John Tirman


John Tirman, Executive Director and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies, discusses his article “1 Million Dead in Iraq? 6 Reasons the Media Hide the True Human Toll of War — And Why We Let Them” at AlterNet; the reputable studies done in Iraq to arrive at the approximately 1 million “excess death” toll; why the media consistently low-balls with a “tens of thousands” figure; and the powerful argument (to some) at stake: that at least Iraq is “better off now than under Saddam.”

MP3 here. (24:25)

John Tirman is the Executive Director and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies.

Tirman is author, or coauthor and editor, of twelve books on international affairs, including, most recently, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars. Earlier work includes The Fallacy of Star Wars (1984), the first important critique of strategic defense, and Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America’s Arms Trade (1997).

Before coming to MIT in 2004, he was program director of the Social Science Research Council. From 1986 to 1999, Tirman was executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace, a leading funder of work to prevent nuclear war and promote non-violent resolution of conflict. In 1999-2000, Tirman was Fulbright Senior Scholar in Cyprus and produced an educational Web site on the conflict. He is a trustee of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, and chair of the International Civil Society Action Network.

13 thoughts on “John Tirman”

  1. I remember how prolific an executioner Jorge Wmd Boosch was when he was governor of Texas, and while I do support capital punishment – I will never forget two things that I learned about this guy that told me what a sadistic and incredibly dangerous psychopath he was. First, when this demented and mentally sick scumbag was on TV and was being interviewed by some media reporter – and the topic of Carla Faye Tucker came up, since she had recently been executed down in Texas. Now, I don't care to argue over whether she deserved to die or not – but, when Boosch was asked about his decision to deny her last minute plea for clemency, he lapses into a mocking, falsetto sounding voice and mimicked her begging him to spare her, as if he thought the whole thing was nothing more than a joke. The chief executive of the Republic of Texas demonstrated his view that one of his most serious and somber responsibilities, a responsibility that should be taken seriously and carried out with the highest degree of integrity and personal demeanor – gets on TV and turns it into a class-clown act? That was a telltale sign of just how dangerous, immature and pathological sick this creep was and it should have sent a message to Americans – but, it didn't.

    The second piece of information that I learned about, after this psychopath was in the White House – was that, during his entire time as Governor of Texas – he granted one and only one plea for clemency to someone who was on death row. Care to guess who that individual was?

    The famous serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. A monster who boasted to having murdered over 600 women and who told a reporter once that he preferred having sex with his victims after they were dead instead of before he killed them – because he found it more 'satisfying'. Does it get any sicker than that, friends?

    Well, it did. Once Jorge Wmd Boosch got to the White House and lied us into all these wars, and racked up his 1 million plus dead victims. I think this piece of filth granted clemency to Henry Lee Lucas because he admired him and envied his ability to kill 600 people. Lucas was probably his #1 role model, in fact. Psychopaths share a special brotherhood, it seems.

    Oh, and does everyone remember how strange it was when all those video tapes and pictures surfaced which showed the criminal and sexual abuse of the Iraqi prisoners under the Boosch Administration? Am I the only guy who wondered why they would be so dumb and stupid as to create videos and take photographs of themselves – providing evidence for a
    possible future prosecution – while committing a clearly illegal act?

    Might it be possible that those videos were made and being streamed, real-time, all the way back to the White House where one or more really demented, really twisted and perverted sexual deviants were sitting and watching, perhaps with their pants around their ankles and with a box of tissue paper close by?

    1. Dude, you really should doubt the "600 kills" story. People cannot get away with that kind of work unless they are politicians.

  2. He's absolutely right. 'Shock and Awe' killed a lot more people than we were led to believe for instance. Missiles and bombers don't do body counts. The truth is a mirror America doesn't want to look into too closely. Prefers the fantasies of Hollywood-Pentagon, 'America's Top Hero'. The Military may want to know as he says but they don't want the rest of us to know -Psy-ops is basically about lying. Part of the strategy of winning is to cover over the truth.

  3. We all know that our smart bombs only kill the bad guys, everyone else just gets a little tossed around by the resulting giant fireball. They re-apply some hair styling products off camera and are on their way…

  4. At the beginning of the 20thC, 90% of war casualties were military. At the beginning of the 21C, 90% are civilians.

  5. Re: my first comment & how the military "think" about war. My guess is that the U.S. military is just delighted that the overwhelming majority of casualties are invisible people of color bc that makes it so much easier for the U.S. military to conduct war all over the place. Think about the history of modern military weaponry: it's all about not getting U.S. military casualties, so that war becomes invisible to those at home. I'd say it's been a very successful accomplishment for U.S. military. With drones, war is now nothing more than a harmless video game.

  6. Not all countrys are evil but most are but the American government takes the number 1 spot.American citizens most are probably good people but do they expect mercy if ever taken over by not being more outspoken about the war crimes there government commit.Sorry the Israely government is right there with America if not worse but Israely citizens and some military are against there governments actions and protest more than there US conterpart withch says alot being there is less than 10 million Israelies.And the US lowballs the death toll because they are evil and thats clear but they and the Israely controlled media are liers and money is all they care about.Sad but true.

  7. There are actually a number of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice point to carry up. I provide the thoughts above as general inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up where crucial thing might be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round issues like that, however I am certain that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Each girls and boys really feel the impression of just a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  8. You’re right about his strong support of Turks. He is willing to look the other way on all of their human rights violations . Whether Giraldi’s kneejerk solidarity is based on emotional (or some other) reasons, it reeks of intellectual dishonesty.

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