Thursday, 27 November 2008

Contagion spreading

I had just finished watching the early evening tv news reports of happenings in India and checked my mail to find a special report on things from the Economist.

The suggestion of AQ involvement is very worrying. The conclusion is : It was uncertain who was responsible, though a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen had contacted television stations to claim credit.georgia;">Whether or not such a group really exists, suspicion will inevitably fall on Islamist extremists. Moreover, the tactic—familiar from New York’s twin towers to the London Underground—of simultaneous assaults on “soft” targets, designed to kill large numbers of civilians, suggests an al-Qaeda involvement, or at least that the group has provided an inspiration. This is deeply worrying for India, which until recently thought itself immune from that particular scourge. Introducing Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, to Laura Bush a few years ago, George Bush reportedly noted that India was a country of 150m Muslims and not a single al-Qaeda member.

In the past, terrorist attacks in India were routinely blamed on foreigners. This usually meant Pakistan, either as part of deliberate government policy or as the work of rogue elements of the state apparatus, or occasionally Bangladesh, also suspected at times of tolerating terrorist training camps on its soil. But in recent months a series of attacks in Delhi, Jaipur, Bengalooru (Bangalore) and Ahmedabad have been claimed by the “Indian Mujahideen”. Indeed, this group, which the government since claims to have dismantled, had explicitly threatened to carry out “deadly attacks” in Mumbai.

I had just been reading Michael Yon's latest piece about Iraq and Pakistan. He was upbeat about Iraq and confident regarding Afghanistan " Otherwise, I am increasingly confident. I think we are going to make it. Petraeus worked like magic. Now we need him to concentrate on our growing troubles in Afghanistan."

If AQ really have the capability of relocating and reorganising throughout the Arab world, this war will never really end. We will not even get to the terrorist's usual end game where they realise that military methods will not get them what they want and they switch to a politics game. Afghanistan seems not to have the capability to deal with AQ in their country - vide the US cross-border attacks - and the Indians most certainly are no better trained or equipped. The coalition of forces against the War On Terror is weakening and would regard with horror any idea that we move into any other country.

Seems as if AQ remains a force we have to recognise. I have written here before about the withdrawal from foreign lands and then making sure we properly guard a much smaller zone drawn toghtly around the borders of our country and have the ability to detect and deal with the enemy within. On monetary cost terms alone, we cannot carry on with this long range war and we surely would not suffer the loss of life we are seeing now.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Coming soon

The Christmas lights are up in the village. I was having a post-lunch snooze in the living room when something woke me up. Level with the first floor window as a team of blokes on a hoist all working at hanging a garland across the street outside. Not switched on yet but I understand that is a Wednesday job.
All the workers are volunteers using local Council machines with supervision from the usual users. Nice co-operation and I suspect not too much bothering Nanny Health & Safety either.
The first snow has been. And gone. We woke up to just a dusting yesterday morning and then some during the day. Mostly it was too cold and windy. Last night was about 3 inches but it rained this afternoon and that was the end of that. Maybe Father Winter flexing his muscles? As age gets me more and more under the thumb, I find the idea of snow less pleasant so I'm hoping for a global warming winter.