Wednesday, December 03, 2008


More Thoughts on Mumbai

Courtesy of Instapundit, the following piece on Kausfiles seems well worth quoting:

Here's a Saturday Belfast Telegraph story about Sebastian D'Souza, the photographer who took a now-famous photograph of one of the Mumbai terrorists in the process of gunning people down in a train station:

But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back." [E.A.]

Got that? As has been noted earlier, the problem was not that armed policemen were not on hand; the problem was that policemen on the spot had firearms, but didn't use them.

Here's a Sunday New York Times front pager about the "troubling questions" the attacks raised about India's "ability to respond":

[T]he most troubling question to emerge for the Indian authorities was how, if official estimates are accurate, just 10 gunmen could have caused so much carnage and repelled Indian security forces for more than three days in three different buildings.

Part of the answer may lie in continuing signs that despite the country’s long vulnerability to terrorist attacks, Indian law enforcement remains ill-prepared. The siege exposed problems caused by inexperienced security forces and inadequate equipment, including a lack of high-power rifle scopes and other optics to help discriminate between the attackers and civilians. [E.A.]

Read the Times story and you'll see a numbing litany of "systemic" problems with Indian security, including "Ill-paid city police [who] are often armed with little more than batons," and "little information-sharing among law enforcement agencies" and all that inadequate equipment, including "old, bulky bulletproof jackets" and lack of thosehigh-power scopes and "no technology at their disposal to determine where the firepower was coming from ..." [E.A.] It reads like the budget-increase proposal submitted by the Mumbai police bureaucracy--The Indian Omnibus Anti-Terror Funding Act of 2009. Nowhere in the NYT story will you learn what American blog readers learned a day earlier when Instapundit (among others) linked to the Belfast story: Police had lots of guns, and no problem seeing who and where the terrorists were, but they wouldn't shoot at them.

I'm used to a sort of Liebling-like hierarchy of news sources, with twitterers and bloggers being fastest, but maybe less reliable, while the grand institutions of the MSM weigh in later with more comprehensive and accurate accounts. But that's not what is happening with this Mumbai story. The "fast" sources are telling you what happened. The "slow" MSM sources are using their extra time to sanitize what's happened, to build euphemistic assumptions into their very reporting of the events themselves--in this case, it just so happens, liberal assumptions...
In other words: if you thought the New York Times was biased only about the 2008 election, think again.

Then again, I've had my issues with the New York Times for a while now.


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