On Tuesday, she appeared on Fox New’s The O’Reilly Factor. While most of Rice’s media tour has been focused on her childhood and upbringing, O’Reilly took the opportunity to ask her about her views on contemporary events. He asked Rice if the if the world is a “more dangerous place two years after” she left office. Rice replied that she thinks in the Bush administration made the world a safer place:
O’REILLY: Before we get to your book, Madam Secretary, is the world a more dangerous place two years after you left office?
RICE: The world was most dangerous in 2001, when we didn’t have a net to deal with terrorism. I think in that sense we made it a safer place from the time that we were in office. But Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon. That’s more dangerous. North Korea seems somewhat unstable with nuclear capability. That makes the world more dangerous. But, in fact, you’re always dealing with circumstances that are very difficult for a United States that has to lead.
While Rice may claim that Bush administration policies made the world a “safer place” from terrorism, the facts tell a different story. In 2007, terrorism experts and research fellows at Center on Law and Security at the New York University School of Law Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank conducted a survey of terrorism incidents worldwide since the Bush administration-led U.S. war in Iraq. Their study found that terrorism incidents worldwide increased by seven times, or six hundred percent, since the Bush administration invaded Iraq.
More recently, researchers Robert Pape of the University of Chicago and James Feldman of Air Force Institute of Technology found that, “from 1980-2003, there were 350 suicide attacks in the world, only 15% of which were anti-American.” Yet after the Bush-led war in Iraq, “there have been 1,833 suicide attacks, 92% of which were anti-American.”
It should be noted that the Bush administration was well aware that its war against Iraq could lead to greater terrorism. A recently declassified State Department memo shows that the administration was privately worried that the war would “bring radicalization of British Muslims, the great majority whom opposed the September 11 attacks but are increasingly restive about what they see as an anti-Islamic campaign.” In July 2005, British Muslim extremists apparently radicalized by the war in Iraq detonated bombs throughout London, confirming the administration’s fears.