The Tragedy of the Mumbai Attacks

The world has watched with shock and horror as a trained cadre of demented men acted out scenes of destruction they had no doubt seen in action movies and imagined themselves to be heroes in the cause of righteousness.

We have no evidence that they were deluded by patriotism or religion or the cause of world revolution, but chances are it was one of those three.

I don’t believe this was an attack by any country on another country. I believe it was yet another case of murderous crimes by demented people, usually men, with guns and grenades and other implements of destruction, deluded by some righteous cause or other.

I can only hope that India, a more mature democracy than ours, will teach the US and the world a lesson and treat these atrocities as crimes, a matter for the police — not just the Indian police, but the police of the world.

So many conflicts in the world can be seen in a completely different way if we view them as conflicts between the people who want war and the people who want peace.

The demented people who want war, and the peace-loving people of the world.

The US would be much better off if we had taken this view of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Now, clearly the Taliban had supported the criminals responsible and deserved to be overthrown, but it is just as clear that the attacks of 9/11 were not an attack by the people of Afghanistan on the people of the United States.

It was an attack by an international group of criminals and we should have concentrated on bringing them to justice. Hind sight is 20/20, they say, but I said the same before the invasion of Iraq.

But if the government of India proceeds as I expect they will, I believe the whole world can learn a lesson about seeking justice. I hope they will ask and receive the cooperation of law enforcement all over the world and find out who planned and carried out these attacks.

Not just for the sake of revenge, but to find out how we can protect decent people from crimes like this. And to show the world how justice can be done without pitting nation against nation. And to show how glorifying war creates horrendous crimes all over the world.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I am very confident that there are people in the Indian government who ask themselves the question every good Christian ought to ask three or four times a day:

“What would Gandhi do?” I definitely do not have the answer, but it’s always a good question to ask.