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Trains are blowing up in India
July 11, 2006 10:03 AM   Subscribe

135 or more dead, 7 blasts, terrorists to blame
posted by bmpetow (91 comments total)

 
Awful.

Is it reasonable to assume it's related?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:09 AM on July 11, 2006


"terrorists to blame", eh?

isn't that sort of like saying "man dies of knife wound; stabbing to blame."
posted by saulgoodman at 10:11 AM on July 11, 2006


There's an old, and exceedingly bitter, Jewish joke where reports of a child murder are spreading through the ghetto. If the dead child is Christian, it will certainly bring about a horrible pogrom, as Jews were usually blamed for the murderof Christian babies. Finally, a messenger comes along, crying out "Good news! he murdered child is Jewish!"

I say this to preface my next comment: As unspeakably terrible as this event is, I am still relieved that it didn't take place in the United States, because the last round of terrorists attacks encouaraged weak, incompetent, and selfsh politicians to do such terrible thing that I cannot bear to think wat would come with a new terrorist attack on America.

That being said, my heart goes out to the victims of this attack, and their families.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:12 AM on July 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


That being said, my heart goes out to the victims of this attack, and their families.

.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:16 AM on July 11, 2006


What Astro Zombie said.

Plus, some geographical info in a post like this would be nice. The first thing I thought when I saw this was that it was in the US, and I was like "oh no, not another war."

I realize that others might have thought it was in their own country, as well. My point is that the feeling you get after you first think "Oh good, it wasn't in my country" is pretty shitty.
posted by illovich at 10:18 AM on July 11, 2006


Crap, we spent most of December 2005 in Bombay, wonderful people, absolutely the best holiday ever. Ironic thing is we usually go to Cairo for our winter break but last year avoided Egypt due to street demonstrations and violence as folks there were protesting recent elections. Crap. This is just too too horrible.
posted by Mutant at 10:18 AM on July 11, 2006


ironic/terrible how a post like that puts EVERYONE on their toes, regardless of their location, nationality, etc.

It is a true risk/threat to EVERYONE.
posted by bmpetow at 10:24 AM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by matematichica at 10:24 AM on July 11, 2006


I hope there's no rioting. Astro Zombie: in the USA politicians use terrorists as an excuse to kill other country's people. In India politicians use religious tensions to stand by as massacres of their own minorities take place so they can get the vote of the 'right'.
posted by Firas at 10:25 AM on July 11, 2006


the articles I am reading are not painting a pretty picture

"limbs everywhere"

"people jumped and were hit by trains"
posted by bmpetow at 10:27 AM on July 11, 2006


Ditto what Astro Zombie said.

Also, shouldn't we just be expecting more of this? I have to tell you, building explosives is ridiculously easy, the materials are very easy to get and inexpensive, and this (the US) is a big and empty enough country that you can build and test in near total secrecy.

With all the insane militia and radical groups, along with the terrorists, I'm amazed that this stuff doesn't happen here with fritghtening regularity.

As a mental exercise in the mid 80s, some friends and I tried to figure out how many people it would take to wreak untold havoc on the country. We came up with 20 people, strangely enough.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by caddis at 10:31 AM on July 11, 2006


A link to Al Qaida
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13815413/
posted by bmpetow at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2006


With all the insane militia and radical groups, along with the terrorists, I'm amazed that this stuff doesn't happen here with fritghtening regularity.

It does, sort of.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:39 AM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by bshort at 10:46 AM on July 11, 2006


With all the insane militia and radical groups, along with the terrorists, I'm amazed that this stuff doesn't happen here with fritghtening regularity.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:30 AM PST



Back about April 15th in the mid 1990's, I walked into a federal building. Greeted with flack jackets and M16s. (Never seen that before) As I walk in I see 3 paramedics around a guy who's in a pool of blood and around the paramedics is a ring of medical waste (wrappers, used gloves et la). Told to move along by guy with gun. On every floor, guys in flack jackets and M16s.

Outside - 2 local TV station trucks.


Ya know what? Not a word on TV or in the paper. And I checked, because I wanted to know what the story was behind what I've seen.


So it could be happening, just not being reported.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:49 AM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:49 AM on July 11, 2006


I knew the group would be linked to Al Qaida would surface soon. Without that link, this is merely a spat over land. With the link, it is part of the global war on terrorism. It is in the best interest of many to connect dots where they might not necessary not be dots. Not saying the guy in bmpetow's link isn't on Osama's buddy list, but it makes for convenient political rhetoric and the US media loves tying in the terrorist angle.

My thoughts are with those who lost friends and family today. I hope this doesn't escalate things further between Pakistan and India over Kashmir. Or fuck things up for Kashmiris any more than they already are.
posted by birdherder at 10:51 AM on July 11, 2006


ironic/terrible how a post like that puts EVERYONE on their toes

Nah, we're still going to see Pirate Of The Caribbean this afternoon.
posted by mischief at 10:52 AM on July 11, 2006


As someone that doesn't follow India closely, is it obvious that this is about Kasimir, or are there other plausible motivations? Could this be about India's recent nuclear deal with the U.S., or some other issue?
posted by gsteff at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2006


A link to Al Qaida

Actually, the headline over there is Possible al-Qaida link to India train attacks and the article goes on to say that "Indian intelligence believes the attacks... might be the work of Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian Muslim with ties to al-Qaida."

This sort of language pisses me off. Basically, no one knows anything for sure yet, but we're wasting absolutely no time in associating the event with (and in the public perception, blaming it on) the all-purpose bogeyman of al-Qaida.

This manner of speech and thought is not helpful. Depending on how one defines "ties," one could say that literally millions of people "have ties to al-Qaida." It serves no purpose to do so. This type of language over-simplifies a complex situation, making al-Qaida look more cohesive and more powerful than it really is. This rhetorical approach is just a way of keeping the general pubic scared and supporting the ridiculous, impossible "War On Terror."
posted by Western Infidels at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2006


Last year, the London train bombings were the only thing on TV all morning. This barely rated two minutes on the noon news.
posted by EarBucket at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2006


Remember that terrorist attack is an instrument used to provoke

a) attention : nothing draws attention more then an invisible gun you think it is constantly being pointed at you.
b) obsessive fear : it is captivating expecially on particularly suggestible minds
b) reaction, possibily a knee-jerk one or plausible excuse for a violent reaction : like a "counter"-attack
c) outcry for protection : it's a mafia style. First I hit you, then if you do good I will protect you from me hitting you.

One of the way of reducing these effect is

a) negating mass dramatization and spectacularization, while not negating report of events as if nothing happened
b) negating knee-jerk reactions like "bomb this and that" or "not do this and that" , negating as much as possible fear-based powers
c) accepting the fact no law, restriction will ever stop a determined man from doing what he wants, including killing thousand
d) remember that, as ridicule as it may look like, is extremely more likely to die or be seriously injuried in a car accident then in a terrorist attack
posted by elpapacito at 11:04 AM on July 11, 2006


Using such a disaster to push political opinions is weak Astro. Just because you tossed your disclaimer at the end doesnt mean its A-OK.
posted by Addiction at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2006


rough ashlar: Ya know what? Not a word on TV or in the paper. And I checked, because I wanted to know what the story was behind what I've seen. So [attacks by domestic militia and radical groups] could be happening, just not being reported.

I have no explanation for your story, but I really doubt that events of any magnitude could be effectively hushed up today, with internet-connected camera phones everywhere.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:07 AM on July 11, 2006


Ya know what? Not a word on TV or in the paper. And I checked, because I wanted to know what the story was behind what I've seen.

So it could be happening, just not being reported.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:49 PM EST on July 11 [+fave] [!]


Are you talking about the Oklahoma City bombing?

I know random wackjob-type stuff happens all the time, but I was actually referring to OK City level bombings.

But seeing what's happening in India makes me wonder when we'll see a nuclear attack in a Western city. 10yrs? 20yrs? These guys would use it if they had it, don't you think?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:07 AM on July 11, 2006


So the scorecard: seven bombs go off in the space of four hours. Well planned, highly coordinated attacks centered on a) the Indian rail system, which is to India what airplanes are to the US - the single most vital piece of logistical infrastructure and b) Mumbai/Bombay which is to India what the World Trade Center is (was) to the US.

It seems to me that a) this thing positively reeks of Al Qaeda, and if its not directly them its almost certainly someone who learned from them and b) terrorists seem to be only increasing in the scale, scope, and sophistication.
posted by ChasFile at 11:09 AM on July 11, 2006


.

Horrendous. So this makes Madrid, London, and Bombay trains so far, no?
posted by amberglow at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2006


not to mention, CNN is now reporting 8 bombs detonated, 1 defused...up 1 from 7
posted by bmpetow at 11:11 AM on July 11, 2006


(and they've upped the security here in the subways as a result)
posted by amberglow at 11:12 AM on July 11, 2006


If the perpetrators were Muslim, there's going to be a link to Al Qaeda, expressed or implied. In India there's a good chance the perps were Muslim. The Al Qaeda link doesn't really mean anything, though.
posted by OmieWise at 11:13 AM on July 11, 2006


what an utterly fucked-up thing to do
posted by pyramid termite at 11:18 AM on July 11, 2006


Addiction: Using such a disaster to push political opinions is weak...

The only people "using such a disaster to push political opinions" are the people who built, planted, and triggered the bombs.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:18 AM on July 11, 2006


amberglow: really? I just checked and the TAL is stuck on yellow. I'm not disputing, in fact, I'd almost expect it to rise in reponse to this.
posted by boo_radley at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2006


ChasFile writes "terrorists seem to be only increasing in the scale, scope, and sophistication."

Uh you wanted to remember 9/11 ? It's hard to do anything bigger then that, handful of bombs PALE in comparison to the spectacular shock-n-awe aspect of 9/11. Also it -appears- to be an increasing phenomenon primarily if not only because the attetion is focused on anything "terrorist" related.

Obviously an older and/or more acute observer remember the IRA years, the Anni di Piombo of Red Brigades in Italy ..that's 30 more years old stuff...not mentionig south america widespread terror tacticques.
posted by elpapacito at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2006


Does no one in the Muslim world realize that they are spelling the worldwide persecution and possible destruction of Islam in its entirety?

I ask this question in utter seriousness, because I think it's worth discussion: Will Muslims become the new Jews?
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:22 AM on July 11, 2006


amberglow: really? I just checked and the TAL is stuck on yellow. I'm not disputing, in fact, I'd almost expect it to rise in reponse to this.
posted by boo_radley at 2:19 PM EST on July 11 [+fave] [!]


The TAL is at yellow because there aren't any subways in any contested house districts. I'm not making a joke.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:22 AM on July 11, 2006


OmieWise writes "If the perpetrators were Muslim, there's going to be a link to Al Qaeda, expressed or implied. In India there's a good chance the perps were Muslim. The Al Qaeda link doesn't really mean anything, though."

A link to Pakistan is a link to Al Qaeda. Pakistan is the spiritual and logistical center of Islamic terrorism right now.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:23 AM on July 11, 2006


Allah is better than Krishna. So let's kill some innocent people to prove it. Shit.
posted by kozad at 11:25 AM on July 11, 2006


Question: Why do we really care about staying neutral in the Kashmir dispute? Let's just say it belongs to Pakistan, do a bunch of other nice shit for Pakistan to make their people like us. Then it will be easy for Musharraf to finally admit he knows where bin Laden is.

I'm sure it would piss the Indians off, but they don't seem like the kind of folks willing to kill random innocents for fun.
posted by b_thinky at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2006


elpapacito: Uh you wanted to remember 9/11 ? It's hard to do anything bigger then that, handful of bombs PALE in comparison to the spectacular shock-n-awe aspect of 9/11. Also it -appears- to be an increasing phenomenon primarily if not only because the attetion is focused on anything "terrorist" related.

If the plane crashed of 9/11 had happened 90 minutes later, the death toll could have been 30,000, not 3000. Those buildings held 50,000 people, most of whom hadn't arrived at work yet when the planes struck. Part of the shock of it in the US was an understanding of how spectacularly worse it could have been, but for some airline flight schedules.

And I'd forgetten about all the terrorism in S.A...
posted by Pastabagel at 11:27 AM on July 11, 2006


ironic/terrible how a post like that puts EVERYONE on their toes, regardless of their location, nationality, etc.

It is a true risk/threat to EVERYONE.


Sure is. Sure always was before too, and always has been. Ain't skeered anymore know than I was before (fear ain't the American way). Hope that's okay with you, bmpetow and all the other nervous nellies.

I like how inevitably the first place some people go when they hear about things like this is "But what does this mean for how secure I feel!?!"
posted by saulgoodman at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2006


I feel secure, thanks saulgoodman.

Just reiterating that the threat is real.
Fear is not the American way, but compassion and understanding for the victims is, just like the emotions part of the world felt for us after 9/11
posted by bmpetow at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2006


"A link to Pakistan is a link to Al Qaeda."

Well, yes and no. I guess what I was trying to suggest is that at this point it's in everyone's interest, except for people who care about what gets done in their name, to ascribe this to Al Qaeda. It's good for Al Q, and it's good for war on a noun hawks. One doesn't have to have all Muslim terror be Al Qaeda terror to combat it, however, and it may actually get in the way.
posted by OmieWise at 11:31 AM on July 11, 2006


bmpetow: couldn't agree more.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:35 AM on July 11, 2006


I'm not disputing, in fact, I'd almost expect it to rise in reponse to this.

Here in NYC they've elevated the security presence on trains and subways.

But here's my main complaint: the lack of immediate security increases. It was the total lack of effective preparedness and response that made 9/11 so painful, made stunningly manifest by the infamous seven minutes GWB sat paralyzed in a kindergarten classroom while the nation it was his solemn charge to defend was under attack.

I mean, when that first bomb goes off, the trains need to STOP. People need to be evacuated off them NOW. Increasing security 8 hours after the attack probably won't save lives. Doing it 8 minutes after the first attack probably will. That didn't happen. There were similar problems in London and in Madrid and in NYC.

It seems to me that if I were in charge of Homeland Security or its analogue, the very first thing I would do is install a motherfucking PANIC button. Pressing it would immediately bring whatever was under attack to a halt of its ordinary activity, would transfer control of said target to military/government officials trained to handle them, IMMEDIATELY start a civilian evacuation, and get every available National Gaurdsman, police officer, and EMT to the site, along with a single, centralized command and control authority that would arrive in a mobile command center with enough fucking antenas on it to broadcast Happy Days to Jupiter. You know, a goddam PANIC BUTTON.

As far as I can tell, nobody - not Madrid, not London, not Mumbai, not NYC - had such a button. NYC is building one, but you'd think almost five years into the 'post-9/11' era more governments would have this done by now, and would not continue to allow its citizens to board commuter trains two and three and four HOURS after the first bomb went off.
posted by ChasFile at 11:37 AM on July 11, 2006


Pastabagel writes "If the plane crashed of 9/11 had happened 90 minutes later, the death toll could have been 30,000, not 3000"

Possibly. It depends on how you measure spectacular..some use death tolls, some use size of what exploded, some other do a 1-whathappened and see that 0.90 could have happened ! Also if an assteroid hit the planet, we all would be vaporized. Yet what, if the sun exploded the whole friggin solar system would be wiped out in a snap.
posted by elpapacito at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2006


OmieWise writes "I guess what I was trying to suggest is that at this point it's in everyone's interest, except for people who care about what gets done in their name, to ascribe this to Al Qaeda. "

Yeah, yeah good points. Of course it's mostly a matter of semantics, and what one means by "a link". I don't think anyone would argue that today's Al Qaeda is a top-down command and control organization, so it's not as if these attacks have been ordered by Osama bin Laden or something. But there's a degree of philosophical influence and inspiration, and some of the terrorists of Dawood Ibrahim likely were taught in the same schools as terrorists who are nominally Al Qaeda.

My point with the link to Pakistan is that the Pakistani government needs to institute the rule of law in its Western regions, and clean the fanatics the fuck out of there. Which maybe they're not totally enthusiastic about doing.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2006


Better there than here? Maybe.
Let's not let the body politic off the hook too easily, either. the majority of elections are decided by the people.

poor Bombay.
posted by Busithoth at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2006


on preview, mr_roboto, remember that when you hit the fanatics hard, they spread like water.
posted by Busithoth at 11:44 AM on July 11, 2006


Just reiterating that the threat is real.

The threat is real, but highly unlikely. Everybody should not be put on their toes by this, any more than any other terrible and unlikely event that results in lots of deaths.
posted by moonbiter at 11:44 AM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by russilwvong at 11:45 AM on July 11, 2006


Obviously an older and/or more acute observer remember the IRA years, the Anni di Piombo of Red Brigades in Italy ..that's 30 more years old stuff...not mentionig south america widespread terror tacticques.

Obviously terror tactics are nothing new. A really old observer might remember Guy Fawkes, or Achilles' sack of the temple of Apollo.

I was merely making the point that this particular tactic - using a country's own logistical infrastructure to attack its financial center - is on the increase, both in its scope and sophistication. And though 9/11 might have been more awesome, I think it would be difficult to seriously argue that 20 guys with box cutters were more sophisticated than an attacker who can build (largely) undetectable explosives, plant them, and have them all go off over a wide geographic area with enough simultaneity that effective response and mitigation was difficult, if not impossible.
posted by ChasFile at 11:47 AM on July 11, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "I am still relieved that it didn't take place in the United States, because the last round of terrorists attacks encouaraged weak, incompetent, and selfsh politicians to do such terrible thing that I cannot bear to think wat would come with a new terrorist attack on America."

Yeah, much better that it inflame tensions between two nuclear-armed rival nations that have already fought three wars. 'Cause that couldn't have any negative consequences.

It's also great that there aren't any selfish, incompetent politicians in India that might take advantage of a terrorist attack to inflame nationalist feelings or religious rivalries. And if there were, at least the people dying in the subsequent riots won't be Americans.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:48 AM on July 11, 2006


Will Muslims become the new Jews?

Perhaps the analogy can be made in the regions where Muslims are a small and distinct minority, but their overall numbers, resources, and religious structure (i.e., not tied specifically to heritage) make it a very different game in the broader scope.
posted by kittyprecious at 11:52 AM on July 11, 2006


It's also great that there aren't any selfish, incompetent politicians in India that might take advantage of a terrorist attack to inflame nationalist feelings or religious rivalries

Oh...like Bal Thackeray?
posted by vacapinta at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2006


Plus, some geographical info in a post like this would be nice. The first thing I thought when I saw this was that it was in the US, and I was like "oh no, not another war."

I just assumed it was Iraq. I mean, this type of thing seems to happen just about every week over there.
posted by delmoi at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2006


When I first heard of this, I thought how the Shiv Sena had protested on Sunday and I suspected they may have planted the bombs to restart a campaign of anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing. I fear for my loved one in Bombay as I suspect this is going to be worse than Gujurat 2001 or the communal riots of 1993. Whether or not the BJP/RSS is behind this, you better believe that the Hindu right will slaugher many more Muslims tomorrow than died on the trains today.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:07 PM on July 11, 2006


Isn't this just another case of brown people killing other brown people? If so, then what's the big deal?

Pffft... best of the web, my ass!

/ demands more YouTube links
// not really
/// .
posted by C.Batt at 12:38 PM on July 11, 2006


ChasFile writes "I think it would be difficult to seriously argue that 20 guys with box cutters were more sophisticated than an attacker who can build (largely) undetectable explosives,"

I guess that you are measuring sophistication by the ingenuity , synchronization of effort and other parameters that should reflect a certain level of cultural and tactical preparation ; by that mean the guys with boxcutters certainly don't look sophisticated at all. Yet consider that 9/11 was also obtained by exploiting the necessarily open nature of transportation system and an important financial center of the city, wall Street afaik, was halted for a while.

Certainly the means are more sophisticated then boxcutter, yet that doesn't mean they didn't use off the shelf weaponry as the fact that making a bomb isn't that hard doesn't imply it is _factually_ done easily by everybody ; while almost anybody can detonate a bomb, either remotely or by lighting it. Further proof one doesn't need a supercriminal mastermind a-la James Bond is that most people in Army isn't exactly an engineer.
posted by elpapacito at 12:44 PM on July 11, 2006


A link to Pakistan is a link to Al Qaeda.

It's true. That guy A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who was selling nuclear weapons technology on the black market? "A.Q." stands for Al Qaeda.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:45 PM on July 11, 2006


Bringing up Al Qaeda is just the recent trend. Dawood Ibrahim sounds lot more plausible. He's the one held responsible for the Bombay bomb blasts that occured in 1993, and killed 300+.
posted by Gyan at 12:46 PM on July 11, 2006


As far as I can tell, nobody - not Madrid, not London, not Mumbai, not NYC - had such a button. NYC is building one, but you'd think almost five years into the 'post-9/11' era more governments would have this done by now, and would not continue to allow its citizens to board commuter trains two and three and four HOURS after the first bomb went off.

Well, if three million people take the trains, bridges, and tunnels to work in New York every day, and you shut them down for two hours, you will have squandered 60 million man hours, or about 100 human lives. A lot of shorthand and guesstimates went into those calculations, of course, but don't install a fucking panic button on my account. I have a life to lead, and I don't need some jackass bureaucrat shutting down the goddamn city any time it looks like things may be slightly more dangerous than usual.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2006


Kwantsar writes "I have a life to lead, and I don't need some jackass bureaucrat shutting down the goddamn city any time it looks like things may be slightly more dangerous than usual."

I think the idea is that you only use the panic button after a bomb actually goes off, or a plane hits a building. This makes a lot of sense in the context of the recent terrorist strategy to use multiple, closely spaced attacks.

As you point out, it would be insanity to use it for every "suspicious package".
posted by mr_roboto at 12:52 PM on July 11, 2006


I think the idea is that you only use the panic button after a bomb actually goes off, or a plane hits a building. This makes a lot of sense in the context of the recent terrorist strategy to use multiple, closely spaced attacks.

Of course. If it existed in NY, would it have been pushed since 9/11? Yesterday, when the building on the UES blew up? Today, when the Mumbai trains blew up? Would it stop railcars (ahem) in their tracks?

I suppose that I'm not really sure what it would accomplish.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:36 PM on July 11, 2006


I remember reading an account of the 1995 Tokyo sarin attacks and being baffled/startled by the fact that the subway system kept running for many, many hours after the first victims were reported. (I was just Googling for some more concrete numbers but couldn't immediately find anything.) That would seem to be a situation where a "panic button" could be good.
posted by staggernation at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2006


All a panic button would do is allow terrorists to cause considerably more damage and chaos with just one bomb. Less loss of life, though.
posted by graventy at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2006


Western Infidels: Depending on how one defines "ties," one could say that literally millions of people "have ties to al-Qaida."
---
Seven Degrees of Osama?
posted by symbioid at 2:31 PM on July 11, 2006


They're saying it might be Laksha something--a Pakistani group.
posted by amberglow at 3:07 PM on July 11, 2006


a Panic Button is asinine anywhere you have tunnels or underground tracks. It's far better to get people to the next station or aboveground, and not just immediately shut things down.
posted by amberglow at 3:09 PM on July 11, 2006


Lashkar-e-Toiba
posted by amberglow at 3:18 PM on July 11, 2006


amberglow writes "It's far better to get people to the next station or aboveground, and not just immediately shut things down."

I think you're taking the "Panic Button" metaphor a bit too literally. It's more of a response protocol than a physical mechanism. I don't think it would stop everything dead in the tracks; it would just initiate evacuation procedures throughout the system. You definitely want to get everyone out if you think there might be more bombs coming....
posted by mr_roboto at 3:20 PM on July 11, 2006


It was probably Ann Coulter.

Least to read all you folks rants when she's mentioned.
posted by HTuttle at 5:16 PM on July 11, 2006


I think it's kind of cute that someone of HTuttle's age can develop a crush on a celebrity like that.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2006


The Pirates Of The Caribean movie was fairly good, and the theater did not explode.
posted by mischief at 6:22 PM on July 11, 2006


Thank goodness terrorists are an such a homogenous hive minded group conducive to blanket statements and blame, otherwise I'd swear the news I read these days sounds like it was written with the sophistication of a high school politics paper.
posted by Alex404 at 6:59 PM on July 11, 2006


.
posted by moonbird at 7:19 PM on July 11, 2006


Oh thank God mischief is still alive! You risk-taking fool, never leave home again!
posted by graventy at 7:48 PM on July 11, 2006


I was in Mumbai on Sunday. I'm now in Pune, a city around 100 miles to the east. I saw the local news coverage of this here, just after it happened. One thing I thought was interesting was that they had a number for people to MMS images and video from the scene, so the first images I saw were video from camera phones. Really terrible. As reports were coming in, they weren't cleaning things up for mass consumption, so the pictures were pretty grisly. It seems like local people were very quick to go in and help out with the dead and wounded.

I haven't ridden that train line, but I've seen those commuter trains, and they are *packed*. I'm actually shocked (and happy) that more people weren't killed. There are literally millions of people that ride those trains every day. I'm sure that they are still dealing with the logistical nightmare of getting people where they need to go, and that many people were stranded places overnight.

I'm a software guy from Connecticut visiting India for a month, mostly for work. It usually easy to hear about this sort of thing and think "but that is so far away," and forget about. It is strange when it is so close. I just got in, so I haven't had a chance to talk to my Indian co-workers about this, but I'm interested to hear what they have to say about it.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:56 PM on July 11, 2006


I haven't ridden that train line, but I've seen those commuter trains, and they are *packed*. I'm actually shocked (and happy) that more people weren't killed.

They sure are packed! Worse than shoulder-to-shoulder, these trains are full-body-contact sardine tins. Presumably, those packed in closest to the bombs would have absorbed a large proportion of each blast.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:32 PM on July 11, 2006


a Panic Button is asinine anywhere you have tunnels or underground tracks. It's far better to get people to the next station or aboveground, and not just immediately shut things down.

Well what were you picturing, they're just gonna stop it in the middle of the subway tunnel and have people walk the rest of the way out? I don't think anyone was suggesting that either.

I think any way the authorities set it up, people are going to find faults. That's not to say we're doing enough right now, just that if you shut everything down people are going to complain about the economic cost, or "crying wolf" or whatever, and if you don't shut everything down and do a sweep afterward, you open yourself up to other criticisms.

Short of metal detectors and armed guards on every subway platform, I'm not sure there's a "right" way to deal with this kind of threat.
posted by Alexandros at 10:36 PM on July 11, 2006


The death toll now stands at 190. I notice that all of the bombs were placed in first-class compartments, presumably due to easy access, easy exit and lack of observation. Ironically, this may helped reduced the death toll somewhat, as those second-class compartments are *extremely* packed.
posted by Gyan at 11:51 PM on July 11, 2006


Here's the bitter truth. There is no level of security that can ever be applied that will ever make the planet safe. Anyone who has ever worked in transportaion or moved any amount cargo or freight fully understands this. These systems are enormous and yet so critical to the functioning of modern society that there is, quite simply, no way to ever secure them. All these metal detectors and security checks are just so much posturing. They are meaningless from a global perspective, especially so in the Third World.

The news just now from India shows massive morning lineups of displaced people, all waiting for trains along the very same line that was just bombed. When internet dipsticks start pontificating on the merits of various panic buttons or systems for shutting down infrastructures such as subway systems or trains worldwide at any sign of mayhem , truly terrorism has finally prevailed.

It's terribly depressing to witness.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:30 AM on July 12, 2006


I'm not sure -- is it just far away or is that it's India. Remember that Japanese gas attack on the Subway? That got the front cover of Time and was pretty well covered.

This too was another attack on free, democratic society, most probably by intolerant, non-human scum that hate societies like that.

I'm not sure who really owns Kashmir, but I can be sure that it's just not a good thing for it to go back to the radical forces that try to undermine its freedom.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:47 AM on July 12, 2006


It seems like local people were very quick to go in and help out with the dead and wounded.
Totally--CNN Int'l had a ton on that--people who lived nearby were even throwing towels and sheets out their windows to help--the sheets were used as stretchers. And many shopkeepers immediately left and ran to help people.

Short of metal detectors and armed guards on every subway platform, I'm not sure there's a "right" way to deal with this kind of threat.
The smart way is to realize that open systems can never be secured and to plan accordingly. Subway turnstiles already look like metal detectors, so why aren't they? And why aren't there chemical sniffers on platforms? There are many unobstrusive things that can be done, but the authorities always go for the least effective and most visible.
posted by amberglow at 9:43 AM on July 12, 2006


op-ed, NYT: ... Despite the long history of sporadic violence, Mumbai has always picked itself up by its bootstraps and marched off to work as soon as the trains started working again. Our ability to jeer at misfortune is attributed in the Indian press to the “spirit of Bombay,” which is variously described as “indomitable,” “never say die” and “undying.” But our spirit has been saluted so frequently of late, all the praise was beginning to annoy me.

Before I left the office Tuesday evening, I finished a magazine article complaining that this illogical faith in Bombay’s innate resilience had the unfortunate consequence of absolving the city’s administrators of the responsibility of actually fixing our problems. No matter how bad things get, they seem to suggest, we have an infinite capacity to cope.
...
Stories of exceptional selflessness have flooded in all evening. One came from my friend Aarti, who was in one of the trains on which a bomb went off. As she jumped out of her compartment, she saw streams of slum dwellers from the bleak shanties along the tracks rushing toward the train with bed sheets. They knew that there would be no stretchers to be found and were offering their threadbare cottons to be used as hammocks to carry victims away.

Perhaps the newspapers have it right after all. An anguished night has fallen over Mumbai, but when the city eventually sleeps it will do so secure in the knowledge that its spirit is unbroken, that it is, exactly like the myth has it, indomitable and undying. ...

posted by amberglow at 1:14 PM on July 12, 2006


Deafening silence in the blogosphere
posted by homunculus at 4:48 PM on July 12, 2006


The Pakistan connection
posted by homunculus at 7:21 PM on July 12, 2006


India warns Pakistan over terror
posted by homunculus at 5:45 PM on July 14, 2006


Nobody's claimed responsibility?
posted by russilwvong at 9:41 PM on July 14, 2006


First arrests for Mumbai bombings
posted by homunculus at 11:27 PM on July 20, 2006


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