Chinese Society for Human Rights: US Wars of Aggression Have Caused Severe Humanitarian Disasters!

The US Has a Long History of Perpetuating “Human Rights” Abuses!

Article by the Chinese Society for Human Rights: The US Wars of Aggression Have Caused Severe Humanitarian Disasters! 

Trans: Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD 

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, April 9th, 2021. On the 9th, the Chinese Society for Human Rights Research published an article entitled “Serious Humanitarian Disasters Caused by US Wars of Aggression”. The full text is as follows: 

The U.S. war of aggression caused severe humanitarian disasters 

China Human Rights Research Society 

April 2021 

China Leads the World in Genuine “Human Rights”!

Article by the Chinese Society for Human Rights: The US Wars of Aggression Have Caused Severe Humanitarian Disasters! 

Trans: Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD 

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, April 9th, 2021. On the 9th, the Chinese Society for Human Rights Research published an article entitled “Serious Humanitarian Disasters Caused by US Wars of Aggression”. The full text is as follows: 

The U.S. war of aggression caused severe humanitarian disasters 

China Human Rights Research Society 

April 2021 

  The United States has always called itself a “city on the hill”, that supports “natural human rights”, shoulders a “natural mission”, and yet often uses force abroad under the banner of “humanitarian intervention.” Since its declaration of independence on July 4th, 1776, the United States has not experienced any periods of ‘non-warfare’ that have lasting less than 20 years in a history of more than 240 years! According to incomplete statistics, from the end of World War II in 1945 to 2001, 248 armed conflicts occurred in 153 regions of the world, of which 201 were initiated by the United States – accounting for approximately 81% of the total aggressive action. Most of the wars of aggression launched by the United States were unilateralist actions, with many even attracting opposition from US allies. These wars not only claimed the lives of a large number of soldiers from all sides, but also caused extremely serious civilian casualties and property losses, leading to alarming humanitarian disasters. The selfishness and hypocrisy of the United States has also been exposed through the following acts of foreign interference. 

  1. Major wars of aggression launched by the United States after World War II 

  1. The Korean War. The Korean War that occurred in the early 1950s was short but extremely bloody. The war resulted in the deaths of more than 3 million civilians and with about 3 million becoming refugees. According to North Korea’s statistics, the war destroyed about 8,700 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals and 600,000 households, whilst the war of aggression led to 2 million children under the age of 18 being displaced. South Korea’s losses were as high as 41.23 billion won, equivalent to 6.9 billion U.S. dollars under the official exchange rate. During the war, South Korea had about 600,000 houses, 46.9% of railways, 1,656 highways, and 1,453 bridges destroyed. In addition, the division of North and South Korea caused by the war also created a large number of family separations. There are approximately 130,000 Koreans with separated family members registered with the Ministry of Unification, of which 75,000 have passed away. The US “Diplomat” magazine website reported on June 25th, 2020 that as of November 2019, the average age of split family members in South Korea was 81 years old. Since 1988, more than 60% of the 133,370 reunion applicants have passed away. The vast majority of people in China have never seen their loved ones again after separation. 

  2. The Vietnam War. The Vietnam War that US aggression which took place from the 1950s to the 1970s – and was the longest and most cruel war – to take place after World War II. According to estimates by the Vietnamese government, about 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and 300,000 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed, and as many as 2 million civilians died in the war. Some of them were systematically massacred by the US military in the name of “strike against the Viet Cong.” The bombs dropped by the U.S. military in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia exceeded three times the bombs dropped by all parties during World War II. It is estimated that at least 350,000 tons of explosive bombs and mines are left in Vietnam. At the current rate, it will take 300 years to clear them from Vietnam’s land. The Huffington Post website reported on December 3, 2012 that statistics from the Vietnamese government showed that remnants of war have killed about 42,000 people since the official end of the war in 1975. In addition, the US military also dropped 20 million gallons (approximately 75.71 million litres) of defoliant in Vietnam, causing 400,000 Vietnamese deaths, and about 2 million Vietnamese suffered from cancer or other diseases due to exposure to defoliant. The war that lasted for more than ten years caused more than 3 million refugees to flee the country, and a large number of people died on the way across the ocean. Among the refugees who fled Vietnam, 92% of the respondents said that the effects of defoliants made them feel persistently fatigued. Other symptoms include miscarriage and birth defects. Official US data show that 20% of Vietnam’s jungles and 20% to 36% of mangroves have been destroyed by defoliants. 

  3. The Gulf War. In 1991, the Allied forces led by the United States sent troops into Iraq. In an air strike against Iraq, 2,500 to 3,500 civilians were killed and 9,000 houses were destroyed. After the war ended, about 111,000 civilians died due to the destruction of infrastructure and lack of medical supplies and food. According to estimates by UNICEF, the war and subsequent sanctions resulted in the deaths of approximately 500,000 children. During the war, the Allied forces deliberately destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, resulting in most of its power stations (92% of installed capacity), oil refineries (80% of production capacity), petrochemical complexes, telecommunications centres (including 135 telephone networks), and bridges (More than 100), highways, railways, radio and television stations, cement plants, and factories producing aluminium, textiles, wires and medical supplies were destroyed. The Gulf War also caused serious environmental pollution. About 60 million barrels of oil were dumped into the desert, contaminating about 40 million tons of soil; 24 million barrels of oil spilled from oil wells, forming 246 “lakes”; artificial fuel oil wells were generated. The smog and smoke polluted 953 square kilometres of land. In the Gulf War, the US military also used depleted uranium bombs for the first time. 

  4. The Kosovo War. In March 1999, NATO troops headed by the United States blatantly bypassed the UN Security Council under the banner of “Avoiding Humanitarian Disasters” and carried out 78 days of continuous bombing of Yugoslavia, killing more than 2,000 innocent civilians and more than 6,000. Injured, nearly 1 million people were displaced, and more than 2 million people lost their source of livelihood. NATO troops also consciously targeted the Yugoslavian infrastructure to eliminate their determination to resist. According to estimates by Serbian economists, the total economic losses caused by the bombing were about 29.6 billion U.S. dollars. The bombing caused damage to a large number of bridges, roads, railways, 25,000 families, 176 cultural monuments, 69 schools, 19 hospitals and 20 health centres, and 1.5 million children could not go to school. In addition, the NATO army used at least 31,000 depleted uranium bombs, which led to a sharp increase in the incidence of cancer and leukaemia in the region, and had a long-term catastrophic impact on the local and European ecological environment. 

  5. The war in Afghanistan. In October 2001, the United States sent troops to Afghanistan, and while attacking Al Qaeda and the Taliban, it also caused a large number of civilian casualties. Due to the lack of authoritative statistical data, all parties’ estimates are inconclusive regarding the number of civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan. It is generally believed that since the US military first entered Afghanistan on October 7, 2001; more than 30,000 civilians have been killed through the bombing. The number of injured has exceeded 60,000, and about 11 million people become have refugees. After the US military announced its withdrawal in 2014, Afghanistan still remains in turmoil. The New York Times website reported on July 30th, 2019 that 363 people, including 89 children, were determined to have died from US military bombs in the first half of 2019. According to the assessment of academics from Kabul University, the war in Afghanistan caused an average of about 60 million US dollars in economic losses and about 250 casualties every day. 

  6. The Iraq War. In 2003, despite the general opposition of the international community, the United States invaded Iraq on unwarranted charges. It is difficult to accurately count the number of civilian deaths. According to estimates, it is thought to be between 200,000 and 250,000, of which more than 16,000 were directly killed by the US military. In addition, the US military has seriously violated international humanitarian principles and caused many incidents of prisoner abuse. After the United States announced its withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, local wars and violent incidents have continued. The coalition forces led by the United States have also used a large number of depleted uranium bombs, cluster bombs and white phosphorous bombs in Iraq, and have not taken any measures to minimize harm to civilians. According to United Nations estimates, Iraq still has about 25 million landmines and other explosive remnants that need to be cleared. At present, the United States has still been unable to complete its commitment to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. 

  7. The Syrian war. Since 2017, the United States has launched air strikes against Syria on the grounds of “preventing the Syrian government from using chemical weapons.” From 2016 to 2019, there are 33,584 civilians who died in the war in Syria. Among them, the US-led coalition bombing directly killed 3,833 people, half of whom were women and children. The US Public Television Network reported on November 9, 2018 that the so-called “most accurate air strike in history” launched by the U.S. military on Raqqa alone resulted in the death of 1,600 civilians. According to a survey conducted by the World Food Program in April 2020, about one-third of Syrians do not have enough food, and 87% do not possess access to long-term reserves. According to estimates by the World Doctors Organization, since the beginning of the war in Syria, about 15,000 doctors (approximately half of the country’s total doctors) have fled the country, 6.5 million have been internally displaced, and 5 million have fled as refugees. 

  In addition, the United States has frequently intervened in other countries through direct or indirect methods such as supporting proxy wars, inciting domestic rebellions, assassinations, providing weapons and ammunition, and training rebels, causing serious harm to the social stability and people’s safety of relevant countries. Since a large number of such incidents are secretly manipulated by the US government, it is difficult to count the specific damage they have caused. 

  2. The consequences of war launched by the United States 

  Since World War II, almost all US Presidents have launched or intervened in foreign wars during their tenure. The reasons for war include “prevent the spread of Communism”, “maintain justice”, “stop aggression”, “humanitarian intervention”, “combat terrorism”, and prevent the “proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”, and the “protection of American nationals”, etc. Among them, only one was a counterattack carried-out by the United States after a direct terrorist attack, and the others were all actively using force against a background that was not directly related to the vital interests of the United States. Even this only “legitimate defence” is clearly an over-defence: under the banner of “eliminating the al-Qaeda threat”, the US military adheres to the principle of “preferring to kill by mistake” than “not to kill at all” whilst expanding the scope of attack at will in the war on terrorism. This unpredictable policy as led to high numbers of innocent civilians being killed and wounded by drone-strike attacks described as “relatively accurate” by the pro-US propagandists.  

  Judging from the procedures followed by the United States in its use of force, some people use the “legal channel” authorized by the Security Council to launch military attacks (after manipulating the United Nations), but others more often leave the Security Council aside and ignore the opposition of other countries and even allies. Indiscriminately launching an attack on an independent sovereign country, and even provoking a war outside its boundaries without the approval of the US Congress, which has the sole statutory power to declare war. 

  In terms of consequences, the foreign wars launched by the United States has triggered various regional and international crises. 

  The war has directly led to humanitarian disasters in the countries concerned, including casualties, destruction of facilities, and production stagnation, especially causing a large number of innocent civilian casualties. In areas where the fighting has spread, people died in their home, in markets, on roads, from bombs, bullets, improvised explosive devices, drones, American airstrikes, government sweeps, riots and massacres carried-out by terrorist and extremist organizations. According to a research report released by Brown University in November 2018, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, 43,074, 23,924, 184,382 to 207,156, 49,591, and 12,000 civilians were killed in the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. There were 67, 8, 277, 75, and 31 people from the media and 424, 97, 63, 185, and 38 humanitarian aid workers who have died in the line of duty. Casualties are often downplayed by the US government. The US “Intercept” website reported on November 19th, 2018 that the actual death toll of civilians in Iraq far exceeded the number officially reported by the US military. 

  These wars brought about a series of complex social problems, including refugees, social unrest, ecological crisis and psychological trauma, etc. According to statistics, several wars involving the US military in recent years have caused the number of refugees to remain high. For example, there are 11 million in Afghanistan, 380,000 in Pakistan, 3.25 million in Iraq, and 12.59 million in Syria. These refugees were forced to stay away from their homes. About 1.3 million of the Afghan refugees went to Pakistan and about 900,000 to Iran; about 3.5 million of the Iraqi and Syrian refugees went to Turkey, and about 1 million went to Iran. In Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, the number of casualties caused by lack of medical care, malnutrition and environmental pollution far exceeds the number of casualties directly caused by the war. It is estimated that the number of deaths not directly caused by war is four times the number of deaths directly caused by war. The uranium content per kilogram of soil in Basra, Iraq, rose sharply from less than 70 becquerels before 1991 to 10,000 becquerels in 2009, and even as high as 36,205 becquerels in areas left behind by war materials. The British “Guardian” website reported on August 22nd, 2016 that the birth rate of babies with birth defects in Iraq in 2010 was as high as 30%, while under normal circumstances this figure is only 2% to 4%. 

  The wars launched by the United States have also produced spill over effects, causing harm to countries not involved in the incident. For example, in the Vietnam War, the US military used the excuse of blocking the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” to spread the war into neighbouring countries such as Cambodia and Laos, causing more than 500,000 innocent civilians to be killed and injured, and a large amount of unexploded ordnance was left behind. During the war in Afghanistan, US planes and drones often dropped bombs on neighbouring Pakistani villages to injure the innocent when they were fighting terrorists. Even wedding cars and Pakistani border guard soldiers were not spared. In the continuous air strikes against the Yugoslavia, the US military also targeted the Chinese Embassy, resulting in the death of 3 Chinese journalists and wounding more than a dozen others. 

  The United States itself has become a victim of its foreign wars. According to statistics from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 103,284 and 153,303 people were physically injured in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. From 2001 to 2005, among 103,788 veterans who returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about one-third were diagnosed with mental illness, and 56% of those diagnosed had more than one disease. Research by the US Congressional Research Bureau shows that from 2008 to 2016, more than 6000 veterans committed suicide each year. The compensation paid by the US military to Veterans and their families who participated in the Korean War amounts to 2.8 billion U.S. dollars per year, and the compensation to Veterans and their families who participated in the Vietnam War exceeds 22 billion US dollars per year. Similar medical and injury pay-outs have been granted to Veterans who participated in the Afghan War. Disabled care costs have exceeded 170 billion US dollars. “Business Insider” website reported in December 2019 that since the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, it is estimated that more than 3,800 American civilian contractors have died. This far exceeds government statistics and even exceeds the death toll of the US military. 

  3. The humanitarian crisis stems from the hegemonic thinking of the United States 

  Looking at the many aggressive wars launched by the United States, it can be seen that there are many cases of humanitarian crises caused by military actions. In countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries where the current war is unstoppable, “incorrect bombings and injuries” have occurred frequently, refugees have nowhere to stay, infrastructure is riddled with damage, and national production has stagnated. Wars launched by the United States abroad are often under the banner of “human rights above sovereignty” and “humanitarian intervention.” Why did they eventually turn into humanitarian disasters? 

  In April 2011, the US “Foreign Policy” magazine summarized the five reasons why the United States frequently uses force in foreign affairs. Except for its military advantage, it is difficult for it to resist the temptation to resort to force, and the domestic check and balance mechanism is difficult to play an effective role. Mention what role American values play in it, and In fact, “protecting human rights” is not a clear driving force for the United States to use force abroad. The use of force abroad is only a means for the United States to achieve its own goals. Although it does not exclude the drive of morality, it is not a sufficient or necessary condition. As long as it considers the need, as long as it believes that it is good for itself, as long as it feels the objective lies within its capacity, the United States will have the urge to use force. No matter how terrible the humanitarian disaster it brings, it will always be borne by others, and it will not affect the United States in achieving its goals, nor will it directly harm Americans. Choosing to use force regardless of the consequences reveals the hegemonic mentality of “America first” and the strong takes all fascistic ideology, and the unilateral thinking of “I am the only one who owns the world, and I will take forceful control the world.” 

  In the eyes of American politicians who always respect “universal values”, are the “human rights gifted to them” equally given to other people in the world? 

  Now that the United States has established a law that states regardless behaviour, status or situation, all ethnic groups outside the US are equal, why does this thinking does not apply to the different ethnic groups living within United States? Is it because the foreign people killed by the US military do not vote in US elections? In reality, the truth is that the US government kills whoever gets in its way either inside or outside the US – only giving lip-service to equality amongst ethnic groups.  

  The United States believes that terrorist attacks against its own civilians in its homeland are despicable and punishable. Is it an acceptable and “necessary” sacrifice that occurs outside the United States – when action carried out by the US military causes a large number of innocent civilian deaths and injuries in other countries?  

  On other people’s land, they “prefer to kill by mistake” and “never miss a kill”, wantonly use radioactive weapons, destroy all vegetation with toxic agents, and open fire at will without identifying the nature of the target. When carrying out these actions, the American values are “self-evident” – with no genuine signs of “Human Rights”! 

  Where are the human rights of those civilians who have to bear the risk of being shot and killed by terrorists just because they are unable to escape the war zone? Where are the human rights of the children who were maimed by the chemical weapons deployed the US military which cause birth defects and suffering for the rest of their lives? Where are the human rights of those refugees who have nowhere to stay in order to escape the fighting carried-out by the US military? 

  In the final analysis, the mode of thinking involving the resolving of disputes by the unilateral means of war at every turn has its own problems. Humanism and hegemonism are inherently opposed, and expecting a hegemonic country to defend the human rights of other countries is tantamount to seeking a tiger’s skin. The settlement of international disputes depends on equal consultation under the framework of the United Nations, through coordination with a well-regulated international mechanism, and on building a community with a shared peaceful vision for the future for Humanity. Only by discarding the hegemonic thinking of the supremacy of self-interest can we prevent “humanitarian intervention” from turning into a humanitarian disaster, achieve mutual benefit and win positive improvements and positive results for all of humanity. This approach will enable people from all countries to truly enjoy all the basic freedoms associated with genuine human rights. 


  1. A list of civilian casualties caused by the main US wars of aggression since World War II 

  The Korean War: 3 million civilians died and 3 million refugees; 

  Vietnam War: 2 million civilians died, 3 million refugees, 3 million defoliants victims; 

  Air strikes in Libya: 700 soldiers and civilians died; 

  Invasion of Panama: 302 civilians were killed and 3,000 injured; 

  Send troops to Somalia: 200 civilians were killed and 300 injured; 

  Gulf War: The war killed 120,000 civilians, sanctions killed 2 million, and the economic loss was 600 billion U.S. dollars; 

  The Kosovo War: The war killed more than 2,000 people, injured 6,000 people, and lost 200 billion U.S. dollars in economic losses; 

  The war in Afghanistan: more than 30,000 civilians died, 70,000 injured, 11 million refugees; 

  Iraq War: 200,000 to 250,000 civilian deaths and 3.25 million refugees; 

  The Syrian War: More than 40,000 civilians died and 12.59 million fled their homes. 

  2. List of American wars of aggression and foreign intervention since World War II 

  1947-1949: Intervention in the Greek Civil War 

  1947-1970: Interfering in the Italian elections and supporting anti-communist forces 

  1948: Supporting the rebels in the Costa Rican civil war 

  1949-1953: Supporting anti-communist activities in Albania 

  1949: Interference in the change of Syrian government 

  1950-1953: Launch of the Korean War 

  1952: Interference in the Egyptian Revolution 

  1953: Supported the Iranian coup to overthrow the government 

  1954: Support for the change of government in Guatemala 

  1956-1957: plotting a coup in Syria 

  1957-1959: Support for the Indonesian coup 

  1958: Creating a Lebanese crisis 

  1960-1961: Supporting the Congolese coup 

  1960: Prevent the Lao government from reforming 

  1961: Support for the Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba 

  1961-1975: Supporting the Laotian Civil War and the opium trade 

  1961-1964: Supporting anti-government activities in Brazil 

  1963: Supporting civil strife in Iraq 

  1963: Supporting the Ecuadorian rebellion 

  1963-1975: Participated in the Vietnam War 

  1964: Intervention in the Simba Rebellion in Congo 

  1965-1966: Intervention in the Dominican Civil War 

  1965-1967: Supporting the massacre of communists by the Indonesian military government 

  1966: Supporting the domestic rebellion in Ghana 

  1966-1969: Conflict in the North Korean Demilitarized Zone 

  1966-1967: Supporting the Bolivian Rebellion 

  1967: Interference in the change of Greek government 

  1967-1975: Intervention in the Cambodian Civil War 

  1970: Interference in Oman’s internal affairs 

  1970-1973: Support for the Chilean military coup 

  1970-1973: Support for the Cambodian coup 

  1971: Supporting Bolivia’s coup 

  1972-1975: Aid to Iraqi rebels 

  1976: Support for the Argentine coup 

  1976-1992: Interference in Angola’s internal affairs 

  1977-1988: Supporting the coup in Pakistan 

  1979-1993: Supporting Cambodian rebels 

  1979-1989: Intervention in the war in Afghanistan 

  1980-1989: Funded the Polish Solidarity trade union against the government 

  1980-1992: Intervention in the civil war in El Salvador 

  1981: Confrontation with Libya in Sidra Bay 

  1981-1982: Promoting the change of government in Chad 

  1982-1984: Participated in multilateral intervention in Lebanon 

  1982-1989: Supporting the Nicaraguan rebels 

  1983: Invasion of Grenada 

  1986: Invaded Sidra Bay, Libya 

  1986: bombing of Libya 

  1988: Shoot down an Iranian civil airliner 

  1988: dispatched troops to Honduras 

  1989: Confrontation with Libya in Tobruk 

  1989: Interference in the internal affairs of the Philippines 

  1989-1990: Invasion of Panama 

  1990-1991: Launching the Gulf War 

  1991: Interference in Haitian elections 

  1991-2003: Leading enforcement actions in Iraq’s no-fly zone 

  1992-1995: First intervention in the Somali civil war 

  1992-1995: Intervention in the Bosnian War 

  1994-1995: dispatched troops to Haiti 

  1996: Support for the coup in Iraq 

  1997: dispatched troops to Albania 

  1997: dispatched troops to Sierra Leone 

  1998-1999: Launching the Kosovo War 

  1998: Attacking Sudan and Afghanistan with cruise missiles 

  1998-1999: dispatched troops to Kenya and Tanzania 

  2001-now: launching the war in Afghanistan 

  2002: dispatched troops to Côte d’Ivoire 

  2003-2011: Starting the Iraq War 

  2004-present: launching a war on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan 

  2006-2007: Support the Palestinian Fatah’s actions to overthrow the democratically elected           government Hamas 

  2007-now: second intervention in the Somali civil war 

  2009: Support for the Honduras coup 

  2011: Support the Libyan rebels 

  2011-2017: Launch of military operations in Uganda 

  2014-now: US-led intervention in Iraq 

  2014-now: U.S.-led intervention in Syria 

  2015-now: Supporting Saudi Arabia’s participation in the Yemeni civil war 

  2019: Support for Venezuelan government change 

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