[UPDATED BELOW: With additional perspective.]
Via ThinkProgress, we learn that yesterday, Fox News' John Gibson got to talking with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton about Senator Barack Obama's foreign policy platform on Gibson's radio show. And, like the shrillest of scoundrels, the two soon got down to some tried-and-true election year fear-mongerin'!
GIBSON: The Obama team is going back to some of the old complaints about the war and the war on terror...that the left has been articulating for a long time now, and not really coming up with anything new.
BOLTON: Yeah I think honestly that's an optimistic view of it, that it will simply be a replay of the Clinton administration. It will simply have more embassy bombings, more bombings of our warships like the Cole, more World Trade Center attacks. That would be the best outcome from that perspective.
Now, before I get down to betting Bolton about eleventy billion dollars that the World Trade Center is not going to get attacked again - seeing as it was destroyed during the Bush administration, let's talk "perspective." When one's projected "outcomes" are based upon the gaseous discharge from a pair of bloviating Bush-balls, you end up stuck with the sort of "perspective" that Bolton's pimping. But once you actually start founding those projections in fact, an altogether different perspective emerges.
And the facts are these: when it comes to driving an increase in "bombings and attacks," there are few things more successful than President Bush's Iraq War policies. According to the Center for American Progress:
The number of terrorist attacks--defined as an act of violence, or the threat of violence, calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm--has risen dramatically worldwide since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The National Intelligence Estimate from September 2006 cited the Iraq war as a major factor in this startling rise in global jihadist terrorist attacks.
According to the State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006, there was a 29 percent increase in terrorism worldwide in 2006 from 2005; terrorist attacks on nonmilitary targets rose globally to 14,338 in 2006 from 11,153 in 2005, with an increase in deaths to 20,498 from 14,618. This increase was due to a doubling (91 percent increase) of terrorist attacks against noncombatants in Iraq from 2005 to 2006, and a 53 percent increase in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
A study conducted by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, research fellows at the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law, found that there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) since the Iraq invasion. When Iraq and Afghanistan, which together account for 80 percent of attacks and 67 percent of fatalities, were excluded, there was still a 35 percent per year increase in the number of jihadist terrorist attacks.
Emphasis mine. For further edification, you might consider consulting their map (map here, detailed explanation here), which demonstrates that "the story it tells is one of a sharp increase in global terrorism in the years since 9/11 and especially since the Iraq invasion."
With these facts in hand, you are probably likely to reach the same conclusion that Atlantic blogger Matthew Yglesias did in September of 2007:
One of the worst-appreciated points in the debate over national security policy is that the Bush administration's post-9/11 policies shouldn't be understood as counterterrorism measures that have, in some sense or another, "gone too far." Rather, we need to grasp that they've been wholly ineffective and, as best one can tell, merely made things worse.
UPDATE: No rational-minded rebuttal of John Bolton would be complete without this timely reminder from 1115.org/The Carpetbagger Report: "In 2005, after a government report showed an increase in terrorism around the world, the administration announced it would stop publishing its annual report on international terrorism." So remember, these guiys aren't nearly as afraid of an Obama presidency as they are a catalogue of their own failings.
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