India is emerging in many ways as our most important ally. It is a strong regional counterweight to Russia and China…it is a huge and officially secular federal democracy that is based…on ethnic and confessional pluralism. Its political and economic and literary echelons speak English better than most of us do. Its parliament…was viciously attacked by Islamist gangsters and nearly destroyed in December 2001, a date which ought to have made more Americans pay more attention rather than less…
It would be good to hear…that we regard attacks on the fabric and society of India with very particular seriousness, as assaults on a close friend that was battling al-Qaida long before we were. In response, it should be emphasized, our military and financial and nuclear and counterinsurgency cooperation with New Delhi will not be given a lower profile but a very much higher one. The people of India need to hear this from us, as do the enemies of India, who are our sworn enemies, too.
When private news channels started in India, I really did celebrate. It was a far fry from Doordarshan’s drone about which foundation stone was being petted by which Minister. And I still am grateful for these channels. But my mistake was in assuming that competition forces people to be the best they can. Instead, it seems to force organisations to become more and more similar, and outdo each other within that ring of similarity…
Everytime during the coverage, somebody came on screen and said – “We are the first/ only channel to get access to this pool of blood/ this victim/ this view of a building burning/ this piece of blood soaked cloth” – A part of me just wanted to slap them.
Every incident of terrorism in living memory has had three commonalities: the failure of the intelligence machinery to anticipate the crisis, or to adequately warn of it; the failure of the government and the security apparatus to act on intelligence information; and the ensuing cover up of the litany of mistakes by the political leadership of the day.
We’ve seen it all before—the failures of governments, the outrage of opposition parties, the inability of either or both to learn lessons, to use those learnings to put in place new mechanisms, to keep us safe.
…Enough already. Don’t tell us how they failed. Tell us how you and they will come together and ensure that you and they won’t fail, again, and we won’t die, again.
And if that—finding solutions, as opposed to trading charges—is beyond your powers, then shut the hell up. If people must die, then so be it—the least you can do is spare us the accompanying cacophony.
Kids nowadays. I tell you! 🙂