These democratic principles, well embedded in the American Creed can be summed up in “liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire” (Lipset 1996: 19). Much more, these “political and ideological principles” (Zalman 2000: 184) of democracy have been proven necessary for the full development and modernization of societies (Fromkin 1999: 238-239), making life in democratic societies relatively safe (individual rights are respected and protected) and convenient (modern technology makes life easier). However, as life is full of uncertainties, democracy for its part has its own pitfalls that have to be assessed through a lens of truth and acceptance. This threatening reality has been introduced to us by the 9/11 bombing of the twin tower by Bin Laden’s al Quaeda.
Osama bin Laden and his al Queada network of terrorists have demonstrated the West’s vulnerability. This vulnerability has been interpreted as largely the result of the freedoms enjoyed in the West, which al Queada took advantage to launch the most deadly attack in American history. (Jurgensen 2004: 55)
After the 9/11 incident, which completely shocked the world, unbelieving that a superpower could be attacked with such sophistication utilizing the very technology that supports the US’s freedom of mobility, everything has changed. Fear has crept into the West with its citizens (especially the middle class) demanding for assurance of safety and with its governments (prominently, the US and the UK) resorting to tighter security measures in the name of national security. The fear it has inflicted impelled many people worldwide to believe that terrorism has evolved into its new form of global terror (Furedi 2005: 319), which feasibly must have been sensationalized by media’s exaggerated reporting compounded by the political leaders’ speechifying and overstatement (Mythen & Walklate 2008: 232), because psychologically, “threat not only motivates protective behaviors but also promotes support for protective government policies” such as … “increased surveillance policies… and policies that promise increased domestic safety but could threaten American’s civil liberties” (Huddy, Feldman & Weber 2007: 132).
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