On behalf of one from among a growing number of open letters invoking the conscience of humanity to call upon the American state to cease immediately its plans to launch a full-scale military assault on the overwhelmingly civilian population trapped within the Iraqi city of Fallujah (and other Iraqi urban centers too), I am posting here the following petition, as well as the invitation for all of you to add your signatures to it.
Titled STOP THE ESCALATION!, the petition takes it start from the important—and willfully ignored within official U.S. political circles—report posted to the website of the British medical journal The Lancet on October 29: “Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey,” Les Roberts et al.
Namely: The roughly 100,000 Iraqis killed-to-date during the criminal American war over their country, close to 50 percent of whom have been women and children.
Drafted by the Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont (co-author, along with Alan Sokal, of Fashionable Nonsense—or, variously, Impostures Intellectuelles/Intellectual Impostures), everyone is invited to add their signatures to this petition.
Potential signatories are requested to confirm their willingness to sign on by sending an email to:
Please be sure to include the message “I SIGN” in both your Subject bar as well as the text of your message itself.
Note also that mentioning your place of residence and profession would be helpful. (But esp. your residence.)
(At the very bottom, I’ve posted additional links to relevant information.)
STOP THE ESCALATION!
“Excluding information from Falluja, a Lancet report of October 29 estimates that 100,000 more Iraqis died than would have been expected had the invasion not occurred. Eighty-four percent of the deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces and 95 percent of those deaths were due to air strikes and artillery.” (Reuters, October 28, 2004)
Far from being over, the war in Iraq has only begun. The United States do not seem to be able to defeat the Iraqi resistance with the means they have been using. But neither can they accept their setbacks. The very arrogance with which the war was declared and waged has put all their prestige at stake in Iraq and, thereby, decades of efforts to assure their world domination. The stakes are even greater than in the Vietnam war. The United States cannot get out of Iraq unless they leave behind a friendly government, but today they have so few friends in that part of the world that no democratic election can produce such a government.
As a result, one must seriously anticipate a military escalation after the elections — immediately in case Bush is returned to office, perhaps more gradually should Kerry win. But the Democratic candidate has no more intention than Bush of withdrawing from Iraq.
The U.S. government will seek to defeat the resistance by all possible means. The effort is already underway to demonize the resistance in world opinion by associating it with abductions and murders condemned by virtually the whole spectrum of political organizations in the Arab world.
We demand that the United States face up to reality, unconditionally withdraw their troops from Iraq, and draw the necessary conclusions as to the unacceptable nature of preventive war. It is an illusion to ask that the U.S. forces remain until Iraq is pacified or stabilized, because their very presence is so hated that it constitutes the main obstacle to any sort of pacification.
Meanwhile, we affirm that we shall oppose by all peaceful and legal methods every attempt to crush the Iraqi resistance by a military escalation such as was attempted during the Vietnam war. We call on all governments to grant asylum to American military personnel refusing to serve in Iraq. We shall do our best to spread all available information to counter the war propaganda, and we shall try to mobilize world public opinion, as in 2002, to demand that the United States abandon their efforts to impose a military solution on Iraq.
Jean Bricmont, professor of theoretical physics and political publicist, writer of this petition, Belgium
“100,000 civilians have died in Iraq War and aftermath: Lancet,” Agence France Presse (Daily Times, October 29, 2004)
“Household Survey Sees 100,000 Iraqi Deaths,” Emma Ross, Associated Press, October 28, 2004
“Study: 100,000 Excess Civilian Iraqi Deaths Since War,” Patricia Reaney, Reuters, October 28, 2004
“Survey: Iraqi deaths higher; Hopkins-designed study says 100,000 civilians died; Prior estimates, 10,000 to 30,000; Brookings defense expert calls data ‘preposterous’,” Jonathan Bor and Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun, October 29, 2004
“100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, says study,” Sarah Boseley, The Guardian, October 29, 2004
“War blamed for 100,000 increase in civilian death toll,” Billy Briggs, The Herald (Glasgow), October 29, 2004
“Revealed: War Has Cost 100,000 Iraqi Lives,” Jeremy Laurance and Colin Brown, The Independent, October 29, 2004
“Study Puts Iraqi Deaths Of Civilians At 100,000,” Elizabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, October 29, 2004
“Researchers claims that 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died in war,” Sam Lister and Michael Evans, The Times (London), October 29, 2004
“100,000 Civilian Deaths Estimated in Iraq,” Rob Stein, Washington Post, October 29, 2004
“No 10 challenges civilian death toll,” Patrick Wintour and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, October 30, 2004
“Pentagon Collects Local Casualty Body Counts But Figures Are Kept Secret,” Raymond Whitaker, The Independent, October 31, 2004
“The War in Iraq Has Made Moral Cowards of US All,” Scott Ritter, The Guardian, November 1, 2004
“An appeal from Fallujah to Kofi Anan and the UN,” Kassim Abdullsattar al-Jumaily, President, Center for the Study of Human Rights and Democracy, Fallujah, Socialist Worker, October 30, 2004
Iraq, Civilian Fatalities, and American Power I, ZNet Blogs, August 15, 2004
How Many Deaths Are Too Many? ZNet Blogs, September 13, 2004
Iraq, Civilian Fatalities, and American Power II, ZNet Blogs, October 28, 2004
Iraq, Civilian Fatalities, and American Power III, ZNet Blogs, October 29, 2004
Iraq, Civilian Fatalities—and American Silence, ZNet Blogs, October 30, 2004