Saturday, February 11, 2006

Voodoo Security?

Call it Voodoo: The Sequel? From the same folks who brought you the smash hit of the '80's Voodoo Economics comes the latest greatest rage, Voodoo Security! Stay tuned. Coming soon to a theater of war near you.

Why of such a santeria frame of mind here? Well, curious with respect to this whole idea that Republicans keep us safer then Democrats, I ran some numbers this weekend...

International Terrorism Related Deaths according to the National Counter Terrorism Center (via Wikipedia):

1995 (165), 1996 (311), 1997 (221), 1998 (741), 1999 (233), 2000 (405), 2001 (3547), 2002 (725), 2003 (625), 2004 (1,907 )


Total number of terrorist deaths on Bush's watch due to international terrorism during the four years for which statistics are available? 6,804. And on Clinton's watch from 1995-2000 (last 6 years of his Presidency)? 2,076.


On average over the course of four years 1,701 people a year have died at the hands of international terrorists under Bush. Under Clinton there were 346 deaths per year. That's a 391% increase on Bush's watch.

But, you say, 2001 was a statistical anomaly? Not fair to factor that in because of 9/11? Okay, take out 2001 and Bush's 3 year avg., minus 2001 comes down to 1086 deaths/year, in which case there is only a 213% increase in terrorist deaths on Bush's watch. But fair is fair. Shall we assume anyone can have an off year and toss out Clinton's worst year as well, 1998 when there were 741 terrorist related deaths?

Clinton 5 year avg. (minus 1998) = 267 deaths /year.

In other words, toss out Bush's worst year out of four for which statistics are available (2001), and toss out Clinton's worst year of his final six (1998) and Bush's comparative record on fighting deaths related to international terrorism is worse by a factor of more than 4x . On average, the Johnny-come-world citizen has a 306% greater chance of dying as a consequence of international terrorism under Bush than under Clinton. And those numbers don't even include attacks against soldiers in Iraq.

To be fair, these numbers also don't include the Oklahoma City bombing, the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. Bush has done a commendable job on that front. If not overseas, he's certainly keeping Americans safe in America, safe from far right loonies such as Tim McVeigh, that is.