Saturday, November 29, 2008

The price of pacifism

Hindus are pacifists. They don’t believe in harming other life forms, including chickens, cows or Islamic terrorists. PowerLine blog reports:
"I first saw the gunmen outside the station," Mr D'Souza said. "With their rucksacks and Western clothes they looked like backpackers, not terrorists, but they were very heavily armed and clearly knew how to use their rifles.

"Towards the station entrance, there are a number of bookshops and one of the bookstore owners was trying to close his shop," he recalled. "The gunmen opened fire and the shopkeeper fell down."

But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back." ...

As the gunmen fired at policemen taking cover across the street, Mr D'Souza realised a train was pulling into the station unaware of the horror within. "I couldn't believe it. We rushed to the platform and told everyone to head towards the back of the station. Those who were older and couldn't run, we told them to stay put."

The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit towards Chowpatty Beach. Mr D'Souza added: "I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point of having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."


I wondered earlier today how a mere ten terrorists could bring a city of 19 million to a standstill. Here in the U.S., I don't think it would happen. I think we have armed security guards who know how to use their weapons, supplemented by an unknown number of private citizens who are armed and capable of returning fire. The Indian experience shows it is vitally important that this continue to be the case. This is a matter of culture as much as, or more than, a matter of laws.
More about Indians’ shlemazelkeit in “India’s Test”.

Pacifism, tendency to take it slow, phlegmatism and general mellow nature are OK, but not in times of crisis. If they want to stay ahead with their fights with Muslim animals, Indians need to wake up a little. Be non-aggressive towards cows and chickens. Please kill terrorists. And more quickly than in 12 hours. reports:
Israeli counterterrorism experts are critical of how Indian security forces handled last week's terror attacks in Mumbai, especially their raid on the local Chabad center, Nariman House.

While acknowledging that Israel has never experienced a coordinated attack of such scope, the Israelis said the Indians failed to contain the attacks and raided Nariman House too lackadaisically.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Tzur, a former commander of the police's counterterror unit Yamam, who now runs a security consulting firm, acknowledged that when terrorists attack more than seven sites simultaneously, “it's very hard to handle.” However, he said, this difficulty was compounded by the lack of prior intelligence, “which is the colossal failure in this story. This was an organization in which dozens of people were surely involved.”

“To the Indians' credit, they were determined and sought contact [with the enemy] all the time,” Tzur continued, adding that a terrorist takeover of a hotel is “the nightmare of every counterterrorism unit,” because it is hard to effectively “cleanse” so large a site.

However, he said, this excuse did not apply to the much smaller Nariman House. The 12-hour battle to liberate the building was “unreasonable,” he said, because “there's no chance in the world that captives will survive an incident that doesn't end within minutes of the break-in.”

The Indians, he added, apparently assumed the hostages had already been killed.

Col. (res.) Lior Lotan, formerly a senior officer in the army's elite Sayeret Matkal unit, said the Indians had operated as if there were no hostages.

“When you're rescuing captives, you enter fast, with maximum force, and try to reach the hostages as quickly as possible, even at the price of casualties,” he said. “Here, they operated much more cautiously.”

Television pictures from Nariman House also raised questions about the professionalism of the Indian forces. For instance, it is not clear why the area was not cleared of bystanders, or why the comparatively risky option of a helicopter-borne assault was chosen.

Moreover, the explosion that blew in the ground-floor door occurred before soldiers landed on the rooftop, whereas for maximum effect, they should have occurred simultaneously, the Israelis said.

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