Small World

Jewish World Review May 30, 2002 / 19 Sivan, 5762

State Department's dangerous document

By Daniel Pipes | Each spring, the U.S. Department of State issues Patterns of Global Terrorism, its major report on the problem it defines as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience."

Patterns always been a highly politicized document, reflecting Washington's controversies and diplomatic imperatives, but this year it has veered into unreliability and even falsehood. It's a dangerous document likely to harm the war on terrorism.

Its problems include:

Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 contains many other errors along these lines - for example ignoring the role of Egypt in supplying arms to Palestinian terrorists. In all, this document reflects a mentality in Washington of reluctance to confront unpleasant realities. The danger is clear, for he who fools himself about his enemy in time of war is likely to lose that war.

JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes from. Comment by clicking here.


© 2002, Daniel Pipes