In Zinn’s chapter, “The 2000 Election and the ‘War on Terrorism’,” I was fascinated by the election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Zinn talks about how Gore winning the popular vote was not enough to win the election due to Bush winning the electoral vote. Instead of considering the results, the conservative Supreme Court turned a blind eye and allowed Bush to walk into office without reconsideration. I wonder if the United States’ responses to the terrorist attack in 2001 would have changed tremendously if Al Gore won the election. Even before the terrorist attacks in 2001, Bush pushed for an increase in the military budget. Once the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11, Bush immediately announced the “war on terrorism.” After declaring war, Bush called for the bombing of Afghanistan which most Americans supported, thinking that being strong and violent against terrorism was the correct response the United States should take. It was not a political case, with both republicans and democrats believing in the cause. Americans supported the actions that Bush took, but never fully saw what actually was happening from the bombings of Afghanistan.
Not knowing the full story created suspicion from certain groups of people. I had no idea the extent of precaution that the Department of Justice took, as well as how unfair it was for innocent non-citizens. The paranoia that people felt made created distance from their non-citizen peers. Families of the victims were against the strong military force used. What this seemed to me was another example of Americans not knowing or seeing the full story of what is happening with a United States’ response. News sources were not giving the full extent to what the bombings were doing to Afghanistan. In my opinion, this made the public more inclined to support the use of violence since they did not witness the immediate impact and tragedy that it was causing. I wonder if the people who supported the violent actions on Afghanistan saw the full impact of what the bombings were doing to them, would they have still sided with it? This seems to be a common theme, that the United States does not tell its people the full truth about foreign affairs that they are involved in if they know that it would create resistance to that action.