At times terrorist succeed and at times they fail. Some times they have larger and long-term goal and some times they have short-term aims. For example, a group hijacking a plane wanted some immediate results like release of the prisoners or financial gain but blowing a plane into a building would definitely mean that terrorists wanted something big out of it. Sometimes terrorists want to just cause panic and fear. They attack to make people realize that they are vulnerable. They just want people to become fearful & terrified to go about their usual and routine activities.
War on Terror
War on Terror' is the phrase that has been used and abused since Americans were attacked on their soil on September 11 in New York's Twin Towers. Today America's foreign policy is defined by the term 'War on Terror'. The attack on twin towers made America vulnerable and they had to wage a war against unknown and hidden enemies. The war on terror was started and to support the objectives allies were gathered. The war has become so ingrained in American policy and psyche that it would stay in American policies for years to come. The extent and expansion of war far and wide is seen by some as necessity while some criticize it fiercely. Despite the fact that war on terror required patience, diplomacy, military and non-military efforts on America's part, the start of war on terror was inevitable for America. "Sustaining a massive diplomatic-military-humanitarian-political offensive across the world and across the decades won't be easy, but it could be the difference between success and failure in the war on terror. At first glance, passing this strange, new war from one administration to another, one political party to another, one generation to another, seems an impossible task. However, America is surprisingly well suited for waging such a war" (Dowd 2002).
War on terror started on all fronts and formally started with the attack on Afghanistan. The afghan war can be considered a successful attempt by the U.S. And its Allies as they succeeded in rooting out the Taliban regime. The real test of war on terror started as America decided to go on war in Iraq. Critics claim that it was one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush Administration. Instead of controlling Al-Qaeda and its network worldwide the administration entangled itself in the tricky situation in Iraq. The brouhaha created by the administration regarding the weapons of mass destruction fizzled out and a civil war tied U.S. resources in Iraq. It is not just United States that has been facing this war but United Kingdom has also faced it I the form of London bombings. Even Muslim countries today are waging a war as we know that countries that are considered a hub of terrorists are also key partners in the war on terror. U.S. alone cannot win this war as all countries have to combine their efforts.
Terrorists Groups in U.S.
There are terrorist groups that are present worldwide but within United States one can also find patterns of terrorism. There are groups within Untied States that spread their own messages of hatred. Their anti-Semitic groups operating actively and have been involved in hate crimes against Jews. Racial crimes against the black population are not hidden from anyone. Even black people in retaliation have made organized groups to counter any crime against them. Some organizations don't appear to be like typical terrorist organizations but their actions can not be considered peaceful. Their tactics to achieve their goals mar their reputation.
Today mostly Alqeada or other Muslim groups have been targeted for their involvement in terrorism but bombing, hijacking, kidnapping and other such activities have also been carried out by homegrown white or African-Americans. The scale and impact of these terrorist activities have also been varied but after 9/11 all such activities though still present got the back seat de to media coverage of the war on terror.
There are many terror acts carried out by certain groups if they have some grievances against the Federal or State government. The general perception is that such groups exist in Western States. There may be more incidences of terror acts in Western States but the fact is non- western states have also been involved in acts of terror. Antigovernment plots have been uncovered in states like Georgia & West Virginia. It is on the record that in 1996 that a plot was weaved to bomb FBI fingerprint center in Clarksburg. "Some domestic U.S. terrorist groups, including the Aryan Nation and the Phineas Priesthood, and some militia members are also religiously motivated in addition to being driven by a hatred of the federal government. Indeed, hostility to the federal government is at an all-time high in many western U.S. states. This animosity can be seen in numerous bombings and assaults directed against federal agencies and personnel. But such activities are not necessarily restricted to western states" (Leader 1997).
Loss of Liberties
Safety from terrorism requires American to give up on some of their liberties. At times safety requires some intrusion into the private lives of the citizens. Citizens are also willing to co-operate but only to an extent that their freedom granted by the Law is not affected. Most Americans are repelled by unnecessary & repressive restrictions and surveillance by authorities. Now modern and high tech gadgets are being used to protect the citizens from any unforeseen terrorist act. These gadgets are meant to detect any weapons or other terror tool but at the same time they give out personal information belonging to people. "A major test will occur as the million-dollar-plus "Total Recall"-type X-ray machines are pressed into general service in airports across the nation and later at public gathering places (stadiums, coliseums, fairgrounds) and government complexes (courthouses, administrative buildings, post offices). While these devices can spot any weapons or contraband (from razor blades to plastic bags of cocaine) right down to the bone, they also show the size and shape of body parts for security personnel and possibly others to see and evaluate" (Stephens 2003).
The loss of privacy can be particularly seen in case of Internet use. In order to detect the identity of surfers and users of cyberspace the anonymity aspect is no more there. People who think that they can log on to cyberspace and will not be detected are no longer living in the world of reality as using biometric identification systems fingerprints and voice verification to keystroke and DNA analysis can be done. Also to control financial dealings to support terrorism the transactions can also be checked and so the monetary dealings of the common citizen can also be on the scrutiny.
The presence of security cameras everywhere is also a curb on the freedom of citizens going about their daily activities. Powers given to police and security officials also become hassle for the common citizens. The glaring example of extra security and trouble for citizens is the new processes and systems installed at the airports in the United States and European countries. Also the use advanced technologies like facial recognition, universal DNA banks, micromanipulations etc. can be considered intrusive.
The problem of civil liberties is so grave that even United Nations has taken notice of measures incompatible with the fundamental freedoms. United Nations has even issued guiding principles to help States hit a balance between human rights and their fight for terrorism. General Assembly, Security Council and Commission on Human Rights have passed a number of resolutions in this regard. The situation became graver after 9/11 and even organizations like UN condemn highhandedness of authorities in dealing with terrorism. The organizations like Commission on Human Rights draw the attention of governments to International Covenant on Civil and Political Right which protect human rights even in the times of war and emergency.
Profits from War on Terror
Media portrays a picture that U.S. is losing its war in Iraq and insurgents are winning this battle. Another aspect of this war portrayed by an alternative media or an alternative view point is that U.S. is making money and getting benefits out of this war on terror. Critics claim that U.S. organizations have benefited them in the form of reconstruction contract for rebuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conspiracy theories of going to war for oil are now known to everyone. "The hidden agenda of the U.S. government in Iraq has been three -- fold. Firstly, to take control of the world's second largest oil reserves, thereby seizing one of the key oil spigots of competitors like Japan, China and the EU. Secondly, to prevent the dollar -- based world oil market from transacting in Euros, something Iran, Iraq and Venezuela were attempting since 2002, when the Euro was launched. Thirdly, the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases in the strategic heart of the world" (Shrivastava 2006).
Iraq war in particular has faced criticism when there have been evidences of people…