[News] Collateral Genocide

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 11 20:57:36 EDT 2007


http://www.counterpunch.org/ferner05112007.html

May 11, 2007


Wrecking Iraq: One Million Dead, 2 Million Wounded, 3 Million Displaced


Collateral Genocide

By MIKE FERNER

Two elements are necessary to commit the crime of genocide:

1) the mental element, meaning intent to destroy, in whole or in 
part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, and

2) the physical element, which includes any of the following: killing 
or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 
deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about 
the group's physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing 
measures intended to prevent births; or forcibly transferring 
children to another group.

Considering that such clear language comes from a UN treaty which is 
legally binding on our country, things could start getting a little 
worrisome -- especially when you realize that since our government 
declared economic and military warfare on Iraq we've killed well over 
one million people, fast approaching two.

This summer will be one year since researchers from Johns Hopkins 
University collected data for a study which concluded 655,000 
additional deaths were caused by the military war, and things have 
only gotten worse since then. Then consider that the economic war 
killed an additional 500,000 Iraqi kids under the age of five during 
only the first seven years of sanctions which were in force for a 
dozen years, according to a 1999 U.N. report.

Based on the Johns Hopkins estimate of Iraqis killed in the war, one 
could conservatively estimate that another 2.6 million people have 
been wounded. The U.N. estimates that between 1.5 million and 2 
million Iraqis are now "internally displaced" by the fighting and 
roughly the same number have fled their country, including 
disproportionate numbers of doctors and other professionals.

If you are sitting down and possess a healthy imagination, try 
conjuring up similar conditions here in our land. Start with the fact 
that few people buy bottled water and what comes out of the tap is 
guaranteed to at least make you sick if not kill you Three times as 
many of our fellow citizens are out of work as during the Great 
Depression On a good day we have three or four hours of electricity 
to preserve food or cool the 110-degree heat No proper hospitals or 
rehab clinics exist to help the wounded become productive members of 
society Roads are a mess Reports of birth defects from exposure to 
depleted uranium have begun surfacing around the country. Reflect for 
a minute on the grief brought by a single loved one's death. Then 
open your heart to the reality of life if we suffered casualties 
comparable to those endured by the people of Iraq.

In the former cities of Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Milwaukee, 
Fort Worth, Baltimore, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia every 
single person is dead. In Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, 
Nevada, Kansas, Mississippi, Iowa, Oregon, South Carolina and 
Colorado every single person is wounded.

The entire populations of Ohio and New Jersey are homeless, surviving 
with friends, relatives or under bridges as they can. The entire 
populations of Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky have fled to Canada or 
Mexico. Over the past three years, one in four U.S. doctors has left 
the country. Last year alone 3,000 doctors were kidnapped and 800 
killed. In short, nobody "out there" is coming to save us.

We are in hell.

Of course our government didn't intend to commit genocide, it just 
sort of happened. The Iraqis kept getting in the way while we were 
trying to complete the mission. Mistakes were made as we were 
building democracy, but surely no genocide was intended. After all, 
we are the international deciders of what is and what isn't genocide, 
and we know full well that intent is a requirement.

It was only "collateral genocide" and lord knows we did our very best 
to avoid it.

Mike Ferner is an Ohio writer. His book, "Inside the Red Zone: A 
Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq" is available on his website 
<http://www.mikeferner.org/>www.mikeferner.org




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