TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -America’s so-called war on terror that began 17 years ago has killed millions of people, far greater than official estimates, amounting to a “holocaust” and one of the worst war crimes in human history, a US scholar says.
The ongoing US military campaign was aimed at creating “endless wars” to destroy Muslim countries, contrary to Washington’s stated goal of fighting terrorism, said Kevin Barrett, an author, journalist and radio host with a PhD in Islamic and Arabic Studies.
“Essentially what we’ve seen is a holocaust that’s off the charts, far beyond any World War ll holocaust that’s been covered up,” Barrett told Press TV on Friday. “It’s the worst kind of series of war crimes in all of human history.”
Barrett said the actual casualty figures caused by the US wars were far greater than estimates published by the US government and media, citing research by scholars in Australia.
A study released Thursday shows that the US war on terror has so far killed about 500,000 people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.
The death toll include civilians in the war zones, local military and police forces, as well as alleged militants, who have died from war violence, according to the report by Brown University's Costs of War Project.
Fatalities in Afghanistan, as of October 2018, stood at about 147,000 people. War-related violence had killed 65,000 people in neighboring Pakistan.
The rest of the deaths, between 268,000 and 295,000, occurred in Iraq, where the US-led military intervention began in 2003.
"Though the war on terror is often overlooked by the American public, press and lawmakers, the increased body count signals that, far from diminishing, this war remains intense," the report said.
The report said the number of indirect deaths was several times larger than deaths caused by direct war violence, bringing the total death count to well over 1 million people.
"This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war," the report warned in its concluding lines.
The United States, under former President George W. Bush, launched the war on terror following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
Many experts believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.