October 7, 2004


K-State's Walter Schumm has analyzed whether defeat of Hussein reduced suicide attacks in Israel (Eurekalert, 10/07/04)

In his debate with Sen. John Edwards Tuesday night, Vice President Dick Cheney speculated that the decrease in suicide attacks in Israel is related to the defeat of Saddam Hussein. Although some of Cheney's assertations in the debate have been called into question, this one might have some evidence to back it up. Walter Schumm, a professor of family studies and human services at Kansas State University, has performed a statistical analysis on the data.

Schumm analyzed the consequences of suicide bombing attacks on Israel between March 2001 and August 2004 in his recent study. He found that, on average per month during this period, there were fewer overall casualties after the invasion than before it. Schumm said that as many as 1,100 casualties may have been prevented.

Iraq was only one of a few countries that paid money to families of Palestinians who fought against Israelis, Schumm noted. His primary research question was whether Hussein's payments served as a motivational incentive that would encourage a greater number of suicide bombings.

If the invasion was successful in reducing the fatalities in Israel, this particular justification for war with Iraq would be validated, Schumm said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 7, 2004 8:15 PM

That's looking pretty prescient about now, isn't it. These are some bad, bad people leading this country.

Posted by: Special Patrol Group at October 8, 2004 12:40 AM

How could Schumm have teased out the effect of the war, as opposed to the effect of the security wall, more aggressive IDF assassinations of terror leaders, etc. ?

It seems to make sense, but perhaps Saddam's $ 25,000 was only gravy to the suicide bombers, and not a primary recruitment tool.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 8, 2004 2:25 AM

The greatest benefit of overthrowing Saddam to Israeli society is intangible.

Never mind that the story of Purim is apocryphal, at the sight of Saddam overthrown they felt not unlike the Jews in Persia upon seeing Haman dangling from the gallows.

The security professionals in Israel are only human, and part of their increased effectiveness and creativity since last year in stopping the homicide bombers can be ascribed to a newfound sense of hope.

Posted by: Eugene S. at October 9, 2004 1:30 PM