Today's Blogs

Terror in Mumbai

Bloggers mourn the victims of the Mumbai bombings and start pointing fingers at possible perpetrators. They also celebrate the Pentagon’s decision to apply the Geneva Conventions to detainees but remain weary of political trickery.

Terror in Mumbai: More than 100 people are dead, with the toll expected to rise, after seven bombs exploded in India’s financial center of Mumbai on Tuesday. The attacks took place on crowded trains during the evening rush hour. According to the New York Times, Indian media outlets are reporting that Kashmiri separatists are taking credit.

Indian blogger Tapan Trivedi at Ramblings of a Cosmic Funny Indian recounts a terror attack from 1994 and recalls how the city was back to normal the next day: “So as the city where my mom grew up, where I spent most of my summers, where my sister got married, where several of my aunts and uncles and cousins live, lies covered in decapitated limbs and heaps of bodies I have but one thing to say to those who use terrorism as a tool to break minds. YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED. YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED.”

Conservative Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters suspects al-Qaida had a hand in the bombings: “India’s outreach to Pakistan to resolve the conflict in the Kashmir threatens to end one of the major provocations that incites Muslims to jihad in the region. It also tends to prop up Pervez Musharraf, a man they have tried twice to assassinate.”

Mitch at Shot in the Dark interprets the attacks as an effort to discredit a model democracy in which Muslims enjoy economic and religious freedom: “India’s moslems, in short, have a stake in the modern world. And I’d bet that there’s at least a small stake on Al Quaeda’s part in stirring that up, if only by provoking a reaction against India’s moslems, something that’ll devalue that interest in the liberalism (small-l) that has helped quell so many of India’s problems.”

At the conservative National Review’s The Corner, Peter Brookes blames Kashmiri militants: “This will likely set back the recently reinvigorated—and relatively successful—talks between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir. The big question is whether there is any Pakistani complicity, such as the ISI (Pakistan’s often rogue-like intelligence service), in the attacks. With all that is going on, the last thing we need to add to our ‘to-do’ list is walking the South Asian nuclear rivals back from the brink of war—again.” 

Mumbai resident Anthony at A Journey Called Life finds hypocrisy in Pakistan’s condemnation of the attacks: “Gen. Musharraf condemned the acts of the terrorist, but Dear general, Sir, do you mean to say that you will domesticate the terrorists but will condemn when they bite?”

Read more about the Mumbai bombings. Gaurav at Vantage Point assembles a timeline of the unfolding tragedy and the group blog Mumbaihelp hosts an open thread to facilitate communication with friends and relatives. Pajamas Media catalogs the press coverage, while Reuters lists recent attacks in India.

Conventional wisdom: The Pentagon announced it would treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. The memo follows last week’s Supreme Court ruling.

Political moderate Sean Aqui at Midtopia applauds the decision as the mark of “a brave America, one that has the courage to live in a free and open society, even when we think we might be physically safer in a more closed and paranoid society.” But he also notes that, “This doesn’t make everything okay overnight. For one thing, this refers to military facilities, leaving open the possibility—nay, likelihood—that it will not be applied to CIA facilities.”

Duane Smith at Abnormal Interests also remains skeptical: “The task now is to make sure that there is not some caveat in all of this that will give the current administration wiggle room. And I am worried that Tony Stow did say that this is not a policy reversal. It is!”

Conservative Denis E. Ambrose Jr. at Provoking the Muse denies that the detainees are protected by international law: “The Geneva Conventions are designed to work both ways: both nations at war must agree to abide by them, and then put the Conventions into practice. But these barbarians held at Gitmo are not entitled to any rights because they do not obey the rules of war: they don’t wear uniforms, they stay within the civilian population, and they attack civilians outright.”

Bloggers take turns predicting the impact. Michelle Malkin at Hot Air fears that “People will die because of this decision, for the simple reason that we will no longer ask captured terrorists what they know and who they’re working with. We have made ourselves like a giant battling a swarm of poisonous hornets, but the giant has chosen to gouge his own eyes out and stuff his ears with cotton as he goes into the battle.” Lawhawk at A Blog For All asks: “What will this mean? Less intel gathering, and more enemies killed in battle rather than captured because there’s no reason to capture them.”

Read more about the policy change. In Slate, Neal Katyal, who argued the Hamdan case before the Supreme Court, suggests using courts-martial to try the Gitmo detainees.