The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Civilian casualties climb
– at the hands of the U.S. occupation forces

Aug 1, 2005

U.S. troops shot three unarmed Iraqi men in front of the headquarters of the national police major crimes unit in Bagdad, killing one and injuring two. One of the two injured men turned out to be Iraqi police Brigadier General Majeed Farraji. The men had done nothing more than get out of their car.

Another man, Salah Jmor, a Kurdish activist, forced by Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq years ago and recently returned to Iraq to visit his family, was shot and killed by U.S. troops just when the car he was in came near a military convoy. His brother, Abdul-Jabbar Jmor, said, "This kind of incident makes people hate the Americans more and more. They don't care about the lives of the people. Each day they make new enemies."Another man, a physician and Knight-Ridder correspondent, was shot in his own neighborhood by U.S. troops who had staged a surprise military operation. They shot him in the forehead and in his raised hand.These killings underline the purpose of the U.S. presence in Iraq. They aren't there to help the population achieve democracy, but to subdue and terrorize it.

These kinds of shooting by the U.S. military are common. They just got more attention because of who was shot.

A recent study by the British group, Iraq Body Count (IBC), estimates that almost 25,000 civilians have been killed by military actions since the beginning of the war in March 2003. Almost 30% of those were killed in the first two months, nearly all by U.S. bombing of the cities.

Since that time, U.S. troops have still killed more civilians – over 2,600 – than all the insurgent and terrorist attacks that receive so much attention in the news.

We can expect that these numbers are in fact low, because the IBC did not count any deaths that were not reported in news sources. Many people in Iraq would probably not take the chance of reporting killings done by the U.S. military.

The terrorism being carried out today in Iraq is against the civilian population. And heading the list of terrorists is the U.S. military.