Saturday, April 28, 2007

Do You Feel Safer Yet?

Maybe this will reassure you:

A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday.
Or maybe not. I guess this won't help either:
The U.S. intelligence community is said to be preparing a separate, classified report on terrorist "safe havens" worldwide, and officials have debated whether Iraq meets that definition.
Which, the article goes on to point out, it really didn't when Saddam Hussein was still around.

As you may recall, this report has a rich history of political manipulation:
In 2004, the State Department was forced to correct a first version of the report that the administration had used to tout progress in Bush's war on terror. The original version had undercounted the number of people killed in terrorist attacks in 2003, putting it at less than half of the actual number.

In 2005, the department was again accused of playing politics with the report when it decided not to publish the document after U.S. officials concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985.
So it's almost like a tradition by now. Happily, the article tells us what to expect in the way of spin:
President Bush and his aides routinely call Iraq the "central front" in Bush's war on terrorism and likely will say that the preponderance of attacks there and in Afghanistan prove their point.
And that's the money quote. Flash back to Josh Marshall's post that I quoted the other day (you did read the whole thing like I told you to, didn't you?), and in particular this line:
And of course the longer the occupation continues we generate more and more embittered foes to frame this rationalization around, thus creating an perpetual feedback loop of calamity and self-justification.
Failure is success. Heads they win, tails we lose. Abject ignominious failure is the justification for continuing to do exactly what hasn't been working. They keep sending our soldiers out to die just to avoid admitting that they were wrong.

And all the Republican presidential candidates have to offer is more of the same.