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Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

Was the terrorism fever breaking?

by digby






Fareed Zakaria mentioned the following report from a few months back on his show today:


Terrorist attacks and deaths were on the decline worldwide for the second year in a row in 2016, according to a report issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

However, ISIS was the largest perpetrator of attacks in the world last year, the report added.

The Country Reports on Terrorism is a congressionally mandated analysis released annually by the State Department.

The newest report shows that year-over-year terror attacks were down nine 9 percent and deaths caused by terrorist attacks decreased 13 percent.

The cause for the overall decrease stems from fewer attacks being carried out in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen, although an uptick was noted in some countries including Iraq, Somalia and Turkey.

Still, the majority of attacks — 55 percent — took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and 75 percent of the deaths took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Maybe you already knew this but I didn't. The number of attacks had decreased by similar numbers in the year before.

It may not mean much. After all, terrorism doesn't require big numbers to have its desired effect. Still, you do wonder if maybe this fever is starting to burn itself out a little bit. Or was, until the idiot Trump decided this was the time to move the embassy to Jerusalem:

Within the administration,key voices of support came from Pence, Kushner and Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador at the United Nations.

Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, had supported the move from early in Trump’s candidacy, and Pence, who is to visit Israel this month, told Trump that his base would love the decision, something the president liked to hear.

An important outside voice advising Trump to make the leap was Adelson’s, according to several people familiar with the two men’s conversations. At a White House dinner earlier this year, Adelson made the issue a main topic, one person said. In the months that followed, Adelson periodically asked others close to Trump what was causing the delay and expressed frustration, these people said.

At the same time, other Trump advisers were making their case against the move. Most prominent among them were Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Tillerson, mindful of the death of four Americans in militant attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, “pushed back vocally,” one White House official said. Already at odds with Trump over other aspects of the president’s approach to the Middle East, Tillerson argued that the move could unleash a dangerous chain reaction across the region.

R.C. Hammond, a Tillerson adviser, said Tillerson and Mattis requested time to evaluate U.S. outposts and fortify them if necessary.

Some outside confidants, including billionaire Tom Barrack, urged Trump to hold off, worried that the move would deepen regional tensions caused by Saudi Arabia’s political shake-up and Iran’s growing reach.

“It’s insane. We’re all resistant,” said one Trump confidant who recently spoke to the president about it. “He doesn’t realize what all he could trigger by doing this.”

While Trump appeared to have made up his mind, he continued to solicit input, two White House officials said, even asking random acquaintances about the Middle East in recent months.

Several advisers said he did not seem to have a full understanding of the issue and instead appeared to be focused on “seeming pro-Israel,” in the words of one, and “making a deal,” in the words of another.

F-ing moron strikes again. Fire and fury ...

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