Munich, Sept. 5, 1972
Mumbai. Nov 27, 2008
If it’s looking increasingly like one more brutal attack in the long-running conflict between India and Pakistan, with Kashmir in the middle, tell that to the Israelis.
Terrorism is as much a visual act as it is a physical one, the resulting images having the power to dramatically undermine and wreak havoc with national dignity. If the Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (or its variant) largely intended to strike a blow against India, the targeting of American and British citizens, and particularly, the Jewish Chabad House, was an effective move. Besides drawing world-wide attention to its own cause, it serves al-Qaeda in highlighting American involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and exploits the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well.
Let’s hope that the attackers in India can be subdued and the situation can be contained without greater mayhem or a more extended international reaction. I say that, of course, in spite of the visual analogies.
(image 1: unattributed/Munich Olympic massacre. image 2: Gurinder Osan/Associated Press)