Two elements 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,
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 group.
Considering 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 economic and military
warfare on Iraq we�ve killed well over one million people, fast approaching
This summer 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�s 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 U.N. report.
Based on 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.
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 you.
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.
proper hospitals or rehab clinics exist to help the wounded become
productive members of society.
are a mess.
of birth defects from exposure to depleted uranium have begun surfacing
around the country.
Reflect 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
Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, Kansas, Mississippi,
Iowa, Oregon, South Carolina and Colorado every single person is wounded.
entire populations of Ohio and New Jersey are homeless, surviving with
friends, relatives or under bridges as they can.
entire populations of Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky have fled to Canada
the past three years, one in four U.S. doctors has left the country.
year alone 3,000 doctors were kidnapped and 800 killed.
In short, nobody �out there� is coming to save us. We are in
Of course 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.
� 2007 Mike
Ferner, a freelance writer in Ohio, tries not to dwell on these thoughts all
the time. Write him at www.mikeferner.org.