Research Paper: September 11Th Shocked and Enraged

Pages: 9 (2812 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] (Wise, 2002, pg. 134)

Changes were called for, yet the lasting effect of those changes, if and how they ever occurred is still up for debate. Before September 11th there was significant questions regarding the security of the U.S. border with Canada: "U.S. Border Patrol had just 330 agents supported by a single analyst to intercept illegal border crossings along the 4,000-mile land and water border with Canada, 200 fewer agents than it had 20 years ago. U.S. Customs has routinely had half the existing inspection booths closed solely because of understaffing." (Wise, 2002, pg. 134) It is therefore safe to say that the public outcry for change, despite early indicators of financial and personal commitment by the U.S. And Canadian governments has not necessarily demonstrated real change along the Canadian border, especially with so much attention and allocation still focusing upon the southern border with Mexico, largely due to its international reputation for laxity and so much attention being paid to trade and financial concerns of delays that increased security might cause.

Leaders of the two nations initialed a 30-point "Smart Border" action plan in December 2001 and the respective federal governments have committed over $1 billion to improving border security and upgrading inspection facilities and the overall border infrastructure. President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Jean Chretien met at the border separating Detroit from Windsor in September 2002 and renewed their commitment to enhanced security while at the same time emphasizing the need to facilitate the steady flow of two-way truck and automobile traffic. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, it is imperative that border security be heightened and both nations are examining the feasibility of a North American security perimeter. However, the creation of a "smart border" must not detract from the steady movement of goods across the 49th parallel. (Fry, 2003, pg. 25)

With much of the research now focusing upon the semantics of terrorism, such as if international terrorism can be seen, legally as an act of war. (Feldman, 2002, pg. 462) There seems to be a point missed as the U.S. deals with the reality of prevention rather than the legal ramifications of acts of terror. Additionally, the early assessments of the new governmental agency in charge of homeland security included semantic legal ramification, questions of the permanence of the new governmental agency and also gave plenty of examples of the temporary nature of the office, at least in action. (Relyea, 2002, pg. 399) Most assuredly the initial acts of the homeland security agency have been reduced to a great degree by the practicality of the situation.

Ridge [Director of Homeland Security] reportedly acted on behalf of South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges to ensure that there would be no plutonium deliveries to a Savannah River nuclear power plant until a security and storage dispute was resolved. Similarly, he assisted Michigan Governor John Engler, who was having difficulties in his efforts to keep National Guard troops on duty to help customs agents clear the way for goods and workers to cross the bridges from Canada. (Relyea, 2002, pg. 399)

Now, less than three years after the September 11th atrocities, the National Guard has returned home and the full effect of the new guard have yet to be realized.

Senior military authorities reportedly favor the establishment of a command to manage and coordinate armed forces deployed for homeland security within the United States, and a military draft to create a homeland security guard has been recommended. (5) Finally, it may be anticipated that some reorganization of the federal executive branch may occur relative to the homeland security concept. A Department of Homeland Security has already been proposed. (Relyea, 2002, pg. 399)

Within the time frame of this work some progress has been made toward the realization of security goals for borders, ports and entry points to the U.S. Yet, it remains to be seen either how these programs will effect the security of the nation or how they will continue to be funded given the fears that the Homeland Security development organization does not have the lasting power of some other agencies. It also must clearly be stated that time will be both of the essence and also direly needed to reestablish communication systems that have been in effect in the government security industry for centuries. (Lubin, 2003, pg. 48)

Additionally the voice and ideas of the American public have been once again refocused not on the threat of terrorism but on the threat of civil liberties to individuals as questions of racial tolerance are once again raised by outspoken groups and the general public. (Akram, 2002, pg. 61-87) Though, still a very valid point, in need of special address the discrimination against Arab and Muslim American's and immigrants can seriously jeopardize the process of securing our nation. It is clear that those law abiding citizens who have come to the United States to make a better life deserve protection and accordance, yet they as individuals are not likely to involve themselves in the kind of suspicious behavior that is being monitored at border crossings. How likely is it that many Arab-American's, even almost three years after the fact feel confident about international travel, and especially land crossings into Canada.

It can also be argued that the legacy of September 11th is in a great part still focused upon the actual physical cost of trade delays and problems. Many people have chosen to continue to look at obstacles increased security cause, rather than the unknown benefits.

September 11 left a large imprint on the bilateral economic relationship. For almost a week after that tragedy, trucks were lined up for as much as 20 miles trying to bring their cargoes into the United States, with some drivers waiting 12 to 16 hours. This was especially the case on the Ambassador Bridge that separates Detroit from Windsor and has about 7,000 commercial trucks crossing each day. (Fry, 2003, pg. 25)

Though all the issues that have been addressed by policy makers and the public alike, it remains to be seen if real change has or will take place at the border between Canada and the U.S. Emphasizing technology and financial as well as social implications of possible security solutions although very important, is not going to reduce the lives lost now or in the future. Yet, real work is being done and with any great luck and much urging by the public changes will continue to be implemented within the agencies that govern border safety.


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Dunn, T.J. (2001). Border militarization via drug and immigration enforcement: Human rights implications. Social Justice, 28(2), 7-18.

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Feldman, N. (2002). Choices of law, choices of war. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 25(2), 457-472.

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Lessons learned from the Oklahoma City terror bombing. (1996). ABA Banking Journal, 88(5), 12-17.

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O'Brien, E. (2001). In war, is law silent? Security and freedom… [END OF PREVIEW]

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September 11Th Shocked and Enraged.  (2003, December 15).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

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"September 11Th Shocked and Enraged."  15 December 2003.  Web.  16 June 2019. <>.

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"September 11Th Shocked and Enraged."  December 15, 2003.  Accessed June 16, 2019.