I really don't try to watch a lot of news. I have even strayed away from Amy Goodman and Democracy Now (that is partly because they don't play it on the radio and some times not on the public access channel). I sometimes go to some websites to see what is going on, but for the most part I am oblivious.
I know this event was long ago and far away to some, but it is still something that I am amazed at and still ponder. The attacks in Mumbai that took place the 26th to the 29th of Novembr 2008.
One of Kit's recent posts was on the normality of all things strange. Even with terror attacks there is a sense that it is not really real, that it is not really happening. When I first heard of the attacks in Mumbai, I was shocked that such a large thing could occur in India. I know through studying history that there is a lot of conflict between the Pakistani and the Indian people, but it had never escalated to something so large. Previously the attacks had not attacked the more wealthy people in the larger cities; previously the attacks had not been on international people in the area.
This was different.
This weekend I happened to see the HBO film, Terror in Mumbai. If you have HBO, you need to watch this. It was a great documentary. It had the actual phone calls the terrorists were making as the events unfolded. It has images of the actual dead bodies that were splayed in the station. It shows the media as they were attacked by the terrorists as they drove through Mumbai.
One of the really crazy things was the police that were involved in the whole catastrophe. From the start, it was clear that they were not ready for such an attack. In the station, they basically stood back and waited for the shooting to end rather than stepping up to retaliate. Later, they are shown with a sever lack of weaponry to go against the well-equipped terrorists. They made calls for reinforcements and backup, but even when they had video coverage of what the terrorists were doing inside the beautiful Taj Mahal Hotel, they could not do anything since the people who had the real weapons and the training had not arrived.
The things about the police is that they are prepared for what they have experienced and what people close to them have experienced.
So, I guess the Indians have never really had anything that led them to have to have strong weapons, to wear bullet-proof vests, to have to be ready for terrorists.
They lived in a fairly peaceful society.
In the United States, we are so accustomed to violence that our police are always ready, we have intruder drills in the schools in case there is someone in the vicinity of the school who is not supposed to be there, even airports have drills to make sure they are ready.
I'm sure that the Indians now are more prepared now for such a horrific event possibly happening.
I wish we lived in a society where there was not a need to be ready for such things. A world where there such events were not becoming a regular occurrence; where people are not numbed to the feelings of others; where people care about what is going on with the people near them and the people not so near them.
A world where the killing with weapons ends, where the killing with discriminatory laws stops. A world where we can all sound corny like Rodney King, but really mean it when we ask, "Can't we all just get along?"