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Re: [casi] RE: Iraq - Potential Consequences of War

Hi - I know I am terminally bolshy, but nevertheless I find suggestions of
'rationally' being forced to overthrow a legitimate regime - however woeful
-  appalling. I'd like to overthrow George Bush, could care less what
happens to him, the man's also a terrifying nightmare in my personal opinion
and may plunge the world into nuclear war, but it does not make my wishes
legal. As for 'relatively few deaths' 56,000 military and 3,500 civilians.
Well the latter is why possibly the dimmest US President ever elected has
gone on his never to end, illegal 'war on terrorism' - about exactly the
number who died in the WTC - but these were only Iraqi innocents, so don't
count.56,000 is just over eleven times the entire town of Dunblane. But they
are only youthful Iraqi conscripts, so who cares?
Every life has a name, each is some mother's son or daughter, not a
I left the UK for Iraq last month with even taxi drivers saying to me: 'what
has Iraq done this time?' I arrived in Iraq to people saying" 'what have we
done this time?' We know. What they have done is to be unfortunate enough to
be born in a country 'floating on a sea of oil'. Less statistics and more
humanity, for the sake of all our humanity, are needed, I feel. best, f.

>> A contact recommended the following briefing paper:...
>> Paul Rogers, "Iraq: Consequences of War", Oxford Research Group, October
>> 2002,
> Thank you Nathaniel.
>> War with Iraq:
>> * is likely to result in the deaths of many thousands of innocent Iraqi
>> civilians ...
>> * the regime will aim to draw the US forces into urban warfare in Baghdad.
>> A civilian death toll of at least 10,000 is likely, three times as many as
>> died in the 11 September attacks; this is a low estimate, the experience
>> of urban warfare in Beirut and elsewhere suggests even higher casualties;
> I think that it has been recognised on the list that members of the Iraqi
> regime may act 'rationally' if faced with a certain US attack, and depose
> the existing leadership.  If this occurs - and I have no idea what
> likelihood to assign to this (but guess that vague US signals as to what it
> regards as acceptable in Iraq decrease it) - then the Rogers scenarios are
> avoided.
> If, on the other hand, it does come to war, then Rogers' report may
> underestimate the human consequences by focussing on the direct consequences
> of military action.  One of the consistent lessons to arise from the 1991
> war was that the majority of civilian casualties were indirect.  Beth
> Osborne Daponte's study (, the
> best that I know of, found that:
> <begins>
> According to the methods described in this paper, the number of Iraqis who
> died in 1991 from effects of the Gulf war or postwar turmoil approximates
> 205,500. There were relatively few deaths (approximately 56,000 to military
> personnel and 3,500 to civilians) from direct war effects. Postwar violence
> accounted for approximately 35,000 deaths. The largest component of deaths
> in this reconstruction derives from the 111,000 attributable to postwar
> adverse health effects. Of the total excess deaths in the Iraqi population,
> approximately 109,000 were to men, 23,000 to women, 74,000 to children (6).
> <ends>
> Note that even the direct military consequences exceed US deaths in Vietnam,
> which took place over more than a decade rather than few months and to a
> country ten times Iraq's population.
> The "postwar adverse health effects" reflect the damage done to Iraq's
> infrastructure, in which its electrical grid played a central role.  It is
> hard to imagine it not again being one of the first targets in a new
> campaign.  Further, Iraq's infrastructure is generally less robust now than
> it was in 1991: spit and baling wire hold much of it together.  On top of
> this, the Iraqi civilian population may also have fewer coping mechanisms
> for dealing with the loss of services: private savings may have recovered
> for some in Baghdad in recent years, but I think that the vast majority of
> Iraqis have experienced a decade of deep poverty.
> In 1991 it was recognised that targeting infrastructure put civilians at
> risk, but the US expectation seemed to be that Saddam would fall and a new
> government would allow a negotiated solution.  The infrastructural damage
> would give the US leverage over it.  Gordon and Trainor quote Lt. Col. David
> Deptula, one of the air war planners, as saying, "Hey, your lights will come
> back on as soon as you get rid of Saddam".  (Brig. Gen. Buster Glosson's
> explanation for targeting the infrastructure was that he wanted "to put
> every household in an autonomous mode and make them feel they were isolated.
> ... I wanted to play with their psyche."  For perhaps 111,000 Iraqis, his
> playing was fatal.)
> Iraqi Kurdistan has certain advantages, but will face at least two
> disadvantages.  First, the military situation there will likely be more
> chaotic, with the possibility of clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces.
> Second, the UN staff currently responsible for distributing the 'oil for
> food' rations will leave very quickly; further, the warehouses are in
> South/Central Iraq.  This harvest has been a good one, so there may be
> private savings.
> Best,
> Colin Rowat
> work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham |
> Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 |
> (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) |
> personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) |
> (707) 221 3672 (US fax) |
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