POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Liberal Democracy, Hamid Karzai, Osama Bin Laden

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POL101LECTURE#119/11&Terrorism:
9/11:
● OnSeptember11,2001,terroristsconnectedwithanorganizationcalledAlQaedaflewtwo
airplanesintothetwintowersoftheWorldTradeCenterinNewYorkCityandathirdplaneintothe
Pentagon–theUSmilitaryheadquartersinWashingtonDC.
● InSeptember2001,veryfewpeoplehadeverheardofAlQaeda.Intelligenceagencieshadbeen
monitoringtheiractivities,andmayhavebeenawarethattheorganizationhadplanstostrikea
majorUStarget,butformostpeopleintheworldAlQaedawasabrandnewpoliticalactor,andone
thatwouldsignalaprofoundchangeinworldpolitics.
● In2001,mostpeopleinthisroomwereabout4yearsold.9/11hascastashadowthathasshaped
thecontextofworldpoliticsformostofyourlives.
● Bysomeaccounts,theplantouseairplanesasweaponsagainsttheWorldTradeCenteroriginated
in1996,althoughorganizationdidnotstartuntil1998or1999.Thesocalledprimaryhijackers,the
oneswhoflewtheplanes,arrivedintheUSatdifferenttimesin2000,andtookflyinglessonsin
Arizona.Thesecondaryhijackers,thosewhoforcedtheirwayintothecockpits,killedthepilots,and
subduedpassengers,enteredtheUSinthesummerof2001.OnthemorningofSeptember11,
nineteenhijackerstookcontrolof4commercialairliners.ThefirsttwoflightsleftLoganAirportin
Bostonatabout8AMandwerecrashedintothenorthandsouthtowersoftheWorldTradeCenter
at8:46and9:03AMrespectively.
● ThethirdflightleftWashingtonDullesairportat9:20AMandflewintothePentagonat9:37AM.
● ThelastplaneleftNewarkAirportinNewJerseyat8:42AMandcrashedintoafieldinPennsylvania
at10:03AM.
● Whenthefirstplanehitthenorthtower,therewereroughly14,000peopleinthe2buildingsofthe
worldtradecenter.Mostpeoplewhowerebelowthepointofimpact,whichwasaboutthe95th
floor,evacuatedthebuildings.Almostnobodysurvivediftheywereabovethepointofimpact.
Doorstotheroofsofthebuildingswerelockedandhelicopterswerenotabletogetcloseenoughto
thebuildingsbecauseoftheheat.
● CantorFitzgeraldinvestmentbankoccupiedfloors101105ofthenorthtowerandlost658
employees.
● Atleast200peoplefellfromorjumpedoutofthebuildings.
● Andthenthetowerscollapsed.Thesouthtowercollapsedat9:59AMandthenorthtowercollapsed
halfanhourlaterat10:28AM.Inretrospectitseemedobviousthatthetowerswouldcollapseasa
resultofthestructuraldamagetheysustainedfromtheimpactoftheplanes,theexplosionofthe
fueltanks,andtheheatofthefire,butthoseofuswhowatcheditallunfoldwereshocked.Itnever
occurredtousthatthebuildingscouldcollapse,andalmosteveryoneIknewknewsomeonewho
workedinthosebuildings.
● HospitalsinNYwereonhighalertimmediatelyafterthefirstplanecrash,allmedicalpersonnel
cametowork,ambulanceswerealldispatchedtotheWTCsite–butonly20people“survived”in
thesenseofemergingalivefromthecollapsedbuildingsinneedofmedicalattention.Peopleeither
escaped,ordied.
● Remarkably,about11,000peopleevacuatedthebuildingsbeforetheycollapsed.
● 2,606died.
● 125peoplediedatthePentagon.
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● AllflightsintheUSwereorderedtolandimmediatelyandUSairspacewasshutdownuntil
September13.CommercialflightsdidnotresumeoperationuntilSeptember14th.Flightswere
alsogroundedinCanada.
● BridgesandtunnelsinandoutofManhattanwerealsoclosed,andthelowerthirdofManhattanwas
closedtostreettrafficforaboutamonth.
PoliticalImplications:
● Thepoliticalfalloutof9/11wassignificantandlonglasting.Inanoutpouringofnationalfeelingand
patriotism,USPresidentGeorgeBush’sapprovalratingssoaredto90%.Youmaynotremember
thisbutlessthanoneyearbeforeBushhadactuallyLOSTthe2000electiontoDemocratic
candidateAlGore,byhalfamillionvotes.TheresultoftheelectionhingedonFloridawherethe
resultsweresoclosethattheytriggeredanautomaticrecount.Butbeforetherecountwas
completed,theUSSupremeCourtordereditstoppedanddeclaredBushthe54thpresidentofthe
UnitedStates.
● Inotherwords,Bushbarelysqueakedintothepresidencyatall,andhewasneverthemostpopular
president.AtleasthalfoftheAmericanpopulationbelievedhehadnotevenwonthepresidencyat
all.
● Hisapprovalratinghoveredatabout50%.Inademocraticsystem,approvalratingsmatter
becausetheyarearoughindicatorofhowmuchsupportyoucanexpectfromyourconstituency.
Withanapprovalratingof50%apresidentisnotinapositiontomakeboldmoves—it’sbusinessas
usual,thenormalcompromisesthatgoalongwithpolitics.Butwithadomesticapprovalratingof
90%,andcountriesaroundtheworldsuddenlywillingtosupportUSforeignpolicieslikerarely
before,Bushwaspoisedtomakeboldmovesandtoarrogateconsiderablepowertotheofficeof
thepresident.
● ManyoftheseinitiativesweresubsumedundertheheadingofsomethingBushnamedtheWaron
Terror.
● AccordingtotheNYT,forexample,daysafter9/11“Bushadministrationlawyersstartedtolayouta
visionofsweepingexecutivepowerdesignedtogivethepresidentauthoritytotakewhatever
actionshedeemsappropriatetopreemptorrespondtoterroristthreatsfromnewquarterswhether
ornottheycanbelinkedtotheeventsof9/11.”
Militantdemocracy:theuseoflegalrestrictionsonpoliticalexpressionandparticipationtocurb
extremistactorsindemocraticregimes. 
Liberaldemocracy:allpoliticalviewsareentitledtothesamerightsofexpressionand
association.
● Bushissuedhundredsofsecretorderssanctioningtorture,domesticsurveillance,andbypassing
congressionalapprovalorevenknowledgeonanymatterthatdirectlyorindirectlyinvolved
“homelandsecurity.”ThepoweroftheofficeofthepresidentoftheUnitedStateswasincreased
dramaticallynotonlyafter9/11butBY9/11,becauseitwasonlybecauseof9/11,inanatmosphere
offearandthreat,thattheideathatthepresidentshouldhaveunlimitedpowertoconducta“waron
terror”seemedreasonable.
● ThethreatofterroragainsttheUnitedStates,whichbecamesoevidenton9/11,unleasheda
regimeofmilitantdemocracyintheUnitedStates.
● Militantdemocracyistheuseoflegalrestrictionsonpoliticalexpressionandparticipationtocurb
extremistactorsindemocraticregimes.
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