This is a discussion please read the articles and reply to each one in 300 words.
1-Pro Anti-terrorist legislation
I do believe the United States should consider using more anti-terrorist legislation to help prevent terrorism from re-occurring in the country. In order to tackle successful legislation, it is important to clearly define the meaning of “terrorism” and how America considers it to be harmful. The only anti- terrorist legislation we have is the Patriot Act which came to America’s aid after 9/11. It enhanced law enforcement presiding chiefly under the control of the FBI and intensified cybersecurity which has been extremely beneficial. Despite its success, the Act has it shortcomings as it has indirectly casted blame of terrorist acts on the Arab and Muslim community. As a result, citizens of the US from these minority groups have been targeted by the public and government creating a stigma that Arabs and Muslims can’t be trusted and are dangerous. These stigmas have developed partly because of the way America is being lead by its leaders, ultimately making it difficult to fight terrorism due to the inconsistency. This is exhibited through the differences in rhetoric between President Bush and President Obama. In After the Paris Attacks, Toulouse makes a great case in showing how political aims and motives are captured through leaders’ way of personally defining radical religious fanaticism; and it is through their strategies of defining terrorism that we find shifts in foreign policies, economic interests, and self-right declarations of American superiority. (Iacobucci & Toope, 2015) Through assessing past presidential speeches, Bush used evil as a noun to justify war against terrorism by stating, “good against evil”. This way of defining terrorism along with his high motivation to avenge Osama bin Laden and any Muslim affiliates set the tone and beginning of ostracizing the minorities at home because his diction insinuated that Arabs and Muslims were ultimately bad to the American people. Obama on the other hand used evil as an adjective to explain the actions of the perpetrators. According to Toulouse, “he [left] open the need to explore and understand the motivations behind the actions.” (Iacobucci & Toope, 2015) Leaving this window open to explore the motives is exactly what we need to successfully create anti-terrorist legislation because it steers the blame from religious groups (ultimately bringing innocent bystanders into the mix), and casts the blame on individuals based on the acts. This way, America can re-establish security for the Arab and Muslim community through an unbiased approach and intelligence forces can still lead successful investigations in seeking out future and possible terrorists.
Iacobucci, Edward M., and Stephen John. Toope. After the Paris attacks: responses in Canada, Europe, and around the globe. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. Pg. 57.
2-Expanding the Patriot Act and Catching up with Social Media
The rapid technological change that has taken place over the last several decades has outpaced our ability to adapt and create comprehensive legislation that mitigates the threats that go hand in hand with these developments. Specifically, I believe that social media has acted as a catalyst for the radicalization of Americans to join the cause of terrorist organizations abroad. These organizations are able to use social media in order to disseminate propaganda and to create a sense of camaraderie, shared purpose and belonging between members of the organization. While many social media sites include statements in the terms and conditions for use that restrict pro-terrorist content, these enterprises are also weary of taking action to remove extremist media and propaganda because it may cast the impression that they are filtering the media that these platforms are filtering the content that users are able to post. As private enterprises, these social media sites are bound by the pressure of public opinion and user activity in order to make profit (The Economist, June 10, 2017, p 60). These restrictions create a perfect example of a situation in which the United States government could impose legislation that would protect the safety and security of the American public instead of leaving private social media enterprises to be accountable for counter-terrorism measures such as screening their usersâ€ content for propaganda and pro-terror material. The Patriot Act allows the United States government to better respond to the growing terror threats that have arisen with the assistance of the Internet and other technological changes at very little cost to the American public. I believe that the United States should build on The Patriot Act to include legal provisions for the tracking, review, and removal of explicitly extremist, violent, and pro-terror material online.
Source: “Fighting the cyber-jihadists.” The Economist, June 10, 2017.
3-The modern reality of modern terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies is that we must increasingly look within our own borders. The threat of domestic and homegrown terrorism involves American citizens operating within U.S. borders, who are thus afforded the same legal and constitutional protections of any other citizen. I do not believe that the United States should enact broader legislation than the Patriot Acts at this time. Just as acts of terror may have the practical impact of destabilizing the United States and the democratic system that we live under, so too can the gradual erosion of civil rights and constitutional protections.
While it must be conceded that substantial, and even controversial, measures must be enacted to preserve national security, this should not be done at the expense of the unalienable rights referenced in our nationâ€s founding documents. Acts that, for example, circumvent judicial oversight in the name of expediency and efficiency are explicitly contrary to the values expressed in the constitution and throughout the formative history of the United States. I do not believe that such measures are appropriate, even in the context of fighting global terror.
The brutality that we have witnessed in recent times, from the anti-abortion extremism that led to the murder of abortion providers to the massacres in Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston, and Orlando invoke our worst fears. However, the criminal justice system, both on the federal and state levels, already has a protocol for dealing with horrific acts that also complies with civil rights. The individuals who commit these horrific acts (assuming they are alive to stand trial) are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and receive harsh sentences, up to and including death. While it may not seem like enough given the callousness of the actions committed, it is the price we pay for living in a civilized, democratic society.
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