Introduction - ignoring mass mortality promises more of the same

Whether a person dies violently or dies from avoidable disease or deprivation, the end result is the same. Further, any avoidable death requires honest public scrutiny in order to make the world a safer place. Of course, when mass mortality occurs there is an even more pressing need for public assessment of causality, culpability and complicity. Thus the crimes of the Axis powers that killed scores of millions in World War 2 were subsequently examined in war crimes trials.

Repetition of immense crimes against humanity such as the Jewish Holocaust is made less likely when the responsible society acknowledges the crime, apologizes, makes amends and accepts the injunction "never again". Unfortunately the dictum "history is written by the victors" applies to ostensibly free and open societies as well as to totalitarian states. Thus while the Jewish Holocaust is known to everyone, very few would know of the man-made famine in British-ruled Bengal that took some 4 million lives during World War 2 - it has been effectively expunged from British history, as have 2 centuries of mass mortality in British India [1, 2, 3].

The "white-washing" of mass mortality from history is not merely holocaust denial, it is also profoundly anti-scientific and a danger to humanity in that it invites repetition - history ignored yields history repeated. Holocaust denial can never be excused. However a subtle moral distinction can be made between ignoring past events in which we had no personal complicity and denial of on-going mass mortality which can conceivably be stopped through humane consensus.

Some 20 million people in the Third World perish avoidably each year due to deprivation or malnourishment-exacerbated disease. This continuing mass mortality is effectively ignored by our prosperous and complicit First World and may eventually also become forgotten in historiography like the horrendous famines of British India. This extraordinary whitewashing of history by scholars has been described as a "process of pervasive and self-imposed denial" [4]. Racism, both crude and "intellectual", has played a big part in European crimes against humanity throughout the world and hence in their denial [5].

As a humanist and biological scientist, I have been researching and writing a detailed analysis of global mortality throughout history in order to address this extraordinary moral and intellectual blind-spot of our otherwise educated and ostensibly humane First World societies.

One major approach has been to examine "excess mortality" for every country in the world since 1950. "Excess mortality" in a country for a given period is defined as the difference between the actual mortality and the mortality expected for a decently-run country with the same demographics. Thus "excess mortality" essentially amounts to "avoidable mortality" and demands honest scrutiny in the interests of humanity.

Calculating and analysing "excess mortality"

The United Nations provides detailed demographic statistics - including population, crude birth rate, crude death rate and demographic projection data - for all countries from 1950 onwards [6]. Because of major advances in medical science in the twentieth century, by 1950 antibiotics (notably penicillin), insecticides (notably DDT), anti-malarials (such as chloroquine), antiseptics (such as soap) [7, 8] and important vaccinations were potentially available to all humanity. Further, universal literacy and mass preventive medicine through public health education were also generally achievable at that time as well as good primary health care.

From UN population and crude death rate data [6] it is possible to calculate mortality for every country in the world. For convenience the mortality was estimated for successive 5-year periods since 1950. It must be noted that for both high mortality and low mortality human populations deaths peak among both the very young and the elderly [9]. Typically death rates start out high in 1950 and steadily decline. Ideally for "good" countries the death rate drops to a minimum and then increases, this later upward trend being indicative of an increasingly older population. In contrast, in high birth rate countries of Africa the death rate remained high and indeed in the last decade has been dramatically increasing further as the effects of HIV infection manifested.

Plots of death rate versus time were compared for countries with similar birth rate patterns and were used to obtain approximate estimates of what death rates ideally should have been for each country over the last half century. This in turn enabled calculation of "excess mortality" for successive intervals over this period i.e. the difference between the actual mortality and the mortality expected in a well-run society.

Finally, the total calculated "excess mortality" and the total actual mortality were added up for each country for the period 1950 to 2004 and the data tabulated. The various countries were assembled into a few major geopolitical groupings, namely (in order of ascending "excess mortality") Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and North America, Western Europe, formerly communist Eastern Europe, Central and South America, East and South East Asia, Turkish Central Asia, Arab Middle East and North Africa, the Pacific, South Asia and non-Arab Africa.

The total "excess mortality" values for each country and each group of countries are difficult to appreciate in themselves. However several ratios will help our understanding. Thus expressing "excess mortality" as a percentage of the actual mortality gives us an indication of what proportion of the observed mortality was potentially avoidable through intelligent and humane intervention. This figure ranges from less than about 10% for "good outcome" countries (e.g. Western European countries and the Anglo countries of Australasia and North America) to an appalling average of about 79% for the countries of non-Arab Africa.

An even more clear-cut way of representing the data is by means of expressing total "excess mortality" as a percentage of the present-day population. This normalized "excess mortality" value is such a useful "score" that it is used extensively below to compare "excess mortality" in a variety of countries and regions. Thus the average value for this "score" is about 3% for the "good outcome" Anglo countries of Australasia and North America but is about 43% for the countries of non-Arab Africa - an over 10-fold difference.

In between these extremes we have the following average values for this "score": Western Europe (5%), former Communist Eastern Europe (7%), Latin America (10%), East and South East Asia (15%), Turkey, Iran and Central Asia (21%), Arab North Africa and Middle East (23%), the Pacific (28%) and South Asia (33%). This "score" (i.e. expressing "excess mortality" as a percentage of the present population for each country and region) provides a powerful way of bringing this information to the scale of a local suburb or village that permits ready comprehension (i.e. it humanizes the data).

Thus the total war dead in 2 world wars of Australia (present population 20 million) is about 100,000 and indeed is typically commemorated throughout the country by a public memorial in every suburb and small town. If we appointed living guardians for the memory of each dead soldier we would need to allocate 200 living Australians for each one of the fallen. By way of comparison, if we were to similarly allocate the "excess mortality" victims in African countries with a "score" of 50% to the living Africans in those countries it would involve 1 dead person to every 2 living people - a 100-fold difference.

An even more poignant example to illustrate this "excess mortality" "score" derives from infant mortality. The very young and the elderly comprise the peak components of the mortality profile of a society [9]. However under-5 infant mortality represents a very high proportion of "excess mortality" in very high death rate countries. Thus UNICEF estimated that the under-5 infant mortality in 2001 was 109,000 in Iraq (population 24 million) as compared to only 1000 in Australia (population about 20 million) - an approximately 100-fold difference. The 2001 "excess mortality" was about 119,000 in Iraq as compared to effectively zero in Australia.

Using the same example, one can estimate that the total under-5 infant mortality in Australia since 1950 is of the order of 100,000. The psychological impact of such a loss on the parents is high and long-lasting in our society. This corresponds to the tragic loss over the last half century of about one dead child per 200 living Australians. If infant death accounts for most of the "excess mortality", then "scores" in many African countries of around 50% (e.g. 63% in both Angola and Mozambique) roughly approximate to one tragic infant death for every 2 people alive today.

Of course First World arm-chair moralists might well argue that horrendous mortality is somehow the "normal" state of affairs for Africans and Asians. However consulting the "excess mortality" scores reveals that this is demonstrably not so - there are clear examples of exceptional African and Asian countries with "scores" similar to those obtaining for European countries. These exceptional "excess mortality" scores are readily explicable when one consults detailed compendia of global history, demographics and economics [10, 11, 12, 13, 14].

Thus in the African zone we have the crowded Afro-Indian island of Mauritius (score 5%); in the Arab Middle East zone we have the Gulf States (scores 3 to 12%); in South Asia we have Sri Lanka (score 5%) and in East and South East Asia we have Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and China (scores 3 to 12%).

Of course these "good outcome" countries have at least one thing in common - notwithstanding various internal military actions, they have been free of violent foreign occupation or intervention for all or most of the last half century (e.g. after the Korean War and the Malaya Emergency and Confrontation for South Korea and Malaysia, respectively).

Assessing global "excess mortality" by country and region

The same generalization can be made for all regions of the world - the less damaging foreign interference, the lower the "excess mortality" score. Thus the topmost "good outcome" Australasian and North American countries (average score 3%) have not been invaded or occupied for 2 centuries - although they have variously had their soldiers in a variety of foreign lands over that period and indeed in the last half century.

Similarly, the non-Communist European countries (average score 5%) have not been occupied or invaded in the last 50 years - although some of them (most notably the UK, Belgium, France and Portugal) have variously been active militarily in foreign lands in that period.

Russia, the formerly Soviet-dominated Eastern European countries and the Communist nations of Albania and Yugoslavia (average score 7%) do a little worse than Western Europe and the formerly Soviet Central Asian republics (average score 15%) even worse still. Of the Soviet-dominated countries, only Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Chechnya (in increasing order of awfulness) have experienced massive military invasion (by Russia) in the last 50 years.

However colonial occupation, civil wars, wars between neighbouring countries, massive colonial wars by European powers and further wars of subjugation (notably by Russian, US or UK armies) have variously afflicted the remaining regions of the world including Central and South America (average score 10%), East and South East Asia (15%), Turkish Near East and Central Asia (21%), Arab North Africa and Middle East (23%), the Pacific (28%), South Asia (33%) and non-Arab Africa (43%).

The impact of such conflicts has been appalling for the countries concerned as indicated powerfully by their relative "excess mortality" scores.

Thus Central and South America have been subject to US hegemony, the hard face of which has involved sustained threat and interference and the training and arming of indigenous armies and security forces (throughout the region), involvement in civil wars or insurgencies (Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru), attempted invasion (Cuba) and outright invasion and occupation by US forces (Dominican Republic, Granada, Haiti and Panama). These involvements are reflected in some big excess mortality scores e.g. Bolivia (33%), Ecuador (11%), El Salvador (14%), Guatemala (22%), Haiti (48%), Nicaragua (17%) and Peru (15%).

Notwithstanding acute US hostility and boycotts for over 40 years, Cuba (score 4%) has a remarkably good record in education and public health. There is a huge difference between under-5 infant mortalities in Cuba (at a Western level) and in the rest of South America - one can calculate that if "free" Latin America had Cuban-style health services it would save the lives of some 300,000 children a year. Are they better dead than Red?

The nations of Arab North Africa and the Middle East variously emerged from British and French occupation and neo-colonial hegemony with a variety of indigenous political solutions, none of them democratic in our understanding. The excess mortality scores range from the remarkably low values for the Gulf States (3-12%) to the high values for Iraq (20%), Algeria (22%), Morocco (26%), Egypt (27%), Yemen (32%) and Sudan (39%). Unlike the Western European and overseas European countries, most of the Arab states have variously been subject to civil war, war or foreign military presence in the last half century. With the exception of Kuwait, the low scoring Gulf States have escaped the ravages of war.

The total post-1950 "excess mortality" of Israel's immediate neighbours (Egypt, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan) was 24 million. The "excess mortality" in Occupied Palestinian Territories has been "only" 340,000 since 1967. Decades of civil war has contributed to Sudan's total "excess mortality"of 13 million. The war against the occupying French and post-independence internecine strife helped Algeria to an "excess mortality" of 7 million

However Iraq provides the most telling example of the impact of the First World on a potentially very prosperous and advanced developing nation. The British have been involved militarily in Iraq on and off since 1914 and indeed were the first to use aerial bombing of Iraqi towns and poison gas on Iraqi combatants back in the 1920s. Examination of "excess mortality" in Iraq shows that it declined markedly after the removal of the British-installed royalist regime and reached a minimum in the 1980s, notwithstanding the Anglo-American-backed Iran-Iraq war. However with the return of Western armies in 1991, "excess mortality" increased enormously and with sanctions, invasion and occupation has remained high.

Some Iraq statistics: "excess mortality" in Iraq has totalled 5.2 million since 1950 and 1.5 million since 1991. Under-5 infant mortality has totalled 3.3 million since 1950 and 1.2 million since 1991 i.e. the under-5 infant mortality represents a very high proportion of "excess mortality". According to UNICEF, in 2001 the under-5 infant mortality was 109,000 in Iraq (score 20%) and 277,000 in Afghanistan (score 65%) - as compared to 1000 in Australia (score 3%). It can be estimated that under Anglo-American occupation the "excess mortality" and under-5 infant mortality in Iraq are both still of the order of 100,000 per year.

Turkey (score 15%), Iran (20%) and Afghanistan (65%) have fared poorly since 1950. Turkey has been intimately associated with US forward defence and has been continuing a genocidal campaign against Kurds and residual Christians [15, 16]. Iran, subject to US intervention, installation of the pro-US Shah, the Anglo-American-backed Iran-Iraq war and sustained US hostility to the post-Shah order, has done even worse than Turkey [17]. However Afghanistan, subject to Soviet invasion, US-backed Taliban takeover and now US removal of the Taliban [17], has suffered horrendously with a total "excess mortality" of 16.2 million. The annual "excess mortality" was about 0.3 million under the Soviets and has been about 0.4 million under post-Soviet regimes.

In the South Asian region the major nations have scores in the range 31-41% with the exception of Sri Lanka (score 5%), this latter result indicating that even with a protracted, on-going civil war a well-administered country can achieve wonders with energy and intelligence. The hand of the First World can certainly be seen in South Asia's misfortunes. Thus the British left a legacy of Hindu-Muslim communal antipathy in the sub-continent and immensely expensive Pakistan-India military competition which led to repeated warfare, was impacted by US-Soviet-China rivalry and which has now gone nuclear. The US-backed and armed Pakistan military were major players in the misery of Afghanistan, were repeatedly involved in interference with domestic democracy and were involved notoriously in mass murder in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh (3 million dead Bengalis, 0.3 million women raped) [17, 18].

With the exception of Mongolia (score 24%), East Asia (average score 11%) is quite a success story after the devastation of the Second World War and the Korean War. The "excess mortality" scores in ascending order tell the story: Hong Kong (2%), Japan and Taiwan (3%), Macao (8%), South Korea (11%), North Korea (12%) and China (12%). The countries with the highest scores were involved with the US-led UN forces in the Korean War and have had to subsequently maintain massive military establishments. However these scores could have been immensely larger if that conflict had expanded into China [19].

In South East Asia (average score 25%) there is a mixed bag of outcomes. But again high "excess mortality" is associated with war. Thus the best countries have been war-free, namely Singapore (3%), Brunei (5%) and Thailand (6%) or relatively war-free, namely Malaysia (9%) and the Philippines (11%). The Indo-China wars prosecuted by France and thence by the US and its prosperous allies evidently had an immense impact on "excess mortality" in Vietnam (29%), Cambodia (40%) and Laos (45%). Myanmar (40%) has suffered from cold war geopolitics, civil war, opium warlords and 40 years of repressive military dictatorship [20].

Indonesia (32%) has done very poorly in nearly 40 years of Anglo-American-supported military dictatorship after the US-backed coup and horrendous mass murder of 1965. The Anglo-American-supported invasion of Timor and the subsequent genocide was very costly to East Timor, which has an horrendous "excess mortality" score of 83% [20].

In the Pacific a number of colonial countries variously gained their independence from European countries in the middle of the period of our analysis and produced surprising mortality outcomes. While Fiji, Guam, Solomon Islands and the French colonies of New Caledonia and French Polynesia have scores in the range of 3-10%, other island states fare much worse. Thus Micronesia (ex-US), Vanuatu (ex-UK & France), Tonga (ex-UK) and Samoa (ex-New Zealand) have scores in the range 15-22% and Papua New Guinea (formerly administered by Australia) has a disastrous score of 35%.

Finally we arrive at non-Arab Africa, which at the very worst exhibits Sierra Leone (86%), Angola (63%), Mozambique (63%), Guinea-Bissau (60%), Guinea (59%) and Equatorial Guinea (59%). At the very best, the small Afro-Indian island nations of Réunion (6%) and Mauritius (5%) demonstrate the art of the possible in peaceful states. The remaining countries have appalling excess mortality scores in the range 21-56%. The total post-1950 "excess mortality" for non-Arab Africa is 292 million with an average score of 43%. Emergence from horrendous colonial periods [2, 4] in the 1960s was followed by militarization with consequent massive debt to the chiefly European "provider" nations and continuing civil wars with tribal and Cold War components.

The example of South Africa is particularly salutary. Total "excess mortality" in this First World-Third World country in the decade since majority rule has been 5.5 million, with the highest average annual "excess mortality" values of the last half century. Over 5 million of the population of 45 million have HIV/AIDS - a tragedy that was utterly avoidable. Unfortunately the same kind of utter administrative incompetence has seen HIV/AIDS flourish appallingly elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa and now South Asia, East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific are set to follow suit.

The First World, which provided the weapons, established crippling debt, restricted fair- trading and engaged in political manipulation of post-colonial Africa must bear much of the blame for this continuing disaster.

Global mortality and the Muslim Holocaust

Having dealt with the "big picture" of global excess mortality it is useful to note some surprises that arise from this analysis. Actually these should not be surprises to informed observers - they should only be surprises to most because the First World global media steadfastly refuse to report the extent of global mass mortality and selectively romanticize particular political events or agendas.

Thus the successive military takeovers since 1987 in Fiji (score 6%) have been universally described as "bloodless coups". However my analysis has revealed a subsequently elevated "excess mortality" of some 4500, confirming the sensible predictions of those who observed the loss of doctors, business people and other professionals who left after the first coup.

At the other end of the scale, the data indicate horrendous mortality in the Muslim world. Thus the "excess mortality" in preponderantly Muslim countries plus the present Muslim proportion-based component of the "excess mortality" of other significantly Muslim countries totals about 550 million for the period 1950-2004.

This death toll is about one hundred times that of the Jewish Holocaust (6 million victims) and of the "forgotten" World War 2 man-made famine in British-ruled Bengal (4 million Muslim and Hindu victims) [1-3].

The Muslim Holocaust has many components - thus "excess mortality" has totalled 5.2 million for Iraq since 1950, 1.5 million for Iraq since 1991 and 340,000 for the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1967. Since 1950 "excess mortality" has totalled about 49 million for the Turkish Near East and Central Asia and 70 million for the Arab Middle East and North Africa - with the present Muslim proportion-based component of post-1950 "excess mortality" estimated at 93 million for East and South East Asia and the Pacific, 148 million for South Asia, and about 189 million for non-Arab Africa.

The sheer magnitude of this Muslim "excess mortality" compels one to address the following questions to First Worlders: when does mass mortality become a holocaust, when is it "fit" to be reported by our media - and when does our complicity become morally insupportable?

As outlined above, the prosperous First World should have been dealing with the Muslim world with honesty, goodwill and assistance - rather than with the mix of denial, neglect, hostility, malignant interference, sustained violence and war that has helped cause this horrendous and continuing Muslim Holocaust.

Such complicity is clear in the numerous cases of outright military attack or invasion. Indeed an arch-conservative John Valder, a former Federal president of the ruling Australian Liberal Party (equivalent to the US Republicans and UK Conservatives), has repeatedly called for trial and punishment of the Coalition leaders for war crimes over Iraq [21, 22].

Of course non-Muslims as well as Muslims contribute to an annual global death toll of about 20 million people from deprivation and malnourishment-related causes. Economic exclusion, militarization, debt, threat, malignant interference and war have had a major impact on "excess mortality" in Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific that totals about 1230 million for the period 1950-2004.

In contrast, the "excess mortality" for 1950-2004 totals 54 million for the countries of Australasia, North America, Western Europe and Eastern Europe that have overwhelmingly been at peace domestically; however this group includes major players (notably the US, UK, France and Russia) who have variously been imposing colonial occupation, weapons, trade exclusion, war and debt on the developing world in this period.

It is sobering to consider the total "excess mortality" for 1950-2004 (approximate values in millions) in the following countries with which a relatively small country, namely Australia (population 20 million, score 3%), has variously been involved militarily over the last half century, for better or for worse, peacefully or in war, either alone or through connection with the US and/or the UK as allies in military conflict: Papua New Guinea (2.1 million), Korea (7.8), China (155.7), Malaysia (2.3), Vietnam (23.8), Cambodia (5.8), Laos (2.6), Indonesia (70.8), Timor (0.7), Afghanistan (16.2) and Iraq (5.2 million). Of these, South Korea, China and Malaysia now have high life expectancies and low infant mortalities - the rest have very high mortalities.

Even more sobering is to list (together with their "excess mortality" scores) the countries invaded, occupied, threatened, armed, indebted, sanctioned, manipulated and excluded in the last half century by the US or by the major European players such as the UK, France and Russia. This article has indeed been a brief summary of such a list.

Ignoring holocausts - history ignored yields history repeated

The British largely eliminated from their history books 2 centuries of massive Indian famines that accounted for scores of millions [1-3]. They also eliminated the man-made horror of cholera transmission in maladministered 19th century British India that may have killed about 25 million [23]. Conversely, the British demonized Indians by the exaggerated tale of the Black Hole of Calcutta, supposedly involving 146 British prisoners and which every British school child knows - to the extent that "Black Hole" has now become part of the English language as applied to things from household budgets to astronomy [2].

We are seeing a similar process today in relation to the Muslim Holocaust and the demonizing of Muslims. The appalling "excess mortality" in the developing world will certainly not be reported incisively in mainstream global media. The post-1950 half billion Muslim Holocaust will not rate a mention and if it does happen to escape through the media "gates" it will certainly not be called as such. Conversely, global media are uncritically obsessed by the "war on terror" and the singular barbarities of terrorists e.g. 9/11, suicide bombers and the beheading of hostages. Muslims as a whole are being endlessly demonized [17].

First World global media - for reasons on which one can only speculate - refuse to put such tragedies into a wider context. Thus the 9/11 tragedy that killed some 3000 innocent people was certainly an act of utter evil but global media have not put it into the context of other huge mortalities e.g. the "excess mortality" of 3000 aboriginal Australians per year; the 300,000 "free" Latin American children who die because they do not have Cuban-style quality health care; the 6 million people who die of cigarette smoking-related causes each year; the 20 million people who die in the Third World each year because of deprivation and malnourishment-exacerbated disease [24]. As an antidote to the "denial" of global media the reader is referred to recent books by Noam Chomsky [25], Arundhati Roy [26], Tariq Ali [15] and John Pilger [17].

Remarkably, while steadfastly refusing to address such palpable mortalities, the Western global media ask the question: "Why do they hate us?" ("they" presumably being the terrorists, Muslims, non-Europeans etc). This unanswered question is about as far as the global media will go to addressing massive differences in circumstances and mortalities in the world. Addressing the horrendous "excess mortality" realities of the world does not disrespect the innocent victims of terrorism or other violence - indeed it says heaps about a denying and intimidated contemporary culture that such a truism should need to be stated.

History ignored yields history repeated. The past ignoring of mass mortality by global media and politicians has been explored in powerful books by Laqueur [27] and Wasserstein [28] dealing with the failure of the world to recognize the deadly acceleration of Nazi anti-semitism in the 1930s and 1940s. Western and Central European Jews and others had been well aware of brutal anti-semitism and German concentration camps for years; informants from Eastern Europe were providing horrendous testimony in the early war years. However it was not until 17 December 1942 that Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden, for the British government and in the name of 11 Allied governments, finally announced in the House of Commons that they were in receipt of:

"numerous reports from Europe that the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has now been extended the most elementary rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler's oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe .The number of victims of these bloody cruelties is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women and children".

In the event some 6 million people perished in the Jewish Holocaust [27, 28]. In relation to global mass mortality, it can be estimated from simple analysis of published United Nations statistics that some 60,000 human beings are dying avoidably every day at the present time - and yet the global media remain silent.

Six years ago I published an account of how massive famines in British-ruled Bengal had been largely removed from British history and from global perception. My concern was that the disasters of the Great Bengal Famine of 1769-1770 (10 million victims) and of the 1943-44 Bengal Famine (4 million victims) could be dwarfed in the future by the drowning of deltaic West Bengal and Bangladesh through global warming-driven sea level rises [2]. The same administrations that brought us the Iraq débacle, namely those of the US and Australia, have also declined to sign the Kyoto Protocol crucial for international action to deal effectively with global warming. Global warming is predicted to have devastating effects not only upon deltaic regions but also on agricultural productivity - and hence human survival - in tropical and subtropical regions of the world [2].

Summary and conclusions

In summary, using United Nations statistical data, "excess mortality" (essentially, avoidable mortality) has been calculated for all countries for the world for the period 1950-2004. While the total "excess mortality" for the countries of Australasia, North America and Europe totals 54 million, that of the rest of the world is 1230 million.

A major component of global "excess mortality" is that of preponderantly Muslim countries plus the Muslim proportion of other significantly Muslim countries, this Muslim holocaust totalling about 550 million since 1950.

Total "excess mortality" (i.e. avoidable mortality) as a proportion of total actual mortality ranges from an average of less than 10% for Western European countries and the Anglo countries of Australasia and North America to an average of about 79% for the countries of non-Arab Africa.

Normalized "excess mortality" scores can be obtained by expressing "excess mortality" as a percentage of the present population. Such scores vary from an average of about 3% for Australasian and North American countries to an appalling average of 43% for non-Arab Africa.

High "excess mortality" scores are consistently associated with countries that have been subject to war and aggression, variously in the form of colonization, militarization, debt, sanctions, economic exclusion, malignant interference, civil war, war and occupation - with the major external players (notably the US, the UK, France and Russia) coming from the low "excess mortality" countries.

History ignored yields history repeated and ignoring huge human disasters will simply yield more of the same. Unfortunately, First World global media outlets are ignoring massive global mortality and the complicity of prosperous nations in a collective act of enormous holocaust denial. War is massively destructive. Lying by omission or commission obviates sensible, scientific approaches to global problems. A humane future will require truth, peace, dialogue, generosity and reconciliation - but above all, truth.

Notes and References:

[1]. Greenough, P. (1982), Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-44 (Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York).

[2]. Polya, G.M. (1998), Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability (Polya, Melbourne).

[3]. Mason, C. (2000), A Short History of Asia. Stone Age to 2000AD (Macmillan, London).

[4]. Chalk, F. & Jonassohn, K. (1990), The History and Sociology of Genocide. Analyses and case studies (Yale University Press, New Haven).

[5]. Lindqvist, S. (1992), "Exterminate All the Brutes" (Granta Books, London).

[6]. United Nations Population Division (2002), World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision Population Database (United Nations, New York).

[7]. Budavari, S. (ed.) (2001), The Merck Index, 13th edn. (Merck, New Jersey).

[8]. Polya, G.M. (2003), Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects (Taylor & Francis, CRC Press, London & New York).

[9]. Livi-Bacci, M. (1992), A Concise History of World Population (Blackwell, Cambridge & Oxford).

[10]. Encyclopaedia Britannica (2002) (Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc, London).

[11]. Bissio, R.R. (1992), Third World Guide 91/92 (Instituto del Tercer Mundo, Montevideo).

[12]. Central Intelligence Agency (2004), CIA World Factbook (CIA, Springfield, VA) (available on the Web)

[13] United Nations Children's Fund (2004), State of the World's Children 2004 (UNICEF, New York) (available with other UNICEF publications on the Web).

[14]. Reynolds, D. (2000), One World Divisible. A global history since 1945 (Penguin, London).

[15]. Pilger, J. (2002), The New Rulers of the World (Verso, London).

[16]. Dalrymple, W. (1998), From the Holy Mountain. A journey in the shadow of Byzantium (Flamingo, London).

[17]. Ali, T. (2002), The Clash of the Fundamentalisms. Crusades, jihads and modernity (Verso, London & New York).

[18]. Hitchens, C. (2001), The Trial of Henry Kissinger (Text, Melbourne).

[19]. Stone, I.F. (1952), The Secret History of the Korean War (Monthly Review Press, New York).

[20]. Pilger, J. (1998), Hidden Agendas (Vintage, London).

[21]. Newspaper articles: The Age, Melbourne, 9 April 2004 (one of Australia 's leading quality newspapers) and Herald Sun, Melbourne, 19 July 2004 (Australia's top circulation daily).

[22]. Polya, G.M. (2004), Iraqi Death Toll Amounts to a Holocaust, Australasian Science, June 2004, p43.

[23]. Watts, S.J. (1997), Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism (Yale University Press, New Haven).

[24]. Polya, G.M. (2004), Statistical death - the Ruler is Responsible for the Ruled, Tirra Lirra, vol. 13 (4), pp2-5.

[25]. Chomsky, N. (2001), September 11 (Allen & Unwin).

[26]. Roy, A. (2004), The Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (Flamingo, London).

[27]. Laqueur, W. (1982), The terrible secret. Suppression of the truth about Hitler's "Final Solution" (Penguin, London).

[28]. Wasserstein, B. (1988), Britain and the Jews of Europe. 1939-1945 (Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York).