Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Proof That Bush Policies Have Made Global Terror Worse

Staying forever on his misleading message about how well the war on terror is going, George W. Bush decided to go with a familiar refrain in his State of the Union speech last night and declared “we are in this fight to win and we are winning.” White House spokesman Scott McClellan has been doing his best Gary Cooper imitation lately when he is asked about Osama bin Laden’s most recent podcast saying, “We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.”

And, at every speech given by the president before his hand-picked audiences, he uses the same money lines about “freedom on the march” and “terrorists on the run.”

Sadly, we all know too well the most obvious signs that Bush and his crew are full of crap. The first thing that leaps to mind is the fact that on Friday bin Laden will be celebrating day 1,600 of freedom since our tough-talking president vowed to get him “dead or alive.” In addition, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has been touring the country pointing out the waste of money and lives on a pointless war in Iraq, while al Qaeda is still running free and gaining strength.

“Al Qaeda remains active in 60 countries around the world and continues to recruit, train, and develop new strategies to inflict harm on the United States,” said Feingold in a recent radio interview. “Extremist organizations are present in another 20 countries and are developing new threats to the United States and our allies. The President needs to realize that his misguided, Iraq-centric policies are draining our military and intelligence capabilities and are undermining our efforts to combat al Qaeda and its allies.”

But even knowing all of that doesn’t get to the real heart of how badly Team Bush has done. To truly understand why we all feel less safe – no matter how many times the GOP tells us we’re “winning” – you simply need to pay a visit to the government’s own National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) and make a few queries on the Terrorism Knowledge Base.

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the NCC is a non-profit agency tasked with being, as their web site says, “..the primary center for US government analysis of terrorism.”

When you take even a brief look at the terror statistics since Bush took office, you find that no matter which way you look at the numbers, worldwide terrorism has gotten much worse, not better, as the president claims.

Between 2001 and 2005, worldwide terrorist incidents increased by an astounding 159 percent, going from 1,733 attacks in 2001 to 4,483 last year. And, under the Bush administration, it’s getting worse as each year goes by, with terror incidents increasing by 70 percent in just 12 months between 2004 and 2005.

And, despite Bush and all of his cronies using every opportunity to tell us how much safer they’re making the world, the government’s own numbers show that they’re selling the American people a dangerous bill of goods. Of the 13,403 global terror incidents that have taken place since 2001, one-third of that total took place in 2005 alone.

Of course, deaths caused by this rapid jump in terrorist activity have also increased dramatically. Terror-related fatalities jumped a whopping 64 percent over the five-year period, going from 4,555 in 2001 – that total includes those killed on September 11 – to 7,484 in 2005. And, in just one year ending 2005, deaths from terrorism jumped almost 50 percent.

So if we're really winning the war on terror, shouldn't all of those numbers be going down?

Hardly a press briefing goes by where Scott McClellan doesn’t lecture us about how the president’s primary job is to “protect the American people.” He inevitably follows that with wild claims about how much safer the Bush administration is making the world.

They might want to check in with the Department of Homeland Security because, based on the empirical evidence offered by that agency, the president and the Republican Congress are doing nothing but pursuing policies that make the world an even more hazardous place. And, while they fail at the true war on terror, they use that very effort as their primary excuse for why they need to illegally spy on us to protect us.

The numbers don’t lie and these figures should be memorized by every Democrat going into the 2006 election cycle.