Mumbai and American Terror

The day before Thanksgiving, Americans learned that a group of no more than ten men in Mumbai, India attacked hotels, cafes, a train station, a hospital and a Jewish center. The coordinated attack with guns and hand grenades resulted in an estimated death toll of more than 180 people. The group that claimed responsibility, Deccan Mujahideen, was previously unknown to intelligence agencies around the world, but the reasons for their anger aren’t difficult to understand.

The attackers specifically targeted American and British citizens in the two luxury hotels that were under assault. They also killed residents of a Jewish center. The continued occupation of Iraq, which was spearheaded by the United States and the United Kingdom, continues after five long years and will last at least another three. Israel’s occupation of Palestine and theft of its land also continues unchecked with the full support of western nations. India’s Muslim population has been victimized by orchestrated mob violence. Relations between mostly Hindu India and mostly Muslim Pakistan are always strained.

So we know why the terrorists are mad and with whom. The need to ask “Why?” is understandable but ultimately useless and dishonest. Terror is usually the result of unacknowledged grievance. Muslims are mad at the United States, Great Britain and the Indian government, and those who are angry enough to commit acts of violence would obviously choose India’s financial capital to inflict maximum damage and gain world wide attention in the process.

The scenes of dead bodies and bloody streets were painful but necessary to see. In five years of the Iraq occupation American television networks have not seen fit to broadcast images of dead and maimed Iraqis. That absence of vital information is shameful and keeps the country in a state of blissful ignorance. It makes already incurious and uninformed Americans more susceptible to propaganda from the government and the media.

The reaction to the Mumbai terror attacks is all too predictable. People are shocked at first, then saddened and frightened. Muslims feel compelled to apologize for their violent coreligionists. Christians and Jews are exempt from guilt by association, however. They are even permitted and encouraged to embrace the violent acts committed by individuals among them.

As always, Americans never see a connection between themselves, the acts of terror committed by their own government and anger directed at them around the globe. Empathy for terror victims in Mumbai is sadly not extended to the victims of the American government.

Warfare is the ultimate act of terror. It kills not just scores of people, but many thousands, or in the case of the Congo, millions. War is given a pass by religious groups, by politicians and by the media. It is considered an acceptable form of murder. The victims in Mumbai will be mourned by Americans, as they should be. The victims of the United States government in Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

They are considered “collateral damage” of worthy acts. Americans are told that some good will come from the deaths committed in their names. The dead victims of our government are even said to be helped by America’s aggression. We have to save Iraqis from Saddam and Afghans from the Taliban. If they are killed by America’s helpfulness so be it. If survivors complain they are called ungrateful and stupid or crazed fanatics who don’t know a good thing when they see it.

As Americans watch the news coverage from Mumbai and feel revulsion at the sight of so much suffering, they ought to ask themselves about their own involvement in bringing suffering to the rest of the world. Victims of violence should be mourned and killers should be condemned. The terrorists who attacked Mumbai should be condemned along with soldiers from many countries who kill in even larger numbers. The Mumbai toll is shocking but less than that created by bombs that fall from airplanes or missiles and rockets that come from tanks.

It is especially important now to remember how our country creates so much suffering. The new president will have a honeymoon, a pass to start his own evil doing. It won’t even be called evil doing. After all, change has come. George W. Bush, the wicked witch, is dead. All must be right with the country, even if it continues to do wrong.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached at: Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.Com. Read other articles by Margaret, or visit Margaret's website.

17 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on December 3rd, 2008 at 1:28pm #

    we can expect that the west will be (or already r) making a mountain out of a molehill that mumbai represents while at the same time keep on making molehills out of the mountains that iraq and afgh’n represent.

  2. joed said on December 3rd, 2008 at 1:38pm #

    seems to me the opressed can not opress the opressor. seems those people that are continually being opressed have every right to do anything to stop their being opressed–anything. violence is justified sometimes. certainly the palestinians, iraqis, afghans, and many other groups of people have the right to fight back any way they can. there is no moral justification for the invasion of iraq by amerika. there is moral justifaction for the opressed peoples to fight back as they can. untill amerika is stopped the people will contiue to suffer. amerika will never fight a country that is fairly equal in the military.

  3. bozh said on December 3rd, 2008 at 1:53pm #

    while i have oft stated that an occupied people have the legal and moral right to resist its occupation by any means whatsoever, i do not recommend iraqis and afghanis do that.
    the reason is obvious: nato cannot be defeated; only fought for yrs or decades.
    remember that even geronimo had or may have said, I’l fight no more.
    he saw the writing on the wall.
    true, partisan’s resistance in norway, france, italy, greece, and albania was successful; however, they’v had huge support from allies who also waged wars against japs, italians, and germans.

  4. John Hatch said on December 3rd, 2008 at 2:23pm #

    the author is right to say that the evil will continue under president Obama. It’s what America is. What a lost opportunity!

  5. DavidG. said on December 3rd, 2008 at 3:32pm #

    Did you read the transcript of Obama’s speech when he introduced his security team? Christ Almighty, clearly the man is just another American megalomaniac! We are facing endless war.

    Check out my post ‘Beacon On The Hill or World Curse?’

    Be warned. It pulls no punches.

  6. Danny Ray said on December 3rd, 2008 at 3:49pm #

    I believe it was Chief Joseph the war leader of the Nez Prec who said, “ From where the sun now stands I will fight no more” .

  7. joed said on December 3rd, 2008 at 4:10pm #

    wha’d i do, scare everbody off!

  8. Giorgio said on December 3rd, 2008 at 6:26pm #

    After WWII Germans were collectively blamed for the holocaust. I t took a movie “Shindler’s List” to in effect say “Oh, well, not all Germans were guilty of the crime, there were a couple like Shindler who made an effort to help the victims…”
    What I’m trying to say here is that Americans, despite the barrage of disinformation by the main media, have more than adequate access to alternative information, to know better. The Germans most likely did not have this privilege. So if the great majority of Americans are incapable to see a connection between themselves, the acts of terror committed by their own government and the anger directed at them around the globe, it’s not that they are completely stupid, though there may be lots of them around, but rather a sign they completely impervious to the suffering of others especially when they are of a darker skin and practice an outlandish culture and religion. We saw it in Vietnam, Latin America and now we seeing it in the Middle East.

    Now with a newly elected Black President they even can say to the world: As you see we not at all racists: we even elected a Black as our President! Let this serve you as a warning that from now on, we going to chase you, terrorists, around the world with far greater determination and with a much much clearer conscience than ever before!

    A Japanese years ago published a book where he claimed that America found it easier from a moral viewpoint to drop atomic bombs on Japan because they were yellow skinned Asiatics. They would be far more relunctant to drop an atomic bomb on a white culturally akin nation, like Germany. This of course resulted in an uproar of protests. But I think, this Jap had a point.

  9. catherine said on December 3rd, 2008 at 6:37pm #

    “. . . I will fight no more forever.” is the accurate end to that stirring sentence.

  10. Don Hawkins said on December 3rd, 2008 at 6:55pm #

    During World War two the Manhattan project was a real piece of work. 10% of the energy used in the States at that time went into making the bomb and silver from the Treasury in tons as no copper was around. Pictures of the cars going to the site to work were not the best of engineering and yet these people were building a bomb that had the power of the sun. To build the first bomb a building in millions of square feet was built. My point is today we have the knowledge to build not a bomb but energy sources if we focused on the problem as they did in 1944. We have much more knowledge now and the computer it helps a lot. So why are we not doing just that. Well let’s see Bush and his people showed us why not. I think it has something to do with that have and have more part. This is insanity people we can do this not easy but we can do it. The system has to change and what do we see right now the system has changed alright where are those billions now about 7 trillion going to who and for what. This can be done and somehow these new people need to know the truth the whole truth and part of that is we will not wait and we are tired of insanity. Over and over again. There I feel better. Oh and those scientists after making the bomb signed a petition asking the President to drop the bomb over an unpopulated area the petition was keep secret. I still think a few million to start in front of the big office on the hill one voice. Slowing climate change and war is a no no no. The last time I checked there is enough nuclear bombs to destroy all humans and other species and plants several times over. We need to bring it home and home the last time I checked is called Earth.

  11. Don Hawkins said on December 3rd, 2008 at 7:13pm #

    After reading the article and the comments and color me crazy but the times are a changing.

  12. Danny Ray said on December 3rd, 2008 at 7:13pm #

    catherine said on December 3rd, 2008 at 6:37pm #

    “. . . I will fight no more forever.” is the accurate end to that stirring sentence.

    You are right of course. Thank you.

    I cannot believe that you would use the term ” Jap” in here. I guess there is a double standard after all. I am a hard right winger and I would be killed if I wrote that in here.

  13. Some guy said on December 3rd, 2008 at 10:30pm #

    This article is borderline disinformation.

    It works on the premise that Muslims are stupid enough to partake in the ideology of “terrorism” which is purely a zio-media fabrication, created to veil crimes perpetuated by intelligence agencies to push for imperialist/ globalist agendas. Do you really think muslims are dumb enough to believe that killing a bunch of hindus (i.e. only 6 Americans so dont try and say this is an attack on America or jews a they have fashioned it in the media) is actually going to make their situation better. WOW. Look at the wonderful things 9/11 did for Islam. Yeah, a million dead Iraqis, restrictions on muslims the world over including erosion of domestic liberties in so called democracies. 9/11 was staged be Mossad and the CIA as well of course, but still do you think having 9 of their own die and making matters worse for the countries in India wasnt something that was factored in by these people? This is a hidden bias, and the key deception in your article is that it fronts as being progressive in the sense that it attempts to get people to think about interventionist practices and every other bullshit sugarcoated euphemism we use to veil the fact that international bankers want the world to c0mply and allow 1st world countries to exploit their resource and labor wealth.

    You want to know who the crazed fanatics are? Its the people who engineer these events in order to push forth economic agendas. and the people who by into it, who are as far away from understanding how the world works as they are to the powers that be.

    Obama is just another puppet who has been put there to hypnotize people while they finish the job.

    This analysis is way to safe to address the real issues, talking about how ‘evil’ puppet Bush is while programmed not to understand how these events are engineered by special interests in order to fuel a society based on shock capitalism. Fuck this.

  14. Ray said on December 4th, 2008 at 1:20am #

    Responding to Joed, who wrote: “seems those people that are continually being opressed have every right to do anything to stop their being opressed–anything. violence is justified sometimes. …
    there is no moral justification for the invasion of iraq by amerika. there is moral justifaction for the opressed peoples to fight back as they can. ”

    If the Iraqis had stood up to Saddam Hussein, would you have supported their right to do so? And why didn’t they? For decades, Iraqis suffered under Saddam. The man was an evil butcher and his two sons (destined to succeed him) were even worse!

    So, tell me, Joed, how long was the world supposed to stand back and let Saddam ruin the lives of millions of Iraqis? Some of our allies wanted to let “diplomacy” run its course. Excuse me? Diplomacy was not working! Saddam defied the UN for 5+ years. The UN sanctions may have crippled Saddam’s WMD program, but, the sanctions were also killing thousands of Iraqis.

    Again, how long were the Iraqis supposed to wait for “diplomacy” to work?

    I’m not one to look to Hollywood for inspiration, but, Hollywood does occasionally offer a gem. In Star Wars Episode I, the planet Naboo has been invaded. Queen Amidala has gone to the Republic (the “UN” of their galaxy) to seek help. The bureaucrats want to follow procedure and “investigate”. Queen Amidala’s response (paraphrasing): “I will not sit here and let my people suffer and die why you discuss this in a committee!”

    My point: you and many other “elitists” insist on the world following the rules and “honor a nation’s sovereignty” while millions suffer. What is more important – the sovereignty of a nation or the rights of its people? The Iraqis were suffering needlessly simply to give you a sense of “righteousness ” and “civility”. They bled and died so you can feel good about yourselves.

    Ask the Iraqis if they want Saddam back!!

  15. bozh said on December 5th, 2008 at 8:01am #

    to me, all empires r evil and r held together or expanded by warfare.
    US, self had expanded is now expanding by killing mns of people.
    one can ask, what indigenes felt/thought ab jefferson while US was killing them or evicted from their millennial lands.
    saddam’s crimes against kurds and shias r not as huge as that of amers.
    as is oft the case a defender of own crimes generaly makes molehills out of own mountainous crimes an dmountains of others’ molehill crimes.

  16. Hue Longer said on December 6th, 2008 at 3:58pm #


    You are one to look to Hollywood because you just did, but more important is that Hollywood looks to you. George Lucas?!

    I don’t think the Iraqis appreciate what you eat popcorn to

  17. Shabnam said on December 7th, 2008 at 11:28am #

    The terrorist state of US is able to commit war crimes against humanity because the united States have generated many fools who believe all kind of lies made by the corporate media. These fools are not able to educate themselves; instead they internalize lies made by the war criminals, US elites, and repeat them, otherwise fools like Ray would have not made statement such as : “If the Iraqis had stood up to Saddam Hussein, would you have supported their right to do so?” These fools are not aware of Iraqis’ struggle against Saddam and his supporter, the WEST, including US, that wanted him in power to protect western interests if that includes killing Iraqis who love their country. This scenario repeated and still in use in many neighboring countries and beyond. These fools are known as ‘air headed’ in other countries because they have no knowledge of history and information necessary to make an informed opinion yet they dare to comment. That’s why they are an easy prey for the propaganda machine of the western intelligent services and their collaborators, the media. These illiterate people still do not know SADDAM was brought into power by CIA and MI6 and was supported by these criminals including the Bush family, father and son, and Neocons who lied to the fools again when the war criminals such as Bush, Rumsfeld, Pear, Judith Miller from NYT and Wolfowitz presented him as ‘HITLER’ with WMD, yet left WORSE THAN fascist, SHARON to kill more Palestinians and Arabs with impunity. These fools do not know the US and other western countries did not come to rescue Iraqis when they rose against Saddam and thus he was able to kill more than 100,000 Iraqis with WMD provided by the western countries including the United States to keep western industries in the buisness of WMD at work to provide JOBS and benefits for American workers which supports scrime against humanity so they can buy more goods to be able to build more Malls to keep the war economy alive. These fools do not know that Saddam was brought to power by the CIA and MI6 to kill more than 35,000 educated Iraqis in name of fighting against ‘communism’ like the present time who are committing crimes against humanity with phony ‘ war on terror’. Later, they used him to launch a war against a neighboring country, Iran, for 8 damn years killing more than one million people, majority on the Iranian sides, and wounding thousands more where is still unknown to these fools. How stupid one can get is beyond me. Everyone knows that there is no AL QAEDA but the US and Ben Laden who was a CIA agent was killed after the invasion of Afghanistan, as Benazir Bhutto said in an interview with David Frost, by Omar Sheikh, yet these terrorists and war criminals who have occupied the White House, centre of terror, sell their lies to fools when they say “we are going to bring Ben Laden to justice” which makes the rest of the population on earth lagugh at them and tell them you are a fool not us.