don’t believe the hype


What we can learn from Mumbai (a.k.a. Why people were so worried about Obama’s foreign policy to begin with) by mchoy

Mumbai, India (previously Bombay, I know! I had no idea they changed it either) was recently rocked by an almost 3 day rampage of terrorist attacks. People have argued that these attacks were a result of longstanding Indian-Pakistani tensions. However, as the famous historian Arthur Herman, in a recent article, argues, Indian-Pakistani tensions have never been more friendly. He writes a very interesting article about the illusions much of mianstream culture holds about the terrorist threat and the War on Terror. hint: its still out there!

Despite all the supposed fear mongering, these attacks showed that there still is something very real to be afraid of, that it is not just the saber rattling of war hawk Republicans. Along with this, Herman suggests two other illusions that hopefully have died as a result of the these attacks.

The first being that the terrorist threat can somehow be defused by diplomacy between nations. The second being that democratic nations can somehow ignore or call non existent this War on Terror and the threat will disappear.

Read the whole article here.

Highlights and thoughts after the JUMP

India and Pakistan relations really have never been better. Peace is the last thing the terrorists want to happen.

Many put the blame for the attack on years of Indian-Pakistani hostility and tension. In fact, relations between the two countries have never been warmer. This past month, Pakistan’s new president stunned and delighted Indians by publicly renouncing any first use of nuclear weapons. Violence in Kashmir, the principal bone of contention between India and Pakistan since 1947, is on the decline…

This is precisely what the terrorists don’t want, of course. It’s the fact that tensions over Kashmir are diminishing that prompted them to attack on the November 28 — just as al-Qaeda blew up Samarra’s Golden Mosque in Iraq back in 2006 in order to keep Shias and Sunnis hating and killing each other. The illusion that formal agreements between peoples and governments — whether between India and Pakistan or Israel and the Palestinian Authority — can somehow defuse the terrorist problem was the among the first casualties in Mumbai. Terrorists see it the other way around: the relaxation of tensions is a problem requiring bloodshed.

Despite India having a long history with terrorist violence, they have chosen up until this point to basically ignore it. It was only after these attacks that India even began to contemplate a strong solid counter-terrorist intelligence organization.

The media here and in India seem to have forgotten that this was not the first round of mass death in Mumbai. Bombings rocked the city back in the summer of 2005, killing more than 200, followed by bloody attacks on Jaipur and India’s high-tech capital, Bangalore, earlier this year.

In spite of this, India’s record on counterterrorism is abysmal, almost deliberately so. The government in New Delhi steadfastly maintains a wall of separation between law-enforcement agencies like the one that used to separate the FBI and CIA before the Patriot Act, and keeps counterterrorist units underfunded and undermanned. It has repeatedly given way to the demands of Islamic radical groups and fundamentalist lobbyists in the name of “cultural sensitivity.” India was the first non-Islamic country to ban Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses back in 1988.

India has no preventive detention laws; no laws to protect the identity of anti-terrorist witnesses; and no laws to allow domestic wiretapping without court order. In 2004, the new Congress Party government revoked India’s version of the Patriot Act, even as the Indian media was loudly condemning the U.S. for “torture” at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib.

In short, the Indian government has waged the war on terror in much the same way that liberals and many Democrats have been urging the U.S. to carry it out. The result is that more than 4,000 Indians have died in attacks since 2004 — more than any other nation in the war on terror besides Iraq.

You know, having read all this, you might as well go back and read the whole article, its not that much longer. Don’t worry, when you’re done, whether you agree or not, you’ll find yourself a bit more well informed, at least I did.





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1 Comment so far
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An interesting piece. The problem with my country is that our politicians are like castrated men in a harem. They know how to do it but can’t perform!

Comment by marculyseas




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