The terror attack on the Indian city of Mumbai (or Bombay) of late November, 2008 is past and just now are some of the background facts starting to emerge from the fog of the war on the ground there.
One of the first things Americans might be inclined to ask, as are the pundits and journalists a-commenting apace, is whether the same attack can or will happen here.
I might as well cut to the chase and say "no".
There's no such thing as certainty, and a really bad judgment call on the part of a mid-level Al-Qaeda or other terror group manager might produce one anyway, but an open-air attack with small arms upon a metropolitan center? It would be hard to imagine anything stupider or more likely to fail.
There's one, simple, two-word refutation that could all by itself close down such a debate, but I shall save that for later.
The overwhelming characteristic of this attack was the dependence upon there being both an unarmed citizenry and an almost-unarmed, and unaggressive, local police and security apparatus. These attackers knew full well they faced no opposition whatsoever, a concept fully borne out in the real-life results. They were able to land, advance, control territory, move freely, and command local conditions with veritable ease. There was no opposition. They had practically nothing to fear, in terms of the success of the terror attack.
Possibly the nadir of the Indian resistance to the attack came from the moment described in the now-famous words of the photographer on the scene who lamented that the police there did not draw or fire the weapons they had, despite his urging them explicitly to do so. Further, viewing some of the local video footage that's starting to get around, it can be seen that nearly all of the police on the scene were more likely to remain behind cover than to present themselves.
All this, against a paltry score of attackers. I assume that many, as opposed to the stories that concluded there were only ten, since the implausibility factor escalates too fast to keep up with.
Historian and small-arms expert Col. Jeff Cooper once wrote about the advent of the repeating pistol that a man armed with two Colt's was a squad-level problem within a hundred yards.
In the descriptions of the Mumbai attack, we are being given to believe that a policeman armed with a 15-shot Browning HP could not at least impede somewhat a two-man fire team distracted by dozens of onlookers in a screaming mob. The final evidence, on the videos and sprawled across the sidewalks, says that this was indeed so.
The totality of the stories coming out suggest that virtually no resistance was offered to the attackers at any level once they had completed their raid on the police headquarters and up until the time the federal "commandos" completed wiping out the attack (after, shockingly, days' worth of time gone by).
Furthermore, no evidence whatsoever has suggested that any non-official Indian offered any resistance, either.
Simply put, this wouldn't happen in America. The differences between the American culture and the pallid remants of the British world could hardly be more stark. Our sophisticated Brit friends have, since the horror of the Second World War, gone far down the path of disarmament, and the consequent emasculation of their society's will to survive through self-defense.
English intellectuals and politicians boast of how they've installed peace and safety across their part of the planet, most loudly by amplifying the power and importance of the State at the consequent expense of the power and importance of the citizen. In England as in India, the official line is that there is no need for self-defense, and that the State will provide all the protection the citizen needs. Whether it be by usurping the individual's ability to choose and use medical care, to gun bans so stringent as to bring tears of joy to the eyes of Marxists and statists across the Western world, down to the actual criminalization of that most basic human right, that of self-defense, the rise of the State has sucked the self-reliance out of the people and left them helpless in the face of evil.
Ask the average American if it should be a felony including life imprisonment for using strong, and potentially deadly, force to resist a violent criminal attack inside one's own home, and you will be met with a blank stare. Yet, that is the reality of the British (and Indian) mindset, and law. Strike a rapist in your bedroom with a baseball bat, and you may expect to do serious time in prison.
With that in mind, the pictures of hundreds of helpless- in their own minds- Indian citizens, civilian and official alike, begins to be somewhat more comprehensible, if no less appalling.
America has been well-saturated with the same statism and more of it continues to pour down upon American heads every day. Enough of the old Americanism remains, though, that even the haughtiest of urban elites would, upon being assaulted in the manner of Mumbai, be calling for a reply with force.
Can anyone here imagine a group of ten ordinary American police officers standing, cowed, behind building corners and simply watching such a slaughter? I doubt it. There may be tactical considerations, and some reasonable self-preservation making a degree of caution possible, but a two-man team with AKs and grenades would not last long even in a place like Los Angeles. Transplant that same situation into most of the rest of America, that beyond the deep-urban elites, and the conclusion of the attack would be swift, brutal, and total, and not in favor of the attackers.
Let those same terrorists figuratively come ashore in a place like Pennsylvania, Texas, or Wyoming, and the police would be arriving only in time to distribute body bags and take pictures.
There's a reason the United States has never been invaded since it emerged from its infancy: Americans have a culture that still, despite all of the modernization (especially since the Television Age), prizes the individual citizen, enough to not just allow, but insist that Joe and Jane Citizen are actively responsible for both their own safety and the safety of the society at large. The preamble to the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, so often misconstrued into nonsensical statist gibberish by intellectual leftists, clearly states that the purpose of the basic human right enumerated there is "the security of a free state".
Americans, on the whole, actually believe that, and believe that a free citizen is, as a part of his or her citizenship, charged with a certain amount of responsibility as a citizen to act towards the security of that free state. Indeed, one can imagine a pack of AK-wielding terrorists landing in boat upon the shore of Lake Michigan and wreaking some sort of death and destruction. But not for long, and should they have the temerity to go beyond the urban limits, they would be meeting their fates with shocking speed.
I promised the two-word proof to this attitude and here they are, still visible in the scarred forest floor of Shanksville, Pennsylvania: Flight 93.