Bomb in your garden

This is a vicious cycle of barbarism and bad politics, we, the people, did not make or create. And those who made it will not pay the price. We will.

Amit Sengupta Delhi, Hardnews

So how many times should a man look up before he sees the sky? And how many of those alive should return lifeless to the bowels of the earth, burnt, cremated or buried, before the bullets, or the rocket launchers or the damned RDX gets you - anywhere, inside a railway station or five star hotel, outside a cricket stadium or a middle class shopping zone, or just about on the street, while you are posting a hand-written letter in a letter box in this era of cyberspace?

It's numbing down after dumbing down. Desensitisation after sensitation. Despair after more despair. And helplessness. And the inevitability of acceptance.Everyone says it's most shocking. What's more shocking than most shocking? What's more mindless than most mindless? What's more organised and barbaric than most forms of organised barbarism enacted as a public spectacle? So which carnage is more heart-rending than the other? Gujarat, Mumbai, Kabul, Lahore?

So how is accidental and bloody death not inevitable in the current scheme of things anywhere and in any time and space? Is Indian democracy and its citizens (or cricketers) more protected in that sense? How? If so, why did they not anticipate and block all the blasts all over various cities and the terror attacks in Mumbai? Were not the elite too targeted at the Taj? And why is that the Batla House encounter is being widely perceived as fake? Hardnews has raised these issues time and again.

If 12 suicide bombers with rucksacks or armed criminals try to kill you, how can they be stopped? Especially if you have no jammers, or bullet proof vests, or armed commandoes of Z plus security, no intelligence machinery or sanitized streets, official residences and public spaces, not even the value of your life listed in the official scheme of things. That's what precisely happened to the thousands who have lost their lives in the sub-continent, post 9/11, even while the American policy-makers can only dare to protect its own homeland, leaving all the other so-called ‘strategic partners' to the wolves.

In Pakistan, this is precisely what happened outside the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore, as it is happening in all parts of Pakistan, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Marriott Hotel attack in the past. They just don't care. It's impossible to imagine how the prime minister and the president and the army chief is protected in Pakistan. Who protects them? The ISI? As Imran Khan said, the interior minister might be having ten times the security protection as the Sri Lankan team. So what is ten times? Can he too escape the rocket launchers and grenades (or suicide bombers) as the Sri Lankan team, so fortunately and so miraculously did? But the cricketers got hit, the umpires, a driver, cops, they got hit. A couple of umpires were soaked with blood.

There is no doubt that the streets and the entire journey from the cricketers' hotel to the stadium was not sanitized, there was no security on the look-out for dubious men with rucksacks on various vehicles or taking military positions in broad day-light, there were no information system, no cameras, no red-alerts, the intelligence or security machinery had not responded to warnings (the usual story -even the CIA reportedly did not respond to 9/11 warnings) in a context that Sri Lanka is in the midst of violent turmoil and mass tragedy in Tamil areas, and that the cops who died did not really have the specialisation or reflex actions or fore-warning to take on well-trained and highly motivated terrorists. So no point in saying that they are well-trained and motivated, as a top Pakistani cop said. This is a priori. They are well-trained and motivated and they are ready to die, so how do you stop them. With dynamic foreign policy? Heightened domestic surveillance and internal security? Full-fledged and full-throated militarism - an act of war? The deceptive and dangerous American-Israeli axis? International united military action? NATO?

Besides, none of the 12 terrorists could be killed or captured even while they ran in full public view. Is this what is called VIP protection? So what happens to Citizens' Protection?

Clearly, for the US, the Iraq campaign has failed, after plus 800,000 dead, no small number this. No one has won a war in the difficult terrain of a geographically mythical Afghanistan with blurred borders, not even the British, and the Americans shall too never win it. The Taliban and Al Qaeda, American-CIA  creations with motivated help from Pakistan (like Saddam Hussein and other tinpot dictators all over the world), will only grow in numbers, fundamentalism and organised terrorism - they will grow as a retrograde, anti-woman, anti-modernity civilisational epidemic, now with the US-Israel axis -- and all its strategic partners like India, as their declared enemies. Pakistan is a ‘Failed State' and can be very well truncated and Balkanised in the days to come, like Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Central Asia, one of the pet projects of the CIA since the Cold War era. So will this South Asian turmoil leave India untouched? Or Afghanistan and Bangladesh?  Will the bloodbath stop?

There is no doubt that the ISI and fundamentalists were behind the Bangladesh massacre of army officers and their families. This was also to unsettle and perhaps topple the Sheikh Hasina regime which is known to be pro-India and against the fundamentalists - and her significant mandate proved it. A dangerous fault-line clearly runs within the Pakistani establishment. Indeed, the Mumbai attacks were done with the help of both State and non-State actors in Pakistan. So this was active war, not proxy war.

Hence, the flexing of nuclear muscles on either side has not helped in countering terrorism or Pakistan with conventional military or diplomatic strategies. The bomb was therefore a big mistake, as would be war. In that case, what's the option? Sorry to say, no option. The bodybags now will be of innocent citizens, yet again, again and again, while the failed States will continue to preside over this continuing carnage. Because this has become a historical fault-line of justice and injustice, and no immediate solution can dissolve or reconcile it.

What's shocking? What's shocking then most shocking? Nothing's shocking. This is a vicious cycle of barbarism and bad politics, we, the people, did not make or create. And those who made it will not pay the price. We will.  It's like looking for a new flower in your garden. And discovering a bomb.