The bloody terror attack in Bombay, which was supposedly directed by the dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba, has had an interesting fallout as far as Mossad – the notorious intelligence agency of Israel – is concerned. One finds its growing mention in the Indian media as well as polity as a role model supposedly for ‘being successful’ in ‘curbing the terrorist menace’ inside Israel.
Little did all such ignoramuses ranging from the Barkhas to the Arnabs bother to know the fifty plus year old trajectory of the organisation which is formally responsible for intelligence collection but basically engaged in counter-terrorism, covert operations and paramilitary activities and political assassinations.One could say that it is part of amnesia that none from the chatterati brigade wants to take a critical as well as dispassionate look at its ‘myth of success’ vis-a-vis the Palestinian militants nor do they want know the terrorist acts engaged in by the agency to stigmatise its opponents.
Like so many millions of others, I was glued to the news for days during the Mumbai attacks. In the aftermath of the terrible human tragedy that reverberates from those long hours, I share the universal concern about the political context for these attacks, a context that is about to change as the governments of India and the U.S. each undergo another major governmental transition. In his response to the attacks, President-Elect Barack Obama said that militants based in South Asia represent the biggest threat to the United States. As we well know by now, South Asia is about to become a foreign policy priority for the Unites States like never before, and this should give us pause. Continue reading Mumbai, the Hindu Right, and the Problem with Sonal Shah→
Among Mr. Friedman’s long list of talents seems to be the ability to directly access the minds of dead people. After all, how else could he know that the real attackers in the Mumbai shootings shared the same set of intentions and motivations as the fictional characters he creates who murder an imam and his wife purely for being Sunni? Maybe his short sojourns in South Asia through airports and the plush suites of the Marriot and the Taj Mahal Hotel do not allow him to imagine any other kind of Muslim than a unidimensional protestor of xenophobic cartoon images (produced, distributed and hotly defended, incidentally, by the enlightened West). Maybe this talent comes from the same well of wisdom that made him the biggest promoter of the “innovative genius” of Wall Street bankers not too long ago, a position that he now has some trouble justifying, except by calling them “stupid”. Or just maybe, he has simply made it a habit to promote views and policies that have no basis in fact and do not stand up to the slightest scrutiny. After all, those are the perks that come with a regular column in a major newspaper and a guaranteed readership just waiting for one to provide the ‘expert’ fuel to their fire. Continue reading Mr Friedman’s Demagoguery→
It is highly instructive to go through the range of comments that some of our recent posts on terrorism and violence have elicited. Apart from some of the more mindless ones, there have also been some that raise supposedly substantive questions but in a manner that presupposes the answers. The very manner of raising the ‘questions’ is such that any answer but the one contained in the ‘question’ is bound to bring forth a volley of charges to which the comments themselves stand witness.
In one of the most daring and yet cowardly terror attacks, Bombay/Mumbai has been attacked. In an earlier post we had discussed the question of violence – ‘revolutionary’ violence, and the utter futility of resort to such methods. Violence is not a solution to anything; it cannot be. If anything, it is part of the problem; it is the problem. For violence begets more violence. Continue reading Grotesque Terror Attacks in Mumbai→
One day the story of the decade gone by will be unpacked by others. This was a decade that was bizarre and terrifying – cluttered with event-scenes: massacres, spectacles, war, endless staged media events, and a mysterious violence with shadow perpetrators whose names changed every day in police stories – a million changing acronyms of ‘terror’ groups.