Dr Gideon Polya / Special to EAW – 2005-10-22 23:20:04
An Analysis of US Complicity in Global “Excess Deaths”
Dr Gideon Polya
MELBOURNE, Australia (22 October 2005) — I would be very grateful if Environmentalists Against War would publish (and otherwise urgently disseminate) the following analysis about the threat to Australians from US-exacerbated non-state terrorism, US state terrorism, US-linked non-state terrorism and draconian, human rights-violating, anti-terror laws.
[This analysis] has been sent to virtually ALL Australian Federal parliamentarians, numerous state parliamentarians, media and humanitarians in the national interest.
Such transmission may be effectively PROHIBITED by interpretations of the EXPANDED AUSTRALIAN ANTI-TERROR LAWS about to be installed in the next few weeks.
These laws will threaten ALL anti-war activists (indeed under existing laws, US peace activist Scott Parkin was imprisoned without charge for a week and deported from Australia last month).
Current Australian anti-terror laws involve:
• 7-days detention without charge;
• revolving door re-arrest ad infinitum with no outside contact permitted;
• 5 years in prison for the detainee not answering questions satisfactorily or for anyone (e.g. a wife) reporting such detention.
The EXTENSIONS involve:
• 14 days detention without charge;
• shoot to kill of “terror-linked” suspects by plainclothes Security agents;
• criminalizing broad coverage “sedition” and indirect or direct expressions of support for “terrorism” (e.g. Palestinian resistance) with LIFE imprisonment for direct or indirect donations to “terrorist organizations”;
• 7 years in prison for doing or saying anything that might assist opposition in a country with which Australia is in declared or undeclared war.
— Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya
BY US STATE TERRORISM
After a four-decade career as a scientist, I have almost finished researching and writing a huge book on global avoidable mortality. “State terrorism” has had massive complicity in global avoidable mortality (excess mortality) that now totals 1.3 billion since 1950.
While “jihadist” and insurgent “non-state terrorists” have killed 5,000 Western civilians over the last 20 years, US state terrorism is complicit in a post-invasion avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan now totalling 2.1 million and 1.7 million, respectively.
Please find below a summary of my informed and dispassionate assessment that AUSTRALIA IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT FROM US STATE TERRORISM. Anyone has permission to publish this and otherwise inform all of their associates in the interests of humanity.
Australia is irrationally expanding draconian civil rights-abusing anti-terror laws in response to right-wing media and politician hysteria over “non-state terrorism”. Yet only 3 Australians have died in the last 3 decades from terrorism WITHIN AUSTRALIA (the 1978 Sydney Hilton Bombing that killed 3 and wounded 7) — and the surviving policeman and his barrister still believe that Australian Security may have been involved.
Indeed right wing Australian Governments and politicized Security have an appalling post-war record of making Australia a haven for Nazi war criminals; permitting violent fascist terrorists to train and operate in Australia (hence the famous Attorney General’s raid on ASIO in 1973 over Croatian Ustase terrorists who had been bombing Yugoslav consulates in Australia); long-term support for Indonesian state terrorism (including the now-resumed training of the notorious, genocidal Kopassus state terrorism Special Forces units); putting Australian civilians and soldiers at risk by withholding crucial information about Indonesian military state terrorism; and continuous post-war support for immensely bloody US state terrorism throughout the world (the post-1950 avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in Asian and Pacific countries in which UK-US ally Australia has been involved militarily in that era now total 67 million and 35 million, respectively).
The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines “terror” as “intense fear” and “terrorism” as the “furtherance of views through coercive intimidation”. “Terrorists” “intimidate” by causing “intense fear”, typically by killing people. “Terrorists” fall into three categories, namely:
• (1) state terrorists (nations committing huge crimes against civilians e.g. the UK, US and Israel) ;
• (2) non-state terrorists (e.g. jihadist terrorists and Iraqi and Palestinian insurgents); and
• (3) state-sponsored non-state terrorists (e.g. the US-supported mujaheddin, Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan; US-support for Al Qaeda until the mid-1990s in the Balkans; US and UK covert terrorism including covert bombings, shootings and torture in Iraq; world-wide US support for particular non-state terrorists; US support for the mass murdering Indonesian military state terrorists who are evidently STILL involved in supporting anti-Christian militias and probably the terrorists involved in the Bali bombings, according to former president Abdurrahman Wahid).
“Jihadist” or “insurgent” “non-state terrorists” have killed about 5,000 Western civilians over the last 20 years (mostly on 9/11, according to the US Administration).
However the US “state terrorist” response has so far been disproportionately associated with post-invasion avoidable (excess) mortality and under-5 infant mortality in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories that now total 2.1 million and 1.7 million, respectively.
Anglo-American-dominated mainstream media utterly IGNORE the huge reality of state terrorism, notably US state terrorism.
Australia is under threat from ALL THREE types of terrorism, specifically:
• (1) US state terrorism (compounded by slavish Australia Government and Security association with US state terrorism, US media dominance in Australia and passive acceptance of direct US interference in Australian affairs, as in the 2004 election);
• (2) jihadist non-state terrorism; and
• (3) US state terrorism support for non-state terrorists (e.g. former president Abdurrahman Wahid recently expertly suggested that the US-backed Indonesian military may have been involved in the Bali bombing atrocities).
There is an appalling record of US state terrorism over the last half century and of US support for non-state terrorism in Africa (e.g. in civil wars), Asia (e.g. mujaheddin and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, US Al Qaeda support in the Balkans into the mid-1990s; US covert terrorism in Iraq) and Latin America (e.g. the US School of Americas trained 60,000 Latin American military and police personnel including torturers, dictators, death squads, state terrorists and non-state terrorists; US terrorist squads bombed churches in Ecuador; horrendous death squads, Contra rebels and other terrorism in Latin America).
From media reports there is clearly a “jihadist” non-state terrorist threat to Australia – a threat that has been seriously EXACERBATED by the criminal actions of US state terrorism (illegal and bloody occupation of Iraq); Israeli state terrorism (the continuing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights and imprisonment of Gaza); uncritical, racist Australian relations with Israel (uncritical support; possibly hundreds of Australians serving as soldiers in the illegal Israeli occupations; and tens of thousands of Australians permitted to make donations directly or indirectly supporting Israel state terrorism — while donations to some Palestinian organizations are prohibited with draconian penalties in relation to Arab victims of Israeli state terrorism); and the close association of Australia with the US in its illegal invasions and bloody occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
However it is realistic to suppose that there is also an even greater danger to Australia of a US-sponsored terrorist attack to give political support for the US line (as occurred back in 1960s Ecuador with the bombing of Catholic churches by US-funded terrorist teams to excite anti-communist sentiment and as reported in Philip Agee’s Inside the Company. CIA Diary).
HORRENDOUS “ENEMY CIVILIAN DEATHS” / “US COMBAT DEATHS” DEATH RATIOS
Ten years ago, Nazi SS Captain Erich Priebke was extradited from Argentina to Italy to face a war crimes trial over the March 24, 1944 execution of 335 Italian men and boys (about 75 of them Jewish) at the Ardeatine Caves south of Rome. The massacre had been ordered by arch-terrorist Adolph Hitler in retaliation for the killing of 33 German soldiers by Italian partisans the previous day.
Priebke was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 15 years, with this being subsequently effectively commuted to 5 years. Evil arch-terrorist Hitler evidently regarded an “enemy civilian death”/”German soldier death” “kill ratio” (or “death ratio”) of [one to] 10 as appropriate — but how does this compare with “enemy civilian death” /”military death” “kill ratios” for other World War 2 combatants?
In World War 2 the Axis civilian deaths totalled 5.1 million as compared to Allied civilian losses in Europe and Asia totalling 54 million; US, British Empire, Axis and Soviet military losses totalled 0.29 million, 0.45 million, 5.9 million and 13.6 million, respectively. Accordingly the “enemy civilian”/”military death” “kill ratios” were 0.4 (for the Soviet forces), 9.2 (Axis), 11.3 (the British Empire) and 17.6 (the US). These statistics reflect the mass murder of Soviet POWs by the Nazis (and vice versa) and the relatively high technology war fought by the US (which made great use of strategic bombing e.g. of Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki).
It is useful to examine the “kill ratios” in post-war conflicts involving US high technology war machines pitted against relatively lightly armed indigenous Asian soldiers in a swathe of countries from Korea to Iraq. It is difficult to determine Asian civilian casualties in these conflicts because, in the words of US General Tommy Franks, “We don’t do body counts.”
However using UN Population Division demographic data from 1950 onwards it is possible to calculate “avoidable mortality” (“excess mortality”), which is the difference between the ACTUAL deaths in a country in a given period and the deaths EXPECTED for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics.
The following “enemy civilian avoidable mortality”/”US combat death” “kill ratios” have been calculated for the
• Korean War (1950-1953) (23.8),
• the Indo-China War (1957-1975) (276.5),
• the Gulf War & Sanctions War (1990-2003) (12,259),
• the Afghanistan War (2001-2005) (15,716) and
• the Iraq War (2003-2005) (323.9).
The actual arithmetic involving the ratio of “avoidable (excess) deaths” (for the Asian country concerned over the relevant period)/”US combat deaths” is reproduced below (actual mortality figures are rounded off for clarity):
• Korean War.0.8 million Korean excess deaths/33,651 US combat deaths = 23.8
• Viet Nam War. 13.1 million excess Cambodian, Laotian & Vietnamese excess
deaths/47,378 US combat deaths = 276.5
• Gulf War. 1.8 million Iraqi excess deaths/147 US combat deaths = 12,259
• Afghan War1.6 million Afghan excess deaths/102 US combat deaths = 15,716
• Iraq War. 0.5 million Iraqi excess deaths/1,513 US combat deaths = 323.9
The Geneva Conventions are quite clear about the responsibility of the invader and occupier to do everything in their power to preserve the life of civilians.
Unfortunately the above data show that the US (and its allies) have grossly violated the Geneva Conventions in these Asian Wars — and have done so in vast excess over the “enemy civilian”/”German soldier” “kill ratio” of 10 in the Ardeatine Caves atrocity.
The reason for these horrendous US “kill ratios” is that high technology US warfare preserves politically-sensitive military lives at the expense of enemy civilian lives through high technology killing from afar (more bombs were dropped on tiny, remote Laos by the US than on all of Europe in all of World War 2); better training of its soldiers to kill; and through improved medical technology to save the lives of wounded soldiers.
Of course the real obscenity is revealed when one considers that about half of the victims are innocent infants under the age of 5. The under-5 infant mortality was:
• Korea — 0.3 million (1950-1953);
• Indo-China — 5.6 million (I1957-1975);
• Iraq — 1.3 million (1990-2003);
• Afghanistan — 1.4 million (2001-2005); and
• Iraq — 0.3 million (2003-2005).
US state terrorism has exacted a horrendous civilian death toll in US Asian wars.
HORRENDOUS GLOBAL HUMAN COST OF US STATE TERRORISM
Using UN Population Division demographic data it is possible to calculate the post-1950 avoidable mortality (excess mortality) for every country in the world. Violent occupation by countries clearly does not help and neo-colonial prior threat and post-occupation periods also contribute to the “body count”.
One way of assessing the HUMAN IMPACT of such occupation is by expressing “post-1950 avoidable mortality” as a percentage of the present population — thus for the USA this is 8.455 million/300.038 million = 1.5% (one of the best figures in the World and reflecting US wealth and INTERNAL respect for life).
However for the countries that the US has militarily occupied in the post-war period (ignoring immediate post-war occupation of Axis countries and a huge list of US-complicit wars and tyrannies in which US forces were not involved) the post-1950 avoidable mortality/2005 population has been 82.109 million/342.477million = 24.0%; about half the victims of this horrendous US state terrorism have been infants under the age of 5.
The war crimes of US state terrorism (and its allies) are horrendous and demand action by the International Criminal Court (albeit with the US in absentia because it does not recognize the Court’s jurisdiction over Americans).
The murder of 5,000 Western civilians over 20 years is an awful set of crimes but the full extent of the crimes of the responsible non-state terrorists has been realized in the appalling and utterly disproportionate mass murder and passive genocide by US state terrorism. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity (see: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gpolya/links.html).
There is a serious threat to Australia from US state terrorism. A “terrorist attack” by the US or its surrogates in Australia would be of immense benefit to the US “War on Terror”. However the Australian Government — that is legislatively grossly violating fundamental civil and human rights (freedom of expression, freedom of association and no detention without charge) – is itself complicit with US state terrorism. Australia is unprotected from attack by US state terrorism.
ACTUAL AUSTRALIAN DEATHS LINKED TO US STATE TERRORISM
As stated above, there have only been 3 terrorist-caused deaths in Australia in 3 decades and these are speculated by an expert witness as being due to Australian Security itself. While there is continuing mainstream media hysteria about the POSSIBILITY of terrorist attacks in Australia, these same media utterly IGNORE some 2,000 21st century Australian deaths linked to US state terrorism.
The breakdown of the 7 million annual world-wide deaths from tobacco, drugs and alcohol (2003) is as follows:
• Tobacco — 4.9 million (71%);
• Alcohol — 1.8 million (26%), 223,000;
• Illicit Drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) — 3%; and
• Heroin related — 70,000 (1%).
The estimated current [annual] breakdown of Australian deaths from tobacco, drugs and alcohol is as follows: 19,000 (tobacco-related), 7,000 (alcohol-related); 700 (accidental deaths from illicit drugs) and about 400 (opioid-related accidental deaths).
The UK had a major role in development of the opium trade involving British India and China (18th-20th centuries). Major mortality events linked to British opium-linked exploitation of India and China include the Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770; 10 million deaths), other 18th-19th century famines in India (tens of millions of victims); 25 million 19th century cholera deaths (due to cholera dissemination by British shipping, rail and canals); the 19th century China Opium Wars and the subsequent Tai Ping rebellion (20-100 million associated famine victims); extraordinary Indian population stasis between 1890 and 1930 (due to famine, malnutrition, cholera, plague and influenza); and finally the WW2 man-made Bengal Famine in WW2 British India (4 million victims; speculated in Colin Mason’s “A Short History of Asia” to have been a deliberate scorched earth policy to block Japanese invasion from Burma – and accordingly near-comprehensively deleted from British history).
Post-war, the US had a major role in the setting up of the opium trade in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma (via the Kuomintang Nationalist Army and connected war-lords), the strategy evidently being connected with anti-Soviet and anti-Chinese policies and supporting armed anti-communist elements.
In 2000 the two biggest sources of opium were Burma and Afghanistan. However in 2000 the victorious Taliban decided to destroy the opium poppy crop (notwithstanding its considerable financial importance) and before the US invasion in 2001 it had been virtually all destroyed. However the US victory meant that by 2002 Afghanistan under US guns had regained its previous important position as a major World opium producer.
In 1999 there were 1,084 accidental opioid-related deaths in Australia, representing 77% of accidental illicit drug-related deaths; by 2001 this had declined to 413 (representing 58% of accidental illicit drug-related deaths) due to a heroin drought in Australia. Resumption of Afghan opium and heroin production under US administration will presumably increase heroin availability and hence heroin-related deaths.
Continuing, US de facto pro-opium policies (including price-elevating domestic banning and the huge post-invasion opium expansion in Afghanistan) make the US (and its UK and Australian allies) complicit in the 70,000 heroin-related deaths globally EACH YEAR (14 times the total number of Western civilians killed by jihadists over 20 YEARS) and about 500 heroin-related deaths in AUSTRALIA EACH YEAR due to criminal activity benefiting directly from US state terrorism in which the Australian Government and its politicized Security are both slavishly complicit.
(It should be noted that these estimates of heroin-related deaths are independent of injection-related HIV and other infections. According to UNAIDS there are currently 37.8 million HIV-positive people worldwide, 4.8 million were newly infected in 2003, 2.9 million died in 2003 and 20 million have died since 1981).
Former president of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, a great and good man who helped rescue Indonesia from 40 years of US-backed military dictatorship, has recently indicated that the Bali bombings (that have killed about 100 Australians) probably involved the military.
Successive Australian Governments and Security have supported the US-backed Suharto dictatorship and trained (and have recently resumed training) the notorious Kopassus Special Forces units responsible for immense atrocities against civilians.
The major crimes of the US-backed Indonesian military have been:
• 500,000 people murdered in 1965 (the “anti-communist coup”);
• hundreds of thousands imprisoned since 1965;
• 200,000 East Timorese murdered out of a population of about 600,000 during the 30-year Indonesian occupation after the US-sanctioned invasion;
• horrendous human rights abuses in addition to outright killings;
• backing of militias responsible for atrocities in East Timor after the independence referendum (information denied to Australian servicemen, NGOs and police by irresponsible Australian Government and Security);
• atrocities in Papua and Aceh over 40 years;
the SIEV X refugee boat disaster (353 mostly women and children drowned in a process involving Indonesian military and police and variously Australian Government and Security);
• continuing military-backed atrocities against Christians that have killed thousands;
and a post-1950 avoidable mortality (excess mortality) for Indonesia of 71.5 million.
US state terrorism-linked Australian Government and Security with resultant CLEAR COMPLICITY in the criminal, post-2001 deaths of about 2,000 Australians (not to mention the current 4,000-6,000 avoidable indigenous Aboriginal deaths EACH YEAR) have already installed appalling legislative violations of Australian civil and human rights – and have now secured substantial bipartisan support for even more draconian violations of Australian rights.
US STATE TERRORISM-LINKED AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
VIOLATING AUSTRALIAN CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS
The 2002 ASIO bill was passed with bipartisan support. It allows for:
• 7 days detention without charge or evidentiary basis; possible revolving door re-arrest after 7 days;
• potentially 5 years imprisonment if Security is not satisfied with non-supply of answers or requested documents (noting that in Science it is impossible to prove a negative);
• unless approved in the first warrant nobody outside can be contacted; and
• anyone reporting the detention within 2 years faces 5 years imprisonment.
These draconian measures violate the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights to which Australia is a signatory (notably articles relating to free speech, due process and no detention without charge).
The Conservative Coalition Australian Government has recently obtained substantial agreement from the Labor-ruled State Governments for draconian extensions to the present anti-terror laws, namely:
• 12 month control orders on court warrant (no charges, trial, employment, telephone, internet; further communication restrictions and tracking device tagging);
• preventive detention (detention without charge extended to 14 days);
• shoot to kill (plain clothes Security can kill if they deem fit); directly or indirectly praising “terrorists” (as defined by US state terrorism-complicit Government and Security) and “sedition” (saying anything They deem to cause public disturbance or worse) are serious offences;
• “recklessly” giving money directly or indirectly to a “terrorist”-related organization (as defined by US state terrorism-complicit Government and Security) attracts LIFE IMPRISONMENT;
• urging someone to help an organization of a country in declared or undeclared war with Australia is punished by 7 years imprisonment.
The proposed laws clearly violate the UN Declaration of Human Rights, notably articles relating to freedom of speech, association, employment and movement; the right to presumption of innocence; and the right to due process and habeus corpus dating back centuries i.e. the right not to be detained without charge and trial.
These appalling laws have attracted cogent condemnation from the distinguished former Conservative Coalition Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, the highly responsible and humane Conservative Coalition Federal MP Pietro Georgiou, civil liberties groups, lawyers, law academics, the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Greens and Jon Stanhope (the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory who defied the Australian Federal Government and put the draft legislation on the Web for ordinary citizens to see) . Nevertheless it is likely that poll- and public hysteria-driven State and Federal Labor will join forces with the Conservative Coalition to force through this legislation, which has been allowed only 2 days for parliamentary discussion.
The Conservative Coalition rejoinder is essentially “terrorism hysteria” (notwithstanding the absence of domestic incidents) and the demand to “trust us” – trust the same Government and Security who lied about the pre-war reasons for illegally invading Iraq? Trust the US state terrorism-linked Australian Government and Security with resultant CLEAR COMPLICITY in the criminal, post-2001 deaths of about 2,000 Australians?
Through its slavish association with US and Indonesian state terrorism, Australia has already become COMPLICIT in gross abuses of human rights and the Geneva Conventions.
The circumstances of the US Coalition occupation of Iraq violate virtually EVERY article of the UN Declaration of Human Rights for many Iraqis. Now this gross violation will extend to ordinary Australians. Already in Australia TODAY, the wife who publicly demands the freedom of her innocent but detained husband – or even reports his detention to anyone – will be imprisoned for 5 years.
What is most alarming about this lurch of Australia towards becoming a proto-Nazi rogue state is the sheer hysteria, dishonesty, inhumanity, racism and irrationality involved.
Not only the physical safety of Australians is under threat from US state terrorism — Australia’s reputation, civil rights, human rights and democratic way of life are now acutely threatened by the US state terrorism-complicit Australian Government and a politicized Australian Security establishment.
Peace is the only way but we must inform everyone about abuses of humanity.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds (Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently finishing a book on global mortality — numerous articles on this matter can be found by a simple Google search for “Gideon Polya” or consulting his website:
Dr Gideon Polya is a resident of Melbourne, Victoria, 3085, Australia. His e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org