Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Murdoch says US death toll in Iraq 'minute'

Times of India
Murdoch says US death toll in Iraq 'minute'

TOKYO: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said on Monday he had no regrets about supporting the US-led invasion of Iraq and argued that the US death toll in the conflict was "minute" from a historical perspective.

The conservative News Corp chief spoke on the eve of US elections where President George W Bush's Republican Party was expected to lose seats in part due to a backlash over the war.

"The death toll, certainly of Americans there, by the terms of any previous war are quite minute," Murdoch told reporters at a conference in Tokyo.

"Of course no one likes any death toll, but the war now, at the moment, it's certainly trying to prevent a civil war and to prevent Iraqis killing each other."

A total of 2,832 US troops have been killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. Thousands more Iraqis have died.

Murdoch -- whose News Corp empire includes the New York Post and Britain's most widely read newspaper, The Sun tabloid -- said while the United States made mistakes in the war its intentions were good.

"I believe it was right to go in there. I believe that certainly the execution that has followed that has included many mistakes," Murdoch said.

"But that's easy to say after the event. It's much easier to criticize the conduct of the war today in the media than it was in previous wars. I'm sure there were great mistakes made in the past, too."

"I think that one forgets that American foreign policy for the whole of the (20th) century saved the world from terrible things three times," he said, "for which they certainly got no thanks and for which they never had imperial ambitions at all."