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A Primer in the Politics of the War on Terror - Essay Example

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The U.S. led 'War on Terrorism,' (WOT) perhaps the most unpopular war in the history of the world, has brought American democratic institutions and public agencies under critical public scrutiny. As the threat of terrorism continues to captivate the United States and the world, it becomes imperative to analyze and understand the politics of the 'War on Terror', declared hastily in the wake of horrific 9/11 attacks, and later shifting paradigms to meet the U.S interests in Arab world…
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A Primer in the Politics of the War on Terror
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A Primer in the Politics of the War on Terror

The U.S. led 'War on Terrorism' is directed to its inevitable end, rather 'endlessness', given the shifting paradigms of the war and the impact of war actions and consequences on global terrorist networks. The war, which began on a hysterical note at the 9/11 U.S. attacks by the al Qaeda was fought relentlessly by the U.S - initially on Afghanistan, alleged to be the homeland of al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, the master brain behind the terrorist attacks, and then on Iraq, for their 'suspected' links with the al Qaeda, and the potential threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). No sooner did the 'War on Terrorism' became 'War on Iraq,' aimed at ousting Saddam Hussein and the establishment of democracy in Iraq, strategically naming the war 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' as America advanced its strategic and political interests in the Arab world. According to a 2004 report released by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the U.S. actions in Iraq since 2003 March has weakened the global counter-terrorism coalition, which seemed formidable in 2001; however, "war on terrorism" was effective in revitalizing and motivating the al Qaeda network, [Strategic Survey 2003/04, 2004] As the war continues to be waged extending geographical territories, the 'enemy' seems all the more remote and ever-more prevailing, as new cohorts of terrorists emerge to be potential threat to the U.S. and its allies in the Western world.
The human, economic, social costs and consequences of America's 'War on Terrorism' have been appalling and still continue to mount. The dismal and absolutely avoidable war consequences aggravates the need for a critical review of the politics behind Bush Administration's so-called 'War on Terrorism' - the legality, the real intentions, the propaganda, the schemes, and the roles and responsibilities of all those involved and concerned - resulting in one of the most demoralizing episode in the history of humanity, no less than Hitler's 'Holocaust.'
Role of President and the Congress
In the wake of the shocking September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, President Bush dubbed the terrorist attack as acts of war, and proclaimed a 'global war on terrorism' (GWOT). The President's hastiness in declaring war on an 'enemy' not so well defined, and his declaration that al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters were unlawful "enemy combatants," rather than criminals, has been subject to critical analysis. [Feldman, 2002] However his decision to commit troops to combat without seeking a congressional declaration of war, [Ramsay, 2002] and expansion of his Presidential authority facilitating non-constitutional actions including the holding of prisoners without judicial review and approving torturous interrogation techniques [Seelye, 2001, Fisher, 2001] have been unilateral and critically grave violations of the U.S Constitution.
The Congress also played a crucial role- despite protests, objections and voices of dissent from all quarters including the United Nations, the Congress categorically supported President's non-constitutiona ... Read More
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