Overview on “Terrorism”
Terrorism literally is a movement or a system that uses violence to create a general panic in order to achieve either a political or a holy goal . Although the term was first used to describe the violence of the French state towards its revolutionaries in the 1790s, it became more accurate as a phenomenon in the 21st century under different groups such as: Taliban in Afghanistan, Jihadist in North Africa and the main nest “Al Qaeda” which became an international network that threatens the western bloc especially the USA. After the 9/11 attacks on the American soil, George W Bush launched the “War on Terror” against terrorist groups in different countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and recently Yemen. In fact, this issue of terrorism and war on terror is a wide labyrinth because the target is transparent and therefore such war will only destroy the lives of millions of innocents. Correspondingly, other countries such as: the UK and Australia , who have also been a terrorist target, supported the USA and agreed on creating a global anti terrorist network. Others countries, such as Germany preferred the inter-state cooperation against terrorism rather than war because terrorists will launch more attacks and hence take away more lives. Indeed, the American choice to go for war against such weak nations has created massive long term problems in fields of: economy, politics, culture, society and environment. Five years after 9/11, war on terror had radicalised Pakistan and placed the nation on an uncharted political, economical and social course .
Overview on “Human Security”
Historically speaking, the focus on individual’s lives occurred in 1948 with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the GenevaConventions of 1949. Yet, this has been ignored and human security became more appreciated since the post Cold War era. Accordingly, many historians have questioned the reasons behind this sudden emergence of human rights debates after decades of total ignorance. Some argued that the end of the Cold War which allowed the birth of middle powers (Canada and Japan) as supporters of human rights and security on the international level and globalisation which opened a vast stage for the media and NGO’s (Non Governmental Organisations) to promote democracy, are the major wake-up calls for the entire globe. “Human Security” can be defined in different angles since there has been no universal definition for the term. The terms “Freedom from want” and “Freedom from fear” had first been introduced in 1941 by the U.S president Roosevelt who envisioned a better world through them and which were the basics of the United Nations in 1945. Lately, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) adopted the terms again in 1994 as other states did such as Canada, Norway and Japan. Human security can be the achievement of new stable conditions when recognising occurring threats during existing violence and the evolution of the human being to a better and safe social and political environment. It is also considered as a system in which any individual has the right to survival (physical protection from violence, prosecution or death), the right to livelihood (employment, education and health …etc) and the right to the basic dignity. Nevertheless, although the risks of global conflicts such as: WW1, WW2 and the Cold War decreased, new major threats occurred during the post Cold War era. For example: HIV/Aids, global warming, poverty and terrorism… etc.
“Human Security” in “War on Terror”
The impact of “war on terror” has been very harsh as it has targeted the basic fundamentals of human security. For instance: it hadre-shaped the political, environmental, economical and personal life of individuals. Since its beginning, massive human rights abuses and human security principles were scarified in the sake of freedom and democracy. Yet, none of the international organisations such as the United Nations ,which was supposed to protect individual’s lives, stood by its principles due to the fact that such organisations are heavily controlled by the powers who launched the war. Unfortunately, the consequences of this war will always remain present even when it ends. Indeed, war on terror had rejected the concept of “survival” which bans any kind of physical torture. Regrettably, air strikes had largely contributed in raising the number of innocent deaths especially those of women and children. In the war on Iraq for instance, the risk of death increased more after a year from US occupation of the country. In addition, the implications of landmines and explosive devices that may take more than a decade to clear are becoming a long term issue that will surely take away more lives. Another supplementary issue was “torture”. During anti terrorism war, hundreds of individuals were thrown in prisons such as: Abu-Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay without any justice only to appear in a court where all procedures are kept in secret files. According to Aning (2007:14): “CIA crimes in secret jails where prisoners faced more barbaric acts were videotaped for training purposes then destroyed after a consultation from the white house to keep the truth away from Americans”. “Video tapes showed naked prisoners in Abu-Ghraib, lying on the floor and beaten by US soldiers” he added. Indeed, there has been an increase in crimes and smuggle besides such as: murder, rape, kidnapping have all reached the peak and military forces have not been accused of war crimes.
Besides the abolishment of survival rights, the right of livelihood has also been destructed. Infrastructure, for instance, has transformedinto pieces of mud because of the continuing bombing on cities which pushed people to live in camps. Also, health and environment have both been harmed since the destruction of military basis such as armament and oil factories that produced chemical pollution and hence biological disturbance. The results could be shown in the creation of new contaminated areas from the excessive use of explosive ordnance and uranium missiles made from toxic substances. Indeed, Hospitals lacked medical supplies and non-operational sanitation facilities.Individuals therefore suffered from major long term diseases especially new born disables. Moreover, life facilities such as: potable water, gas electricity, and even food were unobtainable as most individuals rely on public food distributions since food infrastructures have been either damaged or neglected. According to the annual “Action Aid Journal” (2003:32): “30% of Afghan population could die by 2011as a lack of food and USA is blamed for this starvation”. Furthermore, Problems of education sector increased as many schools are either burned or destroyed. Others were closed because parents feared for their children being killed or kidnapped. .A recent UNESCO report (Education under attack- Iraq 2010) revealed: “The situation of schools and academics in Iraq became dangerous although security issues had improved”. Consequently, labour children and homelessness have increased in the streets as Koechler explained (2002:8):” Over two million Iraqi children were forced to work under devastating conditions, facing physical and moral abuses”.
Another major effect caused by the war on terror is unemployment which produces civil unrest. It is actually considered a major threat to governments since individuals tend to rebel or immigrate. Frankly speaking, living under occupation without the basis of security demolishes populations and allows extremism and violence to grow. ”Religious extremism destroys human security and drives societies through a dark path of undemocratic dictatorship agendas” believed Iannaccone (2009:28). A last effect of war on terror on human security was on the right of dignity. The term “dignity” is associated with the beliefs of the enlightenment epoch which call for the acknowledgment, respect and protection of human rights and development programmes such as: in technology and medicine. During the war on terror, none of the basics of human dignity were respected. This can be illustrated in the demolition of medical and science departments, research camps, self-development centers as well as the assassination of their savants and students.