Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What If I Were To Tell You We Are Safer Because Of Iraq?


We hear a great deal of numbers thrown at us with regards to the War on Terror. Some say that global terrorism has increased, terrorism is spreading, there are more terrorists, more attacks, the US is not safer, etc. You've heard it all before ... many phrases to say the same thing ... the War on Terror is bad. Has anyone ever told you how many attacks have been occurring? Have they put it in a historical perspective for you? After all, terrorism was spreading before 9/11.

Bin Laden issued two fatwas declaring war against the US in 1996 and 1998. I still don't quite know what Clinton did to anger OBL. Why did Clinton plan an invasion of Iraq, and hold military exercises to execute the plan? Why was I on-call for Iraq three times in the 90's if it was all a lie?

If terrorism is declining somewhere in the world ... does the War on Terror get credit just as it gets credit for increases in terrorist activities? No ... of course not. That would be entirely too fair, and we can't have that. Truth is ... there are so many variables, and numbers to throw around that a Mensa member would get confused at times.

I figured I might be able to help a little. There is a tremendous website that keeps track of all terrorist attacks in the world. The Terrorism Knowledge Base has a wonderful tool to help you sort out terrorist attacks by year, country, region, date, injuries, deaths, and group. Have some fun, and play with the analytical tool on the homepage. I decided to sit down and figure out if we really aren't safer since the invasion of Iraq. I took a look at the number of attacks prior to the invasion, and post invasion. Here's what I got.

As for Iraq ... the attacks per year are as follows:

2003 = 147

2004 = 849

2005 = 2344

2006 = 3753

Terrorist attacks remained between 98-435 throughout the world between 1968-1997. In 1998 bin Laden issued the Fatwa to kill all Americans, and attacks went from 182 in 1997 to 1285 in 1998 (under Clinton). After 1998 ... the attacks are as follows:

1999 = 1171

2000 = 1150

2001 = 1732

2002 = 2649

2003 = 1897 (notice the year we invade Iraq ... terrorism declines)

2004 = 2647 (notice the attacks increase during the election year)

2005 = 4962

2006 = Final 5985

The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide from 1998-2002 (before Iraq) is 7987 (1597 avg). The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide from 2003-2006 (after Iraq) is 15,490 (3872 avg).

To find out if global terrorism outside of Iraq has increased ... we must subtract the terrorist attacks in Iraq from the total.

The total number of terrorist attacks in Iraq since we've been there is 7093 (1773 avg) taken away from the total global attacks of 15,490, and you get 8397 (2099 avg) attacks outside of Iraq. That is an annual average increase of 502 attacks. So far it doesn't look good for the War on Terror.

Terrorist attacks were going up steadily before we invaded Iraq (they actually took a nose dive the year of the invasion).

What about Israel? How many attacks have happened in Israel since 2000?

2000 = 19

2001 = 85

2002 = 108

2003 = 74 (notice the year we invade Iraq ... terrorism declines)

2004 = 27

2005 = 75

2006 = 369 (huge increase)

We also have to factor in the West Bank/Gaza area.

2000 = 167

2001 = 328

2002 = 432

2003 = 164 (notice the year we invade Iraq ... terrorism declines)

2004 = 351

2005 = 478

2006 = 23

I wonder why terrorism with Israelis declined when we invaded Iraq ... interesting. Since we have been in Iraq ... terrorist attacks against Israelis total 1561 (390 avg).

Now you have to toss in Afghanistan as well. Since Iraq ... the attacks in Afghanistan total 842.

So how was terrorism outside of these hotbeds since the invasion? You know ... did terrorism spread outside of the War on Terror battlefields, and engulf the world?

If you add the attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and dealing with Israel/Palestine ... you get 9496 total attacks. Subtract that from the global total and you get 5994 (1498 avg) attacks in the rest of the world. That is an annual average DECREASE in 99 attacks worldwide since the invasion. Whoa ... didn't expect that did you?

The reason I took those three areas out was that there was open warfare directly related to terrorism which would lead to an increase in terrorist activity. The questions have always been ... is terrorism spreading, is the world safer, are we safer? The world outside of the war on terror is slightly safer, or at worst, the same. Yes, I know that terrorism on the battlefield is on the rise, but that was never the question. We never asked if the war was more dangerous ... we asked if the world was. Just so you know ... until December 2006 the attacks in Iraq were on pace to decline from the previous year. December was a bad month in Iraq.

Here's the important part ... what about attacks in the US? After all, we are in Iraq to make America safe.

2000 = 9

2001 = 36

2002 = 16

2003 = 18

2004 = 7

2005 = 9

2006 = 1

There were 61 (20 avg) terrorist attacks in the US from 2000-2002. There were 35 (8.75 avg) terrorist attacks in the US since we invaded Iraq. That is an annual average decline of 11 attacks ... better than a 50% decrease in attacks.

Translation: While global terrorism outside of Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel has remained relatively stagnant with some slight improvement ... terrorist attacks in the US has sharply declined by over 50%. So there can be NO QUESTION ... the US IS SAFER SINCE THE INVASION!!!!!!


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