Tuesday, December 02, 2008

9/11, the sequel

Here is Christopher Hitchens in Slate on the Mumbai atrocity. It's a depressing contribution. Hitch is searching far and wide for rhetorical enemies. The people who renamed Bombay as Mumbai, for example. There's a gushing tribute to India --

An impressive thing about India is the way in which it has almost as many Muslim citizens, who live with greater prospects of peace and prosperity, as does Pakistan. This comity and integration is one of the many targets of the suicide killers, and it is another reason why firm, warm solidarity with India is the most pressing need of the present hour.

A passage that could just as easily have been written by John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, and which is blind to the subtleties and flaws of India and Indian policy as captured by serious analysts of the country (see e.g. Pankaj Mishra). There's stuff like

It is a strong regional counterweight to Russia and China.

exactly the kind of Great Game shite that explains in no small way the present mess in Pakistan and Afghanistan (and thus India itself). But Hitch's real target is only apparent towards the end --

perhaps there will again be enough Western saps—as with the attacks on the United States and Britain and Turkey and Tunisia—to claim that none of this would have happened if not for the foreign policy of Bush and Blair. (I do not hold my breath, but as of the time of writing, this moronic faction has—amazingly—not yet been heard from.)

In other words, it's September 12, 2001, and the search is on for anyone insufficiently vigorous in their condemnation of the attacks or lack of endorsement of the bombs-away approach for responding to it. Also up to this in the last few days was William Kristol, finding a LA Times op-ed to be as offensive as the Mumbai attack itself. And Victor Davis Hanson is also complaining about moral paralysis. Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal says it's all the fault of the BBC World Service.

You might think that after 7 years of their preferred approach to terrorism, they'd be wondering why events like Mumbai can still happen. You'd be wrong.

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