MSNBC and CNN had reports on Obama and the financial crisis. FOX News, however, was reporting from Mumbai that a building was on fire and that India was under attack. They did not hesitate to make it obvious and apparent that Americans and Brits were being targeted as the terrorists were supposedly searching for those with American and British passports.
No act of terrorism should be taken lightly, but there was a noticeable shift in the intensity of the news broadcast once FOX News found out Westerners were being targeted. Indeed, that might have been what turned the story into "breaking news" for CNN and MSNBC.
So, I pose this idea: Would this story still be making news if Americans had not been targeted? Would it still be a story for American news networks if a father and his daughter from Virginia had not been killed?
At this point, it seems like domestic terrorists from India attacked Mumbai, and they succeeded. As Tariq Ali describes in this great article, “The Assault on Mumbai”, “the terrorist assault on Mumbai’s five-star hotels was well planned, but did not require a great deal of logistic intelligence: all the targets were soft. The aim was to create mayhem by shining the spotlight on India and its problems and in that the terrorists were successful.”
A BBC News report gives a brief overview of terrorist attacks in India and concludes that there was indeed a method to the attacks---a method which intended to “maximize media attention on a global scale.”
Col. Jack Jacobs appeared on MSNBC at 12:05 PM ET to discuss the attacks and said on the air that, by the way, this is not the first time it has happened. So, why is this the first time we have seen massive news coverage of terrorism in India?
NDTV has been providing up-to-the-minute reports and currently says that the places attacked include the Trident Hotel, Taj Hotel, Nariman House, Wadi Bunder, Cama hospital, GT hospital, VT station, Bootleggers pub, Girgaum and Metro cinema.
Over 150 are dead, and over 300 have been injured.
FOX News is constantly giving updated reports on the situation that focus on what this means for Americans. They ran an alert that read “American tourists targeted in Mumbai.” (Other stations are focusing on the father and daughter from Virginia and India's inability to stop the attacks from raging on.)
A terrorism expert, Walid Phares, was on the phone with FOX News at about 12:15 ET and talked about how Americans in India are “at high risk” still (according to the U.S. State Department) and explained that the attacks are evidence that other democracies have a common enemy because India was not involved in Iraq or Afghanistan. And so, according to Phares, the next president [Obama] should build up alliances with other countries against al Qaeda and other jihadists.
The U.S. State Department has a record of all the terrorist attacks in India in the past three years and suggests that this shows "an increasing threat to American citizens" traveling to India.
What is bothersome is how this situation is taking on more dimensions due to its victims. Not only were Americans and Brits targeted, but a Mumbai-based Jewish rabbi and wife were killed.
Chabad.org reports, “Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were killed during one of the worst terrorist attacks to strike India in recent memory.” And also claims the rabbi was selected as a target when the attacks were being planned.
When considering that Israelis, Americans, and Brits were targets of this act of terrorism by Kashmiri “insurgents” or Pakistani “terrorists”, what will be the aftermath of these attacks?
A report on NDTV on Wednesday said: