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US Profits From Jihadist Terrorism

By Gideon Polya

19 November, 2004

One sincerely hopes that there will be no further "jihadist" attacks on America for two major reasons: (1) for obvious humanitarian reasons - any avoidable innocent death is a tragedy; and (2) there would clearly be a subsequent huge killing of people in the Muslim world by US forces as seen in the post-9/11 carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The total "excess mortality" in Iraq (post-2003 invasion) has so far been about 0.3 million (estimate based on scientific data in The Lancet, on-line, 29 October, 2004) and in Afghanistan (post-2001 invasion) it has been 1.2 million (a conservative estimate based on UN data).

These estimates are consonant with conservative estimates (from UNICEF data) of under-5 infant mortalities in post-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan of 0.2 and 0.9 million, respectively. US post-9/11 "in combat" deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have been about 1000.

The tragic deaths of 3000 innocent Westerners on 9/11 was thus subsequently translated into 1.5 million post-invasion Muslim deaths (500 Muslim deaths /US civilian death, 1500 Muslim deaths /US combat death) and (conservatively) 1.1 million Muslim under-5 infant deaths ( 370 Muslim infant deaths/US civilian death, 1100 Muslim infant deaths/US combat death).

The post-9/11 "extra" profits to the US War Economy (i.e. to the directors, shareholders and employees of the US military-industrial complex) total some US$400 billion - the sum of extra US military budget funding of $250 billion since 9/11 and additional funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars of about $150 billion.

The current annual US military budget of $400 billion is half that of the World ($800 billion), noting that US arms sales contribute significantly to non-US global military expenditure. Accordingly, the "extra" funding of the US industrial -military complex since 9/11 may be of the order of $500 billion.

This immense profit has come with a human price of about US$0.3 million per post-invasion "excess death" or about US$0.5 million per post-invasion under-5 infant death in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The "jihadist" attack on America on 9/11 has been so disastrous for ordinary Afghans and Iraqis, so immensely profitable for the US military-industrial complex and so crucial for the subsequent US military occupation of large swathes of the world that one is driven to the extremely plausible hypothesis that key elements in the US administration and military-industrial complex have facilitated "jihadist" violence.

There is considerable, non-disputed evidence in the public domain for massive support and facilitation of Afghan and Saudi "jihadists" by the US before 9/11. The "intelligence failures" that permitted 9/11 must be viewed critically in the context of such massive prior facilitation of "jihadists" and the immense subsequent benefits to the US military-industrial complex, US oil interests and US global hegemony.

Indeed there is a long history of "singular events" and "intelligence failures" variously preceding US war involvements e.g. the Maine explosion (Spanish-American War), the Lusitania sinking (World War 1 entry), Pearl Harbor (World War 2 entry), the Chicago soybean futures killing (Korean War), the un-real Gulf of Tonkin Incident (Vietnam War expansion), alleged threats to US citizens (Panama and Grenada Invasions), US "greenlighting" of the Kuwait invasion (Gulf War) and false claims of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq-jihadist links (Iraq War).

Similar analysis of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories reveals (albeit on a smaller scale) de facto territorial expansion and strategic and military expenditure benefits to particular Israeli and US interests from the continuing violent "jihadist" resistance. Peace with justice is possible virtually tomorrow in the Holy Land - however possible "interim solutions" of immediate, immense benefit to all parties will not even be entertained because it would compromise the immensely profitable US "war game" and US War Economy.

Thus one "interim solution" for the Holy Land could involve the following key elements - 2 formally independent states within defined borders; return to the 1967 borders and removal of all settlements but with special joint arrangements for Jerusalem; Palestinian disarmament and "total airport-level security" provided everywhere by Israel alone (as in 1967); internationally-guaranteed civil and human rights for all; reconciliation and abolition of racism and incitement; and unhindered access to essentially all parts of an extremely secure, peaceful and prosperous Holy Land for all of its inhabitants.

The demands of the US military-industrial complex, the US "war economy" and the new Anglo-Celtic colonialism of US-UK "democratic imperialism" (or more accurately, "democratic Nazism") all ensure (together with incited fanaticism) that peace with justice will not happen readily in the the Holy Land, Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Booker Prize-winning Indian writer Arundhati Roy in accepting the Sydney Peace Prize (15 October 2004, Sydney, Australia) succinctly stated that the US used to make weapons to fight wars but now manufactures wars to sell weapons.

Of course the problem of First World complicity in Third World mass mortality is not confined to the Middle East or Central Asia. "Excess mortality" in a country for a given period is the difference between ACTUAL deaths and the deaths EXPECTED for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics. "Excess mortality" (avoidable mortality) calculations based on UN data have been performed for all countries in the world for the period from 1950 to the present. The results are appalling.

Total post-1950 "excess mortality" (avoidable mortality) has been 1.3 billion for the World, 1 billion for the First World-violated Third World and 0.5 billion for the Muslim World - a Muslim Holocaust indeed and about 100 times greater than the World War 2 Jewish Holocaust (6 million victims) and the "forgotten" World War 2 Bengal Famine that killed 4 million Hindus and Muslims in British-ruled India.

"Excess mortality" is very low for European countries but very high in Third World countries and correlates with exposure to First World-imposed militarization and war. Thus the total post-1950 "excess mortality" has been 32 million for Indo-China, 24 million for Israel's immediate neighbours, 16.2 million for Afghanistan and 5.2 million for Iraq.

The US now dominates a world in which some 20 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation and malnourishment-exacerbated causes, with a substantial proportion of the victims being children. Whether an Iraqi child is shot or dies from avoidable and treatable disease due to destruction of infrastructure, the economy and services, the end result is the same and the culpability the same.

Further, the ruler is responsible for the ruled. Thus the per capita medical expenditure in 2004 has been about $40 in Iraq as compared to about $1000 in the occupier country Australia. According to UNICEF (2004), in 2002 the under-5 infant mortality was 1,000 in Australia, 108,000 in Iraq and 283,000 in conquered Afghanistan (up from 277,000 in 2001) - noting that these countries have populations of about 20, 24 and 22 million, respectively.

The US-led Coalition leaders should be arraigned for War Crimes for 2 reasons: (1) the illegal invasion of a remote and non-threatening country and (2) immense civilian mass mortality in an occupied country. Indeed formal complaints concerning US and Coalition War Crimes in Iraq have been lodged by myself and others with the International Criminal Court.

The World can only sensibly respond peacefully to horrendous US Coalition War Crimes in Iraq by exposure, condemnation, legal actions, boycotts, sanctions and bans applied to Coalition countries - and by making "ethical purchases" from and "ethical investments" in non-involved countries such as China, India, France, and Germany.

You cannot find a solution until you have defined the problem. Informing the World of the horrendous human consequences of US militarism is crucial. Silence kills. Silence is complicity. Please inform everyone.

Dr Gideon Polya, 29 Dwyer Street, Macleod, Melbourne, Victoria, 3085, Australia
e-mail: [email protected]
Day & night telephone: +61 3 9459 3649
[Credentials: Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global mortality (numerous articles on this matter can be found by a simple Google search for "Gideon Polya")].











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