The World needs a reality check on "terror". Since 9/11 the World has been in the grip of what the US Administration calls the "War on Terror". Every atrocity involving mass murder of innocent Western civilians is reported in detail by mainstream media. Using official US and Israeli sources and mainstream media we can determine that the total number of Western civilians murdered by jihadists or Arab insurgents over the last 20 years has totalled about 5,000, with most dying on 9/11 or in the Holy Land and the remainder largely in the Lockerbie, Bali, Madrid and London atrocities.
However Western mainstream media in general resolutely refuse to report First World-complicit global avoidable mortality or the actual human cost of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The unspoken journalistic "excuse" seems to be that "news" only lasts a day or so and that the only death worth reporting is violent death. Of course, any reader of Western mainstream media quickly appreciates the profound but unspoken racism that allows, for example, continuing saturation coverage of 56 innocent commuters recently murdered by terrorist bombers in London but resolute ignoring of some 55,000 Third Worlders who die EACH DAY due to First World-dictated deprivation and avoidable, treatable disease.
Some "liberal" Western media (such as the UK Guardian and the UK BBC) have reported the latest Iraq Body Count findings of about 25,000 post-invasion VIOLENT Iraqi civilian deaths – but still will not report the post-invasion avoidable mortality (excess mortality) in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories that now totals 1.9 MILLION (from the latest UN Population Division data [1-3]). Such "liberal" mainstream media resolutely ignore the palpable realities that whether a person in an OCCUPIED COUNTRY dies VIOLENTLY or dies NON-VIOLENTLY (through deprivation and avoidable or treatable disease) the end result is the same and that the occupying Ruler is responsible for the Ruled (as set out in the Geneva Conventions).
The extent of this dishonest and racist reportage by mainstream media can be quickly estimated by a simple Google search for "terror" and for the phrase "under-5 infant mortality" (one of about 10 key parameters used by UNICEF to assess societal health as affecting child health)  – "terror" returns 40,100,000 URLs but "under-5 infant mortality" returns a mere 648. Small wonder then that after 9/11 (3,000 murdered victims) the Anglo-American mainstream media went hysterical and bayed for Muslim blood through advocacy of the dishonestly and absurdly named "War on Terror".
The "investigative reporters" of the mainstream media permitted the UK and the US to launch an illegal and horrendous war against a crippled Iraq on the basis of egregious lies and "slies’" (spin-based untruths) about pre-invasion Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (6,870,000 Google search-derived URLs), Iraq-Al Qaeda links, uranium from Niger, mobile germ warfare laboratories, imminent "45 minute" Iraqi threat etc. George Bush, who is notoriously inarticulate and famously incapable of pronouncing nuclear ("nucular") and dissemble ("disassemble"), has been permitted by the "professional wordsmiths" of the mainstream media to conduct a semantically-absurd "War on Terror" (8,060,000 Google search URLs) – just how can you conduct a war against your feelings?
The UK and US Administrations have also been permitted to hijack the word "terror" (and its derivatives such as "terrorist" and "terrorism"). "Terror" is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "intense fear" and "terrorists" are defined as those who indulge in "terrorism" and "terrorize" by "coercive intimidation" i.e. by inducing "intense fear". However the mainstream media have permitted the Anglo-American warmakers to redefine "terrorists" as a very small sub-set of non-Europeans involved in egregious violence against innocent people around the World. To Bush, Blair and the dishonest Anglo-American mainstream media, the "terrorists" are "jihadists", "Arab insurgents" and indeed anyone else from the Third World deemed to be "opponents they wish to kill".
The Coalition and mainstream media definition of "terrorism" ignores the palpable reality of horrendous UK-US state terrorism that has so far been associated with an horrendous avoidable mortality in the post-invasion Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories totalling 1.9 million. The horrendous death toll in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan largely arises from non-provision of life-sustaining requisites by the Coalition occupiers in utter dereliction of the Geneva Conventions and hence constitutes "passive genocide". The mainstream media have become complicit in the horrendous passive genocide in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories, utterly ignore UK-US state terrorism and indeed have also largely ignored both "state" and "non-state" terrorism that is perceived to be in the interests of the Anglo-American alliance.
The ACTUAL terror of those subject to "state terrorism" or to "non-state "terrorism" is related to their "perception of avoidable death" for themselves or their loved ones i.e. to the "perceived probability of avoidable death". While it is experimentally difficult to assess human perceptions of "terror", we can readily determine the "empirical probability of avoidable death" by considering the actual numbers of people who have died avoidably from a particular cause over a particular time period . The following statistics provide a further dramatic demonstration of the Big Lie of the mainstream media over the "War on Terror".
The empirically-estimated "PROBABILITY OF DEATH EACH YEAR" is:
- 1 in 3.3 million (0.00003%) (for Western civilians at the hands of jihadist terrorists post-1985);
- 1 in 3 million (US citizen being killed by a shark);
- 1 in 4 million (US citizen being electrocuted);
- 1 in 6 million (US citizen being struck by lightning);
- 1 in 500,000 (0.0002%) (US citizen at the hands of jihadists in the 21st century);
- 1 in 10,000) (0.01%) (from car accident in the US);
- 1 in 1,250 (0.08%) (under-5 year old infant in Australia from all causes);
- 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) (from cigarette smoking-related causes in the US);
- 1 in 38 (2.6%) (under-5 year old infants in UK-US-occupied Iraq);
- 1 in 17 (5.8%) (for under-5 year old infants in US-occupied Afghanistan).
Clearly the parents of Iraqi and Afghan infants are being "terrorized" by any reasonable sense of the word. The probability of "heads" when you toss a coin is 1/2. The probability of death for each try in Russian roulette with a 6 shooter is 1 in 6. Would you cross the road without lights if the probability of death was 1/2, 1/6, 1/17 or 1/38? Would you have "intense fear" for your loved ones if the probability of their demise each year was 1/17 or 1/38? Clearly the other "risks" listed above are simply "low probability risks" that can be minimized by individual or collective action – they are certainly not the basis for "terror", for illegal invasions and occupations (which have actually increased the terrorist threat to Westerners), mass murder, mass infanticide or for draconian constraints on civil rights and human rights in the US, UK, Australia and other Coalition countries.
It should be absolutely clear to decent people that murdering and terrorizing innocent people is evil and vile. In response to the awful London bombings, the Australian Leader of the Opposition, Mr Kim Beazley, vigorously stated of the perpetrators: "These terrorists are subhuman filth and must be captured and eliminated" . But how then should we describe the Coalition perpetrators of mass murder, passive genocide and mass infanticide in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan? Thus, to reiterate, passive genocide by UK-US democratic imperialism (democratic Nazism) in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories through non-provision of life-sustaining requisites demanded by the Geneva Conventions kills 0.4 MILLION under-5 year old infants EACH YEAR, this corresponding to 1,000 (ONE THOUSAND) avoidable under-5 infant deaths EACH DAY [2, 4]. The post-invasion avoidable mortality in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories now totals 1.9 million [1-3]. In contrast, in the last 20 years jihadists and Arab insurgents have murdered 5,000 Western civilians (noting that the total Western population is about 760 million).
Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Decent people are obliged to inform EVERYONE about horrendous man-made mortality such as that due to UK-US state terrorism. But fundamentally we must recover the actual meaning of words.
References:. United Nations Population Division (2005) (see: http://esa.un.org/unpp/index.asp?panel=1) . Global Avoidable Mortality blog (see: http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/ ) . Gideon Polya website (see: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gpolya/links.html) . UNICEF (2005) (see: http://www.unicef.org/ ) . Gideon Polya, "Quantifying deaths by terrorism in the world", Al-Jazeerah.info, July 2005 (see: http://tinyurl.com/9rpcj) . The Australian, 8 July 2005; also see letters, The Age, Melbourne, 11 July 2005.