November 29, 2008

Mumbai Attacks Finally Over, It's Time to Examine Our Own Weaknesses

My friend Jose at Barcepundit has been diligently following the latest on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, which now finally seem to to be winding down. The last terrorists appear to have been killed, and the process of putting out fires and recovering any remaining explosives should start winding down in the next 12-24 hours.

Read it all, as there are some major surprises, including claims that same of the attackers were British, and that a concurrent strike at Mumbai's airport was only thwarted by a missed turn.

I'd also strongly suggest reading Bill Roggio's analysis of the attacks at Long War Journal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 29, 2008 01:01 PM

Weaknesses, yes. It is interesting that most foreign lands are essentially one large gun-free zone. America is, in that vital respect, possessed of a significant advantage. Terrorists planning attacks would surely--if they have any real understanding of America--choose soft targets, gun-free zones such as theaters, malls, schools, hospitals, and a variety of other such "sacred" areas throughout the nation (Illinois, New York, California and Wisconsin immediately come to mind).

We are weak in that Islam, far from being a religion of peace, is a religion that, in its holy text (the Koran), not only commands the conquest of the world for Islam, but outlines the specific procedures to be followed in that conquest. That most Muslims around the world do not attempt to carry out these essential tenants of their faith speaks well of their individual decency and humanity, but does not deny the essential nature of their faith.

What does this have to do with terrorism? Muslim terrorists need no direct connection to a central terrorist authority. Their very faith encourages individual jihad such that Americans have already experienced individuals trying to act out this aspect of their religion on the innocent (remember the Muslim who charged through a crowded college campus in a SUV?). Bin Laden need not direct terrorist attacks in America, there are thousands of Muslims in this nation who might well decide to carry out such attacks on their own, and as was obvious in India, a few fanatics with common small arms can wreak substantial havoc.

Our national traditions of arms might well make a response to such madmen more rapid and final, but that will be cold comfort to those killed in Gun-Free zones, relying on the protection offered by small metal signs and the good feelings and positive message they send.

We remain less vulnerable than other nations, but not nearly strong enough. The background of Mr. Obama and his choice for Attorney General do not give assurance of strength in anti-terror policy. If true to form, they would disarm all honest Americans and return America to the wonders of pre-9-11 thinking where terrorists would be waiting in courtrooms behind drunk drivers, shoplifters and other petty criminals for arraignment in courtrooms across the country:

"$300.00 and costs for shoplifting. Next case Baliff?"

"Salim Handani vs the state. Charge is 87 counts of murder, and a bunch of lesser includeds. They're on the charge sheet your honor."

"Thanks Baliff. Mr. Handani, how do you plead to the charges of..."

"Death to America, death to..."

And so it might go.

Posted by: Mike at November 30, 2008 09:45 PM

The seeming reluctance of armed police, first on the scene, to respond effectively to the terror attack is interesting, and something that we should think about as we analyze our own readiness for a similar type of attack in the U.S.

I argue here that at other times in history we were fairly prepared for unpleasant surprises like what occurred in Mumbai, using the historical example of the James-Younger raid on Northfield Minnesota. Cheers.

Posted by: Bob W. at December 1, 2008 03:07 PM