Foreign Policy India Pakistan

These Enemies of Civilization

Asif Ali Zardari on the terrorists of Mumbai:

The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization.

That’s the perfect use of a martyred wife as a political attack from a defensive position. But the fact that Zardari felt the need to make this point – in an op-ed for The New York Times no less – demonstrates the tenuousness of the India-Pakistan relationship, and the degree to which pressure by America is responsible for the current lack of open hostilities.

Foreign Policy National Security Politics

Middle-Class Murmers

In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, Somini Sengupta of The New York Times reported:

…there were countless condemnations of how democracy had failed in this, the world’s largest democracy. Those condemnations led Vir Sanghvi, a columnist writing in the financial newspaper Mint, to remind his readers of 1975, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed emergency rule. Mr. Sanghvi wrote, “I am beginning to hear the same kind of middle-class murmurs and whines about the ineffectual nature of democracy and the need for authoritarian government.”

I’m not sure what to make of the fact that Indians began to question their government – and indeed democracy itself – as a result of these attacks while in the aftermath of September 11, Americans rallied around our government and our president and ignored the obvious indications of incompetence.

But it certainly is significant.