Deafening Silence On Mumbai
July 14, 2006 - 9:07am ET
I'd like to think that one of the running themes of my blogging here is that every human being is equal. Palestinian lives and deaths are just as important as Israeli lives and deaths. Iraqis' dreams and hopes for their country are equally important as Americans' for theirs.
And so I wish we'd had something intelligent to say, some way to mark the violent slaughter of over 200 civillians in Mumbai. We didn't.
On the other hand, we at TomPaine.com are generally focused on the role of U.S. policy in our coverage of foreign affairs, both in our opinion pieces and in our editor's blog, and its also true that up 'till now—so soon after the attack—to know what to say about the tragic events of July 11.
Deafening Silence In The Blogosphere
... I was not surprised by MSM coverage in America: poor in local papers, better in papers with a large desi population or those with an international audience. I was pleased to hear that CNN and CNBC had decent cable news coverage, perhaps because they’re well established in India.
What has baffled me, however, is the relative silence from the world of blogs. The blogosphere is supposed to be the cutting edge, far more advanced than the MSM, yet they’re spending less time on the story.
To be more precise, Technorati’s rankings of popular news stories shows us that average bloggers are paying some attention to the bombings; the fourth, sixth and twentieth most reblogged news stories are the BBC, CNN, and Fox News versions of this story. It’s currently less important than the death of Pink Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett, or coverage of Zidane’s press coverage, but more important than Bob Novak and the big dig.
Where we see a distressing lack of coverage most clearly is amongst <>political blogs in the top 100 list...
He then gives three grounds for beginning thought about the bombings:
1. India and Pakistan are now nuclear armed states. This sort of attack, if it ends up being traced to Pakistan could have very serious consequences. Couple that with the recent resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and British frustrations there, and an argument might be made that Pakistan is engaging in serious destabalization of its neighbors.
Of course, this is all speculation but Indian security sources indicate that they suspect Pakistan had a hand in these events. If that suspicion becomes widespread, won’t there be an outcry for retaliation? If so, will Bush be able (or willing) to protect Pakistan again? Musharaff prepped nukes for use during Kargill (according to Nawaz Sharif), this could get very ugly.
2. On the other hand, if the bombings were actually committed by a new group connected to Al-Qaeda, this marks the opening of a significant new front in the “Global War on Terror.” Al-Qaeda activities are of clear importance to America.
3. These events are pertinent domestic fight on anti-terrorism funding. Another mass transit bombing gives credence to Schumer’s argument that DHS is giving too little money to New York. In other words, recent events in India undermine the argument for protecting targets in Indiana.
Recent events are rich in implications for American foreign and domestic policy. I don’t find it too hard to connect the dots, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m brown.
Alright, I realize this is a bit of a cheap way of getting out of having to say anything meaningful myself, but at least it's a start.
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