IN WORLD WAR ONE young men of the British Empire were exhorted to “join up to fight the Hun” ( “Hun” or “Boche” being the popular names for a “German” at the time). We are all familiar with the famous recruitment poster in which a stern Lord Kitchener points and declares “Britain needs you”. However an additional impetus for enlistment was given by propaganda about “the Boche bayoneting Belgian babies”), a line that was also used to get America into the war (see: CounterPunch ). Indeed a version of this canard was used during the 1991 Gulf War, with the US promulgating utterly false propaganda about Iraqi soldiers murdering hundreds of Kuwaiti babies by tipping them out of humidicribs (see: here ). However these lies of commission have given way to lies of omission – lying, racist, Anglo-American Mainstream Media will simply NOT report the horrendous avoidable infant mortality that is ACTUALLY occurring in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories because of gross Israeli, US, Coalition and NATO violation of the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of Civilians in Time of War.
The latest Yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the SPIRI Yearbook 2006, has reported the latest data on global military expenditure (and here ). The US remains the world’s biggest military spender, accounting for 48% of the 2005 global military expenditure of $1.1 trillion. The world’s 15 biggest military spenders in descending order are United States, Britain, France, Japan, China, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Spain and Israel (the details and MWC News ). THE IMPORTANT QUESTION is simply: what are the consequences of global arms expenditure? This question can be answered in various ways as set out below, but the short answer is simply that global arms expenditure is linked to horrendous AVOIDABLE INFANT MORTALITY.
1. $1 trillion per annum would largely eliminate global avoidable mortality.
Avoidable mortality (technically, excess mortality) is the difference between the actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics. Using UN data it can be calculated that the post-1950 global avoidable mortality has totaled 1.3 billion (of which about 60% have been avoidable under-5 infant deaths). The annual avoidable mortality is ZERO (0) in First World countries but is also ZERO in some very poor countries with annual per capita incomes (2003 figures) of only about $1,000 – notable examples being Cuba, Paraguay, Syria and Sri Lanka, in which such modest incomes coupled with good governance, good primary health care and relatively high literacy has enabled this excellent outcome. The annual cost of lifting ALL countries up to an annual per capita income of $1,000 is about $1.4 trillion. The annual global avoidable mortality is about 16 million.
2. The dozen US-linked “biggest military spenders” are involved in war criminal mass murder in Occupied countries.
Of the 15 “biggest spenders”, only 3, namely Russia, China and India, are NOT involved in the illegal, criminal military occupation and violation of other sovereign nations; the remainder have been intimately involved in such gross violations in recent years. Thus the United States, Britain, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Australia, and Spain have all been involved in the illegal military occupation of Iraq (Saudi Arabia has been a key accessory); the United States, its Coalition partners Britain and Australia, and its NATO allies France, Germany and Canada have supplied forces for the war criminal occupation of Afghanistan (Saudi Arabia has been a key accessory through provision of facilities); and Israel has been variously involved in the illegal occupation of neighbouring countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories) for nearly 40 years – and is still illegally occupying the Occupied Palestinian Territories and part of Syria. The post-invasion avoidable mortality in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories totals 0.3, 0.5 and 1.8 million, respectively (about 60% are avoidable under-5 infant deaths).
3. European “biggest military spenders” are linked to huge colonial and neo-colonial global avoidable mortality
Since liberation in the mid-1940s from the Japanese and the British, respectively, China and the India have made huge inroads on reducing avoidable mortality. Thus the “annual death rate” in British India was a genocidal 3.5% in 1947 and is now only about 0.9% (still about 2-3 times higher than it should be but a vast improvement). While “annual avoidable mortality” is about 3.7 million in India, it is ZERO (0) in China, which has been much more successful than post-colonial India in reducing endemic poverty. India and China, while having big military budgets, have ESCHEWED imperialism and concentrated on improving life for their citizens. South Korea and Japan have had minor involvements in US Asian wars, specifically in Vietnam (South Korea) and in Iraq (Japan) and have outstandingly good annual avoidable mortality outcomes (zero) and under-5 infant mortality figures that are among the best in the world. In contrast, using UN data one can calculate the “post-1950 avoidable mortality” (60% being avoidable under-5 infant deaths) in countries that have been partially or completely occupied in the post-WW2 era by the following 7 European “biggest military spenders” as MAJOR occupiers: 82 million (United States), 727 million (Britain), 142 million (France), 37 million (Russia), 2 million (Australia), 9 million (Spain) and 24 million (Israel).
The former Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan resolved to eschew militarism and imperialism in 1945 but are nevertheless on the list of the “top 15 biggest military spenders” and have been persuaded to DIRTY their international reputations through involvement in US wars in Asian countries, namely Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively. Italy proposes to withdraw from Iraq, but Germany and Japan are still up to their necks in war crimes AGAIN – the annual under-5 infant mortality in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories totals 0.5 million (1,300 daily, 1 per minute – and 90% avoidable), largely due to gross Coalition violation of the Geneva Conventions.
What can decent people do about this horrendous, war criminal, US-led passive genocide, mass murder, mass paedocide (pedocide) and mass infanticide? Decent people are obliged to (a) inform everyone and (b) behave ethically in all their personal and business dealings with US-linked countries involved in the continuing passive mass murder of nearly half a million infants every year in the Middle East and Central Asia.
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 — Contact Dr.Polya By E-mail