After the apologists come the Sominists
Emily Wax—the Washington Post correspondent who, in February 2008, informed the paper’s readers that Indians don’t dress like Mahatma Gandhi—now announces that the calls made by the Mumbai ‘gunmen’ to television stations shed light on their motives.
(The use of the word gunmen should already alert you to where the correspondent, and, probably, the newspaper’s editors stand. Even by their own apologetic standards, the word ‘gunmen’ is inaccurate, for the strapping young lads from Pakistan used grenades and improvised explosive devices as well. It’s been discussed on this blog earlier, as also by the NYT’s public editor, and is not the point of this post.)
The point here is that Ms Wax failed to appreciate that the “demands” made by the terrorists who attacked Mumbai were not even close to being of the negotiable kind. Must terrorists arrive from Pakistan and take Jews hostage in Mumbai for Indians to be made aware of “how many people have been killed in Kashmir…(and how) your army has killed Muslims?” Or does taking hostages and killing people at random remotely help push the demand that “the Muslims who live in India, should not be harassed . . . Things like demolition of Babri Masjid and killings should stop.” It is understandable for Pakistani jihadis not to know that these arguments are part of the public discourse in India. But it is inexplicable, and certainly, inexcusable, for Ms Wax to be fooled by the ‘gunmen’s’ words.
Those words are merely the feverish outpourings of poorly educated, brainwashed, young Pakistani men, who were not only incapable of thinking for themselves, but were actually taking orders from their handlers back in Pakistan. To take their words literally and impute motives by simple inference is to demonstrate a similar level of intellectual development.
Those abstract demands were not the motives behind the terrorist attacks. They could well be the personal motives of the terrorists. It is misleading to merely examine their personal motives as if they explain why the terrorist attacks were carried out. If anything, their personal motives show how easy it is for the Pakistani military-jihadi complex to find gullible footsoldiers to play their geopolitical games. Yet, despite interviewing astute analysts like Ashley Tellis and Wilson John (whose name she gets wrong), Ms Wax just can’t grasp it.