The terror attack on Mumbai is an outrage, of course; it’s India’s 9/11 and 7/7. The terrorists attacked India’s most open city, entering by boat and killing random people at locations carefully chosen for traffic and impact. Indian security forces and heroic hotel service workers put down the terrorists, restoring order in a few days. This was kind of personal for me, since I’ve been through Mumbai (or “Bombay,” as we used to call it) something like 50 times over the years, occassionaly staying in the hotels that the terrorist scum attacked.
The press reports are now saying that the terrorist attack squad consisted of a mere 10 people. That’s a pretty small number to kill 200 people over the course of three days, so they must have had some local help. I’m waiting to see the rest of the story unfold.
Twitter played an essential role in increasing the terror and the confusion over the attack, as it served as the amplifier for every bogus rumor in circulation and offered exactly zero help with the fundamentals of the “story:” who, where, and why. Nonetheless, the “citizen media” crowd is crowing about the greatness of Twitter-enabled mobs. Sad. The Economist that came in the mail Friday was more authoritative than Twitter as to what actually happened in Mumbai and why.
The appropriate response to this massacre is to take a trip to Mumbai, and failing that to at least go eat at an Indian restaurant. The latter is symbolic only, but if that’s all you can do, at least do that. The civilized world has to hang together in the face of religious-fanatic barbarity, or surely we’ll hang separately.