Genocide in Iraq
The Numbers Tell the Horrific
Story of a Lying Government and Complicit Corporate Media
by Kim Petersen
As reported by BBC News , a forthcoming
study in the academic peer review journal Lancet estimates the
extra number of people killed because of the aggression-occupation
of Iraq at 655,000 -- up from a previous Lancet study that estimated
100,000 deaths since the US-UK attacked Iraq.  All the killing
has its origin in US-UK government lies. Weapons of mass destruction
were just a pretext as acknowledged by Ziocon Paul Wolfowitz in
a Vanity Fair interview, and the invasion was a foregone matter
as revealed by the Downing Street Memos. 
There is an ongoing genocide in Iraq.
What else can over 600,000 killings be deemed but genocide? A
price "worth it"?  George W. Bush, who some consider
the elected president of the United States, labeled the killings
in Darfur as genocide over a year ago.  But, in totality and
proportionally, the number of deaths in Sudan pale in comparison
to the number of deaths in Iraq. Sudan with a population of 41,236,378
(July 2006, CIA Factbook estimate) is purported by some sources
to have incurred 200,000 deaths from "fighting, famine and
disease."  Using the figure cited in the latest Lancet
to-be-published study, Iraq with a population of 26,783,383 (July
2006, CIA Factbook estimate) has a far greater extraordinary fatality
rate covering approximately the same period of time.
The genocide in Iraq is perpetrated by
US imperialist interests. Despite the large number of body bags
returning to the US (at best a lowball figure, as who can really
trust the number of US troop fatalities reported given the mendacity
and secrecy of the Bush administration -- not to forget the complicity
of the Democratic Party?), the corporate media continues to pump
out the outrageous disinformation and propaganda supporting societal
destruction and murder. The media is an ensanguined partner in
Why the media pumps out the disinformation
is understandable: it is effective in swaying much of the public
to the "national interest" -- i.e., the interests of
The duped support imperialism
A 10 October e-mailing from Project Censored
exemplifies the effectiveness of disinformation through a unique
methodology for gathering and analyzing polling data. The data
collected and analyzed by the firm Retro Poll reveals a connection
between people's ignorance and the opinions they hold. Not surprisingly,
misinformation or disinformation appears to affect public perceptions.
Retro Poll's methodology asks both factual
and opinion questions and compares the opinion responses on accurate
and inaccurate understanding.
In a recent Retro Poll phone survey, 151
Americans in 40 states were contacted. Among the results were
that only 53 (35%) knew that none of the 19 al Qaeda members alleged
to be directly involved in the 9-11 attack were Iraqis; about
the purported connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin
Laden, 23% said there were no ties while 28% didn't know; only
44% knew the International Red Cross has charged the US with systematic
torture at Guantanamo; only 40% knew of the "extraordinary
rendition" of prisoners by the US to countries that torture.
86% of people who think Saddam and Al
Qaeda worked together agreed that prisoners held at Guantanamo
without trials must all be guilty simply for being picked up,
while two thirds (67%) of those who knew the truth about Saddam
and Al Qaeda reject blanket assumptions about prisoners' guilt.
Three quarters (75%) of those who have not heard about the "renditions"
in which prisoners have been secretly transferred between nations
say they think that all the prisoners at Guantanamo are guilty,
compared to just 39% of those who did answer the rendition question
accurately. Statistically such differences were highly unlikely
to occur by chance (far less than 1%).
"But the important point," stressed
Dr. Marc Sapir, executive director of Retro Poll, "is how
strongly these opinion differences are linked to bad information
in our surveys." Most of the bad information came from TV
sources; about half of the TV viewers cited Fox or CNN as their
Safir warned, "What people think
they know -- if it is consistently wrong -- can endanger our nation
in a world environment of war, crisis and US dominance."
Giving credit where it is due
The BBC News noted that the Lancet findings
are "vigorously disputed by supporters of the war in Iraq,
including US President George W Bush." Bush described the
methodology of the discredited researchers as "pretty well
discredited." One cannot help wondering about how thoroughly
discredited a warring president must be who justified an invasion
based on phantom WMD, leading to the untimely killing of so many
people, who described the mission as accomplished but whose troops
remains mired in the death and mayhem that engulfs Iraq.
With his credibility in tatters, Bush
still uttered: "Six-hundred thousand or whatever they guessed
at is just ... it's not credible."
The BBC News mentioned that the 655,000
figure has a built-in "survivor bias." A bias toward
underreporting deaths is reasoned to exist for slain resistance
fighter, infant mortality, and the fact of completely annihilated
The corporate media abysmally covered
the Iraqi civilian fatalities first study published in the Lancet.
It is expected that the corporate media will once again focus
on the inexpert politicians' opinions as to what constitutes proper
methodology. The effectiveness of such corporate media reporting
will depend on the public continuing to trust a media steeped
in a genocidal project.
There is, after all, another media that
is not beholden to profit nor the spilling of blood to obtain
Kim Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice,
lives on the outskirts of Seoul in southern Korea. He can be reached
 "'Huge rise' in Iraqi death tolls,"
BBC News, 11 October 2006.__ Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard
Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham, "Mortality before
and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey, Lancet,
29 October 2004.__ Downing Street Memos. "But the intelligence
and facts were being fixed around the policy."__ In 1996,
then US ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright,
gave the infamous necrophilic reply that the murder of a half-million
Iraqi children was a price "worth it" in a 60 Minutes
interview.__ Jim VandeHei, "In Break With U.N., Bush Calls
Sudan Killings Genocide," Washington Post, 2 June 2005. __
"Sudan: Obasanjo Warns of 'Near-Genocide' in Darfur,"
allAfrica.com, 11 October 2006. About genocide in Darfur, Nigeria's
president Olusegun Obasanjo finds Bush to be hasty.