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

Thu 8 Dec, 2011 07:06 pm
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.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 21 • Views: 34,475 • Replies: 130

wandeljw

0
Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:01 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

If "America" did the killing, does that mean the entire country or a specific component? Is killing defined as death caused by military action, or how?
BillRM

0
Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:41 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Do we had a positive and negative number system here Robert were you count the numbers of humans beings that are alive today because of the US actions and sum that against the numbers that the US "killed" in the same time period?

Why am I thinking that you are only interested in having one side of the number system and not both sides around the zero axis?
Robert Gentel

0
Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:51 pm
@wandeljw,
However you want to define it really, I sometimes wonder if I'm watching the same events as others so I want to leave it up to them to define it because I want to hear what their take is.
0 Replies

Robert Gentel

0
Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:57 pm
@BillRM,
Come up with whatever number you feel accurately answers the question, I'm not suggesting any particular methodology. I'm curious about what the answers would be, and how readily available this kind of statistic is to most people here, I'm not trying to forward a particular answer as the "correct" one and I'm not even interested in conclusions like whether it is justified or not.

I just want to see what number you come up with and/or whether or not you can bring yourself to cite a figure.
Lustig Andrei

0
Thu 8 Dec, 2011 11:17 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I assume we should include all the capital punishment cases, those killed under judicial sentence by this allegorical anthropomorphic "United States"?
msolga

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 12:48 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

I find that an impossible question to answer, Robert.
Even the numbers killed directly through US war mongering (like in Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan, etc ...) are hard enough to calculate with the information available, given the lack of reliable statistics (though Wikileaks has has made a real effort, in regard to recent US initiated conflicts, specifically in Iraq.)

But how do you calculate the loss of lives which have occurred directly as a result of US financial & military support of corrupt regimes, like Chile, Indonesia, Yemen, El Salvador, Guatemala..... to name just a few, in my life time?

I can't answer your question, because I simply don't know. And I don't think too many of us here could, either. But do I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that many of those lives which were lost would not have been lost if the US had not interfered in those countries in its own interests.
Robert Gentel

1
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 09:35 am
This is not an easy question to answer, and I figured there'd be fewer posts trying to cite research for it than ones that merely objected to the question but I didn't think that not a single person would be able to come up with an answer to the question.

You live, you learn. I thought I might learn from the historical research of others but instead learned that most other Americans are clearly not as interested in the answer to this question as am I.
0 Replies

Robert Gentel

1
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 09:38 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Like I said, I just wanted to see what numbers people were able to come up with, I was not trying to pre-qualify them in any way.

I think I have my answer now: nobody here is able to come up with an answer of any kind. This makes me understand the discussions I have here a lot better and confirms the information asymmetry I suspected I was dealing with. It starts with a fundamental difference in the level of curiosity. I figured more Americans would be curious as to how many killings were done in their name. I was wrong.
Green Witch

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 09:55 am
How could someone ever answer this? Even with a ton of research. The first thing that came to my mind was a doctor relative of mine who was working in a US funded family clinic in Angola circa 1982. The Reagan administration abruptly ended the funding and she was transfered to another location to push papers around for the next two years. She believes numerous women and children probably died from the closing of that clinic. Are these obscure deaths part of the equation you are looking for?
Robert Gentel

1
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:00 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:
Are these obscure deaths part of the equation you are looking for?

As I've repeatedly said, the only thing I am looking for in this thread is what the capacity for this kind of difficult research is here on a2k. I leave all those qualifiers up to the discretion of anyone who wants to actually try to answer the question.
Fido

-1
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:22 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

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.

America as in North America is a continent, and they do not kill people... States do not kill people either... People kill people and use social forms like the state to defend what they do with the greatest of pleasure... To say that people are made by their ideologies is true enough, but they also make their ideologies, and reject those they find abhorant... It is because death so suits the mind of man that we can embrace it until we become it that WE say that the United States Kills.. Were we to accept responsibility inidividually we would either stop our behavior or execute ourselves, and we wish neither event to occur... Death becomes us... As D H Lawrence said of our literature: It is all about death... That is the American Dream Machine... Feed it life and harvest death...
0 Replies

wandeljw

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:25 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Like I said, I just wanted to see what numbers people were able to come up with, I was not trying to pre-qualify them in any way.

I think I have my answer now: nobody here is able to come up with an answer of any kind. This makes me understand the discussions I have here a lot better and confirms the information asymmetry I suspected I was dealing with. It starts with a fundamental difference in the level of curiosity. I figured more Americans would be curious as to how many killings were done in their name. I was wrong.

People can come up with any number from zero to infinity. I could say zero because I do not believe "America" killed anybody. The reason nobody is coming up with an answer is because you have not presented a specific question. A survey of A2Kers would be meaningless if everyone can set their own parameters.
ehBeth

2
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:30 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
The reason nobody is coming up with an answer is because you have not presented a specific question.

the question was pretty damn specific

Quote:

wandeljw

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:31 am
@ehBeth,
In that case, the answer is zero.
0 Replies

Robert Gentel

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:31 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
I could say zero because I do not believe "America" killed anybody.

Quote:
The reason nobody is coming up with an answer is because you have not presented a specific question. A survey of A2Kers would be meaningless if everyone can set their own parameters.

I am surveying the capacity to come up with a reasoned answer, the differences in the answers themselves don't matter as much to me as seeing the approach people take to finding an answer.

So feel free to come up with whatever specificity you would like. I honestly don't think anyone here has the answers for the specificities they have talked about anyway. So pick whatever you consider the most reasonable answer to the question to be. What I am interested in in your approach to the question more so than your answer to it.
wandeljw

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:33 am
@Robert Gentel,
We cross-posted. EhBeth encouraged me to give a specific answer.
0 Replies

BillRM

0
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:34 am
@Robert Gentel,
You question was of such a nature as not be be able to produce anything of worth unless you just consider Anti-American postings of worth.

You would need to refine the question and limited it to produce any meaningful results.

Hell even the time period is up in the air as in your lifetime could mean anything from roughly eighty years or so to thirteen years.

The question must had meaning before you can get any kind of meaningful answers to it and in this case the question is so broad and undefined as to be meaningless.

CalamityJane

3
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:39 am
@Robert Gentel,
Vietnam, depending on the source between 980,000 - 1,100,000 Vietnamese - north and south.
Cambodia - no number due to heavy genocide killings
Invasion of Dominican Republic - ca. 2500
Invasion of Grenada - ca. 70 (Cubans included)
Libya 1986 - ca. 45
Invasion of Panama - ca. 300
Gulf war - 35,000
Iraqi - no-fly-zone - unknown
Bombing of Afghanistan/Sudan 1998 - 7
NATO war in Kosovo - can't give an accurante number
Iraq war - 600,000
Afghanistan - NATO war, hard to give exact numbers who was killed, I guess at 20,000

There are additional involvements in the Philippines, Libya (2011), the "war on terror" involving many other countries, as well as other NATO (Kosovo etc.) wars. I am sure I left out some...

ehBeth

1
Fri 9 Dec, 2011 10:41 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
But how do you calculate the loss of lives which have occurred directly as a result of US financial & military support of corrupt regimes, like Chile, Indonesia, Yemen, El Salvador, Guatemala..... to name just a few, in my life time?

but that's what Robert is asking us to take a crack at - what we include in our definitions and what those numbers are

I'm trying to find (truly interesting assignment) out numbers related to deaths caused by continued selling of products which are not permitted to be sold in the U.S. because of health concerns. It's very similar to research I did back in university - a little easier because of the internet as well as more difficult because of the internet - more resources to use and more sources to question.

I've got friends very involved here in an effort to prevent Canada from continuing to send asbestos to other countries for uses which are banned here. I'm trying to sort of follow their protocol in developing a number for this.

I don't think the question can be answered simply (unless you're of wandel's mindset), but I do think it is answerable with some thought and effort and time.

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