Today is May 1st. Which you probably already knew. But it's also the four year anniversary of President Bush's declaration of the end of major combat operations in Iraq beneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner. On an aircraft carrier, in the flight suit costume his Uncle Dick got for him, just for the occasion. Word is, Bush still likes to put the suit on when he's playing with his army figure collection.
Today is also the day the Democratic majority in the Congress will send the president a bill to fund troop operations, that he will surely veto - only his second veto, and the lowest number of any modern president.
So we are over four years into the Iraq war, which the administration has always considered the central front in the war on terror, and what do we have to show for it? A resolutely more dangerous world, with increasing levels of terrorism, and increasing hostility towards the United States.
Yesterday, the State Department released its yearly report on terrorism around the world. Boy, is it bleak. According to this New York Times article, terrorist attacks in Iraq are up 91 percent, and up 53 percent in Afghanistan, from 2005 to 2006. From the article:
The new statistics record a rise in terrorist attacks on nonmilitary targets globally to 14,338 in 2006 from 11,153 in 2005, with an increase in deaths to 20,498 from 14,618. But Iraq alone accounted for nearly half of all the attacks and about two-thirds of fatalities...
As we've mentioned before, Iraq has become a training ground for Islamic terrorists, courtesy of the U.S. invasion. And it gets worse. Last Tuesday, World Public Opinion.org released a poll of muslim countries that shows almost 80% of their populations believe the U.S. is out to destroy Islam. That's a far cry from the outpouring of support and shared sadness we saw from the world in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And it makes winning the war on terror seem that much more distant.