Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lessons to be Learned From Mumbai

On December 7, 1941, America received a rude awakening that it was poorly prepared for any sort of military challenge. Quickly we rose to the task, overcoming the cutoff of strategic raw materials.

India has received a bloody wakeup call, as has Great Britain, seven of whose citizens were involved in the attack. For India, the bitter news was that its police were insufficiently prepared, at times showing what could most tactfully be called shocking incompetence.

Sebatian d’Souza, a photographer for the Mumbai Mirror spoke with a reporter for the Belfast Telegraph. He was in the train station in Mumbai, amd photographed the gunman in their The BelfastTelegraph reported as follows.

“The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D’Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back. “I first saw the gunmen outside the station,” Mr D’Souza said. “With their rucksacks and Western clothes they looked like backpackers, not terrorists, but they were very heavily armed and clearly knew how to use their rifles.”

In contrast to the gunman who killed with chilling skill and icy determination, the police seemed paralysed by indecision. The Beldast Telegraph continues with its report.

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

India is capable of decisive action. In response to piracy off the coast of Somalia, India has taken an approach of cutting through the gordian knot of legal niceties and defended their ships with no holds barred. Within India is administrative chaos that we can not imagine in America or Europe. Truck drivers passing from one state in India to another must fill out customs documents at each state border. The Hindu Nationalist Party Bharatiya Janata complains bitterly of concessions to India’s Muslim minority. Muslims in turn complain of prejudice and discrimination by the Hindu majority. Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan, with Hindus complaining of being pushed out of what is for them also a homeland. India’s founding father, Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu Nationalist who felt Gandhi was compromising “Hindutva” in India. Prime Minister Indira gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by Sikh extremists. During partition in 1947 tens of thousands of Hindus and Muslims were killed in sectarian violence. Even India’s tiny Christian minority is not immune to violence from Hindus who do not countenance any escape from India’s caste system. With its multiple languages, alphabets and faith communities India resembles Jugoslavia in the seeming intractability of its problems.

India has incorporated the entire calendar of Islamic holidays into its schedule of national holidays. It has already given considerable legal weight to Islamic law within Muslim communities in the country. In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks it is hard to imagine Muslim complaints of discrimination eliciting anything but indignant scorn.

Pearl Harbor was an act of war in a simpler age, when attacks were carried out under a national flag. Today, acts of war are no longer committed under a flag. “A day that will live in infamy” was Roosevelt’s term used to describe the Pearl Harbor attack. Today unarmed innocents are not only killed but actively sought out in a manner that would defy the boundaries of Roosevelt’s eloquence.

India has to overcome poor training and disorganisation. It must also confront the security problems posed by its own minorities within the government. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards, whose Sikh identity was worth more to them than guarding her life or even their own lives. Many young Muslim Indians have come to a crossroads, where their loyalty to Islam and its vision for India trumps civic loyalty. How do you focus ruthless brutal force on the violent and lawless without involving the innocent? At such a critical juncture in India’s history, secret police, surveillance and identifying suspects would be a good alternative to brutal and random crackdowns.

The United Kingdom has a special relationship with India. Many Indians and Pakistanis have emigrated to the UK. A significant minority have incubated the virus of a virulent extremism on British soil, using it as a launching pad and a fund raising source for attacks on India and also Pakistan. Great Britain needs to examine its own guilt in coddling Muslim extremists , permitting them to raise funds, organise and recruit on British soil.

So craven is British appeasement of its Muslim minority that they are recognising polygamous marriages contracted in Islamic countries. When this is combined with a birth rate among Europeans that is below replacement level, you have a prescription for national suicide. Appeasement breeds contempt. Historically, political movements both legitimate and degenerate develop away from the countries in which they are rooted. Ho Chi Minh and Jose Marti both spent time in New York City. Gandhi developed his sense of Indian identity while living in South Africa. Lenin spent time in Switzerland and throughout Europe. National identity is often developed abroad by the intelligentsia who take refuge in foreign lands.

India does not need foreign troops. It has however formidable problems that it must face if it wants to survive as a nation. What America, the UK and the European Union must do is to stop incubating the destructive ideologies that are being launched from its soil. The west must close its safe haven to India’s enemies. There is no other way. Sphere: Related Content

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