It's good to know that an "Angry Mumbai Wants Answers, Changes," but something's missing from this news story from Time.
There is not one mention of Muslims or Islam, even though the attackers claimed to be "Deccan Mujahideen" -- Muslims engaged in jihad.
Instead, the article focuses on anger toward the current governing authorities in Mumbai and India. While Mumbai surely has room for improvement, so does every other nation on earth, and there will always be some terror attacks that slip through the defenses as long as significant numbers of Muslims are taught that it is noble to kill innocent, noncombatant men, women and children in the name of "Allah."
The truth is that the Mumbai attack could have happened almost anywhere.
Certainly India needs to fight terrorism on all fronts, but it would be wise to avoid slipping into the counterproductive game I've described as "Blaming the Rescuers."
The rules of the game are simple: Whenever a terrorist incident occurs, blame those who try to prevent the incident, those who try to rescue the victims or capture the perpetrators, or those who are left to clean up the bodies and the mess. Question everything the rescuers did, or failed to do. Also question everything they do to try to prevent the next attack.
. . . . There is nothing wrong with introspection for the purpose of continuous improvement, but that is not what is happening. What is going on now in civilized nations around the world is continuous disparagement for no apparent purpose other than temporary political advantage or temporary psychological comfort in a terrifying world (it's less frightening to focus blame our own "authorities" than on the terrorists, as Neo-Neocon has noted in one of many thoughtful essays).
Blaming the Rescuers is a cancerous game. It poisons the morale of those most actively engaged in fighting terrorism. Where credit and gratitude is due for bravery and persistence and valor in the face of threats and horrors and challenges, it delivers wet blankets instead. It demands a level of perfection that no human being can achieve, deterring some from even joining in the impossible effort.
The game of Blame the Rescuers eats away the living cells -- the leaders, officials, first responders, soldiers, commanders, police and intelligence agents most actively engaged in fighting the war on terror. Consume these living cells, and terrorism will spread unopposed.
Here are some of the many questions that you'll often hear asked in the effort to Blame the Rescuers. See how many of these questions sound familiar in the war on terror in the United States and around the world:
Why didn't they see it coming? Why didn't they connect the dots? Why didn't they investigate? Why didn't they investigate further? Why are we wasting so much money on investigations when we haven't had any attacks lately?
Why didn't they have more police, soldiers, or other "authorities" in place to detect it or stop it? Why didn't they intervene quickly enough upon learning of the terrorist attack?
Why didn't they act immediately?
Why did they rush in without enough advance planning?
Why weren't all the victims saved? Why were so many police or soldiers' lives lost?
Why weren't all the perpetrators caught? Who among the rescuers should be fired for incompetence? Who should be court martialed? Who should be ridiculed? Who should be disciplined? Who should be impeached?
Why are the rescuers so overreaching and heavy-handed in their effort to prevent the next attack? Why are they trampling on peoples' rights? Why are they being so unreasonable? Why are they searching everyone -- do they think everyone is a terrorist? Why are they conducting random searches -- don't they realize that some of the people they are randomly searching are not terrorists? Why are they conducting targeted searches -- don't they realize that most of the people in the target group aren't terrorists? Why are they searching anyone? Don't they realize that it's none of their business and we have a right to privacy?
Why didn't they search the bag that had the bomb? Why was their search so superficial?
Why are they searching every bag? Why is this security screening taking so long?
Why did they shoot an innocent man? Why didn't they take just one more second before shooting?
Why didn't they shoot before the bomb was set off? Why did they delay just one second too long?
Why didn't they know the terrorist attack was coming? Why didn't they conduct any searches at all? Why didn't they search those with suspected terrorist ties? Why did they only search those with suspected terrorist ties -- didn't they realize that a person with a "clean" record would be used to carry out the attack?
Why are we eavesdropping? Why are we spying on our own people?
Why didn't we realize that the attack could come from among our own people? Why didn't we see it coming?
Why are we restricting travel? We aren't we restricting travel?
Why are we getting so many warnings about risks that turn out not to materialize? Why are we wasting money on security to prevent attacks that have never occurred?
Why weren't we warned about the risk that did materialize? Why didn't we do anything to prevent the attack that occurred?
Why haven't we won the war on terror by now? Why don't we have an exit strategy?
Why are we bothering since we know there will always be more terrorist attacks?
Why aren't we winning their hearts and minds? Why are we spending money on propaganda to win their hearts and minds? Why are we building schools there when we need the money here?
Why aren't all the security measures in place yet? Why didn't the security measures we have in place prevent the new form of attack that just occurred?
Why aren't we doing enough? Why didn't we have enough personnel in place to prevent the attack?
Why does it cost so much? Why are we paying for so many personnel to prevent something that has never happened?
Why wasn't there any central coordination of the effort? Why weren't all the agencies coordinated? Why wasn't there enough oversight?
Why weren't local officials in charge of the effort in their own community? Why were agencies prevented from acting individually on they information they had? Why was there so much central bureaucracy?
Why won't anyone take responsibility?
Now that someone has taken responsibility, why doesn't he resign?
The questions that can be asked are endless, but the result of the game "Blame the Rescuers" is always the same: The rescuers lose.
Of course, when the rescuers lose, the terrorists win. But it's easy to ignore that. After all, the terrorists aren't talking. They're just taking notes for their next propaganda video and working on their next series of attacks on innocent men, women and children. You and your loved ones included, eventually.
There will be far too many victims of terrorism in our lifetime -- and in no small part because too many people in the civilized world are devoting massive amounts of time and energy to the game "Blame the Rescuers."
All of our time and energy should be spent ostracizing, penalizing, hunting down, deterring, and stopping the terrorists who have already committed thousands of heinous attacks on innocent civilians worldwide. The terrorists are determined and persistent. If we in the civilized world we are consumed with attacking our own rescuers rather than with fighting the war on terror, we will lose the war, and much more with it.
The game of "Blame the Rescuers" serves the purposes of the terrorists in many ways. First, it provides false comfort to India by promoting the fallacy that a simple change in leadership will avoid further attacks. Second, it provides false comfort to other nations that the attack on India was a response to unique failings of that nation, rather than being merely the latest manifestation of the global Islamic jihad. Third, blaming the rescuers divides nations and allies and inappropriately punishes those who were, and remain, on the front lines in the defense against terror -- police, intelligence agencies, and local, state, and national officials.
India, harden your defenses, and choose the best leaders you can at every turn, but save your anger for the terrorists.