Why The 'War On Terrorism' Really Shouldn't Be Seen As A War

Why The 'War On Terrorism' Really Shouldn't Be Seen As A War

Counter-terrorism strategies under the war framework are ineffective.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, a joint resolution was passed by the Senate and Congress. It provided the President with the broad brush powers to take "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons .” Very much commissioning terrorism as war framework that is in line with the succeeding actions and policies adopted and undertaken by the Bush administration.

The passage of the USA Patriot Act, the lowering of the FISA wall, Warrants, Pen Registers, Trap and Trace, National Security Letters and Warrantless NSA Wiretapping, including PRISM, MARINA, and MAINWAY, fell in line with this model due to the curtailment of civil liberties of American citizens that these programs authorized. Many argue that these curtailments are nothing new, but rather powers of the executive that it has used countless times during periods of national emergency. This kind of shift of power and limiting of civil liberties has also been embedded into the US constitution in times of emergency. Using examples such as Lincoln’s raising an army, withdrawing money and launching a blockade without congressional approval, the declaration of war in places like Korea, Kosovo, and Libya, and FDR's interception of communications both internationally and domestically before the Pearl Harbor attack.

However, there are two main argument points for why this analogous understanding would not apply and hence terrorism as war would not fall in line. The biggest and most concerning difference is that while other instances of war would eventually end, US history had limited scope in terms of time. Thus, there is no foreseeable end to the 'war on terrorism.' In these historical examples that are often synonymized, there was an understandable and probable end. The curtailment of these civil liberties could be understood as temporary, but in the current 'war' against terrorism, there is no definitive end, as the war is not against a state or even just one concrete group.

Even if it is accepted that the security ramifications are far too high and the United States is better safe than sorry, this argument too falls flat due to the ineffective nature of these programs. Take the case of Omar Mateen, for example, whose shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida left 49 dead; James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, had a file on Mateen, but he also had files on hundreds of thousands of other individuals across the nation. He compared finding suspects and preventing attacks to “looking for needles in a nationwide haystack.” These far-reaching surveillance programs simply do not work, as intelligence agencies are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of possible leads and suspects; far too many, most of whom never commit a violent attack. To be able to reasonably keep an eye on all of them, analysis of these programs found no evidence that these programs have even prevented an attack.

Cover Image Credit: UX Gun / Unsplash

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He Changed Everything.

My soul is richer & my heart is fuller 

Sept 2013 I found myself writing to an evangelist Jennifer Beckham looking for more, looking for answers cause at the time I was in a dark place, and stuck no matter what I did. She wrote back! I cried as I read her respond. She sent me scriptures of who god is and what he wants for us. God says we are more than conquers and endurance develops strength and character. She encouraged me that I was on the right track. Not to give up and she would be praying for me. I saw Jennifer Beckham at a conference that year. I don't remember what she specifically talked about but I remember the feeling. The feeling of wanting to burst out crying, I could feel my eyes being filled with tears, and my heart racing but I wouldn't let out the tears. My pride was too big. I wanted to be strong so I did my best to hold it all in, and I did. At this conference they offered the audience who wanted to go up for prayer and dedicate their life to Jesus Christ. Surprisingly I went up, but I went up with other people that were seeking out salvation. I wasn’t sure if I was going up to support the other people or if it was truly for me. I was confused, even though I said the prayer. I became more confused as the days went on and I wasn't feeling a difference in my life. Nothing was changing. I started reading the bible and many books, listening to sermons, and surrounding myself with positive people. I gave my life to Jesus, but I didn't feel like I was set FREE! I continued feeling empty, lost, broken, guilty, and hurt from the past. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up. Almost felt pointless to fight for my life. At this point in my life I didn't know God very much, but I had just a little bit of faith. My faith was as big as a mustard seed and God took care of the rest. Day by day, year by year I started noticing my life changing. I noticed I was changing. I started feeling happy with who I was and where I was in life. I no longer questioned God about the things that happened to me. In my heart I was ok with the wounds, the hardships, and trials from the past because I now understood those wounds and trials. I realized I was SET FREE! not perfect but set free. I started understanding who I was as a child of our heavenly father. Now it’s Jan 2018 and I’m in awe of who I am and where I am in life, all because of Jesus. His so faithful! I think of the favor, the grace, his mercy, his love, his joy and blessing that he gives me even when I’m undeserving of it, it’s overwhelming. He has never left me nor forsake me. I can say Jesus you changed everything and my heart so forever thankful. 

Today, I encourage you like Jennifer Beckham encouraged me. Keep going and don't give up. No matter what your past looks like believe in your heart that you were created for greatness. Don't let your past determine your future, be the change you want in your life. You have it in you. There is so much more to life, don't miss out on it. It's time to take back your happiness, love, joy, freedom and so much more. It's time to take back EVERYTHING the enemy has taken from you. God has made you an overcomer. I speak it right now, that you will be victorious in 2018 and the years to come. Remember, God loves you! 

Psalm 136:26 (AMP) O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy and loving-kindness endures forever!

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Oprah Winfrey Running For President?

Golden Globe speech sparking some ideas.

As of Sunday, January 7, 2018, Oprah Winfrey made a few remarks during her Golden Globe speech, hinting to her possibly running for president in 2020. Later, two of her friends, who wish to remain anonymous confirm this speculation. One of the friends said that this idea has been looming for months now but that Winfrey did not come to a conscience yet.

The main point of Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes was the #MeToo movement. She also made a statement of, "A new day is on the horizon", which many liberal celebrities and viewers heard as a possible campaign cry.

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However what Winfrey does not have is political experience. When she needs political advice she looks to the Obamas and she fully endorsed Hillary Clinton. We may have our next Democratic candidate for the 2020 election. Although the race for president does not start until after the 2018 midterms, many candidates are getting a head start. Maybe this is her making her first move. What do you think? Will America choose another TV star as our president?

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