Sunday, November 30, 2008

And my vote goes to...

Best Other View:
Paul Cornish's, The age of 'celebrity terrorism'
These individuals indulge in terrorism simply because they can, while their audience concocts a rationale on their behalf.

Welcome to the age of celebrity terrorism.

The invitation to the world's D-list malcontents reads as follows: No matter how corrupt your moral sense, how contorted your view of the world, how vapid and inarticulate your ideas, how talentless you are and how exaggerated your grievance, an obsessive audience will watch your every move and turn you into what you most want to be, just before your death.


Link

Best Ignorant View:
Aryn Baker, India's Muslims in Crisis
Link

Best Frustrated View:
M J Akbar, Toothless leaders turn tough nation into soft state
Link

Best Cynical View/Best Black Humour:
Vilasrao Deshmukh (Chief Minister of Maharashtra)
Link

Best Hurt View:
V S Achuthanandan (Chief Minister of Kerala)
Link1, Link2, Link3

Best Obvious View:
Mark Tully, Will India heed the wake-up call?
But will India wake up? If the past is anything to go by the answer has to be "no".

Link

Best Anglo-Saxon Literal View:
BBC reports, "There is no Kasab in Faridkot"
"Only shy boys study in Jamaat school"

Best Hate View:
Pat Boone, "Hate is hate, in India or America"
What troubles me so deeply, and should trouble all thinking Americans, is that there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists. Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts. And by its very nature, if it's not held in check, it will escalate into acts vile, violent and destructive.

Link (Via Pharyngula)
To be updated...

I don't have any opinions. I just want to support or oppose all those opinions.

12 comments:

milieu said...

I just read that piece and found that piece insightful and yet ignorant.
It puts a different perspective to the event which is helpful yet i think the view is not correct in this case.
The events are well-planned. Media reports (though not always reliable) say of packed bags with grenades, dry fruits, GPS's. They talk of the terrorists even being drugged.
I don't think the motive of these terrorists was to get famous before they die. But I don't know what the motive was.
This piece seems to shed a better light on their motives especially since local and general elections are coming up.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1090096/ANALYSIS-The-fanatics-Mumbai-bombings-like-trigger-nuclear-war.html

Another excellent analysis on the Hindu about what went wrong before the attack.
"http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/30/stories/2008113060021500.htm""The system was blinking red"

milieu said...

And if this story is true, then most definitely the earlier BBC news was just mindless speculative drivel on someone else's tragedy.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/nov/30mumterror-doctors-shocked-at-hostagess-torture.htm

Manjunat said...

And if this story is true

It certainly disturbed you.

Maju said...

Hi, Manju. This was certainly "the 9/11" of India what must be terribly shaking for all the nation.

I watched the crisis unfold and continue for days in TV and what most shocked me was not the carnage or the suicidal hared of the militants but the fact that it did not have a coverage in any way comparable to the attacks on New York. Only BBC World followed the issue coninuously but they are a news-only channel and have big audiences in South Asia. But in the rest of channels (Spanish mostly) they continued with their normal schedule, something unthinkable in 9/11 certainly when it was like if we were all guest New Yorkers.

I am also very surprised that such a small group of people, even if well trained and with such suicidal and criminal fanaticism, could take over so many central spots in such a major city, even killing several top anti-terror bosses, without apparently any effective reaction by the police and military in hours. Moreso as this was not the first large terrorist attack (though maybe the first one to target the rich and the economic center of the country).

I do think that it is an attempt to sabotage the "warming" between Pakistan and India under the new Pakistani government, whose stabiliy is also endangered by the same Islamist networks. As with 9/11 and so many other strange events one must ask "qui bono?" (Latin for "whom this benefits to?") and the answer is that the most intransigent and nationalist faction both sides of the border. Obviously there are other more structural/sociological factors that may feed the flames but this is way well organized and, like in 9/11, there are some who most benefit of this emotional bomb (because, after the corpses, the blood and the ashes, the real effect is psychological and sociolgical, in form of panic, hysteria, hatred and distrust). Like in 9/11 one benefited faction are certainly the Islamist perpetrators (the far right of the Muslim World but with no hope of spreading their ideas elsewhere) but, on the other side, those who appear as the fiercest of their enemies, often also fundamentalists of their own religions and certainly of their own cultures/nations, are also benefitted with support arising from the wave of indignation and anger. In the USA it was the Bush faction and their imperialist goals, in India... you better tell me.

One of the "virtues" (in a very twisted neo-Machiavellic sense) of Islamic Fundamentalism is that it is the perfect foe:

1. It is unexportable: it can only gain adepts among a certain socio-cultural fraction of Humankind (Muslims obviously). In this it's totally different from Liberalism, Socialism (or even secular Fascism up to a point).

2. It favors the far right (in a wide sense maybe) elsewhere, as these are normally less interested in understanding the problems as in "facing them" with the arrogance and ignorance of a school bully. Therefore they present themselves as the real alternative to this archetypically demonic foe, when actually they are about the same (just that within other cultural frames) while they denounce the left as tibious just because they try to understand the problem. The left (widely speaking also) is therefore the most damaged in all this combat that is presented to both sides as that of "good vs evil", something that the left is skeptical of by nature.

3. It diverts the attention from the big real problems, be them economical, ecological, sociological or laboral, not allowing for room in the collective mind to deal with them. We are fed a war mentality, a siege paranoia, under which every sort of "sacrifice" can be assumed - at least for a while. For instance unemployement may fall under terrorism in the list of social concerns, divisions between Westerners or Hindus or Chinese or Russians can be minimized in front of the incomprehensible and nearly absolute exotic fanaticsm.

If you have read Orwell's masterpiece, 1984, it's just like the paradoxic message imbued in one of INGSOC's slogans: "WAR IS PEACE", meaning that war, the sociological mobilization and discipline caused by a permanent state of war, seldom felt at home but for the occasional bombings, creates social peace.

What makes me wonder about the other two Orwellian slogans, specially that one of "Ignorance is Strength".

Sure: "qui bono?" My most felt sympathies in any case.

Manjunat said...

I am also very surprised that such a small group of people...

I think Mark Tully's BBC article addresses many of your surprises. But he makes a nonsensical statement like this,
"If I am to be proved wrong the ingrained habits of politicians will have to change."

I agree with you that the real issues are lost in these situations. But I don't think even the left has any idea on how to tackle these identities.

Maju said...

But I don't think even the left has any idea on how to tackle these identities.

Maybe "the left" in general doesn't have much idea but I think Enver Hoxa was very succesful supressing religion in Albania. I fear that in some cases that's the only way to go. It's in such abhorrent social situations when I best understand the extremes of Stalinism/Maoism - and when I realize no one else has anything to offer.

milieu said...

I think its important to have an opinion here. Wether good or bad, wether right or wrong, but then discuss it.

Everyone's been complaining about the politicians, but here is an alternate way to look at it.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/dec/03mumterror-why-are-we-targeting-politicians-alone.htm

Also, I think Tom Friedman makes lot of sense in this piece where he says that sometimes terrorists act on what they think the majority feels but won't express. These terrorists might think they are martyr's as they are acting on injustice to Pakistan. The only way to cut off that motivation is if the majority in Pakistan and Muslim world come out in condemnation publicly as it happened during the Danish Cartoon case.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/03/opinion/edfriedman.php

Manjunat said...

Things are back to normal. Malayalis have already started comedy shows based on this incident(though there were real life comedies even before that).

Manjunat said...

Maju:
Like in 9/11 one benefited faction are certainly the Islamist perpetrators (the far right of the Muslim World but with no hope of spreading their ideas elsewhere) but, on the other side, those who appear as the fiercest of their enemies, often also fundamentalists of their own religions and certainly of their own cultures/nations, are also benefitted with support arising from the wave of indignation and anger. In the USA it was the Bush faction and their imperialist goals, in India... you better tell me.

If the results of the state elections, that were held immediately after these attacks, are any indication, then, there is no group in India that has benefited from these attacks.

Maju said...

I had already read on that. Maybe the terror trick is already spent (i.e. the fanatic reaction of the people is not anymore guaranteed after almost 10 years of "terror paranoia") or maybe Indians are a wise discerning people.

Whatever the case, it seems clear from the article that the right wing did hope to cash on terror panic - but that it did not work.

Manjunat said...

maybe Indians are a wise discerning people.

I'm not so sure about it. A party has changed its supposedly incompetent Chief Minister with another person. However, the criteria appears to be only caste in the case of new person.

Maju said...

You know better.

Anyhow I just meant regarding the alleged effect of terror > panic > hard right to power.

I don't have any particular favorable opinion of the Congress either.