Mumbai’s Aftermath: Euphemisms, Apologetics, and Double Standards Becloud War on Terrorism
The horrific slaughter in Mumbai of almost 200 innocents and injury of 300 more by terrorist commandos shouting “Allah Akbar!” has already been morphed by the international media into the murky realm of euphemism and apologetics. Al Jazeera and The Guardian label the Al Qaeda-associated Islamist terrorists responsible as “gunmen”; CNN calls them “militants.” Some analysts identified the underlying cause as the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. Others like renowned psychological guru Deepak Chopra concluded that it is the result of “collateral damage” caused by Washington’s war on terrorism and the US attack on Iraq.
But where then does the especially blood-thirsty attack on Mumbai’s Nariman-Chabad House fit into this puzzle palace? The New York Times theorized that Chabad House may have been an “accidental hostage scene.” This speculation follows in the ignominious footsteps of the BBC, which initially chose to hide the Jewish character of the target by describing it as just “an office building,” of Britain’s Channel 4, which claimed that the terrorists showed “a wanton disregard for race or creed,” and of Al Jazeera, which refused to show Chabad House as the site of the carnage. Some Western media outlets unsympathetically labeled victims there as “ultra-Orthodox” or “missionaries.” Finally, the Pakistan Times explained it all. Mumbai was “a false flag operation” by Israel’s Mossad agents disguised, apparently, as bearded rabbis and mothers nursing babies.