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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Imminent Danger: Terror from Home and Abroad

    The Crisis States Research Center defined a failed state as ‘a state that can no longer perform its basic security, and development functions and’hellip;has no effective control over its territories and borders.’

    This is an accurate definition, but I think it should be extended. Noam Chomsky, a political and ethical activist, said that states ‘that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a ‘democratic deficit,’ having democratic forms but with limited substance,’ are failed states. This definition is valid and we can see that the United States is becoming a fitting example for this category. If we look at each issue in turn, this should be clear.

    9/11 was merely a wake-up call of what is to come. If one were to accept that the government has arrested all of the potential terrorists they claim to have found, then it becomes clear that those individual motives for attacking the U.S. has grown exponentially. Furthermore, it will continue to increase if the same policies aren’t changed drastically.

    The U.S. cannot ‘protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction.’ This is evident in the rising crime rate, the school shootings, and the general lawlessness that runs rampant in the inner cities and suburbs. The state, honing the ideology of David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus, forces the population to accept a sink-or-swim mentality.

    Malthus informed us that a person ‘born into a world,’ in which ‘he cannot get subsistence from his parents’hellip;has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food.’ However, when we see this ideology functioning efficiently, we are left with the massive death that comes with Katrina, persistent and growing murder rates, and an utter disregard for human life.

    The U.S. has a long history of completely disregarding international law while attempting to dictate it to other states. In the prelude to the war against Iraq, Bush had said Saddam ‘answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance,’ then he arrogantly proclaimed the United Nations must decide ‘whether or not it is going to be relevant’ any longer. He immediately proceeded to commit the ‘supreme crime’ at Nuremberg, aggression against a sovereign state.

    The UN Charter, of which the U.S. is a signatory, has rules against the use of force. It stated quite clearly in Article 51 that force can only be used ‘in defense if an armed attack occurs.’ In 1984, the World Court, in the case of Nicaragua vs. the United States, charged the U.S. with violating international law and participating in the ‘unlawful use of force.’ It demanded the U.S. pay reparations and halt the attack. Yet, the judgment was met with disdain, ignored, and is now in the dustbin of history. These are just a few small examples of the pervasive lawlessness that has existed in American history for quite some time.

    The last issue is the ‘democratic deficit.’ This has been evident in the U.S. since its inception. The majority of the population does not even participate in elections. Some argue this is due to apathy, but I believe it is because people realize their interests are not going to be met regardless of who is elected. Citizens have no say in actual policy. They are bombarded with farcical issues like ‘moral values.’ The state is nothing more than a plutocracy held by oligarchic control. It seems the citizenry is aware of this, too. When the 2000 election was deemed stolen there was not much action taken outside of elite circles. ‘If one is flipping a coin to pick the king, it is of no great concern if the coin is biased,’ Chomsky observes.

    These issues should be of great concern to the population, and if immediate action isn’t taken the society is going to further deteriorate horrendously. The seeds of this future are already planted, and if the final judgments are left to the elite classes, then future catastrophes are imminent.

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