Iraq Invasion 20th Anniversary: 5 Million Dead In Iraqi Holocaust

bombing iraq

The 20th anniversary of the war criminal US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003 will fall on about 20 March 2023. On this occasion mendacious and racist Western media will at best remember the Iraq War as a US policy mistake. However decent people will remember the carnage. From 1990 onwards Iraqi deaths from US-imposed violence and deprivation have totalled about 5.0-5.5 million, similar to deaths in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust ( 5-6 million).

(A). Some important prefatory comments on violent deaths, avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation, and culpability.

One notes that “holocaust” implies a large number of deaths whereas  “genocide” is precisely defined by Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the UN Genocide Convention) thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, 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; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” [1].

Further, deaths in war and occupation come from violence and from imposed deprivation. Whether a child dies from violence (bombs, bullets or bashing) or from being deprived of life-sustaining requisites (food, potable water and medicine), the death is just as final, and the culpability of the perpetrator just as real. However while deaths in war from violence are often hard to assess, avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation can be estimated from comparative demographic data (that have been provided for the years from 1950 onwards by the UN Population Division). The methodology used to estimate avoidable deaths from deprivation is described in detail  in my book “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” [2].

Culpability for avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation is set out by Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention ( the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons In Time of War) that state that the  Occupying Power  is obliged to supply the conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”.These key injunctions of International Law have been grossly violated by the US and its degenerate and serial war criminal allies (notably the UK, Apartheid Israel, France and US lackey Australia) in the post-9/11 US War on Muslims [3, 4].

Scrupulously ignored by mendacious Mainstream media (M3) journalist, editor, politician, academic and commentariat presstitutes is the horrible reality that the ongoing Iraqi Genocide and Iraq Holocaust actually commenced 109 years ago with the British invasion of Iraq in 1914 for oil and imperial hegemony [2, 5]. The deaths in the various stages of the 109-year and ongoing Iraq Holocaust are succinctly set out below.

(B). Deaths from violence and deprivation in the ongoing, 109-year Iraqi Holocaust.

(a). British rule or hegemony (1914-1950): 4 million.

British interest in invading and conquering Iraq came from discovery of oil in adjacent Iran in 1908. Western violation of Iraq commenced with the British invasion for oil and imperial hegemony a mere 6 years later, in 1914 during WW1.  Churchill had forced the Ottoman Empire (1517-1924 Ottoman Caliphate) into WW1  by seizing British-built battleships that the Turks had already paid for. Assuming excess mortality of Iraqis under British rule or hegemony (1914-1950) was the same as for Indians under the British – interpolation from available data indicate Indian avoidable death rates in “deaths per 1,000 of population per year” of 37 (1757-1920), 35 (1920-1930), 30 (1930-1940) and 24 (1940-1950) –  one can estimate from Iraqi population data that Iraqi avoidable deaths from deprivation under British occupation and hegemony from 1914-1950 totalled about 4 million [2, 4-7].

(b). Gulf War (1990-1991) and Sanctions period (1990-2003): 1.9 million.

Violent deaths and avoidable deaths from violently-imposed deprivation in the Gulf War (1990-1991) and the Sanctions period (1990-2003) totalled  0.2 million and 1.7 million, respectively. During the Sanctions period the US, UK an Israeli air forces relentlessly bombed Iraqi infrastructure with consequent huge avoidable deaths from deprivation. On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright (US UN Ambassador and later US Secretary of State) defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a “60 Minutes” segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Madeleine Albright replied “We think the price is worth it” [6]. This was a singular instance in which the US admitted to its genocidal carnage. Back in 1990 eminent Australian medical scientist  Professor Fred Mendelsohn (his industrial chemist father Oscar Mendelsohn befriended and employed my Jewish Hungarian refugee father,  Dr John Polya, in about 1940) argued for peace and warned in a letter published by The Age (Melbourne) that huge numbers of children would die in the looming Gulf War. This wonderful and inspiring pro-peace humanitarian  was right – Iraqi under-5 infant deaths under Sanctions totalled 1.7 million, a massive crime against Humanity.

(c). Iraq War (2003-2011): 2.7 million.

The US Just Foreign Policy organization estimated, based on the data of expert UK ORB analysts and top US medical epidemiologists, 1.5 million violent deaths in the Iraq War (2003-2011). UN Population Division data  indicate a further 1.2 million Iraqi avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation in this period. In 2003-2011 Iraqi deaths  from violence (1.5 million) and imposed deprivation (1.2 million) totalled 2.7 million [2, 4-7].

Iraqi deaths from violence (1.7 million) and war-imposed deprivation (2.9 million) in the period 1990-2011 totalled  4.6 million.

(d). Post-Iraq War (2011 onwards): 0.4 million.

The US ostensibly withdrew from devastated Iraq in 2011 but returned in force to the region with a vengeance in 2012 to help Syria, Iraq and Iran deal with ISIS  in Syria (2012 onward)  and  thence in Iraq (2014 onwards) that has been associated with about 0.1 million violent Iraqi deaths, most notably in devastated Mosul (40,000 killed)  and in  twice US-demolished Fallujah [8-10]. One notes that the ruthless and barbarous ISIS subverted and took over the Sunni insurgency in Iraq against the corrupt, violent, US-installed Al Maliki Government, and similarly ISIS came to dominate the US Alliance-backed Sunni insurgency against the Assad Government in Syria. UN data indicate about 0.3 million avoidable Iraqi  deaths from deprivation in the period 2011-2020. Just as the US backed Islamists in Afghanistan  from 1978 onwards, so the US and its allies covertly supported ISIS Islamists in Iraq and Syria with the realized aims of a permanent  US presence in both countries, and the  Balkanizing of Iraq and Syria in the interests of Apartheid Israel. Only Russian support enabled the Syrian Government to survive.  Professor Michel Chossudovsky: “The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: An instrument of the Western Military Alliance…In August 2014, Obama launched a so-called “counter-terrorism operation” against the ISIS which was firmly entrenched in Mosul. This “fake” counter-terrorist operation was launched against terrorists who were supported and financed by the US, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel (among others)” [11]. The Syrian and Iraqi Governments have demanded US withdrawal to no avail [12]. The Iraqi Genocide and Iraqi Holocaust continues.

 (e). Iraqi Holocaust deaths 5 million (1990 onwards) and 9 million (1914 onwards).  

Ignoring Iraqi deaths associated with the US-backed Iraq-Iran War, one can estimate about 9 million Iraqi deaths from UK or US violence and  imposed deprivation in the century after the 1914 invasion of Iraq by Britain, this constituting an Iraqi Holocaust,  and also an Iraqi Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [1].

Consideration of (c) and (d) above indicates post-1990 Iraqi deaths from violence and deprivation totalling 4.6 million + 0.4 million = 5 million [2, 4-7].

The huge avoidable deaths from deprivation of Iraqis under the British, Americans and the US Coalition is evidence of gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that state unequivocally that an Occupier must provide its conquered Subjects with life-preserving food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it” [3, 4].

(f). Check: an alternative 2023 estimate of 5.5 million Iraqi deaths from violence and deprivation from 1990 onwards.

An alternative estimate of Iraqi deaths from violence and imposed deprivation from 2003 onwards in the period 2003-2023 can be made as follows:

(i). Violent deaths totalled 1.5 million (2003-2011) as determined by Just Foreign Policy based on direct polling surveys by US epidemiologists and the UK polling organization ORB. However the Americans and their allies did not completely leave in 2011 and indeed rejected demands of the Iraqi Parliament for them to do so [12].  The renewed violent killing in response to the Sunni ISIS (ISIL, Daesh) rebellion includes 40,000 killed in the destruction  of the western part of  Mosul alone [10], and one can accordingly estimate  a further circa  0.1 million violent Iraqi deaths from 2011 onwards. Thus violent deaths have totalled about 1.6 million in the period 2003-2023.

(ii). Avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation in the period 2003-2023 can be estimated from  UN Population Division demographic data [2]. Thus in 2003 under-5 infant deaths totalled 114,400. Using impoverished and sanctioned but nevertheless well governed and peaceful Cuba  as a baseline, the corrected Iraqi under-5 infant mortality in 2003 was 111,752 [2]. Likewise the corrected Iraqi under-5 infant mortality in 2020 was 27,889 [2]. The average under-5 infant mortality in the period 2003-2023 was 69,821 and  totalled 69,821 per year x 20 years = 1,396,420 for 2003 onwards. For impoverished Global South countries total avoidable deaths from deprivation are about 1.4 times the under-5 infant mortality [2], or 1,396,420 x 1.4 = 1,954,988 or about 2.0 million.

Accordingly Iraqi deaths from violence and imposed deprivation total 1.6 million + 2.0 million = 3.6 million (2003 onwards), 1.9 million + 3.6 million = 5.5 million (1990 onwards), and 4.0 million + 5.5 million = 9.5 million (1914 onwards).

(g). Comparing the Iraqi Holocaust (5.0-5.5 million deaths) with the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5.1-5.8 million deaths) and about 70 other genocides and holocausts.  

As outlined above, estimates of deaths from violence and imposed deprivation are of 5.0-5.5 million such Iraqi deaths from 1990 onwards and 9.0 -9.5 million such deaths from 1914 onwards. How does this compare with deaths in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust?

Eminent Jewish British historian and fervent  Zionist, Professor Sir Martin Gilbert (fellow of Merton College, Oxford, author of 88 books, and expert on Winston Churchill, WW1, WW2 and Jewish history) [13] estimated  5.1 million WW2 Jewish Holocaust deaths in his “Jewish History Atlas” (1969)[14], and 5.8 million in his “Atlas of the Holocaust” (1982) [15].

Deaths from violence and imposed deprivation in the 1990 onwards Iraqi Holocaust (5.0-5.5 million) are commensurate with those in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million), the WW2 Polish Holocaust (6 million), and the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust, WW2 Bengal Famine; 6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons in Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Odisha by the British with food-denying Australian complicity), but much fewer than in the WW2 European Holocaust (30 million mostly Russian and other Slavic victims as well as Jewish and in Roma victims), and the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35-40 million Chinese deaths from violence and deprivation under the Japanese, 1937-1945).

For detailed listings of about 70 genocides and holocausts see “Report Genocide” [16]  and  my books “US-imposed post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide” [4] and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” [17]. The Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide [2, 4-7] was part of a wider 21st century Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide in which (as determined in 2015) 32 million Muslims died from violence (5 million) and imposed deprivation (27 million) in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9/11 false flag atrocity in which about 3,000 innocent Americans perished [18-20].

(h). Holocaust ignoring  and genocide ignoring by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) that is largely composed of US Alliance members including  the major  perpetrators of the Iraqi Holocaust.

The major perpetrators  of the Iraqi Holocaust (the US, UK and Australia) are  among the 35 members of the all-European, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, pro-Apartheid, genocide-ignoring and holocaust-ignoring IHRA. Of these 35 soiled, pro-Apartheid  countries: (1) all are European; (2) the 5 located outside Europe (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Apartheid Israel, and the US) were all created based on the genocide of the Indigenous People; (3) 9 members were part of the genocidal WW2 Nazi Germany Alliance; (4) 4 (the US, UK, France and Apartheid Israel) are nuclear terrorist states; (5) 28 belong to the 30-member nuclear-armed NATO that accepts  mass incineration of billions of men, women and children as an acceptable military strategy; (6) 14 were notably involved in the brutal conquest and genocide of Indigenous non-European people over 5 centuries; (7) only 2 (Austria and Ireland) have had the moral decency to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW); and (8) all but 4 shockingly voted No to the annual UNGA Anti-Nazi Resolution in 2022 that condemns Nazism, neo-Nazism and related racist obscenities [21, 22].

The IHRA Definition of “antisemitism” lists 11 false examples of assertions (e.g. criticism of Apartheid Israel, Nazi-style Israeli policies and hugely disproportionate Zionist influence) that it regards as anti-Jewish anti-Semitic. All 11 examples can be shown to be utterly false assertions  designed to damage and defame anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish critics of genocidally racist Zionism and of Apartheid Israel and its ongoing Palestinian Genocide. The IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism is anti-Jewish anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish critics of Apartheid Israel as anti-Semites) , anti-Arab anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming anti-racist Palestinian, Arab and Muslim  critics of Apartheid Israel as anti-Semites) and holocaust-ignoring and genocide-ignoring  (by ignoring all WW2 holocausts and genocides other than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust and indeed ignoring 70 other holocausts and genocides) [21, 22].

Holocaust-ignoring and genocide-ignoring are far, far worse than repugnant holocaust denial and genocide denial because the latter can at least permit public refutation and public discussion, subject, of course, to censorship by the  mendacious Mainstream media (M3) presstitutes who dominate public life and public perception of reality in the Western Corporatocracies and Murdochracies. Not surprisingly, the racist and mendacious IHRA Definition has been condemned by scholars around the world and by over 40 anti-racist Jewish organizations [23]. However the IHRA holocaust ignoring has made great strides in Zionist-subverted US, UK and Australia, the major perpetrators  of the Iraqi Holocaust. Thus, for example, in Australia the  Australian Labor Government,  the Coalition Opposition, the Labor Government of South Australia,  the Labor Government  of Victoria, and 5 out of Australia’s 43 universities (Melbourne, Wollongong,  Macquarie, Monash, and Sunshine Coast Universities) have all adopted the egregiously false, racist, anti-Semitic and genocide-ignoring IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism [21, 24- 26]. This attack on academic and societal  free speech  and Truth is just as bad in the Zionist-subverted UK and in the  Zionist-subverted US (notwithstanding  the First Amendment of the US Constitution that guarantees free speech for Americans).

Final comments.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the illegal and war criminal US Alliance  invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003 decent people will pause to reflect on the devastation inflicted on Iraq. Iraqi deaths from violence and war-imposed deprivation totalled about 5 million for the period 1990 onwards. The killing continues in US-devastated Iraq. In 2020, for example, the under-5 infant deaths as a percentage of total population for Iraq was 52 times greater than that for Japan, and 14 times greater than that for impoverished and sanctioned but peaceful Cuba [2, 27]. However this appalling and continuing carnage is resolutely ignored by the mendacious Mainstream media (M3) journalist, editor, politician, academic and commentariat  presstitutes of the countries that perpetrated the ongoing Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide.

Decent anti-racist  folk around the world will demand truth-telling and justice for the devastated people of Iraq and will impose Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on the perpetrators  just as BDS is applied to the Apartheid Israel and all its supporters complicit in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide (2.2 million deaths from violence, 0.1 million, and deprivation, 2.1 million, from  WW1 onwards) [28-30].

In 2005, when first expert reports on the growing carnage in Iraq were emerging,  anti-racist Jewish British writer Harold Pinter in his Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech stated: “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading as a last resort all other justifications having failed to justify themselves as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people. We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’. How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice” [31]. 5 million? Surely enough, I would have thought.


[1]. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: .

[2]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, 2nd edition, Korsgard Publishing, Germany , 2021.

[3]. “Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”, 12 August 1949: .

[4]. Gideon Polya, “US-imposed, Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide”, Korsgard Publishing, Germany, 2020.

[5]. Gideon Polya , “20th Anniversary Of Huge Demonstrations Against Impending Iraq War”, Countercurrents, 15 February 2023:  .

[6]. “Iraqi Holocaust Iraqi Genocide”: .

[7]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: .

[8]. Gideon Polya, Review: “The Sacking Of Fallujah. A People’s History” – Ongoing Iraqi Genocide”, Countercurrents, 30 January 2021: .

[9]. Ross Caputi, Richard Hil, and Donna Mulhearn, “The Sacking Of Fallujah. A People’s History”, University of Massachusetts Press, 2019.

[10]. Gideon Polya, “Mosul Massacre latest in Iraqi Genocide”, Countercurrents, 24 July 2017: .

[11]. Professor Michel Chossudovsky, “The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq. Third War against Iraq initiated by Obama”, Global Research, 16 March 2023: .

[12]. Gideon Polya, “US, UK,  Australia, Canada & Germany Reject Iraqi Parliament’s Quit Iraq Demand”, Countercurrents, 16 January 2021: .

[13]. Gideon Polya,  “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February 2015: .

[14]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969.

[15].  Martin Gilbert “Atlas of the Holocaust”, Michael Joseph, London, 1982.

[16]. “Report Genocide”; .

[17].  Gideon Polya,  “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, 3rd edition, Korsgaard Publishing,  2023.

[18]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: .

[19]. “Experts: US did 9/11”: .

[20]. Gideon Polya, “Lying Mainstream Media Ignore Expert New 9/11 WTC7 Demolition Report”, Countercurrents, 22 August 2020: .

[21]. Gideon Polya, “Melbourne University Adopts Anti-Semitic & Holocaust-Ignoring IHRA Definition Of Anti-Semitism”, Countercurrents, 5 February 2023: .

[22]. Gideon Polya, “Zionists & Pro-Zionist, US Lackey Australian Government Threaten Australian Academic Free Speech”, Countercurrents, 7 March 2023: .

[23]. Jewish Voices for Peace, “First ever: 40+ Jewish groups worldwide oppose equating antisemitism with criticism of Israel”, 17 July 2018: .

[24]. Gideon Polya, “85 Ways Zionist Australian Labor Government Betrays Palestinian Human Rights & Humanity”, Countercurrents, March 2023: .

[25]. Michael Bradley, “Does being anti-Israel mean you’re anti-Semitic?”, Crikey, 14 March 2023:  . .

[26], “Criticising the nation of Israel is justified. Demonising Jewish people is not”, Crikey, 17 March 2023: .

[27]. Richard Hil and Gideon Polya, “Imperial power: The Iraq war, 20 years on”, Pearls & Irritations, 16 March 2023: .

[28]. BDS – Boycott Apartheid Israel: .

[29]. “Palestinian Genocide”: .

[30]. 2023, 75th Nakba Anniversary: 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) & Palestinian Genocide: .

[31]. Harold Pinter, “Art, Truth And Politics”, Countercurrents, 8 December, 2005: .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, notably a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds”. He has also published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (2007, 2022) and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (1998, 2008, 2023). He has recently published “US-imposed Post-9-11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide” (2020), and “Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions” (2020), and contributed to Soren Korsgaard (editor) “The Most Dangerous Book Ever Published – Dangerous Deception Exposed!” (2020). For images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see:  .


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