I saw a post about the Citizen-Journalism being done on Twitter in Mumbai, and became intrigued, and soon was addicted. I read [and occasionally wrote] for the better part of the 60 hours that the traumas unfolded, and have come away troubled. My brain is like that.
The troubling part isn't from the coverage, nor from the heroic response of the Indians, nor from the mere fact of the violence- the visceral emotional level of things is a rerun of what I felt during and after 9/11. That is not the source of "trouble", that is plain, deep mourning. I mourn the pathetic baseness of a human race capable of perpetrating such horror on itself, and I mourn the dead and the pain of the living. No "trouble" there, it's quite clear.
What I am troubled by is the "why". Not the "why" of the terrorists themselves- it is obvious that they were unthinking [4th grade education], misled [satellite phones and gps for "escape"] and enraged.
The "why" is regarding the true purpose of this mission.
Why is a terrible question, always open to conjecture. I am extremely prone to conjecture, especially about humans and their motivations. I am unfortunately also prone to cynicism about same. Here are some of my conjectures. Conspiracy theories. Get the tarbrush out of the way, I always say, so there it is. What follows are my conspiracy theories. I think they're quite good- worthy of a Ludlum novel at least.
And if the mere phrase "conspiracy theory" conjures maddened homeless people speaking in incomplete sentences between swigs on a brown paper bag, so be it, although I sit in my home typing on my computer, and am swigging root beer. I can see how the bubbles might go to my brain.
However it is quite apparent that this operation resulted from a conspiracy. The months of planning involved, the "control rooms" in the Taj and the way the operation evolved once it commenced made that much plain. So my "conspiracy theory" is entirely appropriate. Enjoy the twistings of my tiny mind for what they are.
On to the theory proper:
Why attack Mumbai, and why now? Well, there are many reasons. Mumbai is an international banking center. But it has been one all the time, year round, for several years now. It has sustained several terrorist attacks during that time, as well. So that in itself isn't a reason.
The timing is special here- this operation was being set up for months. What about the timing is special right now? What is different? And what else was being set up for months in advance? Well, Mumbai is a conference center as well, for international bankers and politicians involved in international finance. In fact, during the attacks, several European reps were present at the Taj. But the terrorists asked specifically for British and US passports.
What was THAT all about? WHY, if they represented Pakistanis angry at India regarding Kashmir, did they give a good goddamn about Americans? Why would they not be looking for the EU reps if they were looking for high-profile targets in order to call attention to some supposed plight? Why make it plain that they wanted to piss off the US and Britain? Hmm.
Why was Wolf Blitzer, et al. on air thumping that old drum that had been stashed after the Iraq war got exposed for what it was? Why were CNN and Fox people continually trying to link this to Al-Quaeda and to 9-11? Why does this media behavior pattern feel so damned familiar? Hmmm.
Why was it that, when someone actually got two of them into media contact, and they were asked what their demands were, one of them turned to the other and asked, "What are our demands?" in a joking way? ...and then they spent some time coming up with "free all the Indian Mujahadeen". "Freedom fighter" terrorists would know what they were fighting for before they ever undertook any training. And why would these Pakistanis, now linked to Kashmiri terrorist groups, go to the trouble of trying to "pin" it on Indian Deccan Mujahadeen in the first place, when their accents were immediately clearly "Northern" to all of the Indians listening in? Why would they not make their own group- the source of their supposed righteous mindless fury and personal extremism- and its position known immediately? And why put said "cause" and their own people at the epicenter of a tidal wave of furious international reprisal? Hmm.
Back to the question of timing. My conjecture: this timing has nothing to do with India, or Mumbai. This timing has to do with the US, Britain, and Israel, and Thanksgiving, and the changing administrations. This had to do with whipping the mindless Foxfans and CNNheads into another frenzy. This was about making "terrists" the natural sworn enemies of freedom, democracy, and the 'merican way.
Pakistan does indeed have terrorist cells active near the Kashmir district. These boys were probably drafted from among the people near there. But they were not working from a religious or tribal fervor, they didn't have any deeply ingrained ideals driving their insanity- witness the utter lack of a clear "ideal" behind the brutality and the "escape plan" they were given. Terrorists who are fighting for Allah aren't that vague about it.
They had British IDs and were trained in the most modern of urban warfare techniques. The mountains of Pakistan don't have many urban landscapes, nor training centers, nor trainers. But Blackwater has training centers in Britain, and they train all sorts of people from all over the world in urban warfare techniques. They're also rather non-denominational in their mindsets.