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Open Letter To United For Peace And Justice

Open Letter To United For Peace And Justice


Gabriele Zamparini
www.thecatsdream.com

Dear United for Peace and Justice,

On your website, a legislative action, “Keep the Pressure On” reads:

Take Action!

Unless Congress votes to end the war, the fourth year of fighting will begin on March 19. The costs so far …

- over 33,000 Iraqi civilian lives (and some estimates are as high as 100,000 lives)

Iraq Body Count, from where presumably you got the numbers, simply records the Iraqi civilians deaths reported in the English language media with an online website. On the IBC website, you may read: “It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media.”

When you write “some estimates are as high as 100,000 lives” you presumably refer to a study published on 29 October 2004 in the British medical journal The Lancet with the title ‘Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey’:

Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths. (Interpretation)

Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. (Findings)

Source: Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey, The Lancet, Published online October 29,2004

- THE LANCET


This study reads:

"The researchers found that the majority of deaths were attributed to violence, which were primarily the result of military actions by Coalition forces. Most of those killed by Coalition forces were women and children... 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." ('Iraqi Civilian Deaths Increase Dramatically After Invasion', October 28, 2004)

PRESS RELEASE


The Financial Times, on November 19, 2004 wrote: “This survey technique has been criticised as flawed, but the sampling method has been used by the same team in Darfur in Sudan and in the eastern Congo and produced credible results. An official at the World Health Organisation said the Iraq study ‘is very much in the league that the other studies are in ... You can't rubbish (the team) by saying they are incompetent‘”. (Stephen Fidler, 'Lies, damned lies and statistics,' Financial Times, November 19, 2004)


The Chronicle of Higher Education on January 27, 2005 wrote “’Les has used, and consistently uses, the best possible methodology,’ says Bradley A. Woodruff, a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, the United Nations and the State Department have cited mortality numbers compiled by Mr. Roberts on previous conflicts as fact -- and have acted on those results. (...) Mr. Roberts has studied mortality caused by war since 1992, having done surveys in locations including Bosnia, Congo, and Rwanda. His three surveys in Congo for the International Rescue Committee, a nongovernmental humanitarian organization, in which he used methods akin to those of his Iraq study, received a great deal of attention. ‘Tony Blair and Colin Powell have quoted those results time and time again without any question as to the precision or validity,’ he says.” (Researchers Who Rushed Into Print a Study of Iraqi Civilian Deaths Now Wonder Why It Was Ignored, by LILA GUTERMAN, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2005 )


According to Les Roberts (Center for International Emergency Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the world’s top epidemiologists and lead author of the Lancet report) “the estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 civilian deaths cited in the American press are too low, most likely by a factor of five or ten.” (Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter?, By Les Roberts, AlterNet, February 8, 2006)

This means that “most likely” there might be as many as 300,000 Iraqi civilian deaths


The horror inflicted by our governments, with our money and in our name, might be way far more horrifying. Dr Gideon Polya recently wrote:

“AVOIDABLE MORTALITY (technically, excess mortality) is the difference between the actual mortality in a country and the mortality expected for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics (i.e. with the same birth rate and the same population age profile). Avoidable mortality is a fundamental parameter to be considered in any sensible discussion of human affairs – it is the bottom-line issue when assessing the success or otherwise of societal, regional and global policies. (...)

Ignoring mass mortality simply ensures its continuance and denying past atrocities simply ensures their repetition – history ignored yields history repeated. Thus the actuality of the Jewish Holocaust (6 million deaths) was not formally acknowledged by the Allies until 30 months before the end of World War 2 in Europe. This tardiness in reportage must surely have contributed significantly to this atrocity.

However, TODAY Mainstream Media are comprehensively ignoring the horrendous magnitude of the avoidable post-invasion deaths in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan (presently totaling 2.3 million deaths) and the avoidable deaths in the First World-dominated non-European World (presently 14.8 million deaths each year).”

(Layperson’s guide to counting Iraq deaths, by Dr Gideon Polya, MWC News Magazine, 6 April 2006)

I leave you with Dr. Polya’s words: “Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – it IS possible to get through the Wall of Silence.”

Gabriele Zamparini

P.S. Here some important articles regarding the Iraqi civilian deaths.

Layperson’s guide to counting Iraq deaths, by Dr Gideon Polya, MWC News Magazine, 6 April 2006

Researchers Who Rushed Into Print a Study of Iraqi Civilian Deaths Now Wonder Why It Was Ignored, by LILA GUTERMAN, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2005

When Promoting Truth Obscures the Truth: More on Iraqi Body Count and Iraqi Deaths, by Stephen Soldz, ZNet, February 05, 2006

BURYING THE LANCET - PART 1

BURYING THE LANCET - PART 2

BURYING THE LANCET – Update

Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter?, By Les Roberts, AlterNet, February 8, 2006

ENDS

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