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125 responses to “Mumbai terror attacks: an anti-Hindutva motivation?”

  1. Kingsley

    I think Andrew Bolt will be pretty safe. What are the probabilities that an attack where the terrorists wanted to find and target the Americans and Britons in the hotels most popular with Western travellers was not an attack on the West also?

  2. David Rubie

    There’s a big difference between “getting western attention” and an “attack on the west”. Since nobody is really sure of the motivation at the moment, the Bolta is jumping the gun a bit (although it’s obvious why).

  3. Mark

    It depends what “an attack on the West” means! In this context, it’s more than possible that there’s both targeting of middle class Indians for being “Westernised”, and of Westerners for being presumably Christians, and/or for being intertwined with the modernisation of India which supports the status quo (in their view). As I said, it’s very important to attend to the specific framing of Christianity in India as a target for violence – which has more to do with the ideology of Hindutva than international politics. But that cuts both ways – as there’s also an element in the militant Islamic groups which plays into the construction of an “Indian-ness” which would exclude Christians from the picture. As I’m suggesting, to reach an instant conclusion that this is “an attack on our way of life” etc. is most probably to fall into a serious error and to misunderstand what’s going on. Misunderstanding what’s going on is a huge problem with this sort of thing, as I think we should have learnt over the past seven years.

  4. Geoff Robinson

    There’s a curious overlap between the Western hard right and Hinduvata: complaints that India demonstrates folly of granting Muslims ‘special treatment’ that Congress is a prisoner of ethnic minorities etc.

  5. Scott

    There’s a big difference between “getting western attention” and an “attack on the west”. Since nobody is really sure of the motivation at the moment, the Bolta is jumping the gun a bit (although it’s obvious why).

    Killing Westerners is an attack on the west. By definition.

    The motivation for that attack, whatever it is, does not change that it is an attack.

    Somethings really are that simple.

  6. codger

    Mark, some interesting background and perhaps context from Farzana Shah:

    ‘But recently the arrest of 10 people, including a serving Lieutenant Colonel Prashad Srikant Purohit and a Hindu monk and nun for their alleged involvement in bomb explosions that killed six people in the Muslim-dominated town of Malegaon, this year had sent everything upside down.’

    http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?208427

  7. Lefty E

    Well, as I said on the other thread: I visited all those places in Colaba when I was there for work last year. They reallly are the central point in Mumbai for “Goras” – so the motivation is clear. Of course, this may well be tied in with domestic intra-extremsist tensions.

    I ate every sday in the Cafe Leopold, which is an old Raj-era Cafe very popular with tourists. I dont know if this is evident from the reports, but the downstairs restaurant part is quite small, maybe 70 sq metres. The idea of two gunmen throwing grenades and opening fire in that small space is horrifying. I canonly imagien the casualties will be bigger than we’ve herd there.

    I dont immediate see a necessary concetion to Pakistan either – though there may well prove to be one. There’s plenty of domestic tensions there, and the Indian state has a habit of “othering” those into more palatable state-based tensions.

  8. Mark

    Thanks, Codger. Some more background from Shakira Hussein in Crikey.

    And, Geoff, yep, there are big parallels between Hindutva politics and the Western hard right – and with the religious right – cf. rewriting school texts, etc.

    If anyone’s interested, Martha Nussbaum is a very good writer to consult on the threats to secularism in India, and of course observes that democracy and secularism don’t mean the same thing as in America in the context of Indian political history and culture:

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/NUSCLA.html

  9. Robert Merkel

    Spot on Mark. It would be very unwise to be making assumptions about the motivations of the terrorists in Mumbai at this point. It’s easy to imagine that some of the groups responsible for earlier attacks on local issues might have have decided to change tactics.

  10. Ambigulous

    “What are the probabilities that an attack where the terrorists wanted to find and target the Americans and Britons in the hotels most popular with Western travellers was not an attack on the West also?”

    This seems to be an established fact. It’s not unusual for hijackers and their ilk to ask for passports and separate out (say) the US and Israeli passport holders. In this case: US and Briton. Sounds like “Coalition of the Willing” to me. So how lucky were any Aussies, who weren’t asked to step aside also??

    Of course there are deep communal and religious antagonisms in India. But this attack has certain characteristics that have some similarity to other notorious attacks in recent years where the perpetrators have been identified. Who was that former Spanish PM who tried to pin the Madrid train bombings on ETA??

  11. Mark

    Yes, Ambi, but often those similarities are to be explained by changes in tactics which are inspired by observation, as it were. It doesn’t necessarily imply a connection or causality. Not every event that shows some regularities with a past event has the same or similar causes. To put it this way, although there are obviously some particular issues with regard to upcoming elections, this won’t help Congress. I’d suggest reading some of the links, and particularly in this context, the one to Shakira Hussein’s piece.

    I would be very surprised if Bolt’s hypothesis that “they’re targetting us in India” is anywhere near the mark.

  12. Colonel Blimp

    “often those similarities are to be explained by changes in tactics which are inspired by observation, as it were. It doesn’t necessarily imply a connection or causality. Not every event that shows some regularities with a past event has the same or similar causes.”

    Quite right, Mark. It will be interesting to see what direction(s) the investigations take. In the meantime, I grieve.

  13. Scott

    I would be very surprised if Bolt’s hypothesis that “they’re targetting us in India” is anywhere near the mark.

    Yet, that is precisely the strategy promoted by Al-Qaeda. Local Muslin nutbags are told that they can not meet their local goals (i.e. such in relation to inter-communal fights) without fighting the larger global fight (i.e. against the west).

    The evidence we have thus far therefore is very suggestive that we have a local group which has adopted Al-Qaeda ideology and tactics.

    I hardly think we can ignore who a group chooses to kill – Its not like, in an attack as well planned as this one, that the targets would be an afterthough with little connection with the aims of the group.

  14. Lefty E

    I think its probably “aimed at” the West in the narrow sense that they want to stop tourists going, which destablises the Mumbai local government, which as noted, is dominated by Hindu hardliners.

    Whatever the motivation – India/ Pakistan watchers go to red alert. Dangerous times.

  15. myriad

    The most likely motivation IMHO is Kashmir; it’s future is currently being determined. This is supported by what one of the terrorists had to say to media.

    It also fits with the pattern of Islamic militants suporting international agendas – eg the support by India for the War on Terror – but focussing on specific domestic issues.

    IBN Live gives a good, albeit relatively simplistic summary.

    The targeting of the western centres of Mumbai could be about embarrassing the Indian government, damaging it’s biggest international business centre, damaging India’s reputation with western nations etc., with the extra bonus of ‘sending a message’ to those nations involved in the Coalition of the Willing.

  16. Andrew E

    I reckon an attack by Muslim nutbags, for want of a better description, on anyone apart from one other is an attack on us. I stand with the Indians on this, and bet they will come up with a more comprehensive response to this phenomenon than the Yanks do.

    I also think the Pakistani state is looking pretty vulnerable, ready to go the way of Yugoslavia within a decade or so. I used to worry about Karzai in Afghanistan but I reckon he’ll be around to witness the dissolution of Pakistan.

  17. Legal Eagle

    I think that by attacking westerners specifically, the attack can be construed as an attack on the West. But that is only the start of the analysis. It is also much more complicated than that. It is also an attack on the Indian establishment, and it could also be seen as an attempt to derail India’s economic prosperity. Add to that the long simmering tension between India and Pakistan, the disputed territory of Kashmir, the Hindu nationalist movement in India and the generally disadvantaged status of Indian Muslims in India as opposed to other groups, and you have a very complicated brew indeed.

    Whatever the motivation, it is a vile and cowardly act, as well as counterproductive. Do these young men really think that this will stop discrimination towards Muslims? No, it will just add further fuel to the Hindutva fire…

  18. Adrien

    THE slaughter in Mumbai was a barbaric attack not just on India, but on us. On the West.
    .
    Well yes.
    .
    They have reasons but let’s not worry about that. We might think and then where will we be….
    .
    NUKE ‘EM!! NUKE ‘EM!! NUKE ‘EM!! NUKE ‘EM!! NUKE ‘EM!!
    .
    Interesting. I wonder how the Murdoch brief translates to cats like Bolt. There’s a move to create a global military alliance of democratic states. India obviously would be a star jewel there. Murdoch explicitly endorses it. What label will replace ‘the West’ as the tabloid parlance for ‘the good guys’ so that it includes India, Korea and Japan?
    .
    Anyway. It’s terrible. Horrible is what it is. I have a friend in India right now. I’m not sure which city she went to and I’m trying to find out.

  19. Adrien

    Is it cowardly? They called 9/11 cowardly. What was cowardly about it? These people are willing to die for a system of beliefs and a political cause. You don’t see much of that ’round here these days. Who’s left that’d die for their country in the good ol’ West?
    .
    What we must face is a few unpleasant facts. 1. Is that the world is still a matrix of imperial dominance. 2. We are the beneficiaries of that dominance. 3. They are not. 4. We have lied and cheated these people for quite a while.
    .
    They may not be reasonable people, they may be nasty, violent, bloodthirsty rapists. No doubt many of them are no more than that. But there are reasons why the West is disliked so intensely. Good ones.

  20. Antonio

    Absolutely spot on Mark.

    I would not be at all surprised if there is a connection here with the recent problems in Malegaon where hardline Hindu Nationalists are accused of various bombings. The arrest of the suspects has fired up the Hindutva crowd: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1207124

    The motivation for a revenge attack by Islamic extremists would be obvious. The attack may not necessarily be solely about the “West” but may also be about disabling Mumbai – one of the main financial arteries of India.

  21. Mark

    Antonio, yep, I think the connection with the bombings and the electoral connection are highly likely to have been factors.

  22. Razor

    Adrien – deliberately targetting unarmed civilians is cowardly.

    “Who’s left that’d die for their country in the good ol’ West?” – Lieutenant Michael Fussell, 4th Battalion (Commmando), The Royal Australian Regiment. And tens of thousands of other Australian service men and women.

  23. Ambigulous

    Cowardly to open fire in a bar or cafe or hotel or street or market or railway station, Adrien. Even if one is destined to die a few hours later at the hands of the police or army.

    Surely these attacks on unarmed innocents haven’t become “banal” to you?

  24. Chris (a different one)

    I think its worth noting that although there are reports of them targeting British and US nationals, it sounds like a lot more locals have been killed than foreigners.

  25. Andrew E

    I’d question 2 & 3, Adrien. I think Osama bin Laden and Mohammad Atta had absolutely been beneficiaries of Western civilisation/domination, and am sure that many in the planning and execution of this act were also. If the entire USA had gone the way of New Orleans after Katrina, this attack would still have happened, despite what Bolt and Greg Sheridan might think. Bolt was too lazy to address the complexities of the subcontinent and too eager to beat the ploughshares back into swords from the comfort of his armchair.

    You also assume the assumption that the perpetrators have made, which is that they are legitimate representatives of the disenfranchised and disposessed. There is no basis for this assumption on your part or theirs.

    You also assume that throwing one’s own life away is not cowardly. If you value your own life very little, and assume that the lives of others are worse even less than your own – yes, murder of those who do not attack you directly is definitely cowardly.

  26. Razor

    Chris (a different one) – that is fairly standard operatng practice for muslim terrorists.

  27. Wombo
  28. professor rat

    Why quote Bolt on anything?
    Isn’t he a CIA agent?

  29. Adrien

    Adrien – deliberately targetting unarmed civilians is cowardly.
    .
    Not if there’s a personal risk. These people have taken on the State. They went to war with the armed forces, the cops etc. The 911 people committed suicide. Targeting unarmed civilians is nefarious. It’s cowardly if there’s no risk to self. It’s uncivilized!
    .
    Mmmm.
    .
    I wonder who’s been doing a lot of that.
    .
    it sounds like a lot more locals have been killed than foreigners.
    .
    As usual. It seems like the Americans don’t have a monopoly on this kind of stupidity.

  30. Ken Lovell

    I despair at all this discussion. It’s India’s 9/11 and that’s all anyone needs to know.

  31. Scott

    Adrien @ 19.

    I tend to be on the side of people who don’t want to kill me, and against those who do.

    To speak of right and wrong in such circumstances is useless. There are opposing forces, and others have already picked the teams.

  32. Kingsley

    Razor at 22 – absolutely spot on.

    Adrien – how do you suppose the US conduct military operations against terrorists sheltering amongst the general population in Afghanistan where there is absolutely no chance of the innocent being killed? Obviously they have to sometimes make a judgment call that they can interdict with the enemy and sometimes they miscalculate and civilians die. Secondly there is an enormous difference between trying to kill a terrorist as best as you can without killing civilians versus deliberately targeting civilians. The notion the US is the equivalent of these scum in India is repugnant.

    Please tell me you aren’t one of the BusHitler crowd.

  33. paul walter

    Yes Adrien- and they are rightly angry, as starved out, sick, miserable and hope-less, as were the Bali Bombers, and so would any reasonable person be, having to live like that.
    Therefore I disgree with Legal Eagle, in one sense. It appears to be an attack on the West, but actually insofar as the West isidentified exclusively with class opppression, with its vile weapons of disease, starvation, poverty and authoriatian opression throughout the global barrios.
    This instinct has been corrupted by Right wing essentialism into a hate of the West and from that point, as to stoking reaction both in West and in Hindu circles,say, it is sad, bad and mean.
    Lots a Abu Bakhir Bashir types (as with “ultra” Jewery, hard right Christianity- prod or pape- Hinduist and Bhuddist exclusivist nationalisms) stirring the pot in the background, but still for some of the people specifically involved it will still be “resistance” rather than “terrorism”.

  34. Hugo

    I think to call the Mumbai attacks as purely “an attack on the West” is missinng the point. Like most things in India, this is predominantly an Indian affair, and the Western deaths are more of a bonus (from the terrorists’ point of view). I guess it’s hard for any of us to ascribe a motivation for people who do things like this, but my feeling is that this is directed against the Indian state rather than “the West”.

    In this it’s not disimilar to the Bali bombings. The real statement being made was to the central government: “you are weak, and you can’t even protect your rich tourists”. The actual killing of Westerners was secondary.

    As for the “cowardly” question, I think to call these people that is at best a glib response that explains nothing. However, I think we need to be mindful not to find excuses for attacks of this sort, which are inexcusable in any circumstances.

  35. Razor

    Hugo – no one is saying it is “purely” an attack on the West. It is an attack on India but focussed on the West. I thought this blog was big on nuance.

  36. Hugo

    Razor –

    Too nuanced for you it seems.

    My point was that we need to be careful about rushing to sloganeering, as I don’t think it illuminates anything. These attacks were of course tragic, and I have nothing but contempt for the ideology that gave rise to them, or the people that carry them out, and those responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But let’s not forget that about five times as many locals were killed as were Westerners, and that was quite possibly the intention.

    We Westerners are rather quick to assume that everything is aimed at us, and while Westerners have certainly been targeted in this attack, I’m not so sure that it’s our governments per se that these terrorists are trying to send a message to (as opposed to the Indian government). Sometimes it’s not all about us.

  37. Hugo

    Further expert backing for my theory….

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/171006/page/1

  38. smiley

    It really does make us wonder whether the “clash of civilisations” thesis is so insane after all.

  39. Ken Lovell

    ‘It is an attack on India but focussed on the West.’

    God I wish I could form such heroic conclusions based on zero evidence. People who are capable of doing so make me jealous. Their lives are so filled with certainty … happy is the man who can find solace in constructs such as ‘India’ and ‘the West’!

    Bloody terrorists … I hate ’em.

  40. Chris (a different one)

    Razor @ 25 – although I’d agree its not unusual, though the muslim qualifier is probably not necessary, the focus on the deaths of westerners just reinforces the belief that we value westerner’s lives more than the locals. A belief which is quite common in ex-colonial countries, and often not without good reason too.

  41. smiley

    Chris

    Actually every single person on the planet empathises more with those closest to them than some abstract distant person. Do you lament the death of a Mongolian yak herder just as much as you do your own children?

  42. Wombo

    Some of Hugo’s points are important, and people should take the time to reread and absorb them.

    While people tend to sympathise more with the tragedies that hit those “closer” to them, this phenomenon is deliberately amplified by the media, and often by government rhetoric.

    Case in point, the argument that this attack was aimed at “the West”. It is beyond the minds of many (because of their lack of exposure to other world-views), and not in the interests of many western governments and media syndicates, to view this attack as anything other than an attack on “the West”.

    To be honest, there is a vital connection, in the form of Western economic and political domination and colonialism for centuries, which has led to the global shit-pile we are currently in. But the immediate motivation of every nut-brained homicidal maniac is not making people in Utah and Adelaide crap themselves.

    The struggle in India is more than enough for most of these people (and it’s a big enough struggle for anyone whose ever tried to comprehend the politics of a country like India, with over a billion people, with a history and territory that is part of the conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    How many of these so-called “news” sources talk about the endemic poverty in India, the systemic discrimination against muslims, the post-colonial politically radioactive fallout from [*very importantly*] the forcible partition of the subcontinent, the uneven exploitation of India as an outsourcing resource for the West’s technological revolution (with all of its related domestic exploitation)?

    Oh no. It’s ALL about US. Because those hundreds upon hundreds of millions of brown people have none of their own political and social motivations, consciences and concerns. Are they jealous, perhaps? (cough, spit)

  43. Ambigulous

    Hugo: “We Westerners are rather quick to assume that everything is aimed at us,”
    oh indeed we are, far too quick, we fools. Have you not heard that with some groups of hotel guests the assailants specifically asked to see passports or ID, expressing the wish to separate out Britons and Americans? Seems to me that that is very particular targetting of a sub-set of Western persons.

    I reckon, Hugo, had you been a Briton or an American hearing that, you may have formed an assumption – “rather quick”ly.

    Of course I’m not saying non-Westerners didn’t die in the Mumbai attacks. I suggest you might go and look at the statements of the arrested Bali bombers. They claimed the targetted night spots were chosen to maximise US, Australian, etc deaths. They seemed bemused that Indonesians (some of them Muslim) had also died.

  44. mitchell porter

    “Mumbai terror attacks: an anti-Hindutva motivation?”

    More like anti-Hindu. “O Hindus! O disbelieving faithless Indians! Haven’t you still realized that the falsehood of your 33 crore dirty mud idols and the blasphemy of your deaf, dumb, mute idols are not at all going to save your necks, Insha-Allah, from being slaughtered?” That’s from an email sent five minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts in July. (One crore = ten million.)

    I envision the principals here as thug-martyrs like Zarqawi, who relish the taunting and the killing, with the braver ones being truly willing to die; and probably backed and organized by more cynical forces.

  45. Phil

    Killing and maiming westerners in this context is just a mechanism with which to get the world to see their ’cause’ whatever the fuck that is.

    India is a densely political place, just about everyone and every issue has a constituency of some kind and attempts to frame this our way are bound to fail because it almost certainly has nothing to do with us.

    Anyway, somewhere now there are Hindus sharpening their cutlasses and Muslim neighborhoods living in fear for the inevitable blowback.

    Will we then say that that retaliation would be an attack on us too?

  46. Katz

    These chaps singled out Britons and Americans.

    Since when were Britons and Americans the only representatives of “the West”?

    Are Swedes, Danes, Spaniards, etc., not “Westerners”?

    It seems to me that these chaps wanted to make a special point about Britons and Americans, but not about Swedes, Danes, Spaniards, etc.

    I wonder what that point may be.

  47. huggybunny

    There are powerful elements in the Pakistan military who have their own agenda. Hasten to add that these are “non state actors”. The US support for the Pakistan military regime has made these guys very powerful indeed. They have all the weapons and stuff that they need – thanks to the US taxpayers.
    What is obvious is that this was no half arsed operation; the terrorists were very well armed and very well trained. Very “professional”. The operation was clearly well planned and executed; again not the work of insane fanatics.
    I suspect that the motivation for these attacks is multi facetted; anti-Western perhaps, but I discern another longer term agenda. Possibly some scheme to re-unite India and Pakistan into a huge Caliphate.
    Sadly; I think this is only the beginning.
    BTW the main reason these guys target Brits and Americans is to get the attention of the White Anglo Saxon centric Governments and media and that includes LP.
    Huggy

  48. Paul Burns

    Does anybody else find it peculiar that the three recent attacks in Mumbai before this one where only Indians were killed only got a couple of minutes on our nightly news, and that the attack on Mumbai railway station where, so far as I can ascertain, only Indians were killed, has had very little coverage. Yet the attacks on the hotels and cafe have received practically continuous coverage for two days. And until yesterday, there was peculiarly little coverage of of the attack on the Jewish centre, at least, that I saw.
    Just sayin’.

  49. NeWs

    Razor
    Nov 28th, 2008 at 6:01 pm
    …no one is saying it is “purely” an attack on the West. It is an attack on India but focussed on the West. I thought this blog was big on nuance.

    mitchell porter
    Nov 28th, 2008 at 9:40 pm
    …I envision the principals here as thug-martyrs like Zarqawi, who relish the taunting and the killing, with the braver ones being truly willing to die; and probably backed and organized by more cynical forces.

    ISI, people.
    ISI is exactly the reason why the conformist foreign policy hawks haven’t adopted Benazir Bhutto as a pro-western martyr in the GWOT, and if it’s greasy paw prints are found anywhere on this outrage it’s the reason why none of our armchair generals will start on about Mumbai being the new Bali, 9/11, whatever.
    (Here’s something that kinda blew my mind, in a small ironic way: Charles Krauthammer, on FoxNews in January, when given the opportunity to denounce the allegations that Musharraf had anything to do with the assassination, said, “I think Bhutto’s death will go down in history like Dallas, we’ll never really know what happened.” Chuckles making an appeal to the 1st generation ‘Why-do-you-hate-America?’ crowd.)

  50. Nickws

    NeWs
    Nov 29th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Hey, I don’t remember changing my handle from ‘Nickws’ to ‘NeWs’, I typed in the correct letters! Suspicious. Must keep an eye on myself…

    Arrgh, auto-spelling, curse you!

  51. Legal Eagle

    Adrien @ 19:

    I think it’s cowardly because it deliberately targets civilians who are defenceless and innocent. Yes, there is risk to the perpetrators and many of them will be killed, I am sure. So it’s more brave than someone who deliberately targets civilians without personal risk, but that’s not saying much.

    Interesting point – does it become less brave if the perpetrator believes he will definitely go to heaven as a reward for his actions? As opposed to someone like me who believes that death is the end?

    But I still believe it is pathetic and immoral attack civilians. These people were not personally responsible for the actions of their governments, or for the history of imperialism in the Indian subcontinent.

    What we must face is a few unpleasant facts. 1. Is that the world is still a matrix of imperial dominance. 2. We are the beneficiaries of that dominance. 3. They are not. 4. We have lied and cheated these people for quite a while.

    Indeed, the whole Hindu/Muslim dispute arose out of imperialism, but not anything to do with the West. The Mughals were the foreign conquerers who took over Hindu India, and benefited from that dominance until the Europeans arrived. Could the Hindutva argue that their actions in persecuting innocent Muslims today are justifiable as a response to that, in that the Mughals imposed an alien culture and religion which should be expunged? Personally, I don’t think so. There has to be a point where individuals are not held responsible for the actions of their forebears. It’s an explanation as to why current disputes exist, but it is not a justification.

  52. skepticlawyer

    The ‘blame the previous rulers’ line is getting a bit old, frankly, not only for former colonies of European powers, but for Indian Hindus vis a vis the Mughals, too. I think this is true pretty much everywhere with the probable exception of the Eastern Europeans. They’ve probably got another 50 years or so victim rights against the Russians for what communism did. After that, they’re on their own, surely.

    This isn’t to deny what at least some Mughal rulers did in Hindu India. Hindus and Buddhists (as ‘idolators’) were always at the bottom of the Islamic doctrinal food chain, and suffered accordingly. There’s plenty of it on the web; it doesn’t make for pretty reading. It’s undoubtedly feeding this, along with the fact that Hindu India – once the ruled – is flourishing, while Muslim Pakistan – once the rulers – is on the bones of its economic butt.

  53. Adrien

    Scott #29 – tend to be on the side of people who don’t want to kill me, and against those who do.
    .
    How irrational of you. 🙂 .
    .
    To speak of right and wrong in such circumstances is useless. There are opposing forces, and others have already picked the teams.
    .
    Uh no. It’s very useful. It helps to have reasons to fight. Our newspapers are full of the good v evil dichotomy and the rhetoric of Jihadism is likewise.
    .
    L’eagle – I think it’s cowardly because it deliberately targets civilians who are defenceless and innocent.
    .
    I’m not defending them. I’m merely stating facts. There’s all this rhetoric about these people: they’re crazy, they’re cowards, they’re evil blah blah blah. I’m a firm believer in assessing my opponent’s strengths. They are not cowards. There actions have nothing to do with cowardice. And this level of play is in response to our use of long-range missiles etc. They think that is cowardly and have just as much justification in asserting that; more actually, then we do. But in neither case does this have anything to do with cowardice.
    .
    As to the blame games etc. I’m well aware that there’s a long relationship of power plays and ethnic-religious dominance the precedes the arrival of Pale Face on the scene. But at the present time what is tenuously known as ‘the West’ maintains a certain dominance mostly thru the apparatus of American military power. The arrangement is one of non-colonial Imperialism: a way of accruing the benefits without the costs.
    .
    However the one eternal cost of this sort of stuff is that people hate you. And this hatred is an energy that be utilized by those seeking their own power, bin Laden and the rest. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it has gone too far. The West has broken too many promises, displayed too much hypocrisy and shared beds with too many savage shits for far too long. There is a conflict brewing and the only question is where and when.
    .
    Our innocence or lack thereof is immaterial. Baghdad is stuffed with the bones of innocents who are too dead to know they are liberated.

  54. Another Kim

    Yes, Adrien. They are not cowards.

    They are religious and nationalistically drugged zealots.

    Between those of the US and those of the old pan-arabic world, who will win?

    We’ll all unfortunately see.

  55. Adrien

    Between those of the US and those of the old pan-arabic world, who will win?
    .
    I suspect the only victor will be the Planet Earth’s new orifice. 🙂

  56. Evan

    Personally, I think they’re all bonkers.

    As Gough once said: “Time to leave, comrade, before the Indians get on the piss.”

  57. Mark
  58. Another Kim

    I’ll fare better in even a corrupted western post-apocalyptic world.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it.

    I won’t deconstruct it a bit. 🙂

  59. Darin

    “I’ll fare better in even a corrupted western post-apocalyptic world.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it.

    I won’t deconstruct it a bit.”

    I read that and thought “another insightful post by The Demon Drink”

  60. Another Kim

    Who wouldn’t welcome a post by the Demon Drink about now?

  61. Legal Eagle

    The West has broken too many promises, displayed too much hypocrisy and shared beds with too many savage shits for far too long.

    Agreed. When you invade a country it has far-reaching implications which may echo down the centuries. Think of the Middle East – a series of invasions and counter-invasions over the last 2000+ years has given rise to the present tension.

    I guess I just worry about the blame game – the logical extrapolation might be that innocent people can be killed, wounded or generally treated as non-human in the course of the “war or terror” because they happen to come from a particular nation which has done bad stuff. I don’t accept that argument from anyone (terrorists or the US etc).

    I wish all these people could be put in a box and annihilate each other if that’s what they want to do, but leave ordinary people alone.

  62. Adrien

    Think of the Middle East – a series of invasions and counter-invasions over the last 2000+ years has given rise to the present tension.
    .
    It’s 5000 years+. Fun y thing about Israel, they ask: why do these people hate us (d’uh). Well apart from the obvious real estate dispute there’s simple hospitality. Part of hating Israel is just trying to make them feel at home, one of the gang. Everyone hates everyone else and has done since we were chimps 🙂 .
    .
    Welcome home cousin (arsehole!).
    .
    Wierd thing about this is that it reminds me of Columbine. It’s like mass-produced Columbine.

  63. Tyro Rex

    Nearly everyone here is debating motivations which at the end of the day is of academic interest only. Repercussions is what matters more.

    I find it interesting that so far India is moderating its rhetoric towards Pakistan and that the Pakistanis acceded to the Indian demand to send the head of the ISS.

    It turns out that the talk of the ‘Deccan Mujihadeen’ may have been a bit of smoke and mirrors (on whose part I cannot say). The attackers certainly knew their targets (locals and/or excellent intelligence) and they were very well armed and organised for this sort of thing: some at lest were actual Pakistani nationals, probably members of LET, which is linked to the ISS. So the idea that the Indian Government (facing elections soon) didn’t just ratchet up the tension with Pakistan – which is a basic reflexive Indian action to these sort of outrages – is very interesting and to mind shows they might know something they are not letting on about about the organisation of the attack. Perhaps they have identified particular rogue ISS elements and want the Pakistanis to actually neutralise them. Who knows, though.

    Anyway I think the takeaway points are: it certainly wasn’t bloody amateurs carrying out this attack; that Indian reaction towards Pakistani involvement seems muted; and that if India does decide ratchet up the tension on Pakistan you can expect an already-weak, divided, and nearly bankrupt Pakistani government probably to crumble like dust (being squeezed east and west) and then gawd knows where that will leave us.

    All this stuff about the “heroism” of the attackers and whether “The West” was the target or not is just so much palaver to fill an empty void. FFS.

  64. Adrien

    Tyro, there’s a fault line opening up right across the world (imho). This goes across the Mid-East, between Pakistan and India, through SE Asia and up between the Koreas. We’ve seen this before. It’s just too mucy trouble not to have a war. The only question is when.
    .
    As in when are we ready.

  65. wbb

    I wish all these people could be put in a box and annihilate each other if that’s what they want to do, but leave ordinary people alone.

    Ordinary people take sides while the killing goes on. It’s the extraordinary who counsel cold showers during internecine fracas.

    So reserve the ordinary people (like Bolt) a ringside seat at the box where the killing will go on.

  66. Tyro Rex

    Tyro, there’s a fault line opening up right across the world (imho). This goes across the Mid-East, between Pakistan and India, through SE Asia and up between the Koreas. We’ve seen this before. It’s just too mucy trouble not to have a war. The only question is when.

    Bloody rubbish. There’s 10 different fault lines – and most of those fault lines are 50 years old or more.

    At the moment in the short term there’s only three that really matter. India/Pakistan*, Iran/Arabs+Israel (oh yes don’t you know the Saudis don’t actually mind the Israelis too much and they both have a common enemy – Iran), and finally, Russia/NATO** … cold war politics is once again driving the situation in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and the “near” Mid-East. After the Georgian war, Israel totally brown-nosed the Russians because they though the Russians might be tempted to start playing silly buggers in Syria and Egypt.

    * I subsume the war in Afghanistan into part of Pakistan’s overall strategic problem, but in reality it’s a three cornered contest – NATO+India/Pakistan/Taliban, the poor Pakistanis are the meat in the sandwich here, but it is a problem at least partially of their own making.

    ** really NATO == USA + reluctant taggers along.

    The bigger, long term global divide that’s actually the huge strategic issue for the next century is not even on this short-range radar, that of China/USA+Japan+Australia (the tripartite security powers to which you can probably add South Korea, Singapore and possibly India).

  67. Adrien

    Bloody rubbish. There’s 10 different fault lines – and most of those fault lines are 50 years old or more.
    .
    Rada rada rada. Thanks for history/geography lesson. But if you pay attention, particularly to the foreign policy journals and the like, you’ll see there’s a projected extension of NATO to include an alliance of democratic nations. If you pay attention to the deployment of US bases you’ll see a convergence. The US has surrounded Russia and China. In the ’90s, after the Sovs fell down, the main issue was not Saddam, it was China.
    .
    These 10 different fault lines of which you speak are joining up.

  68. Tyro Rex

    These 10 different fault lines of which you speak are joining up.

    Adrien I do pay quite close attention to the foreign policy journals and the history of international relations quite a lot in fact. The idea that they are “joining up” is only superficial at best. The dynamics that drive geopolitics are actively diverse – and very specific – to each region and actor within the region.

    “NATO” is a completely spent force. Its capacity for collective action is effectively zero, most won’t put their troops on the line in Afghanistan (which is to say there’s no “NATO” policy only national ones), and the USA is the only member that wants it to expand. The others have a right of veto. Forgeddaboutit. European power is reverting to the 19th century model, in case the Euro reaction to the Russians isn’t illuminating enough. Germany doesn’t want to upset Russia while it relies on Russian natural gas, Spain, France and Britain are all bluster with as little action as possible, Italy has no idea what’s going on as its internal politics cripple it from any effective action, and Poland has thrown it’s lot decisively with the Americans (as a resurgent Russia rightly scares the shit out of them). Jesus the Euros have a central bank that controls monetary policy yet their fiscal policy is still run on a strictly national basis with little reference to the others in the middle of a global crisis. Dont’ think about Europe think about France, Germany, Britain etc.

    Yes there’s a huge ugly fight going on in the tribal areas of Afghanistan but I don’t see any connecting up with the “fault lines” that exist over China for example. While China is an ally of Pakistan because they’re both enemies of India, they are hardly friendly to the Taliban (formerly Pakistan’s allies) as the Chinese are certainly no friends with the Islamists inside their own borders. Nor are the Chinese still great mates with the Russians, oh they’ll buy/copy their military hardware OK but their soft diplomacy generally runs counter to Russian interests in central Asia.

    While it might be that tectonic action on these fault lines is starting to occur all at once nonetheless I don’t see any case for them “joining up”, that is becoming the one fault line. America involved itself in a disastrous war which weakened it’s capacity for decisive responses on other fronts, and various actors have taken advantage of this, yes. But each conflict or point of tension remains separate and possessing of different characteristics and potential solutions. You have to regard each in its specificity.

  69. Adrien

    Well maybe it’s my imagination Tyro. But I think the enemy of my enemy thing pertains somehow.
    .
    Your points about NATO are pretty good. Perhaps there’ll be some new kind of alliance, Japan, India S. Korea, the States and us are playing war together. Wonder why?
    .
    It’s just my intuition. You can’t really tell. The pages of Foreign Affairs in the 90s (I’ve only read the latter half of the decade) don’t give much indication of the Iraq War. There’s only two bits on Saddam. Heaps on China. The 2001 series is interesting, that lot had no idea 9/11 was coming.
    .
    The US might be a bit spent now militarily. Russia’s again a contender. What Europe does is anyone’s guess, but it just seems like geopolitics is a game of too much ego for the space provided. Add to that the ambitions of various Jihadist leaders to reassert the impossible dream of a pan-Arab superstate and the fact that, altho’ this is very difficult to achieve the US has been helping out (thanks guys) by providing Muslims with the one sure unifying principle: a common threat.
    .
    And…

  70. Adrien

    But to ask about a specificity Tyro, how do you see China v USA playing out over the next, say, 20 years?

  71. Tyro Rex

    Adrien,

    My impression is that the Jihadis have effectively lost. Oh they might still win over Afghanistan/FATA Pakistan or achieve some spectacular explosion somewhere but in reality, I think their struggles have devolved back into the regional/national conflicts like Kashmir, Kurdistan, “Talibanistan”, Palestinian Hamas and Palestinian PLO, Arabian Gulf Shia, etc. The only nation remotely in danger from those forces apart from Afghanistan is Saudi Arabia and remember, in the east of that country it’s actually Shia-majority and they won’t take kindly to Al Quaeda rule … only the authoritarian House of Saud can keep a repressive lid on them. Once (if) that’s lifted all sorts of shit will break out in that part of the country (and you can bet the CIA will find a new best friend in that region). And you have to distinguish between Arab Shia and Persian Shia. I just don’t get the impression that there’s a monolithic block of pan-Muslim radicals that have any chance of real success with winning over the rest, and no chance of simple domination of them. Like say, all the various communist factions of the 70s and 80s, from the outside they might look superficially threatening, but a slightly more lingering gaze reveals many disagreements internally as to short AND long term goal and methods that will keep them weak effectively forever.

    A lot of those conflicts will simmer for a long time and some of them might actually get solved – possibly through redrawing some borders (e.g. very sorry Pakistan, but …). I think in the medium term (e.g. 5 to 10 years) the “old” tensions in the Pacific (i.e. China/America) and Europe (i.e. Russia/America) will reassert itself and the period o 2001-2010 will be seen as a wasted opportunity of pointless conflict (or maybe not). Of course maybe I am wrong and the entire Western economy will spectacularly collapse next year – but if that happens, there’s no telling what will happen! China isn’t without internal tensions for example, there’s no guarantee it doesn’t break up if its economic prosperity sinks into a sea of American debt.

  72. Tyro Rex

    “But to ask about a specificity Tyro, how do you see China v USA playing out over the next, say, 20 years?”

    China is trying to build a blue-water navy but in 20 years it still won’t be able to challenge the Americans in that regard because it won’t have the necessary military doctrine or experience to utilise such assets fully. Meanwhile I note that America and its allies including Australia are heavily building out their littoral capabilities with increasing reliance and subsurface assets and amphibious troop-lift capability, the latter something China is totally lacking at present.

    So while that means America will remain unchallenged in terms of global supremacy, regionally of course it will be very interesting as China’s already increasing use of “soft” diplomacy comes to the fore. However, if the world economy actually recovers (see my previous post’s caveat) I would expect that over the next 20 years China in fact becomes more integrated into the international system and that conflict will be mostly economic in nature or of the cold-war variety.

  73. GregM

    It’s just my intuition. You can’t really tell. The pages of Foreign Affairs in the 90s (I’ve only read the latter half of the decade) don’t give much indication of the Iraq War.

    Then you’ll have to change your reading material.

    In October 1998 Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act and in December 1998 the United States attacked Iraq, launching 200 cruise missiles against it.

    If those events, along with Clinton’s February 1998 policy speech on Iraq, http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/17/transcripts/clinton.iraq/ passed Foreign Affairs’ notice then it is a remarkably ill-informed journal upon which you should place no reliance as a source in informing your opinion.

  74. nilk

    Guys, I’ve not read all of the comments yet (one of Blair’s flying monkeys here).

    Regarding the why of targeting western hotels and westerners? That’s an easy one: more bang for your buck.

    The perpetrators are not ignorant peasants. Their leaders know how to play the media game, they know how to get attention. If they’re not getting enough attention by killing other Indians, then up the ante.

    It’s not rocket science.

    They know the bleeding hearts will talk themselves around in circles trying to define “root causes” or bleating about “why do they hate us?”

    That’s also simple: they hate us because we are a threat to them by their very existence.

    Radical islam does not accord equality to women, or homosexuals, or other civilisations.

    Radical islam is also prepared to take direct action to counter these things when they can get away with it.

    Let’s face it, the tactic is working – we’re too busy being nice about all this, and trying not to offend.

    Well, f*ck that, I’m offended.

    I’m offended at the handwringing, and people who think that it’s okay for our servicemen and women to die in the line of duty, but not those who’ve attacked us.

    It’s not okay to diminish the sacrifice (yes, and I use that word deliberately) of those who make a conscious choice to stand up for something. Not like so many we can all name who don’t consider that our life is worth anything.

    How many here are proud of our (western) country? How many love the liberties that we take for granted today?

    How many are prepared to protect them without question?

    I worked on a short film a few months back and was talking with one of the actors: I was reading The Suicide of Reason, which generated some interest, and I asked him if he thought our country was worth dying for.

    He said “No.”

    Why? Because of things we’ve done in the past. We need to make some sort of atonement.

    Okay, how much should we pay to fix it? He didn’t know, and couldn’t begin to articulate it.

    He’s a 27 year old uni student.

    It takes a whole lot more to put aside this attitude and volunteer to protect something that so many consider so worthless.

    As for the immediate concern about cowardice..

    Do I think suicide bombers or these terrorists are cowardly? Not at all – they just look at things differently to what we do. There are other views than those of cloistered armchair analysts, you know.

    /rant

  75. wizofaus

    “There has to be a point where individuals are not held responsible for the actions of their forebears”

    Um, how about the moment that you’re born? I don’t consider myself the least bit responsible for anything my parents did before I was born, or indeed almost anything they’ve done since then.

    What’s more, I can’t find any evidence that Muslims believe that the sins of fathers are visited upon their sons – it seems to be a peculiarly Judeo-Christian thing. OTOH, there are definitely Muslims that believe all Westerners are inherently a threat to (their brand of) Islam, and are hence justifiable targets for their jihad.

  76. Chris

    I suggest that its time the West took action to remove the incentives for terrorism. Its a style of operation designed to capitalise on rumour and media. If we actied like this is a war waged by evil ideas against peace, our tactics should alter.
    1) Journalism is the front line. At present media organisations are willingly co-opted as force multipliers for terrorists. If reporters were only allowwed to report facts, without sensation or horror pictures, and the stories were put after two-headed dogs born in Paddington, the incentives would be greatly reduced.
    2) The teachers of the ideology and people who fund them should be recognised appropriately as the causes. Their hosts and funding sources should be recognised appropriately.
    3) Civilians in target populations – like Muslim women and children in Iraq, gay people, Indian doctors, Pakistani feminists, Saudi women, Iranian educated people, should be taught tactics to ‘build a bridge and get over it’. Civil defense training, first aid, swarming tactics against terrorists, medals and recognition for heroic actions to rescue victims, avert violence and capture terrorists. Make the innocent, the winners even in the aftermath of violence.
    4)Terrorists captured alive should be used more creatively to discredit their cause. Iraq was televising the humiliating confessions, a great idea.
    5) An idea of Barack Obama’s should be taken up enthusiastically – a civilian volunteer force, on the front line of social change, could engage in consciousness-raising and social struggle to persuade the sympathisers and supporters of terrorists to reject their hateful moral values and become a force for peace.

  77. Tyro Rex

    Stratfor concludes on the political situation in India:

    The political situation is still dicey, but Congress is increasingly looking like it will be unable to survive the aftermath of this attack unless it takes more aggressive action. At the same time, the buildup in the BJP’s rhetoric locks that party into a more hardline position, should it end up coming to power. Either way, the potential for a crisis in Indo-Pakistani relations is still high.

  78. Legal Eagle

    Wizofaus, I’d agree with you. Why should I be held personally responsible for the actions of my parents?

    I was responding to the notion that terrorists see Westerners as legitimate targets because of the actions of their governments (either in the immediate past or long ago). You hear stuff about retaliation for the Crusades from Al Qaeda, for goodness sakes! And similarly, the Bali bombers used the logic that Australia helped the US invade Afghanistan and Iraq, therefore Australians are fair game for terrorists. There is a sense in which the victims of terrorism are held responsible for the actions of their government. It may not be a traditionally Muslim concept that the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, but it’s utilised by Islamist terrorists. And used almost as an excuse by others commenting on the issue.

    To me, it seems the truly brave are those ordinary citizens who faced down these guys and put their lives at risk.

  79. Adrien

    Beb – Allow me to state the obvious, you are a moron.

    Yes that’s pretty obvious. With you it takes a little time before people make that realisation. 🙂 .
    .
    One of your heroic guys in Mumbai faked his own death, begged to be kept alive, then decided he wanted to die and now we can’t keep up with what the coward wants.
    .
    So by that logic an act of cowardice by, say, an American in the Battle of the Bulge renders the whole American military chickenshit. Well done. Peerless argument. Anyway I know where you got that from.
    .
    Still glad to see that the Right is stuffed to the brim with people who think for themselves.

  80. Adrien

    Why should I be held personally responsible for the actions of my parents?
    .
    You shouldn’t. Under our system. In their world you are. It goes back further than Islam and it’s pretty endemic right across the spectrum of humanity. Funnily enough you could argue that the Crusades were in retaliation for the incursion on to European territory of Muslims.
    .
    To me, it seems the truly brave are those ordinary citizens who faced down these guys and put their lives at risk.
    .
    Yeah. the best kind of courage, raise a glass. Truly.

  81. Nabakov

    Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out. However which God? That’s when it gets tricky.

  82. FDB

    “You are the kind of parasite that cowers behind the warriors that protect you farts about in Blair’s sheltered workshop every day while trying to slip a knife in their back waiting to be told where to go trolling.”

  83. wizofaus

    Legal, ah well…citizens are at least indirectly responsible for the actions of their government. It might not be rational, but when attacking the government directly is too difficult, attacking those that took part in electing them might well seem like a justifiable fall-back.

    But I think it’s more complex than that – I suspect many radical Muslims look at any Westerner and see a potentially corrupting influence, and hence a threat to their goal to spread Islam to the world. Which is not so far away from our own likely reaction to any known Moslem extemists living among us, even if they’ve done nothing wrong personally, nor planned to. They represent a threat to our desire to see freedom, peace and tolerance spread around the world – the major difference is that we would never consider it justified to kill such people.

  84. Nabakov

    Following up on “leftist” Adrien’s “cowardly” comment which Blair deliberately took out of context to keep plying his flying monkeys with raw meat – it’s interesting to speculate on the similarities and differences between the Mumbai terrorists, the Waffen SS, Bomber Command and the U-Boat service, Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily during Stalingrad, Torpedo 8 during the Battle of Midway, the 300 at the Hot Gate, HMS Amethyst and hell hundreds of other incidents, and actions.

    Some of them waged deliberate war on civilians and some didn’t. Some understood the strategies that committed them to battle and some didn’t. But they all had one thing in common – they knew it more likely than not they’d die and they went ahead anyway.

    In many cases, their cause and/or mission was utterly reprehensible or ineffectual in the long run but the one thing you couldn’t call ’em was ‘cowardly’.

    Beb, like so many of his/her ilk, confuses discussion of the symptoms with endorsement of the disease. Perhaps deliberately ‘cos they have same bloodthirsty ends justify the means mindset as the terrorists or perhaps because they’re just morons responding to a demagogue’s psychic cattleprod.

    Islamic terrorists aren’t the shock troops of some attempt to impose a Caliphate on us, regardless of what they or the Bebs of the world think. They’re just buboes in the armpits of the world. This particular plague will be excised and cured eventually.

    Then along will come a new one. Such is the way of the world. You want something new to worry about? How about 40 million spoilt chinese men without women. Or 20 million Americans with access to guns watching their home equity vanish into thin air. Or millions of the fucked-over Mexico slums organised by proto-Zapatas with prepaid mobiles.

    I guarantee Islamic terrorists are gonna look like an bee sting compared to what’s coming down the pike as the energy and anger gets organised in the vast urban slums across the world from Lagos to Rio.

  85. Posey

    There is a sense in which the victims of terrorism are held responsible for the actions of their government. It may not be a traditionally Muslim concept that the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, but it’s utilised by Islamist terrorists. And used almost as an excuse by others commenting on the issue.

    To me, it seems the truly brave are those ordinary citizens who faced down these guys and put their lives at risk.

    This is quite gender exclusionary language.

    India has a long tradition of militant armed guerilla movements that incorporate significant numbers of both landless peasant and elite women belonging to the upper strata of Indian society. I doubt that it is any different today.

    Some of the most interesting and well-recorded of these occurred in the second and third decades of the 20th century. These women (and men) too were labelled terrorists by the British and the historians of their empire. Most remained nameless as did their families and the communities supporting them or from which they sprang and their brave reasons for risking death were likewise dismissed or ignored by slavish courtiers and racists.

  86. Adrien

    FDB – Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out. However which God? That’s when it gets tricky.
    .
    No it doesn’t. It’s this one. You know I’m right.
    .
    Nabakov – Beb, like so many of his/her ilk, confuses discussion of the symptoms with endorsement of the disease. Perhaps deliberately
    .
    A fine phrasing Vlad and true. It’s a common tactic. Funnilly enough the use of this tactic and the demonizing of intellectuals as fifth column traitors and indulgent luxurians is a favourite tactic of repressive anti-democratic types in the, um, Middle-East. Funny ol;’ world innit 🙂 .
    .
    Not that I’m an intellectual or nuthin’. No ’til I watch Echographies of Television anyway. Think I’ll give it a miss.

  87. Tyro Rex

    What Nabs said @ 85.

    Oh except for the fact that maybe these crackpots will get to play with Pakistan for a while.

  88. Mark

    Gosh, “leftist Adrien” – I had no idea! 😉

    I’ve deleted that comment from beb. Hadn’t seen it before.

    Interesting that timmeh can still do his link thing but when he calls flying monkeys from the lusty deep, they don’t come any more!

  89. Michael Sutcliffe

    Interesting that timmeh can still do his link thing but when he calls flying monkeys from the lusty deep, they don’t come any more!

    LP has a fairly solid reputation as a lefty site. Hence, an angry reaction from the right will give LP credibility. Unlike the numerous left-wing sites with no credibility, in which a logical right-wing onslaught will effectively ensure that no one takes it seriously for quite some time.

    You should feel proud – all the right-wingers have already heard of LP and can’t be bothered making the effort. Blogging isn’t as avant-garde as it used to be. But hey, if we’re bored we may come and point out the error of your ways!

  90. Legal Eagle

    Wizofaus @ 83: I agree on both points.

    Posey @ 85:

    The idea of the sins of the father being visited on the son is derived from the Old Testament.

    “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”

    (Exodus 20:5) and (Deuteronomy 5:9)

    I am female. I was using the concept figuratively rather than literally.

    I know that women are capable of committing acts of terrorism as well as men. Funnily enough, I understand that Al Qaeda has had problems dealing with the concept of female suicide bombers when some have volunteered.

    The analogy, however, was that the victims of terrorism are like the “sons” on whom vengeance is visited for the actions of the “father” (government). There was certainly no discrimination by the terrorists there – they were prepared to kill anyone, regardless of gender or age. Pretty horrible.

  91. Adrien

    Gosh, “leftist Adrien” – I had no idea!
    .
    And you call yourself a postmodernist (or not). Don’t you understand it’s all about contextual relationships. Here I’m a cold blooded individualist, but over there I’m a right Bolshie bastard 🙂

  92. Mark

    Err, no, I’ve always been resolute in not calling myself a postmodernist! In fact I’m not a big fan. But that’s another story, etc.

    So your strategy is a bit like KRudd’s – if both the left and right are kicking up a fuss, you must be doing something right? 😉

  93. Adrien

    So your strategy is a bit like KRudd’s
    .
    Yesterday someone compared me to Antony Lowenstein. Why the sudden cruelty? What have I ever done to you? 🙂

  94. Posey

    [email protected] – I know what you are saying but if you’re looking at patriarchal Abrahamic religions and their texts to explain the Mumbai events you’re looking in the wrong place and reducing politics and economics to a simple level that is functionally useless if not reactionary in its effect.

    We may never know who these people were, their nationality or even gender. I wouldn’t believe for a moment what we are told about their identities or motives and there are already reports that all their IDs were false.

    BTW, do you have any idea of the extent of poverty in Mumbai and its historic relationship to colonialism and neo-liberalism, the meddling role of the British and the American governments and the current discrimination endured by Muslims living there? What have you got to say about that?

  95. Adrien

    What have you got to say about that?
    .
    Why don’t you something about that. Putting the onus on others in demonstrating their ignorance is an old trick. Pity so many still fall for it.
    .
    Not sure if Scripture explains Mumbai, but an awful lot of it sounds like Mumbai.

  96. Legal Eagle

    Posey @ 94. One of my oldest friends is an Indian Muslim. We have been friends since we were 10 years old, and I was MC at her wedding. So, yes. I know all about the history of colonialism in India, and the discrimination against Indian Muslims.

    As it happens, my friend and I were chatting about it last night. She was saying that she is worried for her in-laws because she is concerned that the Hindutva psychos will now go and attack Muslim communities in India in response to this event. We were also worried for our Hindu friend and her Hindu relatives in Mumbai (her Dad converted from Hinduism to Islam to marry her Mum). She is of the opinion that NOTHING excuses the actions of these terrorists – not the colonial history of India, not Kashmir, not discrimination against Muslim minorities in India, not the actions of Hindutva. In her opinion, it is this kind of action which exacerbates the problem and makes Muslim minorities even more persecuted and isolated within Indian society.

    I agree with her. Apart from being murder, terrorism is not appropriate because it exacerbates the problem and increases the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims rather than fixing anything. These people do it because they want to create a schism, not because they want to fix the economic and social problems of Muslim minorities.

    I should also say that I have studied Islam, as well as Judaism and Christianity (there is a very interesting Talmudic discussion of that passage quoted above from Exodus and Deuteronomy).

    In one version of Islam I studied, the afterlife was said to reflect the way in which you treated other people 1000 times over. So if you were nice, it was heaven, but if you were nasty…well. I hope those terrorists get the nasty version.

  97. Legal Eagle

    Here is a more detailed explanation of my take over at Skepticlawyer.

  98. Adrien

    the Hindutva psychos will now go and attack Muslim communities in India in response to this event
    .
    Which is one of the objectives of this kind of thing.
    .
    There’s an anti-Muslim crackdown. The Muslims retaliate. It creates a chasm between Muslims and everybody else: war. It’d probably work a little better if these dipshits didn’t kills so many of there own as well.

  99. Adrien

    She is of the opinion that NOTHING excuses the actions of these terrorists – not the colonial history of India, not Kashmir, not discrimination against Muslim minorities in India, not the actions of Hindutva.
    .
    Yeah absolutely.
    .
    I was thinking about the scene in <i1984 in which Winston and Julia go to O’Brien’s place to join the Brotherhood. They promise to do various things on behalf of this resistance including throwing acid in the face of a child. This is used later against Winston in his interrogation.
    .
    Orwell’s experiences in Catalonia might’ve prompted this. Some basic idea that no matter how nefarious your enemy there’s a line, and if you cross it, you become just as much a part of the problem as them.
    .
    Whatever the morality of their case, and a lot of it’s just chauvanistic hubris, when one reads about tourists getting kidnapped by Cheyneans and raped, well, there goes ny claim to moral superiority doesn’t it? What’s ‘holy’ about that?

  100. Posey

    the Hindutva psychos will now go and attack Muslim communities in India in response to this event

    Yeah, one part of the mission accomplished. Question is: whose mission and what else did it entail?

    And apart from the ginormous omission of such necessary questions from your take there is the other huge dimension missing from your analysis of these – or similar – events.

  101. Adrien

    The huge dimension missing from your analysis Posey is your analysis.

  102. Posey

    No one is interested, so I don’t bother, which doesn’t mean there isn’t a missing dimension. There most certainly is.

  103. Adrien

    I am.

  104. Posey

    ok, Adrien, of the forever-questing, planet-sized, prodigious mind. Here is a hint:

    The radiant stars with beauty strike our eyes
    Because midst gloom opaque we see them rise.

    Mutanabbi (915-965.A.D.)

  105. Adrien

    You mean peanut sized really doncha? 🙂 .
    .
    Nice bit a dogg’rel.

  106. Liam

    Even Jacques Cousteau couldn’t get that profound, as the literary scholar ODB opined famously. I prefer this philosophy, Posey/Jinmaro(?):

    I think it’s time for you boys
    To share my last taste of the true black meat
    The flesh of the giant aquatic Brazilian… centipede.

    (Bomb The Bass, 1994 A.D.)

  107. Posey

    Glad you like it.

    Mutanabbi on one occasion handed to his patron prince (in Aleppo, northern Syria) a copy of an ode he’d recently composed in the prince’s honour.

    Far from being displeased by M’s arrogance, Sayfu ‘l-Dawla was so charmed by the artful collection of 14 imperatives in a single verse he granted every request.

    These were:

    “Pardon, bestow, endow, mount, raise, console, restore
    Add, laugh, rejoice, bring nigh, show favour, gladden, give!”

  108. Andrew Reynolds

    Interesting other happening here – the local Muslim cemetery is refusing to accept them for burial on the basis that they are not Muslims.

  109. Adrien

    It was a high time in the region that. Shame about what happened. What did happen. Oh that’s right. Something about religion running the place.
    .
    Never happen to us of course. We’re Westerners.

  110. Posey

    You have to dig a bit deeper.

    Religion doesn’t run the world. It is a secondary artefact.

    Falsehood has so corrupted all the world
    That wrangling sects each other’s gospel chide;
    But were not hate Man’s natural element
    Churches and mosques had risen side by side.

    Abu al-Ala al-Maarri, 973-1057

  111. Liam

    But as Belloc taught us, sectarianism can be fun and profitable.

    Heretics all, whoever you may be,
    In Tarbes or Nimes, or over the sea,
    You never shall have good words from me.
    Caritas non conturbat me.

    But Catholic men that live upon wine
    Are deep in the water, and frank, and fine;
    Wherever I travel I find it so,
    Benedicamus Domino.

  112. Legal Eagle

    Posey, I’m interested – whose mission do you think it is? And what do you think it entails? Do you think the massacre was committed by Islamist terrorists, or someone else?

  113. Adrien

    Posey – Religion doesn’t run the world. It is a secondary artefact.
    .
    Nope, you’re right. Still this. More or less (stoopidf’knmnkys).
    .
    Nice verses there Posey. I have only the most scant general knowledge of the period and would like to know more. Was the translation by an Elizabethan/Jacobian perchance?
    .
    Liam –

    To the savage men respect
    One needs not beloved
    And narey verse not even Brecht
    Can forbid you bein’ shoved
    .
    Action’s not the property
    Of them possess kind heart
    The faith that matters true y’see
    Is: fortes Deus adiuvat

  114. Posey

    Belloc? Such an uncompromising – to the point of bigotry – defender of the Roman Catholic Church is not to be trusted on matters sectarian. Sectarianism is neither fun nor profitable to five year olds, or even one-day olds, which is when it first impacts on most.

    On the other hand someone like Jonathan Swift who, as Yeats said, “served human liberty” and is seriously cool to boot, is much more my cup of billy tea.

    On the World

    With a whirl of thoughts oppress’d,
    I sunk from reverie to rest.
    A horrid vision seized my head,
    I saw the graves give up their dead!
    Jove, arm’d with terrors, bursts the skies,
    And thunder roars and lightning flies!
    Amazed, confused, its fate unknown,
    The world stands trembling at his throne!
    While each pale sinner hung his head,
    Jove, nodding, shook the heavens, and said:
    “Offending race of human kind,
    By nature, reason, learning, blind;
    You who, through frailty, stepp’d aside;
    And you, who never fell from pride:
    You who in different sects were shamm’d,
    And come to see each other damn’d;
    (So some folk told you, but they knew
    No more of Jove’s designs than you;)
    —The world’s mad business now is o’er,
    And I resent these pranks no more.
    —I to such blockheads set my wit!
    I damn such fools!—Go, go, you’re bit.”

  115. Posey

    Legal Eagle, like you I don’t know who the actual people were and even if we did it wouldn’t answer so many other much more important questions.

    The roots of conflict today between Muslims and Hindus within and between these two brutally created nation states lies in the way the British partitioned India as their rule ended in 1947 and all that flowed from that.

    The growth in terrorist groups whether Hindu or Islamic particularly in recent decades is directly due to the role of the US in deliberately fostering terrorism in the region and so many other parts of the world.

    This is an article I found useful on recent events.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11217

  116. Adrien

    Posey – Methinks Liam’s a mick, they don’t know what sectarianism is. 🙂

  117. Posey

    Adrien, Friedrich Dieterici, Professor of Arabic in Berlin mid to late 19th century translated M and the English translations from that were done in mid 20thC by R.A. Nicholson. Read his ‘Literary History of the Arabs’ and your life will be well lived.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynold_A._Nicholson

  118. Adrien

    Posey – Cheers for that.
    .
    The roots of conflict today between Muslims and Hindus within and between these two brutally created nation states lies in the way the British partitioned India as their rule ended in 1947 and all that flowed from that.
    .
    Yes true. The British had a policy of organizing their ex-colonies into dysfunctional shitholes of ethnic conflict to help keep ’em from, um, competing. How nice of them.
    .
    Important to consider at least two other things. One is that chunks of India were under Muslim rule before the Brits arrived. Another is the fact that India was not a ‘nation’ in the sense we commonly use. Ghandi had to create one effectively. And he used the Hindu religion to do it. The law of unintended consequences then applied – D’oh!
    .
    Why can’t people … Just. Be. Nice.

  119. GregM

    Yes true. The British had a policy of organizing their ex-colonies into dysfunctional shitholes of ethnic conflict to help keep ‘em from, um, competing. How nice of them.

    Well I suppose that’s one way to describe New Zealand.

    When do you think you can get around to posting a link to this British policy so that we can all see it?

  120. Posey

    To close the circle on the “hidden” or other dimension referred to I feel I should recommend at the very least the following three texts.

    Pardon me, while out of sight I willingly and abjectly swoon at the very mention of these genius’s names.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Young_(academic)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Denial_of_Death

    http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2191&editorial_id=11225

  121. Ambigulous

    Posey and Adrien,

    It’s a a tad over-simplistic to blame most of the post-independence antagonism between Pakistan/India on the departing British. Was Partition chosen by local nationalists? Yes, by some (not all). The conflicts and severe differences already existed in the region. They were scarcely invented by the British. Horrendous storms of murder during Partition, but I doubt many British were murdering. Please consult the ghosts of Jinnah, Ghandhi, and dozens of other nationalist leaders, before making this easy (and erroneous and libellous) charge against the Brits.

    BTW, do you believe Britain deliberately divided Australia into warring States, or did the colonists themselves have some say in it??

  122. Ambigulous

    Ummmm Gregm chose NZ as an example, I chose Australia. Independently of each other. True dinks. Trans-Tasman affection is stronger then fush und chups.

  123. GregM

    The roots of conflict today between Muslims and Hindus within and between these two brutally created nation states lies in the way the British partitioned India as their rule ended in 1947 and all that flowed from that.

    If you knew anything at all about the history of the subcontinent, which you don’t, you’d be aware that the roots of the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus within and between these two brutally created nations has a great deal more to do with the activities of Mahmud of Ghazni and his successors than to the way the British partitioned India.

  124. Posey

    Yeah, Adrien, the British shafted and plundered India big time and for long time.

    This is a great book on this.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/IA27Dj01.html

  125. jo

    jinmaro, that Global Research article on the Mumbai terror attacks you linked to @ 155 is pretty crap – just unreferenced assertions mixed with bitsa newspaper reports etc. A 9/11 truther – “it’s all the CIA” – 9/11, Bali, London, Mumbai.

    I bet Yanks and the CIA just wish they were still that influential.