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Posts Tagged ‘terrorism

A Spanish approach won’t work

with one comment

Amitav Ghosh writes an op-ed in New York Times, continuing the western liberal media (mainly BBC/NYT) motif of equating India and Pakistan as equal sufferers of terrorism:

The choice of targets in Mumbai clearly owes something to the September bombing of the Islamabad Marriott, another high-profile site sure to include foreign casualties. Here already there is common ground between the two countries — for if this has been a bad year for India in regard to terrorism, then for Pakistan it has been still worse.

Ghosh isn’t as bad of an apologist as some of the other recent commentators, but his political opinions are equally naive. Ghosh recommends a Spanish-style response in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings:

If 9/11 is a metaphor for one kind of reaction to terrorism, then 11-M (as it is known in Spanish) should serve as shorthand for a different kind of response: one that emphasizes vigilance, patience and careful police work in coordination with neighboring countries. This is exactly the kind of response India needs now, and fortunately this seems to be the course that the government, led by the Congress Party, has decided to follow.

While Spain has suffered from internal terrorism at the hands of the Basque militants, I doubt if the the Portuguese are as single mindedly devoted to the cause of seeking destruction of its neighbor as ours. In the last 30 years or so, isn’t only Pakistan that India has had to face, but other neighboring countries like Nepal or Bangladesh haven’t been the friendliest either, often harboring suspected terrorist, if not providing a launching pad for them.

While a non-(military)confrontational approach might not be a bad idea itself (although, as I will try to explain in another post, some flexing of military power is probably good in order to force a political solution), hoping for a great deal of co-operation from our neighbors is bit far-fetched.

And I have much less faith in the Congress Party than Ghosh.


Speaking of political parties, Ghosh inserts a rather pointless descriptor early in the article:

The secretary general of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the leading Hindu nationalist political faction,

Now whether you agree with BJP’s political views or not,  you have to admit that it is a mainstream political party in India, and the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha. Calling it a nationalist political faction, makes it sound like an Indian version of the BNP or Family First.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 3, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Mr Mishra, please STFU

with 4 comments

I have ranted before about Pankaj Mishra’s intellectual dishonesty, but his latest piece in the New York Times in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, can only be described as the work of lunatic who has lost all sense of perspectives.

Indeed, the outrage in Mumbai is the latest and clearest sign that the price of India’s uncompromising stance on Kashmir has become too high, imperiling its economy as well as its security

Yes, Mr Mishra, it is because of Kashmir that a bunch of 10-15 odd religiously motivated psychos trained their automatics and hand grenades on unarmed civilians!

Unfortunately, Mr Mishra is not alone among the blame the victim terrorist apologist’ crowd. As David Aaronovitch says,

There is a branch of apologetics – which I take crudely to be the belief that the crime is the fault of the victim – that assumes a milder form, and which I’ll call explanetics. So the explanatists view of the Mumbai massacres last week is that the cause lies in what concretely has been done to, or in the vicinity of, the young, cool-looking men with the grenades and the machineguns. (link)

And, ‘outrage in Mumbai’ ? Excuse me, in an article which mentions the Indian police as having supposedly ‘brutally suppressed’ protests in Kasmir, the killing of 150+ innocents and burning up of landmark buildings over two days is just simply an ‘outrage’ ?

Someone please send Mr Mishra a thesaurus for a Christmas gift.

I could probably go on about the meaningless ramblings, the gargantuan leaps of logic,  the anachronisms, an almost pity-inducing political naivete (India in Kashmir and China in Tibet are equivalent?), a messianic faith in Obama’s  ability to solve  both India and Pakistan’s problems through Kashmir(!), not to mention the poor editing and  general daftness that pervades the article.

But I will desist – the need to conserve my own sanity is more paramount. Instead I do recommend a full reading of the David Aaronovitch Times Online article quoted above.

(Both NYT and Times Online articles via Rohit)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 3, 2008 at 12:07 am