After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre happened, the word “terrorism” has taken on a different kind of meaning.
Before the attacks it was taken seriously, but now the 2001 attack serves as a link between the word “terrorism” and that scary day. The word is used to mark the change of a society, marking the beginning of increased security and a changed, more fearful, attitude among the general American public, and for those in other countries; basically with the people of specifically westernized countries, as they are the subjects of the typical terrorist anger. But terrorism isn’t just Muslim extremists, the word describes violence in the pursuit of political aims. The way the word “terrorism” has influenced everyday culture can’t be misunderstood. In this essay, I will examine the various ways in which terrorism has taken hold in the United States, and how the word has been used in a way that has changed our society.
Undeniably, the most obvious use of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks has been on national security. And this has played a role in shaping everything from more rules at airports, to the call for more gun-control laws. There is a challenge on several fronts in the gun-control debate because the right to bear arms is being challenged by the fact that the United Nations is looking to fight terrorism and, to them, that involves the prohibition of gun ownership. The basis for such reform – which has been an American right since the signing of the Constitution – is that the risk of terrorism is too high. And I’m not supporting or rejecting the idea that more gun-control laws are needed; what’s more important here is the desire to make changes to long-established practices in the name of terrorism. It is such a powerful word in determining the actions of society.
It is more important now than ever to define whether the Second Amendment is as valid today as it was when the Constitution was written. Without reaffirming the commitment to protecting the right to bear arms, the United States isn’t making clear to the United Nations and everyone else what the U.S. stance is on gun ownership, and this has been fueled by the fear of terrorism. The concerns about terrorism are providing an argument to change Americans’ relationships with their firearms. While anti-terrorism laws are extremely important, and they are broadening and becoming more refined each year, they need to be carried out with a clear vision about how far politicians are willing to go when changing American culture for the sake of one word, “terrorism.”
World Response to Terrorism
The United Nations is currently looking to restrict the rights with the Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty is causing major anxiety. The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that the treaty will be robust and legally binding and it will have an impact on millions of people who are involved in not only armed conflict and repression, but also on the transfer of arms. This is in an attempt to prevent these arms from becoming owned by terrorists. It should be noted that the U.N. is playing a major role in this decision, despite the fact that they have recently been found guilty of providing bombs and guns to the Bashar Assad regime, a terrorist group that is slaughtering thousands of Syrians. It makes absolutely no sense to allow Iran even to be a member of the U.N., let alone to make a decision on gun rules. “It’s tempting to dismiss the treaty – and the outrageous involvement of Iran – as just another U.N. absurdity,” (Cole, 2012). The reason this is such a big deal to America is that civilian arms and ammunition is included in the definition of what the U.N. seeks to get rid of. All this discussion is due to the fear of terrorism throughout the world, and this provides proof that the word has scared people into action even outside of America. One could argue that this anti-terrorism movement has been triggered by the 9/11 attacks.
Terrorism’s Interaction with Social Networking
Thomas Friedman takes a look at how the types of dangers that are initiated by the flattening of the world, or globalization. It seems that social networking has also become a facilitator of terrorism. The terrorists increase the amount of fear in the world, and prevent certain countries from joining the global market. In my opinion, terrorist threats aren’t going to slow the development of the world economy. The reason businesses are working together overseas is because they find the cooperation fiscally intelligent. These corporations are not limited to just companies, but entire governments. With such powerful forces influencing global trade, terrorists groups won’t be powerful enough to overcome their dominance. There will be more terrorist attacks, but I see them being more domestic. The Middle East isn’t a prime location to do business anyway, and with so much devastation going on there right now, I don’t see in the near future an opportunity for terrorists to facilitate an attack comparable to the devastation of 9/11. But Friedman goes further that physical attacks, he also references the Internet and its potential use among al-Qaeda. “Hell hath no fury like a terrorist with a satellite dish and an interactive website,” (T. Friedman 456). But the biggest fear he describes is nuclear terrorism. Instead of airplanes crashing into the Trade Towers, it would be airplanes dropping nuclear weapons on all of New York. He said a nuclear terrorist attack would be the ultimate way to put a dent on the flattening world. “The only reason that Osama bin Laden did not use a nuclear device on 9/11 was not that he did not have the intention, but that he did not have the capability,” (T. Friedman 437). Social networking can change the ways terrorists communicate, allowing them to join forces in a malevolent attack.
I think Friedman is right on with both the reference to terrorists propagating hate through the Internet and to the utter devastation it would cause to the global market if the terrorists had access to nuclear weapons. However, I find the reference to the Three No’s weak. These No’s include: no loose nukes, no new nascent nukes and no new nuclear states. Does this mean that it is okay for there to be current states that have nuclear weapons? I suppose according to the way these countries are governed, nuclear weapons are fine. However, when there are any nuclear weapons – in a state that is looking to attain them, or in a current state – there is the risk of there being potential attainment from of those nukes by terrorists. Furthermore, can’t the governments that currently possess the nukes be considered potential terrorists? After all, the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.” Doesn’t that about fall into the category of what happened during Hiroshima? I think so. Granted, that was in the past, and the actions of the U.S. to end the Japanese attack on the U.S. in World War II can’t really be used to describe the current state in which we live due to terrorism, though it does paint a picture about the way terrorists interacted in the world prior to 9/11, and it is proof that the terrorists at that time weren’t from the Middle East, as is so often the assertion today. For example, could the fear of terrorism instigate terrorism itself? After all, while the intentions of the U.S. during the invasion of Iraq is debatable, could it be interpreted as being its own terrorist attack? According to Webster it can. With so many countries in possession of nuclear weapons – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, to name a few –aren’t these countries at risk of either being infiltrated or coerced into providing terrorists access to the weapons. I think it’s only a matter of time. This is an important point that Friedman leaves out of his statement about the “doctrine of Three No’s.”
Terrorism certainly has its way of organizing hate through the Internet, and it isn’t just Friedman’s views that can be used to represent the level of change that has occurred in society from a combination of technology and the new level of fear that is associated with terrorism since the World Trade Tower attacks. Other hateful use of terrorism is included through Facebook. It is easy to organize flash mobs online and this has played a role in harming many people who are the victims of such an attack. Facebook also provides people with a way to organize other forms of hate. The Nazi party is obviously not as prevalent as it was during World War II, but Nazi-related events have been organized, and this was facilitated by Facebook. The social networking platform really brings out the good and bad in society, and it requires a careful balance in order to make sure that hate propagation is closely monitored. Without addressing many of the issues related to hate, Facebook is in danger of being known as a facilitator of activities which are harmful to people and to society as a whole. More regulation over the use of Facebook, with harsher penalties for those who look to harm others could be needed in order for Facebook to be a truly altruistic online networking platform.
Police Battle with Technology Terrorism
Terrorism has increased the need for police to be extra vigilant, and it has changed the landscape of policing. Police officers have the responsibility of seeking updated training so that they can keep up on the capabilities of terrorists, as they become more technologically savvy. They must learn about the different types of terroristic attacks that can come their way. When there is a terroristic attack, there is usually a way that they can save the day, but knowing just how to do this is another thing.
Everyone wants to be safe. During an emergency or when we are in danger, people run straight to the police. They immediately come to our aid. Police have an enormous job preventing terrorism and other crimes. Looking at the past, present, and future of police culture reveals a massive amount of progression, from uniforms to firearms. Take a minute to think about what the police are risking? These men and women come out of their homes and serve to the best of their abilities. They are in the line of fire, and often have families to also care for. They also have to take extra training just to be prepared for anything and everything, all for the love of their career. The policing landscape is changing, and as new technologies are created, the force needs to do their best to not only utilize new tools that they are given, but to also stay one step ahead of criminals. The days of simply patrolling the streets and responding to calls are gone. The policing game has a whole new meaning, and it is one that requires long hours inside, on computers to ensure that technology isn’t being used for illicit intentions.
In order to be successful at dismantling terrorists and their growing capacity to organize hate through cyberspace, they must continually keep up with training. This includes their investigative skills and being able to know and understand where their enemy lines are or how to get to them before they get to them or the civilians, whether that be on the ground or in cyberspace. It is imperative that they acquire new information. It’s also important to know new information such as terroristic groups because they are greatly expanding. This effort is not individually done, it is a collaborative effort because if not then everyone is not on the same page and do not have the same knowledge which can cause a huge glitch in a serious hostage and deadly situation. Prediction and presentation is key; police have to know when and what will happen; signs are very important. Terrorist attacks have the most devastating effects on the United States and the world, so to prevent it from happening on cyberspace, could save many people’s lives.
Perhaps more important now than ever in the police’s efforts is “The Blue Wall of Silence” is something that the police have collectively. There is a lot more information that the officers now know and knowing all that these officers know and study it is important to keep everything confidential. Everything must stay “in-house.” Much of the information that they know is the government’s property and there can be serious consequences. The information that these officers are given concerning these terrorist tactics is to only protect and be properly prepared. The LAPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau’s mission has four goals:
• Prevent terrorism by effectively sharing information aimed at disrupting terrorists’ operational capability and addressing the underlying causes associated with the motivational component;
• Protect the public and critical infrastructure by leveraging private-sector resources and hardening targets;
• Pursue terrorists and the criminal enterprises that support them;
• Prepare the citizenry and the city government for consequences associated with terrorist operations against the city.
The Word’s Use
LZ Granderson spoke about how some people are treating the word “terrorism” as a benchmark to evil. And this may be a proper use, but they are using it in a negative way to describe other cultural things. People are using the word “terrorism” is every which way imaginable. In responding to people who discuss the “gay agenda” he makes them seem foolish to think that gay people are evil. These critics also adhere to heterosexism when they assume their lifestyle is superior to a gay lifestyle, (Granderson, 2012). He cites one homophobe politician who said gay people are a bigger danger to society than terrorism. This comment’s relationship to terrorism is revealed in the way that Granderson approaches it while walking the public through the daily routine of a gay person. Essentially, Granderson discusses the ways in which a gay person leads their life, which is the same as the way in which nearly every other person lives theirs.
Terrorism’s Effects on American Politics: In the News
The article “Why is Mexico drug war being ignored?” takes a look at the presidential debates very closely to see how they play out in relation to public opinion polls. This article communicates the threats in the Middle East. The drug cartel in Mexico is also a prime concern for the presidency as they debated about the threat of terrorism against the U.S. And, because terrorism is a top priority, and it is on the minds of many American citizens, the Middle East should be discussed, in addition to what was being talked about relating to the drug war in Mexico. The level of concern in our nation is represented by the amount of discussion that is taking place with the presidential elections. The word “terrorism” has certainly taken control on many fronts of American society.
In Declan Walsh’s article, ’Malala Moment’ May Have Passed in Pakistan, as Rage Over a Shooting Ebbs,” she talks about the involvement of terrorism in the Middle East. This article is interesting because it is a major media outlet that has said the shooting of the girl could be American propaganda. I believe that much of the information that is released about the Middle East is censored, so I was relieved to see that it appears the New York Times isn’t censoring the news. The issues in the Middle East affect America greatly, because that is where a lot of the terrorist threats are from. The large role of terrorism has played such a role in the outcomes throughout the world, and with the interactions of each country. But we must be careful about how we operate overseas, and we need to work together with leaders in foreign countries so that we are not invading their territory, but working together. However, the shooting of the girl could be a wakeup call for these nations to join together and fight their own war against terrorism, and this appears to be the case in the efforts with the United Nations and gun control.
In “How to Help Iran Build a Bomb,” William Broad talks about the concern there is that there is much potential, particularly in Iran, for the development of an atom bomb, which could be used against the United States. This sentiment is an indication of how the rest of the world feels about the issue. Nuclear terrorism is a serious threat that puts all westernized countries, particularly America, at risk of a massive terrorist attack. Many people believe this with great conviction, and they haven’t learned as much about the Middle East as would be expected with such a viewpoint. However, the world “terrorism” has given such a high level of concern everywhere, as it is instantly linked to fear. Many have learned about the war on terrorism, which includes keeping nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands. This article is undecided about whether America should attack these facilities, as it doesn’t portray know what Iran is capable of as retaliation. Many believe that something should be done to end the civil war in Iran, and the threat that the country poses on the rest of the world. America has played a role in allowing Iran to gain so much military strength – as the United States had sold the country weapons for many years – and now it is time to deal with that mistake and the gradual view of the word “terrorism” is bringing the problem to light.