Friday, March 02, 2007

The Iraq War has caused a 700% increase in worldwide terrorism

Bush and Cheney keep saying that if we weren't fighting the "terrorists" (whoever they are) in Iraq, they would be attacking Americans here in the U.S. Most of us not in this administration think we see an increase in terrorism because of our military in Iraq as occupiers. The Center for Law and Security at the NYU School of Law has researched and reported on this, and as usual, the facts don't support the Bush administration.
"The administration’s own National Intelligence Estimate on "Trends in Global Terrorism: implications for the United States," circulated within the government in April 2006 and partially declassified in October, states that "the Iraq War has become the ‘cause celebre’ for jihadists...and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives."[Snip]

In January 2007 Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte in congressional testimony stated that he was "not certain" that the Iraq War had been a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and played down the likely impact of the war on jihadists worldwide: "I wouldn’t say there has been a widespread growth in Islamic extremism beyond Iraq. I really wouldn’t."

Indeed, though what we will call "The Iraq Effect" is a crucial matter for U.S. national security, we have found no statistical documentation of its existence and gravity, at least in the public domain.
Using better data, the Law School has found a shocking result.
Our study shows that the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.

We are not making the argument that without the Iraq War, jihadist terrorism would not exist, but our study shows that the Iraq conflict has greatly increased the spread of the Al Qaeda ideological virus, as shown by a rising number of terrorist attacks in the past three years from London to Kabul, and from Madrid to the Red Sea.
Mother Jones will publish even more as part of a broader "Iraq 101" package in the magazine’s March/April 2007 issue.

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