Welcome to Sociology
The Study of Society.
Sociology focuses on identifying, explaining, and interpreting patterns and processes of human social relations. This introductory course is designed not just to teach you some of the major findings of sociology, but to help you master fundamental sociological skills, including the ability to think with a "sociological imagination" as well as integrate "technological fluency" with "informational literacy" utilizing basic computer-based data analysis—skills which have broad applicability in a range of educational and work settings.
Our goal in this class is for you to gain a different perspective of a diverse world often taken for granted and to gain new insight into the ways that society shapes people and the way people shape their society. Our objectives are directed at building competence as a critical thinker and change agent so that you will better able to raise relevant questions about the direction in which society is moving, interpret social trends, and examine significant social problems.
It is my hope that this hands-on experience of "doing" sociology will both enliven your interest in sociological analysis and help you develop practical skills that you can use in other contexts as well. We can best understand the process of social interaction when we understand the person in place and in time. Our syllabus sets the place, time and process of this course for you the person.
Welcome to my world, your world, our world.
[[tab Society and Social Life]]
Binge Drinking Statistics
Binge drinking statistics tell us that binge drinking peaks between the ages of 18 and 22. Many of these drinkers are college students. However, high school students binge drink as well. Statistics indicate that binge drinking often begins as young as 13 years of age.
There are a large number of dangers of binge drinking. Health-related binge drinking statistics can be alarming. The following health problems have been found to be associated with binge drinking:
• Alcohol poisoning.
• Liver disease.
• High blood pressure, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
• Neurological damage.
• Sexually transmitted diseases.
• Unintentional pregnancy.
• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (if pregnant women binge drink).
• Unintentional injuries (such as car accidents, falls, etc.).
• Intentional injuries (such as injuries from firearms, domestic violence, etc.).
In addition, it should be noted that the younger one begins drinking, the more likely they are to develop alcohol dependence. For instance, nearly 25% of those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 17 become alcoholics, compared to 10% of those who begin drinking alcohol after 21 years of age.
Alcohol poisoning is one of the greatest dangers of binge drinking. It is a serious condition that can occur when the blood alcohol concentration rises too high. Symptoms include severe vomiting, depressed respirations, and seizures. It can result in coma and even death. Alcohol poisoning requires medical attention and often requires hospitalization in order to stabilize and monitor the patient. Binge drinking is not the only cause of alcohol poisoning, but it is a common cause.
The binge drinking statistics tell us that binge drinking as a whole is on the decline, yet it is still very common. Consider the following statistics:
• Binge drinking is most common between ages 18 and 22.
• 42% of college students report binge drinking.
• One in five college students is a frequent (weekly) binge drinker.
• Half of all students who binge drink do so more than once a week.
• Two-thirds of alcohol consumed by college students is consumed by binge drinkers.
• 60% of all problems with the police on college campuses (such as injuries, vandalism, etc.) involve binge drinkers.
College students often over-estimate the number of their peers who drink, however, and the amount of alcohol consumed by their peers, creating a false sense of pressure to drink.
The health care system in Canada is publicly funded most of which is private entities. Under the terms of the Canadian health care system, the publicly funded insurance plans are required to pay for medically necessary care, but only if it is delivered in hospitals or by physicians. Though these costs can differ in each of the provinces or territories, including long term care, home care, dental care plus many more.
The beginning of the public health care in Canada began in the Saskatchewan province around 1946. There was not enough doctors to go around so programs for community doctors, that were funded for that community. Soon other territories began to do this also using a union model. An act was passed that provided free hospital care to much of the public, it was passed pretty easily considering that the government had most o f the control on the health care. Other territories soon began to follow this model changing it somewhat here and there.
In 1961 all ten of the provinces had accepted some kind of the act mentioned above so they created one for all of the provinces the HIDS (Hospitalized Insurance and Diagnostic Service Act) which provided fund 50% of the cost of such programs for any provincial government that adopted them. The HIDS Act outlined five conditions: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. With the success of HIDS act another act was passed in 1966 called the Medicare Act, which extended the HIDS act cost sharing to allow each province to establish a universal health care plan for all of Canada. This lasted quite a while until 1984 when Canada passed the Canada health act which denied user fees and surplus billing by the patients doctors. The five conditions that were the central points of the HIDS act ; public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility, were also the main points in the Canada Health act that was passed.
Three tenths of all of the health care is funded by private bodies in the country. Most of this will cover services either not funded or only partially covered by Medicare. Many employers also will give insurance to their employees. This system is for the most part publicly funded and yet most of the services are provided privately. Most people like this system simply because it is for the most part free, but there are some critics of this system.
The waiting times are a big issue in Canada, it is almost easier and faster for an animal t o get into a vet than a person to get into the doctors up there. Mainly though it is tough to get a time in for specialists, it could take up to a month to get a time since there is a shortage on doctors and specialists like orthopedics. When someone is rushed to the emergency room they have an average wait time of two to four hours, which really is quite ridiculous. Though experts object to this saying if you do not have the money to pay the vet for the operation you simply would put the dog down, but with people you can not do that, just because you can not pay does not mean to just push them out of the hospital and tell them to find somewhere comfortable to die. The only way is to fund more money to get more doctors up there so there is not as long of a wait to get people in and out. To get the increase in doctors you need to get an increase in funding to be able to pay those doctors.
Comparison Between U.S. and Canada:
The United States is one of the very few industrialized countries that does not have some kind of universal health care or medicare type of programs. The united States have been told to look at how Canadas program is set up and to follow that same type of model so that all the people in America have equal shares to the doctors instead of only if you have the money to spend to take kids to the doctors office. It really is not fair.
The biggest difference in the two are how they get their money to the medicare systems. The Canadian system takes money from taxes to help pay the doctors for their jobs. Whereas the U.S. just pays the doctors through the hospital after billing families for their problems that they had to have fixed.
Health, Health Care, and Disability
Health care in the U.S.A to some people is a touchy subject. People can go on and on debating and discussing the issues of health care. Many people with disabilities feel as if they are not being treated properly and feel they don’t get enough money from the government. How much money is too much or how much money is not enough to give to people in need. Do you believe our American health care system is doing a sufficient job or should it be different?
The basic and ideal health insurance today is to have a good but cheap health insurance company. Depending on the situation when an accident occurs your health care provider may or may not fully cover your accident. There is a good chance you will have to pay a percentage of the fee that it cost for the doctor? Your insurance may not cover certain accidents or certain types of things such as chemotherapy or if you are pregnant. Your healthcare rate can also vary, so your monthly payment may not be the same month to month. The price for health care varies from family to family and person to person. If you have a family member that smokes your cost goes up. Or if the family has a bad history with heart problems or high cholesterol your rate may go up. With some jobs you receive full health care coverage. That means you shouldn’t have to pay anything on any type of injury or fault. Sometimes you even get dental and eye care. Anyone is available for health insurance. There are no restrictions on whether you can get health care or not. There are restrictions on other form s of healthcare or government aid.
There are different forms of government sponsored health care. Not everyone can qualify for government sponsored health care. You have to be disabled or past a certain age and there are a couple of other ways you can receive government sponsored health care. The two main types of healthcare are indemnity plans (fees for services) and managed care plans. There are differences in them, such as how much you have to pay out of your own pocket when an accident occurs. You may have to pay a percentage of each or pay a deductible. Medicare is a form of government sponsored health care. To qualify for Medicare you have to be at least 65 years of age or have some form of disability. It won’t pay the full amount of the bill but it will cover part of it, it will cover incidents such as hospitalization, surgery, home health care, or doctor’s bills. The amount of Medicare you receive will vary from person to person. Then there is Medicaid. It is still a form of government funded and sponsored health care. To qualify for Medicaid your income has to be below a certain amount or do not have the money for health insurance. The coverage that they offer though can vary also. Another form of government sponsored health care is called State Children’s Health Insurance Program. This form of insurance is state funded. This form of insurance is for children and there parents do not qualify for Medicaid. This program is not the same in every state. There is even a government sponsored health care program for American Indians. It is called Indian Health Services. It offers medical assistance to American Indians in need. You have to be eligible to qualify for HIS not every person can receive it.
Health Insurance should be available for everyone and everyone should know everything about health insurance. Many young adults fresh out of high-school or college don’t know much about health insurance. I think there should be some type of class or something where young adults should learn about health care and what it all has to provide. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know much about health care or what is right for me and I don’t think I’m alone. Half of the young adults in the U.S have a lack of knowledge of information about health care and don’t know what they need to make a good decision. A poll was done on the internet for 18-21 year olds and 67 % of young adults that took it don’t have a clue what they are going to do insurance wise after school is done.
Health Insurance isn’t a joking matter. Many problems are caused because people don’t have health insurance or don’t know much about it. You need to get the healthcare that is right for you. You need to know your options and what is all out there for you. I hope this has given you a little better idea of what is out there.http://www.iii.org/individuals/health/health/choices/
[[tab Social Groups and Social Control]]
The purpose of putting criminals in prison is to punish them for their crime by isolating them from society and rehabilitee them from a life of crime. This is a good thing if it was actually working. From what I have found in my research our correctional system isn’t working. The Kansas Department of Corrections has a mission statement that says, “The Department of Corrections contributes to public safety by exercising safe and effective control of inmates, by managing offenders in the community, and by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens.” Something our justice system isn’t working. (http://crime.about.com/od/state/State_Prison_Systems.htm) Forty percent of prisoners who spend one to four years behind bars end up back in prison for reoffending. The number of prisoners being returned to prison had quadrupled in the past four years. Official figures show that, of all prisoners released in 2001, sixty-one percent had been reconvicted within two years. An ex-con can be put back in jail if they fail to make it to an appointment or commit another offence. All of these returning cons are causing overcrowding in jails and the record prison population of 75,877 has hampered rehabilitation work. This is a significant factor in why so many released prisoners are retiring to prison. Ambitious psycho-logy-based courses aimed at changing offenders’ behavior have also not proved as successful as initially expected. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article526276.ece)
The population of prisoners has increases from about 200,000 to 1,500,000
The number of recalls to prison has gone from 1,500 a year to 6,500
Each year, data is obtained from a nationally representative sample of 76,000 households comprising nearly 135,300 persons on the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey enables BJS to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders. (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict.htm - 23k)
Violent crimes and property crimes have decreased in recent years. This was a decrease of 1.4 percent from 2006 to 2007. Property crimes have decreased by 2.1 percent from 2006 to 2007. Violent crimes are defined as actions consisting of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault involving force or the threat of force against others. A Property crime is defined as burglary, breaking into private property to commit a serious crime, motor vehicle theft, larceny theft, or theft of property worth fifty dollars or more, and arson or vandalism of property. In 2006 there were a total of 1,502,868 people arrested for felony and misdemeanor crimes. Out of that, 79.1 percent were men and 20.9 percent were women. 35.6 percent of all these arrests were felony charges. 65,000 of these arrests were felony charges on kids under 18 years of age. 40.3 percent of all the arrests in 2006 were Hispanic. 36.7 percent of the arrests were white and 17.1 percent of them were black. There were 126,342 arrests for violent crimes. Out of that 17,079 were under the age of 18 years old. 10,286 were between the age of 18 and 19 years old. 43,167 of the violent crime arrests were of the age 20 to 29 years old. 27,204 were between the ages of 30 to 39. 26,116 of the arrests for violent crimes were committed by people older than 40 years old.
For property crime arrests there was total of 144,761 arrests made. 25,703 were under the age of 18 years old. 25,703 arrests were people of the age 18 to 19 years old. 50,467of the arrest made were people of the age 20 to 29 years old. 27,606 of the arrests made were of the age 30 to 39 years old. 25,096 of the arrests made were people over the age of 40 years old.
For drug crime arrests there was total of 154,468 arrests made. 5,699 were under the age of 18 years old. 9,447 arrests were people of the age 18 to 19 years old. 53,389 of the arrest made were people of the age 20 to 29 years old. 38,596 of the arrests made were of the age 30 to 39 years old. 47,337 of the arrests made were people over the age of 40 years old. As you can see the number of arrests being made for drug crimes raises as the age of the people rises. This seems like the opposite of what I thought it was going to be. I figured that the arrests numbers would be greater for a younger generation than the older generation of people.
Organized crime is defined as a business operation that supplies illegal goods and services for a profit. Probably the biggest and most well known organized crime is the Mafia. The mafia is also known as La Caso Nostra, meaning “our thing” or “the mob”. The mafia started in the United States in the early 20th century when Italian immigrants came over knowing no English and lived in the same neighborhoods. Some Italians feared that they could not depend on the frequently crooked and intolerant local police for protection, and resorted to the mafiosi instead.
[[tab Social Inequality]]
Content of Tab No. 4.
[[tab Social Institutions]]
The Minnesota Twin Family Study started locating male twins born between 1971 and 1982 in 1989. In 1992, it expanded its investigation to female twins born between 1975 and 1986. It is a prospective study of the development of psychological traits like personality and etiology of psychopathology like substance abuse. This project studies the physical, mental, and social changes that occur in twins as they pass from childhood into adolescence and from adolescence into young adulthood. Participants are asked to visit the university for an eight-hour assessment which focuses on four areas: (1)academic ability, personality, and interests, (2) family and social relationships, (3) mental and physical health, and (4) physiological measurements. Participants are contacted annually and revisit the university every three years. Dr. William Iacono directs the male project, and Dr. Matt McGue leads the female project. Questions about this study can be directed to Kevin Haroian, its administrative director.
What's Special About Twins to Science?
• Identical (MZ) twins are genetic duplicates.
• Fraternal (DZ) twins share 50% of their genes.
• Both types of twins share common life experiences.
• These facts plus information we collect from you about how alike or different members of a twin pair are allow us to determine how genes and environment influence…
o falling in love
o personality development
o vocational choices
o talents and abilities
o body characteristics
o coping with stress
A. Your eye color:
Same color (1) Similar, different shade (0) Different color (-5)
B. Your (natural) hair color:
Same color (1) Similar, different shade (0) Different color (-5)
C. (Even identical twins sometimes differ quite a bit in height or weight as a result of accident or illness. In answering the questions below, try to ignore such differences.)
1. During your childhood, were you and your twin as alike as "two peas" or were you no more alike in appearance than ordinary brothers or sisters?
• Like "two peas" (3) Ordinary likeness (0) Quite unlike (-3)
2.When you were school age, were you similar enough in appearance so that people had difficulty telling you apart?
• Never (-2) Sometimes (2) Even family had difficulty (3)
3. Could you ever have fooled friends or family by pretending to be your twin?
• Yes (2) Maybe (0) No (-1)
Me and my Twin brother is more than brother he is like my heart I feel when he is in tubby I can tell when something is not right. We talk about everything even when we fight we do it do together when u see him u c me. Being a twin is the best thing that can ever happen to someone, u never alone always has someone to talk to fight with its really going to suck when the day come we have to go our own ways I really may not go thru with it because something happened to him I want be able to live with myself. But like they say everything happen for a reign we are both grown men but if he needs me just know I’ll be there no matter where he is. If my brother was to cut his hair we will look just a like so that why he grow his hair out so we can look differ but is so differ in so mean ways like our eye color is differ our still is a little the differ we love work out, hang with our boys . things like that but I love my brother shoo much so if u don’t have a twin to bad that is twin.
The family is the most important agent of socialization in all societies. Family is where our roots take hold and from then on continue to grow. Whether the family is formed by marriage, a single parent, or divorce the child learns most of their social values from the family. Most of us form a sense of self being and most of our beliefs within the family. We also learn language, attitudes, values, and norms, which is the cultural piece the family teaches. In the time of need, the family is the best source for emotional support. During a child’s life the home becomes a sanctuary of safety, and a place where they can go to be comforted. The family is significant in a young child’s life because the child has little social experience, so the only people he can go to is the family.
When we are born the family is where we acquire our specific position in society. We are born into specific racial, ethnic, social class, religious, and regional grouping. The sociologist Melvin Kohn said the social class is the strongest influence on how parents educate their children. If the parent is closely supervised and has certain orders at work, then they typically teach their children obedience. Additionally, if the parent has more freedom and flexibility at work, then the children tend to have more freedom to make their own decisions. Also, children are brought into a religious grouping by their parents. Christianity is a religion that invites children in by baptism to join the family God.
Many traditions and rituals are formed by the family which brings in a positive and safe environment. Rituals of bedtime stories, holidays, and family meals provide a sense of structure. As a child a bedtime story summed up the night and puts your mind to ease before bed. The holiday season for the family is a time of love and happiness. The joy of getting to see all your family is a comforting feeling. There is always a warm feeling in your heart when you can share the important moments in time with the family that helped you become who you are. Having a strong family bond helps to instill trust and belief in ourselves.
The most important thing to teach children is the importance of the family. The one constant in their lives will be their family. No matter the situation your family will be there for you some way or another. Together as a family you ride out the lows and highs whether it is a family member passing away or a wedding. The family teaches us that we can rely on each other and that each family member will be there for each other.
All of the values you learn as a child from the family help you survive in the real world. A family built on strong values creates a safe, positive, and supportive area for every member especially a child to thrive. They learn to work together and pass their knowledge onto the next generation.
Three elements that help create a strong family for a positive childhood are cohesion, flexibility, and communication. Cohesion is the feeling of being loved, and belonging to a group. With this element the child with feel safe and secure and can talk to another family member openly. Flexibility keeps the family stable and peaceful. Without this element the family environment would be chaotic. Communication is the key that holds the family together. Without communication the family can fall apart very quickly. With these three elements a child will thrive in a family environment like this.
The hardest part for the family to deal with is discipline. This element is what helps the child learn what is right and wrong. Also, discipline will lead to respect of a figure of authority. This development of discipline can only be learned from the family early one. The parent or elder is responsible for disciplining the child. Without discipline the child does not learn that they are responsible for their own actions. Always helping out the child with what they did wrong does not teach them. They will expect someone to help them out all time if something goes wrong. A child who is disciplined by the family will learn to accept responsibility and take actions with out the help of another person.
The family is the most important element to the development of the child. With the family the child will develop in a strong loving environment. The three elements of cohesion, flexibility, and communication are the glue holding the family together. The values that are learned from the family become knowledge that can be taught to the next generation. A strong family gives the child multiple people to go to for love, security, and emotional support.
1. "Family values: The importance of strong family bonds - by Kathy D - Helium." Helium - Where Knowledge Rules. 17 May 2009 <http://www.helium.com/items/629105-family-values-the-importance-of-strong-family-bonds>.
2. Kendall, Diana. Sociology In Our Times. 6th ed. Florence: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007.
3. "What are family values." Essortment Articles: Free Online Articles on Health, Science, Education & More.. 17 May 2009 <http://www.essortment.com/all/wahtarefamily_ralm.htm>.
[[tab Social Dynamics and Social Change]]
The definition of terrorism is defined by, United Nations report entitled Larger Freedom on March 17, 2005, it says:” Any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act”. Terrorism is used only to describe non-governmental organizations by the government the terrorist are fighting. Underground resistances groups are under the terrorist group too.
There are different kinds of terroristic behavior and they are usually grouped in these five types: Political, Psychological, Coercive, Dynamic, and Deliberate.
Political terrorism is a political act or is committed with the intention to cause a political effect. The terrorist who use this just merely side stepped the intermediate step of armies and warfare, and they use violence directly to political means.
Psychological terrorist use violence to cause psychological effect on a targeted audience per say. They aim at the audience instead of certain people or groups. They terrorize a population as a whole or decision making elites in society military, political, and as well as social populace.
Coercive terrorism use destruction to produce the action that they so desire, even if the casualties are not a result of the terrorist operation. For example, the terrorist successfully kidnap people the operation may result in the hostages being freed for a ransom or negotiations. Regardless of how it ends, the bargaining were a raw threat of violence to kill some or if the worst is to happen all of the hostages, and if they do not back up their threats they are deemed not credible and the terrorist fall.
Dynamic terrorist are the ones who demand change in the form of revolution, or political. There is a radical view justifying terrorism is that you have to use drastic actions to either alter or destroy the status quo. Even if the goals of the terrorist are reactionary, they use action to go back to the way it was before, or some system that is extinct. They don’t attack strangers or innocents so that they can keep things the way they are.
Deliberate terrorism is planned and thought out to achieve a particular goal. It is rationally and tactically thought out and is not just random acts of violence. Since terrorist victims are of little importance that one is as good as another in the terrorist purpose so that the violence may appear unprovoked or at random but the targets contain a symbolic value or capable of making an emotional response that is what the terrorist wanted. What you want to remember is that the real target of terrorist is not the victims but the psychological balance of the people.
Types of Terrorist Incidents
The most common forms of terrorist attacks include:
This is the most common form of terrorist act because improvised explosive devices are easy to make and are relatively cheap. The explosives devise today are small and harder to find then things of the past. They can use anything from artillery shells to fertilizer soaked in deisal fuel and the devices can be set off by anything from a cell phone to a garage door opener. The materials to make a bomb are readily available to the average Joe. The bombs have a very destructive for example in the Oklahoma City Bombing or when two bombs were detonated in Africa at the American Embassies that killed over 200 people and wounded over 5,000.
This is one of the most difficult for a terrorist or group to accomplish. This is where they take hostage or hostages to enable a bargaining position and they also may do it to bring some publisity to their cause. If the kidnapping is a success for the terrorist, they well are able to gain money for the ransoms or be able to get a government to release comrades in jail, or just get to be in the spot light for awhile. Now, on a larger scale the terrorist will take an entire facility or a ship but hostage taken unlike kidnapping puts the terrorist in contact with the authorities. The authorities can either take drastic action or comply with the terrorist demands. The terrorist do this to gain media attrition and the targets are the audience affected by the hostages’ confinement not the hostages.
These attacks are usually raids or ambushes. The terrorist may target a government leader or a person that is important to assassinate. They usually do this to establish a psychological effect. The most common form of armed attacks are drive by shootings because in can be used effectively by an unsophisticated or loosely tied organization.
Is when the terrorist use an incendiary device to burn a utility, hotel, government building, or factory. The incendiary devices are cheap and easy to hide. They can be anything from a motif a cocktail to just plain gasoline. This tactic is usually used by unsophisticated terrorist unit. They are usually not well organized, equipped, or trained like the major terrorist organizations are.
Is the seizure by force of any mode of transportation could be anything from a bus to a plane and its passengers or cargo. A Hijacking provides terrorist with a mobile barricade situation. Retaliation of hijackings is difficult for the authorities because of the mobility and the human shield factor.
There are many more acts of terrorism that are not described above. Terrorist groups may also maim their own as a form of discipline. In the swat valley in Afghanistan, there is reporting of headless bodies being found a crossroads with notes attached to them that condemn them of security violations, defections or informing. Also, terrorist may conduct robberies or extort from companies. They may also use cyperterrorism, where they can destroy networks and computers. The goal is to interrupt the government or business activities which are just as effective as blowing up the building.
By Brett Spresser
What Are We Doing To Stop Terrorism?
Terrorism has always been a threat to our nation. Recently we came under attack by terrorist. 9/11 will always be remembered by Americans not only for the lives lost, but for how this country pulled together as a nation and its defenses. Our country has never been as strong in national security as it was after that tragic day. However, the left wing democrats have taken down those defenses and put our nation back at risk.
After 9/11 the Bush administration put together a strategy that would prove to strengthen our country to a height that it has never seen before. We went to war with nations that played host to terrorist groups such as Alqueda and the Talliban. With this we sent many terrorist leaders such as Osama Bin Laden into hiding. Then we went after main threats such as Suddam Husein for housing weapons of mass destruction and not complying with our request to shut them down. National security was at an all-time high. With a boom in military involvement on both foreign and domestics soils, we were not a nation to recon with. When W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, military advancements were set into play and we saw the surge come about. This was when we saw our military start to shine and the downward slide of the war against terror. Then the democrats started to complain about the amount of debt we were pilling up towards the war. There was a definite blow in the budget, but the war was still very important for us to keep fighting. Not only did we got to war against terrorism, we made a commitment to a strong national security to keep terrorist off of domestic grounds. Airports became more serious about keeping weapons off of major airliners, border patrol became more abundant, and Americans became more aware of what was going on in the world. Although there are many people who disagree with the Bush administration and what it all did there is no denying that it strengthened our national security.
With the election of a new president and all new cabinet members, everyone is holding their breath waiting to see what all he is going to do. His national security measures in his first hundred days has been very shaky. In no way is his defense strategy anywhere close to as strict as president Bush’. One of the campaign promises he made was to shut down Gitmo, which will not happen due to the fact that no other country is willing to take the detainees that we have there. The liberal democrats have recently tried to prosecute members of the CIA for war crimes that were never wrong. Water boarding has become a hot topic in Washington. That is what was used to torture inmates at Guantanamo Bay to reveal where they were going to strike next. What the democrats don’t want you to know is that it worked, and it saved thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives.
On top of all this The Cia was limited to only twenty seconds of water boarding at a time and had to allow forty minutes to pass between sessions with a doctor present at all times. EVERYTHING they did was completely legal. President Obama wants to end the war also, with this the terrorists will see that we are backing down and will think that they have won, emboldening them to strike again on our soil. With this administration in place we cannot let our guard down the slightest bit. Instead of the anointed one going over and presenting a powerful case for the united states in foreign affairs he is bowing to middle eastern leaders. We have yet to see an oval office address but have seen two ( three coming in June) speeches to the Muslim world the main religion of the terrorists we are trying to fight. The whole Obama administration in in trouble. Nancy Pallozi Has recently been caught in a lie and will likely have to resign from her duties as speaker of the house, automobile makers and national banks are being taken over and ran by the government, and on top of all this we are four trillion dollars in debt. I don’t mention all this just to be critical but rather to emphasize the point because terrorists see what all is going on in our country and they look for parts that are coming undone. When they see a weak point they attack it. That is how they work and how they have always worked. They come in when we least expect it. With all that the Obama Administration is doing to weaken our defenses Americans will die.
Whether it be the removal of torture to get vital information out of potential terrorists, or the plan to end the war. Terrorists see that our current presidential administration is weakening our defenses. They things they have done and the plans they have installed our bringing down our walls that were so strong a very short time ago. We can hope that with the downfall of our economy we will no longer remain a target for Muslim extremists. Hopefully we can take a look back at what the Bush administration did after 9/11 that kept us attack free, and reinstate those foreign policies that worked so well. If not that then we must do something different in protecting America and her people.
Who are the Taliban?
The Taliban are an Islamic fundamentalist political and military federation that controlled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until late 2001. The Taliban militia terrorist group was formed by Islamic theological students in the southern portion of Afghanistan in 1994 with the intention of unifying Afghanistan. They came to power during Afghanistan’s long civil war. The Taliban was not originally started to perform the functions of terrorism now but actually became popular by their beliefs in how women should be treated.
Taliban Rise to Power
The Taliban are considered a mujahidin terrorist group. Otherwise known as ("holy warriors" or "freedom fighters"). This term was keyed during the Civil War because they felt like they were fighting for a better or higher up cause. Groups of Taliban ("religious students") were loosely organized on a regional basis during the occupation and civil war. Although they represent a potentially huge force, they didn't emerge as a united unit until the Taliban of Kandahar made their move in 1994. In late 1994, a group of well-trained, highly ranked within their organization, Taliban were chosen by Pakistan to protect a convoy trying to open a trade route from Pakistan to Central Asia. This convoy carried valuable goods and a valuable leader whom needed to arrive at his destination safely. They proved an able force, fighting off rival enemies or warlords. The Taliban then went on to take the city of Kandahar, beginning a surprising advance that ended with their capture of Kabul in September 1996.
After taking over Kabul, Taliban leaders began to institute an unbending regime. Their basic idea was to enforce a purist way of life based on their fundamentalist reading of Islam. They immediately created the Ministry for Ordering “What Is Right and Forbidding What Is Wrong to impose” and enforced their rules of ways. Mohammed Omar led the Taliban as Amir-ul-Momineen (Commander of the Faithful). He was the ultimate leader in a strictly hierarchical system of rule. He was advised on various matters by members of special councils composed of high-ranking Taliban leaders. Eventually Omar was the only individual who could issue an official edict. Many of the Taliban edicts had little to do with pure Islam or the teachings of the religious pasts and were actually based in ancient tribal rules and customs. Most of the rules reflected disenchantment with modern life. The Taliban continually issued new rules and used Radio Kabul and trucks equipped with loudspeakers to announce them. They would drive through the cities and towns announcing the new rules. You were expected to gather around and listen or else the punishment was most severe. The rules of conduct eventually covered almost every aspect of social behavior by the population, even forbidding things such as clapping, kite flying, and squeaky shoes.
The Taliban banned music and dancing, shut down movie theaters and television stations, destroyed public works of art that depicted living beings, and forbade the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Taliban wanted to promote more pure activities and they felt as if those implied violence, freedom, and allowed the person to use their imagination which was strictly prohibited. Men were structured to grow full, untrimmed beards because of the old orthodox ancestors. The men were also rounded up and beaten with sticks in an effort to force prayer in the mosques. The Taliban strongly forced the ancient practice of purdah, the veiling and seclusion of women from men. Women were ordered to cover themselves from top to bottom in burkas long sheet like clothes. Girl’s schools were closed and women were forbidden to work outside their homes. As a result, hospitals lost almost all their staffs and children in orphanages were left to die or join the forces. In a country where hundreds of thousands of men had been killed in warfare, widows were unable to work and found it impossible to provide the things they needed to raise their children and families.
“The Taliban religious police enforced the new rules and punished anyone found disobeying. They inflicted many of the punishments on the spot, usually ruthlessly, without offering the offender any sort of judicial hearing. The Taliban allowed public beatings and stoning, sometimes fatal, of women who violated the dress code or were escorted by men not related to them. Any person found not praying at the required times was imprisoned. The Taliban leaders also mandated specific punishments for other types of crimes. They made murder, adultery, and drug dealing punishable by death and theft punishable by amputation of the hand. Many of the Taliban laws and punishments alarmed human-rights groups and provoked worldwide condemnation.”
The Taliban takeover of Kabul in 1996 started the path for additional territorial conquests, and advancement of Taliban north toward the mountain strongholds of the Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras. By the late 1990s the Taliban had taken control of almost all of Afghanistan just over 90% of the countries cities, villages, and towns. Resistant forces, commonly known as the Northern Alliance, held a small portion of the country’s territory in the north. Most countries did not recognize the Taliban regime as the legitimate government of Afghanistan because they felt it would not be wise to promote any other groups like the Taliban.
The Fall of the Taliban
The Taliban ruled over Afghanistan for almost a decade but was brought down after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The Taliban weren’t solely responsible for the attacks on the United States but were partnered up with the larger better known terrorist group, the Al-Qaeda. Shortly after the attacks on America the United States recognized the need to fight a war on terror. They did just that and have cleaned up a large majority of organized terror in the Middle East. The Taliban fell to the United States a short two weeks after American soldiers were deployed in Afghanistan.