Friday, December 14, 2007


The hidden holocaust Part 2

The announcement of British mandate rule in Iraq in 1920 led to widespread indigenous revolts, which were ruthlessly suppressed by British forces. That year, then Secretary of State for War and Air, Winston Churchill, proposed that Mesopotamia “could be cheaply policed by aircraft armed with gas bombs, supported by as few as 4,000 British and 10,000 Indian troops.” His proposal was formally adopted the next year at the Cairo conference, and Iraqi villages were bombed from the air. [Edward Greer, ‘The Hidden History of the Iraq War,’ Monthly Review, May 1991]

This policy in Iraq -- which included both the colonial phase of direct rule and the transition to effective indirect rule under decolonisation -- was candidly described by Lord George Curzon, then British Foreign Secretary, who noted that what the UK and other Western powers desired in the Middle East was an:

“Arab facade ruled and administered under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan and, as far as possible, by an Arab staff. . . . There should be no actual incorporation of the conquered territory in the dominions of the conqueror, but the absorption may be veiled by such constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer state and so on.” [William Stivers, Supremacy and Oil: Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1982, p. 28, 34]

In Cairo, Damascus, Tehran and Baghdad, American agents marshalled opponents of the Iraqi regime,” notes the NY Times. “Washington set up a base of operations in Kuwait, intercepting Iraqi communications and radioing orders to rebels. The United States armed Kurdish insurgents.” Former Ba’athist leader Hani Fkaiki has confirmed that Saddam Hussein -- then a 25-year-old who had fled to Cairo after attempting to assassinate Kassim in 1958 -- was colluding with the CIA at this time. [Aburish, op. cit.]

Thus, two gruesome CIA military coups brought the genocidal Ba’ath party, and with it Saddam Hussein, to power, in order to protect US strategic and economic interests.

Using United Nations data and the concept of “excess mortality” -- “the difference between actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected for a peaceful, decently run country with the same demographics” -- Polya calculates that since 1950, 5.2 million Iraqis died during the period in which the CIA and MI6 were fostering coups, installing and re-installing dictators, until Saddam himself obtained power [Gideon Polya, “Iraq Death Toll Amounts to a Holocaust," Australasian Science (June 2004, p. 43); Polya, Body Count: Global avoidable mortality since 1950 (Melbourne: LaTrobe, 2007)]

In 1989, a year after the attacks, the US government doubled its annual Commodity Credit Corporation aid to Saddam to more than US$1 billion. A declassified National Security directive issued by then President Bush Snr. in October that year prioritised the provision of funds and technology to Saddam’s regime, describing it as the “West’s policeman in the region.”

Of the several credible academic studies of civilian deaths in Iraq in the post-2003 invasion period, the most rigorous was the epidemiological study, published in Lancet, by John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, which estimated 655,000 excess Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war.

The ORB poll found that 1.2 million Iraqi civilians had been murdered since the invasion. [Tina Susman, “Poll: Civilian Death Toll in Iraq May Top 1 Million," Los Angeles Times (14 September 2007)]

These are staggering figures. They suggest that since 1991, the total civilian death toll in Iraq as a consequence of Anglo-American invasions, socio-economic deprivation and occupation amount to a total of 3 million.

The ORB findings tally with those of the John Hopkins team, whose data-set, according to independent experts such as Australia biochemist Dr. Gideon Polya, calculated for a year later confirms at least one million post-2003 Iraqi deaths due to the war.