Since 1968 up to 2001, September 11th approximately a thousand Americans have been killed through terrorism either at home or abroad. But the climax of terrorism in USA came in 2001 when a series of what seemed to be a well-orchestrated terrorist attacks befell on the Americans. This happened in the morning hours after the terrorists connected with Al-Qaeda network hijacked US passenger airliners and crashed them on various buildings in USA, the world trade centre included. This attack took Americans by surprise and became an awakening call to the Bush’s administration on fighting terrorism. After that attack, of September 11th the US president Bush, secretary of defense Mr.Rumsfeld and the secretary of state Collin Powel were determined to crush terrorism irrespective of the means to be used. They aimed to destroy terrorists basis, killing or arresting them and even retaliating against other nations that either harbor or support terrorism. This paper will specifically focus on the war against terrorism or what is simply called counter terrorism and will limit its scope to this war only (Strickland R.A., 2004)
After the September 2001 attack, a finger was pointed on American-Arab population in America. A lot of emails, messages, websites as well as secret phone calls were directed on these people with a hate message. Now as a senior counter terrorism official, I would refrain myself from joining the band wagon in this blame game, I would organize various investigation agents like federal investigation bureau (F.B.I) and C.I.A to send agents in these areas to monitor their moves. These people are citizens of America and therefore, any move that is made in fighting terrorism should put into consideration that they have their own rights that must be protected.
I would also try to create informers in their mosques who can help us in gathering any information that could be of importance. As the saying goes, birds of the same feather flock together, it is highly possible that these terrorists would come in these mosques to fulfill their religious aspects of life. I would be very cautious in choosing who could be of help to me. It is true that if you want to catch a thief you use another thief. Thus, by using an Arab in my investigation, I would be in a position to get a lot of information that I need. A civilized society is that which is peaceful and a peaceful environment is an ingredient of development, thus my move would be geared towards creating this society and also preventing future acts of terrorism that might result to unnecessary blood shed as well as life loss.
Though there might be some truth in this tenaciously held belief that American- Arabs might have been responsible, people should know that, there are many who condemn such an act. Others are loyal to the USA government and give so much to this nation and should be protected from any form of unnecessary harassment.
Any American citizen captured in the USA because of terrorism acts should be arrested like any other criminal, locked up until full investigation is done. If the evidence provided points them, then they would be charged for the crime and I would let the law to take its course. If terrorists capture any US citizen, the government would try its best to make sure that these hostages are kept with the right atmosphere by their attackers. I would use any possible means to see that they have been rescued even if it means staging a military operation or through negotiating with the terrorists. I would try to convince Mr. Bush who does not support the idea of negotiating with terrorists the need of doing so if it is the only viable option.
Any American citizen who would fight American force broad should be treated like any other terrorist. He should not be given any privilege that other Americans abroad enjoy. There is no good reason of not killing him or her for he is an obstacle to future peace in the world. But, if it is a foreign national who are fighting American forces abroad, then it should not be forgotten that he or she is fighting for his country. I would order them to be eliminated if and only if they prove to be obstacles to our mission of tracking down our enemies. If any of these subjects are caught, they should be pressed to cough up some information that could help US.
There is nothing wrong with torturing these people if it is done in the name of promoting world peace. It means that if they can afford to block peace builders from executing their missions, then they themselves are the perpetrators and they should be done away with. Even God killed the Philistines who were a threat to the Israelites. God made them to drown so as Israelites could reach to the Promised Land safely. Therefore, I would torture the culprits and even kill them if it is the only solution left in peace promotion (John P. Crank, Patria E. Gregor, 2005)
There are various perspectives of just war, for example there is Christian perspective that holds that war is not good, there is Islamic perspective, which maintains that if war is on religious background, then it is okay. For example, ‘Jihad’ or holy war. There is also what is called Pacifist view, which holds that war should be used as the last option. That is, after all other methods have proved to be futile. A war is said to just if is it is started by a legal entity, if it is fought with an aim of redressing wrongs done or in self-defense and also if it is for re-establishing peace. It should be known that violence leveled should be equivalent to the damage caused by the attackers. The parties to the war should be able to differentiate between combatants and non-combatants for a war to be just (Gunaratna R., 2004)
Counter terrorism can be said to be just if it is fought in a bid to re-establish peace. Also, the belligerents on US side always wear uniform to identify themselves from the innocent un armed citizens, the war is for solving the wrongs that have already been done by the terrorists and finally Also, this war on terror is declared by a legal body. In fact, it is president himself who has the prerogative to declare such a war.
Fighting terrorism can cease to be just if is initiated by unrecognized body, if in its course it is infringing on the rights of innocent people and if it changes its course midstream and becomes a war for promoting one’s national interests as opposed to the search for peace.
Anti- Americanism (Byman D. 2006) can be termed as being opposed or hostile to everything that involves America. It is not something that has taken root in America. It is not as serious as it is in Arab countries. According to Tom Lindbergh, anti-Americanism has not gone to the extent of impeding on its policies. In my opinion, people who glorify terrorism acts and yet they do not take active role in executing them should be held accountable. This is because you cannot judge an act as good if you are not a direct beneficiary of it. By approving these acts they insight violence by giving them moral support. If people are supporting a particular course of action then, it is justified. Thus, by praising terrorism then, terrorists would feel motivated to act more. Therefore, these people should be arrested and be asked to say why they are supporting it.
The US government in dealing with passive terrorism in school and mosques, it encourages the teachers, preachers and other personnel involved to reverse the hate speech that is spread by these institutions. The president of USA; Bush in 2005 did ask students from Arab countries to see America in another light apart from the one that is depicted by prejudiced media in their countries. The US government is also trying to protect charity firms from being abused by terrorists by putting strong government in place, offering financial as well as partner management in charity organizations (Audrey K.C. and Hudes JM. 2004)
The USA Patriot Act, which was passed on October 26, 2001, has significantly reduced the frequency of terrorism attacks in United States of America. The act was passed after the September 11th attacks. It cannot be said to have been timely timely. The government should have thought of such an act even before the attack. Since it was passed, the number of terrorism acts especially on the American soil has gone down. If I were in the congress, I would not vote the act as it is because currently it allows detectives to intercept phone calls, emails and accessing personal financial records thus you cannot conduct your private affairs. Again the act has authorized indefinite detention of immigrants. Finally, the law enforcement officers search homes and businesses without seeking permission from the owners. If these flaws were corrected, then I would vote for it.
Strickland R.A., 2004. Restorative Justice. New York: Peter Lang.
John P. Crank, Patria E. Gregor, 2005. Counter-Terrorism After 9/11: Justice, Security and Ethics Reconsidered. Lexis Nexas, Cincinnati ISBN: 159359572
Gunaratna R., 2004. The Changing Face of Terrorism. Singapore: Eastern University Press.
Audrey K.C. and Hudes JM. 2004. Attacking Terrorism: Elements of A Grand Strategy. Washington: Georgetown University Press.
Byman D. 2006. 2005 Deadly Connection: States that Sponsor Terrorism. New York: Cambridge and Brookings.