Pat Buchanan

Yet terrorism -- the killing of innocents for political ends -- can only triumph if the aggrieved play the role the terror masters have scripted for them in their bloody drama. What, then, may we surmise are the tactical and strategic goals of the terror masters of Mumbai?

To humiliate, wound and outrage India in her pride as a great new democratic and economic power in Asia. To imperil Mumbai's future as a safe and secure financial capital in which to live, work and invest. To awe the world and inspire Islam's young by their audacity. To attain immortality.

But the strategic target of the militants is the Pakistani government.

Pakistan's offenses? Cooperating with America in Afghanistan and the border region, battling al-Qaida and the Taliban, withdrawing from the fight for Kashmir, seeking peace with a Hindu nation where 170 million Muslims are denied their place in the sun.

President Bush should pray New Delhi does not adopt his Bush Doctrine of preventive war or the Cheney Doctrine: "Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty." For war in the subcontinent between India and Pakistan would be a calamity and a triumph for the terrorists across what Zbigniew Brzezinski has called the "Global Balkans."

War would pit two nuclear powers against each other for the first time since the Sino-Soviet border clash of 1969. It would spawn bloodshed between Muslim and Hindu in India. It would see the collapse of Pakistan, its possible dissolution and a military dictator in a nation already divided against itself over whether to continue resisting al-Qaida and the Taliban, or cut ties to the unpopular Americans.

Wounded and enraged by the atrocities of 9-11, America lashed out, first at Afghanistan and the al-Qaida source of the conspiracy, then at Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attacks. Thus did the Bush administration disunite its nation and forfeit its mandate.

For India to lash out at a Pakistan that was not complicit in the Mumbai crimes against humanity, but harbors elements within that are guilty and are celebrating, would be as great a mistake.

India and Pakistan both have a vital interest in no new war.

But a new war is exactly what the terrorists killed for and died for.

Should it come, they win -- and enter history as revolutionary terrorists alongside Princip and the perpetrators of 9-11.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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