Comparing Nazi SS & US state terrorism civilian/soldier death ratios

Gideon Polya, “Comparing Nazi SS & US state terrorism civilian/soldier death ratios”, MWC News, 19 October 2005.

Comparing Nazi SS & US state terrorism civilian/soldier death ratios


In 1995 Nazi SS Captain Erich Priebke was extradited from Argentina to Italy to face a war crimes trial over the March 24, 1944 execution of 335 Italian men and boys (about 75 of them Jewish) at the Ardeatine Caves south of Rome. The massacre had been ordered by arch-terrorist Adolph Hitler in retaliation for the killing of 33 German soldiers by Italian partisans the previous day. Priebke was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 15 years, with this being subsequently effectively commuted to 5 years. Evil arch-terrorist Hitler evidently regarded an "enemy civilian death"/"German soldier death" "kill ratio" (or "death ratio") of 10 as appropriate - but how does this compare with "enemy civilian death" /"military death" "kill ratios" for other World War 2 combatants?


In World War 2 the Axis civilian deaths totalled 5.1 million as compared to Allied civilian losses in Europe and Asia totalling 54 million; US, British Empire, Axis and Soviet military losses totalled 0.29 million, 0.45 million, 5.9 million and 13.6 million, respectively. Accordingly the "enemy civilian"/"military death" "kill ratios" were 0.4 (for the Soviet forces), 9.2 (Axis), 11.3 (the British Empire) and 17.6 (the US). These statistics reflect the mass murder of Soviet POWs by the Nazis (and vice versa) and the relatively high technology war fought by the US (which made great use of strategic bombing e.g. of Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki).


It is useful to examine the "kill ratios" in post-war conflicts involving US high technology war machines pitted against relatively lightly armed indigenous Asian soldiers in a swathe of countries from Korea to Iraq. It is difficult to determine Asian civilian casualties in these conflicts because, in the words of US General Tommy Franks, "We don't do body counts." However using UN Population Division demographic data from 1950 onwards it is possible to calculate "avoidable mortality" ("excess mortality"), which is the difference between the ACTUAL deaths in a country in a given period and the deaths EXPECTED for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics.


The following "enemy civilian avoidable mortality"/"US combat death" "kill ratios" have been calculated for the Korean War (1950-1953) (23.8), the Indo-China War (1957-1975) (276.5), the Gulf War & Sanctions War (1990-2003) (12,259), the Afghanistan War (2001-2005) (15,716) and the Iraq War (2003-2005) (323.9).


The actual arithmetic involving the ratio of "avoidable (excess) deaths" (for the Asian country concerned over the relevant period)/"US combat deaths" is reproduced below (actual mortality figures are rounded off for clarity):


0.8 million Korean excess deaths/33,651 US combat deaths = 23.8


13.1 million excess Cambodian, Laotian & Vietnamese excess deaths/47,378 US combat deaths = 276.5


1.8 million Iraqi excess deaths/147 US combat deaths = 12,259


1.6 million Afghan excess deaths/102 US combat deaths = 15,716


0.5 million Iraqi excess deaths/1,513 US combat deaths = 323.9


The Geneva Conventions are quite clear about the responsibility of the invader and occupier to do everything in their power to preserve the life of civilians.


Unfortunately the above data show that the US (and its allies) have grossly violated the Geneva Conventions  in these Asian Wars - and have done so in  vast excess over the "enemy civilian"/"German soldier" "kill ratio" of 10 in the  Ardeatine caves atrocity. The reason for these horrendous US "kill ratios" is that high technology US warfare preserves politically-sensitive military lives at the expense of enemy civilian lives through high technology killing from afar (more bombs were dropped on tiny, remote Laos by the US than on all of Europe in all of World War 2); better training of its soldiers to kill; and through improved medical technology to save the lives of wounded soldiers.


Of course the real obscenity is revealed when one considers that about half of the victims are innocent infants under the age of 5. The under-5 infant mortality  was 0.3 million (Korea, 1950-1953); 5.6 million (Indo-China, 1957-1975); 1.3 million (Iraq, 1990-2003); 1.4 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2005); and 0.3 million (Iraq, 2003-2005).


The Oxford Dictionary defines "terror" as "intense fear" and "terrorism" as the "furtherance of views through coercive intimidation"; "terrorists"  "intimidate" by causing "intense fear", typically by killing people. "Jihadist" or "insurgent"  "non-state terrorists" have killed about 5,000 Western civilians over the last 20 years (mostly on 9/11, according to the US Administration). However the US "state terrorist" response has so far been disproportionately associated with post-invasion avoidable (excess) mortality and under-5 infant mortality in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories that now total 2.1 million and 1.7 million, respectively.


The war crimes of US state terrorism (and its allies) are horrendous and demand action by the International Criminal Court (albeit with the US in absentia because it does not recognize the Court's jurisdiction over Americans). The murder of 5,000 Western civilians over 20 years is an awful set of crimes but the full extent of the crimes of the responsible non-state terrorists  has been realized in the appalling and utterly disproportionate mass murder and passive genocide by US state terrorism. Peace is the only way but we are obliged to inform others about horrendous abuses of humanity (see:   ).