Sunday, July 16, 2006

NYTIMES gets it wrong...

There was a time when I read the New York Times with some awe and much respect. Then they hired Somini Sengupta. There are reporters who report an incident and quote people and do such reporter like stuff - and then there are reporters who feign as being reporters – but really think that they are some analysts who should put a spin on straight forward things so readers can take their hats off, slide their hands on their bald heads and go – rreeeeeeallllyyyyyyyy – now I get it!

She, unfortunately, falls into the second category.

Just look at her analysis in her article “India’s Prime Minister Scolds Pakistan”,

She says

"Despite the parallels of the Mumbai blasts to the London and Madrid bombings, there is widespread agreement in this country that the roots of India’s recent experience with terrorism are local, not global."

Really? Lets look at what we know:

There is irrefutable (or at least strong) proof that the Lashkar e Taiba (LET) and the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) are involved. She says so herself here. The world knows that LET has bases in Pakistan and SIMI gets help from them and extremist organization in Bangladesh. Hence if the bombers in the London train bombings get training from terror camps in Pakistan and go back to London – that’s global terrorism – but if Indian born SIMI activists get LET’s and other terror organization’s help with financial help from Riyadh and Kuwait in pulling of bombings of this magnitude in Mumbai – its local terrorism.

So is it India’s fault that the world’s sole wholesale supplier of terrorism is in its backyard?

Another case in point is in her introductory piece about the bombings ”Series of Bombs Explode on 7 Trains in India, Killing Scores”, she mentions:

"It would not be the first time that Kashmiri militant outfits, which India says enjoy the support of rival Pakistan, have struck on Indian soil. The most serious of them, an attack on the Indian Parliament in the capital, New Delhi, in December 2001, prompted a military standoff between the nuclear-armed neighbors. India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba."
If she did her research before writing, she would find that 99% terrorist acts have a Pakistani connection as proven by the Akshardham attacks.

While this attitude by the mainstream media in the US is not completely new or born with Mr. Sengupta and has followed what the official US position was till only a few years ago (more precisely before 9/11), it must be pointed out that the US has changed its policies – and has included any acts of terror by any organization as terrorism as pointed out by Wider War on Terror.

"One indication was the nature of the immediate statement of support for India from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She not only condemned the bombings and expressed sympathy for victims but said: "The US stands with India in the war on terror." This is significant because the US has previously not been inclined to include terrorist attacks in India, Israel or Russia as part of the overall war on terror."

Unfortunately, Ms. Sengupta has missed that memo. When asked, she would only express sympathy for the victims.

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