Monday, December 01, 2008


Death in Mumbai

The death toll in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which have dominated the news for days now, stands at 172. Of course those deaths were horrific. But two things are required to keep them in persepective.

First, hearkening back to my long-running series "What is Killing the People of the World?", we note that during the two-days (a somewhat arbitrary time frame) of the Mumbai seige, an estimated 8,000 people died worldwide from easily-preventable, easily-treatable water-borne diseases, due to lack of investment in public health. I don't know how many of those were in India, but it wouldn't surprise me if the number exceeded 172. And that's just one of many causes of wholesale death and misery every single day, not once in a blue moon like these spectacular terrorist attacks.

And second, we are told this entire operation, killing so many people and paralyzing one of the major cities of the world for days, was carried out by a grand total of ten people (with no doubt others behind the scenes buying weapons, etc., but still quite possibly not all that many in total). Which emphasizes the fact that there is no way such acts can be prevented with security measures or military invasions. Only going to the root causes of such actions can ultimately prevent them. And the biggest root cause of all, certainly not the only one but equally certainly the biggest, is U.S. foreign policy and imperialist domination of the world in general. And, unfortunately, there's no short-term prospect of significant changes in those areas, President-elect Obama's lip service to "diplomacy" notwithstanding.

Why stop here? There's more...

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