The following is part of a series of articles from Chris Tolworthy reposted here with kind permission. The articles together ask many questions about the September 11 atrocity and its aftermath, as well as looking into it from numerous angles. The articles are split into a number of pages on this site (which you can follow using the links at the bottom).
Who kills innocent people?
According to the latest estimates (march 2002), around 2800 innocent people were killed in the September 11th tragedy.
In response, the western powers killed between 2000 and 8000 innocent Afghans. This is in addition to the hundreds or thousands we killed after labelling them "the enemy." The most likely estimate is around 5000 innocent deaths, with the numbers increasing due to slow injuries, unexploded bombs, further skirmishes, etc.
In other words, for every innocent person "they" killed, "we" killed two.
"Marc Herold, a University of New Hampshire economics professor, was so disturbed by the lack of coverage of civilian deaths in the war in Afghanistan that he began keeping a tally himself. Scouring through news reports as varied as the BBC, The Times of India and The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's Herald Sun, he took conservative estimates where possible and came up with a admittedly rough tally of 3767 civilian deaths between October 7 and December 6. ... The total [including deaths up to December 29th] is now close to 5000, far more than the 3000 killed in America on September 11."(1)
"The charity Médecins Sans Frontiéres says: 'MSF increasingly sees evidence of an unacceptably high number of Afghan civilian casualties from the military operations.'
"A senior MSF worker, who has been in Afghanistan for five years, estimates the number of civilian dead at between 2,000 and 3,000, based on reports from hospitals and field workers around the country.
"Some analysts say more than 60 Afghan civilians are being killed daily on average since the bombing began on October 7. A European demining expert in Kabul who works closely with the Pentagon reckons that up to 8,000 civilians have been killed."(2)
Note that the "war on terror" has just begun, so casualties can be expected to rise. Historically, the west has inflicted many times more innocent casualties on the rest of the world than it has ever received in return.(3) This trend continues today. It is business as usual.
This web page has the following sub-sections:
Please note: HTML links were created between January-March 2002. Some of these links may have expired when you read this.
2. "Afghans are still dying as air strikes go on. But no one is counting" by Ian Traynor, The Guardian February 12, 2002
3. See Noam Chomsky's "Year 501." The title refers to five hundred years of western colonialism in different forms.
This article is part of the following collection:
- War on Terror FAQs
- 45 Q & As: Intervention, Afghan and Iraq
- September 11th and Terrorism FAQ
- 47 Questions and Answers on the War in Afghanistan
- Questions and Answers on September 11 And Its Aftermath