The United States of America Experienced a Drastic Change

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After September 11th of 2001, The United States of America experienced a drastic change in history. On that day, 4 planes got hijacked and were on route to a destination of destruction. Each of the planes got hijacked over by 19 foreign terrorists who were part of a group called Al-Qaeda. The attackers planned this out for a while and was finally carried out. “The attack had been planned for 5 years between Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed”(Heimer). Osama Bin Laden had claimed to have been the one responsible for this act of terrorism.

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2 of those planes crashed into the World Trade Center, also known as the Twin Towers. One plane had crashed in the Pentagon, damaging the west side. The other plane had crash-landed in a field after gotten taken back by the passengers. Many had lost their lives and loved ones that day and had suffered dramatic trauma ever since then. “2,996 lives were lost, (including the 227 passengers and crew on the planes and 19 terrorists), and thousands were injured” (Heimer). It took a lot of money and time for the world to recover from this event. The attack on the World Trade Center was considered ground zero for this act of terrorism. The two buildings collapsed and ended up as one of the most damaging and dangerous attacks in United States history. Even after the initial attack on the World Trade Center, people were still suffering from dust and debris. This event went on to define what an act of terror can be and what it could do. Ever since the attack, the United States of America had felt a great impact and changed through the actions taken to deal with terrorism such as changes in the security and immigration policies, changes in the power and structure of the government, the treatment of Muslims and Arabs.

The United States since the attack had made a lot of changes to their security and immigration policies. They found that there was a weakness in the policies. To protect the homeland, change was necessary. “All nineteen hijackers had visas to enter the United States. However, eight had passports that showed evidence of fraudulent manipulations, and another five had “suspicious indicators” (Rudolph). The hijackers were able to enter and plan their assaults because of how easy it was for them to get in. To prevent this, the United States continued in their changes to their policies. “In accordance with provisions contained in both the Patriot Act and EBSVERA, Border Patrol deployment along the U.S.-Canada border was tripled from 2001-2004, increasing from about 350 to about 1,000 agents” (Rudolph). The United States had done this due to knowing that possible terrorists had plans to come from the northern borders as a way to infiltrate into the United States. They also had done this because the border security was a significant weak point.

This was a preemptive move that they had taken. Many of the things that the United States had done in this time of danger and pain were done for the protection of the citizens and people within the United States. The actions taken were to enforce that this event would have less of a chance of happening again in the future. The United States made it harder for such things to occur. “The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), established in 2002, required male foreign visitors from “politically sensitive areas” (primary Muslim and/or Arab states) over the age of 16 to register with the INS” (Rudolph). They had ended up doing this as an act to prevent any possible cases of attacks again. The United States of America had to do whatever they could to limit the possible attacks that could have to happen. No matter the possible downfalls. In order for the peace to continue even more, improvement in the policies and security had to occur. The Government also had a big change in the way that they had changed during this event.

After seeing that there were cracks and loopholes in our government system, even more reinforcement had begun. The war on terror had begun and it affected everyone. “President Bush was clear in his response to 9 / 11 that “we’re at war. There’s been an act of war declared upon America by terrorists and we will respond accordingly. My message for everybody who wears a uniform is to get ready” (Roach). This signifies the start of the war. This was a turning point of what had occurred. It was definitely not a time of peace anymore. On September 14th, the Senate passed the Authorization of Use of Military Force. “The AUMF was a broad grant of authority to use force against both nations and nonstate actors. It focused on the use of force against those responsible for the attacks and as a means to prevent future attacks” (Roach). This marks where the military combats had started to form in response to this crisis. Shortly after this passed, the Patriot Act had passed on October 26, 2001. It passed at a lightning fast speed. It had very little opposition to it when it passed. Yet many had very strong feelings about it. The Patriot Act enacted to fill gaps in the domestic intelligence gathering. It gave the government power with little checks and balance to it. “The act expanded the range of crimes that could be tracked by government agencies using electronic surveillance. Federal authorities were granted authority to use “roving wiretaps” on any phone that a suspected terrorist might be expected to use. Law enforcement officers could now conduct searches of suspects without notifying them until later, a tactic that became known as a “sneak-and-peek” operation” (Atkins). This act was very controversial.

Many had felt that this gave the government too much power and that it was abusing and stripping the rights of the people. Meanwhile, the opposite side felt that in such a time, this was necessary in order to help aid in winning the war of terror and preventing any chance of a terrorist strike from ever happening again. The Patriot Act also went to define the meaning of terrorism. “Both international and domestic terrorism were defined under the Patriot Act as “violent acts or acts dangerous to a human life” that violate American laws and that “appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping” (Roach). The government strengthened itself and had started to find a way to improve on what they could. The United States would go on to add more security measure inside and outside of themselves. To prevent terror from raising and having another chance to cause a catastrophe. Meanwhile, when this was all going on, a group of people were getting discriminated and were facing a lot of prejudice.

Even before the attack, Islamophobia had been around. It was not until this attack that the intensity and damage grew to indescribable proportions. After the world had heard of what happened, the Muslims and Arabs had to stand on their own when all this was going on. “Much of the anti-Muslim sentiment in the post-9/11 context has revolved around the notion of Muslims being violent and threatening to Western nations” (Bakali). Even though President Bush publicly said that the enemy was not the Muslims and the Arabs inside of the United States, that no one should have to face unfair treatment due to the color of their skin and the religious faith they held. They were still perceived as a threat by many of the citizens. A lot of them had suffered mistreatment and were not even given a chance. Many of them were even denied access to the United States and lost opportunities to get a better life. “From across the Arab and Muslim world, thousands of students were unable to continue studies in the U. S., professors could not return to teach, jobs and fellowships were lost, and medical treatment and chemotherapy in the U. S. were discontinued” (Cainkar). In the land of the free and chances, they had the rights they were given taken away. The chance to get a better life gotten stripped and destroyed from them. They were put into a red blaring spotlight that screamed out dangerous. “Those actions included interrogation of large numbers of Arabs and Muslims, arrests and indefinite detention of some, deportation of thousands of Muslims on any legal ground that was available, and fingerprinting and registration procedures targeting people from selected countries. All such measures led to the stigmatization of Muslims as a dangerous and hostile group” (9/11 Attacks and Racial/Ethnic Relations). They were targeted often by others due to what they had looked like and what the world had believed of them. For them, being able to travel was out of the question, “People of Middle Eastern and South Asian origin have been subjected to racial profiling by the aviation industry and the federal transportation security personnel—the phenomenon has been described as “flying while brown.” Passengers continue to be “selected” for heightened screening, subjected to degrading, hostile, and humiliating interrogation practices prior to boarding,” (9/11). Many of them who did not pose a threat was already discriminated as a criminal. A lot of the times they were searched and screened because of their nationality or the way that they had looked.

Even those that were American born had to face these dangers, “Against this backdrop, the term “post- 9/11” holds ominous meaning for Detroit’s Arab and Muslim Americans. It stands for a time/space in which they were linked to enemy Others and were expected to prove their loyalty to the nation-state in ways other Americans were not” (Shryock). Even though they were not the caused of what had happened, they still suffered. “In the aftermath of 9/11, Arab and Muslim Americans have been compelled, time and again, to apologize for acts they did not commit, to condemn acts they never condoned, and to openly profess loyalties that, for most U.S. citizens, are merely assumed” (Shryock). The discrimination and prejudice that they faced went on to show itself in the people of the United States even more. “Many of the people inside of the United States had felt that change must be made. “In September 2001 83 percent of Americans wanted to restrict immigration from these countries,while the percentage decreased to 76 percent in June 2002” (Costas). Many from different places outside of the United States were already discriminated. Even though the percentage of Americans had dropped. The number was still a great deal of citizens. The discrimination that the Muslim and Arabs had faced during this time were not a great moment in the history of the United States.

When one considers the actions that have occurred to the United States and how they have changed and handled the situation since the attack. It is very clear to see that the attack of 9/11 was a pivotal point in history for the United States. It goes on to mark the start of a great deal in the change of security and the policies, changes in their government, and in the way that many Muslims and Arabs were treated during this times and onwards. This event goes on to help the United States develop and grow in order to help put a possible end to terrorism. This is the point where terrorism can truly gets defined by the death, pain, and suffering that was caused. The attack of 9/11 had left a great impact. Many had lost their lives that day and it goes on to show the damage that could possibly occur in a situation like it. The people of the United States who lived through such an event will never forget it. The treatment of the Muslims and Arabs were very unjust in this time. Even though President Bush had sent out a public message to not do such things as discriminate and cause unjustly damage. It still had happened to a lot of them. The United States in response to this crisis had to make a lot of changes within and outside of itself.

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The United States of America Experienced a Drastic Change. (2019, Sep 13). Retrieved from