The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


...that I discussed a few days ago, this time from Yglesias over at Tapped, who essentially notes that to believe the State Dept Report constitutes "winning" the war on terrorism, one must 1) accept the so-called "flypaper" strategy and 2) think that it's a good idea.
For one thing, these statistics exclude most attacks on US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq on the grounds that blowing up soldiers isn't really terrorism. There's a certain logic to that, though it's at odds with the conventional understanding of the attack on the USS Cole and the Beirut barracks bombing as well as deeply at odds with the administration's account of what we're doing in Iraq. If you add those in, terrorism was up in 2003 from it's 2002 status. Even if you don't want to consider those attacks terrorism, the best you can say is that we're distracting would-be terrorists by giving them the opportunity to kill soldiers rather than civilians.
But of course, to think along those lines would be to diminish the humanity of the fallen American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. But then again, if the right's response to Ted Koppel's reading of the names of the fallen was any indication, is that the idea?

Matt goes on to note that recent terror attack numbers are down primarily because of local issues, such as pipelines in Colombia and a recent thawing in the Sri Lankan civil war, rather than as a result of our prosecution of the war on terrorism.

UPDATE: Hesiod has more


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