July 12, 2006

In touch, morning after

Morning after ... it's calm here in the land of the bomb blasts on trains. Grey skies, no rain, gentle breeze from the sea, swaying palms, people out for a jog. And as on the morning after every crisis whatever it is over the last few years, our newspaper, milk and bread is delivered bang on time. (Exception: riots of 1992-93, when the then milk delivery guy was murdered).

Just want to record three quick reactions to some stuff that's out there.

  • The "terrorism expert", B Raman, has these lines here:
      Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has been targeting tourist spots (Bali, Mombasa, Casablanca and Istanbul) as well as means of transport (Madrid and London). Therefore, Al Qaeda's inspiration behind terrorist strikes on July 11 is a strong possibility.
    I mean, I imagine it's perfectly likely that AQ is involved -- but on evidence like this? Because they have "targeted tourist spots" and "means of transport"?

    I mean, some of the earliest known acts of what we call terrorism were courtesy the Palestinians in the early '70s, and they "targeted means of transport": several planes that they hijacked. In the Munich Olympics -- certainly a tourist spot -- Palestinians terrorists killed Israeli athletes. On that evidence should we assume that it was the Palestinians responsible for yesterday?

    Should we just blame anyone who is a justified object of anger and hatred? Or should we investigate and dig and get to the bottom of this madness?

  • On Ultrabrown, Manish Vij has done an excellent job keeping people updated. Only what I would have expected from Manish, of course. But then there's this startling statement:
      It strikes me that majority-Muslim areas don’t seem to have been attacked.
    Where did that come from, Manish? I mean, these were bombs on trains. Trains packed with people, humans, of every description. Is it possible to imagine that these bombs were timed so that they went off when the trains were away from "majority-Muslim areas"? What sense does it make to say something like this? At a time like this?

  • Above all, a round of applause for the folks at Mumbai Help. Several selfless people doing a particularly unsung but vital job: putting people in touch with each other in a time of panic and stress. Bombay Addict, Saba, Falstaff, Rushina, Pete and many more (check the names!): you guys have a special place in many hearts too.

    Mine, for a start.

  • Finally, let's not forget that Srinagar had its share of horror yesterday too. Must have been every bit as traumatic there.
  • 28 comments:

    wise donkey said...

    tc

    evolving_everyday said...

    yesterday,i watched with shock as the pictures of the mumbai blasts unfolded on TV.

    Yesterday, there were 5 blasts in srinagar too.

    how far removed we are from the suffering of those people who face this situation eveeryday.

    Manish said...

    Is it possible to imagine that these bombs were timed so that they went off when the trains were away from "majority-Muslim areas"?

    They were certainly timed to go off in the suburbs rather than downtown (all went off north of Dadar).

    What sense does it make to say something like this? At a time like this?

    When you're analyzing a terror attack's M.O. This is analysis, not political statement.

    Bidi-K said...

    Thank you for the series of reports, Dilip. It really helped. Being so far away, every post that gives an idea of how it is now in the streets of Mumbai, is so welcome. Thanks for sharing and caring.

    rc said...

    >>I mean, I imagine it's perfectly likely that AQ is involved -- but on evidence like this? Because they have "targeted tourist spots" and "means of transport"? >>

    Actually, you just copy-pasted the last paragraph. He made several other points about Dawood being relocated close to where AQ#2 Zawahri operates.

    Even so, he just said it is a "strong possibility" they are involved.

    The threshold for evidence when it comes to terrorists is low. If you are a declared enemy of a particular country and have repeatedly stated your desire to not just talk but *act* to conduct acts of terror, you must be prepared to be suspect no 1 - yes even with low evidence.

    30in2005 said...

    Even at this distance I can see how the spirit of a city wounded rises to help its own. grief is only comforted by this wonderful spirit. I'm sure Mumbaikars everywhere are thanking you for the updates - even those of us this far away are grateful for the information - so thank you.

    Anant said...

    Sorry to correct you --- the bombing of
    Kind David Hotel, by the Hagannah in 1948
    or so is considered the first important
    act of modern terrorism. The PLO simply
    learnt its lessons from the Hagannah

    Sakshi said...

    What really ticked me off was the blame games by BJP and Shive Sena. Even now they are looking for their political aspirations rather then the main crisis at hand.

    Advani's speach was so off the topic...all he could think was 'Congress'.

    I have heard Sena is planning a demostration during Congress minister visits...ya like this is what we need from them.

    When will these assholes learn?

    Anonymous said...

    Ah, how dare someone vilify AQ? Dilipbhaiyya does not feel the need to defend the Shivsena. Shivsena which everyone is talking about, going "ooooh hope they dont make riots". This when sainiks are working hard on the streets to help victims and organising blood donation campaigns. But someone fingers Qaida and the pseudo-secular DDD can't take it.

    Why not accuse Palestinians or Hamas or ETA or IRA? Simple, uncle. They don't have a grouse against India. Al Qaeda officially considers India as an enemy along with the West and Israel. Bin Laden has breathed fire against India many times. That combined with a similar MO gives reasonable grounds for such speculation.

    kvr said...

    Dilip,
    I think you are being a little unfair to Mr Raman. The latest attacks in Bombay fit the pattern of previous ones there (in the last few years). Like the bombs that went off in Ghatkopar bus stand a minute or two before the evening rush to the bus stand, the bomb in the mumbai train compartment, the two bombs at the Gateway of India etc. That said, this statement has low information content (suburban train systems are obvious targets).

    I agree with you about Manish's statement. It is inappropriate.

    tejal said...

    "I mean, some of the earliest known acts of what we call terrorism were courtesy the Palestinians in the early '70s, and they "targeted means of transport": several planes that they hijacked. In the Munich Olympics"

    Coming from you Dilip, that statement is a dangerous one. Just like u would not call attacks by Hindu or Muslim fundamentalists, attacks by Indians, it is unfair to use language like "courtesy of the Palestinians". Especially at a time when like this when they are being subjected to the kind of attrocity we saw in Bombay every single day of their lives.

    newbie said...

    Dilip: What part of the sentence below do you not understand?

    "Therefore, Al Qaeda's inspiration behind terrorist strikes on July 11 is a strong possibility."

    Mr. Raman does not say that AQ did this, rather that they "inspired" and that it is a "strong possibility". There is nothing definitive about this statement.

    I usually read your reporting in positive light even when I don't agree with you BUT sometimes you just go off in a tangent and making illogical statements and coming to farcial sarcastic conclusions like blaming the palestinians. C'mon better is expected of you. And you should change the header of your blog saying you are not a leftist but a typist. Its like fox news in US saying that they are "fair and balanced". There is nothing wrong in being a leftist.

    By the way i agree with you about Manish's comments about the location of the blast.

    kuffir said...

    not now.

    Sreekumar said...

    I think that it is not wise to blame AQ or any organization without definitive proof. Its easy to be over run by the hysteria and we all share the grief of the families of the victims.
    But the effort now should be more on providing succor to them and establishing the real identity of the perpertrators. Then you go out against them with all the outrage.

    confused said...

    Dilip,

    I completely agree with you. I suspect the hands of RSS/Shiv Sena in these attacks. Better still it might be Indian Intelligence agencies. Who knows? Perhaps Pankaj Mishra can shed more light on it.

    Sakshi,

    Share you thoughts. That should be our chief worry now, what Shiv Sena does, afterall every terrorist attack in India, all 36000 of them have been followed by attacks against muslims.

    Tejal.

    True. Completely agree with you there too. This rouge state called Israel must be wiped off, preferably with a nuclear bomb dropped by Iran.

    btw, how are your dear Maoists doing? Hope all good and we should soon have the Communism in India soon. Thanks for all the efforts.

    Yes Dilip, I have lost my head. All this bloddy hypocrisy has finally got to me.

    Nikhil said...

    Confused
    My comments on your blog.
    After every terrorist attacks, the main obsession of the media seems to be:
    Will there be a backlash? (As Amit verma writes)
    Will the ongoing 'peace process' with Pakistan be affected?

    First- as confused says please show me after which terrorist attack has there been a backlash against Muslims?
    Do not bring in Bombay 92 or Gujarat 2002 as these backlashes were not against terrorist attacks.
    Are we just diverting from the main issue ? how the govt is failing on the security front?

    Regards peace process - peace means having an atmosphere of stability so that citizens from both countries can go about business as usual. Is this peacetime with blasts occurring every few months?
    If you have any doubts about this friendly neighbours intentions please read their reactions. First condemn the blasts and then go on to urge us to get going on Kashmir. So far has India benefitted from the peace process? If this is what we will face by the peace process, it is better with hostilities. We will at least be on our guard and not make it easier for terrorists to enter the country.

    Sakshi
    The timing of Advani's comments may not have been right, but excuse me - Hasnt the govt failed in its duty? So why should they not be pulled up?

    Anonymous said...

    dsouza is never critical of the congress government. why? is it because he's a typist?

    Shinu Mathew said...

    Sir, Thanks for reading my First Hand experience in Matunga blast. I'll upload the pics once it's scanned

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Tejal, actually I would call attacks by Indians, whoever they are, just that: attacks by Indians. What else are they but attacks by Indians (on other Indians)? It doesn't slander my whole country, or me, to say that.

    I feel depressed every day at the situation of the Palestinians. But that hardly means it wasn't Palestinians who hijacked those planes, or attacked those athletes in Munich. It was.

    kvr: My problem is the evidence BR presents. Suppose he had written "XYZ has been targeting means of transport (hijacked planes in the early '70s). Therefore, XYZ's inspiration behind terrorist strikes on July 11 is a strong possibility."

    (I use "XYZ" because I can't recall if the hijackeing terrorists had a name, like Al-Qaeda. If they did, please substitute that for XYZ).

    Would you agree with that?

    It says I'm a typist because I am a typist.

    confused: let me translate your comment. "I don't agree with you. Therefore what you write is bloody hypocrisy."

    Nikhil: "Do not bring in Bombay 92 or Gujarat 2002 as these backlashes were not against terrorist attacks."

    What are you talking about? Bombay 92 (riots and subsequent bombs) and Gujarat 2002 (Godhra train atrocity and subsequent atrocities) were all terrorist attacks.

    The greatest failing of the government, if you ask me -- and by "the government" I mean every government Delhi and Maharashtra for at least the last 20 years -- is that they have not punished the people who commit great crimes -- bombs, massacres, whatever -- against ordinary Indians. more about this in a post at some point.

    newbie said...

    Dilip, your response continues to baffle me.

    (1) Attacks by Indians? Why don't you generalize more by saying attack by humans. And so whenever these type of attacks happen anywhere in the world, journalists can just headline it by saying attacked by or bombed by or killed by humans. That would be a great read. If a man was killed by a tiger, would you report a man was killed by a mammal or better yet an animal? It would be technically correct. If you like to be so argumentative, perhaps you should have been a lawyer. I would agree with you if you had said one should not jump to quick conclusions

    (2) Again Mr. Raman is writing in recent context of attacks in various locations in the world and not about attacks in the 70s. Does he need to write a long paper in order to explain every little detail? You are journalist and must know about writing succinctly about a point you are trying to make. As I posted earlier, it is clear that Raman is just conjecturing and has not arrived at some final conclusion. Again you are being argumentative for the hell of it. Please leave that to us less sophisticated writers/bloggers. You write professionally so there is no need to be amateurish.

    (3) Typist - Again you are being argumentative. I can understand if the tag line on your blog is meant to be humor but you are not just a typist. You are being very literal here. I am not sure what your profile says in your resume but i bet it does not say you are a typist. Are you blogging just for "time-pass". If you are sincere about your logic that would mean that all modern writers are just typists.

    Very few who have read your writing for a while would not conclude that you are persuaded by leftist arguments and philosophy. If you don't like labels - say so. I know being referred to as one word reductionist label is not entirely fair but it does present an overall correct picture about where you are on political spectrum. And i say be proud of it and embrace it.

    ankan said...

    I have a feeling there were no bombs.
    When the committee tables the report a few years down the line, we will know that these were just a series of accidents. Mark my words!

    Just chill, there can be no terrorism in the Secular Republic of India.

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    newbie, indeed, why don't we generalize? Once more, I was perturbed by what BR used to support his conjecture.

    I say it proudly and embrace it: I am a typist.

    What this has to do with blasts, I have no clue. But I am a typist.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes the Sena is involved in the blasts..
    http://ia.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/13train5.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

    Anonymous said...

    Anonymouse! You are bang on target. See Kasuri has clarified that they are innocent.
    http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/13mumblast12.htm

    rc said...

    >>Once more, I was perturbed by what BR used to support his conjecture>>

    Well you called him a quote-unquote terrorism expert. He is actually well respected and knows quite a bit about this area.

    Even Pakistan yesterday asked for evidence. They asked for the same evidence when the USA wanted to take out the Taliban, guess what happened to that request. When it comes to terrorism, the bar for evidence is low.

    Yesterday, AQ boasted about these blasts and how they had found a foothold in India. So BR has been proven right - atleast partly.

    rc said...

    >>I think that it is not wise to blame AQ or any organization without definitive proof.>>

    Sreekumar -

    What would constitute definitive proof to you ? DNA evidence of Osama at the blast site ?

    Succour to the victims is required. Dilip and others are doing a great job helping out the victims. We must salute them for it. However, ordinary citizens cannot help out in offense against these elements. We count on the government to do that.

    We cannot set the bar too high for evidence in these cases. That will only demoralize the law enforcement further.

    Anonymous said...

    The person who is telling to donate the land of ayodhya to a library or to a laboratory. did he ever gave a single rupee to any social or service orianted organisation..? But for the sake of name these people becomes great secularists.There will not be any peaople like this in any othe religian like in hindus who want to get the publicity by scolding their own religion.These people Don't know the value of PRIDE.They know only Eating & sleeping.If somebody slaps u will u slap him inturn or will u go away from there hisitating the fight.Dear secularist u sit in home we will sacrifice.

    san said...

    I think we need only read the comments of the World Socialist Website:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/terr-j12.shtml

    "It cannot be excluded that yesterday's atrocity in Mumbai was organized or facilitated by agents provocateurs working for one of India's intelligence agencies or that elements within the security forces allowed the terrorist attack to take place, with the aim of panicking the public into accepting increased repressive powers for the state. It is also possible that the Mumbai bombings were the work of Hindu supremacist fanatics bent on stoking up anti-Muslim violence."

    I think that really says it all. Dilip, maybe you can form a therapy group with them, so that you can jointly work out your delusions with each other.