WASHINGTON, D.C.– On March 19—the 12th anniversary of the onset of our country’s ill-fated military intervention in Iraq—Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) released the latest edition of Body Count for North American distribution.
The report, authored by members and colleagues of the German affiliate of the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), is a comprehensive account of the vast and continuing human toll of the various “Wars on Terror” conducted in the name of the American people since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
This publication highlights the difficulties in defining outcomes as it compares evaluations of war deaths in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even so, the numbers are horrific. The number of Iraqis killed during and since the 2003 U.S. invasion have been assessed at one million, which represents five percent of the total population of Iraq. This does not include deaths among the three million refugees subjected to privations.
Dr. Hans-C. von Sponeck, UN assistant secretary general and UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000) calls the report, “a powerful aide-mémoire of their legal and moral responsibility to hold perpetrators accountable.”
“With the U.S. and Canadian governments now poised to escalate its military involvement in Iraq and Syria to counter the real and exaggerated threat posed by ISIS, the lessons of Body Count can contribute to a necessary conversation regarding the extreme downsides of continued U.S./NATO militarism,” said Robert M. Gould, M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Hopefully it can help the North American public better understand the links between the devastation caused abroad and the escalating military budgets that lead to increasing detriment of our communities and social fabric at home.”
Body Count takes a clear and objective look at the various and often contradictory—reports of mortality in conflicts directed by the U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The result is a fuller picture of the devastation and lethality to civilian non-combatants throughout these regions. Unfortunately, these deaths have been effectively hidden from our collective consciousness and consciences by political leaders seeking to pursue military solutions to complex global issues with little, if any, accountability.
Body Count underscores the scope of human destruction that helps fuel widespread anger at the Coalition Forces. It similarly provides the context to understand the rise of brutal forces such as ISIS thriving in the wake of our leaders’ failures. After an estimated cost of at least three trillion dollars over a decade of warfare, we need to fully account for our responsibility and learn the appropriate lessons to avoid a tragic exacerbation of the explosive situation we face today.
To download Body Count at the Physicians for Social Responsibility web site, go to: http://www.psr.org/resources/body-count.html