Costs of a war against iraq

With a report on the number of estimated victims due to different scenarios, the physicians of IPPNW want to create a mood against war

As an objection to a war with Iraq, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and in Social Responsibility (IPPNW) published a report that attempts to estimate the number of people who could be killed in the process. There could be, so the courage, up to half a million deaths, as long as no nuclear weapons are used, above all, as in any modern war, civilians were allowed to be involved.

The report Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq, commissioned by IPPNW, honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, and written by the British organization Medact, was made public yesterday in 14 countries simultaneously – and also worldwide on the Internet. After the U.S. government has pushed through a strong resolution in the Security Council and has always made it unmistakably clear that it is prepared to go to war at the slightest provocation, with or without the backing of the UN, the decision will be a close-run thing after the Iraqi parliament has unanimously rejected the resolution. It is to be expected, of course, that Hussein will finally accept it in order to brand the USA as an aggressor for the world public.

The report estimates the consequences of a possible war based on the first Gulf War, other conflicts and the health of the people in Iraq. After the first Gulf War and the subsequent embargo, people were said to be far more physically and psychologically vulnerable, which also had implications for recovery and reconstruction after a war. Before the first Gulf War, for example, infant mortality was 65 per 1.000 births, now reported to have risen to 103.

In the first Gulf War in 1990-91, 400 soldiers of the allied forces died and 500 were injured in combat, according to the report. On the other hand, between 50.000 and 120.000 Iraqi soldiers have been killed and three times as many injured. The number of civilians killed is estimated to be between 3.500 and 15.000 estimated. If this time a war should move more strongly to the cities, the losses of human life could be actually much coarser. In the uprisings and their suppression after the war, another between 20.000 and 35.000 people have been killed, 1.8 million people have been displaced and fled.

The Gulf War illness, attributed by some to the DU munitions, by others to the burning oil wells or chemical weapons, or to a mix, there is only conjecture. In addition, serious destruction of infrastructure (roads, bridges, electricity, water supply, etc.) has taken place. ), the environment was also grossly destroyed and contaminated, the economy was devastated: all with long-term consequences for the people. The sanctions are said to have been responsible once again for malnutrition, disease and death of hundreds of thousands, especially children.

Medact ames that a new war will be worse, the weapons used will cause more destruction, a quick change of regime will be necessary "surgical" invasion was unlikely, since Hussein, this time from the announced "regime change" threatened, desperate resistance could. It could, for example, set oil wells on fire again and contaminate their surroundings with radioactive or chemical weapons, attack oil wells in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, carry out paramilitary attacks on targets in the Gulf states and in the attacking states, or use chemical or biological weapons. Should Iraq attack Israel or other states with weapons of mass destruction, the war could quickly escalate and lead to a counterattack with nuclear weapons. According to the authors, Hussein will try to resist in the cities, especially in Baghdad, with troops loyal to him of up to 80,000 men.000 men in the cities, especially Baghdad. If we compare the capture of Baghdad with that of Grozny, we can see that many American and British soldiers were also killed. Grozny was practically destroyed by the Russians. In the process, over 2.000 Russian soldiers and tens of thousands of Chechens killed.

In various scenarios, the authors estimate that in a war fought with conventional weapons, both sides would have 48.000 to 260.000 deaths within three months. If a civil war was added, they reckon with another 20.000 casualties. If nuclear weapons were added, the death toll in Baghdad alone would rise to 270.000 to 3.800.000 increase. Just in view of the bad state of health with many, it became however still the actual war to numerous deaths to come. Up to 200.000 people could die of infectious diseases or hunger, for example, even after a conventionally fought war.

Even a high-tech war with precision weapons destroys, according to Robert Musil, executive director of the U.S. Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), "the health systems and infrastructure of a country, affecting the supply of food, drinking water, medicine and energy. The loss of these necessities of life leads to infections, diseases, malnutrition and hunger for many." Add to that civil wars, epidemics, refugees and economic collapse. The direct costs of war are estimated by the authors to be as high as $100 billion for the United States. In addition, many billions have been spent annually and for a long time to occupy and rebuild the country, not to mention the wider impact on surrounding countries and the world.

To avoid a humanitarian catastrophe through war, IPPNW director Michael Christ suggests not waging a war of aggression but supporting effective inspections to ensure the regime’s disarmament: "Neither Iraq’s suspected weapons programs nor Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule provide any moral or military justification for endangering the lives of countless innocent civilians."

Without the threat of force, however, as the U.S. and British governments know, Saddam Hussein will continue to play a cat-and-mouse game with weapons inspectors. A pre-meditated world community loses all credibility. If there is a war, Christ says, there must at least be a plan to quickly provide the population with food, water and medical care, because the people of Iraq suffered more than anyone else under Hussein’s regime.

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