are necessary to commit the crime of genocide: 1) the mental
element, meaning intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national, ethnical, racial or religious group, and 2) the physical
element [or click here], which includes any of the following: killing or causing
serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately
inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's
physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended
to prevent births; or forcibly transferring children to another
that such clear language comes from a UN treaty which is legally
binding on our country, things could start getting a little worrisome
- especially when you realize that since our government declared
warfare on Iraq we've killed well over one million people, fast
will be one year since researchers from Johns Hopkins University
collected data for a study which concluded 655,000
additional deaths were caused by the military war, and things
have only gotten worse since then. Then consider that the economic
war killed an additional 500,000 Iraqi kids under the age of five
during only the first seven years of sanctions which were in force
for a dozen years, according to a 1999
the Johns Hopkins estimate of Iraqis killed in the war, one could
conservatively estimate that another 2.6 million people have been
wounded. The U.N.
estimates that between 1.5 million and 2 million Iraqis are
now "internally displaced" by the fighting and roughly
the same number have fled their country, including disproportionate
numbers of doctors and other professionals.
If you are
sitting down and possess a healthy imagination, try conjuring
up similar conditions here in our land.
- Start with
the fact that few people buy bottled water and what comes out
of the tap is guaranteed to at least make you sick if not kill
- Three times
as many of our fellow citizens are out of work as during the Great
- On a good
day we have three or four hours of electricity to preserve food
or cool the 110-degree heat
- No proper
hospitals or rehab clinics exist to help the wounded become productive
members of society
- Roads are
of birth defects from exposure to depleted uranium have begun
surfacing around the country.
for a minute on the grief brought by a single loved one's death.
Then open your heart to the reality of life if we suffered casualties
comparable to those endured by the people of Iraq.
- In the
former cities of Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Milwaukee,
Fort Worth, Baltimore, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia
every single person is dead.
- In Vermont,
Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, Kansas, Mississippi,
Iowa, Oregon, South Carolina and Colorado every single person
- The entire
populations of Ohio and New Jersey are homeless, surviving with
friends, relatives or under bridges as they can.
- The entire
populations of Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky have fled to Canada
- Over the
past three years, one in four U.S. doctors has left the country.
- Last year
alone 3,000 doctors were kidnapped and 800 killed.
short, nobody "out there" is coming to save us. We are
our government didn't intend to commit genocide, it just
sort of happened. The Iraqis kept getting in the way while we
were trying to complete the mission. Mistakes were made as we
were building democracy, but surely no genocide was intended.
After all, we are the international deciders of what is and what
isn't genocide, and we know full well that intent is a requirement.
It was only
"collateral genocide" and lord knows we did our very
best to avoid it.
Mike Ferner, a freelance
writer in Ohio, tries not to dwell on these thoughts all the time.
He is a former member of the Toledo City Council. He served as
a Navy Corpsman during Vietnam and is a member of Veterans
His book, Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from
Iraq (Praeger), has just been published. You can keep up with
the latest addition to America's burgeoning criminal population
Click here for other articles by Mike Ferner:
Please Don't Throw Me In That Veto Patch
Keep Them Out Of Ohio!
Dear George, F**K You!
If Not Now, When?
To The Choir
Pick A Number
Let Humanity's Mutiny Begin
What It Takes To Defy Authority In A Non-Violent Way
Haditha Is Not An Aberration
Movements: From Antiwar, To Peace, To Democracy
Speaker Of House Not Responsible For War Funding
Seven Arrested At White House Protest Against Iraq War
There Are Lives In The Balance
Getting Jailed For Peace