While the loss of life was not like when we were attacked on 9/11, the loss of life was considerable--145 at last report. The attacks not only took on two upscale hotels, a railroad station and a restaurant, but also the Nariman House, a Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish outreach center that had been in Mumbai for some time.
There were the heroes, of course
The tale of the unnamed staff member has echoed across Mumbai where, time after time, hotel workers have emerged as the people who shielded, hid or evacuated their wealthy guests from militants at the Taj and Trident/Oberoi hotels.As reported by Reuters.
The indications are the terrorists were from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group (some have it as Lashkar-i-Taiba or LiT) from Kashmir, but trained in the Punjab, in Pakistan. Not a direct tie to al Qaeda. But, it raises questions about the involvement of Pakistan's ISI--the Inter-Services Intelligence.
This major terrorist attack will resonate in Lowell. I was looking over a voter registration list as part of working up Ward Committees and happened to notice that there were 153 people with a last name of Patel registered to vote--and this was only half the list.
Twenty or thirty years ago we were less interconnected internationally. That is not the case today, when terrorism is a sort of franchise operation. There are connections amongst terrorists from the Philippines across Asia and North Africa to Algeria and Morocco and then up into Europe and then across to the United States.
There is no doubt in my mind that India must and will plot its own course in responding to this terrorist attack. But, even if they don't ask for our help or even our opinion, what they do or don't do will impact us. We should not think otherwise. A too soft response will encourage others looking to assert the ideas of such as Osama bin Laden. A too strong response might cause the collapse of Pakistan as we know it, unleashing chaos in that region and dragging the US and Iran and other nations into trying to contain it.
Senator Biden, when he said that a President Obama would be tested within the first six months of assuming office, was thinking about other nations testing our metal. But, it isn't always about us. Sometimes things happen in this world because of the interests and needs of other nations. We will all be tested.
Regards -- Cliff