War on Terrorism Is it Justified On Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

War on Terrorism: Is it Justified?

On September 11, 2001, two separate airliners, loaded with passengers, were flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This was soon followed by a similar act in Washington, D.C. that destroyed part of the Pentagon. Passengers on another plane attempted to retake it from hijackers, and that plane crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside, undoubtedly preventing a fourth attack.

By the time the second plane flew into the south tower of the World Trade Center, we knew these were deliberate attacks. By the time the Pentagon had been attacked, there was a widespread perception that we were at war. Spokespersons and reporters drew comparisons to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

However, there are troubling differences to the attack of December 7, 1941, particularly in who the enemy was or is in each situation. There was no doubt in 1941. Japan planned the attack, sent the carriers, trained the pilots, and dropped the bombs. They had signed a pact with Germany and Italy, and the three countries had agreed that an attack on one was an attack on all. We were instantly cast into war in two different theatres against three different countries, but we clearly knew who the enemy was. As Pipes (2002) said, "WITH WHOM, or what, is the United States at war? The answer to this question has far-reaching implications for strategy, for public diplomacy, and for foreign and domestic policy alike. It may seem that the answer is obvious; but it is not."

This time, since September 11, 2001, these issues aren't as clear. This is the first time the United States has viewed itself as being in a state of war but not at war with another country.

Certainly some kind of retaliatory response followed by some kind of plan to prevent future assaults was appropriate and called for. However, one could argue that a war is a more extended and planned response. The goal of a war is to defeat the enemy. Can we even say who the enemy is in this case? If we cannot define who the enemy is, justification for acting against them seems tenuous. If the identity of the enemy shifts over time without any new attacks, expanding the range of targets seems questionable.

President Bush and other government spokespersons have told us multiple times that the terrorists in Afghanistan and their protectors would not be the other targets.

In the first few weeks after September 11, whenever President George W. Bush referred to the target of the war as "evildoers" or "the evil ones." (Pipes, 2002) Eventually this was clarified to the Al-Queda terrorist network led and funded by Osama Bin-Laden, but this precision was blurred by the revelation that this network had cells all over the world in many countries.

Those who question the direction the war may take fully understand the horror of September 11, 2001. They know that nearly 3,000 people died in New York City, and they know that no rational person could justify attacking civilian buildings with no military significance. They recognize that the attack on the Pentagon just emphasized that the attackers did not make this distinction, and the standard for warfare, agreed to by virtually all countries of the Earth, has been that wars will not be started by sneak attacks. Pearl Harbor was not supposed to be a sneak attack, at least technically.

One major concern, even in the face of all the senseless horror that started this "War on Terrorism," is that we haven't found a way to clearly define exactly who the enemy is, and how and when the war will be done. This is new and uncertain territory; any of us can go to the library and find a picture of our country's leaders signing pacts with both Germany and Japan, signifying that both sides agree the war is over. Our history books show specific dates, and they are often printed on calendars. We don't have this for the "War on Terrorism." As the fighting in Afghanistan waxes and wanes, we hear government officials debating who the next targets of our warfare will be. We know the fight against the Al-Queda will continue; we are assisting the Philippines in their fight against terrorists to the benefit of both governments. But we no longer have a clear focus.

One way…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"War On Terrorism Is It Justified On" (2002, March 25) Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/war-on-terrorism-is-it-justified-128655

"War On Terrorism Is It Justified On" 25 March 2002. Web.28 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/war-on-terrorism-is-it-justified-128655>

"War On Terrorism Is It Justified On", 25 March 2002, Accessed.28 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/war-on-terrorism-is-it-justified-128655

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Use of Force and Wars on Terrorism

    Force and Wars on Terrorism The objective of this work is to consider that as one of the governing principles of the United Nations, the UN Charter Article 2(4) prohibits the use of force in international relations, but its Article 51 permits the use of for e as an act of self-defense against any illegal use of force in violation of Article 2(4). Contemporary wars on terrorism are often justified

  • Terrorism and Individual Freedoms

    Terrorism Suppression and Freedom The aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks was characterized with the establishment of various measures and initiatives towards war on terrorism. As the government has constantly enhanced its war on terrorism efforts, it has emerged that these initiatives have evolved into reshaping the country's national security policies and challenged the value placed on individual freedom. The attempts towards preventing terrorism and enhancing homeland security in the United

  • Huxley and Barak on War

    He deplores the hiding of true violence. That hornet reference really came down to this, Huxley says; "in other words, to go and throw thermite, high explosives and vesicants [i.e. chemical weapons...] upon the inhabitants of neighboring countries before they have time to come and do the same to us." Another pet peeve of Aldous Huxley is the use of abstract entities like "man power" and "fire power"; and he

  • War and Terrorism

    War & Human Rights Abuse: Parallelisms between Japanese-Americans in WWII and the U.S.-Iraq War (Gulf War II) Among nations of varying cultures and societies, maintaining satisfactory political relations is a challenge. This is primarily due to differences among leaders and societies that make up this nation; thus, as a result of this diversity, it is inevitable that international relations among countries of the world may experience conflicts and antagonism with each

  • U S War on Terrorism the

    Even governments who supported the use of force, most notably Britain, did not support the regime change." Motivating U.S. position, author Robert J. Lieber justifies the preemptive and preventive use of force by the American policymakers: "militant Islamic terrorism plus weapons of mass destruction pose a threat and require us to alter the way we think about the preemptive and even preventive use of force." Supporting the human rights argument

  • War on Terror & Human Rights the

    War on Terror & Human Rights The so-called "war on terror" -- initiated by former president George W. Bush after 9/11 -- has not succeeded in ending terrorism but it opened the door to numerous violations of human rights. A survey of verifiable, peer-reviewed sources in the literature show clearly that the Bush Administration and members of the military under Bush's command carried out human rights violations in the name of

  • Terrorism There Have Been Various Definitions and

    Terrorism There have been various definitions and views of terrorism that have beenfronted over the years. It has been described as a strategy and at other levels as a tactic, some have called it a crime and yet other refer to it as a holy/noble duty; some consider it an inexcusable abomination yet others consider it a systematic reaction to oppression. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point-of-view is being represented,

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved