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Threat -Domestic or International Terrorism?
Terrorism was in other places and globalism was regarded trade- in the old world. But in the new world, if terrorism can occur in a place like New York, it could probably occur anywhere in the world. Post U.S. attack, the biggest change the world faced is that the definition of terrorism has been completely reversed. Of late, terrorism is mainly about attacking the West's global influence on religious, cultural and political level by groups who do not make precise demands or try to obtain concessions. Terrorism, because of the violence- cannot be controlled by civil, educational or societal elements and should be trailed and punished by law enforcement agencies.
Domestic Terrorism: Since the inception of USA, domestic terrorism existed and affected the political and social structure of the United States to varying levels. To know the extent of domestic terrorism and to estimate the level of terrorism influencing History, firstly it is essential to know the definition of domestic terrorism. Domestic Terrorism is defined by the United States Department of Justice as - The illegal use of force or violence executed by a group containing two or more people against persons or property to threaten or pressurize a government, civilians or any segment, in furtherance of social or political aims. While studying domestic terrorism and trying to know the details and purpose that characterize such groups, it is difficult to distinguish between an extremist group and a terrorist group, though obviously the use of violence is an ample point for distinction.
Looking at the events that occurred in the not too distant past - the revelations from Fort Bragg, North Carolina within the past year, indicates that factors of terrorist organizations and groups are present within the military ranks, the extent of which is not clearly known. Such events of terrorist or extremist activities are basically associated with individuals engaged in extreme right-wing and/or white-supremacist hate groups which probably reflect a rising racial hate-oriented tension happening in the civilian society. Instances of such assertion comprise of "call to arms" of blacks against whites and vice versa, by extremist hate groups and the extensive street violence imposed by Skinheads against blacks, gays and other minorities. Even though terrorism has affected governments, and public and private institutions for decades in various forms, the applications and strategies related to it have developed just as the societies on which it is imposed. Advancement in technology, especially in transportation, communication and weapons fields have aided the abilities of present day terrorist groups to transmit their message and has enhanced their strength to act violently in order to achieve their goals.
Apparent Motivation: In the United States, at present, domestic terrorism can be categorized basically into four groups. These groups can be generally distinguished as being prompted by- 1) racial prejudice and supremacist goals, 2) in quest of unique special interests, 3) anti-government/anarchistic/politically motivated or 4) religious convictions.
Criminal Association with Extremist/Terrorist Groups: The possible danger faced by the society by several extremist and terrorist groups and organizations can be evaluated from their associations with convicted criminals and organized crime. In the United States, between domestic terrorist groups and criminal subculture, two main associations can be seen- the first and the foremost is the use of crimes namely- robbery, theft and drug trafficking which is used to accumulate funds in order to achieve "higher intensity" goals and secondly as a population and environment from which to employ "eager and competent" members. (Presley, 1996) Some top stories of U.S. domestic terrorism include- McVeigh guilty in OKC bombing, Heaven's gate suicides, the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the O.J. Simpson Civil Trial, Campaign finance investigations. McVeigh used a truck bomb to devastate Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people- the incident was the worst case of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.
International Terrorism: America seems to have entered into a period of historical madness. But the present situation is worst than McCarthyism and Bay of Pigs and over a long period of time much more devastating than the Vietnam War. America's reaction against the September 11 is far beyond anything that Osama Bin Laden had even anticipated in his wildest dreams. Unlike the McCarthy times, the freedoms that made America to be envied by the entire world are methodically worn out. Even before, Bin Laden attacked, the imminent war was planned. But only Bin Laden made the plan to work out, without which it would have been difficult to explain such tricky situation for the Bush administration. It is still very unclear as to why the Americans are supporting Israel in its disregard for the UN resolutions. At present it is reported that 88% of the Americans favor war. The defense budget of the United States has been increased from $60 billion to around $360 billion. Shortly, a new array of nuclear weapons is expected.
One of the biggest public relations deceptions in the history of the United States is that how the Bush administration succeeded in averting America's anger from Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. As per the statistics from a poll conducted recently, it is seen that one in two Americans believe that Saddam was accountable for the attack on the World Trade Center. But not only is the American public misled but also oppressed and pushed to a state of ignorance and fear. Baghdad poses no danger to its neighboring countries and absolutely none to the United States. Weapons of mass destruction which are present in the hands of Saddam are only peanuts in comparison to the weapons in Israel's or America's possession. The terrorist threat or the imminent military is not at stake but the economic growth in U.S.. America's need to display its military power to countries such as Europe, Russia, China, North Korea and the Middle East- are at stake. (Carre-2003)
Bush and Blair-International terrorists: The United States and Britain surged ahead into Iraq, killing several thousands of citizens and recruited soldiers and are at present responsible for the misrule in the country. It is no surprise that they were faced with stiff resistance. The conquest of Iraq creates increased resistance. But, more the resistance, it is more dangerous and costly to walk away. Within the U.S. Government, the right-wing friends of Israel advocated for "regime-change" in Iraq. They hard-pressed persistently for war, with the conviction that dethroning Saddam, demolishing Iraq and modifying the geopolitics of the Arab world -would strengthen the regional dominance of Israel and allow imposition of harsh terms on the Palestinians. The United States global empire is fundamentally military.
It is highlighted by the country's $400 billion military budget annually, by its skill in long-ranged precision weapons and the communication network on which it depends and the military bases that cover the globe. The regional commanders in Pentagon are more powerful and possess greater resources at their disposal compared to the State Department envoys or ambassadors. But, even with such military prowess, the United States is an utter failure at nation-building and at settling disputes. The country is hampered by an apprehension of taking casualties, reluctance in spending money except on military and the great interest of special interest groups namely the pro-Israel lobby on American foreign policy. The end result is catastrophic on many fronts.
Increased threat: Further than putting an end to terrorism, America's global "war on terror" seems to have increased threat, in view of the recent attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca and increased security in U.S. nuclear plants and London. Bush's recent statements, seconded by his Secretary of State Colin Powell, blame Hamas for the Middle East violence, completely shielding Israel. This shows America's reluctance to negotiate for a settlement. Far from stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, America's war on Iraq has prompted other states to acquire military capability at the earliest on the pretext of protecting themselves from the American attack. By now, North Korea might have already possessed nuclear weapons, with Iran probably not far off. Bush's recent statement that "construction of a nuclear weapon by Iran would not be tolerated" is interpreted as that only Israel should possess such weapons. Any military attack on Iran by the U.S. Or Israel or both together would set free unruly forces much more devastating than the ones faced by the U.S. And Britain in Iraq. U.S. has destroyed the state of Iraq and seems to be unwilling to rebuild it again. (Seale-2003)
Count on more terrorism: Post September 11, businesses across the country faces a surge of physical, legal and financial risks. More attacks on the United States will strengthen the federal government's duty to safeguard transportation by passing several new laws and regulations. More number of Americans is likely to be injured or killed. Such a situation will in turn cost additional money and additional federal laws. When one of the FBI agents was asked whether America would see more attacks of terrorism, he said, "count on it." In the…[continue]
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