Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Terror Burning Bright – Mumbai Carnage

India, whether pre-colonial, colonial or post-colonial, has always been a savagely cruel place. The recent massacre of about 180 people by Islamic terrorists in Mumbai is just another sad chapter of woe in its bloody history. It was not long ago when public executions were carried out by being crushed under an elephant's foot. Its modern hero, Mahatma Ghandi, was assassinated as well as several other leaders in its post-colonial history, so the dreadful history proceeds now seemingly remorselessly and unrelentingly.

John Ruskin, an English Victorian famous sage writer on art, architecture and any subject that pleased him, contended that Indian Hindu Religion not only influenced its art and architecture, but the character of its people. He considered it one cruelest and most devilish in the world. As part of the cycle of life, Hindus worship gods Shiva and Kali as vicars of death and destruction. At the same time they protect cows from slaughter.

If you examine antique Indian bladed weapons, you find a large proportion of them seemed to be designed for torture as well as killing. The best ones are made with blades of the finest jawbar steel with inlaid gold, with handles encrusted with rubies, opals, turquoise and more valuable gem stones.

The recent killings in Mumbai were conducted by Islamic murderers, so you cannot blame the Hindus for it. The attack, however, was in the context in the long ongoing bloody conflict between the Muslims and Hindus in India and Kashmir.

During the partition of India in 1947 between mainly Muslim and Hindus, 3.5 million people remain unaccounted – they just disappeared. The most conservative estimate is that at least a half million perished in homicidal actions.

Six Americans have been killed in the Mumbai events.

Obama has announced his national security team with Hillary Clinton on point at State; she will soon have her hands full in Southeast Asia. The US position, despite the dead Americans, is to sooth the situation – both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Obama has indicated he will attack terrorists in Pakistan, so why not let the Indians do the same? Like the Israel/Arab situation, there is enough historical blame to go around. In both cases, hatreds run deep and in both instances, the US should not favor either side. If it does, it pointlessly attracts enemies from the side not supported .

In the case of Mumbai, the killers had Jews, Americans and Englishmen on their priority hit list. Americans and Jews were killed, but no English.

Let us hope Obama's freshly minted national security team understands this simple neutrality concept, and in the future develops and executes policies in US national interest; it should avoid supporting one side or the other for narrow domestic special interests. Hillary Clinton with her pro-Israeli baggage will be tested soonest. My sense is that the former senator from New York will carry her baggage aboard.

You remember Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's National Security advisor? He was caught stuffing his underwear with documents that he stole from the National Archives building. He was reported to have planted some in his petunia bed at home. He was only slapped on the wrists. Some say he took the documents to destroy evidence that his boss Bill was complacent on 9/11. Saw him on CNN a couple days ago discoursing on of all things – TERROR. He lost weight, looks good and is ready to work for Obama. Redemption without atonement? I will leave this to the Biblical and Talmudic scholars to explain – I cannot. CNN appeared misguided in its Berger presentation.

Since we are up to our ears in India this week, thought I would mention that the Republicans are pushing East Indian/American Bobby Jindal, Republican governor of swampy Louisiana, as their great brown hope for US president. Jindal is sharp, confident and cleaning up the corrupt state as a new broom is expected. He is bright, articulate and fearless. If he avoids the temptation of importing king cobras for killing swamp rats at the governor's mansion, painted caprisoned pachyderms for parades and pairs of Bengal tigers to keep his Cajuns from boredom, he could give Obama a helluva run in 2012. This is especially if Obama gives us Redux Clinton.

India has always fascinated me, but is one of the few places in the world I never wanted to visit. My vision of the place was formed as a boy by films such as Gunga Din, Rika Tika Tavia and the Jungle Boy. Read just about everything Rudyard Kipling ever wrote. I have a large collection of East Indian 19thC ornate furniture and antique bladed weapons from India – maybe it was the burning of the bodies on the many funeral pyres along the sacred Ganges river and bathing in the filthy river filled with human ashes and remains at Benares that gave me the creeps – this along with the high density populations. As Kipling wrote in the ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY: SHIP ME EAST OF SUEZ WHERE THE BEST IS LIKE THE WORST AND WHERE THERE AIN'T NO TEN COMMANDMENTS AND A MAN CAN RAISE A THIRST... this is one trip I take now only from my Anglo-Indian rosewood armchair. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


Anonymous stats79 said...

Yes, India seems like a very unpleasant country. Not one that I am likely to visit either.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home