Articles, Opinions & Views: TERROR'S NEW FACE

Views & Articles
No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Sunday, November 30, 2008
The attacks in Bombay likely were carried out by Hindi-speaking, homegrown Islamists with possible links to elements within the Pakistani intelligence community who have built their careers and personal fortunes around the Kashmir issue. These elements are serving notice that they would resist Zardari's dramatic departure from a long-established policy of enmity against India.

While the attacks, which claimed more than 100 lives, may have been addressed to Zardari, their primary target was India.

India is home to nearly 200 million Muslims, making it one of the world's largest "Muslim" countries. Until recently, however, a majority of Indian Muslims have steered clear of radical politics. Apart from the issue of Kashmir, which has at times turned them against the authorities in New Delhi, most Indian Muslims have been loyal to the Indian republic, appreciating its secular and democratic nature. India is the only country that allows its Muslim minority to apply the rules of Sharia (Islamic cannon law) to a range of issues of private life.

That India may now face a homegrown Islamist terror movement operating far beyond Kashmir is certainly bad news. This may be an indication that pan-Islamism is gaining ground among the younger generation of Indian Muslims. The key feature of pan-Islamism is its goal of "liberating" all lands that once were ruled by Muslims - from India to Spain and southern France, passing by parts of China and Russia, as well as the Balkans.

That the Bombay attackers wish to advertise their Indian identity is indicated by the name of the group that has claimed responsibility. Unless it is a cover for other groups, the name Mujahedeen (Holy Warriors) of Deccan is clearly designed to underline the group's ambition to strike throughout India. Deccan, a region in south-central India, has been the cultural heart of Indian Islam for centuries.

India is targeted for a number of reasons. Its recent close ties to the United States, symbolized by a nuclear-cooperation accord signed in Washington recently, has angered the Islamist movement all over the world. Jihadists also hate India for the financial support it provides to the government of President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, while also helping train the new Afghan army and police.

The Bombay attacks had two other messages. The first was that India's recent economic boom is fragile and vulnerable to pressure from radical elements. The second was that India is no longer hospitable for Western citizens, especially Jews and other non-Muslims. The fact that US and British citizens were specifically targeted to be taken as hostages and that one group of the terrorists raided Bombay's largest Jewish center was meant to discourage non-Indians from visiting, let alone working, in the mega-city of 12 million.

One reason that Islamists may be looking for bases within their own homelands is the loss of training sites and safe havens in Afghanistan, while Pakistan has also become inhospitable territory.

Meanwhile, part of the media has tried to link the Bombay attacks to al Qaeda. This may be saying too much or too little. As an organization capable of exercising operational control over any group, al Qaeda is all but dead. The best information available, plus the buzz in Jihadi circles, indicates that al Qaeda is still collecting some funds, especially in the Persian Gulf, and funneling part of it to militant groups across the globe. Beyond that, however, al Qaeda is more of a brand, a kind of franchise, and a source of inspiration rather than command and control.

In Bombay, the Jihadis used a new style of attack, consisting of a range of operations that are traditionally used one by one. They have seized control of territory, carried out suicide operations, conducted military-style attacks and seized hostages, all in the context of a single multiform campaign of terror.

This new style, a kind of smorgasbord of terrorist tactics served at one go, confused the Indian counterterrorist units and army elite. Terrorism is a mutating monster, and Bombay's experience could be repeated in other big cities across the globe. Counterterrorism doctrine needs to readjust itself for what is a major tactical change in the way Jihadism works. Amir Taheri in the New York Post
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:15 AM  
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