What if a Terrorist Event at Raymond James Stadium Thesis

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Terrorism and Raymond James Stadium

FYI, I included an outline for you in Appendix 1, not sure if you needed it, as well as an abstract (on the house). Thanks!

Terrorism -- the idea of using violence against non-combatant populations to increase the psychological effects of warfare has been a mainstay of human aggression for millennia. As Russian revolutionist Leon Tolstoy once said: "kill one, intimidate one thousand."

In contemporary times, terrorism has moved from a regional (e.g. Serbian terrorist Princep and the onset of World War I) to using methods of terrorism at two major levels; international and transnational. International terrorism is becoming more endemic in the modern world; it is a set of terroristic goals that happens when a sovereign government, organization, or State condones their actions as part of a political paradigm. Because it is state-sanctioned, then, it is an act of war that uses the hegemony of a political process to hide acts of covert warfare. One prime example of this was the manner in which the former Soviet Union funded, armed, and trained numerous subgroups in disenfranchised countries as "freedom fighters" or guerilla combatants -- ostensibly to overthrow the illegal capitalistic governments, but really to establish a second wave of non-USSR personnel to put forth communism and the Soviet Union's political doctrine. Using nationalism as a motive, many of these groups attacked targets in Europe (both East and West), South and Central America, Africa, and certainly Southeast Asia. Even with weapons, funding proof, and "advisors," the U.S.S.R. could deny active involvement in these attacks, thus ensuring a more cogent conflict was not elicited between itself and the major Western Powers (Goren and Becker, 1984).

Conversely, terrorism committed by non-state sponsored organizations, or small sects or groups acting individually, is defined as transnational terrorism -- terrorism without a national or acknowledged political basis. These individual groups may, however, receive support from a broad base, including states and formal political entities, they are primarily focused upon their own specific goals which may or may not adhere to state political agendas, and sometimes only in the nature of causing uproar. We might point to the terrorist group Hezbollah, a pseudo-Palestinian organization that is powerful enough to be of interest to America's own State Department, and one of the chief means of destabilization within the Middle East. The group actually receives funding and support from numerous Arab governments. Its stated goal, though, is to eradicate Judaism from the Arabian Peninsula, which may or may not be the stated goal of Israel's neighbors, officially at least (Norton, 2009, 1-14).

In the contemporary world, terrorists are groups or individuals who use covert warfare to press for political, social, or cultural reform. Rather than using the political process though, they believe that violence is the only way they can prove to the world that their cause is just -- and the psychological terror engendered will engage the world, if not in sympathy, then at least in acknowledgement and fear that their cause is just. For example, in the modern state of Israel, there is some type of incident almost every week. Palestinian terrorists often send suicide bombers into mass transit, restaurants, schools; all in the name of making the game so violent that Israel will back down simply to stop the terror. This idea that violence will change political and social events often stems from a particular reading of Karl Marx -- in that terror will create and prolong a revolution, which will spring from violence, and like a set of dominoes, eventually take form for drastic social and political change. Thus, for terrorists, the utilitarian approach (the ends or the results justify the means) requires that some will die so that society, in the long-term, changes for the better (Booth, 2002; Kegley, 2002).

Raymond James Stadium -- Tampa Florida - What then, is the actual threat of nuclear material? Of radioactive bombs or devices planted in the locker of a train station, aboard a bus, or simply left as an unattended suitcase in a crowded shopping mall? The literature, when taken together, warns us of becoming complacent, yet still indicates that it remains quite difficult for a terrorist organization to produce or acquire weapons-grade, high-quality fissionable materials, but the likelihood of purchasing radioactive waste much more a potential threat (Russell, 2008; Straw, 2009). Despite the research, however, there are those who are respected scholars who believe that the fear of WMD are overblown, and that while the potential is there, the overwhelming complexities are not likely to be overcome by a splinter group (Bergen, 2008).

The very nature of terrorism, of course, is to engender fear and panic into the population base. Thus, targets are so numerous that complete protection of all is impossible. Targets could include any of the governmental buildings in Washington, D.C., courthouses or public buildings in major cities, malls, churches, and transportation centers in any town. Unless the materials are manufactured in the United States, though, the most likely targets are those that exist in coastal cities with larger port access (Smith, 2001).

Typically, terrorists have shown that their methods are most effective when the attack targets that impact the daily lives of individuals. These targets may be located anywhere, but are more likely to be in larger urban areas in which there is a chance for greater collateral damage and disruption of individual routine -- large civilian crowds, or any place where a number of people gather, like a sporting arena or stadium, which has the added effect of causing panic in what has become to many a national pastime. Thus, the combination of a port city, or city near a waterfront, and an event with a large group of civilian populations, makes the Raymond James Stadium a likely target for terrorist actions.

The Raymond James Stadium, known to locals as "The Ray Jay," is home to Tampa's Buccaneers and NCAA's Flordia Bulls. It seats about 66,000 people, but is expandable. It has been serving the area since September, 1998 and has also been the host, primarily due to the balmy weather and layout, of numerous championship games. In fact, the largest crowd ever recorded in the stadium exceeded the 66,000 in an October 2009 tour from U2 at over 72,000 ("Stadium Facts," 2009). Like most sporting arenas, there are a number of large entrance/exit modes, making it easier to move large numbers of people into the stadium as quickly as possible. This also makes it easier for potential terrorists to block entrances, and with crowds this large, to deliver a weapon in a fake soda or fast food dispenser, dropped into the stadium, or numerous other ways of getting either suitcase sized nuclear weapons or similar bioterrorism hazards into the arena.

The War on Terrorism - There are numerous political and social debates regarding whether the world is indeed "at war," based on the aftermath of 9/11. The 9/11 attacks were the most successful terrorist event in history. Besides the civilian casualties, the attack destroyed billions of dollars in property. Billions more in economic losses were caused by the slow down in economic activity in the weeks following the attack. More important than the economic losses, and perhaps even more significant than the tragic lose of life, was the damage that the terrorists inflicted on the most important symbols of American economic and military power, and the manner in which the attacks changed the perception of not only the United States to the rest of the world, but the world looking to the United States (Jacobson, 2008).

There are three important aspects to consider when dealing with the case of this terrorist attack. First, what were the events leading up to the September 11 attack, Secondly, the measures against terrorism that are threatening civil liberties, and finally, how should America respond in ending the war on terrorism? That this is a war is moot -- by any reasonable definition, the United States has declared war on terrorists, and terrorist states (Ibid).

Changes in U.S. Policy Since 9/11 - Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the government have implemented several means in their attempt to safeguard the United States against further terrorism. President George Bush has gone as far as searching for war in order to justify the phrase "the war on terrorism." The Government's war has, however, come dangerously close to home. Means of electronic survey and data storage have become to play an increasingly large role in security measures against terrorism. The problem is that these measures have become so stringent that they impact seriously on the rights of law-abiding citizens, while doing little of concrete value to curb the threat of terrorism. In terms of the constitution and the right of American citizens, the use of technology in the war on terrorism is becoming increasingly dangerous not for terrorists, but for ordinary citizens (Enderle, 2004).

The PATRIOT Act was implemented just after the 9/11 attacks in an attempt by the Government to communicate… [END OF PREVIEW]

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