Powerline's Deacon --
By now you have probably seen or heard the breathless reports that incidents of terrorism were up worldwide in 2006. This is the MSM's take-away on the State Department's Country Report on Terrorism 2006. However, as Matthew Sheffield explains, the validity of this take-away depends on the meaning of worldwide. The numbers show a sharp increase in terrorist attacks in Iraq, where 2006 was a bad year indeed, and these attacks cause the total number of attacks and deaths to have increased world-wide. However, if one factors out the Middle East, which in the State Department's report does not include Afghanistan, there is no increase. If one also factors out Afghanistan, there's a decrease.
So taking out all the bad numbers, they are actually good numbers. In the same post, Hindrocket adds --
The numbers are also consistent with the fact that al Qaeda has proclaimed Iraq the central front in its war against civilization. It is reasonable to surmise that this focus has contributed to the decline in terrorist incidents in other parts of the world. Likewise, if al Qaeda were no longer tied down in Iraq, it is reasonable to expect that terrorism in other parts of the world would increase.
Got it? First the post excuses the overall rise in terrorism by saying that it's mostly in Iraq. But then it says if the US withdrew from Iraq, the terrorism would get redistributed to the rest of the world, and therefore that global terrorism would indeed be higher than if the US had never invaded Iraq. Not the first time, proponents of the flypaper theory of Iraq entangle only themselves.