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On September 11 2001 the World Came Crashing Down on the United States of America

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On September 11 2001 the world came crashing down on the United States of America. I can remember the tragedy like it was yesterday. I was a Senior in High School and my father woke me up by throwing me out of bed with a loud yell "The War has begun" I ran into the living room and stood petrified in front of the television set. I could not believe the sight of one tower burning and within moments I saw another plane strike the second tower and in seconds the buildings came crashing down. In retrospect that act of violence would change our security and give the government absolute power among the population. As Arendt states: "Violence can always destroy power; out of the barrel of a gun grows the most effective command, resulting in the most instant and perfect obedience. What never can grow out of it is power." (321) We as a country immediately felt unsafe and relied on the same government that failed to protect us to find the culprits and devour the soup with the tears of our enemies. The horrific attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon produced an agonizing grief that consumed the nation for days after the strike. The word power is synomous with violence. As John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton states: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely". Arendt's ideas about conceptual language utilize power and violence synonymously with terror, the effects of government legislation on the population, and the culture of human resistance.

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Usually we are led with the misleading notion that we are perpetrated because they serve someone's interests. Not surprisingly, the myth that humans are aggressive benefits the same elites who have had the most influence in shaping our culture: rulers, politicians, militarists, lawyers, clergymen, scientists, the wealthy. As Hannah Arendt states: "the self-defeating factor in the victory of violence over power more evident than in the use of terror to maintain domination". (322) Terror is not the same as violence; it is rather, the form of government that comes into human nature is indeed violent and war is inevitable, then we need large strong states with central governments. We need powerful rulers with mighty armies and cruel security forces. We need repressive laws to protect us from each other. We need guidance from our churches on how to keep our destructive instincts under control. It is not instinct that drives us to commit atrocities, but our culture. Culture is a human creation and was molded by the men who crave power and the domination of others. The terror attacks has changed the US society forever, while the effects of terror attacks on 9/11 had put under a threat the fundamental principles of the US democracy and traditional American lifestyle.

The legislative changes introduced shortly after terror attacks challenged and, to a significant extent, limited human rights and liberties in the US that provoked the repulsion of a considerable part of the American society accustomed to the democratic norm by passing the Patriot Act. Hannah Arandt says:

"To substitute violence for power can bring victory, but the price is very high; for it is not only paid by the vanquished,

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it is also paid by the victor in terms of his own power. This is especially true when the victor happens to enjoy domestically the blessing of constitutional government." (321)

The Patriot Act is a U.S. law passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Its goals are to strengthen domestic security and broaden the powers of law-enforcement agencies with regards to identifying and stopping terrorists. The passing of the Patriot Act has been extremely controversial. While I believe it has been instrumental in a number of investigations and arrests of terrorists, the act gives the government too much power, threatens civil liberties and undermines the very democracy it seeks to protect. However it does enhance our security and living standards. This in retrospect is what Henry Steele Commager was stating: "If we subvert world order and destroy world peace we must inevitably subvert and destroy our own political institutions first". (322) Which as a result is what took place we as a country were faced with violence by terrorism and we had to destroy a part of our legislation in order to defeat the threat and

We must face the facts that America has become a global power in the fight for freedom and democracy. Maintaining our comfortable standard of living requires maintaining control over strategic areas of the globe. With over sixty major military bases and hundreds of smaller installations scattered around the world, the U.S. is an imperial power. As an empire, we must expect resistance from people whose natural resources we

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wish to exploit, whose governments we try to subvert,



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