So someone has replied to my letter to the NST on how Bush saved 600,000 Muslim lives.
(It’s now confirmed – 750,000 lives saved by Bush.)
I am honoured. I’ve sent in my rebuttal, and I do hope the NST sees fit to print this blogging David’s face off with that political Goliath.
From NST Letters 9 April 2009:
IRAQ WAR: Invasion can’t be justified
By : DATUK MUKHRIZ MAHATHIR for Perdana Global Peace Organisation
I REFER to the letter “The plus factor in Bush’s Iraq invasion” (NST, April 7) from Scott Thong Yu Yuen.
The writer opined that the US-led invasion of Iraq, a sovereign nation, has done more good than bad for its citizens who had suffered greatly under the rule of Saddam Hussein.
He went on to use the Iraq Body Count (IBC), a project that estimates civilian deaths in Iraq, as his point of reference and claimed that since only 98,882 Iraqis had died since the invasion, Bush’s war-mongering saved more than 600,000 lives that would have been lost had Saddam still been in power.
There are a few obvious problems with this reasoning.
One, Thong’s use of the IBC as a source is an uneducated choice.
The IBC is not a project that monitors Iraqi deaths; it is a project that monitors media reports of Iraqi deaths, using sources such as the Financial Times and the pro-war Observer, which are often misleading and biased in nature.
The writer should also understand that conditions in Iraq leave many civilian deaths undiscovered and unreported by journalists.
In 2006, the IBC itself noted on its website that it is tame in its analysis, as it provides data that is at a “conservative cautious minimum” (see www. iraqbodycount.org/analysis/ qa/ ibc-in-context).
It is thus imperative that the writer understands and acknowledges this before going on to attempt an explanation on the so-called “plus factors” of George W. Bush’s illegal invasion.
In turn, I suggest the author uses the Opinion Research Business (ORB) as a source.
The ORB is an independent polling agency in London, and has estimated that 1,200,000 civilians have died since 2003. Unlike the IBC, this polling agency includes surveys carried out in rural areas in Iraq, far away from the safe neutral zone that most Western journalists report from.
Also, the ORB is a respected polling company that has conducted studies for customers as mainstream as the BBC and Britain’s Conservative Party, so its figures aren’t swayed by anti-war sentiments.
As to the writer’s notion that “a just war can actually bring more peace”, I would like to emphasise that this US-led invasion is a heinous war crime.
To go to war on a false pretext, to rape a country of its natural resources (namely oil), to murder 1,200,000 innocent men, women and children, to create five million Iraqi refugees is a war crime that has not — even by the perverted logic used by the writer in claiming that Bush has done no worse than Saddam — created any peace at all.
If the NST doesn’t print my letter, no fear – my blog shall carry my pwnage response. Perhaps Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir might even be curious enough to Google his way to it.
UPDATE: They printed it!