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]

the Pentagon's calculations

Margaret Skinner writes :

> In June 1991, a friend of mine, the head of the ICRC delegation in
Baghdad, with many years of work in  > war situations, said in an interview
to the New York Times:
> "I am absolutely sure that no Pentagon planner calculated the impact
bombing the electrical plants would > have on pure drinking water supplies
for weeks to come, and the snowball effect of this on public health."

This quote was reproduced in Middle East Watch's 1991 report "Needless
Deaths in the Gulf War".
In his devastating critique of "Needless Deaths", Norman Finkelstein notes
that "No evidence is cited [for the assertion] and, given the record
assembled by Middle East Watch, the statement cannot be taken seriously."

The authors of "Needless Deaths" note that :

"the consequences for civilian health of bomb damage of water, sewer and
refuse disposal facilities in Germany and Japan during World War II was
documented in meticulous detail in the United States Strategic Bombing
Survey. The Survey - a comprehensive study by US military and civilian
experts of the effects of the air war on Germany - was ordered by President
Rosevelt and established by the US Secretary of War on November 3, 1944.

Among its numerous conclusions, the Survey found that there was a "reliable
and striking" correlation between the disruption of public utilities and the
willingness of the German population to accept unconditional surrender. The
allied bombing of Germany during World War II deprived over one-third of the
German pre-war population of utilities : 20 million of 69.8 million. Of this
number, almost 5.8 million Germans were subjected to severe electricity
deprivation, and 14.5 million to moderate deprivation. The Survey noted, for
example, that damage to the environmental sanitation system in Germany
created a situation that "was ripe for the development of disease into
epidemic proportions ... disease would have become rampant had not the
Germans been forced to surrender when they did. In any event, the dread of d
isease and the hardships imposed by the lack of sanitary facilities were
bound to have a demoralizing effect upon the civilian population"

Similar effects have been documented following the allied bombardment of

voices uk

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]