Terror War Scorecard


Amnesty International's annual report argues that the war on terror has actually increased terrorist activity worldwide–and has provided cover to repressive governments to suspend or abrogate human rights. The report is online here.

From the Boston Globe's account:

"It is clear that the way in which the war on terror is being conducted today is not making us safer. To put it as simply as possible, it is in fact a failure," William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said at a news conference. "By relying on force alone, the US government has sacrificed one of its major weapons in the struggle against terrorism; namely, its own reputation as an exemplar of human rights."

The release of the report in Washington was accompanied by data indicating that terrorist acts have increased since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the advent of the war on terrorism. Jessica Eve Stern, a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University who has spent six years interviewing members of terrorist organizations, cited statistics indicating that the number of terrorist incidents increased from 2,303 in the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks to 4,422 in the two years after Sept. 11.

Reason interviewed Stern last summer and the Q&A is online here.

I haven't yet read the report (barely glanced at it), which the Bush administration dismissed. AI's Schultz's claim that the US is relying on "force alone" is clearly overstated, though it's clear that our standing as the "exemplar of human rights" has taken hits in the wake of Abu Ghraib and other terror war tactics. It may also be that none of that matters in the larger scheme of things.

From my admittedly quick glance, whatever it says about the US, the report doesn't stint on condemning repressive governments in Cuba, Central Asia, and elsewhere.