Introduction to the Symposium

Author:Burns H. Weston - Adrien K. Wing
Position:Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Scholar, UI Center for Human Rights, The University of Iowa - Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law, The University of Iowa
Pages:1-7
Introduction to the Symposium: “Ten Years After 9/11:
Rethinking Counterterrorism
Burns H. Weston
Adrien K. Wing
∗∗
Few topics central to world ordera world order of human dignity
especiallycould be as important as the theme of this symposium, touching
as it does upon human rights, socioeconomic justice, cross-cultural
understanding, and issues of war and peace. These are core inquiries to
which Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems (“TLCP) has been
dedicated since its beginning twenty years ago . We thus were pleased to
accept TLCP’s kind invitation to serve as co-organizers and co-editors of its
2011 symposium, which took place at The University of Iowa College of Law
on February 101 1, 2011, seven months short of ten years to the day,
September 11, 2011, when the United States and world were jolted into a
global order not unpredictable, but radica lly antithetical to the very idea of
human dignity.
The purpose of the symposium, as reflected in the remarks and essays
that follow and flow from it, was to reflect thoughtfully upon the counter-
terrorism policies pursued by the United States and its allies since that
horrific day, particularly in the Middle East and Central/South Asia, and in
the context of the tragically enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict whic h many
believe has much to do with why 9/11 took place in the first place. Our aim
was to assess the effectiveness of these policies and to recommend
alternatives where needed. Despite the killing of Osama bin Laden shortly
after the symposium and the promising events of the “Arab Spring” that
unfolded during the symposium, issues of terrorism and counter-terrorism,
we assumed, would remain to challenge us all many years to come . This
outcome is especially likely, we predict, as the unattended effects of climate
change and consequent resource conflicts begin also to dominate the daily
headlines. Some, perhaps many, of our students, though but teenagers when
9/11 took place, will spend a significant part of their livesas private
practitioners, government counsel, non-profit attorneys, politicians, judges,
scholars, or as citizen activistsengaged with these issues that will not go
away.
It was thus for good reason that the symposium was established as a
regional event of the American Society of International Law, the preeminent
professional organiz ation in our field.1 We were blessed, too, by the financial
Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Scholar, UI Center
for Human Rights, The University of Iowa.
∗∗ Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law, The University of Iowa. Many thanks
to my research assistants Jennifer Klein and Hasti Barahmand for their help with the initial
draft of this introduction.
1 See AM. SOCY INTL LAW, http://www.asil.org/ (last visited May 20, 2012).

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