The war on terrorism and the end of human rights

Introduction: Wars and Terrorism Threaten Civil Liberties and Human Rights

the war on terrorism and the end of human rights

Debating the "War on Terror": Two Appraisals of Obama, Human Rights, and Counterterrorism Policy

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That until the basic human rights are equally Guaranteed to all, without regard to race Dis a war That until that day The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship Rule of international morality Will remain in but a fleeting illusion To be pursued, but never attained Now everywhere is war, war. Bob Marley 1. Acts of war or terrorism challenge the human rights framework almost to the point where it seems to collapse. It is hard to see any place for human rights when human life is deliberately targeted, or where it is seen as "collateral damage" in the course of mass bombing campaigns, which either directly or indirectly lead to sickness, disease, suffering, destruction of homes, and death. In times of war, particularly wars which last for years on end, every human right appears to be affected adversely.

Skip to content. We extend a special thanks to Renee Jones and Stephen Wermiel, Human Rights editorial board members, for their assistance as Issue Editors of this edition covering laws of war. We are also grateful to Mark R. Shulman, who offered invaluable contributions as an Issue Editor. Every war prompts Americans to go against the very essence of the Constitution for whose truths they are waging that war: Congress passed the Alien Sedition Act in the s; President Lincoln abrogated habeas corpus during the Civil War; the country adopted restrictions on alleged subversives in WWI; and during WWII the nation interred , Japanese, half of whom were American citizens.

Criticism of the War on Terror addresses the morals, ethics , efficiency, economics, as well as other issues surrounding the War on Terror. It also touches upon criticism against the phrase itself, which was branded as a misnomer. It is argued that the term war is not appropriate in this context as in War on Drugs , since there is no identifiable enemy and that it is unlikely international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means. Other critics, such as Francis Fukuyama , note that " terrorism " is not an enemy, but a tactic: calling it a "war on terror" obscures differences between conflicts such as anti-occupation insurgents and international mujahideen. With a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and its associated collateral damage Shirley Williams maintains this increases resentment and terrorist threats against the West. Various critics dubbed the term "War on Terror" as nonsensical.

While some perhaps most notably Dick Cheney contend that restricting human rights is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, others argue that the practice fuels terrorism by increasing support for extremists. Political scientists James I. Walsh and James A. Piazza of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte find the latter true. Their research , which compares records of terrorist attacks alongside a country's documented respect for rights, appears in the latest issue of Comparative Political Studies. The authors argue that violations of a person's physical integrity through things like extrajudicial killings, torture , disappearances and political imprisonment should be linked to terrorism because "those rights resonate with universal ideas about human dignity.

Krasner characterises the evolution of rights as shifting from religious tolerance, to minority rights in its protection of specific ethnic groups, to its current form of universal human rights. We, the People of Earth, are fundamentally, self-evidently, equal. Historically, there has been tension due to North-South contrasts on the emphasis of different elements of HRL regimes. Recognising the interdependence of socio-political and socioeconomic rights in the decades after the formal adoption of the ICESCR, Western governments moved towards more Keynesian forms of economic organisation. With the de-escalation of East-West tensions in the post-Cold War era, the emergence of neoliberal-neorealist intersections came to dominate foreign and domestic policy discourse. Non-Western perspectives have challenged the universality of HRL on the basis of its Eurocentric origins and potential neo-colonial utility. In recent years, the challenge to human rights as a universal concept has lost much of its legitimacy, with greater acceptance of universal rights, despite acknowledgement that such rights have their origins in the West.

War on terrorism , term used to describe the American-led global counterterrorism campaign launched in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, In its scope, expenditure, and impact on international relations , the war on terrorism was comparable to the Cold War ; it was intended to represent a new phase in global political relations and has had important consequences for security, human rights , international law , cooperation, and governance. The war on terrorism was a multidimensional campaign of almost limitless scope. Its military dimension involved major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq , covert operations in Yemen and elsewhere, large-scale military-assistance programs for cooperative regimes, and major increases in military spending. Its diplomatic dimension included continuing efforts to construct and maintain a global coalition of partner states and organizations and an extensive public diplomacy campaign to counter anti-Americanism in the Middle East.



The End of Human Rights?

War and terrorism

There is no doubt that the human rights movement is facing the greatest test it has confronted since its emergence in the s as a major participant in the international order. One has to go back to to find Roth writing in a relatively sanguine way about the future of human rights across the globe. And though in the report Roth claims that things may not be as bad as they have been for the previous three years, he leaves no doubt that they remain very bad indeed. Strip away the activist language and what emerges is a human rights movement forced to refight and relitigate battles it once thought won. Human Rights Watch is not alone in calling for an all-hands-on-deck response from its supporters.

The death of Osama bin Laden is being celebrated across the US. This article however highlights how the extra-judicial killing of bin Laden by the US military undermines the rule of law and paints an ugly picture of the Obama administration. Open Democracy.

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, President Bush stated that the perpetrators of the deed would be brought to justice. Soon afterwards, the President.
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