City of Roses
I think you ought to answer my question first before I go on answering your question, Ringo! LOL!
Can you imagine someone like our very own Ford (ice) who happens to be of Quaker descent and blood being undeservedly monitored and being considered a threat to America? Can you imagine something as peaceful and non-political as the Gandhi Institute being monitored and considered a "threat" to America?
Anyway, I try not to be a procrastinator, LOL, so I'll certainly get right to this homework anyway, LOL! I'd also like to hear your own theoretical response, by the way, as I'm sure your intent in responding in this way is to try and expect me to be silent or vague in my ideal response, and I'm sure the most honest answer for the average American would be that living an experience would be far more convincing than envisioning an experience, so there's no "ideal" answer!
As I mentioned before, from what I had seen of Bush in the first few weeks following 9/11, I supported him and believed he was doing a great job trying to help the country mend and unite the country. What I wasn't aware of was how he was thinking and behaving outside the public eye; he was exploiting the tragedy for political and wartime excuses, largely because of the John Yoo memo; he was lead to believe because his lawyer gave him permission to do anything he wants in wartime, that was just it.
I would indeed be deeply concerned of the realness of the threat and of possible future patterns of attacks like that, but I'd also be mindful and ethical in my demeanor to in protecting the American public. I would be reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin in my next parade of decisions: "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."
And again, mind you that this is only a generalized version of how I'd respond, as you could write a book on the detail-by-detail scenario of how you'd truly respond, LOL, but I would encourage the Pentagon to boost defense spending. By that I mean not funding of F-16 nuclear-capable fighter jets and C-130J cargo planes that can't even hold large quantities of cargo or fly under cool weather conditions, but the strengthening of technology and tools that are credible and proven effective to respond to all outcoming threats.
I'd recognize that the purpose of our military is to defend OUR country, defend OUR freedom. Under the most critical of circumstances when tyrants are abusing their people and such, I would deploy a reasonable number of personnel to capture and apprehend the guilty consciences and bring them to justice without resorting to war, but recognize their main purpose is to defend our soils and would have them well-trained and prepared to respond to potential threats while also abiding by the Posse Comitatus Act.
In terms of domestic security, I would hold an equal degree of concern while also keeping my nose above cynicism. I'd encourage a more sophisicated neighborhood watch program, where anyone from the public can respond to any suspicious credible threat, and indeed because many neighborhoods would have a nut, the police and other law-serving institutions would have access to a database of acknowledged and suspected criminals, and ethical guidelines would be implemented to respond to all those particular listed nuisances.
My general behavior would be that I should serve a great role in protecting the American public, but that I should also not be over the law and would make decisions within the law so as to not encourage younger generations that it's OK to promote an attitude of lawlessness. In contrast to Bush, I'd also be more open with the public and less secretive, as I believe that indeed there's some knowledge that terrorists should not have access to, but being heavily secretive to your own people is also incredibly dangerous and should have the right to know more of what's happening.
I'd push an anti-terror legislation like the USA Patriot Act that would effectively respond to terrorist threats here at home without such provisions that exploit the average American citizen's rights of privacy and civil liberties (as under Sections 206, 213, 214, 215, 216, 218, 411, 412, 505, and 802.)
When handed information in that it is suggested that al-Qaeda/Saddam Hussein were behind the attacks, I'd most certainly condemn their actions, but remain true to my nature and recognize the philosophy I share with H.G Wells as written in his publication "Things To Come": "If we don't end war, war will end us" I'd do everything within the law in an ethical and flexible manner to respond and capture the proponents of terrorism in all lines of domestic defense, while also remaining defiant to considering war as an option to stopping them; because intervention historically has only brooded more tension and conflict.
In economic terms, I'd respond to the tragedy under the belief that strengthening the American family strengthens America. While giving a sensible amount to the Pentagon to help build our defense infrastructure, rather than spending billions and billions on overseas war campaigns like the Bush Administration has and unnecessary Pentagon military weapons technology, I would reverse the extraordinary trend over the last few decades in weapons spending and use that money in beginning to work towards seeing America finally becoming a country with universalized health care, expanding the food stamp policy, and responding to the long-overdue minimum wage crisis by increasing it, and depending on economic trends over the span of a few months, boosting it to a living wage standard. My main domestic economic motto would be "A stronger American family makes a stronger America".
In terms of foreign policy, I'd operate in considering the four particular motivations to war: the willingness for humans to kill other humans, the belief that resorting to armed conflict is sometimes justified, the absence or fracturing of effective antiwar cornerstones, and the fact that weapons and arms are in existence. The central message I'd make to the world is though humans are capable of violence, they were also capable of other heinous acts which now are condemned by popular worldwide opinion in modern times, including slavery and cannibalism. Therefore, there’s reason to believe and have optimism in that if mankind has learned lessons in that slavery and cannibalism are wrong, it isn’t hopeless to believe someday mankind can finally stop and reflect on that wars continue to happen yet they don’t tame the scars that afflict families, children, cultures, the environment, and the world in general. All that needs to be done is to follow the examples of the pioneers who persuaded the world that slavery and cannibalism are crimes against humanity and convince the world to rise up and take to the grandest philanthropic mission the world has witnessed yet.
I'd think each foreign policy decision with something along the line of what Louis Kriesberg, a Social Conflict professor from Syracuse University, said: "Competition is continuous and impersonal, conflict is intermittent and personal.” The first step always begins with you, its origin resonates from your very individual heart; let peace begin with you, then let this peace come to your family and friends, then make baby steps from there. In following this example, we would put a human face on the other, which is the first step toward persuading peaceful dialogue between one another.
Which would also bring me to how I'd respond to terrorism in the world. I'd consider some of the root causes of terror worldwide; social inequality, poverty, inavailability of resources, etc. My main approach in responding to these types of threats would be adopting cooperative management processes in preparing and remedying conflict, which include opening forums for all related joint negotiations, behaving ambiguously to other interests in enhanching management, collaboration in the process, and strengthening the negotiation skills of the world’s less powerful interests. In following this sort of approach, third parties can develop which can serve as mediators between the conflicting interests of the major parties, as well as facillitate a most democratic, public forum where cooperation can be fulfilled.
In terms of conflict in general, I believe there to be a triangular model in peacemaking and conflict resolution in general; efforts to prevent conflicts related directly to the environment, attempts to initiate and maintain dialogue between parties in conflict, and initiatives to create a sustainable basis for peace. I would act under the influence that all three components are essential in completing the peacemaking process and to ensure all the cavities among each conflicted party are filled, for if you were only to focus on the prevention of environmental conflict in its physical form, then we tend to discount the relational aspect of conflicted parties, the marginalizing, social inequality and injustice that instigates much social conflict in general, and moreover if you engage parties through dialogue but struggle to come up with a bilateral sustainability measure, the conflicted parties technically remain in nothing better than a ceasefire, which would only leave a lose-lose situation behind.
In the more extreme of circumstances, which I recognize do happen, where indeed there are dictators and troublemakers who abuse their own people and such, I would order secret units and such to go and capture such individuals and have them most severely penalized under the International Criminal Court, under fullest respect of the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and international law in general.
And finally, I would always let the general public, which I expect those like yourself, have the fullest right to publicly dissent and disagree with me in that you feel I'm not doing everything I can to ensure your protection, and would never resort to demonizing or polarizing you and other opponents with "either you're with us or you're against us" rhetoric or "you're advocating a policy that makes our nation weaker" language. I'd say I am understanding of your concerns, and politely disagree with you while also allowing you to be heard.
Again, that's the generalized version of what I'd do and how I'd react, and I expect you'll probably disagree with much of it. I just happen to believe acting above the law, imposing a more Big Brother-ish operation in trying to secure our nation and engaging in an epic war in the Middle East in the false hope to bring an absolute end to terrorism only hurts us all in the long run, and further isolates us from the international community. I really hate to make such talk like this political, but I can't possibly begin to believe allowing secret prisons overseas, monitoring on voices of dissent, and some in our administration even advocating torture, improves our image as a nation to the rest of the world.
OK, there I go! You may criticize me as you wish, but I also am interested in hearing how YOU'D respond!
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"