Terror & Democracy

A scientific study, published in The Lancet [1], has estimated that at least 100,000 Iraqis have been killed since the US-led invasion in March 2003. The majority of those who died were women and children killed in air strikes, helicopter gunship assaults and shelling of civilians in urban areas from US forces. The researchers believe their findings may actually be quite conservative given they felt compelled to exclude the surveys in Fallujah. If data from Fallujah is included, the study estimates 200,000 Iraqis killed. This is a rate of nearly one hundred to two hundred times that of American military deaths during the same period.

When 3,000 people were killed on 9/11 in the United States of America, it was called a barbaric act of terrorism. When 100,000 Iraqis are killed, it is called an act of liberation and “bringing democracy to Iraq.”

To get a handle of how devastating the carnage has been, we should extrapolate those numbers and apply them to the United States. The US has a population of approximately 290 million. Iraq’s population is around 24 million. The US population is more than 12 times that of Iraq.

Imagine visiting the kind of “liberation” and “democracy” the US is currently doing in Iraq and applying it to the United States of America. Imagine an invasion and occupation of the US that killed between 1.2 and 2.4 million Americans, most of them women and children, through precision air strikes, bombings, and large scale assaults on urban and suburban neighborhoods. Imagine routine house-to-house invasions where your fellow Americans were kidnapped and taken from their homes by the hundreds of thousands. Imagine those hundreds of thousands of Americans in Abu Ghraib gulags where they were tortured, raped, beaten, brutalized, and humiliated. Imagine hundreds of them being outright murdered in custody.

Here’s another way of looking at it. The 100,000 killed in Iraq relative to its population is the equivalent of perpetrating four hundred 9/11-style attacks on America. That comes out to five 9/11 attacks per week, every week, for 18 months. That’s 15,000 Americans being killed every week.

This is the sort of carnage endured by the Iraqi population. The Iraqi population has little tolerance for this level of terror and mass murder while under occupation. That is why they are engaged in legitimate resistance. Would Americans react any differently if they were forced to live under similar conditions?