Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

Yeah, so how's that war going?

Which war, you ask? The global war on terrorism or it's subsidiary part, the war in Iraq? The answer, I'm afraid, is the same for both, and it's not a ringing success. Let's start with Iraq. The Guardian reports today that General Richard Myers believes the Iraqi insurgents to be at approximately the same capabilities as in 2004 (which saw a marked increase in attacks from 2003, by the way). So that's hardly progress (and some might contend, continued failure) on the part of the U.S. and the U.S.-backed government in Iraq. And while Myers and Rumself pointed to a functioning political process as being the key to ending the insurgency, it seems for the time being that the insurgency has the upper hand (as most Iraqis are not seeing tangible immediate effects of the January elections). Attacks in Iraq are pretty much daily.

On the broader level, the so-called "global war on terror," things don't look so peachy either. As reported in that same Guardian story, and developed further in this Washington Post story, U.S.-gathered statistics show a marked increase in world-wide terrorism in 2004 as compared to 2003. It includes statistics from Kashmir, Chechnya, Israel/Palestine, and the train bombing in Madrid (which the U.S. can sidestep, despite George W. Bush's insistence that the U.S. is engaged in a world-wide war on terrorism) but it also has some remarkable numbers regarding two countries under direct U.S. military supervision.
Terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased, from 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year's total -- a sensitive subset of the tally, given the Bush administration's assertion that the situation there had stabilized significantly after the U.S. handover of political authority to an interim Iraqi government last summer....

The data provided to the congressional aides also showed terrorist attacks doubling over the previous year in Afghanistan...
Hmmm... could this perhaps indicate that the Bush administration doesn't exactly have an effective strategy when it comes to eliminating terrorism? Of course, Bush defenders will jump up and down and point to long-term security resulting from the spread of democracy and on and on. I don't buy that, but even if I did I'd be concerned about the immediate increase of terrorism posing a very serious threat to nascent democratic movements. And given this, you'd have to think that some strategic reevaluation would be in order, so as to make sure that the investment in "democracy" is worthwhile -- that there is an environment that allows democratic movements to survive. Of course, the administration's reaction doesn't seem to indicate this. Instead, the administration has decided to do it's best to keep these statistics out of the public's hands.
The State Department announced last week that it was breaking with tradition in withholding the statistics on terrorist attacks from its congressionally mandated annual report. Critics said the move was designed to shield the government from questions about the success of its effort to combat terrorism by eliminating what amounted to the only year-to-year benchmark of progress.

Although the State Department said the data would still be made public by the new National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which prepares the information, officials at the center said no decision to publish the statistics has been made.
Because what you don't know can't hurt you, right?

Comments:
Not a ringing success? Compared to what? Vietnam? By that standard the war in Iraq is a HUGE SUCCESS!

Liberals can't stand the fact that the Iraqi's are free now and it took a Republican president to do it just like it did with Russia.

Democrats hate freedom!
 
right.
 
Give Iraq another seven years and the comparison to Vietnam will be clear even to Ottman.

Aunt Deb
 
Aunt Deb, you are probably just bitter about all the Russians being free. So goddamn free, all because of Reagan. He was like the Abraham Lincoln of the Russians.
 
Hi Deb! I still have your t-shirt of "the blair witch project":)
 
Hey Amaya!! How are you? Great to hear from you! And yeah, Alex, you know me, just full of resentment at how free those darn Russians are these days...

Aunt Deb
 
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