Killed by US Military Actions (I)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
According to the April 10, 2016 publication of Resumen Latinoamericano, the United States has killed more than 20 million people in 37 countries since the end of World War II. The study reveals that US military forces are directly responsible for 10 to 15 million deaths in the wars in Korea, Vietnam and the two wars in Iraq. The Korean War also includes deaths in China, while the Vietnam War includes deaths in Cambodia and Laos. Moreover, in the most recent wars, there were between 10 and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
The total number of victims does not come only from the big countries or from one region of the world. In fact, the whole world has been the object of US military intervention. And the general conclusion is that the United States has been responsible for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered all over the world. Among the 37 nations that are victims of American warmongering, the study begins with Afghanistan. According to the official UN version, the CIA's assistance to the Mujahideen began in 1980, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the truth is that President Carter signed off on secret aid to opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul on July 3, 1979. The CIA spent between 5 and 6 billion dollars to punish the USSR and when the 10-year war ended, more than a million people had died and Afghan heroin already controlled 60% of the US market.
Subsequently we have the armed indigenous struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola, which was recognized by the UN, and where in 1986 the United States approved military aid to UNITA (a group that was trying to overthrow the government). According to Piero Gleijeses, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, Cuban intervention in Angola came as a result of a covert invasion through Zaire by US ally, South Africa, with estimated deaths of between 300,000 and 750,000 people.
In Cambodia also, the United States is responsible for the activities of the Khmer Rouge, with a total of 2.5 million dead. And in Chad an estimated 40,000 people were killed and 200,000 were tortured by a government led by Hissène Habré, while Human Rights claimed that Habré was responsible for thousands of deaths. Although Human Rights decided to leave this case in Belgium, the United States told that country that it ran the risk of losing its status as the headquarters of NATO and they left that problem unresolved.
The CIA intervened in the Chilean elections in 1958 and 1964, and in 1970 Salvador Allende was elected president. Although the CIA wanted to instigate a military coup to prevent him from taking office, the Chilean general René Schneider refused and Allende assumed the position. Nonetheless, ITT and other US corporations promoted a guerrilla war that lasted until 1973 when Allende died or was assassinated. At that time Kissinger declared that he did not see the sense in waiting for a country to become communist because of its own people's irresponsibility. And so, during the 17 years of the dictator Pinochet's rule, more than 3,000 Chileans were murdered and a similar number were tortured or disappeared.
During the so-called Operation Condor, an estimated 900,000 Chinese were killed in the Korean War, while in the Southern Cone of Latin America, the Terrorist State of the CIA massacred hundreds of thousands of civilians in Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia during the more than twenty years of that operation. Meanwhile, Iran lost about 250,000 people in the war against Iraq between 1980 and 1985. According to the Washington Post, Iraq lost more than 150,000 people in that same war. Then came the US air assault in January 1991 that lasted 42 days and then the land invasion where about 200,000 Iraqis died in an attack ordered by H.W. Bush. In 1995, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that UN sanctions were responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children from 1990. And in 1999, UNICEF reported that 5,000 children die each month as a result of US sanctions and wars in different countries worldwide.
Addendum: In Part II I will look at other nations around the world where US military interventions have caused great damage and millions of deaths.