UK Terror Hysteria Exposed – Empirical Annual Probability Of UK Terrorism Death 1 In 16 Million
By Dr Gideon Polya
16 September, 2014
The West is again in the grip of “terror hysteria” as an asserted justification for illegal and war criminal US-led invasion of Iraq and Syria . Ostensibly impelled by barbarous war crimes by ISIS, the UK has joined the US-led Coalition to destroy the ISIS rebels and has raised the UK “terror threat” level to “severe”. However as described below, it is estimated that the empirical annual probability of a UK resident dying from a preventable cause (e.g. smoking, drinking, obesity, adverse hospital events, violence etc) is 1 in 417, this being 38,000 times higher than the empirical annual probability of a UK resident being killed by a terrorist of about 1 in 16 million.
Lord Kelvin ( William Thomson, born (June 26, 1824, died December 17, 1907, 1st Baron Kelvin, and often referred to simply as Lord Kelvin) was a Scottish mathematicians and physicist and often called (like French physicist Sadi Carnot) the Father of Thermodynamics (the study of energy and entropy that was crucial in the energy-driven Industrial Revolution and the advancement of chemistry, physics and science in general) .
Lord Kelvin is famous for saying “express it in numbers”(1883): “I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science , whatever the matter may be” [1, 2] .
We live in a World in which we are deluged by assertions of “terror threats” by warmongering Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenters and their politician, media and academic lackeys in the US-dominated Western democracies that have become Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies in which Big Money purchases people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality and hence political power. However those drumming up “terror hysteria” resolutely refuse to “express it in numbers” as a quantitated probability of terror-related killing, either because (a) they don't know what it is or (b) as medacious manipulators , warmongers, and war criminals and they wouldn't say so if they did know.
By way of example, no quantitative estimates of the “terror threat” are provided by the British Government, the BBC or UK Military Intelligence 5 (MI5, the British intelligence agency working to protect the UK 's national security against threats such as terrorism and espionage ). Instead, as reported by the UK BBC (August 2014): “ The UK's terror threat level has been raised from "substantial" to "severe" in response to conflicts in Iraq and Syria, Home Secretary Theresa May says. The new alert level rates the risk of an attack on the UK "highly likely", although Mrs May said there was no evidence to suggest one was "imminent". It is the second highest of five possible UK threat levels” .
The UK terror threat level has ranged from “low”, “moderate”, “substantial” (2009-2014) , and “severe”(2006-2010, 2014 ) to “critical”(2006, 2007)  but what do these words mean? Where is the quantitative assessment of the “terror threat”?
Now I am a modestly prosperous Australian scientist with the limited resources of other such modestly prosperous Australians. I certainly don't have the vast resources of the UK Government, the BBC or MI5 but have the enormous personal resource of being a scientist committed to science and to Lord Kelvin's proposition that “when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it”.
One notes that science involves the quantitative and critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses (crucially the quantitative data should come from reputable sources and ideally be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals). In contrast, the anti-science spin beloved of the warmongering Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenters and their politician, media and academic presstitutes involves the selective use of asserted facts (e.g. the alleged and unquantified “terror threat”) to support a partisan position (e.g. illegal, war criminal and genocidal wars against Muslims from Africa to South Asia in the Zionist –promoted US War on Muslims).
Below is one approach to quantitatively estimating the “terror threat” to residents of the UK .
1. According to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) “In 2011, deaths from potentially avoidable causes accounted for approximately 24% of all deaths registered in England and Wales ” . Assuming that this figure applies on average to the whole of the UK that suffered 624,000 deaths in 2011, about 150,000 people die preventably each year in the UK (2011 population 62.4 million).  Accordingly, the “empirical annual probability of a British resident dying preventably in the UK ” is 150,000 /62.4 million = 2.4 in 1000 or 1 in 417.
2. 58 people have been killed in terrorist incidents in the UK this century, specifically 56 killed in the London transport bombing (7 July 2005), a Muslim student stabbed to death by a Ukrainian fanatic (2013) and a British soldier stabbed to death by extremists (2013) . The average UK population in this period was about 61.2 million. Accordingly the “empirical annual probability of a British resident dying in the UK from terrorism” is 58/(15 years x 61.2 million) = 63.2 in 1000 million or 1 in 15.8 million
3. Thus it is 15.8 million/417 = 0.038 million or about 38,000 times more likely for a British resident to die preventably (from smoking, alcohol, obesity, guns etc) than to die from a terrorist attack within the UK .
This huge disparity in annual UK death risk from (a) “terrorism” (1 in 15.8 million ) and (b) “preventable causes” (1 in 417) strongly suggests that the UK should do much more to minimize (b). However the neoliberal UK Government , with the backing of all major parties, has done the opposite, pouring vast sums into the US War On Muslims since 1990 at the expense of money for education, health services and preventive medicine . The Guardian reports: “ Britain 's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study” . Thus the military cost of the War on Terror to the UK has been £64.7 billion.
To this we must add the Domestic Cost of the War on Terror that has been $30 billion for Australia (2001-2011) and hence 37.5 billion (2001-2014) . Scaling up for population (24 million for Australia , 64 million for the UK ), we estimate that the Domestic Cost to the UK of the War on Terror has been $37.5 x 64 million/24 million = $100 billion or AUS$100 billion /1.80 AU$ per £1 = £55.6 billion. Thus we can estimate that cost to the UK for the War on Muslims and the War on Terror has been £120.3 billion = £120.3 billion x 1.62 US $/£1 = US$195 billion.
By way of comparison, the annual cost of the UK National Health Service (NHS) in 2014 is £100 billion (US$162 billion) . However a more pertinent statistic is the value of about US$0.11 million for every life-year saved by the NHS  , this corresponding to a risk avoidance-based Value of a Statistical Life (VOSL) of US$8.9 million per person given an average UK life expectancy of 81 years. Accordingly the US$195 billion spent since 1990 by the UK on killing Muslims abroad and on consequent extra security at home could arguably translate to US$195,000 million x 1 person/ US$8.9 million = 21, 910 persons or the equivalent of about 22,000 full-term British lives that could have been saved since 1990 as compared to 58 people killed in terrorist incidents in the UK this century.
Consonant with this estimate of the equivalent of about 22,000 full-term British lives that could have been saved since 1990 but for the cost of the US War On Muslims, one can estimate 24,000 British opiate drug-related deaths linked to the Afghan War. There have been 1.8 million opiate drug-related deaths world-wide linked to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban –destroyed Afghan opium industry from 6% of world market share in 2001 to 93% in 2007, this carnage including 270,000 Americans, 65,000 Iranians, 24,000 British, 9,300 Germans and 4,700 Australians .
However spare a thought for the human cost of the post-1990 US War on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia and elsewhere (Egypt, Syria, Libya, Mali, Palestine) that has been 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation, the breakdown including 4.6 million Iraqis (1990-2011), 5.5 million Afghans (2001-2014), 2.2 million Somalis (1992-2014), 0.1 million Libyan (2011-2012), and 0.1 million Palestinians (since 1990) .
About 4.6 million Iraqis have been killed by US-UK state terrorism since 1990, this including 1.7 million Iraqis killed by violence and 2.9 million Iraqis passively murdered through war-imposed deprivation . The average population of Iraq in this period was 25.6 million and accordingly the “empirical annual probability of an Iraqi dying from US state terrorism and UK state terrorism in 1990-2011” was 4.6 million /(22 years x 25.6 million) = 8.2 in 1,000 or 1 in 122, this being 15.8 million/122 = 130,000 times greater than the annual probability of a UK citizen dying from a terrorist attack (1 in 15.8 million).
About 5.5 million Afghans have been killed by US-UK state terrorism since 2001, this including 1.3 million Afghans killed by violence and 4.2 million Afghans passively murdered through war-imposed deprivation . The average population of Afghanistan in this period was 26.6 million and accordingly the “empirical annual probability of an Afghan dying from US state terrorism and UK state terrorism in 2001-2014” was 5.5 million /(13 years x 26.6 million) = 15.9 in 1,000 or 1 in 63, this being 15.8 million/63 = 250,000 times greater than the annual probability of a UK citizen dying from a terrorist attack.
150,000 UK residents die preventably each year. The annual probability of a UK resident dying from a preventable cause (e.g. smoking, drinking, obesity, adverse hospital events, violence etc) is 1 in 417, this being 38,000 times higher than the annual probability of being killed by a terrorist of 1 in 15.8 million.
The Domestic cost and the Overseas military cost to the UK of the Zionist-promoted US War on Muslims and the Zionist-promoted US War on Terror is estimated at US$195 billion. This moral and fiscal perversion (killing Muslims abroad rather than saving British lives at home) could arguably translate to the equivalent of about 22,000 full-term British lives that could have been saved since 1990 as compared to 58 people killed in terrorist incidents in the UK this century.
The “empirical annual probability of an Iraqi dying from US state terrorism and UK state terrorism in 1990-2011” is 1 in 122, this being 130,000 times greater than the annual probability of a UK citizen dying from a terrorist attack (1 in 15.8 million).
The “empirical annual probability of an Afghan dying from US state terrorism and UK state terrorism in 2001-2014” is 1 in 63, this being 250,000 times greater than the annual probability of a UK citizen dying from a terrorist attack (1 in 15.8 million).
One suspects that these huge “terror threat disparities are the reason why the warmongering , war criminal UK state terrorists, US state terrorists , French state terrorists and Australian state terrorists don/t put numbers to their hysterically asserted “terrorist threats”.
What can decent pro-peace people do in the face of war criminal mass murder driven by egregious lying and spin by the US alliance state terrorists? Decent, science-informed people must (a) inform everyone they can (lying Mainstream politician, media and academic presstitutes certainly won't) and (b) urge and where possible apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries involved in this obscene and war criminal “Muslim blood for fossil fuels”. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity.
. William Thomson, Wikipedia: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Thomson .
. Lord Kelvin, “Electrical units of measurement”, a lecture delivered at the Institution of Civil Engineers, 3 May 1883, being one of 6 lectures on “The practical applications so electricity” and published in “Popular Lectures and Addresses”, volume 1, p73 : https://archive.org/stream/popularlecturesa01kelvuoft#page/72/mode/2up .
. BBC News, “ UK terror threat raised to “severe”, 29 August 2014: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28986271 .
. “Avoidable mortality in England and Wales , 2011”, ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/avoidable-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2011/stb-avoidable-mortality--2011.html .
. “List of terrorist incidents in Great Britain ” Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_Great_Britain .
. Richard Norton-Taylor, “ UK military operation since cold war have cost £34.7bn, says study”, The Guardian, 24 April 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/23/uk-military-operations-costs .
. Gideon Polya, “Endless War on Terror. Huge cost for Australia & America ”, MWC News 14 October 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/22149-endless-war-on-terror.html
. The National Bureau of Economic Research, “Hospital competition and patient outcomes”: http://www.nber.org/digest/jan11/w16164.html .
. “Afghan Holocaust Afghan Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .
. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .
. ”Iraqi Holocaust Iraqi Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ .
Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .
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