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US Memorial Day – Also Remember Scores Of Millions Of Civilian Deaths In US Wars

By Dr Gideon Polya

 26 May, 2015

In 2015 US Memorial Day is commemorated on 25 May. People respect those who have died for their country but the greatest respect is shown by telling the truth about the wars in which they died. The US has invaded 70 nations. American deaths in 11 major wars total 1.3 million but this is eclipsed by civilian deaths from violence or deprivation totalling 90 million in WW2,   47 million deaths in post-1950 US wars,  10 million Muslim deaths in the post-9-11 War on Terror and 20 million preventable American deaths since 9-11.

Below is a succinct  summary of (1) major US wars (the US has invaded 70 countries since 1776) [1],  (2) the excuses for those wars, (3) US military deaths  at home and abroad [2], (4) US veteran suicides at home, (5) foreign civilian deaths in US foreign wars, (6) foreign civilian deaths associated with US occupation or hegemony, (7) US preventable deaths at home inescapably linked to wars ( the fiscal perversion of the US committing trillions of dollars to killing millions of people overseas instead of  keeping Americans alive at home), (8) the US-complicit Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust, (9) avoidable child deaths in the global American Empire, and (10) a worsening climate genocide that could see 10 billion people dying this century due to climate change inaction.    

1. American wars.

The US has invaded 70 nations since 1776 [1-4] (as compared to the British (193), Australia (85), France (80) and Apartheid Israel (12). Further, the US has subverted governments of every country [3] and presently has 600-700 military bases throughout the world [5]. The biggest wars in terms of casualties involving the US have been the Revolutionary War, the 1812 War, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WW1, WW2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the Iraq/Afghanistan War (the War on Terror) [2].  

2. American excuses for war.

The US has always needed “excuses” for war. Thus in  the Revolutionary War the ostensible reason was “no taxation without representation” but a major reason was British constraint for anti-French strategic reasons on westward American  expansion and genocide of the Indians.  “Abolishing slavery” was the ostensible reason for the Civil War but the major reason was northern economic domination. Ostensible  excuses offered for other American wars are as follows:   the Mexican War (“remember the Alamo'), the Spanish-American War (the destruction of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor),  US entry into WW1 (the German sinking of the illicitly arms-containing Lusitania), US entry into WW2 (the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack about which both the UK and US had foreknowledge) [6], the Indo-China War (the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” involving the alleged approach of North Vietnamese torpedo boats), the invasion of Panama  (the drug-pushing CIA's allegations of President Noriega's involvement in drug-pushing), the invasion of Grenada (alleged threats against US students), the invasion of Afghanistan  (US allegations of  an indirect Afghanistan connection with the 9-11 atrocity that was almost certainly due to the US Government itself with likely  Israeli involvement [7]), the invasion of Iraq (false allegations of Iraqi possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction) , the invasion of Libya (allegations of potential “genocide” led to US Alliance bombing and 0.1 million Libyan deaths), the destruction of Syria (after allegations of Syrian poison gas use failed to get UN Security Council permission for intervention, ISIS atrocities were excuses for unilateral US bombing and now troops on the ground), and re-invasion of Iraq in 2014 (ISIS atrocities) [1-4].

3. American military deaths.

US military deaths/US military deployed  in the biggest wars involving the US were as follows:   the Revolutionary War (4,435/217,000; 2.0% ), the 1812 War (2,260/286,730; 0.8%), the Mexican War (13, 283/ 78,718; 16.9%), the Civil War (618,000/3,263,363; 18.9%),  the Spanish –American War (2,446/ 306,760; 0.8%), WW1 (116,516/ 4,724,991; 2.5%), WW2 (405,399/16,112,566; 2.5%), the Korean War (36,514/ 1,789,000; 2.0%), the Vietnam War (58,220/ 3,403,000; 1.7%), the Gulf War (383/694,550; 0.06%), and the Iraq/Afghanistan War (War on Terror) (6,607/ 2,500,000; 0.3%) [2]. The American military deaths in these 11 major wars alone total 1,263,063 or about 1.3 million.

To get an idea of social impact and the risk to military participants, this data can be expressed as  US military deaths per million of population/US military deployed per million of population as follows:  the Revolutionary War (1,129/55,230; 2.0% ), the 1812 War (312/39,600; 0.8%), the Mexican War (778/ 4,610; 16.9%), the Civil War (19,655/103,790; 18.9%),  the Spanish –American War (39/ 4,870; 0.8%), WW1 (1,263/ 51,340; 2.5%), WW2 (3.067/121,910; 2.5%), the Korean War (242/ 11,820; 2.0%), the Vietnam War (325/ 18,980 1.7%), the Gulf War (1.5/2,790; 0.06%), and the Iraq/Afghanistan War (War on Terror) (23/ 8,880; 0.3%) [2].

4. American military suicides.

Soldiers are often traumatized by war, shocked by near-death experiences and fear of being killed, shocked by being wounded, and shocked by seeing other human being mangled and killed. While only about 6,600 US soldiers have died in combat in the War on Terror, expert US epidemiological analysis from the US Department of Veterans Affairs reveals that over the last 13.5 years since 9-11 there have been roughly 20 US veteran suicides every day [8] i.e. 365.25 x 20 = 7,305 per year and about 7,305 per year x 13.5 years = 99,000 or about 100,000 US veteran suicides since the start of the Zionist-promoted US War on Terror in September  2001. If these suicides are added to the American military deaths in the War on Terror then US military deaths/US military deployed = 86,607/2,500,000 = 3.5% (suicides included) as compared to 0.3% (suicides not included).

5. Foreign civilian deaths associated with American wars.

Foreign civilian deaths  associated with WW1   totalled up to 7.6 million as compared to military deaths of up to 11 million [9]. However 50-100 million people died in the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic that was spread globally by world trade and soldiers returning  home across the world [10].  With saturation bombing, fire bombing and nuclear bombing of cities,  horrendous famines, violent persecution and extermination of minorities (notably Jews and Gypsies in Europe and Chinese in Asia) and deadly, inmate-killing concentration camps, civilian deaths escalated in WW2 to  about 90 million as compared to military deaths (mostly German, Japanese and Russian) totalling  about 20 million  [11].  

This shocking collateral mass murder of civilians in wars continued immediately after WW2 (with the deaths of millions of German POWs, German civilians and ethnic Germans from deprivation imposed by the victorious Allies)  and in subsequent US wars. Thus African and Asian military plus civilian deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation in post-WW2 US wars total about 47 million, the breakdown including  the Korean War (5.2 million), Laos (1.2 million), Cambodia (6.0 million), Vietnam (15.3 million), Iraq (4.6 million), Afghanistan (6.0 million post-2001; 12.0 million since 1978), Somalia (2.5 million), Libya (0.2 million), and Syria (0.2 million) (this catalogue does not include the carnage in US-complicit civil wars, in US-sanctioned Iran in which 40,000 Iranians die avoidably from derivation each year or in US-bombed Pakistan in which 430,000 Pakistanis die avoidably from deprivation each year) [4].

6. Foreign civilian deaths associated with American occupation and post-occupation US hegemony.

Civilians don't stop dying from deprivation after the shooting war stops – civilians continue to die avoidably from imposed deprivation. Thus 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries occupied by the US in the post-1945 era total 82 million, as compared to 727 million (in UK-occupied countries), 142 million (in French-occupied countries) and 24 million (in Apartheid Israeli-occupied countries) [4]. 1950-2005 avoidable deaths as a percentage of 2005 population in countries occupied by the US since 1945 are as follows (m = million and * indicates occupation by more than 1 US Alliance country): US [8.455m/300.038m = 2.8%] - Afghanistan* [16.609m/25.971m = 64.0%], Cambodia* [5.852m/14.825m = 39.5%], Dominican Republic [0.806m/8.998m = 9.0%], Federated States of Micronesia [0.016m/0.111m = 14.4%], Greece* [0.027m/10.978m = 0.2%], Grenada* [0.018m/0.121m = 14.9%], Guam [0.005m/0.168m = 3.0%], Haiti* [4.089m/8.549m = 47.9%], Iraq* [5.283m/26.555m = 19.9%], Korea* [7.958m/71.058m = 11.2%], Laos* [2.653m/5.918m = 44.8%], Panama [0.172m/3.235m = 5.3%], Philippines [9.080m/82.809m = 11.0%], Puerto Rico [0.039m/3.915m = 1.0%], Somalia* [5.568m/10.742m = 51.8%], US Virgin Islands [0.003m/0.113m = 2.4%], Vietnam* [24.015m/83.585m = 28.7%], total = 82.193m/357.651m = 23.0% [4].

7. American preventable deaths linked to the fiscal perversion of war.

WW2 provided an enormous stimulus to the US economy and made living condition better for American civilians. While 90 million civilians  overseas died from violence or from war-imposed deprivation, only 7 Americans  were killed  by enemy action on US soil in WW2 (a pregnant woman and 5 children killed by a Japanese balloon bomb) [12]. However the post-9-11 US War on Terror which has killed about 10 million Muslims has come at an enormous long-term accrual cost to Americans of $4-6 trillion for the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War alone. About 1.5 million Americans die preventably each year and this is inescapably linked to the fiscal perversion of successive US Administrations (Republican and Democrat)  committing $4-6 trillion to the long-term accrual cost of killing 10 million Muslims abroad in the Zionist-promoted US War on Terror instead of keeping Americans alive at home [13]. American preventable deaths after  the US Government's 9-11 false flag operation [7] total 1.5 million per year x 13.5 years = 20 million.

8. American-complicit Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust.

Presently about 17 million people (half of them children) die avoidably from deprivation each year on Spaceship Earth with Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenter-dominated America in charge of the flight deck [4]. About 1.5 billion people have died thus since 1950, including about 1.4 billion in the Third World and 0.6 billion in the Muslim world, a Muslim Holocaust 100 times greater than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed by violence or  deprivation) or the WW2 Bengal Holocaust (1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust, Indian Holocaust or  Bengal Famine in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death  by the British with Australian complicity for strategic reasons) [4, 6, 14, 15]. Global avoidable deaths from deprivation since 9-11 total 17 million per year x 13.5 years = 230 million.

9. Hey, hey USA, how many kids did you kill today? Answer: 1,000.

Presently about 17 million people (half of them children) die avoidably from deprivation each year (the essential basis for this calculation being that  for impoverished countries total annual avoidable deaths are 1.4 times the under-5 infant deaths reported by the UN Population Division) [4]. Accordingly, there are 0.5 x 17 million avoidable child deaths per year x (1 year/365.25 days) = 23, 271 or about 23,000 avoidable child deaths each day on Spaceship Earth with One Percenter-dominated America in charge of the flight deck. However a reasonable person might think it a bit unfair to blame America  for all the  world's ills  and accordingly would  conservatively confine the  analysis  to countries that the US is  presently  actually bombing or otherwise invading , namely (annual child avoidable deaths in parentheses)  Afghanistan (62,000),  Iraq (23,000),  Libya (1,300), Syria (7,000),  Pakistan (217,000), Somalia (42,000),  Yemen (40,000) and Iran (subject to deadly US sanctions and a flood of deadly, US-protected opiate drugs from US-occupied Afghanistan; 20,000) for a total of 412,300 avoidable child deaths per year or 412,300.365.25 = 1,127 or about 1,000 avoidable child deaths each day. A famous anti-Vietnam War protest chant asked “Hey, hey USA, how many kids did you kill today?”  The answer in 2015 is 1,000.

Racist, religious right Republican (R4)  Americans and Catholic Democrat Americans endlessly declaim the “right to life” of unborn American infants and are opposed by humane, pro-choice women in particular. But thanks  to right-wing ideological fanaticism,  Mainstream media censorship [16] and Mainstream media lying [17] all sides ignore the circa 1,000 children sacrificed by the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenter-dominated American Empire each day.   Thou shalt not kill children [18].

10. Worsening climate genocide in the War on Terra.

America is responsible for 27.5% of historical greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution [19, 20], has been the world's worst GHG polluter (until recently displaced by China), and is a world leader in annual per capita GHG pollution [21]. While the

racist, religious right Republicans (R4s)  are actual or effective climate change denialists , the Democrats admit the problem but are not taking the urgent action needed. Thus the US exceeded in 2014 its “fair share”  of the world's  terminal Carbon Budget (Carbon Pollution Budget) that must not be exceeded if the world is to have a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2 degree Centigrade temperature rise [22].  Dire predictions of leading climate scientists Dr James Lovelock FRS and Professor Kevin Anderson are of only 0.5 billion people surviving  this century if climate change is not tackled effectively.  Noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (UN Population Division), these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis [23]. Already 17 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation and this carnage includes 5 million who die each year from carbon burning (4.5 million) and climate change (0.5 million) [24]. The direst predictions of climate genocide this century indicate an average annual avoidable mortality of 100 million per year.


The US has invaded 70 nations as compared to the British 193, Australians 85, the French 80 and Apartheid Israel [1, 25- 27]. American deaths in 11 major wars total 1.3 million but this is eclipsed by civilian deaths from violence or deprivation totalling 90 million in WW2,   47 million deaths in post-1950 US wars, 10 million Muslim deaths in the post-9-11 War on Terror, and 20 million preventable American deaths since 9-11 that  is inescapably linked to the fiscal perversion of successive US Administrations (Republican and Democrat)  committing to a long-term accrual cost of $4-6 trillion for killing 10 million Muslims abroad in the Zionist-promoted US War on Terror instead of keeping Americans alive at home. However  these and related appalling realities are largely or completely  ignored by Mainstream media, politicians and academics as are the circa 100,000 US military  who have suicided since 9-11 [8].  

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. People respect those who have died for their country but the greatest respect is shown by telling the truth about war.  Decent people must (a) tell everyone they can and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, collectives,  corporations and countries complicit in ongoing non-state terrorism, state terrorism, wars and attendant mass mortality.


[1]. Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm .

[2]. Paul Waldman, “American war dead, by the numbers”, The American Prospect: 26 May 2014: http://prospect.org/article/american-war-dead-numbers .

[3]. William Blum, “Rogue State” (2000).

[4].  Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/  .

[5]. Jules Dufour, “The world-wide network of US military bases”, Global Research, 1 July 2007: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564 .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008, now available  for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/2008/09/jane-austen-and-black-hole-of-british.html .

[7]. “Experts: US did 9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/  . 

[8]. Dr Janet Kemp and Dr Robert Bossarte, “Suicide data report, 2012”, Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention Program, especially Figure 3: http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf .

[9]. “World War I casualties”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties .

[10]. “1918 flu pandemic”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic .

[11]. “World War II casualties”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties .

[12]. “Japanese balloon bomb killed 7”, Mail Tribune, 22 November 2009: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091122/NEWS/911220338/-1/life .

[13]. Gideon Polya, “American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans”, Countercurrents,  27 August, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya270813.htm .

[14].  Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya290911.htm .

[15]. “Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Bengal Famine” writings of Gideon Polya”, Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/bengali-holocaust .

[16].  “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home .

[17].  “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/  .

[18]. “Thou shalt not kill children”: http://thoushaltnotkillchildren.blogspot.com.au/ .

[19]. “Letter to PM Kevin Rudd by Dr James Hansen”, 2008: http://www.aussmc.org.au/documents/Hansen2008LetterToKevinRudd_000.pdf ) t

[20]. “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/ .

[21].  “List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita .

[22]. “Years left for zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all countries relative to the year 2013”, Carbon Debt Carbon Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/years-left-to-zero .

[23]. “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .

[24]. DARA, “Climate Vulnerability Monitor. A guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet”, 2012, Executive Summary pp2-3: http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/ .

[25]. Gideon Polya, “As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80,US 70)”, Countercurrents, 9 February, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya090215.htm .

[26]. Gideon Polya, “President Hollande And French Invasion Of Privacy Versus French Invasion Of 80 Countries Since 800 AD”, Countercurrents, 15 January, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150114.htm .

[27]. Gideon Polya, ”British Have Invaded 193 Countries:  Make  26 January ( Australia Day, Invasion Day) British Invasion Day”,  Countercurrents, 23 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya230115.htm .

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/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript ) 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/


Dr Gideon Polya

US Memorial Day








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