War is associated with horrendous civilian deaths, notably of women and children. 24 April is Armenian Genocide Day that commemorates the beginning of the World War 1 Armenian Genocide (1.5 million Armenians killed). The Armenian Genocide was precipitated by several months of months of shelling that culminated in the 25 April 1915 Allied invasion of Turkey in the Dardanelles at Gallipoli led by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), this being commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac Day.
The Gallipoli Campaign (aka the Dardanelles Campaign, Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale) was dreamed up by racist, imperialist and warmonger Winston Churchill and was a disaster for all concerned. The British, with an eye on the oil-rich Ottoman Empire, had tricked Turkey into entering WW1 on the side of Germany. According to the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs, the Allied casualties totaled 44,000 dead (21,300 British, 10,000 French, 8,700 Australian, 2,700 New Zealand and 1,400 Indian) and 97,000 wounded, while the Turkish casualties totaled 87,000 dead and 165,000 wounded (Google “Gallipoli Campaign”).
For the Turks the Battle of Gallipoli was a successful heroic defense of their country from foreign invaders. For the Armenians the invasion of Gallipoli marked the beginning of the Armenian Genocide by Turks whose xenophobia was exacerbated by Allied attacks by British and French Empire forces in the West and Russian forces in the East. The Armenian Genocide wiped out most of the Armenian population of Turkish Anatolia. However for Australia this was a major blooding of Australian manhood and Anzac Day has become a sacred day that commemorates the approximately 100,000 Australians who have died in war, nearly all in foreign wars in which Australia was allied to Britain and, from WW2 onwards, allied to the US.
Gallipoli has been held up by the Australian Establishment as a glorious defeat that marked the beginning of Australia’s nationhood. However while we remember the fallen with respect, Australia formally gained independence from British in 1901 and Australia’s remarkable, world-leading social achievements of free, secular education, free trade unions, and universal suffrage preceded formal independence and are among the many positive things that should be celebrated about nascent Australia’s unique contributions to the world. Indeed a large body of Irish Australians, cognizant of the crimes of British imperialism (most notably the 1845-1850 Irish Famine in which 1 million Irish were starved to death and 1.5 million were forced to emigrate ) successfully opposed conscription during WW1.
Some decades ago a small band of Australian women used to courageously demonstrate on Anzac Day about violence to women and children in war. However a Zionist- and US-assisted progressive shift to the right in Australia has seen a militarization of Australian culture with glorification rather than condemnation of war. Further, the increasingly horrendous civilian deaths in war have been resolutely ignored – nothing must be allowed to spoil the”official story”.
The following is an analysis of civilian deaths in wars in which Australia has been involved. One must note at the outset that civilian deaths occur not just through violence but also from war-imposed deprivation (non-violent avoidable deaths) (for detailed analysis see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”).
1. War on Aborigines (1788-2012). The Australian aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million in 1788 to 0.1 million a century later through violence, deprivation and disease. Post-invasion avoidable deaths totaled 2 million post-1788. No peace treaty has been signed,
2. Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide. The “full-blood” Indigenous population dropped from 6,000 to zero in the period 1803-1876; however there are several thousand “mixed race” descendants of Tasmanian and Mainland Aborigines still living in Tasmania today.
3. British Indian Genocide (Indian Holocaust). Australia was invaded to provide an eastern base in the British war against the French. Indian post-invasion excess deaths from British-imposed deprivation total 0.6 billion, 1757-1837, 0.5 billion, 1837-1901 under Queen Victoria, and 0.4 billion, 1901-1947, 1.5 billion in total and 1.8 billion victims of the carnage in various royalty-ruled Indian British Protectorate States are included.
4. European Chinese Genocide. Britain led the invasion of China, imposing Bengali opium on the Chinese by gun-boat diplomacy and victory in the 1839-1842 and 1856-1860 opium wars. In the period 1850-1864 there were 20-100 million deaths in the European imperialism-driven Tai Ping rebellion. Australia was involved in suppressing the Boxer rebellion in1898. About 35 million Chinese perished under Japanese occupation in the period 1937-1945, during which time Australia exported iron to Japan under pro-fascist Australian PM Robert Menzies (and hence the moniker “Pig Iron Bob”). Australia’s first Prime Minister, the genocidal racist Edmund Barton, in debating what became popularly known as the White Australia Policy (that excluded non-Europeans from Australia) stated (1901): “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of an Englishman and the Chinaman”. More recently, Wikileaks has revealed that former PM Kevin Rudd had suggested to the Americans the course of war against China if it didn’t play ball and that Australian Ambassador to Washington had offered Australian troops in such an eventuality.
5. Maori Wars. Australians participated in the Maori Wars. The New Zealand Maori population dropped from 0.1-0.2 million in 1800 to 42,000 in 1893. Australia was involved in the 19th century Maori wars.
6. African Genocide. Scores of million perished over 5 centuries of European slavery and colonialism. Australians participated in the Sudan War, 1881-1898 and more recently Australia urged the France-UK-US (FUKUS) Coalition intervention in Libya (0.1 million killed, 1.3 million refugees, mostly Black Libyans).
7. Pacific Genocide. Australia was involved in slave trading (“blackbirding”) in the Pacific in the late 19th century. There was a catastrophic population decline due to introduced disease and slavery - thus 40,000 Fijians died from measles out of a population of 150,000 in 1876 after Ratu Cakobau and his sons had returned infected with the disease from a trip to Sydney. Australians were involved in the “5-year-slavery” Girmit system that brought Indian “slaves” to work on Fiji sugar plantations in the period 1879-1920.
8. Boer War and Boer (Afrikaner) Genocide (1899-1902). 28,000 Afrikaner women and children died in British concentration camps. Australians participated in the Boer War and in Boer War crimes as set out in the movie “Breaker Morant”.
9. Gallipoli Campaign and Armenian Genocide. 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Armenian Genocide that was triggered by the Australian invasion of Gallipoli as part of an Anglo-French force in 1915. As stated above, April 24 is Armenian Genocide Day and April 25 is the day of the Australia invasion in 1915 and also a sacred war dead remembrance day for Australians and New Zealanders – it is called Anzac Day after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) which stormed ashore on that first Anzac Day at Gallipoli in 1915).
10. Bengali Genocide (1942-1945). Australia was complicit in the British-imposed Bengal Famine in which 6-7 million Indians were starved to death by the British in Bengal and adjoining provinces in British India, 1942-1945. Australians were there in NE India and indeed the Governor of Bengal in 1944 was an Australian, Richard Casey. Australia was complicit by withholding its huge wheat stores from starving India at the behest of racist and genocidal UK PM Winston Churchill. The Bengal Famine was associated with horrendous sexual abuse of starving women and girls (notably by the British Military Labor Corps) on a scale commensurate with the comfort women” abuses of the Japanese Army. (see Chapter 14, “The Bengal Famine of 1943-1944” in Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”)
11. British post-1950 Third World Genocide. 1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to British occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totaled 727 million (see Chapter 3 in Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” ). Australia has the same Head of State as the UK and was a loyal military ally of the UK in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan.
12. US post-1950 Third World Genocide. 1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to US occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totaled 82 million. Australia participated in all post-1950 US Asian Wars in Korea, Indo-China, Iraq and Afghanistan with Indigenous Asian violent deaths and excess deaths from war-imposed deprivation now totaling 38 million).
13. Australia’s own overseas Colonial Genocide. 1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to Australian occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era, namely Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, totaled 2.1 million.
14. 20th and 21st century Aboriginal Genocide. Total excess deaths were clearly of the order of 1 million in the last century. About 0.1 million Stolen Generations Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their mothers in the 19th and 20th centuries, the genocidal practice only ending in the1970s. Excess Aboriginal deaths in the 11 years of the Howard Coalition Government (1996-2007) totaled about 90,000.
15. Palestinian Genocide. Australian troops of the Anzac Mounted Division started the Palestinian Genocide when they massacred 137 inhabitants of the Palestinian village of Surafend near Beersheba in reprisals for a Bedouin thief shooting a New Zealand sergeant. The village was burned down and the matter hushed up (see “The Surafend Affair”, Wikipedia; “New Book uncovers dark episode near Beersheba”, ABC 7.30 Report, 28 July 2007; and Paul Daley “Beersheba: A Journey Through Australia's Forgotten War”). Australians were involved in massacring Egyptian pro-democracy activists in 1919. Australia’s first Australian-born Governor-General and distinguished Jewish Australian Sir Isaac Isaacs was dead opposed to Zionism, stating in 1946 that “The honor of Jews throughout the world demands the renunciation of political Zionism” (see Sir Isaac Isaacs, quoted by Wikipedia,”Isaac Isaacs”). However a combination of financial support to political parties and virulent defamation of anti-racists (including anti-racist Jews) that continues to this day has meant that the major political parties, Labor Party and the Liberal –National Party Coalition, strongly support US-backed Apartheid Israel even when it commits terrorist atrocities against Australians. Since 1936 about 0.1 million Palestinians have been violently killed and 1.9 million have died from war-, occupation- and expulsion-imposed deprivation. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories post-1967 excess deaths total 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million and there are 7 million Palestinian refugees. With bi-partisan agreement, pro-Zionist Australia provides diplomatic, financial and haven support for Israeli state terrorism – even when directed against tens of thousands of Australian citizens as in Lebanon in mid-2006 - and up to life imprisonment for anyone giving support to the Hamas Party that overwhelmingly won the 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections, winning 76 out of 132 seats. Donations towards the Palestinian Genocide are tax deductible in Australia, whereas a donation to a Gaza Concentration Camp orphanage could attract up to life imprisonment under Australia’s draconian, Islamophobic anti-terrorism laws (Google “Palestinian Genocide”).
16. Korean War. Australia committed troops the US Korean War of whom 340 died. The Korean War was associated with military deaths totaling 0.7 million (South Korea), 37,000 (USA), 0.5 million (North Korea) and 0.2 million (China). Violent civilian deaths totaled as high as 3.0 million. However avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation totaled about 1.0 million. For an honest American account of the Korean War see “The Secret History of the Korean War” by I.F. Stone.
17. Indo-China War. Australia committed troops t the Indo-China war as part of its “insurance policy” for future US military support and 520 died. The Indo-China War was associated with violent civilian deaths totaling up to 4 million (Vietnam), 0.6 million (Cambodia.) and 0.2 million (Laos). Military dead included 0.3 million (South Vietnam), 58,000 (US) and 1.2 million (North Vietnam). However avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation totaled 11.9 million (Vietnam), 3.9 million (Cambodia) and 1.1 million (Laos). The bombing of Cambodia ultimately led to the Cambodian Genocide in which 1.5 million people were killed.
18. Iraq Sanctions War, Gulf War, Iraq War and Iraqi Genocide. Australia was involved in the Gulf War and Sanctions War against Iraq (1990-2003) and invaded Iraq in 2003. Post-1990 Iraqi violent deaths totaled 1.7 million, avoidable deaths from deprivation totaled 2.9 million for a total of 4.6 million violent deaths plus excess deaths from war-imposed deprivation, 1990-2012. Since 1990 under-5 infant deaths totaled 2.0 million (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes) and there have been 5-6 million refugees. 3 Australian servicemen died (Google “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”).
19. Afghan War and Afghan Genocide. Australia has been a participant in the Afghan War (2001-2012) as in all other post-1950 US Asian wars. The Afghan War has been associated with 5.6 million post-invasion deaths (1.4 million violent deaths plus 4.2 million excess deaths from war-imposed deprivation), 2.9 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention) and 3-4 million refugees. 2.5 million Pashtun refugees were generated by US war in NW Pakistan, noting that 0.9 million Pakistanis die avoidably every year from deprivation-related causes and Pakistan has been devastated for 2 years in succession by massive floods that directly impacted 20 million people. Australia was involved militarily in the Afghan War since 2001 and 32 Australian soldiers have been killed. In contrast, 12 million Muslims have been killed violently or from war-imposed deprivation since 1990 in the Australia- and Zionist-backed US War on Muslims. The Afghan War is part of an Australia-complicit US Asian Genocide - Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, wars that have been associated so far with about 40 million violent deaths plus deaths from war-imposed deprivation, the breakdown being 5.2 million (Korea), 15.3 million (Vietnam), 1.2 million (Laos), 6.0 million (Cambodia, including the Cambodian Genocide), 4.6 million (Iraq), Palestine (0.3 million), 5.6 million (Afghanistan) i.e. about 38 million, much greater than the number of Slavs, Jews and Gypsies murdered by the Nazis in WW2 (Google “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”).
20- War on Drugs. Australia is involved in the phony US War on Drugs. Annual Australian deaths from drugs include 15,500 smoking-related deaths , 3,000 alcohol-related deaths, and 360 (opiate drug-related deaths annually due to Australia-complicit US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry that has so far been associated with 1 million deaths world-wide, 200,000 American deaths, 18,000 British deaths and 3,700 Australian deaths. Yet smoking and alcohol are legal in Australia and Australia spends about $2 billion each year on its involvement in the Afghan War that imposes a deadly scourge of 100,000 opiate drug-related deaths annually on the world.
21. War on Terror and 66,000 Australian preventable deaths. annually. Since 2001 US lackey Australia has spent about $30 billion on anti-terrorism, measures (see Ross Gittins, “A vast cost in feeling just a little more secure”, Sydney Morning Herald, National Times, 14 September 2011In addition Australia has spent about $20 billion on the Iraq War and the Afghan War, and all this notwithstanding expert science, engineering, architecture, aviation, military and intelligence advice that the US did 9-11, quite likely with Israeli assistance Google “Experts: US did 9-11”). Yet each year about 66,000 Australians die preventable, lives that could potentially be saved due to better medical services including better social assistance, education and preventive medicine, the breakdown being 18,000 (annual Australian deaths from adverse hospital events), 15,500 (smoking), 10,000 carbon burning pollution-derived ), 9.000 (avoidable Indigenous Australian deaths), 6,000 obesity-related), 3,000 ( alcohol-related), 2,100 (suicides), 1,400 (road deaths), 360 (opiate drug-related deaths annually due to US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry) and 300 (homicides). With 9,000 excess Indigenous deaths annually and over 100,000 excess deaths in the last dozen years of pro-war Coalition or Labor rule, there have more avoidable Indigenous deaths so far in the 21st century than Australian military deaths in all wars (Google “Aboriginal Genocide” ). .
22. War on Terra. Australia is a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution that threatens the world with a climate genocide that is a predicted to kill 10 billion people this century due to unaddressed, man-made climate change (Google “Climate Genocide”) . Thus in 2009 the WBGU which advises the German Government on climate change estimated that for a 75% chance of avoiding a 2C temperature rise (EU policy; would you board a plane with a 25% chance of crashing?), the world must emit no more than 600 billion tones of CO2 between 2010 and zero emissions in 2050. Unfortunately Australia has already used up its "fair share" of the world's "terminal GHG pollution budget" and is effectively stealing the entitlement of other countries, including impoverished countries such as Somalia and Bangladesh (see Dr Gideon Polya, "Shocking analysis by country of years left to zero emissions", Green Blog, 1 August 2011). 18 million people die avoidably each year in the Developing World’s minus China, but this is increasingly befoul-impacted (befoul genocide) as the legislatively-mandated US, UK and EU biofuel perversion forces up global food prices. Australia is a major sugar cane grower and sugar exporter with 60% of sugar going to bioethanol production worldwide, and Australia has biofuel-promoting legislation. In terms of “fossil fuel-derived annual per capita CO2 pollution” Australia is about 29 times worse than India and 71 times worse than Bangladesh if you include Australia’s world leading coal exports.
Australia has been variously involved in British and thence American wars for over 2 centuries. However these wars have involved mass murder of huge numbers of Indigenous civilians. Thus Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, wars that have been associated so far with about 38 million violent deaths plus deaths from war-imposed deprivation, noting that most of these deaths have been of women and children Outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond in his best-selling book "Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the "moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people" – an injunction grossly violated by racist Australian warmongers and their warmongering British, NATO, Apartheid Israeli and US associates. Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-beholden Australia lead the charge for US-NATO military intervention in Libya (0.1 million deaths, 1.3 million refugees) and is a leader in world hostility to Iran and Syria... Australia recently permitted 2,500 child-killing US Marines to be based in Darwin (see “Hey, hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today? Answer: 1,000”, Bellaciao, 1 May 2009) and has adumbrated greater use of Australian airfields and ports for the nuclear terrorist US war machine, including the possible conversion of the Indian Ocean Cocos-Keeling Islands paradise (halfway between India and Australia) into a US air force base for spying on and bombing Asian countries.
24 April (Armenian Genocide Day) and 25 April (Australian Anzac Day) illustrate Australia’s secret genocide history and forgotten war history. The Armenian Genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians perished started the night before the Australian invasion of Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 that had been preceded by months of Allied shelling of the Dardanelles. Yet the connection between young Australia’s most iconic war-time tragedy and the genocidal destruction of the ancient Armenian people is never made on Anzac Day in look-the-other-way, aren’t-we-nice Australia in a continuing process of genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring that is far, far worse than repugnant genocide denial and holocaust denial - at least denial admits the possibility of debate. Neocon Western warmongers are complicit in the mass murder of millions of women and children. Who is next – the Syrian women and children, the Iranian women and children …? Tell everyone you can about the horrendous civilian deaths associated with war.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|