The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Estimates: Iraqi Gulf War Casualties

This is a brief rebut to the lies in the figures from the article from the CGA.
How can an  piece like this go out as credible information without being
qualified? The source's are both servile to western interests. They publish
propaganda, not facts. To give you an idea of the callous mentallity of the US
military leaders let us look at the reply Gen. Colin Powel, Chairman of the Joint
Chief of Staff, gave when asked by a reporter to give an estimate of Iraqis
killed as a result of the ground and air offensive. Powel repilied "It's not
really a number I'm terribly interested in".

It is a disgusting insult to the Iraqi people to try and reduce the suffering and
loss they suffered during the war. Heidenrichs "estimate of civilian deaths as
less than 100" is so far off the mark it beggars belief. Even not counting the
100,000s of thousands who have died as a direct result of the destruction of
civilian infrastructure, the figure is most certainly in the tens of thousands.
Perhaps 1000 Iraqis were killed in one incident alone when US B-52s bombed the
Amiriyeh civilian bomb shelter incinerating the occupants. In another example, on
the road from Kuwait city to Basra a twenty mile long convoy of passenger
vehicles carrying fleeing civilians and Iraqi troops with no heavy artillery,
many with no weapons, some with rifles, was cut off at head and tail by the US
military and the entire length of the convoy was carpet bombed. In this single
incident (perhaps the biggest single slaughter of the war) many thousands were
killed, perhaps as many as 8,000.

I am at a loss to see how this data can be put out as anything but an example of
the lies put out by the media to support its masters. These are the kinds of lies
we are trying to refute, why are you putting this out, unqualified, on this
discussion list. We all know the media is a powerful influence. I am aware that
certain other sites and discussion lists (with a humanist or socialist
perspective) are often perpretrated by people who at first appear to support the
cause but then begin to introduce lies into the discussion in order to confuse or
mislead. I would suggest that the CGA is quite possibly just another one of many
propaganda machines for the US, and anyone who represents them the same. Why for
instance have they failed to include Iraqi figures, or figures from independant
sources. Defence magazines and US 'experts' are very dubious sources.

What the US/West did in Iraq was a war crime, a massively superior army
slaughtered thousands of Iraqis, mainly from the air with 88, 500 tons of
explosives. The US used napalm, radioactive DU rounds, cluster bombs, 1000 pound
bombs in its 'clean war'. To my knowledge the US army did not sustain any
casualties from enemy fire at all. More British soldiers were killed by the US
fire than enemy fire. Never forget those Iraqis murdered then, and now by
sanctions, remember them when you talk about estimates of 100 dead.


Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000 16:14:55 +0100
From: Leila Kais-Heinrich <>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.06 [de] (Win95; I)

On 2 January 2000 you wrote:

>Does anybody have precise statistics referring to the dead, wounded, and
lost >on all sides (Kuweitis, Iraqis, and soldiers of the international
alliance) during >the Gulf war?

For a low estimate on the number of Iraqi casutalties (both fatal and
non-fatal) during the Gulf War:

Heidenrich, John G., "The Gulf War: How Many Iraqis Died?", Foreign Policy
(90, Spring 1993)

Below, two articles [the first from "Jane's Defence Weekly" and the second
from "The Vancouver Sun"] summarize Heidenrich's article.

Nathaniel Hurd

The Center for Global Analysis (CGA)
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02140
Tel.: 617-492-4570
Fax: 617-354-2832

Copyright 1993 Jane's Information Group Limited,
All Rights Reserved
Jane's Defence Weekly

March 13, 1993
SECTION: Vol. 19; No. 11; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 429 words
HEADLINE: Report puts Iraqi dead at 1500

Iraqi combat deaths during the Gulf conflict were possibly as low as 1500,
far below the widely accepted 100 000 figure, a former US Defense
Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst reports.

In an forthcoming article in the monthly journal Foreign Policy, John
Heidenrich says fewer Iraqis fought in the theatre of operations than
originally thought. Military prudence dictated that the Pentagon estimate
the highest number; therefore its minimum estimate was 500 000 troops,
logical if all Iraqi units were full strength.

Heidenrich believes the number before hostilities was under 400 000, based
on Iraqi prisoner reports of units deployed at only 50-75 per cent troop
strength. This number fell rapidly with the desertion of several tens of
thousands of Iraqis once Coalition air strikes started. Perhaps only 200
000-300 000 troops were left to fight.

Based on Iraqi prisoner statements, Heidenrich contends that Coalition
aerial bombardment produced an overall casualty rate of only two or even
one per cent, because "its main purpose was to destroy Iraqi equipment",
not dug-in soldiers.

At the 300 000 level, with 1-2 per cent casualties and using the standard
three-wounded-to-one-dead ratio, Heidenrich estimates the total at 750-1500
dead and 2250-4500 wounded from the air campaign. In the ground war,
similar formulas give "a few hundred" to an absolute maximum of 6500 dead,
and an absolute maximum of 19 500 wounded. The upper figures would be if
all vehicles hit had full crews.

Heidenrich points out that of the 71 000 Iraqi soldiers taken prisoner,
only around 2000 were wounded. In addition, US forces buried only 577
Iraqis. His estimate of civilian deaths is less than 100. In May 1991, the
DIA estimated 100 000 Iraqis killed in action, 300 000 wounded, and 150 000
desertions. It added that the data had an error factor of "50 per cent or

Heidenrich says that the Pentagon's reluctance to publish more definitive
casualty figures was due to "quite simply, fear. Senior officials fear that
any estimate will provide ammunition to Pentagon critics. A high estimate
could bring charges of barbarism. A low one might bring accusations of a
coverup. And any estimate could evoke unwanted (and unfair) parallels
between (the GulfWar) and the body count mentality of Vietnam."

US casualties were low. Despite a pre-war prediction by the Center for
Defense Information of 10 000 dead and 35 000 wounded, the total was 148
combat dead and 467 wounded. Of those, 35 deaths and 72 injuries were from
'friendly fire'.


LOAD-DATE: December 11, 1994


Copyright 1993 Pacific Press Ltd.
The Vancouver Sun
March 11, 1993, Thursday, 1* EDITION

LENGTH: 221 words
HEADLINE: War victims exaggerated, analyst says
   As few as 1,500 Iraqi soldiers may have been killed by allied forces in
the Persian Gulf War - a tenth of the previous lowest estimate - according
to a former analyst in the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency, John

The most conservative estimate of Iraqi battlefield casualties from allied
air and ground action had been 15,000 but most range from 25,000 to
100,000. Fewer casualties could help to explain the astonishing speed of
Iraq's military recovery after the war.

According to a former British chief of defence staff, Sir David Craig, the
allies stopped their advance before achieving their objective of destroying
President Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard partly because they feared
accusations of "butchery."

It has always been a mystery what happened to hundreds of thousands of
Iraqi soldiers thought to have been in the Kuwait theatre of operations
south of the Euphrates. A senior British officer said after the war that he
assumed thousands of dead lay "in collapsed trenches."

Based on interception of signals from more than 40 divisions, allied
intelligence had to assume that there were more than 600,000 Iraqi troops
when the allied air bombardment began on Jan. 17, 1991. It is now widely
accepted that those divisions were at between 50 and 75 per cent strength,
at most.


LOAD-DATE: March 12, 1993

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

The Center for Global Analysis (CGA)
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02140
Tel.: 617-492-4570
Fax: 617-354-2832
This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website:

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]