It was big news a few weeks ago that the State Deptartment figures on terrorist attacks, deaths, and injuries in 2003 were going to be revised upward significantly. Previously the Bush administration seized on this report as proof that their efforts in The War on Terror were working. Now the numbers
are in and "global terrorism in 2003 killed or wounded more than twice as many people as the department had reported earlier." Two comments.
1. Bush has repeatedly characterized those attacking coalition soldiers as "terrorists." Now these people aren't terrorists in the usual sense and they definitely aren't the terrorists that we're worried will attack in the U.S., but they're branded as terrorists nonetheless. The State Department didn't include attacks on coalition soldiers in the report because the attacks didn't meet its definition of terror attacks. (It's not a big deal that the State Dept. and Bush have different definitions for terrorism--it's a notoriously tricky concept to define.) I'm sure that Bush will be asked about this report in a debate, something along the lines of, "How can we be winning The War on Terror if terrorists attacks/casualties/deaths are up so much?" Do you think Bush will explain away the increase in terrorism by citing attacks on coalition soldiers? Do you think anyone will call him on it?
2. The huge bombing in Istanbul last November was left out due to "a data collection and reporting error." Did they miss the thousands of newspapers the bombing was reported in? This wasn't hard data to get.
BTW: #1 would be like when Russert asked Bush about a budget deficit of $X and Bush claimed it was because of the Iraq war, even thought that spending had yet to be added in.
-Daddy Brooklyn 16:47 EST |