The Brussells Tribuna/ – 2004-11-09 10:34:45
Global Petition against the Escalation in Iraq
An initiative of the Brussells tribunal
Endorsed by the World Tribunal on Iraq
Prof. Jean Bricmont, a Belgian scientist, specialist in theoretical physics, and author on politics, who was member of the prosecution at the Bertrand Russells Tribunal, has written a short but strong statement “Stop the escalation” (see the text after this message, in English, French and Dutch). It has been signed already by several distinguished people (see below).
We feel that we can’t wait any longer to do something. We hope that you and/or your organization will sign this letter, giving the call of Prof. Bricmont the resonance it deserves and he aimed at in writing it.
Now that we know, since the evening of 28th of October 2004, from an article in the Lancet, based on a survey by Johns Hopkins University that at least 100.000 Iraqi civilians died in the war, we feel this petition is urgent, so we send it out now. We hope you join us in our outcry over the ongoing massacres by signing this petition against the escalation.
Yours in struggle for peace.
Prof. Lieven De Cauter, Dirk Adriaensens, Hana Al Bayaty and Patrick Deboosere, on behalf of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal Committee. (www.brusselstribunal.org)
This letter is being distributed with full support of the World Tribunal on Iraq (www.worldtribunal.org) of which the Russells Tribunal Committee is part.
Please circulate as largely as possible.
If you wish to sign, please reply with “I sign” to: Info@Brusselstribunal.org, Please add your name, profession, country (and organization, if appropriate).
STOP THE ESCALATION
Excluding information from Falluja, a Lancet report of October 29 estimates that 100,000 more Iraqis died than would have been expected had the invasion not occurred. Eighty-four percent of the deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces and 95 percent of those deaths were due to air strikes and artillery.” (Reuters, October 28, 2004.)
Far from being over, the war in Iraq has only begun. The United States do not seem to be able to defeat the Iraqi resistance with the means they have been using. But neither can they accept their setbacks. The very arrogance with which the war was declared and waged has put all their prestige at stake in Iraq and, thereby, decades of efforts to assure their world domination. The stakes are even greater than in the Vietnam war. The United States cannot get out of Iraq unless they leave behind a friendly government, but today they have so few friends in that part of the world that no democratic election can produce such a government.
As a result, one must seriously anticipate a military escalation after the elections — immediately in case Bush is returned to office, perhaps more gradually should Kerry win. But the Democratic candidate has no more intention than Bush of withdrawing from Iraq. The US government will seek to defeat the resistance by all possible means. The effort is already underway to demonize the resistance in world opinion by associating it with abductions and murders condemned by virtually the whole spectrum of political organizations in the Arab world.
We demand that the United States face up to reality, unconditionally withdraw their troops from Iraq, and draw the necessary conclusions as to the unacceptable nature of preventive war. It is an illusion to ask that the US forces remain until Iraq is pacified or stabilized, because their very presence is so hated that it constitutes the main obstacle to any sort of pacification.
Meanwhile, we affirm that we shall oppose by all peaceful and legal methods every attempt to crush the Iraqi resistance by a military escalation such as was attempted during the Vietnam war. We call on all governments to grant asylum to American military personnel refusing to serve in Iraq. We shall do our best to spread all available information to counter the war propaganda, and we shall try to mobilize world public opinion, as in 2002, to demand that the United States abandon their efforts to impose a military solution on Iraq.
“Excluant information sur Falluja, un rapport publié par The Lancet le 29 octobre estime que 100.000 Irakiens de plus ont mouru que expecté si l’invasion n’aurait pas eu lieu. 84 pourcent des morts sont rapporté d’être due aux actions des forces de la coalition et 95 de ces morts sont du a des attaques aeriens et d’ artillerie “(Reuters, October 28, 2004)
Loin d’être finie, la guerre en Irak ne fait que commencer. Les États-Unis ne semblent pas arriver à vaincre la résistance irakienne avec les moyens qu’ils utilisent. Mais ils ne peuvent pas non plus reculer: l’arrogance même avec laquelle la guerre a été déclarée et menée fait en sorte que tout leur prestige est en jeu en Irak et, avec lui, des décennies d’efforts visant à la domination du monde. L’enjeu pour eux est encore plus considérable que lors de la guerre du Viêt-Nam. Les États-Unis ne peuvent quitter l’Irak qu’en laissant derrière eux un gouvernement ami, mais ils n’ont aujourd’hui que très peu d’amis dans cette partie du monde et aucune élection démocratique ne pourra produire un tel gouvernement.
Par conséquent, il faut sérieusement s’attendre à une escalade militaire après les élections. Immédiatement si Bush est élu, plus lentement peut-être si c’est Kerry. Mais celui-ci n’a, pas plus que Bush, la volonté de se retirer d’Irak. Ils chercheront à vaincre la résistance par tous les moyens. On tente déjà de démoniser celle-ci dans l’opinion publique mondiale en l’associant à des enlèvements et des assassinats condamnés par la quasi-totalité des organisations politiques du monde arabe.
Nous demandons que les États-Unis fassent preuve de réalisme, retirent leurs troupes d’Irak sans condition, et en tirent les conclusions qui s’imposent concernant le caractère inaceptable des guerres préventives. Il est illusoire de demander que leurs forces armées restent jusqu’à ce que l’Irak soit pacifié ou stabilisé, parce que leur présence est tellement détestée qu’elle constitue le principal obstacle à toute pacification. En attendant, nous affirmons que nous nous opposerons par tous les moyens pacifiques et légaux à toute tentative d’écraser la résistance irakienne par une escalade militaire, comme cela a été tenté lors de la guerre du Viêt-Nam. Nous demandons que tous les gouvernements accordent l’asile politique aux déserteurs américains. Nous nous efforcerons de diffuser toutes les informations permettant de contrer la propagande de guerre et nous tenterons de mobiliser l’opinion publique mondiale, comme en 2002, afin d’exiger que les États-Unis renoncent à chercher une solution militaire à la situation en Irak.
TEGEN DE ESCALATIE
“Met uitsluiting van cijfers uit fallaja, een rapport gepubliceerd in The Lancet van 29 oktober stelt dat naar schatting 100.000 Irakezen meer zijn omgekomen dan het geval zou geweest zijn indien de invasie niet had plaats gevonden. 84 % van deze doden zouden volgens het rapport veroorzaakt zijn door acties van de coalitie troepen en 95 % ervan zijn te wijten aan luchtaanvallen en artillerie. “(Reuters, October 28, 2004)
De oorlog in Iraq is verre van voorbij. Hij is pas begonnen. De Verenigde Staten schijnen er niet in te slagen het Iraaks verzet te overwinnen met de middelen die zij nu inzetten. Maar ze kunen evenmin terug: de arrogantie waarmee de oorlog werd verklaard en gevoerd maakt dat hun prestige op het spel staat in Irak en daarmee ook decennia van pogingen tot werelddominantie. De inzet is groter dan in de oorlog in Vietnam. De Verenigde Staten kunnen Irak slechts verlaten als ze er een bevriende regering kunnen achterlaten, maar ze hebben in dit deel van de wereld vandaag de dag erg weinig vrienden en geen enkele democratische verkiezing kan een dergelijke regering voortbrengen.
Dus moet men zich verwachten aan een militaire escalatie na de verkiezingen. Onmiddellijk indien Bush wordt verkozen, iets trager misschien indien het Kerry wordt. Maar deze heeft, evenmin als Bush, de wil om zich uit Irak terug te trekken.Ze zullen proberen het verzet te overwinnen met alle mogelijke middelen. Men is reeds bezig om het verzet te demoniseren in de ogen van de publieke wereldopiniedoor het in verband te brengen met ontvoeringen en mooden die door zowat alle politieke organisaties van de Arabische wereld worden veroordeeld.
Wij vragen datde Verenigde Staten zich realistisch opstellen, hun troepen onvoorwaardelijk terugtrekken en conclusies trekken omtrent het onaanvaardbare karakter van preventieve oorlogen. Het is een illusie om te vragen dat hun troepen blijven tot Irak zou zijn gepacificeerd of gestabiliseerd, omdat hun aanwezigheid zo erg verafschuwd wordt dat ze het belangrijkste obstakel vormt voor elke pacificatie.
In afwachting, bevestigen wij dat wij ons met alle vreedzame en legale middelen zullen verzetten tegen elke poging om het Iraaks verzet te breken door een militaire escalatie, zoals dat eertijds geprobeerd werd in Vietnam. Wij vragen dat alle regeringen politiek asiel toekennen aan Amerikaanse deserteurs. Wij zullen ons inspannen om alle informatie te verspreiden om de oorlogspropaganda tegen te gaan. En wij zullen proberen om de publieke opinie van de wereld te mobiliseren, zoals in 2002, om te eisen dat de Verenigde staten afzien van een militaire oplossing van de situatie in Irak.
First provisional list of signatories (October 30, 2004)
Noam Chomsky, author, USA Jean Bricmont, prof. of theoretical physics and political publicist, writer of this petition, Belgium Lieven De Cauter, prof of philosophy, Belgium Patrick Deboosere, demographer, Belgium Hana Al Bayaty, film maker, Iraq/France Dirk Adriaensens, SOS Iraq, Belgium Ayse Berktay, WTI organiser, Turkey Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty, author, Iraq/France Haifa Zangana, Iraqi-Kurdish novelist and journalist, Irak/UK Ahmedzaib Khan Mahsud, Architect / Planner, Doctoral candidate, K. U. Leuven
Dr.Haithem Alshaibani, Prof. of Physics, UAE tareq aldelaimi, writer and political activist, Iraq Salah Omar Al Ali, Chief Editor of Al Wifaq Al Democraty, Iraq Ed Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance, Pennsylvania, economist and media analyst, USA Michael Parenti, author, USA William Blum, author of books on US foreign policy, Washington, DC Richard Plunz, professor urban design, New York Pierre Galand, Senator, Belgium Karen Parker, attorney, USA Amy Bartholomew, Law professor, Canada Tom Barry, Policy Director, Interhemispheric ResourceCenter (IRC), USA John Saxe-Fernández,Professor, Mexico Joachim Guilliard, journalist, Germany Alkan Kabakcioglu, Posdoctoral Fellow in Physics, University of Padova, Padova, ITALY Erik Swyngedouw, prof of social geography, Oxford Ur Shlonsky, Professor Geneva, Switzerland Xavier Bekaert, theoretical physicist, Paris Nicolas Boulanger, Chercheur en Physique Théorique, Belgium Bruno Vitale, physicist, Geneva (Switzerland) Biju Mathew, Professor, USA Anton Regenberg, former director of the Brussels Goethe Institute Anthony Alessandrini, New YorkUniversity Students for Justice in Palestine, USA Ayca Cubukcu, Ph.D. student, ColumbiaUniversity, WTI-New York organizer, New York Madiha Tahir, student and activist, USA Rania Jawad, Graduate Student, New York City Gizem Arikan, Graduate Student, USA Stephanie Schwartz, New York, NY Ozlem Altiok, Peace Action of Denton, Texas, USA Obie Hunt, therapy aide Manhattan Psychiatric Center, USA Pierre Py, Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse Janine Tillmann Py, Switserland Silvia Cattori, Journaliste, Suisse Adriana Hernandez Alarcon Mexico Doctor, member and founder of the organization “Not in Our Name México” Aracely Cortes Galan Mexico, member and founder of the organization “Not in Our Name México” Federico Campbell, México, Journalist, member and founder of the organization “Not in Our Name México” Ramsés Ancira, México, Jorunalist, member of “Not In Our Name Mexico”. Rosa García, México, member and founder of the organization “Not in Our Name México” Gabriel Perez Rendon Mexico Doctor, member and founder of the organization “Not in Our Name México” Annelies De Backer, Belgium Griet Boddez, director’s secretary, Belgium Ariella Masboungi, Architect and urbanist, France Stefan Boeykens, Architect-Engineer, Leuven, Belgium Paul Blondeel, urban research and consultancy, Amsterdam Daniela Peluso, Anthropologist, Canterbury, UK Erling Fidjestøl, social worker, Norway Kaat Boon, civil engineer architect, Brussels Elise Christensen, Peace Council, Norway Catherine Denis, Médecin généraliste, Belgium Simten Cosar, Ankara, Turkey Enrique Ferro, Peace Activist, Brussels Behcet Akalin, Istanbul-Turkey, IT Director Saul Landau, journalist, USA, Gar Smith. Environmentalists Agaist War, USA.
(The petition and the list is avaiable on our website at: www.brusselstribunal.org)
100,000 Iraqi Deaths
Emma Ross / Associated Press Medical Writer
LONDON — A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months after the US invasion than would be expected based on the death rate before the war. There is no official figure for the number of Iraqis killed since the conflict began, but some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000.
As of Wednesday, 1,081 US servicemen had been killed, according to the US Defense Department. The scientists who wrote the report concede that the data they based their projections on were of “limited precision,” because the quality of the information depends on the accuracy of the household interviews used for the study. The interviewers were Iraqi, most of them doctors.
Designed and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-MustansiriyaUniversity in Baghdad, the study is being published Thursday on the Web site of The Lancet medical journal.
The survey indicated violence accounted for most of the extra deaths seen since the invasion, and air strikes from coalition forces caused most of the violent deaths, the researchers wrote in the British-based journal. “Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children,” they said.
The report was released just days before the US presidential election, and the lead researcher said he wanted it that way. The Lancet routinely publishes papers on the Web before they appear in print, particularly if it considers the findings of urgent public health interest.
Those reports then appear later in the print issue of the journal. The journal’s spokesmen said they were uncertain which print issue the Iraqi report would appear in and said it was too late to make Friday’s issue, and possibly too late for the Nov. 5 edition. Les Roberts, the lead researcher from Johns Hopkins, said the article’s timing was up to him.
“I emailed it in on Sept. 30 under the condition that it came out before the election,” Roberts told The Asocciated Press. “My motive in doing that was not to skew the election. My motive was that if this came out during the campaign, both candidates would be forced to pledge to protect civilian lives in Iraq (news – web sites). “I was opposed to the war and I still think that the war was a bad idea, but I think that our science has transcended our perspectives,” Roberts said. “As an American, I am really, really sorry to be reporting this.”
Richard Peto, an expert on study methods who was not involved with the research, said the approach the scientists took is a reasonable one to investigate the Iraq death toll. However, it’s possible that they may have zoned in on hotspots that might not be representative of the death toll across Iraq, said Peto, a professor of medical statistics at OxfordUniversity in England. To conduct the survey, investigators visited 33 neighborhoods spread evenly across the country in September, randomly selecting clusters of 30 households to sample.
Of the 988 households visited, 808, consisting of 7,868 people, agreed to participate in the survey. At each one they asked how many people lived in the home and how many births and deaths there had been since January 2002. The scientists then compared death rates in the 15 months before the invasion with those that occurred during the 18 months after the attack and adjusted those numbers to account for the different time periods.
Even though the sample size appears small, this type of survey is considered accurate and acceptable by scientists and was used to calculate war deaths in Kosovo in the late 1990s. The investigators worked in teams of three. Five of the six Iraqi interviewers were doctors and all six were fluent in English and Arabic.
In the households reporting deaths, the person who died had to be living there at the time of the death and for more than two months before to be counted. In an attempt at firmer confirmation, the interviewers asked for death certificates in 78 households and were provided them 63 times.
There were 46 deaths in the surveyed households before the war. After the invasion, there were 142 deaths. That is an increase from 5 deaths per 1,000 people per year to 12.3 per 1,000 people per year – more than double.
However, more than a third of the post-invasion deaths were reported in one cluster of households in the city Falluja, where fighting has been most intense recently. Because the fighting was so severe there, the numbers from that location may have exaggerated the overall picture.
When the researchers recalculated the effect of the war without the statistics from Falluja, the deaths end up at 7.9 per 1,000 people per year — still 1.5 times higher than before the war.
Even with Falluja factored out, the survey “indicates that the death toll associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq is more likely than not about 100,000 people, and may be much higher,” the report said. The most common causes of death before the invasion of Iraq were heart attacks, strokes and other chronic diseases.
However, after the invasion, violence was recorded as the primary cause of death and was mainly attributed to coalition forces – with about 95 percent of those deaths caused by bombs or fire from helicopter gunships. Violent deaths — defined as those brought about by the intentional act of others – were reported in 15 of the 33 clusters. The chances of a violent death were 58 times higher after the invasion than before it, the researchers said.
Twelve of the 73 violent deaths were not attributed to coalition forces. The researchers said 28 children were killed by coalition forces in the survey households. Infant mortality rose from 29 deaths per 1,000 live births before the war to 57 deaths per 1,000 afterward.
The researchers estimated the nationwide death toll due to the conflict by multiplying the difference between the two death rates by the estimated population of Iraq — 24.4 million at the start of the war.
The result was then multiplied by 18 months, the average period between the invasion and the survey interviews. “We estimate that there were 98,000 extra deaths during the postwar period in the 97 percent of Iraq represented by all the clusters except Falluja,” the researchers said in the journal.
“This isn’t about individual soldiers doing bad things. This appears to be a problem with the approach to occupation in Iraq,” Roberts said. The researchers called for further confirmation by an independent body such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, or the World Health Organization).
The study was funded by the Center for International Emergency Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins University and by the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, Switzerland, a research project based at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.