European Ukraine’s Lives Matter! Asian, MidEast, African, Latin Lives Didn’t!

While it would be expected for Western media to report fully on civilian life taken in the Ukraine by the military of US designated enemy Russia, and for CIA managed Western media1 to avoid reporting civilian loss of life caused by US/NATO military throughout the Third World, people in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are surely noticing an element of racism with so much media attention given White European lives lost reminding them of the complete absence of compassionate media coverage of the millions of civilian lives lost by peoples of skin of various hues during the many US led neocolonialist wars in their nations since the Second World War.

On September 25, 2022, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 5,996 civilian deaths during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 382 were children, 8,848 people were reported to have been injured.

Intense media coverage showing compassion for the six thousand lives taken by Russian military in the Ukraine is very humane. Little or no Western media attention for the many millions of lives taken by US/NATO in Asia, Africa, MidEast and Latin America is cruel and heartless.

The 2003 US invasion and war that utterly destroyed the prospering Iraqi society caused between 184,382 and 207,156 civilian deaths. [Many would consider these estimates of Iraqi fatalities as too low. E.g., Gideon Polya reported in 2007 “Four Years: One Million Iraqi Deaths” — DV Ed]

In 1995, Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during the US-Vietnam War: as many as 2,000,000 civilians.

For nine years, the United States dropped bombs every eight minutes, 24 hours a day over the territory of Laos. By the end of the Laotian Civil War in 1975, one-tenth of Laos’ population, or 200,000 civilians and military personnel, had been killed.

Up to a third of the bombs dropped on Laos did not explode, leaving Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Over 25,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO in Laos since the bombing ceased, 98 percent of them civilians.

From 1965 to 1968, 2,565 bombing sorties took place over Cambodia,. Early strikes and later carpet bombing were likely tactical, designed to support the nearly two thousand secret ground incursions conducted by the CIA and US Special Forces during that period. Those carpet bombing attacks by B-52s were totally devastating, nothing could survive. Cambodia may well be the most heavily bombed country in history. All the above received no media attention.

Is there not an element of racism in not reporting US/NATO crimes against civilians in the Third World? (The civilian deaths from US bombing of European Serbia did receive a modest amount of media coverage.)

In Central America

In 1954, a coup against Guatemala’s democratically elected president, Jacobo Árbenz, was orchestrated by the US. Washington backed the Guatemalan military, which was responsible for a genocide2 against the indigenous population. An estimated 200,000 people were killed between 1960 and 1996. There was little or no media coverage.

The United Nations General Assembly and the Organization of American States condemned the invasion as a violation of international law.

El Salvador was also trapped in a cycle of violence that can be traced back to a civil conflict in which the US was a protagonist, training and funding right-wing death squads in the name of fighting communism. Over 75,000 civilians died. (1980-1992).

In Africa: Somalia (time and space made for one country as an example of US/NATO genocide in Africa)

During the 1980s, the US backed a brutal dictatorship without regard to a massive starvation. 300,000 Somalis, mostly children died.3

In 2011, Kenyan armed forces entered Somalia, with US/NATO attack aircraft support, to combat al-Shabaab (“Youths’ in Arabic language), who had taken up leading the fight against US supported warlords, when the popular conservative Islamic Courts Union government of their elders was overthrown by the deadly and brutal US proxy Ethiopian Army and Air Force invasion, which brought back those defeated US backed warlords resulting in more death, maiming, destruction and more importantly creating starvation. Oxfam reported “between 2010 and 2012, more than a quarter of a million people died in the famine in Somalia.”4

Had the public in Europe and America become aware this disparity in their media, would they have made some effort to correct it.

Addendum

Comparison of the number of people displaced by war:

The United Nations says at least 12 million people have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More than five million have left for neighboring countries, while as of July 4, 2022, seven million people are still thought to be displaced inside Ukraine itself.

U.S. post-9/11 wars have forcibly displaced at least 38 million people in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria.

Post Script

It is appropriate to mention that Western media does not report the more than 16,000 Russian Ukrainians5 of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics that have been killed by Ukrainian armed forces since 2014 when Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts voted to secede from the Ukraine proper after a US supported fascist led coup overthrew Ukraine’s democratic government. Crimea had voted to secede as well.

  1. “Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A,” December 26, 1977, New York Times. []
  2. The UN definition of genocide (recognized by 142 states) is: “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; []

  3. In the 1980s, despite warnings by Africa specialists, human rights groups and humanitarian organizations that continued American aid to the dictatorial government of Siad Barre would eventually plunge Somalia into chaos. US poured in more than $50 million of arms annually to prop up this disastrous Barre dictatorship while offering virtually no assistance that would have helped build a self-sustaining economy which could feed Somalia’s people. In addition, the United States pushed a structural adjustment program through the International Monetary Fund severely weakening the local agricultural economy. Combined with the breakdown of the central government, drought conditions and rival militias disrupting food supplies, there was famine on a massive scale, resulting in the deaths of more than 300,000 Somalis, mostly children. []
  4. The study, which covered the period from October 2010 to April 2012, suggests that an estimated 4.6% of the total population and 10% of children younger than 5 died in southern and central Somalia” International humanitarian organization Oxfam said, “Famines are not natural phenomena, they are catastrophic political failures,” it said in a statement in Feb, 2013. Because the US destroyed Somalia’s chosen government, which is normal colonial procedure, for decades famine relief took second priority to Western exploitative business interests in Somalia with genocidal consequences. []
  5. The overall number of confirmed deaths in the War in Donbas, which started on 6 April 2014, was estimated at 14,200–14,400 through 31 December 2021, including non-combat military deaths. Wikipedia []
Jay Janson, spent eight years as Assistant Conductor of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi and also toured, including with Dan Tai-son, who practiced in a Hanoi bomb shelter. The orchestra was founded by Ho Chi Minh,and it plays most of its concerts in the Opera House, a diminutive copy of the Paris Opera. In 1945, our ally Ho, from a balcony overlooking the large square and flanked by an American Major and a British Colonel, declared Vietnam independent. Everyone in the orchestra lost family, "killed by the Americans" they would mention simply, with Buddhist un-accusing acceptance. Jay can be reached at: tdmedia2000@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Jay.