Our prayers and best wishes are with the people of India, the latest victims of Islamic fascism.
India is the world’s largest democracy, it has more English speakers than any other country in the world, and it should be one of America’s greatest allies — much more than it is now — and I think it will be one day.
For now, we have a common enemy.
UPDATE: I see some people asking the question whether Pakistan is involved in this, with the idea seeming to be that the worst thing that could happen would be for India to retaliate if so. I ask them this: If the Mexican or Canadian government were implicated on an identical attack on New York, would any American accept no response as the proper response from our government? The Indians should determine who is behind this attack, and retaliate forcefully. If it is Pakistan, the USA should cancel the large weapon sale we are about to make to Pakistan (See also this), and consider what further steps are necessary. Our so-called “allies” in the “war or terror” — Saudi, Pak, Egypt — are in fact the major training grounds, ideological heartlands, recruiting depots and funding sources for the other side, the jihadi side, in this war. We will need to figure that out. The Indians do not have the option of deluding themselves about it.
UPDATE II: Eyewitness accounts of the attack.
15 thoughts on “Mumbai”
If it should ever come to a decision as to whether or not to cease cooperation with Pakistan, how would that impact our operations in Afghanistan?
Since Pakistan seems to be backing the current Taliban offensive, which might end up destroying our position in Pakistan, it is an open question what we are getting out of Pakistan now. (See this article about Pakistan. And this from the Counterterrorism blog — and this from the Acorn, where the Indian guys make fun of the CTB guys for taking so long to figure out the Taliban/Pakistan connection.)
If we imposed some costs on Pakistan for their behavior, they might change their behavior.
My understanding is that Pakistan has condemned the attack and called it terrorism with no weasel words whatsoever. The present government of Pakistan may be doing exactly what it should be doing. Unless things change for the worse, can we refrain from spurning muslims who we can ally with?
The Pakistani government verbally condemns terrorism, but acts differently. Whatever the verbiage is worth, it is nice to have it. We should make some demands on them to match it with deeds. In particular, we should push them to (1) stop supporting terrorism in Kashmir and against India generally, and (2) to stop supporting the Taliban, which is currently shooting at NATO troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan gets a lot from the USA. We should have leverage. We should be able to get some concessions in return.
Pakistan is an interesting example of real politic at work. The country is split and Musharref needs to play a careful game while trying to bring the ISI and other forces under control. I doubt he will be fully successful and with a bit of bad luck the country could descend into some sort of civil war, if it hasn’t already done so in the Northwest Province. In one strand of history I see the first use of atomic weapons since the end of WWII being part of Muslim on Muslim violence. Let us hope that things work out better than that.
At a minimum we should also put the F-16 deal on ice until we have seen affirmative action along the lines Lex suggested. Musharrif has been able to play on both sides for too long. Given this and the increase in Taliban activity, he needs to feel more heat.
The red background on the code number is appreciated.
The best thing for our interests right now is for the Indians not to rock the boat with Pakistan. It’s obviously not in their best interests to do that.
I don’t know if it’s just “for now,” Lex.
I swear I read a blurb or a post on a blog that someone figured/extrapolated that the Hindus lost about 80 million people over the centuries to the islamofascists. They’ve been fighting them as long or longer than we.
Sandy, according to Prof. Huntington, the undeniable pattern is that, of all civilizations, Islam has had the bloodiest borders. (That’s not necessarily to say other civilizations are saintly; they tend to have bloody interiors, as witnessed within the Sinic and Russian civilizations by the ordeal of Maoism and Stalinism, and even within Western civilization, as exemplified by the Thirty Years War, the French and English Wars, and the First and Second World Wars.)
If Pakistan is behind this, it just rocked the boat with them. I tend to think it is in our interest to destroy the islamic fascists wherever they are. If Pakistan is a source of the problem, we should support the Indians. That’s what I think our interest is. Each can draw his own conclusion.
Good take on the issue.
“For now, we have a common enemy”
Not really. India’s enemy and the likely insitigator of these attacks are Pakistan. Dubya considers Musharraf ‘the best ally in the war on terror’.
Bush and his administration are wrong about Pakistan.
Do you mean that Musharraf approved the attack? I doubt it. I also doubt that Bush has any illusions about Pakistan, a weak country whose govt is riven by factions. Musharraf is merely the best of a number of poor alternatives. Does anyone think the odds favor his replacement’s being better for our interests?
I don’t know if Bush’s tactics in handling the Pakis are the best, but I think his tacit long-term decision to finesse the situation rather than take over the place was probably wise. If we can get 50% of the benefits of war without invading we are ahead of the game. This isn’t Iraq under Saddam Hussein, where all of our non-military gambits were ineffective.
Another point. We don’t yet know who did the Mumbai bombings. It’s conceivable that the perpetrators were not Pakistanis and/or are trying to provoke conflict between India and Pakistan. The pro-Iranian insurgents in Iraq have tried to do similar things there.
Musharraf could clean up the ISI. We should push him to do this. I am not talking about taking over the place. That is a physical impossibility. Whether he had prior personal knowledge or not is irrelevant. We are currently facing a very powerful resurgence of the Taliban, supported by Pakistan. India has been suffering a wave of increasingly sophisticated terrorism, culminating in this Mumbai attack, most likely supported by Pakistan. Meanwhile, we are sending a very large package of conventional arms to Pakistan. We should not be doing this when they are behaving as they are. We have finessed them long enough. We should demand that they clean house and stop supporting our enemies and terrorists generally. We have leverage with them. We should use it more aggressively.
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