Steven Teplitsky

A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic

The above quote is attributed to Josef Stalin. British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore suggested that Stalin was ultimately responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people.

Of course in a perfect world any death due to war is one death too many.  Unfortunately, since the beginning of time, combatant deaths and civilian deaths are a result in war.

On October 24, 2023, the Secretary General of the UN spoke before the Security Council and commented that the deadly Hamas attack on southern Israel “did not happen in a vacuum,” calling it justification for terrorism. A few days later he spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza in which he stated, “I am deeply moved unfortunately to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations.”

I have been doing some research lately on wartime fatalities and came across a study conducted by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. They conduct an ongoing study of the Cost of War since 9/11.  They consider the Cost of War in both human lives and suffering, and financial cost.  In the next few pages I will try to relay this information with maps and charts to allow us a clear picture of the real cost of war.

Before we discuss the so-called War on Terror since 9/11 it is important to understand, to quote Antonio Guterres, that these tragedies “did not happen in a vacuum”.

Allow me to put this in a historical perspective.

“It was not always clear that the Arab-Muslims would be successful against the Byzantines and the Persians, the last empires of antiquity. Nonetheless, starting in 634 and continuing into the early eighth century, they found enormous success conquering much of the territory around the Mediterranean basin and central Asia, going as far west as Spain and Portugal and all the way to the Indus River valley in the east. The new Islamic state, or caliphate (an area under the control of a caliph), was larger than the realm of Alexander the Great, the Romans, or the Han Chinese; it was the largest empire the world had yet seen.”

“From the perspective of the Arab-Muslims, the conquest movement had been enormously successful, a demonstration of the power of God and his favoring of their ummah. From the perspective of Christians who were not aligned with the Muslims during this period, the arrival of the Arab-Muslims was also seen as an act of God, a God who was angry at the sinfulness of the Christians and who had sent the Arab-Muslims as a punishment they needed to bear.” – openstax



Age of the Caliphs   Expansion under Muhammad, 622-632   Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632-661   Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750 Shows modern borders. -maps from Wikipedia


Not only was the Arab conquest extremely successful, it has maintained its dominance in the area.  The top map clearly show what lands the Muslims were able to capture (with an overlay of modern-day political boundaries) and the bottom map shows the current religious sectarian status of Islam.

Please use these maps when referring to the next part of this essay.

According to the Watson Institute, almost 1 million people lost their lives in the War on Terror.  The chart provided by the Institute clearly delineates the composition of the total lives lost from military personnel, journalists, NGO workers and civilians.  Please take note of the location of the fatalities and refer back to the maps.

In another study, titled Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States’ Post-9/11 Wars,  The Watson Institute claims that as many as 59 million people have fled their homes as a result of the War on Terror, with approximately 22 million having returned to their former dwellings for a net total of 37 million displaced people due to the War on Terror in the area clearly delineated on the maps.

Mr. Antonio Guterres is absolutely correct in his claim that nothing happens “in a vacuum”.

When we examine the maps and transpose the figures of casualties, deaths and displaced persons over the last 20 years onto the maps, the “vacuum” gets filled.  It becomes abundantly clear that the so-called Religion of Peace is responsible for so much death and destruction in just the last 20 years. Approximately 1 million people died and tens of millions people were displaced during the so-called War on Terror in the lands of Islam. What would the figure of death amount to if we did a calculation back to the year 650 CE?

Tryon Edwards, an American theologian during the American Civil War, said it best.  It was as if he was speaking about Mr. Guterres and the organization he represents.

“Some so speak in exaggerations and superlatives that we need to make a large discount from their statements before we can come at their real meaning.”

So what is your real meaning Mr. Guterres?  Can you be a humanitarian and an antisemite? Can you be a humanitarian and an antizionist?  Can you be a humanitarian and condone murder at the same time?

I guess so.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies published on November 16, 2023 the following paper…


1. Top UN officials make excuses for Hamas

2. The UN General Assembly refuses to condemn Hamas

3. The UN equates Hamas’s slaughter with Israeli attempts at self-defense

4. The UN nurtures Palestinian grievances rather than resolving conflict

5. The UN does not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization

6. The UN spreads false information

7. The WHO ignores Hamas’s use of human shields

8. UN calls for a ceasefire play into Hamas’s hands

9. The UN criticizes Israeli efforts to minimize civilian casualties

10. The U.S. must demand much-needed UN reforms

About the Author
Graduated from Brandeis University in Near Eastern and Jewish Studies in 1978 before completion of PhD (ABD) in "Relationship of US to Pre 1948 Yishuv". Active in Toronto Jewish community while pursuing business career. Made Aliyah in 2020. Last person to be admitted into Israel before Covid shutdown. Favorite movie quotes are "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" and "You can't handle the truth!" and "Whaddya think, I'm dumb or something?"
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