Facts? We don't need no stinkin' facts!
"From Social Security to terror attacks, from pollution caps to casualties, Bush has used `fuzzy math' to cover up his financial interests. Never forget, he is an oilman. His actions kill thousands of people so he can get even richer."
FACTS? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' FACTS!
Not publishing terrorism statistics the latest affront to a responsible campaign in Iraq
By Chaelan MacTavish
[This article was published in The Portland State University Vanguard, 4/22/2005. Chaelan MacTavish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
We are winning the war on terror. Just ask George W. Bush. But please, don't look at any of the facts.
The facts about terrorism, and a compilation of worldwide terrorist occurrences, have to be submitted to Congress every year by April 30. Last year, the report was titled "Patterns of Global Terrorism," and the figure it cited was ridiculously low. The egg was hastily wiped from Secretary of State Colin Powell's face as he revised the statistics, to reflect the 175 "significant" terrorist attacks during the year.
Hoping that we would ignore this inconvenient fact, Condoleezza Rice's State Department has declined to publish the report this year, the first time it has ever done so. This year, according to the data that they will submit to Congress, the number of terrorist attacks has grown to 625, an increase of 357 percent. This would seem to contradict the Republican rhetoric that we are "winning the war on terror." Terrorism, it seems, has become more common, and is killing more people than before.
It is interesting to note that attacks by rebels in Iraq and Afghanistan are not included in this year's unpublished report. After all, they would never be able to include these numbers without admitting defeat.
If attacks against coalition troops, civilians, and infrastructure in Iraq were included in this year's report, the number would be astronomical - more than 20,000. Think about that for just one second. There were 20,000 attacks in 2004 that were not included. Not 625. Twenty thousand.
Bush's retrospective justification for invading Iraq was that it was a "central front in the War on Terror" - it became a retrospective justification for invasion once it was found that there were no WMDs, no bin Laden, and no oil in the country we just invaded.
Oh, wait, there was oil, but that was a complete coincidence. Let's go back to talking about terrorists.
Why would attacks on our own troops fighting the War on Terror be left out of the statistics we use to determine our standing in the War on Terror? Our president is simply doing what made him Time Magazine's Man of the Year - "reframing reality to match his designs."
Part of this reframing is the great con. By ignoring facts that he does not like, Bush is able to continue pursuing his faith-based policy of victory in the face of defeat. After the ironic photo-op declaring "mission accomplished," injuries of U.S. soldiers rose from an average of 17 a day to more than 82 a day according to the Department of Defense numbers. According to those same numbers there has been 1,563 soldiers killed in Iraq, and 11,888 wounded. They are not included in the statistics, either, so Secretary Rice can paint a rosy picture of our little terror war.
Pay no attention to the terrorists behind the curtain!
An unnamed intelligence official will be pointing out these and many other discrepancies come July 4. On that day "Anonymous" will publish "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror." It dispels the notions that Bush and Rice constantly trumpet, that bin Laden is on the run, and that we are now safer.
It will be a hallmark of Bush's legacy that he was unable to tolerate dissenting points of view. It is shown by the fact that this senior official is unable to write under his own name, for fear of his career and, possibly, his life. His crime is pointing out the truth, unembellished by shady accounting tactics and absent facts.
From Social Security to terror attacks, from pollution caps to casualties, Bush has used "fuzzy math" to cover up his financial interests. Never forget, he is an oilman. His actions kill thousands of people so he can get even richer. That is what his presidency has always been about. Hiding his purpose behind the curtain does not make it invisible, only more nefarious.
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