U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s assertion that “if we fail in Iraq, the enemy will follow us home.”  The President offered this false dichotomy in a speech today to the American Legion. 

“The President wants us to believe that his Iraq policy is the only thing keeping terrorists in check.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the President’s flawed Iraq policy is feeding a fresh wave of terrorism across the globe.  Following our invasion of Iraq, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide per year has grown more than 600 percent.  The President’s flawed Iraq policy drains military and intelligence focus from the central front in the war on terror – the Pakistan/Afghan border – and it inspires terrorism worldwide,” Smith said.

According to a study by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank published on March 1, 2007: “The rate of terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the average fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, which accounts for fully half of the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks in the post-Iraq War period. But even excluding Iraq, the average yearly number of jihadist terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities still rose sharply around the world by 265 percent and 58 percent respectively.”