They’ve just announced on CNN that an Israeli rescue team is moving into Mumbai to attempt to free the group of hostages currently holed up in a Jewish community center. The group includes a Rabbi, his wife and two others, although that data is questionable and changing all the time.
While we still don’t know the reason for the attacks in Mumbai – which have involved ten different places around the city in an ongoing situation that is reaching 30 hours of violence – we do know that Israel is getting involved.
What does this mean for India, America, Israel, England and France, all of whom have been targeted in some way in these brutal attacks? While I understand not only the desire but also the duty of Israel to save its people at risk abroad, their entrance into the already volatile situation could send the terrorists spinning.
By entering India, Israel will virtually be taking on its ally, something rather unprecendented in these highly partisan times. Although it is suspected that the terrorists are from outside India, nothing has been confirmed. For now, the surface situation is one country entering an allied country to fight.
What will be the outcome and is Israel right in stepping in? Does duty overpower common sense? Should the lives of four be spared in order to keep the peace? While the rescue team will perhaps succeed in pulling out these hostages, it may not succeed in avoiding a real battle with the terrorist group currently in Mumbai. I don’t think these groups, who are willing to kill hundreds (as well as themselves) seemingly without motive, will let another country come in to fight its battle.
And when will these terrorist groups explain themselves? How many people will have to die before we know their purpose? And at what point does this war on terror become an actual war? If Israel and India have both signed an agreement to fight the war against terror, how does this play out when the two are fighting an assumed outside power in one of the two’s country? Normally when hostages are held, the attackers ask for ransom or make some sort of formal demand. But after more than a full day, they have done no such thing.
As I fall asleep tonight, I have a deep sense of dread for the outcome of this situation. If it can go on for 30 hours without any sort of appeasement, why not 50 or 100? I fear a full-scale war. And at what point will the U.S. stick its dirty little nose into the action? Perhaps Bush is washing his hands clean of any conflict before he leaves office, instead leaving Obama with all the dirty work.