As the media sifts the remains of the Mumbai disaster, news stories highlight a wide range of camera angles on this event. Some focus on who was behind this and what was their motive. Some focus on what happened and how it happened. Some seek to identify heroes such as the nanny who rescued a two year old toddler at Chabad House where terrorists possibly tortured and killed six Israelis.
And many ask probing questions. Why did the 1000 Indian commandos take 60 hours to kill 10 terrorists? How many clues were there in advance that were disregarded by Indian authorities? Who were the attackers? Were they from Pakistan or from within India itself? How could so few cause so much damage? What were their aims, besides death and mayhem? Did some get away? Who trained them? What will happen next? How will it end?
Israel buried six of her own in the Mount of Olives Cemetery this week. And this small part of the equation brought to mind for me additional questions. Why did the terrorists, who had ten men and supposedly aimed to take five thousand lives at the two hotels, go out of their way to find the Chabad House and kill six Jews? It doesn't make sense.
Another set of questions is being raised by this strange story. Since 2001 there have several major terrorist incidents in India. Among others, the Chattinghpura massacre, the Malagaon explosions, and the Samjhota Express incident were all under investigation by a team of officials. The men who had been researching these events indicated that a lieutenant colonel of the Indian army, Lt. Col. Purohit, was allegedly responsible for the attack. Purohit evidently had links with Hindu militant groups and purportedly provided training to extremists. These three officials, who were on the verge of finalizing their findings and releasing this information, were all killed in the Mumbai event. Coincidence? (Counterpunch story here)
The more you read, the more you realize how little you understand. It's far more interesting than any James Bond movie. Especially the latest one with its herky-jerky camera work and excessive commitment to "action." The real world unfolds at a little slower pace, though still much too fast for us to interpret all the meanings of its events.
In the end there will always be too many questions, and too few answers. We see once more what Robert Burns said rightly, "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn."