Can The World Be Rid Of Terrorism Without Damaging The Civil Rights Of Citizens?

3056 words - 12 pages

It will take the world a long time to realize the full meaning of the events of September 11. Even as the United States wages its war on terrorism, the rest of us still struggle to understand the impact of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. In uncertain times, it's easy for bad ideas to gain merit. Consider these: The US needs to shed idealism for revenge. Intelligence agencies must be unleashed, assassinations resumed and dirty warfare embraced. In a new age where the enemy - or shall we say enemies - can strike anywhere, the world needs to respond similarly. The United States' has vowed to rid the globe of terrorism; the big question here is, "at what cost?" Can terrorism be stopped without jeopardizing the rights and freedoms of individuals? The answer is no. The expulsion of terrorism from our lives will undoubtedly lead to an infringement on our democratic principles and human rights, making a terror free democracy an unfortunate oxymoron. Reforms to Canada's immigration system would unacceptably alter the structure of a country that boasts it's multicultural populace. An infringement upon simple, guaranteed rights of citizens will undoubtedly occur if effective anti-terrorism legislation is brought into place. The right to free speech, a presumption of innocence and privacy of the person cannot be guaranteed if terrorists are to be apprehended. Most importantly though, Canada's track record for maintaining human rights in times of crisis is far from spotless. But are these legitimate claims? Is it necessary to make a distinct choice between security and civil rights? Is our current legislation not sufficient to adequately handle the terrorism problem now, without jeopardizing our rights and freedoms? Good questions that must be thoroughly discussed. The fact still remains that human rights are slowly being placed on the back burner. Our democratic balloon is being openly exposed to the pinpricks of revenge leaving it ready, and waiting for deflation.The events of September 11 have raised eyebrows over the state of Canadian and American immigration systems. Not so long ago, two men entered the United States on tourist visas then proceeded to attend flight school, a non-tourist activity, where they learned to navigate the type of airliners they would soon hijack and slam into the Twin Towers in New York City . The hijacker who plowed another jet full of civilians into the Pentagon was trained as a pilot in the USA after coming from Saudi Arabia on a student visa for an English course in California . His total cost was $110 for the application. No one followed up on whether he attended the English class, which of course he did not. Once they have entered the country, Immigration and law enforcement officials generally have no idea whether the visa holder is complying with any of the terms of his or her visa. In addition to all of this, initial investigations indicated that Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of September 11th events,...

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