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The Muse

July 22, 2005

India and Iraq...

The one thing that I keep feeling since the London bombings (or 07/07 as they are being referred to), is frustration. It was shock during 09/11, then sorrow, then anxiety (during Afghanistan), then anger (when the War on Terror started), then disgust (with the ensuing mess).....

But 07/07 has me feeling frustrated. I do not pretend to be a genius or a savant, but I know that I am not that dumb either. So it makes me feel inadequate when I simply cannot see the logic and the motivation of these suicide bombers. I am not talking about empathizing with them, just trying to understand them.

Their whole argument is based on the alleged Western degradation of holy Muslim cities and the Western pursuit of greed and avarice that tend to oppose the sayings of Prophet Mohammed. Ok,so these SB's [Suicide Bombers not SoB's] want to strike back at these Western cultures and retaliate against the hundred years of oppression and perform a moral cleansing. I can understand this far.

What I cannot understand is how they think giving up their life is the supreme sacrifice, worthy of their Prophet and his teachings. By strapping a bomb across their waist and going to the middle of a crowd and pushing a button, these SB's have taken the easy way out and died. It takes guts to live and fight for one's cause - there is no glory in blowing oneself up. The message that one gets from such an act is simple, loud and clear - "I hate you, I want you to leave us to our ways, I do not care for your ideas, But since I am too weak to do anything about it, I am going to kill women, children and anyone else I can, make you mad and leave my family and fellow Muslims to face your anger."

I, for one, do not think that withdrawing from Iraq is going to stop these acts. Sure, Iraq was, and is, a mess. But let's say the US retreats, next time something happens in the Middle East, there will be the SB again. If it works once, they will keep doing it again and again - its sort of like acquiescing to blackmail.

What will the wife of the SB do? See, she has already lost her individuality - she is now the wife of the 07/07 SB - so is the son...It is not too far a stretch to think that the son will grow up like all son's do - thinking that his father is a hero. And what child's mind is not influenced by the thought of emulating something that one's parent did? The ripple effects are as sickening and ineffective as the source.

There are too many differences between the history of India and the history of Iraq to draw any parallels - but I'm a blogger, so I will take the liberty to use facts to selectively suit my interests! History tells us that the British brutally occupied the Indian peninsula. While they did not have sophisticated MiG's and nukes, they were also a superpower, who used the lure of money and greed to take over our country for decades. India had gold and minerals and was rich. Iraq has oil and is rich. There was a violent resistance to the colonial rule, just as there is now to the presence of US in Iraq. We also had our own version of SB's. But these SB's, ladies and gentleman, were the real deal.

These fighters went on demonstrations and used the strength of their faith to protest against the British occupation of India. They did this in blatant violation of British rules, knowing full well that they would face death by hanging, or be shot at. That, to me, takes guts. That is the supreme sacrifice.

So many died there too. So many families were destroyed as well. But unlike in Iraq, so many widows built an identity that allowed them to live in pride for the rest of their lives. So many sons grew up on the truly heroic acts of their fathers. And, well... India struggled, but grew and has now arrived. Our history does indeed makes us who we are, doesn't it?

The key thing that strikes me here, is that Indian revolutionaries never used religion as their motivator. This enabled everyone, regardless of cast or creed, to be accountable for one's actions. Hindus and Muslims joined hands and fought for their country.

The London SB's are using religion, or misusing it rather, which dooms their efforts. Once they say that they are doing this for their religion, they lose the united will of the majority of Muslims who totally and rightly, denounce these acts. They are then reduced to being a bunch of damn terrorists. Till they develop the strength to stand up and fight,they will never achieve anything, and they are, simply and unequivocally,losers. Period.