The never-ending fight for freedom

Terrorists never sleep, they will always come knocking on both America’s and the world’s door.

CREDIT: Wiki Commons
CREDIT: Wiki Commons

Over the past several years the American public has been exposed to the terms “War” and “Terrorism” in the same context on an almost daily basis. Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 it seems as though War and Terrorism are one in the same. Without War there is no Terrorism; without Terrorism there is no War. War, by definition, is a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations. Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

Famous military theorist Carl von Clausewitz once said “It is of course well known that the only source of war is politics … war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means.” I completely agree with Carl’s take on war, especially the War on Terror. This war was started because of politics. Most people now agree that oil was the main reason why we went to war against Iraq. A conflict between two political figures in George Bush and Saddam Hussein started the whole “war on terrorism” not Osama Bin Laden (Antiwar).

War and Terrorism are both social problems in their own right. To truly be able to define what the social problems are with War and Terrorism, you have to define exactly what a social problem is. By definition a social problem is a condition that at least some people in a community view as being undesirable. While some people believe that war is necessary, most people believe that it is both avoidable and barbaric. As for Terrorism, I believe that everyone can agree that it is absolutely a social problem and should be stopped at all costs, which can be seen by the unanimous support for the Iraqi War in the very beginning.

War is viewed at by the American public as not only a social problem but also as an issue of morality. While war has been around since the start of Western Civilization it was universally viewed as noble and honorable, however over the years an increasing amount of people now view war as inhuman. The current war in Iraq has played a major role in changing the theory that war is noble and grand. There have been an estimated 4,142 deaths due to the Iraqi War (Forces). Many of the American casualties in which have been young men between the ages of 18-25 have sparked the recent trend of “anti-war” activists across the nation.

There is no one particular cause of war. There are many aspects to creating a war. The main causation of war is the opposing interests and cultural differences between two nations (Rationalist). An example of this would be the current Iraqi War. The cultural differences between Americans and Iraqis are vast. This difference creates the tension which fuels the Iraqi war. A significant change in the balance of power is another potential cause of war. In Ancient times, the main cause of war was a political leader’s perception of opportunity or threat (Human Civilization). If a state’s leader wanted to own more land they would declare war on other state’s because they saw it as an opportunity to gain more power. While that is not the typical reason why war happens today it is still a potential problem especially with all of the influential and dominant foreign dictators such as Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, and Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao.

Everyone is affected by war. I bet if you polled every single person in the United States today they would either know someone who is or was in Iraq, or know someone who has a friend that was involved in the war. It hits every single American citizen in their pockets as well. In order to pay for the war in Iraq taxes have drastically increased which has severely hurt the American economy. In my honest opinion, there is a not a solution to war. War has always been around since the beginning of time and it will always be around. However, I do believe that we can take steps in decreasing war. Nations being more diplomatic in negotiations with others would be a huge step in the right direction. I think the United Nations should do more to prevent wars from happening. Even people can have an impact by signing petitions to stop a war from happening. With enough support from the people the government will have to start listening.

Terrorism is another huge social problem in itself. Terrorism has taken over mainstream media coverage for the last six years. Terrorism has not only become a fight between multiple countries but has also become a spiritual war between Christians and Muslims (Population). “I don’t think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims.” This, a quote from controversial U.S. political scientist Dr. Samuel P. Huntington really sums up this social problem.

There are two different causes that I could find of terrorism. Terrorists are a certain group of people who resort to violence for nationalist or separatist. From the terrorist point of view they commit their violent acts as a resistance against an oppressor. The root cause of the September 11th attacks is religion, which is the other major reason why terrorism occurs.

Just like in war, terrorism affects everyone. It affects people from every country and religions. Some countries are affected by it more than others. We, as Americans were not really concerned about terrorism until the Trade Center attacks. These attacks were a huge wake up call for the American public, most of whom knew almost nothing about terrorism. It really opened my eyes to what was going on around the world in places like Darfur, Pakistan, and India. These countries face terrorist attacks on a daily basis. I couldn’t even imagine living in fear like these people are forced to do.

Some of the possible solutions that I came up with to stop terrorism are to create anti-terrorism policies, make the UN take a more active role in preventing these acts, and have people start joining anti-violence activist groups as a way to tell the government what the people want. After all we are a democracy. Both war and terrorism are huge social problems, and while I don’t think either can be completely stopped we can take significant steps in decreasing their occurrences.

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by Katie Kieffer

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