Anglo-American "democratic imperialism" and 0.9 billion infant deaths

An aggressive, militaristic, imperial US dominates the new world order

There is a new world order that is dominated by one superpower, the US. This US hegemony is backed by its Anglo-Celtic cousins, Australia and the UK. It is vitally important for the world to consider the human cost of this régime.

The Anglo-American Coalition commenced war against Iraq in 1991, conquered Afghanistan in 2001 and finally occupied all of Iraq in 2003. The human cost has been horrendous – the “excess mortality” (avoidable mortality) in Iraq has been estimated from UN data to be 1.5 million since 1991 and about 0.3 million since the US invasion in 2003, these estimates being consonant with estimates of under-5 infant mortality there totalling 1.2 million since 1991 and about 0.2 million since the final invasion. The “excess mortality” and under-5 infant mortality in Afghanistan have been 1.2 million and 0.9 million, respectively, since the invasion in 2001.

The obscenity of such impositions by fabulously wealthy countries on wretchedly poor, fragile countries is illustrated powerfully by the following UNICEF statistics: in 2001 the under-5 infant mortality was 1000 in Australia (population 20 million), 109,000 in Iraq (population 24 million) and 277,000 in Afghanistan (population 22 million). In 2002 these statistics were 1000, 108,000 and 283,000, respectively.

What more can the world expect from this Anglo-American Coalition that is evidently picking up from where the brutal British Empire left off? A good guide can be obtained from an analysis of post-1950 under-5 infant mortality that is made possible by detailed statistics publicly available from the UN and UNICEF. These statistics provide a “smoking gun” for an immense crime that has been committed over the last half century – the largely avoidable death of about 0.9 billion infants throughout the world. This effective mass murder of innocents has gone unreported by Anglo-American-dominated world media.

Decent humans love kids

A commonality among decent human beings is affection for children. Thus even in some relatively violent, male-dominated societies there are conventions prohibiting male violence against other men in the presence of women and children. Further, young children such as those under the age of five are utterly blameless – they have not yet developed the disagreeable attributes of so many adults. At the very worst, such kids could be a nuisance by demanding too much love and affection from their families.

The bottom line is that ill-treatment or murder of infants is utterly unacceptable to decent humans. Historically, mass mortality of infants was associated with the genocidal European invasions of North America, South America, Australasia and the Pacific in which introduced disease was more important than conventional violence in decimating native populations. In the last century explicit, violent mass murder of infants (as well as of adults) occurred repeatedly, for example during the genocides applied to the Hereros of Namibia, the Armenians of Anatolia, the Jews of Europe, the Tutsis of Rwanda and the Cambodian civilian victims of the Khmer Rouge.

Whether a child dies a violent death or dies of deprivation or malnourishment-exacerbated disease, the end result is the same. Accordingly, to this list of infanticidal horrors of the last century we should add the victims of enormous man-made famines in Russia (the early 1920s), the Ukraine (early 1930s), British-occupied Bengal (during World War 2) and China (during the Great Leap Forward). Major wars such as the Japanese invasion of China, World War 1 and World War 2 have been major killers of civilians through the accompanying social and economic dislocation. Notwithstanding the creation of the UN after World War 2, there has been immense avoidable infant mortality over the last half century that is closely linked to First World-derived militarization and war.

The global post-1950 under-5 infant mortality totals over 900 million

Using publicly-available UN and UNICEF data on populations, birth rates, death rates and under-5 infant mortality rates, it has been possible to simply calculate the total number of children under the age of 5 years who have died in virtually every country of the world since 1950. The results are horrendous – the global post-1950 under-5 infant mortality totals over 900 million.

In order to simply present and compare the data it is useful to use some abbreviations and transformations. Thus for the major “overseas” European colonies (the US, Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand) the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality totals 5.3 million (abbreviated as “5.3m”). The post-1950 under-5 infant mortality is 4.1% of the total mortality in these countries since 1950 (“4.1% mort”) i.e. in these rich countries under-5 infant mortality has been a very small proportion of overall mortality. Expressed as a percentage of the total present day population of this grouping of countries, the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality is 1.5% (“1.5% pop”) or 1.5 dead infants for every 100 people alive today in these countries i.e. very few people in this group carry the traumatic burden of an infant death. For simplicity I will summarize the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality statistics for this group as “5.3 m, 4.1% mort, 1.5% pop”.

With rounding-off of the data, the total post-1950 under-5 infant mortality has been 912 million, this being made up of the following components:

  • “Overseas” European countries [5.3m, 4.1% mort, 1.5 % pop],
  • Western Europe [6.8m, 3.4% mort, 1.7% pop],
  • Eastern Europe [12.7m, 7.3% mort, 3.7% pop],
  • Latin America and Caribbean [51.9m, 32.0% mort, 10.0% pop],
  • East Asia [199.4m, 35.1% mort, 12.9% pop],
  • South East Asia [70.9m, 32.2% mort, 12.9% pop],
  • Turkey, Iran & Central Asia [40.0m, 46.2% mort, 17.1% pop],
  • Arab North Africa & Middle East [46.7m, 44.4% mort, 15.6% pop],
  • South Asia [281.5m, 42.8% mort, 20.0% pop],
  • Pacific [1.1m, 31.9% mort, 13% pop], and
  • Non-Arab Africa [195.9m, 52.9% mort, 29.1% pop].

You will immediately see that for the various groupings of European countries the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality is on the average about 3-7% of the total mortality within each group and less than 4% of the current population. However for the non-European world the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality is on average about 32-53% of total mortality and 10-29% of total current population for the various regional groupings.

Thus in European countries post-1950 under-5 infant mortality has been a very small proportion of deaths whereas in non-European countries it represents a very high proportion. Similarly, in European countries on average only several under-5 infant deaths have occurred for every 100 people alive today – whereas on average such infant death has been tragically commonplace in the various regions of the non-European world.

At this point a European neo-con will declare that surely such elevated infant mortality is only to be expected for non-European countries that are typically tropical or semi-tropical, fecund, “backward” and incompetently governed by authoritarian governments i.e. that elevated infant mortality is “normal” for such countries. However many examples throughout the world demonstrate the fallacy of such intrinsically racist assertions. Further, closer examination of the data country-by-country reveals that the First World bears a major responsibility for this largely avoidable infant mortality. Many examples can be given to illustrate First World involvement in this carnage and Anglo-American involvement in particular.

Anglo-American hegemony and militarism is linked to global mass infant mortality

Latin America plus the Caribbean (i.e. the Americas minus Canada and the US) has been dominated by the US for over a century. The post-1950 under-5 infant mortality statistics for Latin America plus the Caribbean [51.9m, 32.0% mort, 10.0% pop] present a dismal picture but communist Cuba [0.3m, 9.6% mort, 3.1% pop] is a remarkable exception because of high literacy and excellent primary health care – notwithstanding 4 decades of US hostility, threats and sanctions. It can be readily calculated that if the outcome for Cuba {3.1% pop) is applied to the whole Latin America and the Caribbean grouping then the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality would be reduced by 36 million – US hegemony is thus a major factor in this appalling infanticide.

The British (as well as the French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgians, Germans and Italians) conquered, enslaved and exploited Africa for centuries and left a crippled continent in a neo-colonial nightmare of militarization, debt, economic exclusion, corrupt governments and war that is presently compounded by HIV/AIDS. However the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in peaceful, democratic Afro-Indian Mauritius [0.08m, 21% mort, 6.3% pop] has been a lovely exception – if the “6.3% pop” stat is applied to all of non-Arab Africa then notionally 153 million infants would have survived.

The post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in the modestly endowed but peaceful and democratic Muslim country of Malaysia has not been too bad [1.2m, 20.2% mort, 4.7% pop]. If the Malaysian stat of “4.7% pop” is notionally applied to the Muslim countries of Turkey and Iran (subject to massive US interference), formerly Soviet-occupied Central Asia and Afghanistan (subject to UK, Russian and thence US intervention) then we can calculate a “saving” of 29 million infant lives since 1950.

Similar country-by-country quantitative analysis indicates major US contribution (through interference, threat, militarization and war) to the horrendous post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in East Asia (notably in China, North Korea, South Korea and Mongolia), in South East Asia (notably in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and East Timor) and in Arab North Africa and the Middle East (notably in Libya, Iraq and in Israel’s neighbours). The post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in all of Israel’s immediate neighbours totals 16.6 million.

The British, in addition to their invasive contributions in South America, Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, South East Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, left the South Asian subcontinent crippled by colonialism and helped impose a further burden of militarization, economic exclusion, debt and war. The total post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in South Asia has been 281.5 million.

Australia as a genocidal junior imperialist

Australia, having historically been involved in the decimation of the indigenous populations of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and the South Pacific, is proud of its 2 century record of military service throughout the world for the British Empire “on which the sun never set”. Since 1950 Australia has been militarily involved in UK and/or US military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Korea and Indo-China and hence complicit in the horrendous infant mortalities in those countries.

The South Pacific is Australia’s “patch” and the post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in the Pacific has been 1.1 million, with 0.9 million of this contributed by the former Australian colonial possession of Papua New Guinea. The unilateral retention by Australia of most of East Timor’s off-shore oil and gas reserves will ensure continuing poverty and elevated infant mortality in that much-abused country.

In 2004 the present Australian Government indicated that if deemed necessary it would engage in pre-emptive strikes against neighbouring countries and has refused to sign a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation that bans such attacks and which is adhered to by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and various East Asian powers. Australia has certainly learned well from its big Anglo-American cousins.

Boycotting the Anglo-American Coalition to end global mass infanticide

Peace is the only sensible way forward. Indeed violent opposition to the US has brought appalling civilian suffering. Thus the under-5 infant mortality in Iraq since 1991 and in Afghanistan since 2001 totals 2.1 million as compared to about 1100 US military deaths in combat in those theatres – a death ratio of about 2000 Muslim infants per US soldier. This arises because major Anglo-American casualties are unacceptable in domestic politics and accordingly any target must be bombed and shelled from a distance before occupation – but at the cost of enormous civilian casualties. Thus Fallujah has been “destroyed in order to liberate it” with over 0.2 million of its former citizens now refugees in their own land.

The world must apply sensible feedback to halt the carnage. The military-industrial complexes of the US and the UK have benefited enormously from massive global military expenditure that now totals $800 billion per year (with half of this being that of the US alone). The extra funding of the US military-industrial complex since 9/11 has been about $400 billion and it is evident that the endless “War on Terror” in response to jihadist atrocities (5000 Western deaths in the last 20 years) will continue to be immensely profitable to the US and UK war industries. Feedback through economic boycotts would seem appropriate for stopping imperial wars fought for economic benefit.

The world can only respond sensibly to continuing Anglo-American Coalition war crimes by exposure, condemnation, boycotts, sanctions, legal actions and bans applied to Coalition countries – and by making "ethical purchases" from and "ethical investments" in non-involved countries such as China, France, and Germany. Already formal complaints over Coalition war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been made to the International Criminal Court. The sheer magnitude of the continuing Anglo-American crimes against the innocent must be kept before the world – it is inconceivable that this mass infanticide can continue unabated. Silence kills. Silence is complicity. Inform everyone. Save the children.