Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention state unequivocally that an Occupier must provide its conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. However in relation to huge Subject avoidable deaths from deprivation, and ventilator non-provision in the context of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the US and Australia grossly violate the Geneva Convention in Occupied Afghanistan, and Apartheid Israel grossly violates this in Occupied Palestine.
(1). Annual avoidable deaths from deprivation are huge in impoverished Occupied Afghanistan and Occupied Palestine but zero for the rich and war criminal Occupiers.
The key parts of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention) are as follows: “Article 55. To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate …
Article 56. To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining , with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties” [1-3].
The deadly consequences of Occupier violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention can be quantitated as avoidable mortality from deprivation. Avoidable mortality (avoidable death, excess death, excess mortality, premature death, untimely death, death that should not have happened) can be defined as the difference between the actual deaths in a country and deaths expected for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics (birth rate and proportion of children). For poor and high birth rate countries the baseline mortality rate as a percentage of population is about 0.4% per annum (pa) . Thus for Occupied Afghanistan the mortality rate is presently 0.62% pa (data from the UN Population Division ) and thus the avoidable mortality rate” = 0.62% -0.40% = 0.22% pa or 2.2 per thousand of population pa. Occupied Afghanistan has a population of 38,298,000 (2020), and thus the avoidable deaths from deprivation in Occupied Afghanistan total 38,298 thousand x 2.2 per thousand = 84,256 pa [5, 6].
Annual avoidable deaths from deprivation in the wealthy countries of the US, Australia and Apartheid Israel are essentially zero (0) . For impoverished, high birth rate countries “avoidable mortality from deprivation” is about 1.4 times the “under-5 infant death rate” which is 3,000 pa for impoverished Occupied Palestine. Accordingly one can assess annual avoidable mortality from deprivation” for Occupied Palestine as 1.4 x 3,000 = 4,200 .
However the per capita GDP is a miniscule $521 (Occupied Afghanistan), $57, 374 (Occupier Australia) and $62,975 (Occupier US) . Shockingly, nnual avoidable deaths from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease on a global comparative basis total 84,300 per year (Occupied Afghanistan) but are effectively zero (0) per year for the war criminal present Occupiers, the US and Australia.
Similarly, the per capita GDP is $3,124 (West Bank and the Gaza Concentration Camp) and $41,715 (Occupier Apartheid Israel) . Shockingly, annual avoidable deaths from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease on a global comparative basis total 4,200 per year (for the Occupied Palestinian Territories) and zero (0) per year (for Occupier Apartheid Israel).
Those responsible for the continuing and deadly 19-year Occupation of Afghanistan and the 53-year Occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories are genocidally racist war criminals who continue to remorselessly act in gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
(2). Ventilators per million (/M) people are 504/M (Occupier US), 173/M (Occupier Australia) and 407/M (Occupier Apartheid Israel) versus 8/M (Occupied Afghanistan), 38/M (Occupied Palestine) and 13/M (Gaza Concentration Camp).
In the most serious progression of the COVID-19 disease the damage to lung tissue is so great that patients need to be intubated and mechanically ventilated by expensive ventilator machines. The massive attempts to “lower the corona virus infection curve” through travel bans, case detection, case tracking and social distancing (by closure of schools and businesses at huge economic cost) were impelled by the threat of heroic health workers being overwhelmed by huge numbers of sick patients and having too few ventilators. Indeed in New York doctors had to resort to a variant of 2 patients per ventilator.
However as set out below, the Occupier countries considered here have vastly more ventilators than their impoverished conquered Subjects, this being in gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention by the war criminal Occupiers.
Re Occupied Afghanistan:
Occupier US (population 331.0 million) has 166,700 ventilators/331.0 million people = 504 ventilators per million people [9, 10].
Occupier Australia (population 25.5 million) has 4,400 ventilators/25.5 million people = 173 ventilators per million people .
Occupied Afghanistan (population 38.3 million) has 300 ventilators/ 38.3 million people = 8 ventilators per million people .
Re Occupied Palestine:
Occupier Apartheid Israel (population 8.6 million) has 3,500 ventilators/ 8.6 million people = 407 ventilators per million people .
Occupied Palestinian Territories (population 5 million) has 190 ventilators/ 5.0 million people = 38 ventilators per million people .
Occupied West Bank (population 3 million) has 135 ventilators/ 3.0 million people = 45 ventilators per million people [14, 15].
Gaza Concentration Camp (population 2 million) has 65 ventilators/ 5.0 million people = 13 ventilators per million people [14, 15].
Thus the Gaza Concentration Camp has 31 times fewer ventilators than Apartheid Israel, the West Bank has 9 times fewer ventilators than Apartheid Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian territory as a whole has about 11 times fewer ventilators than Apartheid Israel.
There are many other comparisons that can be made to illustrate the gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention by these war criminal Occupiers, the US, Australia and Apartheid Israel. About half the Subjects of Apartheid Israel are Indigenous Palestinians and of these about 73% are excluded from voting for the government ruling them – egregious Apartheid [16-20]. Australia is second only to Trump America as a fervent supporter of nuclear terrorist and democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel and hence of the obscene crime of Apartheid .
“Holocaust’ refers to the death of huge numbers of people, whereas “genocide” is defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” . The Palestinian Genocide has involved 2.1 million Palestinian deaths from violence , 0.1 million, or from deprivation, 2.1 million, since the UK invasion of the Ottoman Empire in WW1 . The Afghan Genocide has involved perhaps 1 million violent deaths and as many as 6 million avoidable deaths from egregious deprivation over 2 decades [5, 6].
Decent people will not tolerate this genocidally racist criminality in gross violation of International Law, and will act by (a) informing everyone they can (notwithstanding egregious Mainstream mendacity, the Awful Truth is just a few mouse clicks away) , (b) demanding arraignment of the war criminal leaders and their collaborators before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and (c) by urging and applying Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, collectives, corporations, and countries disproportionately complicit in these ongoing atrocities. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – as in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, we cannot walk by on the other side.
. “Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”, 12 August 1949: https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/atrocity-crimes/Doc.33_GC-IV-EN.pdf .
. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes an avoidable mortality-related history of every country from Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web : http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ .
. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, Preamble: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ .
. UN Population Division: https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/ .
. “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .
. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .
. “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .
. “List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita .
. David Shepardson and Carl O’Donnell, “U.S. ramps up ventilator production as need wanes”, Health News, 21 April 2020: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-ventilators/u-s-revs-up-ventilator-production-for-coronavirus-patients-as-need-wanes-idUSKBN22232Q .
. Kathryn Diss, “The US was warned it could run out of ventilators. So why wasn’t its healthcare system prepared for coronavirus?”, ABC News, 12 April 2020: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-12/why-is-the-us-out-of-ventilators-amid-coronavirus/12137178 .
. ABC News, “Coronavirus pushes government to commission 2,000 new ventilators for Australian ICUs”, ABC News, 9 April 2020: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-09/australia-to-build-2000-ventilators-coronavirus/12136424
. Zahra Rahimi , “Only “300” ventilators in Afghanistan to treat Covid-19: MoPH”, TOLO, 8 April 2020: https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/only-300-ventilators-afghanistan-treat-covid-19-moph
. Rami Ayubb, “Israel retrofits home-use respirators into ventilators to treat coronavirus”, Reuters, 17 April 2020: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-israel-ventilators/israel-retrofits-home-use-respirators-into-ventilators-to-treat-coronavirus-idUSKCN21Y282 .
. Agence France-Presse “Palestinian university unveils home-made ventilator”, VOA, 23 April 2020: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/palestinian-university-unveils-home-made-ventilator .
. Gideon Levy, “Israel trading in ventilators for helpless Gazans is inhumane”, Haaretz, 15 April 2020: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-trading-in-ventilators-for-helpless-gazans-is-inhumane-1.8768709 .
. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide & Australia’s Aboriginal Genocide compared”, Countercurrents, 20 February 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/02/20/apartheid-israels-palestinian-genocide-australias-aboriginal-genocide-compared/ .
. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/08/21/israeli-palestinian-middle-east-conflict-from-oil-to-climate-genocide/ .
. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents, 9 June 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/06/09/end-50-years-of-genocidal-occupation-human-rights-abuse-by-us-backed-apartheid-israel/ .
. Gideon Polya, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Palestinians. Apartheid Israel violates ALL Palestinian Human Rights”, Palestine Genocide Essays, 24 January 2009: https://sites.google.com/site/palestinegenocideessays/universal-declaration-of-human-rights-palestinians .
. Gideon Polya, “70th anniversary of Apartheid Israel & commencement of large-scale Palestinian genocide”, Countercurrents, 11 may 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/70th-anniversary-of-apartheid-israel-commencement-of-large-scale-palestinian-genocide .
. John Dugard, “International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the crime of Apartheid”, Audiovisual Library of International Law: http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html .
. UN Genocide Convention: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide.
Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: https://countercurrents.org/polya170612.htm ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ; Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .