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Jason Crews

English 102 T TH 7:40


January 24, 2002
Page 1

“Urgent News, two planes have crashed into the World Trade Towers, another into the

Pentagon, and yet a third is unaccounted for,” US TV stations everywhere screamed on the

morning of September 11, 2001. “All of this was brought upon us in a single day -- and night

fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.” (Bush 2001).

If you’re going to use the first sentence as an introductory sentence, you’re going to need to

continue telling a story. Otherwise, use a different opening.

Not long After this was broadcasted on nearly every channel on nearly every television

and nearly every radio around the world, those who heard it opened their eyes to a new world, a

world whose where people who would never be the same, and who where the last great

superpower (are you talking about the US? If so, how do you know it’s the last great

superpower?) was crying for war. Millions of desperate, enraged, and questioning American

eyes turned to the President to show them the path their country would take. That path was war.

Once we found ourselves in his new world, one in which our nation was at war, we were

presented with new challenges, challenges that tested our perception of war. Were we at war

with something an enemy with no boundaries, no face, and an enemy who has proven they can

hide amongst us for years? Was this a war? (Your doing this whole thing in past tense… isn’t

the “war” still going on?)

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines war as a state of usually open and declared armed

hostile conflict between political units, such as states or nations or between rival political

factions of the same state or nation. War is characterized by intentional violence on the part of

large bodies of individuals who are expressly organized and trained to participate in such
violence. Wars between nation-states may be fought to gain reparation for a particular injury; to

acquire a particular territory or advantage; to gain recognition of a particular claim; or to achieve

the extermination or unconditional surrender of the enemy. To determine if the United States

war in Afghanistan is a war, we must determine if it falls under this definition, but what exactly

is conflict and reparation, and how does it apply to terrorism? According to Merriam-Webster's

Collegiate Dictionary a conflict is a competitive or opposing action of incompatibles (as of

divergent ideas, interests, or persons), and a reparation is something done or given as amends or

satisfaction. While terrorism is Terrorism is the systematic use of terror or unpredictable

violence against governments, publics, or individuals to attain a political objective.

The first part of the definition says “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile

conflict between political units, such as states or nations or between rival political factions of the

same state or nation.” Dose the United States’ actions in Afghanistan follow this definition?

After the post-September 11th investigations the United States declared war on Terrorism with the

first target set to be the al Qaeda, the parties responsible for the terrorist attacks on the United

States. The first and largest offensive in our war on terrorism has been in Afghanistan against the

Taliban who were harboring the al Qaeda. The definition of war A nation must declare war on a

person or group of people, but terrorism is an act, not a person by definition, The United State’s

refined its declaration by qualifying the war to any person or group of people who uses terrorism.

Then President Bush’s went a step further in his address from the Oval Office on September 11th

to expanded our efforts by saying “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who

committed these acts and those who harbor them.” Once the evidence of al Qaeda’s involvement

began to mount, President Bush issued a set of demands to the Taliban, whose country in which

the al Qaeda operated, to meet or the United States would take action, and go to war. When the
demands were not met the United States ceased to distinguish between al Qaeda and the Taliban

and the two political units became involved in a open and hostile conflict . . . war.

Next the definition says, “War is characterized by intentional violence on the part of large

bodies of individuals who are expressly organized and trained to participate in such violence.”

Some could argue that the Taliban was not ell trained or expressly organized, or that the al Qaeda

wasn’t an actual army. First, the Taliban was not the initial target of any operations in the war

on terrorism. They only became involved after they refused to yield to the demands of the

United States and by harboring the terrorist organization al Qaeda. “The leadership of al Qaeda

has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that

country. “ (Bush 2001) Secondly, a nation-state, wither third world or super-power, you become

a player in a dangerous game, one that has great risks. They imply to the rest of the world that

they are willing and able to defend their interest in their country. Any organization or training,

however poor or inadequate, made the Taliban a player. Just because you can’t play with the big

boys doesn’t mean that you are exempt from the injuries. Finally, intelligence has shown that al

Qaeda have had and still may have several terrorist training camps inside and outside the

boarders of Afghanistan. Training camps witch taught their members how to engage in acts of

terrorism and acts of war. Their training makes them fall into the war premises.

Consider next the part of the definition that says, “Wars between nation-states may be

fought to gain reparation for a particular injury.” Everyone has heard of the devastation and

carnage caused by the attacks on world trade centers and the pentagon; carnage so great that 5

months later United States’ workers are still cleaning up its wreckage. This deliberate attack was

orchestrated and carried out by an organization bent on striking fear into the hearts of every

citizen in the United States. Our actions were meant but to gain retribution for those who have
felt a loss by those events, on the individuals responsible and who have previously declared war

on the United States. President Bush said “Our response involves far more than instant

retaliation and isolated strikes.”

Then we see “or to achieve the extermination or unconditional surrender of the enemy.”

Bush said, “We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in

every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Our ultimate goal has always been to do just this, exterminate terrorism from the face of the

earth.