Sunday, October 24, 2004

# Posted 4:11 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WHAT ARE IBC'S STANDARDS? The most appropriate benchmark for measuring the veracity of IBC's information is the standards that it elaborates on its website. According to IBC:
This database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation.
Casualty figures are derived from a comprehensive survey of online media reports and eyewitness accounts. Where these sources report differing figures, the range (a minimum and a maximum) are given.
The test for us remains whether the bullet (or equivalent) is attributed to a piece of weaponry where the trigger was pulled by a US or allied finger, or is due to "collateral damage" by either side (with the burden of responsibility falling squarely on the shoulders of those who initiate war without UN Security Council authorization). We agree that deaths from any deliberate source are an equal outrage, but in this project we want to only record those deaths to which we can unambiguously hold our own leaders to account. In short, we record all civilians deaths attributed to our military intervention in Iraq. [Emphasis in original --ed.]
The ambiguity of this last paragraph is striking. It asserts that collateral damage caused by either side is the result of "our" , i.e. US-UK, intervention in Iraq.

The application of this standard is even more striking. It includes not just those civilians killed by insurgents' bullets and bombs in the heat of battle, but civlians deliberately murdered by suicide bombers affiliated with the insurgents. This is a total perversion of the concept of moral reponsibility.

In order to understand the method behind this madness, one ought to consult the most recent IBC press release, which explains the political significance of its work:
So far, in the "war on terror" initiated since 9-11, the USA and its allies have been responsible for over 13,000 civilian deaths, not only the 10,000+ in Iraq, but also 3,000+ civilian deaths in Afghanistan, another death toll that continues to rise long after the world's attention has moved on.

Elsewhere in the world over the same period, paramilitary forces hostile to the USA have killed 408 civilians in 18 attacks worldwide (see Table 1). Adding the official 9-11 death toll (as of October 29th 2003) brings the total to just under 3500...

For each civilian killed by "terrorists" on and since 9-11, the USA and its allies have brought about almost four non-combatant, civilian deaths in return...

The claim that a strategy which produces 14,000 civilian deaths is the expression of a "philosophy of tolerance and freedom" is a claim which we find incomprehensible. Our incomprehension is shared, we believe, by the majority of the world's people.
The hypocrisy of this statement is stunning. IBC seeks to demonstrate that the United States is more dangerous than its terrorist opponents by blaming the United States for acts of premeditated murder that those same terrorists have perpetrated.

This is why we must work together to reverese the unthinking embrace of IBC's statistics by the Washington Post and other leading publications.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment