Nightline says that this attack caught Indian services “off guard.” It appears to have caught America off guard as well, because it’s all over. But the thing is, India has been heating up for a while, as Juan Cole explains.
The Subcontinent has been a hobby of mine for over 10 years. I have dozens of pages of a draft of a novel whose primary historical background is a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. I will update this, but last I checked, India and Pakistan lack second-strike capability and other early warning systems that created the deterrence in the US-USSR cold war. In other words, (I have no idea for sure, of course) it is possible that when these countries reach a certain level of alert, strike authority descends to field commanders, because the central command would not survive a first strike. If that’s the case, the risk of mistakes is huge.
To say this is fnord al Qaeda fnord is accurate but imprecise. It may be connected to the larger Qaeda movement, but the point of destablizing India is a different, though related, front in their jihad. Pakistan is now on the verge of becoming a failed state, much like Afghanistan, and they are working hard on pushing India into a corner where they might have to militarize their border, or make limited incursions.
Now, at 11:49 pst, another explosion.
Let’s nor forget that this comes right after Obama’s election, who promised to escalate in Afghanistan to go after bin Laden, who is most likely in Waziristan, Pakistan. While I agree with that policy, I also believe that Obama’s policy, his election, and this attack are NOT a coincidence.
Deepak Chopra just demanded that India “quit blaming” Pakistan on CNN. Maybe the Pakistani government–the recognized one–isn’t behind this, but Pakistanis are, and Pakistan has no effective government to blame. Their Taliban-linked Intelligence Service *is* to blame in part, almost for sure for this, and for 9/11.
Bush’s deal with the devil Musharraf was the second worst blunder in the “war on terror,” and I can only say that now because Iraq is a bigger one. Ultimately, not taking the bull by the horns (and following the non-neo-con approach of addressing failed states) may grow into a situation that dwarfs Iraq, including, as previously mentioned, the world’s first nuclear exchange. (Which cannot but escalate with Chinese, Russian, American, and Iranian intervention.)
The Chabad center in Mumbai was attacked, and Israeli citizens, as well as American and UK citizens, were taken hostage, I’m reading. Jews are being targeted–but Hindus have been targeting Muslims and Christians elsewhere in India (see the Juan Cole link above).
In 2002, I worried attacking Iraq would take the eye of the ball that I thought might be Iran. Well, that may prove true. But, it may make us unable to deal with the nascent conflict that could be WW3 two countries over.
Fucking Bush. His lame duck session is doubling down on worst president ever: play chicken with Great Depression II and leave us vulnerable to World War III.