Tragedy struck on Friday, and so the world weeps. But for whom? The world certainly weeps for the 129 and counting who have fallen in Paris, as it should. Once again, hundreds of lives have been lost to terror, and so the world has responded to this global tragedy, because terror is terror is terror, and a human being is a human being, period. Yes, when extremists strike, the whole world listens and responds with fear, fury and anguish.
Representatives from the Combating Terror Center at West Point gave a talk to a small but intellectually stimulated cadre of students and professors in Martha van Rensselaer Hall yesterday. William Braniff and Alex Gallo, both West Point graduates and former service men in the United States Military, hoped to codify and illuminate the nature of a Middle Eastern terrorist threat that, according to their organization, remains obfuscated to the general public.
“[Our goal] is to help you get through the contextual layers in order to understand what Al-Qaeda is,” Braniff said. “The threat derives its legitimacy … from much more than a little bit of 18-year-old angst.”
Following one of our nation’s most memorable moments in history, newly elected President Obama swiftly enacted several executive orders. One of the orders called for the closure of America’s intensely debated terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. While many fear this and feel that a prison such as Gitmo is necessary for fighting terrorism, the practices used there are in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed to the accused. When defending our nation it becomes easy to neglect the rights of those involved in terrorist activity, but is this fair for a country which was founded on principles of liberty, justice, and equality?
“Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.” Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said these words only several weeks ago and it seems, at least in part, that his prophecy has come true. The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India are really a test for not only President-Elect Obama, but for the world. The manner in which all parties involved choose to respond to these attacks may well determine the course of the War on Terror.
In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, people from all over the Cornell community came together last night to pay tribute to the lives lost in the blasts.
When attendees first entered the One World Room in Anabel Taylor Hall, they were greeted with darkness. This was a deliberate effort to illustrate the dark times that had befallen the world as a result of the attacks. Guests were invited to light a candle, to symbolize pushing the darkness out of the room.
Amy Pearlman ’09, president of the Hillel Jewish Student Union, along with Rob Chicly ’09, president of the Jewish Student Organization and chair of the Chabad student board, addressed the need to fight darkness with light and evil with good.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently reached a decision in Boumediene v. Bush that we will all come to regret. The Court ruled that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, and any enemy combatants that the U.S. captures, have the right to a habeas corpus appeal in U.S. civil courts. This decision has been praised as a victory for civil liberties and as a rebuke of the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror.