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Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

There’s a lot of talk about the recent attacks in Bombay being India’s 9/11.  But there was another such attack by Islamic militants in July 2006, it killed over 200 people, and I wrote about it here.  In 1993, a series of bombings killed 250 Indians in the same city.  Neither event is exactly ancient history.

I am struck, however, about the massive death toll the modest number of terrorists–10 by the latest reports–were able to inflict.  Any open society, whether in Europe or North America risks these kinds of attacks.  What would stop a similar group with similar goals from shooting up shopping malls, sporting events, or country fairs here at home.

Coupled with the attackers’ unappeasable demands and the high cost of stringent security measures, they appear inevitable and likely to be repeated barring what has for some years become unspeakable.  The most cost effective and least draconian solution for societies like ours still appears to be (a) not let people from the world’s aggrieved and militant populations within our borders and (2) make life difficult and laden with suspicion with an ultimate goal of self-deportation or assimilation for those whom we improvidently have allowed in.  Yet this approach is treated as unspeakable, while strip searching 80 year old grandmothers at airports is A-OK. The values of equality and diversity trump all others, including genuine security and our historic liberties.

We are not India.  Pakistan is not on our border, nor is there any source of organized militancy to be found at home.  While there are aggrieved groups among America’s poor, various ethnic minorities, and home-grown losers in the trends of globalization, their organization is lacking and their grievances dispersed in all directions against what may loosely be called “The Man.” In other words, these are problems of our own making; the root cause is easily identified, but we are too scared of not living up to our au courant value of open borders.  I should think if the body count of these types of attacks climbs high enough in Europe and America, the current order will be exposed as a fraud, and both regions will be ready for what is now considered radical political change.  For now, we have meaningless gestures of condemnation by the Bushes and Obamas of the world, neither of whom has shown any insight or moral courage on the big picture issues.

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