After the gruesome beheading of Nick Berg in the spring of 2004 (by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, many agree) , Berg’s father Michael had some controversial things to say about Zarqawi’s death. He was cut a pretty fair amount of slack (by most, anyway) as his son had just been murdered by terrorists in Iraq.
But, like Cindy Sheehan, you can only say stupid things for so long before people begin to realize that it isn’t grief but stupidity that makes you say them. Two years is “so long”, in this case. Berg says on CNN:
Well, you know, I’m not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he’s no worse than George Bush…Under Saddam Hussein, about 30,000 deaths a year. Under George Bush, about 60,000 deaths a year. I don’t get it. Why is it better to have George Bush the king of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein?
First of all, who on earth says that 180,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq? Is he in la-la land?
IraqBodyCount.net, not what you’d exactly call a neutral outfit, estimates the total is currently between 38,254 and 42,646.
It’s also interesting to note that Mary Katherine Ham posted this quote earlier and it went like this:
Under Saddam Hussein, 30,000 deaths a year; under George Bush, about 50,000 deaths.
It’s almost beyond belief, but Michael Berg pioneered the Cindy Sheehan strategy. And apparently he can’t add. If Saddam was responsible for 30,000 deaths a year (probably higher) and if George Bush was responsible for 50,000 (usually 30,000 is the figure used, and a great deal of that includes enemy casualties), wouldn’t 50K be better than the 90K Saddam would have killed off since his takedown in April 2003? And is a regime that kills 30,000 of its citizens arbitrarily each year really stable in the first place?
So what idid he say? “60,000 deaths per year” or “about 50,000 deaths”? Either way, he’s off base and confused.