Before the odor of burned gunpowder has left the air of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, the US is lecturing India not to go off half-cocked and attack Pakistan, simply because all of the attackers in the terrorist assaults in that city arrived by boat, apparently from neighboring Pakistan. US officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, are calling on India to engage in a “transparent” and “thorough” investigation into the attacks to establish who was responsible.
How different this is from the American government’s response to the 9-11 attacks in the US!
`Instead of a “transparent” investigation, we got secret sessions of the Congressional intelligence committees, closed-door interviews of key officials, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the 9-11 Commission, and of course the secret round-up of thousands of mostly Islamic people living in the US, many of whom were held for months incommunicado and without charge, some of whom were subjected to torture, and many others of whom were deported to likely arrest, torture and even death.
Instead of a calm assessment of what had happened and who was responsible, the Bush Administration rounded up Saudi members of the Bin Laden family, and others connected to the regime in Saudi Arabia, whence came most of the people reportedly involved in the hijacking of the four planes used in the attacks, and, with no attempt at interrogation, flew them home to Saudi Arabia. Then, again with only minimal evidence, the US launched an all-out war within days upon Afghanistan, with the goal of ousting and destroying the Taliban government of that country (reportedly rejecting an offer by the Taliban regime to hand over Bin Laden and his merry men). Shortly after that aggressive move, the Bush/Cheney administration shifted its focus and launched an even larger all-out war against Iraq, a nation that had no connection whatsoever with the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
So much for transparency and measured responses.
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Here again, we have an example of the US expecting one mode of behavior for the rest of the world, and another for itself.
We Americans, it would appear, are not required to operate in a logical manner, are not required to think through the consequences of our actions, are not required to obey international laws, and are not required to listen to the counsel of others. If the United Nations will not support our plan to attack and topple the government of another sovereign nation, we will just do it ourselves. But other countries may not behave in this manner.
There is another way that India and the US are different which has come to light in this latest atrocity. Following the Mumbai attacks, India’s minister of security resigned, in an admission that his department had failed to discover an attack that was clearly at least six months in planning, and had failed to prevent the massive loss of life because of inadequate preparation of police and troops for such an eventuality (police and soldiers were not equipped even with sniper rifles and scopes that might have enabled them to shoot and kill some of the 10 terrorists with minimal threat to their hostages).
Nobody resigned for the manifold failings that led up to and allowed for the 9-11 attacks (Well, CIA Director George Tenet eventually stepped down, but only after being praised and awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush!). Nobody resigned for intelligence failures, nobody resigned for air defense failures, nobody resigned for investigative failures, nobody resigned for the lies that were the basis for the attack on Afghanistan and the war against Iraq. There has indeed been zero accountability in the US for the biggest national security disaster since Pearl Harbor. But in India, it took only days for the chief person responsible for security in the Indian government to resign his post in disgrace.
Let us hope that saner heads prevail in India when it comes to Pakistan, as the story of this latest terror action is exposed.
And let us hope that Americans finally demand an honest accounting of what happened on 9/11/2001 and that those who are guilty of allowing it to happen, and of sending the country off on a pointless, bloody and seemingly endless jihad in the Middle East as a result are exposed and forced to pay for their ineptness and their crimes.
In that regard, it might help if the corporate media would adopt the same skeptical and inquisitive approach to 9-11 that it appears to have taken with the Indian tragedy. In the wake of the Mumbai attacks, we have corporate reporters openly questioning government sources and terrorism experts about who was behind the attackers, even to the point of suggesting, as analyst Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corporation did on NPR on Tuesday, that the Pakistan government could conceivably have orchestrated them (though he thought that was the least likely explanation), or that "rogue elements" of Pakistan's intelligence services might have been behind them. No such speculation is allowed in our corporate media when it comes to 9-11, despite clear evidence that, at the very least, some advance knowledge of that attack existed both within the US intelligence establishment and the Israeli Mossad (somebody placed bets against the stocks of the two airliners whose planes were hijacked and two large investment banks with offices in the Twin Towers in the days before the attacks, through an investment bank, Alex Brown, whose CEO had recently moved to the number three position in the CIA, and several men who were observed videotaping the attacks were arrested by New Jersey cops and then later released, following US State Department intercession, after being identified as Mossad agents).
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