Global terrorism has declined over the last several years despite gloomier analyses by think tanks, the UN stated yesterday, because of the inclusion of data from Iraq. Calling the consensus “misleading”, the elimination of data from Iraq shows a steady decline in attacks and deaths. And when Iraq does get included, the data show that the surge is, well … working:

A study released on Wednesday reports a decline in fatal attacks of terrorism worldwide and says U.S. think-tank data showing sharp increases were distorted due to the inclusion of killings in Iraq.

“Even if the Iraq ‘terrorism’ data are included, there has still been a substantial decline in the global terrorism toll,” said the 2007 Human Security Brief, an annual report funded by the governments of Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Britain.

For example, global terrorism fatalities declined by 40 percent between July and September 2007, driven by a 55 percent decline in the “terrorism” death toll in Iraq after the so-called surge of new U.S. troops and a cease-fire by the Shi’ite militant Mehdi Army, the brief said.

Can we have Congress take a look at this data? Recall that Hillary Clinton responded to this very assertion from General David Petraeus by claiming that she needed a “willing suspension of disbelief” to accept that the surge had succeeded in a significant decline in violence. Instead of calling a serving American commander a liar, perhaps she and the rest of her Democratic colleagues may have done a better job in checking the data.

The UN criticizes other think tanks for their inclusion of data from Iraq but not from other internal conflicts. Terrorism as defined by those including Iraq should also cover areas like Darfur and other militia-led violence in Africa, but these are usually excluded from their analyses. The spokesperson for the project calls this a”US-centric view of terrorism”, but it’s probably more of a biased analytical viewpoint intended on casting Iraq and the US effort against terrorism in a bad light.

This new data shows that an aggressive posture against terrorism works, and deflates the argument that fighting terrorism breeds more terrorism. Allowing terrorists to operate freely encourages these networks to grow, and only by making such efforts a sure way to a quick death can we keep recruits from flocking to training camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia. It will take a long time before terrorists get that message, but as we see in Iraq, even radicals don’t want to get used as meat in a sausage machine when they have no chance to prevail.