1. When a news program has the punchline “No bias no bull” , you can be assured there is only bias and bull. Wolf Blitzer’s prime time coverage of recent events was as full of bias and bull excreta as one can fear for. The predominant theme that WereWolf Blitzer kept harping on was these attacks were most probably committed by agents inside India (needless to say the full moon gives him visions of truth) and that Pakistan is innocent (but Al Qaeda, an agency that has no connection with the Pakistani administration may be connected). What India is saying is irrelevant as India’s knee jerk reaction is to blame Pakistan —however the US blaming Taliban (the then-government in Afghanistan) for 9/11 within hours was not knee-jerk of course. They know better.
Full prime-time coverage is provided for the Pakistani ambassador to the US and the Pakistani prime minister to do their “Ooooh-we-are-so-hurt” spin as the Werewolf throws up soft lobs to help them get the point across. And why is CNN so willing to push the Pakistan line? Well CNN gives it away themselves when the expert says that if Pakistan is occupied in a confrontation with India, that would be the worst thing that could happen to US interests.
Which once you think of it is fine.
After all CNN is an US channel and will think of US interests which is now aligned with Pakistan.
What that does not explain is the consistent theme throughout the evening to ask “How good are the Indian security forces?” with one host (not Werewolf) saying she was shocked to see how an Indian commando was firing at the Jewish center and how do we know “whose bullet” killed the Rabbi !
2. In the war of public perception, India is once again the loser. While CNN perhaps may not have even wanted to get the Indian point of view, seeing the Pakistani PM and Ambassador talk one had to grudgingly respect their ability to spin like Abdul Qadir and come up with a tone of mock sincerity which was almost convincing. In other words, they were doing their job good as did the kind General. The only soundbites emanating from India from an official source was our man Manmohan Singh staring into deep space, his voice trembling, speaking robot-like with all the menace of a benign grandfather gently admonishing you for breaking the corner of his thin arrowroot biscuits while serving tea. Not that the PM is expected to froth at the mouth and yell, but as an expression of the national mood, it was way short of the mark. To put it mildly.
3. India’s point is not that the Pakistan government planned the current attack. Perhaps they didnt and in ant case such a claim would be impossible to prove. The contention is that 1) Pakistani territory was used to plan and execute the attack and 2) that sections inside the administration, perhaps acting in their own capacity, or actors whose unmolested presence in Pakistan is proof positive of tacit official support, were the brain trusts behind the endeavor.This was exactly the kind of involvement that Taliban had in 9/11. Yet it was considered perfectly ok by the international community to hold the Taliban (and Afghanistan) responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center.
4. At a time when we have a number of foreign invaders in the country, many of whom are possibly loose out in Mumbai or elsewhere in India (cause we have no idea as to how many there were in total), it was heartening to see our TV channels articulate this national fear in terms of Amitabh Bachchan having to sleep with his gun below his pillow. Now to be honest, all of us dont have guns. To be even more honest, if the terrorists do come for you with their fancy guns and devices, the gun below the pillow wont do much good—perhaps you wont even be able to bring the gun out before the terrorists have done their deed. Unless you can keep them distracted with macho Bachchan dialogs like “Hai kisi maa ke laal me himmat, jo mere saamne aaye”.
5. It’s time we made a national pledge. Not to go after Shivraj Patil or his bandhgalas.
The thing is this. He tries his best. It’s just that terrorists are so afraid of him that they run away before, like a stream of light, he arrives just in time.
Before I could reach there, the terrorists who had attacked one of the hospitals, the Cama Hospital, had left and those who attacked the railway station had also left,” Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.
Don’t worry. This time perhaps the terrorists got away. The next time they wont.