1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, esp. by fire.
2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
3. (usually initial capital letter) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually prec. by the).
4. any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.
So, for instance, right now as I type these words, perhaps one million people (perhaps more) have perished violently and tragically in the nightmare that George W. Bush has made of Iraq. To this number should be added the estimated one million deaths from US-UK enforced UN sanctions in Iraq of the George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair years. As well, we can add the numbers (no doubt also in the millions) of those permanently scarred or maimed by violence in Iraq, and those four million refugees, half internal , half external to Iraq, caused by this international crime.
Who is to blame for starting this latest part of this conflict? Was it the bush II, whose administration fabricated lurid stories about nuclear weapons programs, massive bio-chemical warfare factories, and all that other rot, and who demanded that Saddam Hussein reveal these imaginary WMDs or face invasion, and when Saddam did not, bush II (along with craven, nauseating, pompous hypocrite Tony Blair) invaded?
No. The US invasion of Iraq was the fault of Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein, for somehow not magically stripping his country naked so that anyone with a satellite could see that (just as he had been saying, and just as UN weapons inspectors were discovering before they were forced to flee bush II's bombardment) Iraq had dismantled all of its WMD programs in the early 1990s.
At least this is the story being told by the unelected undemocratic imbecile currently occupying the Whitehouse, as well as by the corporate propagandists in the US news media.
Prominent Washington journalists have even repeated Bush’s lie as their own. For instance, in a July 2004 interview, ABC’s veteran newsman Ted Koppel used it to explain why he - Koppel - thought the invasion of Iraq was justified.
“It did not make logical sense that Saddam Hussein, whose armies had been defeated once before by the United States and the Coalition, would be prepared to lose control over his country if all he had to do was say, ‘All right, U.N., come on in, check it out,” Koppel told Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now.”
Of course, Hussein did tell the U.N. to “come on in, check it out.” But he did so in the real history, not in the faux reality that now governs Washington and pervades America’s top news programs, including “60 Minutes.”
In Pelley’s historical formulation, the question is not why did Bush invade Iraq in violation of international law, causing the deaths of nearly 4,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but rather “How could [Hussein] have wanted his country to be invaded?”
This strategy of repeating a “big lie” often enough to make it sound true was famously described in the writings of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels during World War II. However, given the relatively free U.S. press, many Americans feel they are protected from “big lie” techniques, counting on journalists to call lying politicians to account.
So responsibility for the holocaust in Iraq does not lie with the invaders. It does not lie with the people responsible for destroying the government in Iraq and setting sectarian and ethnic and clan rivals against each other, whilst perpetrating numerous atrocities and war-crimes itself. It lies with the dictator who they toppled. At least so far as the gutless pieces of shit in US political and "journalism" circles would see it.
But what of the extent of this holocaust? The medical journal The Lancet printed two studies estimating mortality figures due to bush II's illegal invasions. The first study, conducted by John Hopkins Bloomberg estimated that by 2004 perhaps 100,000 people had died and a second 2006 study estimates over 600,000 excess deaths. This death-toll is now perhaps at 1,000,000.
Think about that. The Republican Party of the United States of America blatantly steals an election in 2000, allowing its candidate, a vain, shallow, dunce of a man, to occupy the Whitehouse and then proceed to launch a war, illegal regardless of any evidence that the USA could have produced that wasn't fabricated, when it was all the crudest of lies and hoaxes, this slavering moron is then allowed to steal another election in 2004, tear-up the civil rights of every American citizen, continue his war, ... and this war has now killed one million people.
And "progressive" Americans, for the most part, focus their energies on trying to elect the party that has funded this atrocious crime for yet another year. They're going to try to let their system redeem itself when it has already lowered itself beyond redemption. It has already had all of its safeguards destroyed and there's the blood of at least one-million souls on their heads.
I'll leave out, for now, Canadians' own stupid self-deceptions about Afghanistan, if only to discuss the latest horrors of American delusions about Iraq.
On top of the falsification of history that the US political and media elites engage in to grant themselves absolution for their criminal invasion of Iraq, these pathetic cowards must also conceal from themselves the true exent of the carnage brought about by their actions. To that end, the Iraqi mortality figures in The Lancet must be discredited.
The usual source for disputing the numbers of civilian casualities is to idiotically refer to the numbers provided by Iraq Body Count, which counts the deaths by violence reported by a changing number of journalistic sources. This is akin to estimating US gun violence deaths by refering to the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the LA Times.
By hook or by crook, war apologists, cowards, liars, and academic hacks have sought to shroud the John Hopkins surveys in disrepute, to confuse the public about the true extent of the outrage that they have committed.
Here is a rebuttal to these loathsome attempts, one that I can say nothing more but to recommend it to your attention.