[OPE-L:8007] "Iraq war could kill 500,000"

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 08:54:07 EST

I don't think Rumsfeld has yet commented on this. rb

Iraq war 'could kill 500,000'

14:00 12 November 02

NewScientist.com news service

A war against Iraq could kill half a million people, warns a new 
report by medical experts - and most would be civilians.

The report claims as many as 260,000 could die in the conflict and 
its three-month aftermath, with a further 200,000 at risk in the 
longer term from famine and disease. A civil war in Iraq could add 
another 20,000 deaths.

Collateral Damage is being published on Tuesday in 14 countries and 
has been compiled by Medact, an organisation of British health 
professionals. It comes as the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, is 
deciding how to respond to a series of deadlines on weapons 
inspections imposed by the United Nations.

If he fails to meet any conditions, the US and the UK have threatened 
to destroy Iraq's presumed weapons of mass destruction using military 

The report has been commended by both medical and military 
specialists. "It is really important that people understand the 
consequences of war," says Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and 
ethics at the British Medical Association.

"All doctors look at war with a very large degree of horror because 
they know the meaning of casualties," she told New Scientist. "Even 
in the cleanest, most limited conflicts, people die and people 

General Pete Gration, former Chief of the Australian Defence Forces 
and an opponent of a war on Iraq, adds: "This is no exaggerated tract 
by a bunch of zealots. It is a coldly factual report by health 
professionals who draw on the best evidence available."

Nuclear attack

The report assumes an attack on Iraq will begin with sustained air 
strikes, followed by an invasion of ground troops and culminating in 
the overthrow of Baghdad.

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