2. Cutting funds and reducing focus on counter-terror efforts produces devastating, deadly results. In May, 2004, India's left-leaning Congress Party took control of the government from the BJP ("Hindu Nationalists"), with overwhelming support from the nation's substantial Muslim minority (some 150 million strong). Congress pledged to cut money from counter-terror efforts and security forces, while doing more to address the concerns and to win cooperation from angry, dissatisfied Muslims who complained of their own persecution. The result of this new policy has been an unmitigated disaster --- with more than 4,000 deaths from terrorist attacks in the last four years, which amounts to more casualties than any other nation on earth other than Iraq. The Indian experience should send a powerful message to Americans who believe that we will somehow be safer from closing Guantanamo, cutting back on intelligence gathering, doing more to protect Islamist rights and generally employing a kinder, gentler approach to the war on terror. Comparing India's experience in the last four years to the situation in the United States shows the necessity of treating terrorism as a world-wide war, not just a problem of law enforcement. After the slaughter in Mumbai, with courageous commandos among the slain, public disgust with the "moderate" approach of the Congress Party will likely produce an appropriate tidal wave of disgust in upcoming national elections. With the sources of terror obviously located in neighboring (and nuclear armed) Pakistan, as well as the restive domestic Muslim population, Indians understood the importance of resolute confrontation against the forces of Islamism and the need for their leaders to call evil by its rightful name.
3. Islamist extremism is at its core fiercely, fanatically anti-Semitic--- not just opposed to specific Israeli governments or particular western policies. Apologists for Islamo-Nazi terror try to describe it as an inevitable response to American imperialism or Israeli "occupation" policies. The Mumbai atrocities highlight the absurdity of such claims. Local Muslim communities in India and Pakistan (which alone supplied the killers this time) bear no connection with Israel at all and no connection with America, other than receiving abundant American aid and business (showered on India and particularly on Pakistan). Neither the United States nor Israel has played any role in the ongoing dispute between Hindus and Muslims over control of the remote, mountainous territory of Kashmir—the main point of agitation for the Mumbai killers—and yet those killers nonetheless made a point of targeting Americans and Jews. The specific focus on the peaceful, unarmed, social service/religious operation at Chabad House demonstrates that the Islamists count as fanatical, anti-Semitic Nazis, not just anti-Zionists or anti-imperialists. The total Jewish population of Mumbai was less than 4,000, before these attacks--- barely .0002% of an overall population of 19,000,000. The targeting of this miniscule, quiet and obscure community shows the importance of describing the extremists as Islamo-Nazis, not Islamo-Fascists. Like the Nazis, and unlike other Fascist organizations in Italy and Spain, the Islamists embrace Jew-hatred as an essential, inseparable element of their very identity. Authorities in Mumbai say many of the bodies of hostages show signs of grotesque and indescribable torture, but the Jewish victims – particularly the women – apparently suffered even worse than the others. There's obviously no substance at all to the notion that the kindly, selfless and deeply religious personnel at Chabad House (who concerned themselves with providing kosher food, visiting the sick, performing weddings, and studying religious texts) somehow connected with Islamist complaints over Kashmir. The West needs to understand that Islamo-Nazis feel motivated by implacable hatred for all Jews (and all Christians) rather than objections to particular elements European or American or Indian culture or policy.
For the incoming Obama administration, the Messages from Mumbai should register with decisive clarity. A friendlier tone in Presidential pronouncements, or conciliatory gestures (like closing Guantanamo) will do nothing to placate or discourage our most dedicated enemies. In the struggle against Islamo-Nazis, just as with the struggle against Hitlerism or Stalinism, there is no substitute for victory.