23
   

How many people has the United States killed in your lifetime?

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 04:57 am
@msolga,
OK, I've had another try:

Quote:
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 :

Quote:
Vietnam War (1965-73): 1 700,000
TOTAL
1,021,442 (COWP)
1,216,000 (military only, S&S)
1,312,000 (Summers)
1,353,000 (Lewy)
1,520,453 (WHPSI: S. Vietnamese only, 1965-75)
1,637,000 (Olson)
1,721,000 (Kutler)
1,749,000 (Wallechinsky*)
1,800,000 (B&J*, 1960-75)
2,058,000 (Eckhardt)
2,163,000 (Britannica)
2,500,000 (Grenville*)
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*)
MEDIAN TOTALS
* 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]


Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century:
http://necrometrics.com/20c1m.htm


Sale of military arms to other nations in conflicts the US was not itself involved in & the consequent deaths.:

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:
http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/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:
[/i]

Quote:
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.


http://www.unausa.org/Page.aspx?pid=939

Quote:
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.

http://listverse.com/2008/08/11/10-countries-with-the-most-landmines/

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:
Quote:
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."

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/11/24/US-against-joining-land-mine-ban/UPI-20041259123404/

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:

Quote:
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,[39] more than any other event in Indonesian history.[24] An armed forces security command estimate from December 1976 put the number at between 450,000 and 500,000.[23]

...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.[59][60] 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[60] 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.'[60]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_killings_of_1965%E2%80%931966


The US/CIA's support of the Chilean military dictator, Pinochet, in the coup which removed a democratically elected government & leader (Allende) ..... which lead to human rights abuses & the deaths of many civilians who were "disappeared" by Pinchet's regime:

Quote:
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[

Augusto Pinochet:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet

Deaths of innocent civilians (in this case children) directly as a result of US/UN policy & intervention.

Sanctions 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 :

Quote:
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.


Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children from 1990 Through 1998: Assessing the Impact of the Gulf War and Economic Sanctions:
http://www.casi.org.uk/info/garfield/dr-garfield.html

Bleeding The Gulf:
http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq17.html

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 .....
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:46 am
@msolga,
Quote:
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:


LOL I wonder how many deaths would result if we removed one of the largest mine fields network ever created between the North and South Korea and we then ended needing to fight a second Korean war?

A few millions deaths would be my guess with the first rush of the large North Korean Military doing the same as it did in the 1950s and overrunning most of South Korea.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 10:21 am
@High Seas,
You do realize that if we make this bet it will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy? There's no way your trustees don't laugh at least a little.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:36 am
@Robert Gentel,
Are you suggesting a 100-year causal feedback loop? If so, how would your causal loop, aka self-fulfilling prophesy, operate? I have an idea - read on:

http://www.technologyreview.com/article/38875/?p1=Mag_story1
Quote:
......Waltz, a founder of the so-called "structural realism" or "neorealist" school in international-­relations theory, argued that if peace is defined as "the absence of general war among the major states," an unprecedented era of peace had prevailed since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945. It would be nice, he continued, if nations possessed only conventional weapons and never fought. But given that they do come into conflict and that "ten or twelve or eighteen nuclear-weapon states" would probably exist someday—there were seven in 1981, when he wrote, and now there are nine—"the gradual spread of nuclear weapons is better than no spread and better than rapid spread."


On a net basis (considering mumber of people saved through the actions of the US described above, which are generally expected to continue, for the reasons outlined by this author ) the number of people killed by the US in my lifetime is negative - negative by several tens of millions.
cicerone imposter
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:44 am
@msolga,
Good research on wars, but how about other forms of 'killings' such as through political interventions in other countries? How reliable are CIA records and/or reports?
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:53 am
@High Seas,
One could just as easily argue that everyone has died because of the lack of US intervention from foreign conflicts to medical research.
High Seas
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:56 am
@parados,
Once again in English, please, Parados?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:59 am
@High Seas,
A hypothetical-
Everyone that has died in the last 50 years was killed by the US.

Those that died of AIDs did so because the US failed to fund research.
Those that died in purges in Vietnam after 1975 are the result the US pulling out.
Those that died in the recent Tsunami did so because the US didn't protect them.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:02 pm
@Robert Gentel,
14.6
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:53 pm
Then there are all the people that have died from products that are taxed by the government, legally produced, like guns, alcohol, tobacco that kill in the long run.... near and abroad.
How about all the people that have died from exposure to chemicals or nuclear fallout after years of suffering the after effects.
I was born during the Vietnam war... I wonder how many have died subsequently from old wounds, mental battles and scars or on the streets as the homeless - in either country.
It would be interesting to come up with a definitive number, approved by the US and see how it compared to the numbers as it pertained to each country. I'm sure there are many people that blame the USA for deaths that have occurred, then dance around with a burning effigy of the president, when deaths can at best be circumstantially linked. Perceptions vary...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:55 pm
@Ceili,
Even "legal" drugs kill; hospitals are notorious for people dying from other than what they went into the hospital for.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:57 pm
@Ceili,
Since perceptions do vary (in many ways), it makes it difficult to have any semblance of quality of numbers - even when looked at by the same aged person.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:01 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:
Are you suggesting a 100-year causal feedback loop? If so, how would your causal loop, aka self-fulfilling prophesy, operate?


I said that the thread would be historic owing to it being read and discussed in 100 years. You bet against that and offered to arrange trustees to convene on the matter 100 years from now. I think my trustees would win that bet under that arrangement and if I were a betting man I'd probably take the bet on their behalf.

Quote:
On a net basis (considering mumber of people saved through the actions of the US described above, which are generally expected to continue, for the reasons outlined by this author ) the number of people killed by the US in my lifetime is negative - negative by several tens of millions.


I think your "net deaths" idea is interesting (even though most of the attempts to calculate it so far have been largely characterized by their vapidity) and I'd encourage anyone who wanted to take a serious crack at coming up with a net deaths number if that is how they'd like to define the question. Even if it'd be more speculative and even more difficult than the type of answers I had in mind it would be a very similar challenge.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:04 pm
@Robert Gentel,
That becomes too subjective with the person doing the calculations. Without some parameters as to what sources are credible or not, it can have huge variances even when looked at "in your lifetime."
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:10 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I guess we should just chalk you up as one of the engineers who says the problem is "impossible" to solve then and you can move on to things you do find possible to expound on.

Why is it that the people with the least aptitude to answer this question have the most to say in this thread?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I did say anywhere in my posts that it was "impossible." I'm saying what you are asking for has too many variables and unknowns to arrive at any specific number. Besides the varying degree of knowledge, subjectivity, availability of resource, and how reliable the numbers are from the different sources - such as from the CIA - and how records are kept, makes for a very difficult subject to answer. Even recent events such as Iraq and Afghanistan has a range of numbers, because it's almost impossible to keep track of exact numbers. What the hospitals were reporting, and what most outside sources were reporting were at variance. "How many the United States have killed" sounds pretty conclusive, but how are people to know what's included? Do we include accidents and/or murder in the US? How about capital punishment? What's relative and what isn't?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:44 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I'd love to answer those questions for you C.I. but then you'd be copying off me.

I'm not trying to be a dick to you guys that I am "dismissing", but in the opening post I say that I don't really want discussion about the qualifiers (because I know it can be endless). I know I can't stop it but I can certainly not do my part to encourage it. So this is why if you aren't even going to try to answer the question I really don't have anything else to say to you except good luck with your future endeavors.

I just don't want the thread to be dominated by people checking in to say that they don't find value in the exercise and the navel-gazing. I'd rather more of the focus of the thread be left for those who do get it and want to have a crack at it.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:51 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Okay, good luck in your endeavors to find "answers" to your q.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 02:17 pm
@Robert Gentel,
working on this in between real-life chores and entertainments

I am enjoying the research piece - and trying to clarify my own parameters. Thanks for the assignment.

I may not finish this til I retire, but I am truly enjoying the exercise.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 02:19 pm
@ehBeth,
Working on it too. I'm not your fastest researcher, but interested.
0 Replies
 
 

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