Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Terrorists Attack Hospital Maternity Ward

Just when you think that there's no lower point to reach on the scale of human evil, the stories coming out today from this week's Mumbai massacres reveal the limits of your imagination. What kind of bestial mind can conceive plans like this one, to launch an armed attack on a hospital's maternity ward:
Two terrorists had entered the hospital from the back entrance with hand grenades and AK-47 assault rifles at around 0230 hours killing two security personnel, Bhanu Narkar and Baban Ugade, eyewitnesses said.
The terrorist duo, while continuing to fire indiscriminately, went up to the fourth and fifth floors, which house the maternity ward at the five-storey hospital.
One of the two maternity wards was locked from the inside while the terrorists tried to break into another which had been fastened by the women occupying it using a cloth.
Twenty-five women, along with their newborn babies and three other men locked themselves inside a safety room within the maternity ward, refusing to open despite several threats by the terrorists.

The choir of crying babies born that day, lying innocently in their beds as heroic hospital staff improvised their survival, serve as a reminder to us all of the unfathomable chasm existing between the culture of death that has declared endless war on our side, the culture of life. Separated as we are by oceans and language and history, we still clearly share a common tapestry of humanity with the cloth-bearing defenders whose love of life proved stronger than the nihilists' lust for death.

In a story so steeped in villainy, it's good to also reflect on the acts of sacrificial love emerging in its shadow, in the shadows of all tragedies and nightmares, and, today of all days, to be grateful for them.


Dag said...

This comes via Jihad Watch:

"It is 4AM in India right now. I am in Mumbai reporting from the ground. I have not slept a wink. Mumbai is under attack. People and forces who killed Mahatama Gandhi, who demolished the Babari Mosque have triumphed. More than 16 groups of terrorists have taken over Taj, Oberai and several hotels. Hundreds of people are dead. For the first time no one is blaming Muslim organizations."

The above quotation comes from a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Amaresh Misra, writing in Ikhwan Web, November 26, 2008. Misra, (The Egyptian) writes in Ikhwan, (The Brotherhood)that the people who killed Gandhi are now responsible for this outrage against Humanity. Misra means the RSS. He continues:

"Our worst fears have come true. It is clear that Mossad is involved in the whole affair. An entire city has been attacked by Mossad and probably units of mercenaries. It is not possible for one single organization to plan and execute such a sophisticated operation. It is clear that this operation was backed by communal forces from within the Indian State. The Home Minister Shivraj Patil should resign. The RSS-BJP-VHP-Bajrang Dal should be banned. Advani and others ought to be arrested. Today is a day of shame for all Indians and all Hindus. Muslims and secular Hindus have been proven right. RSS type forces and Israel are all involved in not only destabilizing but finishing India. India should immediately snap all relations with Israel...."

More at Jihad Watch, "Muslim Brotherhood: The Jews and Hindus attacked Mumbai, not Islamic jihadists."

I don't know enough yet to give my complete support to the RSS. But given the alternative, there seems little choice. The same will come true in the rest of the West: that we will form resistance movements to Islam and Left dhimmi fascism. The question remain who will form such movements, those of us who are rational and humanistic or those who are pagan and insane.

Vancouver visitor said...

It's all very simple. Islam's main weapon is the humanity of infidels. Hard-headed Hindu nationalists realize this and adopt a rationally inhumane stance against Islam. Other Hindus take a gander down the abyss and go weak in their knees on seeing the brutality that must be unleashed for there to be safety in their own land, so they avert their eyes and try their damnedest to deny the ugly truth. In other words, these softies choose to be insane and humanistic.

A fratricidal civil war between Hindus and death zombies descended from forcibly converted Hindus is inevitable. Conflicts like this will occur in all countries with a sizeable population of death zombies, be they Eastern or Western.

truepeers said...

I don't think anything is inevitable, nor do I think all Muslims are zombies.

It is just in such moments of crisis as the present that there arise new opportunities to divide and conquer and find out what people really believe and want. And not all Muslims will want this carnage, I'm sure.

What is probably unsustainable, though it might sustain itself for quite some time yet is the game of constantly appeasing the terrorists, of paying their blackmail, as an act of White Guilt. But this game can go on and on because actually the terrorists don't represent a major military force that can be targeted nor do they act in the name of any plausible state, present or imaginable in future. They are parasites on petro states and dollars, yes, but this is also to say they are not allied with any truly productive economic force, just with rentiers who must constantly deny they are feeding the terrorists, lest one day a real world power just takes the oil away. As such, the terrorists are a limited force and there will just not be the desire or will anytime soon in any country to fight a war against all Muslims because of it. It's not worthy of serious people to allow their minds to dwell on the apocalyptic scenario. We should know by now that these kinds of attacks don't have a game-changing effect, and the only hope they can have such an effect lies less in the desire for a final conflict, but in a strategy of divide and conquer.

What the terrorists represent and lead is a widespread resentment against the global market system, hence the left-Islamist alliance. And I think it would be best if we fought on those terms: a fight against those who would destroy our modernity and all the life the global free market sustains. Obviously, most Muslims are trying to sit out this fight, not having a strong enough commitment to either side wanting something of both Islam and the modern world. When many are engaged in ways that make fence sitting less possible, only then will things change significantly. Because there is nowhere near the will in the non-Muslim world to have a war against Islam, for obvious reasons. We will only be killing Muslims when we can do a job of isolating the bad guys from those who won't fight when push comes to shove.

I am sure there are many "Muslims" who will choose the terms of membership in the modern world when eventually forced to make the choice. The victims of the terrorists include many "Muslims" too. And it is the insistence, when possible, that these people be given some means of turning towards modernity, of becoming free individuals before anything else, that holds more realistic hope than brooding about the final conflict, which is frankly largely the projection of a metaphysical view of Islam as something incapable of changing or being changed under the force of those with the will to defend a modern reality. But metaphysical interpretations of religious thinking have limits, like everything else.

vancityguy said...

Too many, yourselves included, are so quick to blame generic 'Muslims' for acts like these.

They are barbaric acts, no question, and oh so similar to comparative barbarism committed by members of the Christian, Hindu, Atheist, and Buddhist traditions.

When you even make the attempt to associate these acts with a religious tradition you are inflating stereotypes, stereotypes often contradictory to what their respective faiths are all about.

Conflicts like these are almost never religiously motivated. They are religiously reinforced, no question about that, but the catalyst for them are almost always economic and/or social. It’s easy to divide it down to religion, because then you can draw a line in the sand between ‘them and what they believe’ and ‘us and what we believe’, but by doing that you just add to the tinder pile and, ultimately, come off as a well-spoken and articulate bigot.

Dag said...

Vancity Guy, you know nothing about Islam. You know you don't, and those of us who study Islam know you don't. You're talking through your hat. But that doesn't mean you can't learn should you care to drop the pose of uber-liberal. I t does demand some intellectual honesty. In fact, it's just plain honesty. You do not know Islam. I'm certain you cannot tell me about the Sira, the ahadiths, nor could you stand two minutes of debate on this subject. and yet you weigh in with opinions. Why is that?

Jewel Atkins said...

When do we hold Muslims accountable as a group, then, vancityguy? There are no moderate muslims to speak of, since they aren't the ones teaching their youth in the state school systems in Islamia. The imams which openly and loudly proclaim the Koran and hadith are the ones who teach the ways of war, and nations like pakistan, syria train proxy armies who wear no national uniform to do their dirty wars. We have to realize now, that we are in a new kind of war. A war where the notions of nations and boundaries no longer exist. Everyone is a target and the front is everywhere. Forget about separating the innocent from the guilty, theirs is a war of attrition by any means necessary.

vancityguy said...

You have got to be kidding me.

Dag – You can grand stand all you want about studying Islam and the nuances of its expansionist nature, the Twelth Imam, and the comparative virtues and vices of Jihdist rhetoric.

But don’t assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. But the nature of Islam itself isn’t my point here.

It’s the ease and eagerness of approaches like yours to round-up, buddle, and write-off an entire group of people under a single definition of ‘them’ and ‘us’. It may be intellectually easy to divide a problem into something as basic, but it’s also intellectually lazy. I’m not defending militant Islam, and neither am I attacking it, what I am saying is that it isn’t a ‘Muslim’ question, but rather a socio-economic one. And while we’re on the topic, Iraq was more secular than fundamentally Muslim while under Hussein. The espousal of herding all Muslims under an umbrella stereotype, like this site tends to do, only affects who one discusses with them on a diplomatic level and in turn fosters extremist reactions.

Uber-liberal? Hardly. I’m a practicing Catholic and about as vehemently pro-life, anti-homosexual and pro-free market as you can get, but in a practical way.

And as far as Islam’s contribution to the Christian theology this site advocates, a quick review of the Muslim philosopher Averroes might be in order.

Jewel – You want to talk proxy armies with no national uniforms? Then please, explain Blackwater to me, please.

A war where a nation’s boundaries don’t matter? Boundaries don’t seem to matter much in the Bush Doctrine do they? There’s a precedent for that two, circa Poland 1939.

My point, Jewel, is that it’s pretty embarrassing for the pot to call the kettle black. I’d just like to know how you’d propose to combat the specter of terrorism without burning ever Koran within reach.

Dag said...

Why would I be kidding? Another of a string of cliches from you.

There is no grand-standing in studying Islam. Either you do or you do not; and then it's a matter of degree, which you evince no depth of. Thus I do assume you don’t know what you're talking about.

The nature of Islam itself is the point here. You're not missing it, you're obfuscating.

It’s the ease and eagerness of approaches like yours to round-up, bundle, and write-off an entire group of people under a single definition of ‘them’ and ‘us’.

How to respond to this further ad hominen? "It's not even wrong," as Wolfgang Pauli was prone to say.

It may be intellectually easy to divide a problem into something as basic, but it’s also intellectually lazy. [Us and them.]I’m not defending militant Islam, and neither am I attacking it, what I am saying is that it isn’t a ‘Muslim’ question, but rather a socio-economic one.

There you expose yourself as either completely ignorant of the nature of the poligion of Islam or you are going even further than obfuscating. It is exactly an Islamic problem, and it is nothing more or less than that. You do not know your history, sir.

"And while we’re on the topic...."

We are not on this topic.

Uber-liberal? Hardly. I’m a practicing Catholic and about as vehemently pro-life, anti-homosexual and pro-free market as you can get, but in a practical way.

I'm not interested in your autobiograghy. If you wish to discuss Ilam and jihad, dhimmitude and Left dhimmi fascism, then you are at the right place. If you wish to discuss my autobiography, that is possible, given that I care about that and have some deep experience in it.

And as far as Islam’s contribution to the Christian theology this site advocates, a quick review of the Muslim philosopher Averroes might be in order.

Averroes? That would be the author of the jihadi manual, "Bidayat al-mudjtahid." Do tell. You can red it in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad.

The first line?

"Scholars agree that jihad is a collective not a personal obligation."

Trans. Rudolph Peter, Jihad in Mediaeval and Modern Islam: The Chapter on Jihad from Averroes' Legal Handbook "Bidayat al-mudjtahid." Leiden: Brill; 1977, pp 9-25.

Brill, if you question the source is the publicher of the Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Bearman, available at VPL in 13 vol.s, as I recall.

As far as your "socio-economic" analysis, I'm not even going to bother responding to stale cliches from pseudo-Marxists who conform to the day' fashions. Jihad, if you look even briefly at the history of the Moghul occupation of Sindhu, as one example, will show you have no grounds for further debate based on anything you've contributed so far. I await something better, if not good.

vancityguy said...

You’re completely useless Dag. At least Truepeers, though I hardly agree with him on most occasions, can answer legibly. Instead of posting a bibliography, complete with footnotes and publication dates, how about you try giving a straight-forward response that’s specific, concise, and to-the-point. But that’s not your style is it? Say what you want, but you’re ‘critique’ of my post reeks of secondary school essay analysis, how about an answer of your own instead.

Give it a try Dag. Simply. Succinctly. With you awe-inspiring intellect and rare talent for crisis settlement, please enlighten me and answer this one, simple question of mine – how would YOU stop the escalation of militant Islam in our world today?

Ah the internet Dag, the impregnable sanctuary of the bigot, you must feel right at home here. At least I can be content in the overwhelming likely-hood that your station in life affects very few people over the age of seventeen.

Come on Dag. Wow me, the pagans, and everyone else. And don’t cop out with the ‘I have nothing to prove’ white flag. Show that you’re not a verbose idiot, or prove it beyond any further doubt.

vancityguy said...

Oh, I apologize, forgot to mention something in the above post.

The Muslim Jihadists are terrifying, I must admit.

Almost as terrifying as the Franks grand entrance into Jerusalem, no?

Or how about those crazy Spaniards, Torquemada sure knew how to give it to other faiths didn’t he?

And don’t forget Western Africa, 400 years of the highest quality labour, FREE, courtesy of, you guessed it, cross bearing Christians.

What you are is hypocrite Dag, and you’re every bit at extremist in your views as the bogey-men and witches you’re so terrified of.

Dag said...

I waded through the flotsom of your earlier comment to find this: "How would YOU stop the escalation of militant Islam in our world today?"

It has to do with nothing at all.

The next comment is silly moral equivalence that doesn't deserve a response either. "It's not even wrong."

Vancityguy said...

Ok, thanks for settling the issue Dag.

You're not a verbose idiot.

You're just an idiot.

I guess you can get to the point.

truepeers said...

I've studied history and historiography and philosophies of history for years. I've got to say that I've become convinced that almost all writers on these subjects just don't have convincing accounts of the nature of human historicity. The anthropology that would allow for this is still in its infancy. And the older Western metaphysical tradition just doesn't get us very far, because metaphysics is the opposite of religious thinking and does not come well to terms with our religious nature, which is at the heart of the question of why and how we are historical beings.

So, I am always amused when people make categorical statements like the following, as if it were the clearest thing in the world:

"Conflicts like these are almost never religiously motivated. They are religiously reinforced, no question about that, but the catalyst for them are almost always economic and/or social."

-Let me first respond pragmatically: surely, vcg, you know that there are poor people all over the world and the seriously poor are never the ones to commit crimes like this savagery in Mumbai. You insult the discipline and restraint of the poor when you imply this kind of terrorism is rooted in poverty. From what we know so far, a couple of those involved were apparently British-Pakistanis, i.e. people with at least one foot in the modern market economy, people who could at least have stayed home and grown fat on the dole. No doubt it is just this that is the problem: not poverty but an unsatisfactory half-initiation into modernity and a hatred of all the hard things modernity demands of people, as free individuals.

But then, there are lots of people with a less than fully satisfactory initiation into modernity, including I imagine pretty much everyone who has ever written at this blog. But you won't see guys like me or Dag training to go on a terrorist rampage. We suffer our indignities quietly, except when we're blogging and mouthing off, which is just what blogs are for by the way, so there is no point in holding that against us if you choose to come here.

Which takes me to the more serious point: to evoke "socioeconomic" phenomena as if their nature were self-evident is to claim oracular status. I would suggest, pace the Marxist Gnostics with their "socioeconomic causes", the fundamental factor in human historicity is simply the ethical, for this is what underwrites all forms of economic organization. The reason losers like Dag and I don't do Jihad is because we have a different ethic than the Islamic one. We deal with our resentments differently, and that is fundamentally a matter of what culture (or lack thereof) we bring to bear on the problem of our lives. Generally the more culture one has, the better in restraining and disciplining oneself. Thus a Muslim with a lot of secular culture besides is in a lot better shape than a Muslim whose education is limited to some simple-minded Koranic preaching. Muslims are not all the same because there is much else in this world besides Islam, a point on which I often call Dag to attend.

Or put it another way: what causes terrorist violence is, at root, some combination of love and resentment, which are our two most basic dispositions in relationship to all that is sacred. We don't do a "socioeconomic" calculus before we do Jihad, or blogging, or whatever; rather we get in touch with our fundamental ethical sensibilities and the attitudes of love and resentment on which they are built. In other words, how we see and respond to the scenes of our lives is fundamentally a question of how we become conscious of these scenes. We are conscious of them as part of a particular ethical and esthetic tradition for human self-understanding. These scenes may be "socioeconomic" in nature, but that does not explain how we see them. Marxits see scenes in "socioeconomic" terms; but i don't, because I work with an anthropology that teaches me that the core issue is the ethics and esthetics of how we collectively create scenes.

Unless and until we understand the anthropological nature of the human relationship to the sacred, we don't really well understand much about what motivates these terrorists, or anyone else. It's to the anthropological questions, to the illumination of the ethical in anthropological thinking, that we must turn, as I tell Dag often. If anyone wants links to the best thinking about Islamic terrorism, I've got lots.