July 11, 2006

India Under Attack

Lexington Green over at Chicago Boyz has some worthwhile comments about the barbaric attack suffered by India today. As Lex notes, India is a country that has much in common wth us, and whose interests converge with ours more and more every day. We should be much closer partners than politics and history have left us to date; under attack by a common enemy, we should move resolutely to conclude a firm alliance.

Meanwhile, Arthur's Seat pays back the solidarity of an American blogger after the 7/7 attacks on London by extending the same solidarity to India. That's how it should be. RTWT.

Posted by James C. Bennett at July 11, 2006 05:05 PM

"As Lex notes, India is a country that has much in common wth us"

Well, I guess, if your benchmark is Tibet, or maybe Yemen, otherwise, it's hard to think of a country that has less in common with America than India.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at July 12, 2006 12:08 AM

Attacks on India go back to at least the early nineties and the whole problem goes back to the cack-handed division of 1947.

Posted by: Helen at July 12, 2006 06:25 AM

Steve, your inability to see what Jim is getting at is consistent with your other views. But, here is one datum: India a large country that actually has elections in a world where most people don't or those that do don't actually mean anything. Being an actual functioning democracy means something to a lot of people. Brown people having elections are still people having elections. Once you get past the brown people thing, that becomes obvious.

Helen, this attack was unusual since it used sophisticated explosives, it was seven bombs at once, showing that it was done by a sophisticated terrorist group, it happened in a major city not out on the frontier some place. This is an escalation of the violence to a level more like what happened in Madrid and even on 9/11. And there is no way this happened without Pakistani support.

Posted by: Lex at July 12, 2006 08:29 AM

Lex, I did not say that this could or could not have happened without Pakistani support. What do you think the other attacks were about? What I am saying is that not everything in the world is the same. It does not help any of us (countries fighting terrorism) if the different circumstances are not recognized or addressed.

Posted by: Helen at July 12, 2006 08:40 AM

"...not everything in the world is the same..."

In this case our enemies are the same. The same Pakistani ISI that has been supporting terrorism in Kashmir was instrumental in setting up the Taliban, which allowed Al Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a base, which is supporting the Taliban now, when it is shooting at US and NATO soldiers, and which is most likely a participant in these attacks in Mumbai.

Similarly, the Chechen resistance was drawn into the larger struggle, in my view tragically. The nationalists turned to the jihadi network for help, were radicalized in the process, and have become aligned with our enemies.

A worldwide war has a way of drawing local struggles into itself. World War II did, the Cold War did, and this current struggle is doing the same thing.

Pakistan's leadership is going to have to make some basic decisions about how it conducts its affairs. It is not going to be able to say one thing and do the opposite and have the rest of the world wink at it for much longer.

Posted by: Lex at July 12, 2006 09:49 AM

Well, one finds one's enemies where one can. Me, I think the Russian security services are my enemy and, indeed, ought to be the enemy of all decent human beings. Then again, there were a few massacres conducted by Hindus in the not too distant past in India. In other words, many people have to make decisions.

Posted by: Helen at July 12, 2006 10:32 AM

The Russian security services have not done anything as vile and stupid as the Beslan school takeover lately. Nor have they allied themselves with people who have been trying hard to murder Americans.

It is like World War II. The Russian regime is not one we like. But we find ourselves beset by the same enemies. So be it. Our enemies have created a coalition against themselves by their own behavior.

There is certainly sectarian violence in India, much of it provoked by Hindus, who are after all the majority. But I do not see the Indian government supporting terrorist attacks on trains in Karachi, or sending a suicide squad into the Pakistani capital to shoot the Hell out of the place, then mouthing platitudes about how regrettable it all is. Again, the Pakistanis have been long-time allies of the USA, and we have looked aside as they did all kinds of rotten things. But time is running out on that kind of indulgence.

Posted by: Lex at July 12, 2006 12:29 PM

The Islamofascist attacks on India are providing the background to the youth of several new generations of informed, educated, and internationally savvy Indians. At the same time, the lndians who personally experienced the Raj, even as children, are in their last years. An Indian who was twenty when the Brits departed is seventy-eight this year. The younger generations do not remember a time when India did not have nuclear weapons and satellite-launching capability. Colonialism is a nonexistent threat to them, no more real than the return of the Hessians is to Americans (except for a handful of leftist Indian neurotics who keep that fetish alive.) Dhimmitude, however, is a real threat, one propounded by a savage, ruthless, and unrelenting enemy.

I wonder if, to the next generation of Indians, the British will be remembered more charitably for having (despite all their faults) at least ended the last period of dhimmitude for India?

Posted by: Jim Bennett at July 12, 2006 03:03 PM

Well, everyone's got a bit of a point, here (how's that for splitting differences?)

Steve Sailer - culturally, yes, there are a lot of differences (as an Indian-American, I've navigated them by whole life, maybe even been defined by them as a person). However, a large, raucous, messy democracy cobbled together out of different ethnic groups? Optimistic, energetic, nationalistic, believing in a strong military (okay, at least a part of the educated populace). It all depends on how finely you want to slice the thing, but there might be some similarities between the two nations in some aspects.

Helen - there are particular communal angles to the attacks in India that are unique to that situation and can't be translated to the West, but if Islamic fascism represents something new and global and more easily connected by technologies, than India with it's recent emergence as an economic entity and movement towards the US politically may represent a sort of new frontier, while being an old frontier, all at the same time. The more active terrorism is in India, the more fertile training ground for people that wouldn't mind hurting an American or too. Not good.

Jim Bennet - I doubt that colonial history will be forgotton soon, if I take my experience with other Indians I know. It may not have the same connotations, or cause the same types of emotions, but I think it will stay because it's part of the narrative of a founding of a nation.

Posted by: MD at July 12, 2006 04:43 PM

MD -- If history were frozen, then old sentiments would just coast along unchanged forever. But events change perceptions on new generations. The Americans hated the French from 1607 through 1767, because they were the sponsoring power behind the Indian attacks on the frontier. When the Revolutionary War came, they became our glorious allies.

I am just wondering what the perspective will be in 2026 of an Indian who is 10 years old today, if he or she grows up with a Mumbai-level attack every year between now and then. British colonialism might be a very distant concern by then.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at July 12, 2006 05:07 PM

"The Russian security services have not done anything as vile and stupid as the Beslan school takeover lately. Nor have they allied themselves with people who have been trying hard to murder Americans.2

How lately are we talking about? The Russian security services killed a large proportion of those children in Beslan less than two years ago. The only plan they ever had was to storm the building and who cares how many people die in the process. They refused to do what the former President of Ingushetiya did and that is to negotiate the release of some hostages. The people of Beslan don't think the security services told them the truth or behaved well. Why do you?

As for alliances with America's enemies, what of selling arms to Iran? How much of that ends up with Hezbollah who are targeting Americans?

Lex, they are not our allies.

Posted by: Helen at July 13, 2006 05:52 AM

Jim Bennet -

You make the better point. Things don't stay frozen in time. I hope that closer economic ties, rather than more terrorism, will forge closer bonds. One can always hope. Sadly, I think there will be much more of this.

Posted by: MD at July 13, 2006 08:40 AM

Apologies for mispelling your name.

Posted by: MD at July 13, 2006 08:42 AM

"The only plan they ever had was to storm the building and who cares how many people die in the process."

I just deleted a lengthy rant.

Bottom line, I am in total disagreement with you on this.

The terrorists started it, the security services ended it. The blame for the disaster lies with the terrorists.

Posted by: Lex at July 13, 2006 10:56 AM

I am sure the people whose children were killed by the security forces will agree with you wholeheartedly, Lex. Try, if you can, imagine a similar situation that involved American security forces.

Arms to Iran? No rant about that? Also justified?

Posted by: Helen at July 14, 2006 12:22 PM

The fact is Indians and Pakistanis get along quite well outside of the subcontinent. that is because we have a similar culture and a dislike for the West's more promiscous culture. India is very much different from America. People like Lex, will have to visit India and roam it well to understand this point.

Posted by: Ramesh at August 3, 2006 11:07 PM

One of the curious things about American history is how often we have allied ourselves with a nation less like our own in order to make war with a nation more similar to our own. We allied with the French to fight the British, with the Russians to fight the Germans, with the Chinese against the Russians, and now with the Saudis to counter the Iranians. Culturally, the Persians are more likely to be our long-term allies in the Middle East than are the Saudis.

Similarly, the Indians are our natural allies of the sub-continent. The Pakistanis, are not. Why the two nations have spent much of the last fifty years fumbling toward this inevitable conclusion, I am not sure.

Posted by: KingM at August 7, 2006 11:15 AM
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