FLYPAPER WATCH….So how’s the Iraq war doing at keeping terrorists tied down so they can’t make trouble elsewhere? According to a study sponsored by Mother Jones, not so well:
Our study yields one resounding finding: The rate of fatal terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups, and the number of people killed in those attacks, increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq….Even excluding Iraq and Afghanistan…there has been a 35 percent rise in the number of attacks, with a 12 percent rise in fatalities.
Contrary to Bush’s assertion, jihadists have not let the Iraq War distract them from targeting the United States and its allies. The rate of attacks on Western interests and citizens has risen by almost 25 percent, while the yearly fatality rate has increased by 4 percent.
Of course, there are terrorists in Iraq too, and if you add in jihadist attacks there the numbers look even worse. What’s more, those terrorists are getting an excellent education:
The globalization of jihad and martyrdom has disquieting implications for American security in the future. Jihadists are already leaving Iraq to operate elsewhere, a “blowback” trend that will greatly increase when the war eventually winds down. Terrorist groups in Iraq, which have learned to raise millions through kidnapping and oil theft, may be in a position to help fund their jihadist brethren elsewhere. Finally, Iraq has increased the popularity of a hardcore takfiri ideology so intolerant that, unlikely as it seems, it makes Osama bin Laden appear relatively moderate.
Wonderful. I can hardly wait.
MoJo also has a nice Iraq 101 feature this month. Check it out if you’re still not quite sure about the difference between Sunni and Shiite.