all the horrors that bring with it, not least, of course, the millions trying to escape the violence and chaos and risking their lives attempting to reach Europe.
It is very hard going reading about the Syria report as the conflict is still raging. Contrary to reports you may have read, the real number of casualties when calculation methods in other conflicts are used, as many as 2 million people may well have been killed with Davies concluding that at least 1.5 million have been killed so far. Syria has a long way to go yet and no doubt the death toll will continue given the current trajectory.
Somalia was finally “pulling itself up by its bootstraps” under the governance of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a union of local traditional courts who agreed to work together to govern the country. People who knew the country well hailed the ICU as a hopeful development for peace and stability in Somalia.
But in the context of its “war on terror,” the U.S. government identified the Islamic Courts Union as an enemy and a target for military action. The U.S. allied with Ethiopia, Somalia’s traditional regional rival (and a majority Christian country), conducted air strikes and special forces operations to support an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to remove the ICU from power.
As in every other country the U.S. and its proxies have invaded since 2001, the effect was to plunge Somalia back into violence and chaos that continues to this day.
Davies concludes that the estimate of the true number of people killed in Somalia since 2006 must be somewhere between 500,000 and 850,000, with most likely about 650,000 violent deaths.
The Zaidis are a unique Shiite sect who make up 45% of Yemen’s population. Zaidi Imams ruled most of Yemen for over a thousand years. Sunnis and Zaidis have lived together peacefully in Yemen for centuries and they prayed in the same mosques.
The story of the battle that currently continues is unique and you should read the full account by Davis HERE. He concludes that about 175,000 people have been killed – 15 times the numbers reported by the WHO and ACLED – with a minimum of 120,000 and a maximum of 240,000. Disease, starvation and other related deaths are spiralling out of control in Yemen with millions displaced and fighting a daily battle just for survival.
Davies starts his conclusion with the sombre note that:
“Altogether, in the three parts of this report, I have estimated that America’s post-9/11 wars have killed about 6 million people. Maybe the true number is only 5 million. Or maybe it is 7 million. And the true number of people killed is most definitely not in the tens of thousands, as most of the general public in the U.S. and in the U.K. have been led to believe, according to opinion polls.
After 16 years of war, about 6 million violent deaths, 6 countries utterly destroyed and many more destabilized, it is urgent that the American public come to terms with the true human cost of our country’s wars and how we have been manipulated and misled into turning a blind eye to them.”
All of these conflicts have been supported by Britain in one way or another. Indeed, it is debatable if Iraq would have been invaded at all if Tony Blair had not engaged in fabricating the case for it. These conflicts have led to an information war against the people of Britain and America to eventually demonize its enemies when they quite simply did not exist in the first place.
The fabricated crisis such as we have seen in Britain recently, starting with the highly suspicious Skripal poisoning, leading to an increased Russiaphobia campaign and unproven chemical weapons gas attacks in Douma led directly, without justification to the bombing of Syria by the USA, Britain and France. This comes from exactly the same warmongering playbook – chapter by chapter.
Misinformation, disinformation and propaganda campaigns instigated by the US and UK governments against its own citizens to justify these illegal acts of aggression are paid for by the taxpayer and then only end up hiding the cost in human blood of the tragic and awful reality that they become. It is surely time to stop these murderous campaigns of death and destruction and call them out for what they are – war crimes.
As a footnote to this report it should be noted that combining these reports by Nicolas Davies with our own, that is, reporting on all direct and indirect fatalities as a result of war, pre and post-war sanctions, lack of facilities such as clean water and adequate hospital facilities, it is not hard to arrive at a number approaching 10 million dead.
We are the evil that we deplore.