Study by Physicians for Social Responsibility: US Wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan have Killed 1.3 Million – Conservative Estimate

Physicians for Social Responsibility has released a new study on US war against the Middle East:

“This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”

The report also notes that the  2006 study by The Lancet, which found that, due to the illegal invasion of Iraq, “655,000 people had died” by that time, was “the most meticulous of all” of the studies that have been done previously.


“There is probably no other war that has seen such a fierce and drawn-out controversy surrounding the number of its victims. One main reason for this is the lack of legitimacy for the U.S.-led attack on Iraq – even in the U.S. itself. The original pretexts for going to war quickly turned out to be spurious, and from then on only the “liberation of the country from a violent dictatorship” and the “democratization” and “stabilization” of Iraq remained as justification for the war and occupation. This picture, laboriously constructed with the help of the media, is of course impossible to reconcile with the many hundreds of thousands of war casualties.”

“…mainstream media … only quote figures given by the pro-U.S. administration in Iraq or by the project Iraq Body Count…”

“The numbers relayed by the media (previously 43,000 and now 110,000) should in themselves be terrifying enough, as they correspond to the annihilation of an entire city’s population. But apparently they are still perceived as tolerable and, moreover, even easy to explain given the picture of excessive religiously motivated violence. The figure of 655,000 deaths in the first three war years alone, however, clearly points to a crime against humanity approaching genocide. Had this been understood and recognized by the public at large, the Iraq policy of the U.S. and its European allies would not have been tenable for long.”

“A poll carried out by the Associated Press (AP) two years ago found that, on average, U.S. citizens believe that only 9,900 Iraqis were killed during the occupation. With such distorted figures, outrage about the war is hardly to be expected. This state of affairs could be very different if the public were made aware that the actual number is likely to be more than a hundred times higher.

(Noam Chomsky observes on this point: What if Germans thought only 60,000 Jews [100 times less than the actual number] had been killed by the Nazis?  Then we might perceive there was a slight problem with German society.)

The report. 

Physicians for Social Responsibility won the Nobel Prize in 1985.

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