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PlausibilityAnalyze the plausibility - if there can be any - of the contention that...
Analyze the plausibility - if there can be any - of the contention that there might have been a certain justification for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S. In your essay, compose an argument for - or against - an alleged pattern of American wrongdoing that could possibly merit such an attack.
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If forced to make this case, you can say that US policies have done harm to Muslim nations. The US had (you can argue) helped to create chaos in places like Afghanistan and then had left the countries when they were no longer of strategic interest. The US had supported Israel in its actions that had killed innocent Palestinians. The US had supported regimes in the region with poor human rights records. If you believe this line of argument, you can argue that the attacks were justifiable as acts of war against a power that had harmed Muslims around the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
Posted by pohnpei397 on March 20, 2012 at 1:33 AM (Answer #2)
Ultimately, though, acts of terror are violations of international law. The grievances of Muslim nations against the US government are legitimate, but any defense of the actions would have to be on the level of morality, not legality. Armed self defense, in the form of declarations of war or other responses, could be legally justified, but acts of terror by pan-national terrorist organizations cannot. To paraphrase Max Weber, states have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force and violence.
Posted by rrteacher on March 20, 2012 at 3:57 AM (Answer #3)
If you had to create an argument for the attacks on 911, you could say the following. First, the United States at times sought its own interests at the expense of other nations, especially when it came to natural resources. Second, you can say that United States foreign policy always favors Israel, which the Middle East would see as a sore point. Finally, you can make the argument that the United States supplies arms to many people in the world who create havoc.
Posted by readerofbooks on March 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM (Answer #4)
High School Teacher
I'll echo a point from #4:
Second, you can say that United States foreign policy always favors Israel, which the Middle East would see as a sore point.
Support of Israel is definitely a sore point for Islamic nations, especially since the relative success and prosperity of Israel in contrast to the poverty and suffering in surrounding areas serves as a sharp contradiction of Islamic ideals. Since Israel has proven itself willing to fight back and win when threatened, attacking "the Big Satan" instead as a show of force and will served to destabilize trust and communications. There is little doubt that Israel would have decisively struck enemies if attacked, and since the U.S. has been limited in its military activities by public opinion and the UN, it was an easier target.
Posted by belarafon on March 20, 2012 at 8:35 AM (Answer #5)
U. S. support for Israel has indeed been a source of tension in the mideast. For a while it looked as if tensions in that region had begun to diminish a bit, but I suspect that they may (perhaps very soon) become much, much worse. It seems ironic that the world may eventually suffer a war perhaps worse than anything seen before because of tensions rooted in difference of belief that are hundreds if not thousands of years old.
Posted by vangoghfan on March 20, 2012 at 8:54 AM (Answer #6)
High School Teacher
As is mentioned, to take this viewpoint and defend it, you must basically blame the US for all that bin Laden and his followers had blamed the US for. This is probably an excellent way to show students how to debate any side of a question, though I would be hard-pressed to do so myself. In order to do this, you would need to have a clear understanding not of the Islam faith or Muslims, for this is not what is taught. You would have to research the madness in what Osama bin Laden perceived were crimes committed by the United States—against "Islam" (as they saw it) or any other group they felt had been harmed in some way by US interests. This is the only way I can see making this kind of argument, for it was madness that drove the attacks in the first place.
Posted by booboosmoosh on March 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM (Answer #7)
The attacks of 9/11 indicate an utter failure of diplomacy. Certainly there are grievances, justified or not, against the United States, and in an ideal world these would be discussed and resolved. Certainly it would have been in the world's best interest to reach a diplomatic resolution. Why the discourse failed is the key historical question.
Posted by enotechris on March 20, 2012 at 8:23 PM (Answer #8)
High School Teacher
This is clearly a very difficult question to answer and you will need great sensitivity in how you construct your response. I suggest your starting place should be thinking about the way in which 9/11, whilst it was greeted with horror and sadness in so many countries, actually had a very different reception in countries such as in the Middle East, where people actually celebrated and had parties when they heard about it. This should make us ask what is behind such a response and it should cause us to examine US relations with those countries.
Posted by accessteacher on March 20, 2012 at 9:27 PM (Answer #9)
Middle School Teacher
The United States engages is a pattern of behavior that Muslim extremists disagree with. This could be construed as wrongdoing that threatens extremists that want to state reasons Western Civilization is corrupt and immoral. Attacks against us and holy wars focus the attention and hatred of their followers on a target.
Posted by litteacher8 on March 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM (Answer #10)
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