Just War: The plus factor in Bush’s Iraq invasion
By : SCOTT THONG YU YUEN, Ipoh
IT is a fundamental human right to be able to live in peace, without the fear or threat of violence. But while there are many who identify themselves as “pro-peace, anti-war”, they fail to recognise the concept of a “just war” — a war that is justified in its motivation and that aims to achieve justice.
A just war can actually bring more peace and preserve more lives than non-intervention. Perhaps this concept would be better understood by using an example, say, the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies.
True, former US president George W. Bush’s original reason for invading Iraq — that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — proved to be unfounded. But let’s do some quick calculations on the end results of the invasion and occupation.
For the 57 months from March 2003 to the end of 2008, using the Iraq Body Count project estimate, 98,882 Iraqi civilians died as a result of Bush’s war. That is a rate of 1,734.8 deaths per month.
Compare with Saddam’s reign: For the 285 months of his presidency from July 16, 1979 to April 9, 2003, using just six of the war crime events listed by US War Crimes Ambassador David J. Scheffer, 865,000 Iraqis civilians died as the result of Saddam’s rule. That is a rate of 3,035.1 deaths per month — 1.75 times greater than Bush’s death rate.
(This figure does not include the deaths of non-Iraqis for any reasons, nor the Iraqi casualties during the wars against Iran and Kuwait, or the many other documented human rights abuses.)
Compare with the Bill Clinton-era embargo: For the 108 months from Aug 6, 1990 to Aug 6, 1999, the United Nations estimated one million Iraqi civilians died as a result of the sanctions. That is a rate of 9,259.3 deaths per month — 5.337 times greater than Bush’s death rate.
(This figure does not include the further four years of the sanctions until 2003. Meanwhile, Saddam himself lived the easy life unaffected by the sanctions.)
Now, taking the total deaths during Bush’s Iraq war (98,882), added to that of the Saddam and Clinton eras (173,044 + 527,733), and subtracting the Bush total from that (700,777- 98,882), we can estimate how many more lives would have been lost from 2003 to 2008 had Saddam still ruled under continued sanctions (601,895).
Suffice to say, Bush’s “warmongering” saved more than 600,000 lives in Iraq.
I expect plenty of replies and flames in the letters to come, as is the fate of Malaysia’s Leading Neocon whenever he speaks out publicly. Perhaps I shall reprint some of them, but can any of them argue based on facts and statistics rather than opinion?