imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Are We There Yet?

by Mark Drolette Saturday, Dec. 11, 2004 at 7:16 AM
drolette@comcast.net

Saddam Hussein has been universally and rightly condemned for filling thousands of mass graves. Might there be a new killer kid on the block? For more details, read on.

Question: How many people does it take to fill a mass grave?

No, this is not a joke, because although I don’t know the “official” answer, the one thing I do know about mass extermination is that it’s typically not a subject that lends itself well to humor.

The question stems not from some ghoulish curiosity but rather from the ongoing slaughter in Iraq, and the reply is also crucial to answering the following (and, really, main) query: Since the Bush administration has reminded us many times that Iraqis no longer need fear being used as filler for Saddam Hussein’s mass graves, might the U.S., by virtue of the number of civilians it’s killed, be in danger of replicating Hussein’s dark deeds?

Sticklers for such things may insist that the combat in Iraq is a “Coalition” operation. Sorry, but in my book, America, Great Britain, and then a handful of other countries hard-pressed to scare a gaggle of geese hardly qualify as a coalition. Need it be pointed out there would be no war-related deaths at all if the U.S. hadn’t led the charge?

Certainly, it’s no secret Hussein racked up an incredibly ghastly body count. Although genuinely accurate numbers are impossible to know, Human Rights Watch (HRW) pegs its best guess at “290,000 ‘disappeared’ and presumed killed [in Iraq, including] the following: more than 100,000 Kurds killed during the 1987-88 Anfal campaign and lead-up to it; between 50,000 and 70,000 Shi`a arrested in the 1980s and held indefinitely without charge, who remain unaccounted for today; an estimated 8,000 males of the Barzani clan removed from resettlement camps in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1983; 10,000 or more males separated from Feyli Kurdish families deported to Iran in the 1980s; an estimated 50,000 opposition activists, including Communists and other leftists, Kurds and other minorities, and out-of-favor Ba`thists, arrested and ‘disappeared’ in the 1980s and 1990s; some 30,000 Iraqi Shi`a men rounded up after the abortive March 1991 uprising and not heard from since; hundreds of Shi`a clerics and their students arrested and ‘disappeared’ after 1991; several thousand marsh Arabs who disappeared after being taken into custody during military operations in the southern marshlands; and those executed in detention -- in some years several thousand -- in so-called ‘prison cleansing’ campaigns.” (Per “George Black, Iraq’s Crime of Genocide: the Anfal Campaign against the Kurds [New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press], and Human Rights Watch, Justice for Iraq: A Human Rights Watch Policy Paper, December 2002.”)

By any standard, a gruesome legacy. But note the last year of known mass killings: 1991 or thereabouts, years before the U.S. rather incongruently began killing Iraqis to (allegedly) stop Hussein from killing them.

Not to be glib or dismiss Hussein’s barbarity in the least, but even with mass murder, timing is everything. The Bushies have always glossed over the fact that Hussein’s large-scale butchery had been quiescent for years, a tidy little omission with which the American corporate media have never appeared too concerned.

It’s also important to note that halting Hussein’s murderous rampages (even had they been ongoing) was never presented by the White House as principal grounds for attacking Iraq. Instead, Americans were repeatedly and grimly warned of Iraqi-generated “mushroom clouds” over Main Street, USA, and how Hussein’s devil drones gravely threatened us all.

When this tall tale inevitably came a cropper, the administration trotted out one phony ex post facto excuse after another until finally settling on a couple of “justifications” for the invasion that have been proffered for some time now: instilling democracy in Iraq and stopping Hussein’s slaughter.

The book is still open on whether anything resembling real democracy will ever emerge in Iraq, but it is closed on Hussein’s barbarism. So, in trying to ascertain the number of bodies needed to constitute a mass grave, let’s do some simple math:

According to HRW, “By February 2004, the Combined Forensic Team of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) had collected information on 259 mass graves in Iraq.” Dividing HRW’s highest estimated number of deaths (290,000) by CPA’s total of confirmed mass graves (259) equals approximately 1120 bodies per site.

No one would be surprised if more victims of Hussein’s madness are unearthed later, thus likely driving that rough guesstimate even higher. But the “average” of 1120 corpses per mass grave allows us to address the primary question:

When it comes to producing mass graves, is America giving Hussein a bloody run for his money?

A study by Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published in The Lancet in October concludes the number of U.S.-precipitated civilian deaths in Iraq since the war began is approximately 100,000.

If this seems too hard to believe, let’s turn to Iraq Body Count (IBC), a web site that has meticulously been documenting war-related deaths since America fired its first missile into Iraq in March 2003. As of this writing, IBC’s total is 14,619 civilian deaths.

Even if we disregard altogether the Johns Hopkins study estimate of an astounding 100,000 dead and instead opt for the much lower number of IBC’s 14,000-plus, this is still far more than would be needed to fill our now-established standard of 1120 bodies per mass grave. (True, those 14,000-plus dead Iraqis are not all buried together, but excluding them from the discussion because of semantics would be a tad gauche, while still leaving them just as dead no matter how or where they’ve been buried.)

There is no end in sight, of course, to Iraq’s carnage. Whether brought about by military action, car bombings, assassinations, depleted uranium shell-generated illnesses, contaminated water, inadequate medical care, or countless other ways in the violent hell that is today’s Iraq, civilian deaths are guaranteed to climb significantly. When the suffering will stop is an open question.

But even if by some miracle the bloodshed were to come to a screeching halt immediately, there’s certainly no doubting the answer if we ask if America is now filling mass graves of its own.

Copyright © 2004 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.

Published originally in Scoop. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/







Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy