Massacre in India

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Not many details at the moment, but we do know that gunmen opened fire at various sites in Bombay in what appears to be a coordinated terrorist attack. According to BBC News, unconfirmed reports say that 80 are dead, 250 injured, and an unknown number are being held hostage in a "luxury hotel."

On Wednesday, gunmen opened fire in at least seven sites, including a train station, two five-star hotels, a hospital and a restaurant popular with tourists.

At least two blasts, suspected to be grenade attacks, were reported alongside the shootings.

Police said the gunmen had fired indiscriminately.

At least 10 people were killed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, they said.
A man shows the wounds of another man injured in a gunbattle at Mumbai's Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

"The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said AN Roy, police commissioner of Maharashtra state.

The Times (UK) reports that the terrorists were targeting foreigners

UPDATE: The Hindustan Times provides a mercifully smaller death toll of 16.

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  1. Please let the Hindustan Times figure be the right one.

    Poor India. It’s astounding they’ve managed to remain a liberal democracy. America would be a fascist dictatorship by now if we had to put up with what plagues them.

    We need to be a better friend to India, stop treating them and Pakistan as if they’re equivalent.

  2. Reports concerning the death toll still vary quite a bit, but have been going up, so 80 is probably more likely at this point.

    Normally, I’m not much for plugging TV news outlets, but since a lot of the Western outlets have been using their reports, you may want to check out NDTV, CNN-IBN, and TimesNow.

  3. Condolences to India. They’re battling both Muslim terrorists and Communist terrorists. I hope they catch the scum soon.

  4. 16 is a typo or old. The Hindustan Times article body says 60 dead. CNN says 80, with police confirming 26.

    Unfortunately this is probably going to be the higher numbers, and there are still the hostages.

  5. I see no solution for the Bombay attacks but to invade Bangladesh. That will cause Burma to democratize and drain the swamp of Iran of its terrorists.

  6. 16 is a typo or old.

    It definitely is the latter; some of the stories that I saw less than an hour ago did use that figure.

  7. Remember when their Parliament was stormed by jihadists?

  8. comfort and condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who were murdered or injured.

  9. We need to be a better friend to India, stop treating them and Pakistan as if they’re equivalent.

    Hence the nuclear development pact.

  10. Since the TimesNow site is loading very slowly (for me, at least), you may want to instead check out the site of the (essentially co-owned) Times of India.

  11. Seward,

    Good entry. Although human rights problems do exist in India, the country is generally not regarded as a human rights concern, unlike other countries in South Asia[1]. Based on these considerations, the report Freedom in the World 2006 by Freedom House gave India a political rights rating of 2, and a civil liberties rating of 3, earning it the designation of free[2]

  12. Hence the nuclear development pact.

    It would have been nice if we hadn’t sold Pakistan a wing of F-16s shortly afterwards.

  13. Awful to hear of this happening. I never understood what motivates people to commit atrocities like this.

  14. “It would have been nice if we hadn’t sold Pakistan a wing of F-16s shortly afterwards.”

    As long as we sold them for a profit…

  15. We need to be a better friend to India, stop treating them and Pakistan as if they’re equivalent.

    Second that.

  16. First, God help the victims and their families.

    Second, I suspect that India will survive this, but that if something similar happened in America we’d destroy ourselves in response. Perhaps we could learn something from India.

  17. From the Times of India article:

    Deshmukh promised “stringent action” against the assailants but the mood across Mumbai was not so optimistic.

    This is going to get ugly.

  18. Damn Jews again.

  19. “Perhaps we could learn something from India.”

    I think we should wait and see what they actually do first.

  20. Perhaps we could learn something from India.

    For starters, we could learn how to differentiate between Muslims and Sikhs.

    Incidentally, some group named “Deccan Mujahideen” is claiming responsibility for the attacks… I’m assuming that’s a Muslim group?

  21. Mr DNA:

    There’s usually half-a-dozen different groups clamoring to be the force behind the attacks when an incident is announced. Anything to get in the spotlight for a little bit. Probably best to wait and see what the evidence will indicate.

  22. joe,

    As the normal quoter of Freedom House numbers, 2,3 while technically free, still isnt very good. Venezuela was at that level pre-Chavez. They are, IIRC, 4,4 now.

  23. joe,

    Oh, and I agree with you wrt India/Pakistan. Im sure, for example, that Pakistan’s FH #s are much worse than 2,3.

  24. “robc | November 26, 2008, 5:02pm | #
    joe,

    As the normal quoter of Freedom House numbers, 2,3 while technically free, still isnt very good. Venezuela was at that level pre-Chavez. They are, IIRC, 4,4 now.”

    Not like Iraq, which is a 5. That’s the FREEDOM AGENDA in action! Oh, wait…

  25. Pakistan is a 6,5 which is awful (7 is the worst score in each category).

  26. Pakistan should have never existed.

  27. LGF,

    5s are at least a move in the right direction for Iraq. 🙂

  28. Bingo,

    You are correct. Mumbai is also the center of organized crime in India, so there could be more to this than mere terrorism.

  29. robc,

    Who else in their neighborhood – or on the whole Asian mainland, for that matter – is ranked “free” at all? And it’s only been sixty years since their independence. Where do you think we would have ranked in the 1830s? We had it a lot better than India, too.

    Democracy is about progress.

  30. organized crime in India, so there could be more to this than mere terrorism.

    Organized crime tends to avoid its own casualties, they don’t fire into crowds for the purposes of hitting crowds and they don’t tend to take hostages while lobbing grenades off the roof.

    I’m all for waiting until the facts come in, but this looks like an organized crime attack the way a whorehouse looks like a convenience store.

  31. I’m all for waiting until the facts come in, but this looks like an organized crime attack the way a whorehouse looks like a convenience store.

    Paul, I agree that it’s too soon to speculate about all this. But organized crime in India sometimes goes hand in hand with terrorism.

  32. “Where do you think we would have ranked in the 1830s? ”

    Given that we had legalized slavery, not well. Thought it would have been a “1” for white men.

  33. “Pakistan should have never existed.”

    I agree – however – what does the shootings in Mumbai have to do with existence of Pakistan? Are you suggesting that this act of aggression is supported by Pakistan? or?

    -Gungadin

  34. joe,

    Who else in their neighborhood – or on the whole Asian mainland, for that matter – is ranked “free” at all?

    South Korea is a 1,2
    Mongolia is a 2,2

    I think that is it for Asian mainland. So 3rd best in their neighborhood (ignoring some of the islands like Japan and Taiwan).

  35. Its a global economy, its time to stop comparing intracontinentally.

    I dont give Tennessee a break for bordering Arkansas and Mississippi.

  36. This is Islamist terrorism without a shadow of doubt. They are the only people who have the people and the motivation to do this. Organized crime does have a nexus with Islamist terror in India, since the chief of the Mumbai underworld used to be a “state guest” in Pakistan (his current whereabouts are mysterious) and had/has links with the ISI. This may lead to anti-muslim backlash , but then again, it may not. India has matured a lot, though fascist thugs associated with the RSS are still trying to push it towards civil war. The rickety nature of the Indian state has something to do with this too, as they are rather bad at preventing such atrocities (sheer incompetence is to blame rather than any political correctness or Islamist sympathies)

  37. “It would have been nice if we hadn’t sold Pakistan a wing of F-16s shortly afterwards.”

    IIRC, we sold them those planes back in the 70s and then never delivered them and never gave them their money back either. Not sure what the details of the current deal were, but in either case, it’s a mere bone thrown to Pakistan compared to the nuclear treaty with India. It just allows them to save face.

    If India does become some kind of ally to the US (which I think it should), then Bush ought to get some credit for initiating the process.

  38. God damn these terrorists, I mean really, what a bunch of evil cowards…

  39. Can someone point me to some answers to two things (really, I don’t know much at all about terrorism):

    1. When did this tactic of gunning down civilians to get a political point start?

    2. Is seems to me to be more of a problem among Islamic groups. Is that right? If so, why?

  40. Hazel,

    What rankles is that Bush pushed the F-16 sale through immediately after Musharrif suspended the Constitution and went on his little anti-judge, anti-opposition rampage. He was getting pressure to kill the deal and denounce Musharrif, so he did it to make a point. I don’t like that point.

    Clinton worked to improve relations with India, too. It’s been an ongoing process, one of the few areas of continuity between the Bush and Clinton administrations. Bush gets props for that, though.

  41. Given Bush’s plain affinity for Pervez Musharrif, and the efforts he made to pay the Pakistanis back for coming over to our side after 9/11, he deserves credit for working to keep things moving with India, though. No question.

  42. Awful to hear of this happening. I never understood what motivates people to commit atrocities like this.

    Their invisible friend told them to do it.

  43. “2. Is seems to me to be more of a problem among Islamic groups. Is that right? If so, why?”

    I suspect Islamic groups are indeed behind this – and if this is indeed verified, then, in that case I think it’d be the same tired old justification of “Get America out of the Islamic Lands/Palestine and or free Kashmir”

    It’s better if Muslims kill each other than is to have infidels kill Muslims

  44. “Musharrif suspended the Constitution and went on his little anti-judge, anti-opposition rampage. He was getting pressure to kill the deal and denounce Musharrif, so he did it to make a point. I don’t like that point.”

    hehehehe ummmm Law and Order has never been a cornerstone of politics in Pakistan – case in point the current President Zardari apparently is a convicted felon – and from the looks of it – on one hand he’s busy shuttling around the world begging for a bailout – while on the other hand he’s busy canonizing his spouse Benazir.

    Pardon the digression.

  45. “It’s better if Muslims kill each other than is to have infidels kill Muslims”

    Uhhh meant it as sarcasm…

    -Gungadin

  46. “he deserves credit for working to keep things moving with India, though. No question.”

    I think credit goes to Condi…

  47. They were targeting Americans and British. “Muslims killing each other” – huh?

    900 wounded.

  48. This is Islamist terrorism without a shadow of doubt.

    Indeed. From CNN: “One witness told reporters gunmen had tried to find people with U.S. or British passports.”

  49. “Muslims killing each other” – huh?”

    It was in response to “the reasons why Islamists resort to such tactics”. Just so that it is clear – I shall re-phrase”

    Q: Why do Islamists resort to such tactics?

    A: Islamists justify killing of innocent people, in this case Americans, Britons, by for US and GB having deployed armies in Iraq/Afghanistan. In response to then one points out the irony: that more Muslims kill Muslims than otherwise. In response to this then, the Islamists, say that an infidel killing a Muslim is worst than is a Muslim killing another…

    Anyhoooooo….

  50. Not that it matters, but having a British or American passport doesn’t prove that you’re an “infidel”. These jackasses aren’t even consistent with their own ideology. But then who is?

  51. 900 wounded.

    Where you hearing that, joe? NPR reported 200 dead as of two hours ago…

  52. Sorry, 200 wounded as of two hours ago.

    I will use the preview button.
    I will use the preview button.
    I will use the preview button.

  53. CED | November 26, 2008, 6:15pm | #

    Can someone point me to some answers to two things (really, I don’t know much at all about terrorism):

    1. When did this tactic of gunning down civilians to get a political point start?

    I don’t know who started it. The early “terrorists” of the 19th and early 20th centuries tried to make a point of targeting individuals in the government and military, who could be deemed culpable to some degree.

    However, it is hard to say where military actions against civilians cease to be acts of war and become acts of terrorism. Where does one draw the line between the Turkish genocide against the Armenians and the Irgun’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Palestine? Does the fact that the Irgun was an insurgent force while the Armenian genocide was committed by the Turkish government make a difference?

  54. The juxtaposition of these highly coordinated attacks and India’s recent diplomatic outreach to Iran should not be overlooked as a coincidence. There are those in the Middle East who will do anything to undermine efforts to normalize world relations with Iran.

    Already much is being made of these attacks having been undertaken by Muslim extremists, but the fact remains, the images broadcast of the terrorists do not depict Muslim fanatics, but rather young, fit, clean-shaven men who could easily be of any Middle Eastern ethnicity or religion. These “terrorist” were well trained, well out-fitted, and this attack well planned and executed. It has more the feel of a military operation than of a terrorist attack.

    So India should be asking itself, as millions of Americans have been asking themselves since 9/11, exactly who were we attacked by and are we pointing our fingers at the right guilty party?

  55. Neocon is on the right track with the plan to invade, he just got the wrong country. We need to invade Brazil in order to drain the Venesualin swamp.

  56. Perhaps we could learn something from India.

    Like “How to Starve the Peasant Masses Non-Violently: A User’s Manual”?

    There’s a solid list of reasons not to admire the “non-violent heros” of India, that our Left wing here in the West so loves to fawn over. And yes, these fawners are the same people who “can’t vote for a religious nut job” here at home.

    Nut jobs in India are okay though.

  57. Bush ought to get some credit for initiating the process.

    This and other things, in spite of his guffaws. But it won’t happen in his own lifetime. The MSM and pundits have their agenda to keep up you know. But how they love Obama.

  58. He was getting pressure to kill the deal and denounce Musharrif, so he did it to make a point. I don’t like that point.

    And Clinton never presided over any kind of military hardware sales to Pakistan, in all his years in Washington? I doan theenk so omeego.

    I watched people here and in the MSM wax eloquent about how “Pakistan should just allow democratic elections.” Because don’t you know that everybody should be democratic, just like me? Nobody should impose their views on somebody else, unless it’s me imposing my views on you.

    Not every country necessarily should be democratic, in spite of Western Liberal Left Religious views, and the US had/still has a vested interest in seeing some kind of government hold together in Pakistan. What’s followed Musharref has been much worse for us.

    I mean, it is a US interest if you care about keeping the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan. Just in case anybody’s memory goes back that far in time.

  59. he images broadcast of the terrorists do not depict Muslim fanatics, but rather young, fit, clean-shaven men who could easily be of any Middle Eastern ethnicity or religion.

    Like the Saudi Muslim fanatics that boarded airplanes on 9/11?

    I’m not sure if clean-shaven is a dealbreaker for a possible terrorist attack.

    But I’ll pay a dollar if they’re Christian day camp kids on an outreach.

  60. In an armed society this kind of thing would be nipped in the bud quick. Thousands of armed ‘victims’ would put an end to it quick instead of hiding in rooms hoping to be saved.

  61. F-16s will not keep flying without US spare parts.

    Think of it as a string we can yank on.

  62. The juxtaposition of these highly coordinated attacks and India’s recent diplomatic outreach to Iran should not be overlooked as a coincidence. There are those in the Middle East who will do anything to undermine efforts to normalize world relations with Iran.

    Already much is being made of these attacks having been undertaken by Muslim extremists, but the fact remains, the images broadcast of the terrorists do not depict Muslim fanatics, but rather young, fit, clean-shaven men who could easily be of any Middle Eastern ethnicity or religion. These “terrorist” were well trained, well out-fitted, and this attack well planned and executed. It has more the feel of a military operation than of a terrorist attack.

    So India should be asking itself, as millions of Americans have been asking themselves since 9/11, exactly who were we attacked by and are we pointing our fingers at the right guilty party?

    Well, curiously it isn’t being widely reported that the terrorists have also taken a rabbi and his wife hostage at a Jewish community center. What does this fact do to your conspiracy theory, asshole?

    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/26/1001230/attacks-in-mumbai-kill-at-least-80

  63. Hostage or hosts?

  64. Ebeneezer,

    “Yeah but Clinton…”

    Zzzzzzzzz…

    Way to cut through to what really matters. Clinton was worse!

  65. Sean:

    Goddamnit, Iran has a huge population of very unhappy people. The last thing we do is direct their unhappiness against the US. Give it 10 years or so and they will have a peaceful revolution. Unfortunately, every time we talk about how evil Iran is (and how we need to bomb the shit out of them) it galvanizes the population against us instead of the nutjobs in charge of their government. Our posture toward war is actually preventing a revolution in the country.

  66. Hostage or hosts?

    Go die in a fire, Raffi.

    Bingo,
    Huh?

  67. Those who think Pakistan are naive. Pakistan has the American army on their western border and the Indian army on their eastern border. Such a provocation could only start an invasion of their country, not something they likely want. If it looks like Pakistan did this, it is because it was set up to look like Pakistan did this. The neo-cons and their friends would greatly benefit from WWIII, from the interruption of India’s efforts to normalize diplomatic efforts with Iran, and with generally turning the Middle East into a quagmire for America before the transition of administrations. Things are rarely what they seem.

  68. Tharms: Yes Pakistan does have the US army on its western border and India on its East.

    So what?

    Pakistan also has an est. population of 172 million, a very large military and nuclear weapons. The fact that India has a larger military has not stopped Pakistan from provocative actions against India (e.g. Kargil) and for a lot of credible sources to see ISI fingerprints on all sorts of actions. As for the US in Afghanistan, the US would not be able to meaningfully function in Afghanistan if Pakistan denied access.

    I’m not saying that Pakistan is behind the Mumbai bombings. But I also wouldnt rule out some involvment of Pakistani elements.

  69. Re: Iranian involvement.

    I can’t see it.
    1. The attackers come from Sunni regions, not Shia.
    2. The Iranians have avoided overt acts, and focussed instead support for Shiite groups and regimes (e.g Syria, Hezzbollah, Iraqi groups).
    3. The Iranian interest in Afghanistan is in opposition to Pakistan, and would ordinarily be interested in a strong India against Pakistan. Also, India wants to buy Iranian natural gas.

    All in all: this seems nothing like an Iranian action, except in the most convoluted conspiracy theory, and especially with a ready supply of unhappy Muslims in India

  70. UPDATE: The Hindustan Times provides a mercifully smaller death toll of 16

    And the Karachi Daily News has it at one dead, three missing and four with minor headaches.

  71. I realize this is a bit late, but this whole thing kinda made me realzie something:

    Aren’t the Islamist militants really just glorified versions of our own high school shooting spree losers?

    “Waaa! Pay attention to me! Waaa! You’re all picking on my so I’m going to blow myself up in the cafeteria!”

    Not to make light of a serious issue, but really … how is what is going on psychologically for these people any different from what goes on in the mind of an angsty male teenager who goes back and buys a gun so he can get revenge on his real (or imagined) oppressors. Probably the same hormones, even. Teenage males in Islamic societies can’t get laid.

  72. Crazy Muslims, I can’t imagine a religious organization thinking this kind of action is justified. With their religion being so popular we are going to see a lot more of this kind of thing happening around the world.

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