Thursday, December 4, 2008


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.


  1. There are problems with your analysis.

    The "blue" state metro areas (New York, Chicago, DC, etc...) have disarmed their citizens. Only the police and criminals are armed. Until the police show up the attackers have no resistance. Even in "red" state metros most citizens are unarmed.

    Across our land we have so-called "Gun Free Zones." Hospitals, government buildings, schools are most often placed in this category. They are soft targets. No guns. Attackers would have no initial resistance here, either.

    In Los Angeles two men armed with automatic weapons and body armor could have killed dozens or more if that had been their intent. As it was they caused 17 casualties in their escape.

    All 40 persons aboard Flight 93 died as a direct result of their heroic actions. Even in their failure, the terrs killed those 40 people.

    In the end, the terrs do not anticipate living through their attack. The lone surviving terr in Mumbai and the 19 terrs from 911 testify to that. They wish to cause as much death and mayhem as possible until they are themselves sent to Paradise.

    That is the counter to your item's point. That an attack will occur is a certainty. The terrs themselves have said they are coming. What sort of attack they will use is the question. We simply can't rule out small teams of AK and grenade toting terrs rolling through our soft targets in a coordinated series of attacks.

    We are better armed than India or other disarmed nations, but we aren't armed well enough to not suffer high death lists.

  2. Arms are not armor, Steve; there is no certainty that in removing bad guys when they try to harm us, we will not suffer losses. That's the lesson of Flight 93.

    Yes, many of the larger cities (and a few of the nannier states) forbid or severely restrict citizens carrying guns; but fewer every year. And, perhaps, fewer as the evidence mounts that being disarmed is an invitation to malefactors.

  3. Your point about the British mentality is correct, but it is creeping into American mentality. Fighting back is a "man-bites-dog" story. Ever heard of Berhard Goetz? And the still-continuing debate over his excessive and antisocial behavior? But can you name a single NYC mugger from the last 200 years? I'll wager not, because they were simply doing what muggers are supposed to do.

    In England, and increasingly in the US, criminal behavior is viewed as an ordinary crime against individuals; fighting back is viewed as an extraordinary trespass on the prerogative of the state to maintain order. The latter is viewed as a greater threat to the state, and is thus being sold as a greater threat to society.

    As far as Flight 93, that was one of four planes. The terrorist's plan relied on the passivity of the passengers of each plane, and it worked. On each plane, four men with boxcutters were able to murder hundreds of passengers who did what society now expects and sat still expecting help.

  4. i was thinking the same thing about LA -- two guys with AKs did already do some damage. irrespective of their intent, the immediate police response was containment, and it did not go so well. the situations, as steve pointed out, are actually very similar.

    however. occam's razor insists that i point out that that was then, this is now, and the failure to prevent most of those 17 casualties was strictly tactical: they didn't have rifles in their patrol cars.

    armed with inferior firepower, they got in the way anyways, and took casualties themselves doing so. for all the crap that cops pull, these specific responders can at least be regarded as men.

    show me where any indian did anything whatsoever in response to these recent attacks.

    today, metro police everywhere have that much-needed rifle. problem solved.

  5. I'll offer two alternate words as a counterpoint for Steve in TN: Charles Whitman.

    Whitman did a one-man version of what the terrorists were doing in Mumbai. Yes, he killed many people but his death toll was stopped by civilians and police working together. Civilians with their own rifles engaged Whitman and kept him from shooting until the police could get up the tower to kill him.

    You don't see that happening in suburban America? I do. If there were active shooters wandering a soft target like a mall and the police weren't actively moving to engage them, I'll lay even odds that citizens would be gathering their own weapons before long.

    Such inaction by police in the face of what would be seen as a co-ordinated attack would simply not be tolerated. They might do more damage in places like NYC, Chicago or Washington DC where the populace is more used to be disarmed but in suburban Virginia and even Maryland, such attackers would not live long. Forget in the Midwest; it would be glorious suicide for them to even attempt it.

    Not saying they wouldn't but in the face of a multi-day, multi-pronged attack of similar nature to Mumbai here even in the most liberal cities, I would expect to see armed civilians helping out, police orders be damned.

  6. Can anyone here imagine a group of ten ordinary American police officers standing, cowed, behind building corners and simply watching such a slaughter?

    Umm, Columbine?

  7. Couple of points -

    1. Its already happened here. No, not 9/11. Last year, the Utah mall shooter. He got a Muslim hero's burial in Bosnia.

    2. The Indian attack wasn't a failure. They didn't kill 5,000 but they didn't need to accomplish their goal. And that was? To get into Muslim heaven quickly by killing infidelss (non-Muslims, thats you and me brother, sub-humans under Muslim law).

    But yes, neither the cops nor individual armed citizens would stand by and wait for the Commandos. But it would still be bloody, the attackers would get what they want (at least to a degree) and the American media and left-wing apolgists would still not identify the real enemy - Islam.

    See my proposal for dealing with that at -

  8. The problem with your analysis is that you equate these guys with criminals. In fact, they were well-trained, well-organized and committed unto death. The incident in Mumbai was a rehearsal for a similar event in Somewhere, USA. Worse, we have only to look at the attack on the school in Beslan to know just how bad this could be.

  9. If you want to know just how horrific an attack in this country could be, I have two words for you: Beslan, Russia.

  10. Steve in TN:

    PA has issued over 600,000 concealed carry permits, nearly 30,000 alone in the City of Brotherly Love, which votes overwhelmingly blue. We have nearly 1/12th of the nation's hunters, too, & our hunters are particularly active. Many live in the metro areas, too.

  11. One thing, and I may have missed this in the comments, is that Americans commonly break immoral laws. We don't talk about it much, but there are many Americans who carry in places where it isn't legal to do so. In some instances they carry in schools or hospitals on an in-and-out because they know they likely won't be caught, others carry their guns into work because the option of not carrying is worse than risking their job or jail. These Americans are often standup people as well. They might think "aw, crap!" but they will accept reality and deal with it. Others will risk their lives, unarmed, to move others out of harms way.

    Will there be some who run like rabbits? Yes, and a good thing too as for some (even most) it will be the very best thing they can do.

    As to the police officers/sheriffs deputies at Columbine and other schools "cowering" well there was a tactical issue there. They were TRAINED to do that. Now they are being trained to counter-attack (as they should have been trained to do) and that is more in keeping with the American psyche.

  12. Editor:
    Cops aren't soldiers. The tangoes were organized into two-man buddy teams, well-versed in fire and maneuver, and completely unafraid of the civil authorities. Theseweren't Columbine-style killers, these were men who received military training somewhere.

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