Queen Elizabeth II and 70 Years of UK Wars, Atrocities

Colonialism, neo-colonialism, wars, mass mortality & genocide

Queen Elizabeth II has died, and there is immense public affection for the Queen for her dignified but warm conduct in 70 years of dedicated service as a constitutional  monarch. That affection is most marked among her pro-Apartheid Israel and hence pro-Apartheid British, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Subjects, as well as among some other British Commonwealth loyalists. However resolutely ignored is the Royal heading of British imperialism, slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, war and genocide for centuries up to the present.

The English have invaded 193 of the world’s present-day countries over the last 1,000 years, as compared to Australia 85, France 82, the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25, Apartheid Israel 13, China 2, North Korea arguably zero, Iran zero and indeed most Developing Countries, zero. These invasions, from the Normans invading England in  1066 to the UK-backed US devastation of the Muslim world in the 21st century, have often involved genocide that is defined by Article 2  of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

The most horrendously super-deadly, English-complicit  events (deaths in brackets) include the 16th-19th century onwards Amerindian Genocide in North and South America  (90 million deaths)  the 17th-19th century North American Indian Genocide (up to 18 million deaths), the  15th-19th century African Holocaust of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (6 million deaths), the 19th century Chinese Holocaust (20-100 million deaths), WW1 (1914-1918; 40 million deaths), the 1918-1920 Influenza epidemic (50-100 million deaths), WW2 (1939-1945, 90 million deaths) and the 2-century Indian Holocaust (1,800 million Indian deaths from violence and imposed deprivation under the British) that commenced with the 1769-1770 Great Bengal Famine (10 million deaths) and concluded just prior to Indian Independence with the British-imposed and Australia complicit but “forgotten” 1942-1945 WW2 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust, WW2 Bengal Famine; 6-7 million deaths).

While the 2-century British-imposed Indian Holocaust (1757-1947) was quantitatively the worst man-made atrocity in human history (1,800 million Indian deaths from violence and imposed deprivation), from a qualitative perspective the 1788 onwards Australian Aboriginal Genocide and Ethnocide was the worst such atrocity in human history. Of 350-700 Indigenous Australian languages and dialects in 1788 only 120 survive today, and of these all but 25 are endangered.

Queen Elizabeth II was Queen for 70 years,  from 1952-2022, and during that time the UK was regularly involved in wars that were horrendously deadly for the Indigenous people that the UK and its allies were attacking.

There are presently 15 countries having the Queen as head of state (UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Of these 15 countries only the 4 White Anglosphere countries (the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) have been involved in invading other countries during the Queen’s reign (1952-2022).

Summary list of the last 70 years of egregious UK violence and prior impositions: (1) Afghanistan (1838-2021); (2) Argentina (1806-1982); (3) Bahrain (1861-1971); (4) China (18th century onwards); (5) Cyprus (1878-1960); (6) Egypt (1882-1956); (7) Indonesia (1963-1965); (8) Iran (1914 onwards); (9) Iraq (1914 onwards); (10) Jordan (1918-1958); (11) Kenya (1884-1960); (12) Kiribati (1892 -1979); (13) Korean War (1950-1953); (14) Kuwait (1897-1961); (15) Libya (1943-2012); (16) Malaysia (1786-1960); (17) Mauritius (including the Chagos Archipelago, and Diego Garcia) (1810-onwards); (18) Nigeria (16th century – 1970); (19) Oman, 18th century-1971); Palestine (1917 onwards; Queen Elizabeth II never visited Apartheid Israel/Palestine); (21) Qatar (1868-1971); (22) Sierra Leone (16th century – 2000); (23) Somalia (1870- onwards); (24) South Africa (1795-1994) (25) Sri Lanka (Ceylon) (1798-1972); (26) Sudan (1881-1958); (27) Syria (1916 onwards); (28) Uganda (1890-1962) (29) United Arab Emirates (1892 – 1971); (30) Yemen (1839- onwards); and (31) Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) (1889-1980).

The worst circa 1952-2022 atrocities included (dates and deaths from violence and imposed deprivation in brackets):  the Afghan Holocaust (2001-2021; 6 million) Iraqi Holocaust (1990-2011; 6 million);  Indonesia (1965; 1 million); Kenyan Genocide (1952-1960; 1.1 million); Korean War (1950-1953; 5 million); Libyan Genocide (2011-2012; 0.1 million); Malayan Emergency (1950-1960; 1.0 million);  Nigeria’s Biafran Genocide (1967-1970; 3 million); ongoing UK-backed Palestinian Genocide (1916 onwards; 2.2 million); Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2001; 1.1 million); Somali Genocide (1990s onwards; 2 million); Sri Lanka’s Tamil Genocide (1971-2009; 0.1 million); Sudan civil war (1955-2005; 12 million); Syrian Genocide (2012 onwards; 0.5 million); Yemeni Genocide (2012 onwards; 0.4 million); Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) (1965-1980; violent deaths 25,000 with excess mortality from deprivation of 0.7 million); UK complicit, “US-imposed  post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide” in 20 invaded countries (see my book of the same name): 32 million deaths from violence, 5 million, and imposed deprivation, 27 million.  

How many people died avoidably from imposed deprivation in countries variously occupied or otherwise impacted by the Queen-ruled UK in the post-WW2 era?

Whether a child is killed violently (by bombs, bullets, and bashing) or non-violently through avoidable deaths from imposed deadly deprivation (from war, colonialism, neo-colonialism and hegemony), the death is just as final and the perpetrators  just as guilty. Avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that should not have happened)  can be readily estimated from UN Population Division demographic data that have been made available and continually revised since 1950.

The summary data provided below are of 1950-2005  excess mortality/ 2005 population (both in millions, m) and expressed as a percentage (%); this ratio is given for the UK (as a major Occupier), for each country occupied, and as a total for all the countries subject to UK occupation. The asterisk (*) below indicates a major occupation by more than one country in the post-WW2 era.

UK [4.411m/59.598m = 7.4%] – Afghanistan* [16.609m/25.971m = 64.0%], Bahamas [0.007m/0.321m = 2.3%], Bahrain [0.054m/0.754m = 7.2%], Bangladesh* [51.196m/152.593m = 33.6%], Barbados [0.015m/0.272m = 5.5%], Belize [0.014m/0.266m = 5.3%], Bhutan [0.908m/2.392m = 38.0%], Botswana [0.443m/1.801m = 24.6%], Brunei [0.020m/0.374m = 5.3%], Cameroon* [6.669m/16.564m = 40.3%], Cyprus [0.054m/0.813m = 6.6%]; Egypt* [19.818m/74.878m = 26.5%], Eritrea* [1.757m/4.456m = 39.4%], Ethiopia [36.133m/74.189m = 48.7%], Fiji [0.054m/0.854m = 6.3%], Gambia [0.606m/1.499m = 47.6%], Ghana [6.089m/21.833m = 27.9%], Greece* [0.027m/10.978m = 0.2%], Grenada* [0.018m/0.121m = 14.9%], Guyana [0.086m/0.768m = 11.2%], Hong Kong [0.125m/7.182m = 1.7%], India [351.900m/1096.917m = 32.1%], Iraq* [5.283m/26.555m = 19.9%], Israel [0.095m/6.685 = 1.4%], Jamaica [0.245m/2.701m =9.1%], Jordan* [0.630m/5.750m = 11.0%], Kenya [10.015m/32.849m = 30.5%], Korea* [7.958m/71.058m = 11.2%], Kuwait* [0.089m/2.671m = 3.3%], Lesotho [0.951m/1.797m =52.9%], Libya [0.785m/5.768m =13.6%], Malawi [6.976m/12.572m = 55.5%], Malaysia [2.344m/25.325m = 9.3%], Maldives [0.015m/0.338m = 4.4%], Malta [0.019m/0.397m = 4.8%], Myanmar [20.174m/50.696 = 39.8%], Nepal [10.650m/26.289m = 40.5%], Nigeria [49.737m/130.236m =38.2%], Occupied Palestinian Territories [0.677m/3.815m = 17.7%], Oman [0.359m/3.020m =11.9%], Pakistan [49.700m/161.151m = 30.8%], Qatar [0.029m/0.628m = 4.6%], Saint Lucia [0.012m/0.152m = 7.9%], Saint Vincent & Grenadines [0.018m/0.121m =14.9%], Sierra Leone [4.548m/5.340m = 85.2%], Singapore [0.113m/4.372m = 2.6%], Solomon Islands* [0.050m/0.504m = 48.5%], Somalia* [5.568m/10.742m =51.8%], Sri Lanka [0.951m/19.366m = 4.9%], Sudan [13.471m/35.040m = 38.4%], Swaziland [0.471m/1.087m = 43.3%], Tanzania [14.682m/38.365m =38.3%], Tonga [0.020m/0.106m = 18.9%], Trinidad & Tobago [0.052m/1.311m = 4.0%], Uganda [11.121m/27.623m = 40.3%], United Arab Emirates [0.087m/3.106m =2.8%], Vanuatu [0.037m/0.222m = 16.7%], Yemen [6.798m/21.480m = 31.6%], Zambia [5.463m/11.043m = 49.5%], Zimbabwe [4.653m/12.963m =35.9%], total = 727.448m/2247.711m = 32.4%.

The avoidable mortality (excess mortality) from deprivation for the whole world totalled 1.3 billion for the period 1950-2005, but that associated with countries variously occupied  by the UK in the post-WW2 era totalled 727 million or 56% of that in the whole world. The excess mortality for the whole world during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1952-2022) totalled about 1.5 billion (including 1 billion under-5 deaths) with about 50% in countries variously occupied by the UK. Thus about half of this post-1950 Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust of 1,500 million people (including 1,000 million under-5 year old children) during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II can be attributed to British colonialism and neo-colonialism.

History ignored yields history repeated. Presently 7.4 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year (5.3 million being under-5 infants) on Spaceship Earth with endlessly greedy First World One Percenters in charge of the flight deck. However it is predicted that in the absence of requisite action a worsening Climate Genocide  may kill 10 billion people this century en route to a sustainable human population of only 1 billion by 2100 (see Gideon Polya, “Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions”).1

  1. Please disseminate this to everyone you can. Silence is complicity. All people are created equal, and we must all adhere to the fundamental imperatives of Humanity, namely Kindness and Truth. For details and documentation see Gideon Polya, “Queen Elizabeth II & 70 years of UK colonialism, neo-colonialism, wars, mass mortality & genocide,” Countercurrents, 18 September 2022. []
Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. He has published the following huge books Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950, Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History, US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide (2020), and Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions (2020). Read other articles by Gideon.