PEEK

"Hundreds of Millions" of Islamic Terrorists? They Must be Pretty Incompetent

At the terror thing, you know?

When I was a kid growing up in New York, I liked Mayor Koch because he rode the subway like I did.

Sad that he's morphed into a crazy old neocon curmudgeon. TPM quotes him on Fox News blathering on about that "existential threat":

Of course the vast majority of Muslims, there are 400 million, are not terrorists. But there are hundreds of millions who are. They want to kill every Christian, every Jew, every Hindu who won't convert. And we ought to put it on the table.

Hundreds of millions? Let's give Koch the benefit of the doubt and grant that he probably meant to say "hundreds of thousands." Given that there were a total of around 9,000 fatalities worldwide resulting from Islamic terrorism in 2008* (the most recent year for which data is available), those hundreds of thousands must have been pretty damn incompetent (those are total fatalities; there were around 7,000 attacks).

Were they former Bush officials? Heckuva job, Muhammed!

Contrary to the idea that they're dead-set on killing "every Christian, every Jew, every Hindu who won't convert," the vast majority of those fatalities were of course Muslims themselves.

Oh, and the next time you read some screed about how we've let our guard down or lamenting the fact that we aren't spending every waking moment huddled under our beds quaking in fear -- bemoaning a "return to normalcy" 9 years after 9/11 -- consider this: 33 Americans died as a result of terror attacks in 2008 (same source as above).

It's a bit more than the 23 who succumbed to fatal dog-bites. It's also a little higher than the 28 who died after being struck by lightning. But, if you take Iraq and Afghanistan out of the equation, only 8 Americans died due to terrorism. Oh, and all those dog and lightning deaths were in the United States, while every American terrorism fatality in 2008 occurred overseas.

Lest this be taken the wrong way, let me make clear that I am not suggesting that terrorism isn't a far greater threat than dog bites or lightning -- it is. Even my whip-smart dog can't download specs for a bomb off the internet, and even if she did she lacks the opposable thumbs required to assemble it.

The only point is that a little perspective isn't a bad thing, especially when paranoiacs like Ed Koch who see millions of Muslamo-fascist terrorists running around get a platform to spew their nonsense on national broadcasts.

*Yes, I know terrorism statistics are pretty unreliable, but I had no option other than the official U.S. government data to make the point. I'd take the fatal dog-bite stats with a grain of salt, too.