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War Against Terrorism Essay

terrorism / homeland security / international security / september 11 / government / World Trade Cente / middle east / united states / globalization / human rights / george bush
 

Title: US Homeland Defence

Terrorism by its very nature disrupts international peace and security through premeditated, political violence. The 11th September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon disrupted the global economy. The attacks spawned and facilitated widespread personal fear, panic and economic dislocation (Bergen, 2002).

According to the United Nations Security Council, one of the objectives of the terrorists was to create a state of global anarchy by means of influencing the conduct of government's vis-a-vis intimidation and coercion (United Nations Security Council, 2001).

There are no efforts to integrate conflict and consensus paradigms of social process, which are rooted in the intuitive insight that in all human interaction one can discover patterns of both collaboration and conflict.

The task for government is to discover when people will collaborate and when they will fight. In other words, the control and regulation of collaboration and conflict in the common interest posed a significant problem pre-11th September, 2001. Law and the conceptions of law within the society post-11th September suffered a serious set back. Make no mistake, law is a major - indeed a massive - instrument of social control.

The relationship of law to the process of effective power is an entirely relevant datum. Critical, however, is belief that the formal foundations of the process of checks and balances of effective power arc reflected in constitutive arrangements. The relevance of power over constitutionalism was accentuated post-11th September, 2001.

Since 9/11, political tensions between the Middle East and the United States have increasingly been described in hostile international terms. As the fear of terrorism becomes a part of life for many around the world, various nations become implicated in these fears. Questions of the role of Islam in terrorist activities and accusations against the United States, perceived as a Christian nation, of abrogating the human rights of political detainees cannot be avoided at all. Particularly since 9/11, official United States discourse has tended to deploy simultaneously universal human rights rhetoric to justify actions outside the United States and an idea about U.S. sovereignty as uniquely (culturally) democratic or particular in its constitutional structure to deny the legitimacy of international scrutiny of the actions of the United States.

Economic liberalization and subsequent inequality due to expanding globalization motivates terrorists by providing them with sufficient preconditions for terrorism attacks. To name a few, faster and cheaper communications, accessibility to informational resources, elimination of trans-national borders, advanced transportation and transfer capacities in fact enable the spread of powerful technologies.  At that, globalization really worsens the threat of terrorism attacks (Smith, 2004).

At that, no single state has acquired immunity guarantee from either overseas or domestic bio-terror attacks, and particularly US security agencies permanently monitor densely populated and highly visible targets to prevent any attempt of possible terror attack (Gwerder, Beaton, 2001).  For instance, in recent years, anthrax hoaxes consisting of letters with powdered substances enclosed, and mailed to various facilities, endangered numerous US communities (Cole, 1999).

After September 9/11 attacks the security measures in the United States are tough than ever. One of the first measures taken by USA was passing the USA Patriot Act on October 26, 2001, and later Homeland Security Act of 2002, in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States, which dramatically expanded the authority of American law enforcement for the stated purpose of fighting terrorism in the United States and abroad. It has also been used to detect and prosecute other alleged potential crimes, such as providing false information on terrorism.

Nonetheless, Homeland Security Act of 2002 is deemed unconstitutional, since it had imperiled a number of civil liberties, including: the rights to freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy; the rights to counsel and due process; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Concerns about curtailment of civil liberties by the HSA were given a heightened sense of urgency by media revelations in 2002, about another Bush administration initiative, which created a new Pentagon agency under the direction of John Poindexter, known as the Office of Total Information Awareness.

In 2003 President Bush charged the Department of Homeland Security with determining how sensitive but unclassified information will be identified, shared, and safeguarded. However, the Homeland Security Act does not indicate the mechanism of development of such procedures.

Then, 75 organizations sent a letter to the Department of National Security to allow public comment on the matter. Herewith, the Homeland Security Act allows sensitive but unclassified information to be shared with “appropriate state and local personnel. Yet the administration can direct these personnel how to handle this information and force them to sign nondisclosure agreements - which are deemed as enforcement of information-sharing restrictions.

According to Scott Armstrong of Information Trust, “It is still unclear how restrictive these agreements will be or whether state and local personnel will have much choice in signing them. Potentially, refusal to do so could lead to termination, and violation of these agreements could carry heavy penalties including some criminal liability” (OMB Watch, 2006, p. 3).

Keeping state and local officials in the loop regarding terrorist threats, potential vulnerabilities, and issues of disaster response is certainly desirable. “In this case, however, the four million people who could be granted access to sensitive but unclassified information may view this privilege as a burden due to the corresponding restrictions” (OMB Watch, 2006, p. 4).

Worse than that, the Act promotes the creation of a global security system controlled by the United States. Apparently, this agenda falls neatly in line with the plan for American global dominance endorsed by a number of experts, namely Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell, and Rumsfeld.

Finally, the Homeland Security Act was structured on the recommendations of a special commission that was closely connected to, if not derived from, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which has had its hand in every major twentieth century conflict (Bergen, 2002).

From the above evidence, it is clear that the analyzed acts are to a large extent unconstitutional, though passed in response to terrorism threatening American society. More than that, the drawbacks of both acts concern international community as well since by implementing these acts the US reinforces its global dominance.

As is seen no anti-terrorism action could justify unlawful restriction of human rights and civil liberties. The current state of affairs indicates that legislative measures should be amended and altered to the extent where human rights and civil liberties are violated.

This is an issue which is high on the agenda since September 2001. National governments, NGOs and civil champions should take best possible effort to eliminate terrorism without limiting citizens’ legal rights and freedoms, no matter what consequences were caused by the terror. 

9/11 act of terror and subsequent anthrax letter attacks necessitated the reconsideration of the US homeland security  policies, which implied offensive approach in combating terror on both domestic and international levels.  Therefore, homeland security measures were mainly aimed at prediction and prevention of a possible terror act before it actually occurs by pursuing potential terrorists and identifying, disrupting, and preventing future terrorist attacks (Robert 1).

Consequently, the war on terror widely supported by international community necessitated every country of the world to stay alert and develop anti-terror measures in close cooperation with its counterparts. Such measures cannot remain declarative for long as the threat is just around the corner. Therefore, firm multilateral actions are much needed to pursue and prevent the causes of global terrorism.

Conclusion

Economic liberalization and subsequent inequality due to expanding globalization motivates terrorists by providing them with sufficient preconditions for bioterrorism attacks. To name a few, faster and cheaper communications, accessibility to informational resources, elimination of trans-national borders, advanced transportation and transfer capacities in fact enable the spread of powerful biotechnologies. At that, globalization really worsens the threat of bioterrorism attacks (Smith, 2004).

Apparently, bioterrorism presents global threat to all world countries, including domestic communities, households, and workplaces. At that, no single state has acquired immunity guarantee from either overseas or domestic bio-terror attacks, and particularly US security agencies permanently monitor densely populated and highly visible targets to prevent any attempt of possible terror attack (Gwerder and Beaton, 2001). 

 

References

Bergen, J. 2002, Homeland Security Act: The Rise of the American Police State, Retrieved February 20, 2010 from   http://www.google.com.ua/search?q=Homland+Security+Act+&hl=uk&lr=&start=20&sa=N

Gweder L.J., Beaton, R. (2001) Bioterrorism: Implications for the occupational and environmental health nurse AAOHN Journal. Thorofare: Vol. 49, Iss. 11; pg. 512, 7 pgs

Cole, L.A. (1996). The specter of biological weapons. Scientific American, 275(6), 60-65.

Cole, L.A. (1999). Risks of publicity about bioterrorism: Anthrax hoaxes and hype. American Journal of Infection Control, 27(6), 470-473. Danzig, R., & Berkowsky, P.B. (1997).

Robert, R. D. (2006). The ability of intelligence to prevent domestic bioterrorism, George Mason University, 2006, 218 pages; AAT 3206900

Smith, B.T. (2004) Why should we be concerned? The Biosecurity of Nations. Foreign Policy. Washington: Iss. 143; pg. 87, 2 pgs

Weber, C.J. (2004). Update on Bioterrorism Preparedness

Urologic Nursing. Portland: Vol. 24, Iss. 5; pg. 417, 3 pgs

 

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