OK, I've had another try:
I want to try an experiment here and I'd like as many people to participate as possible. Here is the idea:
1) No discussion. No judgement and argument, just try to state a fact as accurately as you can so we can easily compare the numbers.
2) The idea is to do some research, not guess. This isn't an easy number to come up with but try to research enough to find a number you consider accurate.
3) Please don't get into qualifiers and all (trying to separate "just" and "unjust" for example we all know that America has fought just wars but we are just trying to name a body count here), let's see how we can answer this simple question with nothing but a factual answer.
With that (perhaps vain) hope in place, please step right up and play the game.
To the best of your knowledge, how many people has America killed in your lifetime?
I've researched some the most important developments (to me) which I believe led to US-influenced deaths, then Googled questions about those factors to see what information I could find.
But a search request like: “Statistics + deaths caused by US military equipment sales to other countries”
led to incredible number of separate articles about many countries & an incredible amount of information!
So, out of sheer necessity, I've attempted to restrict myself to providing one example
for each factor. Otherwise, I’d still be here at Christmas ... or longer!
Anyway, here’s just part of what I learned.
This is as far as I got. Not nearly as far as I thought I would! :
Deaths as a result of US military invasion/war. The one example I've used here is Vietnam
, though of course we could include more recent examples like Iraq & Afghanistan.
Different researchers have estimated different numbers of casualties as a result of the Vietnam war, but whichever you prefer to accept, a very high number of deaths :
Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century:
Sale of military arms to other nations in conflicts the US was not itself involved in & the consequent deaths.:
Vietnam War (1965-73): 1 700,000
1,216,000 (military only, S&S)
1,520,453 (WHPSI: S. Vietnamese only, 1965-75)
1,800,000 (B&J*, 1960-75)
3,000,000 (1965-75, Chomsky* (1987))
>3,100,000 (Tucker*; Official VN*)
3,800,000 (Obermeyer, “Fifty years of violent war deaths...”, British Medical Journal, 336:1482, 2008*)
* Whole conflict: [MEDIAN of TOTALS: ca. 3,000,000] or [TOTAL of MEDIANS: ca. 2,850,000]
American Phase (unstarred): [MEDIAN of TOTALS: ca. 1,700,000] or [TOTAL of MEDIANS: ca. 1,300,000][/b]
Check out the Arms Sales Agreement by Supplier
graph (2003 - 10).
You'll see that the US supplies by far the greatest number of arms sales on the planet ... 39%.
Those arms ares distributed 5o/50 between industrialized countries & developing countries:
The Arms Trade is Big Business:
The issue of Landmines & the refusal of the US to support a total ban the use of these weapons which will continue to kill & maim so many:
Between 15,000 and 20,000 people are injured and killed by landmines each year. This means that around 1,500 people fall prey to them each month, and at least two each hour. Cambodia and Colombia each recorded more than 850 casualties in 2004, which represents more than a 10 percent increase in the corresponding numbers of the previous year.
The United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 30 to 40 percent of all landmine victims are under age 15, and that between 8,000 and 10,000 children become landmine victims each year.
The International Campaign to Ban Land mines has sought to prohibit their use, culminating in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty. The UN estimates that with current technology, it will take nearly 1,100 years to clear all the mines in the world.
However the US refuses to use its considerable influence & remains opposed to a land-mines ban, which ensures that they will continue to cause death, injury & misery for years to come:
US interference in the internal affairs of other countries for its own ends & support of repressive regimes leading to deaths in those countries:
Indonesian killings of 1965–1966:
The United States' security commitments will not allow it join an international effort to a ban land mines, the State Department said.
"This administration undertook a policy review and we decided our land mine policy remains in effect," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Tuesday. "We made our policy review and we determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention."
The US/CIA's support of the Chilean military dictator, Pinochet, in the coup which removed a democratically elected government & leader (Allende) .....
In the first 20 years following the killings, thirty-nine serious estimates of the death toll were attempted. Before the killings had finished, the army estimated 78,500 had died while another early estimate by the traumatised Communists put the figure at 2 million. The army later estimated the number killed at a possibly exaggerated 1 million. In 1966, Benedict Anderson estimated the deaths at 200,000 and by 1985 had offered a range of 500,000 to 1 million. Most scholars agree that at least half a million were killed, more than any other event in Indonesian history. An armed forces security command estimate from December 1976 put the number at between 450,000 and 500,000.
...In an article for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (later picked up by the San Francisco Examiner and The Washington Post) journalist Kathy Kadane reported Robert J. Martens who from 1963 to 1966 was a political officer at the United States Embassy in Jakarta as saying that senior U.S. diplomats and CIA officials compiled lists of communist operatives and provided a list of approximately 5,000 names to the Indonesian Army while it was fighting the Indonesian communist party and its sympathisers. Of the list, Kadane wrote that Joseph Lazarsky, deputy CIA station chief in Jakarta in 1965 said "We were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being picked up, The army had a 'shooting list' of about 4,000 or 5,000 people. Kadane wrote that approval for the release of names put on the lists came from top U.S. embassy officials; Ambassador Marshall Green, deputy chief of mission Jack Lydman and political section chief Edward Masters Kadane wrote that Howard Federspiel, the Indonesia expert at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research in 1965, said 'No one cared, as long as they were communists, that they were being butchered. No one was getting very worked up about it.'
which lead to human rights abuses & the deaths of many civilians who were "disappeared" by Pinchet's regime:
Deaths of innocent civilians (in this case children) directly as a result of US/UN policy & intervention.
The U.S. provided material support to the military regime after the coup, although criticizing it in public. A document released by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2000, titled "CIA Activities in Chile", revealed that the CIA actively supported the military junta after the overthrow of Allende, and that it made many of Pinochet's officers into paid contacts of the CIA or U.S. military, even though some were known to be involved in human rights abuses ....
"He (Pinochet) shut down parliament, suffocated political life, banned trade unions, and made Chile his sultanate. His government disappeared 3,000 opponents, arrested 30,000 (torturing thousands of them) ... Pinochet's name will forever be linked to the Desaparecidos, the Caravan of Death, and the institutionalized torture that took place in the Villa Grimaldi complex. ”
— Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, National Review[
on Iraq were imposed by the UN following the US-initiated attack on Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
The impact of the sanctions on Iraqi children :
Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children from 1990 Through 1998: Assessing the Impact of the Gulf War and Economic Sanctions:
Bleeding The Gulf:
Given the most likely estimate of 227,000, there were an average of about 60 excess deaths each day. These child deaths far outnumber all deaths on all sides, among combatants and civilians, during the Gulf war. It exceeds the number of deaths known to result from any of the bombing raids in Iraq even on the days of the bombings. .... Reaction to the much greater number of child deaths associated with sanctions has been far more muted. Confusion over the number of deaths and rhetorical argument over which side is responsible for those deaths has prevented the international community from focusing more effectively on how to prevent their continued occurrence.
.... Despite a steep rise in mortality rates, most Iraqi children survive under the social, economic, and political crises of the 1990s in Iraq but experience profound limitations on their health and well being.
And I haven't even gotten onto researching the number of deaths of US & allied countries' troops in support of US-initiated wars in other countries, though I intended to.
I'll leave that to someone else, if they'd care to investigate. (This takes time.)
Or how US corporations have contributed to deaths in other countries ...
I'm afraid I've run out of puff & time .....
My conclusion from my research so far (some of it here, some not) : the US is directly & also indirectly responsible millions
of deaths, a number impossible to accurately estimate unless a person dedicated a huge amount of time to the task. However, in all fairness, the US is not exactly completely alone
in responsibility... on issue like arms sales Russia & the UK & others are also implicated ... a similar story with landmines .....