Nick Berg’s father speaks

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?, 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.

Wizbang ran the same quote (maybe just pulled from MKH) and pointed out Captain Ed’s response:

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.


  1. I heard the quote played on the radio. I believe he said 50,000. He’s not in la-la land. He’s in Sheehan Land. She also makes emotional statements that, when actually thought about, make you kind of tilt your head sideways and say ‘huh?’

  2. Murdoc, As a gold star mother, a mother who lost her son in war, Cindy Sheehan has a right to those most basic of questions: ‘what did her son die for?’ And you and your a–hole buddies on the right need to answer that simplest of questions or you need to STFU.

  3. Aaron, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t agree with this war either, and I love to attack anyone on either side who sticks their head out. But something tells me that your right-end folks have already answered that question a lot already, hopefully you’ve either satisfied yourself with that answer, or gone off blustering again. I think you may have some sort of ‘Murdoc-watch’ style blog somewhere in cyberspace…well, maybe I’ll just take the fight there then.

  4. Cindy Sheehan’s question of why her son died has been answered. She’s just too stupid to understand. Fortunately for her sons memory, millions of us on the right DO understand why he died, and are ever so greatful for his sacrifice.

  5. Aaron, are you capable of writing a post that does not insult someone? Without changing the sense of your comment, you could have written, say, this: Murdoc, As a gold star mother, a mother who lost her son in war, Cindy Sheehan has a right to those most basic of questions: ‘what did her son die for?’ And you and your buddies on the right need to answer that simplest of questions. What did her son die for? Seriously, just because I agree with Murdoc doesn’t make me an asshole. It doesn’t mean I’m not, and I don’t care whether you think I am. You can scream all you want til Murdoc bans your ass. But in your own self interest, you might consider a hypothetical visitor to this site. Maybe he’s not a hard core conservative who hates all brown people and lusts for their oil, and gets a hard-on for military equipment, and has drunk the republikkkan koolaid. Maybe he’s doing research and happened upon this site. He’s non-aligned, not sure what to think. He’s a nice guy, reasonable. But he’s ready to be convinced by someone. He sees you calling all the people who frequent this site assholes and telling them to STFU. You just lost another soul to the dark side. Just a thought.

  6. Im unclear Bald Eagle, becouse the answer clearly to why Casey Sheehan died is: to start a fundamentalist muslim theocracy in Iraq thats allied with Iran while simultaneously pushing every muslim in the world to hate the west and support fundamentalist Islam, and the terrorists who believe in it. What part of that is covered by enlisting in the army? What part of that wasnt completely f–king obvious before the invasion to anyone who didnt have their head up their a-s? What part of that makes any sense at all? And when did anyone on the right ever say that this was the goal? Cindy Sheehan’s question has indeed been answered. Just not honestly.

  7. Berg’s statement is way off. Now George is no hero of mine, but it’s quite clear to me that he is a lot nicer then Saddam. Yes he has made mistakes and is continuing to make them but by no means are we deliberitly setting up rape rooms and gassing people we don’t agree with. I think we could improve our conduct but we havne’t gotton down to Saddams level yet.

  8. Probably not, doesn’t seem like the type that can listen to someone else’s viewpoint in a calm and civil manner. Oh well, it’s slightly amusing though.

  9. Aaron, it’s obvious that you know why Casey died, why don’t you tell Cindy? Then she can quit asking.

  10. Aaron: Why don’t you set yourself up a ‘Murdoc-watch’ type thing somewhere, as Charley said? You aren’t welcome to comment here any longer. I’ve tried to reason with you, expressing my opinion in a logical and conversational manner about the comments you leave, but you usually don’t respond directly anyway. I don’t know if you’re just a kid who wants to express himself somehow or if you just need to check your dosages or what. For all I know, you’re an intelligent reasonable adult, but I haven’t seen much evidence of that in your comments, especially lately. I’ve prided myself on banning no one and deleting only three non-spam comments in over three years, but ‘no more’. I realize that banning is imperfect at best, so I will summarily delete without notice comments that I suspect are from you as well. This jeopardizes comments from others that I may mistake as coming from you, but I don’t really know what else to do. If you feel that I’ve been unfair, email with your reasoning and I will reconsider. I’ll read one email from you.

  11. I think y’all gave Aaron too much credit by reading too much into his post. He merely stated that Sheehan has the right to ask the question. And he is correct. She has that right. When she goes FAR, FAR beyond that (which she also has every right to do), every *other* person in the country has the right to opine on her actions. (Which have gone, as I said, FAR, FAR beyond the simple one Aaron wants us to think is all she’s asked.) Aarons assertion that *anyone* who doesn’t mollify her has *LOST* that right and need to remain silent, well, that’s just someone who doesn’t appreciate the rights many of us hold so dear in this country. From his many post, it’s clear he certainly never will, but hopefully he’ll gain some appreciation of them with age.

  12. KTLA summed it up really well, so I don’t feel a need to follow up. I’ll just emphasize how typical it is of Lefties to equate criticism of them with a violation of their rights.

  13. Well, its not like we didn’t reach out the loving, warm and fuzzy hand of conservatism to him.

  14. Hi guys! I am just asking, and please do not consider I am cynical, or whatever, but please, when somebody enroll in the armed forces, does he take into consideration that he can die? And also, that the risk is greater in this job than in an ordinary office job (although this one won’t be always safe either)? In the end, nobody forced anybody to go to Iraq and die… it was a choice.

  15. Erm, wouldn’t Saddam be worse as he’s been in power for just under 30 years (torturing and killing his way through the years)? Not to mention instigating an 8 year war with Iran which resulted in at least 900000 dead (conservative estimate) both sides combined; as well as the ’91 Gulf War which resulted in at the least 25000 dead (a conservative estimate too).

  16. Delphi – I think that’s probably the reason why the US Armed Forces are all volunteers – they understand (or at least most can) that they may die in battle one day, whether they like it or not. The risk is always higher for militaries, but then again, there’s probably some psycho in your local office who thinks suspending an anvil over someone’s head serves as comedy material…

  17. I’m no fan of Saddam, i’m glad the US removed his ass from power in Iraq. However i am concerned when reading reports that the US military used white phosphor (reffered to as Willy Pete) in Falluja. This can, perhaps unjustly be compared to Saddams use of gas on the kurds. I am sure the body count in Iraq is much higher than official reports would suggest. Many of these deaths not being directly related to the invasion, but rather to sectarian violance. However i would not underestimate the damage done to Iraq and the blood shed there. I have a feeling that many people here on this forum seem to think that 30,000 dead iraqis per year is still an acceptible number.