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Medical Report Forecasts Huge Death Toll


World Wide Launch Of 'Collateral Damage' Report

Medical Report Forecasts Huge Death Toll

A US-led attack on Iraq is likely to result in between 48,000 and 260,000 deaths during the first three months of combat, according to a study by medical and public health experts launched in Parliament House by the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) today. Post-war health effects could take an additional 200,000 lives.

On launching the report this morning, Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War, called for the Australian government and those supportive of a war with Iraq to read the report thoroughly.

"This report at least deserves a response from those who advocate war against Iraq," said Dr Wareham. "If Prime Minister Howard already understands the human effect of modern warfare, then he has a responsibility to justify to the Australian people our likely involvement in this carnage. If he does not understand, then this report is essential reading for him. But let him not pretend that he just doesn¹t know."

The report, titled "Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq", is based on projections from the 1990-91 Gulf War, which led to an estimated 205,000 casualties. It analyses current U.S. combat scenarios and concludes that a new conflict will be much more intense and destructive than the first Gulf War.

The report forecasts a huge death toll, a massive humanitarian crisis and long term health and environmental damage from any war on Iraq. If nuclear weapons were used, the death toll would rise into the millions. The aftermath of such a military attack could include civil war, famine, epidemics, millions of refugees and economic collapse, according to the report.

General Peter Gration, former Australian Chief of Defence Forces has openly supported the report and the attack scenarios postulated in the report as militarily sound, stating "I thoroughly commend this Report, and its call for humane and wise global leadership. By reminding us of the likely monumental human and environmental costs of a new war with Iraq, it has made a major contribution to the debate at a critical time."

'Collateral Damage' will be released today by IPPNW member groups in more than a dozen nations, including at the National Press Club in Washington DC and at the Foreign Press Association in London. In Australia, the report was launched at Parliament House, Canberra at an event hosted by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle.

An accompanying letter of commendation from General Peter Gration, AC, OBE (Ret) was provided with the reports.

The report was issued by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), of which MAPW is an affiliate. The report was produced by Medact, the United Kingdom IPPNW affiliate. Electronic copies available from Dimity Hawkins, MAPW: , e-mail: mailto:dimity.hawkins@mapw.org.au.


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