Friday, November 28, 2008

more musings on Mumbai

As I type this, 160 people are dead and 327 wounded due to the attacks on three locations in Mumbai—the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi Hotel and the Chabad House, a Jewish center. Sixteen police officers are dead, as are the chief of Mumbai's police anti-terror squad, and two commando attackers.

The dead include 15 foreign nationals—three Germans, one Italian, one Australian, and one Chinese. Murdered Americans include Alan Scherr and his daughter Naomi, and Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg (a native of Israel who had lived in the U.S. from the age of 9) and his wife Rivka (also born in Israel but residing in New York). Seven Britons, three Americans and two Australians were among the injured.

This was no random, spur-of-the-moment attack. A little-known militant group called the Deccan Mujahedeen is taking credit, though United States officials and security experts think a more established group may have been involved. The gunmen had even set up "control rooms" in the two targeted hotels. In a restaurant near the Taj Mahal Hotel, authorities found 17 pounds of RDX, a powerful military-use explosive.

The attackers entered Mumbai by water, and a ship from Karachi, Pakistan is said to have been the source of the smaller attack boats. Methinks India is going to have to do a better job of securing its borders, not only the land ones, but the waterways too. A cautionary lesson about what can happen when your nation's borders aren't secure.

So we have another attack against the "infidels" in the name of God. It's sometimes hard to remember that these extremists DO NOT speak for the majority of Moslem people. I have Moslem friends and co-workers and they are embarrassed by things like this. I don't want my friends to become victims of suspicion and hatred which of course is the knee-jerk reaction we tend to have. That's probably the worst thing that will come out of this mess.

Because U.S. intelligence really has NO idea who is currently in the United States, aren't you concerned that a similar cell of Moslem extremists is in a major town near YOU putting the finishing touches on a personalized attack on America citizens? Sadly I fear a repeat of 9/11, maybe not with jet airplanes crashing into buildings, but I expect the same thing that happened in Mumbai to happen in multiple locations in the U.S. And I expect it won't come out of nowhere, but there will be smaller attacks on European and American soil, leading up to the big bang. And then as things shake out, we will learn the CIA and other agencies knew something was fishy but just couldn't connect the dots.

This is one time I pray I am wrong, but there is reason we study history—to avoid repeating it. And as you well know, we seem to repeat history a lot, never learning much from our past. We are beyond that, many thing. We are far too civilized to do these things again.

God help the U.S.A.


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