[News] Hiding the Dead, Burying the Truth

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Mon Jul 11 08:50:48 EDT 2005


IRSCNA (independent)
Hiding the Dead, Burying the Truth
Peter Urban

Of those American troops who are wounded in Iraq are
shipped by the Department of Defense to hospitals in
Germany, apparently a considerable number of them die
while be treated there. That isn't all that
surprising, but what may surprise many is that it has
been convincingly reported about 6,210 who died (as of
1 January 2005) while under treatment in Germany and
have not been included in the official Iraq occupation
death tolls widely circulated by the capitalist media
in the United States.

While I was unable to locate estimates for the past
six months, combining the official death figures with
the number of those who died while undergoing
treatment in Germany as of the start of this year, one
can conclude that there have been at least 8,000
American soldiers killed in the American occupation of
Iraq thus far. Most likely, that figure is
considerably higher, given the intensified resistance
by the Iraqi people during the last half year.

These figures pale to insignificance, of course, when
compared to the nearly 100,000 Iraqi civilian
casualties reported by International Red Cross and Red
Crescent. In fact, the deaths caused by America in
both Iraq and Afghanistan of those nation's civilians
are so much higher than the combined total of American
soldiers being officially reported as dead by the
Pentagon, those US soldiers who died in Germany, those
killed in the unrelated attacks which took place in
September of 2003, and the deaths of American
mercenaries (often called 'private security personnel'
or profession body guards) in Iraq (who are also
excluded from the official death toll figures--one
listing I came across, however, had 264 names on it
and acknowledged that it was very much incomplete) are
still so overwhelmed by the number of Iraqi citizens
killed as a result of the American invasion and
occupation, it is difficult to even talk about the
American military deaths as significant.

Interestingly, it has also been reported that at least
5,500 American soldiers have been documented as having
deserted, most having apparently done so while in
Ireland in transit to Iraq. These figures are not
without controversy, but when the evidence is
considered and logic applied, a reasonable person is
compelled to see the larger death count as legitimate,
or at least more legitimate than the official figures
appear to be.

It is small surprise that the US regime would seek to
keep the number of dead reported as low as possible,
as the American public has demonstrated time and time
again that it doesn't have the stomach for too many
American deaths. This is in sharp contrast to the
prevailing attitude in America regarding the deaths
caused by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in other
nations subjected to American invasion or bombing.
When those deaths are under discussion, it often seems
the average American hardly bats an eye.

Oh, not when Brit civilians are killed in a Tube
bombing, of course, that is a different matter. That
news not only brought forth much weeping, rending of
garments, and beating of breasts by the American media
and American public, but also caused a majority of US
residents to report that they feared renewed terrorism
would be unleashed against American targets once
again. It takes very little to provoke such a response
in the US now. The American people have been
conditioned to suspect that vicious 'terrorists',
acting out of some irrational hatred of 'America's
freedoms', lurk behind virtually every door. But then,
these are the same people who fret constantly that
their children will be abducted by perverse and
sadistic strangers, despite this fate actually
befalling far fewer American children each year than
are hit by lightening. Americans are particularly
adept at irrational fears and a bizarrely inverted
sense of persecution. These traits have been carefully
cultivated, because they have been so successful in
gaining the American people's general acceptance of an
endless parade of measures which hurt them
economically and restrict their civil rights.

We in the IRSCNA have taken a consistent position in
opposition to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq,
however, and consequently have defended the Iraqi
people's resistance to that occupation and their right
to assert their sovereignty within their own nation.
To take this position, is to defacto call for the
defeat of the US military and its British allies, who
violated international law by launching a military
invasion of Iraq, which has resulted in tens of
thousands of deaths of Iraqi citizens, tens of
thousands more wounded, the devastation of Iraqi
society, destruction of its infrastructure, followed
by hardship and suffering by millions of Iraqi people.
When war breaks out, victory cannot be won without the
defeat of the other side, and defeat cannot occur if
all the deaths are on the other side.

Accordingly, we will express no outrage over these
much larger American military death figures, despite
the likelihood that they are half a dozen times
greater than those officially reported, but we will
express outrage over falsification of the numbers of
American military dead. The American ruling class and
its media mouthpieces have become far too comfortable
showering the US people with the most blatant lies and
distortions and the American people have become far
too prepared to accept as truth the statements made by
those who have been exposed as having lied to them
over and over again.

It is far past time that the people of the United
States open their eyes and see the reality of the
world and the nation they live in. It is time to
recognize that their government has left blood on
their hands. It is time to admit that they live in a
country that doesn't have a history of defending the
freedom and welfare of other peoples, but a history of
exporting tyranny, injustice, torture, war, hunger,
rape, and murder. It is time that they take
responsibility for what their government does, not on
occasion, but as a matter of consistent policy. And,
if they are unable to generate any concern for the
rights and well being of the people of other nations
than themselves, then out of a simple concern for
their own narrow interests--that their own sons and
daughters stop being sent where they are not welcome
and consequently may be killed--they need to end the
military adventures of their government and they
exploitation of the world's people by their ruling
class. And they need to do it soon, before the world
loses its capacity for sympathy with them and they
lose their capacity to act.


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