"What about 9-11?" they shriek. "That happened before Iraq!"
"What about the WTC bombing", they add. "That also happened before Iraq."
Yeah, sure. Of course those happened before Iraq. No one is claiming that terrorism was created by Iraq. We're arguing that letting Al Qaida off the hook in Afghanistan and pursuing an unecessary war in Iraq has fueled terrorism.
And by all objective measures, that's been the case.
The U.S. count of major world terrorist attacks more than tripled in 2004, a rise that may revive debate about whether the Bush administration is winning the war on terrorism, congressional aides said Tuesday.
The number of "significant" international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed Monday on the numbers by U.S. State Department and intelligence officials.
Triple! Wow! Except that 650 number was grossly undercounting the actual number of attacks.
The Bush administration on Tuesday released new figures for global terrorism that showed there were almost 3,200 terrorist incidents worldwide in 2004.
In April the US State Department had said there were 651 "international" terrorism incidents last year. But using a broader definition to include attacks that "deliberately hit civilians or non-combatants" the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on Tuesday raised that number to 3,192. The incidents resulted in the deaths, injury or kidnapping of almost 28,500 people.
So if 650 was tripling the previous year's total, what does that make 3,192?
But better yet is this illustrative graph, courtesy of BTC News:
Notice when attacks where going down, and when they started going up. Since it's hard to read, the black bar, at the low point of international terrorist attacks, is the year 2000. Bush took power in2001, and the rest is history.