Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Terrorist Deaths Over 100

The auhorities haven't fully secured Mumbai after a wave of terrorist attacks that evidently singled out Westerners and killed more than 100 people yesterday. Hostages are still being held, and anyone with immediate business-travel plans to Mumbai -- also widely known by its former name, Bombay -- really needs to carefully assess current conditions in that city.

By the way, I don't quite get why most of the media today are pointedly referring to the perpetrators as "militants," rather than "terrorists."

Evidently, the rationale is that various unnamed but learned authorities on known terrorist groups have never heard of the so-called Deccan Mujahedeen, which is what the terrorists who pulled off these coordinated attacks in Mumbai call themselves.

Dunno, but from my point of view, this parsing of nouns reflects an overall mistake we've made in bestowing standing on terrorists, as if terrorists are defined exclusively as enlisted, formerly sworn member of an official group -- a recognized army, of sorts -- and not as ideologically driven organized criminals who employ terror to achieve their goals -- which makes them "terrorists," in my English book.


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