Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Leveraging terror

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 29, 2008

I made a point in a previous post that appears to have gotten obscured, and while I reiterated it in the comments earlier this evening, I subsequently saw another item (again via Instapundit) that seemed, in perhaps a somewhat roundabout way — to confirm it. Here’s what I said:

The terrorists “leveraged” Western victims in Mumbai. I use that term because 100 300 dead Westerners will have more impact in the West than probably many more hundreds of dead Indians. That is not how it ought to be, but look at what goes on in Africa, to the shock and horror of just about no one in America. Usually our thoughts are, if we notice such stories at all, “Well, those people are always killing each other over there.” It may be a less than ideal reaction, morally speaking, but I believe I am accurately describing the human condition, as I wrote last year when considering the “never again” myth.

So, now this:

And as Indian commandos ended the bloody 59-hour siege at the Taj yesterday by killing the last three Islamic gunmen, baby-faced Kasab was dispassionately detailing the background to the mayhem.

He described how its mastermind briefed the group to ‘target whites, preferably Americans and British’.

The direct victims of terror, really, are not the objects of the terrorism.  Rather the object is the survivors of terror.   But high-value survivors only yield the payoff if they notice, if they care, if terror scans on their screen at all.  Instapundit, tongue somewhat in cheek, grimly jokes that these Islamists weren’t just mass murderers, but — by modern lights — they were worse:  They were “racists”!

Of course they were, but, as I said above, that’s because, well, in a way, “we” are.


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