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Bombay / Mumbai rocked by 7 blasts in local trains

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Yet another horrendous act! :P

On Tuesday 7/11, 7 bombs exploded within a span of 10 mins in the first class compartments of local trains of Mumbai between 6.23 pm to 6.33 pm - the rush hour. The official figures for the dead till today is 200 (which is bound to be much much less than the actual - some maths below). Innocent unsuspecting middle-working class returning from work targeted (as usual). Same day Kashmir also saw 5 blasts (but this goes largely unnoticed because everyone is very much used to it - every other day it happens)

The next day (ie yesterday) the media was lauding the 'spirit' of Mumbaiites for having 'bounced back' to 'normalcy' - trains were plying on time and everyone went to work - that there were no riots or anything like that (which is supposed to be the intention of the terrorists - triggering communal riots). I don't know whether this is good or not. But there was not enough condemnation for the terrorists by the media - at least not yet or maybe it is too early to say.

It is said that Mumbai is the only major city to have been hit by bomb blasts twice (Mar 1993 and Jul 2006) - don't know whether this is true.

Now consider this :

7 compartments with a capacity of 200 each. That makes 1400 people. During the rush hour the actual no. of commuters is much higher than the capacity - 1.5 - 2 times. So that makes more than 2000 people - only in the exploded compartments. Forget the people in the adjacent compartments and on the platform (some exploded when the train was on the platform). And the official figure is 200 dead. Its disgusting.

The police reach the spot only after an hour. The injured are rescued and hospitalised by other commuters and the slum dwellers nearby. No stretchers - carried people in blankets, bedsheets, in hands etc.

Today's newspaper says the ATS (anti-terrorist squad of the police) was informed 3 months ago by a captured LeT (Lashkar-e-toiba - the Pakistani terrorist outfit suspected to be behind the blasts) and it seems they have failed to do anything about it.

Are we in a sane world?

Also, if anyone knows anybody in Mumbai and needs help, feel free to ask. Don't hesitate. I will do whatever I can.

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Terrorism is almost impossible to prevent by guarding the target. Some targets, like the commuter train system, are near impossible to protect without causing massive disruption. Also, there will always be a wealth of unguarded targets where a large number of people are present.

Intelligence is a better way to protect against terrorists. However, it isn't a long-term solution. The only long-term solution is to follow the bombers to their source of money and philosophy and to destroy that source.

Given this, it's surprising that Indians are so short-sighted that they're planning an oil-pipeline from Iran (source of most terror) through Pakistan (not exactly a reliable country, and with thousands of citizens who hate India).

Also, India has historically voted anti-Israel/pro-Palestine in the UN. Well, that's what one gets by placating terrorists.

I'm not singling out India here. Folks in the US are similarly to blame for taking the first WTC bombing lightly, and for being half-hearted about going after terrorists.

India's own Muslim problem would best be solved by figuring out a solution for the Kashmir part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, including the long-term prospect that Kashmir can join Pakistan or become an independent country.

So, this might be a horrendous act; however, it is in the nature of terrorists to do horrendous things. If folks aren't going to do anything serious about it, then they better get over their shock, take out large life-insurance policies, and simply accept that terrorism and the occasional bombing is part of life, and to be killed by such a bomb is simply bad luck.

Edited by softwareNerd

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It's true that protecting the targets is not the solution. The only solution is to stop the terrorists - rather terrorism - the philosophy as you very rightly said.

Not that there is no solution. Not that it cannot be stopped. It is not a question of non-ability at all. It is a question of non-willingness. Vested interests in and for the short term. Who bothers about the long term? Only people like you and I (which, in all probability, is a minority).

But it is not easy to destroy their philosophy - again because they don't want to change it and it's very difficult to convince anyone anyth unless he is willing to, at least, listen. Nonetheless, efforts have to be continued towards changing it.

Do you have any particular suggestions as to how one could seriously do something about it?

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Do you have any particular suggestions as to how one could seriously do something about it?

I looking around my class and I see about 10 Indians, about 10-15 Pacific-Rim, a handful of African-Americans and Africans, two Orthodox Jews and the rest are some Eastern Europeans and Anglo-Americans. No Muslims, at least as far as I know - and this part of New Jersey is heavily populated by Muslims.

I was thinking Muslims are too busy reading their Korans and praying in their Mosques to actually do anything productive or to add value to civilization. They then blame others for their failures and resort to force in order to bring us down to their level of stupiduty, irrationality and ignorance.

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Terrorism is almost impossible to prevent by guarding the target. Some targets, like the commuter train system, are near impossible to protect without causing massive disruption. Also, there will always be a wealth of unguarded targets where a large number of people are present.

Intelligence is a better way to protect against terrorists. However, it isn't a long-term solution. The only long-term solution is to follow the bombers to their source of money and philosophy and to destroy that source...

I have to say that it bothers me to “follow the terrorists to the source of money and philosophy”. Are we not proponents of free speech? Now if you find a source of terrorist funding, that’s an aggressive entity. If you find a source of plans, orders, and hierarchy, that’s an aggressive entity. But should we bomb Michael Moore? Should we bomb ideas, even very wrong ideas that might incite some people to violence? Should we outlaw the writings of Fitzhugh and Wagner, Hitler and Nadar?

If I have misinterpreted you, I apologize, but it seems you are saying that if we find an entity that distributes anti-American propaganda then we should attack it.

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For anyone who adheres to a philosophy, it is seeing that philosophy in action that gives them inspiration. I don't think that we should kill any Muslim who sits in his mosque and doesn't practice what he preaches. But I think that we should discredit Muslim the philosophy by killing those who act on it. These, of course, might not be the views of SoftwareNerd.

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Should we outlaw the writings of Fitzhugh and Wagner, Hitler and Nadar?

If I have misinterpreted you, I apologize, but it seems you are saying that if we find an entity that distributes anti-American propaganda then we should attack it.

I am not talking for sNerd, but I think you have misinterpretated him. What you are saying is that 'to destroy their philosphy we should burn their books or whatever other means used to propogate it and this is against our ideal of free speech'. But you have missed the word 'source' in his post. Books are not the source, they are just the means. The source is their thinking and that is what needs to be destroyed and it cannot be destroyed by destroying or attacking the means used to propogate it. That's why I said it's easier said than done. To destroy a thought in a person's mind is the most difficult thing to do - and no, destroying the person himself by bombing him is not the solution because it is simply impossible to know to who thinks what and who all think terrorism.

So just bombing them is not the long-term solution - it might work (rather seem to work) in the short-term. One cannot destroy a philosophy by burning books - it actually was tried in India (and maybe many times with many philosophies in the history of mankind) during the freedom struggle. Lokmanya Tilak (a freedom fighter who was an 'extremist' as against Gandhiji who was a 'moderate') had written a 'philosophical' book when he was in jail. The British burnt it. All of Tilak's colleagues were naturally very angry and very worried that such a book was destroyed and that now it will be lost forever. Tilak was very calm - he told them not to worry. He said everything was in his head and he will write it again. (They couldn't and didn't kill him - maybe for some political reasons which I don't remember). He came out, wrote it again and published it. It is available in all the leading bookstores even today. And no - there is no basic, fundamental difference between the British then and the terrorists now.

So forget burning books and dropping bombs (I am not saying one shouldn't do it at all - if they threaten, you have to do it - not as a long-term solution but just as a defense - had it been, I think, AR would be in the US army and not writing philosophical works). The only real long-term bomb one can drop is a counter-philosophy which attacks the very fundamentals of theirs. The challenge is in getting them to want to listen to it first and then try to understand it. And that's far from easy.

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It would be nice to follow the bad ideas to the source in the heads of evil folk, and change their minds. However, one does not have to go so far.

If a large number of folks who're on "our side" in the physical battle, come over to our side in the intellectual battle as well, it would be: "game over".

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And no - there is no basic, fundamental difference between the British then and the terrorists now.

And what exactly are the (alleged) fundamental similarities between the British then and the terrorists now ?

For the life of me, I can't think of any!

[Mod's note: I've moved the follow-up to this to an earlier thread on Colonialism - sN]

Edited by softwareNerd

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Do you have any particular suggestions as to how one could seriously do something about [neutralizing terrorist philosophies]?
I don't think that (potential) terrorists generally are unwilling to listen per se. IMO the difficultly is that they don't believe it is in their best interests to reject their philosophy and adhere to ours.

Despite having some tangential criticisms of it, I think a good example of something that can be done against these dangerous philosophies is the effort to transform Iraq. On a superficial level, happy people don't blow themselves up. More fundamentally, showing the universal applicability of our philosophies, and the derived benefit for everyone involved, is a huge blow to terrorist philosophies.

Nuclear weapons and Objectivism will provide an irresistible force to overcome the enemies of America wherever they roost. First, the bomb, delivered from the skies, will turn hostile masses into a radioactive ooze. Next, Objectivism, in the form of The Virtue of Selfishness translated into the enemy’s language and also dropped from the air, will provide any wretches who survive with a rational argument for rejecting mysticism, altruism and collectivism and embracing America as the only rightful leader of the world.
Erm... :confused::worry: :worry: I don't think that, after receiving a nuke in the face, merely throwing books out of a plane will in any way whatsoever give them reason to embrace us.

The two greatest inventions of the 20th century came from the minds of Americans. The first was the atomic bomb. The second was the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Wha, no computer? :P

If a large number of folks who're on "our side" in the physical battle, come over to our side in the intellectual battle as well, it would be: "game over".
Why do you say that?

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For anyone who adheres to a philosophy, it is seeing that philosophy in action that gives them inspiration. I don't think that we should kill any Muslim who sits in his mosque and doesn't practice what he preaches. But I think that we should discredit Muslim the philosophy by killing those who act on it. These, of course, might not be the views of SoftwareNerd.

I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what is meant by most if not all of these posts (that is, including softwareNerd's and some other responses I've read). So if we have a person who is Muslim and not using violence against anybody, but who says that America is the devil and should be destroyed, should we kill that person?

Yes, we should follow it to its philosophy, with a philosophical result. The primary reason the islamists are inflicting as much harm they are is the same reason Gates is being harmed by governments: the sanction of the victim.

I ask you the same question as above.

What does it mean to have a "philosophical result"?

[Edit: for readability]

Edited by aleph_0

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Erm... I don't think that, after receiving a nuke in the face, merely throwing books out of a plane will in any way whatsoever give them reason to embrace us.

Fine. It's not as though we can't build more nukes to drop on their stubborn heads. Eventually they'll either catch on or cease to exist.

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I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what is meant by most if not all of these posts (that is, including softwareNerd's and some other responses I've read).
The point is this: those who are relatively civilized need to examine their own ideas and root out the false ones. Before they cry "evil terrorist", they should examine what part of that evil they agree with. Else, they will respond to each concrete differently, and without the moral certainty that is required.

The average (educated) Indian is an excellent example. On the one hand, this person typically supports the right of "Palestinian self-determination" and considers Israel to be the aggressor in that conflict. Yet, at the same time, the same person will tell you that the Muslims living in Kashmir should remain a part of India and are evil terrorists when they fight for "self-determination".

There are more serious and deeper problems with the philosophy of "the good guys" (as in "the relatively good guys") by which they give their own moral sanction to their attackers and also limit their own ability to respond.

So if we have a person who is Muslim and not using violence against anybody, but who says that America is the devil and should be destroyed, should we kill that person?
Hopefully, I've cleared up the fuzziness on my previous post and made it clear that I was speaking to cleaning up the philosophy of the good guys, not the Islamists.

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That's fine. I'm participating in the intellectual wars myself. I just thought you meant to control the ideas people express, but so long as that is not the meaning of your words then we are agreed.

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Is there any doubt that a US that supported individual rights and was willing to assert its right to protect itself would not be hesitant about decisive action that does not get it mired in costly long-lasting conflicts?
I don't doubt as far as willingness to use decisive action, but (depending on what is considered decisive action) I do question whether it'd prevent long-lasting conflicts.

For example, WW1 Germany, when left to lick its wounds and sulk, led to the even more virulent WW2 Germany. What decisive action on our part could have prevented that long-term conflict?

Fine. It's not as though we can't build more nukes to drop on their stubborn heads. Eventually they'll either catch on or cease to exist.
If we can consistently hit them before they can hit us, if our spy agencies are so adept that they can provide an indomitable awareness of global happening, such a reactive defense might work. But do we really want to place our safety on these ifs?

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The pro-Islam socialists and other leftists have nurtured the demon of Islam in India. Communists in the Kerala state have created a seperate district for muslims! Just shows how low these people will go for the "common good". The leftists here are politically surviving helped a great deal by the votes of devout sharia following muslims (the medieval sharia law has been in force in India since independence. B) )!

Take a look at http://www.news.faithfreedom.org for the latest on Islam if you already haven't.

[spun off a separate thread on "Sharia Law in India". - sN]

Edited by softwareNerd

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Anyway, my point in raising the issue of sharia law in India was to show how the Indian government is encouraging Islamic fundamentalism by refusing to push for reforms in the Islamic community. India is the only country where muslims are paid by the tax-payers' money to go to Mecca for Haj! If this is seperation of state and church, then I am Emperor Ashoka. :thumbsup:

The worship of death and destruction that is inherent in religion was institutionalised in India by Gandhi through slogans like sarva-dharma-samabhav ("equal respect for all religions") which has resulted in unrestrained support of religion by the government.

On a side note, not too surprisingly, Gandhi's followers, after his death, quickly migrated to socialism, under which India has been suffering ever since independence.

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