Condolences: Fear and Tragedy Unfolding in Mumbai

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There is great tragedy unfolding now in the middle of Mumbai. More than 900 wounded and more than 80 dead.
Gunmen are holding fort in the Oberoi Hotel and the Taj Hotel — which are the two hotels I stayed at during recent trips to Mumbai. I knew a number of the staff in these two hotels and am very worried about them.
Condolences to all who have lost people in this sad episode. We need to think about the innocents who get caught up in this drama — and in another context, when U.S. forces kill accidentally innocent people, we need to know that it’s hurting many and breeding blowback and rage.
This is all so sad.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

24 comments on “Condolences: Fear and Tragedy Unfolding in Mumbai

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    As for these attacks, you see how we fumbled by invading Iraq. We took our eye off the ball and now everything is changing.
    As for foreign relations. Obama needs to stop looking at maps as border entities.
    He must have the map changed to reflect ethnic overlays that go across borders to better understand the level to which he must deal with people. This should be a 3d map that can change in time.
    Then he can try to anticipate some of these crucial items and find ways to stay ahead of crisis by developing regional models.
    Whatever response plans he’s seen used, even those of other countries, must be under critical review. Then new ones must be put in place with the new map in place.
    Wiki needs an ethnography section, complete with maps. People online can accelerate the understanding process. From there we can shape realistic response.

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  2. DonS says:

    Whoa, how did that happen? Here’s the correct link to Chopra at FDL
    http://firedoglake.com/2008/11/27/deepak-chopra-too-hot-for-cnn/

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  3. DonS says:

    Variations on a theme: the circuitous route of US dollars into terroist networks. And the blowback phenomena redux. Deepak Chopra on CNN (who knew he did political commentary). Specifically mentions “collateral damage” from 35,000 feet. . .
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/11/condolences_fea/#comments

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://antiwar.com/updates/
    November 27, 2008
    Thursday: 8 Iraqis Killed; 42 Wounded
    Parliament today approved a contentious U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that will allow U.S. troops to stay in the country for three more years. Meanwhile, at least eight Iraqis were killed and 42 more were wounded in the latest violence. Also, the European Union has promised to take-in 10,000 Iraqis.
    What was described as an “overwhelming majority” in parliament approved a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement today. The pact must be submitted to the Iraqi Cabinet now, which is expected to give its okay. Among a number of key points is a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.
    About 10,000 Iraqis living in refugee camps in Syria and Jordan will be allowed to live in Europe on a temporary basis though some, who are in need of medical attention or belong to persecuted minorities, will be allowed to resettle on a permanent basis.
    In Mosul, two civilians were killed and 28 others were wounded during a suicide bombing. Earlier, another suicide bomber wounded five people in the Dawasa neighborhood.
    In Baghdad, an Iraqi soldier was killed and three more were wounded during a bombing in Qahira. A civilian was killed and six others were wounded near Maysaloon Square. Another bomb downtown left one police commando dead.
    Coalition forces killed one suspect and arrested two in Garma.
    Five suspects were detained in Dhi Qar.
    Four suspects carrying explosives were arrested in Karbala.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As we are bombarded with press speculation and the vicariously tittilating live natterings of our foreign correspondents, its easy to forget such carnage goes on daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. 16 dead American servicemen this month, and who knows how many innocent casualties in the Iraqi population? Daily bombings, kidnappings, sectarian violence, and unspeakable hardships due to a destroyed infrastructure.
    Try to wrap your brain around the concept of one and a quarter million corpses. And thats just in Iraq. How many in Afghanistan?
    Can we really invade a sovereign nation, raze its infrastructure, pollute its environment, murder over a million of its citizens, without expecting to INCREASE the animous, hatred, and violence directed against us and our allies?
    Welcome to Bushworld, where the events such are unfolding in India will become a daily reality, and are nurtured and cultivated by our own policies.
    What is the death toll of Palestinians now? How many will go hungry today, or wanting for medical care? Can we really expect to subsidize, condone and abet Israel’s eradication policies and seriously expect to prevail in this shameless con-job known as the GWOT???
    If our media is going to show us terrorism, why don’t they show us ALL the terrorism, even that THAT WE INFLICT. There is a reason that journalists are being denied entry into Gaza, or are constrained by being “imbedded” with US troops in Iraq.
    Its an unpopular notion, but truth be told, the radical Islamists have a ways to go before they can even the score and match the sheer carnage that George Bush and Dick Cheney have inflicted on the Muslim community. And even if we were to leave Iraq tomorrow, the science would tend to support the premise that the presence of deadly DU dust will continue killing generations of Iraqis.
    George Bush and Dick Cheney will retire wealthy and unaccountable for their crimes. But we will pay the price for their evil, and our unwillingness to hold them to account for their crimes. The cat is out of the bag, our leaders are no longer constrained by the law, and they know it. We have shown them we will quietly and obediently stand mute as they commit unspeakably horrendous crimes against humanity. No wonder we face a future of 9/11’s and Mumbai’s. Its a hell of our own making.

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  6. TonyForesta says:

    People like me do not target civilians (Sandra?). The cowards and freaks involved in the massacres in Mumbai including all those who aid and abet them must and will be hunted, captured, or preferrably killed.
    Outside of global police actions targetting jihadists mass murderers and mass murder operations, equally important work in combatting these kinds of despicable acts involves encouraging muslims to reject massmurder of civilians as a means to advance thier interests.
    Your hollow threats belie the math. Blowback works both ways my sister, and tragically – far more muslims will suffer or burn as a result of these cowardly despicable acts, than Christians, or Hindu’s.

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  7. ... says:

    kotzabasis and TonyForesta – both your comments are so whacked out it is difficult to know where to begin to respond to either of you.. why were these terrorists singling out britians and americans????? if you don’t think there is going to be blow back from the war in iraq then i think you are mistaken.. it is the freakin americans and british that are the intolerant religious warriors here and they have poor competition to date.. terrorism doesn’t happen in a vacuum and making wars to end terrorism doesn’t work..
    regarding poa’s post – exactly.. it is difficult to draw conclusions.. that said what someone refered to as steve’s ‘subjective’ note, isn’t all that subjective in my view…

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  8. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Having myself stayed at the Taj with a harbor view room looking down on the Victoria Arch, this attack is particularly vivid.
    Looking beyond the usual drivel in the US press, it appears that the terrorists launched a sophisticated operation by land and by sea. Targets: major tourism centers, foreign tourists (UK, US, Israeli), locals (Orthodox Jewish and others). The mother ship for the seaborne operation is reported by the Indian Navy to be heading toward Pakistani waters. That navy’s reported communication intercepts from the mother ship prior to the attack were not apparently able to be used in such a manner as to avert the attack or lower the damage. The seaborne attacks and other features remind of some past Tamil Tiger ops, for example.
    IMO, this is not a simple local Muslim-Hindu “thing.” The attack, which has a specific economic warfare and psychological dimension, is aimed squarely at India as an emerging regional and global power. Targeting Brits, Americans, and Israelis is for global consumption and headlines and is consistent with taqfiri jihadi ideology such as we have seen from UBL and others.
    It will be interesting, and instructive, to see just how India’s 9/11 develops. Certain circles in Washington seem to have a hard time overcoming their Cold War obsession with Pakistan as an “ally.” Perhaps an agonizing reappraisal is needed should Pakistan be (more properly) viewed as the current storm center of international terrorism (and the heroin trade?). Developing a strong commercial and security relationship with India should be high on Team Obama’s agenda.

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  9. DonS says:

    Seems like Steve is connecting dots, you know, like using his brain. What a concept. in this violent world, those who are supressed dont just lie down and take it quietly, and have the firepower to create real mahem.
    War/violence is not the answer.
    POA makes a good point about the spinmasters in DC rubbing their sick little hands together.
    Diplomatic quiz time for Obama: You know he will be pressured to “come out strong” Perhaps, because he really can’t say anything intelligent,if cryptic, as Steve has, it would be best if he deferred to the “one president at a time line” which, quintesentially applies to foreign policy. However, I note its been publicized he’s already talked with Karzai substantively (and Karzi, per this mornings papers, doesn’t seem too happy with the US conduct of the conflict).

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  10. Steve Clemons says:

    Kevin — I think you misread my post. I said nothing of moral equivalence. The deaths in Mumbai reminded me of the death of innocent people no matter at our hands or the hands of terrorists. I was thinking of those who died. And no, Mumbai deserved none of this.
    I stayed in both of those hotels. I know staff there. I don’t know if they made it, were injured, or were killed.
    I also think a great deal about Iraq and Afghanistan as I have friends there fighting and another about to be shipped off soon. One of my friends has been part of operations that killed many innocent lives — and it is those innocent lives, their friends, and families that were on my mind.
    Perhaps you think it is inappropriate to link the tragedy in Mumbai to the question of other innocents dying — but I don’t. That was what was on my mind.
    That you would create a fiction about what I wrote says as much about your own filters as those you try and wrongly assert are mine.
    Come back when you can be more constructive.
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Steve Clemons

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  11. Kevin says:

    And in this time of terror and suffering, Steve Clemons offers us the battered wife excuse: Mumbai had it coming.
    There is no moral equivalence to those killed in the bombing campaigns, and to draw such is irresponsible and ignorant.

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  12. bob h says:

    One hopes this does not trigger anti-Muslim progroms elsewhere in India.

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  13. Tosk says:

    Once in a while it’s good to heed Dr. Phil i.e. “It’s not all about you!” Watching CNN coverage (AC360) this evening they are spending the vast majority of their time blathering on about the U.S. – is it a message to P-E Obama, his team is consulting with the Bush administration, how will he react, will he be strong or weak, and on and on. Since westerners might also have been targeted the story is “juiced up” and somehow that apparently makes in unconscionable terrorism…
    One commentator said that India had “… joined the club of countries facing terrorism that is domestic with an international connection…” Huh? THIS make India join the club?? Shoddy, superficial coverage.

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  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The last eight years have robbed us of any ability to draw conclusions about events as they unfold. We have learned that our media is hardly credible, and that these pieces of shit in Washington will lie with impunity in order to cast events in a favorable light for whatever political agenda they are pimping.
    All we can say with certainty is that violent events have occurred. Even as the story unfolds, and speculation morphs into alleged “hard news”, we have learned that we have no guarantee of being told the truth. On the contrary, the wise course of action is to find the MSM accounts questionable.
    We no longer have leadership, or a Fourth Estate, that has earned our trust. And episodes of media manipulation, such as the Armstrong affair, and the obvious political advocations Miller and Novak tried to feed us as “hard news”, have gone unpunished and without consequences.
    With the media and our leadership now fully aware that they will not be held to account, the deceptions, corruption, and criminal endeavors will only become more brazen and commonplace.
    Who the fuck knows whats going on in India, who the perps are, and what the motives are? One thing is for sure, as I type this, there are many in Washington who are pondering how best to spin the events to favor agenda, ideology, policy and party. And if it requires that they lie, they will.
    Odds are, we’ll never know the truth. But theres a whole mass of idiots out there that will think they do. Thats the idea, isn’t it?

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  15. kotzabasis says:

    It’s amusing, to say the least, to see Clemons destroying his objectivity with his subjectivist feelings. He somehow invents a connection between the outrageous criminal acts of the terrorists with “U.S. forces kill accidentally innocent people.” This is indeed unsurpassed political analysis.

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  16. Sandra says:

    Foresta:
    Big words will not hide your ignorance of Muslims, Islam & Murderers.
    Drop your bombs and ready yourself for blowback. Unfortunately, hundreds of Christians, Hindus & Muslims will die because of you and your ilke.

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    In addition to its budding relationship with Iran, India is working assiduously to expand relations with the Karzai regime in Afghanistan. This has infuriated the Taliban and a variety of Sunni extremists in Pakistan and other locales. It is my understanding that there is some degree of paranoia in Pakistan about the implications of an Indian-Afghan alliance. Could the attack be related to this?
    From the Council on Foreign Relations Website:
    “Afghanistan has been a prize that Pakistan and India have fought over directly and indirectly for decades,” writes Robert D. Kaplan of the Atlantic Monthly. Pakistan supported the anti-Soviet mujahedeen and then the Taliban “to ensure that in the event of conflict with India, Afghanistan would provide Pakistan with support and use of its land and air space if needed,” write Afghanistan experts Barnett R. Rubin and Abubakar Siddique in a 2006 report. Pakistani military plan¬ners, they write, refer to this as the quest for “strategic depth.” In this Foreign Affairs essay, Rubin argues that Pakistan’s military establishment has always approached the various wars in and around Afghanistan as a function of its main institutional and national security interests: “first and foremost, balancing India
    It is no surprise then that Pakistan sees India’s growing influence in Afghanistan as a threat. After India opened consulates in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar, Pakistan charged that these consulates provide cover for Indian intelligence agencies to run covert operations against Pakistan, as well as foment separatism in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. “Pakistan’s fears of encirclement by India have been compounded” by the new Indian air base in Farkhor, Tajikistan, write South Asia experts Raja Karthikeya Gundu and Teresita C. Schaffer in an April 2008 Center for Strategic and International Studies newsletter. This is the first Indian military airbase overseas, and is convenient for transportation of men and material to and from Afghanistan. It is also a move toward protecting India’s potential energy interests in the region, say experts.
    Pakistan also competes with India for access to consumer markets in Afghanistan. Pakistan sees Iran’s Chabahar port, which India hopes to use as its route for trade with Afghanistan, as a rival that would compete with its new port at Gwadar, which was been built with Chinese assistance.”
    One thing is clear; India has suffered more than its fair share of terrorist attacks this year. To wit:
    Guwahati, Assam on October 31, 2008 62 Killed
    Imphal on October 22, 2008 17 Killed
    Delhi on September 14, 2008 20 Killed
    Ahmedabad, Gujarat on July 27, 2008 40 Killed
    Jaipur, Rajasthan on May 14, 2008 60 Killed

    Reply

  18. Cee says:

    Reason for the attack on India
    India Seeking to Bolster Ties with Iran
    TEHRAN (FNA)- India is seeking to boost relations with Iran in all fields, including energy, the country’s Ambassador to Iran Manbir Singh said.
    India says it considers its own national interests and wants to develop relations with Iran without being intimidated by political pressure.
    “Iran and India could develop relations not only in the field of energy but also in new industries, mineral products and banking activities,” press tv quoted Indian Ambassador to Iran Manbir Singh as saying Sunday in a meeting at Tehran’s chamber of commerce.
    The minister stressed that India would not let outside political pressure distract the developing relations between the two countries.
    Iran and India have recently approved several memorandums of understanding including the declaration of Bandar-e Shahid Rajaei and Jawaharlal Nehru port as sister cities and cooperating in agriculture and trade.
    Tehran and New Delhi are have also expressed commitment to continue talks on the huge 2,775-kilometer pipeline project that will transfer 60 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from Iran to Pakistan and India.
    This is while some media outlets had speculated that New Delhi is being influenced by US pressure to quit the project. According to the speculations, the country is not willing to carry out the gas pipeline project, as New Delhi is now a nuclear nation.
    The Indian Ambassador to Iran rejected the speculations, and said, “India is a big energy consumer and we are interested to see the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline built.”
    Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said earlier in November that the US-Indo nuclear deal would have no impact on energy ties with Iran.

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  19. TonyForesta says:

    Who ever these freaks are, and whom ever they work for, – they are cowards. Reports that nine have been captured, should lead to a quick takedown.
    This act of cowardice is another sad proof that defeating jihadist mass murderers demands, police and covert or special intel ops. There are no military solutions. That said, all the kinetic and brilliant and magic weapons in the military and intel tool sheds should be introduced in the battlespace, and unleashed hunting, capturing, or killing every single jihadist massmurderer and all those who aid and abet them on the planet. Every asset or system in the US hypersuperior military should be selectively applied in concert with police actions and operations. Forget the invasion and occupation scenarios and the marauding of the victim nations wealth and resouses, the slaughtering of thousands of the victims nations innocent civilians, the hoisting of a tyrannical despot favorable to the bushgov’s interests upon the victim nation at the tip of a spear, and the wanton profiteering in and from the nefarious process. These oldworld scenarios are ineffective against 4th generation warfare threats, and stateless actors, and jihadist mass murder operations, and gangs and crime syndicates operating in every country on this wild and violent earth.
    Somehow, the muslim, and all atrisk communities – without being forced militarily by outside interests, – must divorce themselves from the cowardly and repugnant mass murder operations of the jihadists by their own accord. Note the The Awakening Councils in Iraq. If there is not sufficient support, protection, and assistance from within the community, these kinds of unholy operations are far less likely to mature and go hot.
    Islam itself must decide if the kind of despicable cowardice unleashed today on innocent civilians in Mumbai is something they support, or – if islam intends to join the 21st century community of nations and seek more human, and more intelligent means to advance their interests.
    The bushgov dragons are sleeping in their caves now. Obama is not going to invade or occupy any nation based on propagandizing, mass marketing, and message-force multiplying exaggerations, partisan concocted hype, and patent lies. Allow islam the oxygen to choose to change, and reject the jihadist pathological obsession with mass murder. Freaks.
    Somehow, all of us must help are our mulsim sisters and brothers and encourage them to make an intelligent choice.
    When mulim communities reject mass murder of innocents as allahswill, – the cowards and freaks who preach, plan, fund, and execute these shaitanic acts, – run away, flee, because they have no safe haven.
    In many islamic communities – tragically – the malignant perversion of jihadist islam is deeply rooted. Why I cannot fathom. But either we are missing some critical information, or the jihadi PR (perception management) are better at winning the hearts and minds in these communities than our PR covens.

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  20. Cee says:

    Arthur,
    Not this reader. I do agree with Floyd.

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  21. arthurdecco says:

    I see the “usual suspects” are already being blamed by the readers of the Washington Note.
    Here’s a thought-provoking essay from a clever thinker. From Chris Floyd’s blog, yesterday:
    Security Blanket: Western Democracy and the Strategy of Tension
    The idea that a democratic government would deliberately create fake “extremist groups” then send them out to foment violence and terrorism — in order to discredit legitimate opposition to elite rule and to “justify” authoritarian powers — has long been derided in “serious” circles as that worst of modern heresies: “conspiracy theory.” Anyone advancing such a preposterous notion is instantly relegated to the ranks of the “lunatic fringe,” and dismissed with varying degrees of contempt and condescension.
    And the woeful fact that millions of the ruminants out there in the vast public herd swallow these wild tales and believe that their betters are up to no good is also widely deplored in the higher circles of public discourse. As any fully-accredited, perk-laden, sinecured think-tanker can tell you, democratic governments are led by men and women devoted to public service. Sure, there can be fierce disputes over policies and approaches and outcomes and ideologies and competence. Sure, some people may step over a line here and there in their pursuit of what they believe is the nation’s best interests. But just as western democracies do not torture, do not launch aggressive wars, do not spy upon their own people or imprison them by the millions, they most assuredly do not create and support extremist groups and instigate acts of terror and chaos to advance authoritarian agendas.
    It is indeed unfortunate that the general public is prey to these disturbing theories, which breed such a widespread distrust of the noble intentions and essential (if occasionally misguided or incompentently executed) goodness of our leading men and women. However, there is a very reasonable explanation for the credence given to these fringe beliefs:
    They happen to be true.
    Story continues at: http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/3/1650-security-blanket-western-democracy-and-the-strategy-of-tension.html

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  22. Matt says:

    I wonder if this will turn into a pretext for fulfillment of Obama’s campaign promise to go hard on Pakistan.

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  23. Bartolo says:

    Sounds more like the Islamic Kashmir groups. All those unhappy partitions done by the British and others after the World Wars still haunt us.

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  24. Lynne Hipwell says:

    Dear Steve,
    Can you please use your influence with CNN, MSNBC, etc? Ask them to stop their insane speculation. It is lazy and unprofessional. Miles O’Brien is desparately trying to link this to Al Quaeda, etc.

    Reply

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