On September 18, the Associated Press sent out the following news item:
IAEA Chief Warns Against Striking Iran
Monday September 17, 2007 1:46 PM
By GEORGE JAHN
Associated Press Writer
This news item contained the following paragraph, attributed by the AP to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency:
There are rules on how to use force, and I would hope that everybody would have gotten the lesson after the Iraq situation, where 70,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives on the suspicion that a country has nuclear weapons,” he told reporters.
The same news item with the same paragraph reported above was widely spread on the Internet.
I wrote on my blog on this yesterday. When I read the 70,000 figure, I thought Mr. ElBaradei had joined the supporters of Iraq Body Count, the British organization whose widely publicized figures coming from reported deaths in the English language media have been used by the warmongers and many in the state-corporate media to downplay the Iraqi genocide.
But a few hours later, the same AP news item above was circulating on the Internet with a different figure. The same paragraph now read:
There are rules on how to use force, and I would hope that everybody would have gotten the lesson after the Iraq situation, where 700,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives on the suspicion that a country has nuclear weapons,” he told reporters.
At this point there are two different versions of the same AP news item on the Internet; the 70,000 one and the 700,000 one. Some media outlets have changed the 70,000 to 700,000 but others have now the two different versions running together.
These are the facts, so far.
Now, if this accident were merely the result of a typo, it would be useful and important to have the official explanation of that coming directly from the AP and from Mr. ElBaradei office. Why?
While the 70,000 figure could have come probably from Iraq Body Count, it would be interesting to know from Mr. ElBaradei where he got that 700,000 figure. In other words, what’s the source of Mr. ElBaradei’s claims that “700,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives” in Iraq since the US-led war of aggression?
Furthermore, this 700,000 figure is a GENOCIDE figure and a GENOCIDE figure that has been always rejected by the American and British governments (at least officially) and by most of the mainstream media.
Mohamed ElBaradei is the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a very important agency within the United Nations family. Should we believe that just a few words, like the ones attributed to Mr. ElBaradei by the later AP version, are enough to denounce the Iraqi genocide?
The phrase context would suggest that his words fit well with the 70,000 figure – a figure widely known and accepted by the world leaders and most of the mainstream media – but they sound out of tune with a reality of GENOCIDE that’s been so far denied by those responsible and ignored by the so-called International Community.
A reality whose responsibility falls also upon the state-corporate media that have denied paramount information in a critical and tragic time to the citizens they were supposed to serve and for this crime they have been actively aiding and abetting in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Finally and most importantly, the results of a new ORB poll have been released last Friday. This study suggests a total of 1,220,580 deaths as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age).
The results of this ORB poll are consistent with the results of a study published last year in the British medical journal the Lancet. That study – ignored and discredited by Washington and London and their propaganda spread in many Western mainstream media – estimated 655,000 excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war.
There are now three serious scientific studies on mortality in invaded and occupied Iraq showing the ugly truth that too many actors have been successfully working to hide. That ugly truth has a name: GENOCIDE.
Mr. ElBaradei should clarify what he really said and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon must speak out. Silence is complicity.
Gabriele Zamparini is an independent filmmaker and freelance writer living in London. He’s the producer and director of the documentary series “XXI CENTURY” and author of American Voices of Dissent (Paradigm Publishers, Colorado, July 2005).