Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
November 28, 2008

Black November


Munich, Sept. 5, 1972

mumbai nariman.jpg

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.

Indian Commandos Storm Jewish Center. (NYT)

(image 1: unattributed/Munich Olympic massacre. image 2: Gurinder Osan/Associated Press)

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