Alan Greenspan, oil, megadeaths in Iraq - and those dastardly Chinese

16 September 2007.

  • In a review of Alan Greenspan's new book In the age of turbulence: Adventures in a new world, Guardian correspondents Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters cite the former head of the USA's Federal Reserve Corporation : «I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.» At the same time, they refer to a new survey by the British polling organisation ORB that suggests that some 1.2 million Iraqis have died as the result of the US/UK war of aggression :

      More than one million deaths were already being suggested by anti-war campaigners, but such high counts have consistently been rejected by US and UK officials. The estimates, extrapolated from a sample of 1,461 adults around the country, were collected by a British polling agency, ORB, which asked a random selection of Iraqis how many people living in their household had died as a result of the violence rather than from natural causes.

      Previous estimates gave a range between 390,000 and 940,000, the most prominent of which - collected by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and reported in the Lancet in October 2006 - suggested 654,965 deaths. [Beaumont and Walters - or their editors in London - have here misunderstood the reports : the figures 390000 and 940000 represent the outer limits of 95 % confidence interval arrived at in the same Johns Hopkins survey published by the Lancet in October 2006, which estimated the number of excess deaths due to the war during the first three years of that conflict (which now is entering its fifth year, with no end in sight) at 655000. Not surprisingly, the Bush administration has consistently reporteded ludicrously low figures when reporting any at all, claiming, e g, 30000 civilian dead «more or less» in December 2005, and dismissing the John Hopkins survey («I don't consider it a credible report») when it appeared nearly a year ago.]

      Although the household survey was carried out by a polling organisation, rather than researchers, it has again raised the spectre that the 2003 invasion has caused a far more substantial death toll than officially acknowledged.

    The article raises, to my mind, certain questions which go far beyond the boundaries of a tortured Iraq ;below, my brief response as posted to StumbleUpon :

The Chinese government allows Chinese oil companies to purchase oil from the Sudan and other Chinese companies to sell small arms to the Sudanese government, at the same time that a war among several so-called «rebel groups» and other forces backed by the national government, in which as many as 2.5 million persons have been displaced and as many as 200000 killed, continues to rage. As Mr Greenspan now publically admits, the US and the UK have invaded Iraq to ensure control over Southwest Asian oil supplies ; in the course of that conflict, at least four million persons have been displaced, and over one million killed. Some enthusiasts have therefore characterised the Olympic Games to be held in China next year as the «genocide Olympics», a characterisation which resonates strongly in the mainstream media, while those who dare to suggest that something resembling genocide - at the very least, mass murder on a scale not seen since the end of the US adventure in Indochina some 30 years ago - in these same media are disparaged as «conspiracy theorists» and «anti-American» (here «American» does not refer to all habitants of the twin continents of North and South America, but merely to that small proportion who happen to reside in the USA). Go figure !...

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