Monday, 01 December 2008
Sometimes I think that there are journalists who could find a way to
blame George Bush if their burger came out undercooked at the local
Here, courtesy of Steve Gilbert at www.sweetness-light.com, is the AP's
blatantly dishonest coverage of President Bush's involvement in the subprime
mortgage disaster and subsequent bank collapses:
December 1st, 2008
Some shameless revisionism from the DNCs
AP IMPACT: US diluted loan rules before
By MATT APUZZO
WASHINGTON (AP) The Bush
administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only
mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some
of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient
warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated
Press review of regulatory documents.
Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect
horror stories, California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S.
regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost
her a job.
Bowing to aggressive lobbying
along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK
regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were
released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and
the meltdown was under way
The administrations blind eye to
the impending crisis is emblematic of its governing philosophy, which trusted
market forces and discounted the value of government intervention in the
economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive
government intervention since the 1930s
In 2005, faced with ominous signs the housing
market was in jeopardy, bank regulators proposed new guidelines for banks
writing risky loans. Today, in the midst of the worst housing recession in a
generation, the proposal reads like a list of what-ifs:
Regulators told bankers exotic mortgages were
often inappropriate for buyers with bad credit.
Banks would have been required to increase
efforts to verify that buyers actually had jobs and could afford houses.
Regulators proposed a cap on risky mortgages
so a string of defaults wouldnt be crippling.
Banks that bundled and sold mortgages were
told to be sure investors knew exactly what they were buying.
Regulators urged banks to help buyers make
responsible decisions and clearly advise them that interest rates might
skyrocket and huge payments might be due sooner than expected.
Those proposals all were stripped
from the final rules. None required congressional approval or the presidents
Federal regulators were especially concerned
about mortgages known as option ARMs, which allow borrowers to make payments
so low that mortgage debt actually increases every month. But banking
executives accused the government of overreacting.
Bankers said such loans might be risky when
approved with no money down or without ensuring buyers have jobs but such risk
could be managed without government intervention
One of the most contested rules said that before
banks purchase mortgages from brokers, they should verify the process to
ensure buyers could afford their homes. Some bankers now blame much of
the housing crisis on brokers who wrote fraudulent, predatory loans. But in
2006, banks said they shouldnt have to double-check the brokers
California-based IndyMac also criticized
regulators for not recognizing the track record of interest-only loans and
option ARMs, which accounted for 70 percent of IndyMacs 2005 mortgage
portfolio. This summer, the government seized IndyMac and will pay an
estimated $9 billion to ensure customers dont lose their deposits
The comptroller of the currency, John C. Dugan,
was among the first to sound the alarm in mid-2005. Speaking to a consumer
advocacy group, Dugan painted a troublesome picture of option-ARM lending.
Many buyers, particularly those with bad credit, would soon be unable to
afford their payments, he said. And if housing prices declined, homeowners
wouldnt even be able to sell their way out of the mess.
It sounded simple, but people kind of looked at
us regulators as old-fashioned, said Brown, the agencys former deputy
Diane Casey-Landry, of the American Bankers
Association, said the industry feared a two-tiered system in which banks had
to follow rules that mortgage brokers did not. She said opposition was based
on the banks best information.
Youre looking at a decline in real estate
values that was never contemplated, she said.
Some saw problems coming. Community
groups and even some in the mortgage business, like Welch, warned regulators
not to ease their rules.
We expect to see a huge increase
in defaults, delinquencies and foreclosures as a result of the over selling of
these products, Kevin Stein, associate director of the California
Reinvestment Coalition, wrote to regulators in 2006. The group advocates on
housing and banking issues for low-income and minority residents.
The governments banking agencies spent nearly a
year debating the rules, which required unanimous agreement among the OCC,
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve, and the Office of Thrift
Supervision agencies that sometimes dont agree
Grovetta Gardineer, OTS managing
director for corporate and international activities, said the 2005 proposal
attempted to send an alarm bell that these products are bad. After hearing
from banks, she said, regulators were persuaded that the loans themselves were
not problematic as long as banks managed the risk. She disputes the notion
that the rules were weakened.
In the past year, with Congress scrambling to
stanch the bleeding in the financial industry, regulators have tightened rules
on risky mortgages.
Congress is considering further tightening,
including some of the same proposals abandoned years ago.
Indeed, the revisionism here is positively
The Bush administration tried numerous
times to clamp down on these dangerous
mortgage practices, starting in 2001.
President Bush pushed for a whole new regulatory
agency in 2003. He called for reform 17
times in 2008 alone.
There is abundant proof that Bush and other
Republicans (including John McCain) tried to
call attention to the looming crisis and wanted to do something about
We even have video of the top
bank regulator, Armando Falcon, director
of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, before the Congressional
We can see how he was slapped down and insulted
for even suggesting that anything needed to be done.
Compare all of that to this suddenly discovered
laundry list of proposals which the AP now claims to have unearthed.
But even the AP seems confused as to exactly what
these proposals were supposed to be.
Were they new regulations, or were they just
calling for maintaining the existing rules? The AP writer does not seem to be
able to make up his mind.
Sometimes these proposals are described as
crackdowns. Other times they are calls to not ease up on the rules.
Speaking of which, here is another risible claim
from the AP:
Community groups and even some in the mortgage
business, like Welch, warned regulators not to ease their
Yes, of course we believe this. You see, ACORN and
La Raza and their compatriots were trying to crack down on these terrible
lending practices but the evil Bush regime just wouldnt let them.
Moreover, is there any evidence that these
proposals ever existed? Let alone that they were made to someone who could do
something about them?
Where are the documents? Why doesnt the
Associated Press quote from them Why dont we have photos of them and pdf files?
Are they classified as top secret? (No, then the
AP certainly would publish them.)
We have only the APs word that these documents
And we know that they will tell any lie, no matter
how outrageous, for their Democrat masters.
That is what they call
Steve may go overboard here and there. But on the main points he is
right on target - which is more than I can say about the article he is
President Bush warned about this impending catastrophe throughout his
two terms in office. But when he tried to do something about it, as
early as 2003, he was thwarted at every turn by almost all Democrats, who,
when added to a minority of Republicans, stopped him in his tracks.
Do you see any mention in that article of chris dodd? barney
frank? Of the Democrats who, in aggregate, made sure that the policies
which brought us to this sorry state remained in effect?
Of course not. It's Bush. It must be Bush. It has to
be. Why look any further.
But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them
THE JONES, GATES AND CLINTON APPOINTMENTS
Credit where credit is due. Barack Obama has done well in putting
together his foreign policy team.
-Mr. Obama has apparently (it's not 100% final yet) selected James L.
Jones as his National Security Advisor. Mr. Jones is a former
Marine General, Commandant of the Marines Corps and Supreme Allied
Commander for Europe.
-Mr. Obama has also asked Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense to
-And, subject to confirmation (this is the only one of the three
appointments which needs it***) he is appointing Hillary Clinton as
Secretary of State.
It is true that Mr. Jones had significant differences with President Bush
regarding Iraq, and Hillary Clinton is a partisan Democrat who, at least
publicly, disagrees very strongly with current Iraq policy. However,
a) Jones' credentials are absolutely impeccable and b) a President certainly has
the right to select a partisan from his own party for this position.
The fact that, other than meeting a lot of foreign leaders as the President's wife,
Ms. Clinton has no actual experience, makes her a very weak choice. But the
way I look at it, given the possible alternatives, this is a better pick than
it could have been.
The one fly in the ointment for Ms. Clinton may be Article 1,
Section 6, clause 2
of the Constitution which, it seems to me, can disqualify her for the
position. But I have a feeling that, for better or worse, this is going to
be brushed aside. And don't count on mainstream media making any
issue of it, since a great many of them avidly root for her.
My opinion of these appointments is that they are appreciably better
than what I expected. It gives me hope that the incoming Obama administration
will, in aggregate, have reasonable, sensible voices speaking on our
We'll find out soon enough.
***National Security Advisor does not require confirmation. Secretary of Defense
does, but Gates, as a holdover from the Bush administration, has already been
ROBERT RUBIN AND BARACK OBAMA
Robert Rubin reminds me a lot of Christopher Dodd. Every time we see a
major financial scandal he seems to be involved in it -- and mainstream media
seems to give him a free pass on that involvement.
But, unbelievably, Rubin has emerged as one of Barack Obama's most
important financial advisors.
This being the case, I thought I would post excerpts from two articles - one
is a 6 year old piece
from Forbes Magazine and the other is a
new article from The Sunlight Foundation. I hope they will give you a
better idea of who Mr. Obama is relying on. Please pay special
attention to the bold print:
Rubin Red-Faced Over Enron? Not In The
NEW YORK - Just in time for Valentine's Day, The New York
Times today delivered a remarkable front-page bouquet to Robert
Rubin, in the form of an unusually generous assessment of the former
Treasury secretary's attempted string-pulling on Enron's behalf.
||More on Robert
The Times has
been a bulldog on the subject of Enron's (otc: ENRNQ - news
- people ) unsuccessful
attempts last fall to stave off collapse by seeking help from its friends in the
Bush Administration. But Rubin's role had been oddly de-emphasized by the Paper
of Record. Today, the Times finally turned the spotlight on Rubin--but
the story amounted to a glowing profile of the former Clinton Administration
official, wrapped around a gentle admonishment for his Enron involvement. And
the Times seemed less concerned that Rubin had done anything wrong than
that he had given aid and comfort to Republicans by making this a bipartisan
When the news of Rubin's involvement first hit the morning
newspapers on Jan. 12, The Washington Post headlined its story "Rubin
Asked Treasury About Aid to Enron," and focused on Rubin's Nov. 8 call to senior
Treasury Department official Peter Fisher. Rubin is chairman of the executive
committee at Citigroup (nyse: C - news -
people ), which is a big Enron creditor. He asked Fisher to consider
advising the bond-rating agencies against an immediate downgrade of Enron's
debt. Fisher said that for him to intervene would not be a good idea, and Rubin
The Times also reported the Rubin
news on Jan. 12--but lower down in a story that led with Enron President Greg
Whalley's own calls to Fisher. Whalley's involvement was news, of course, but
not huge news, given that by that point it was already established that Enron
Chairman Kenneth Lay had placed similar calls to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans. Arguably, the big story on Jan. 12 was the
involvement of Rubin, a prominent Democrat and a Wall Street icon. Yet the
Times not only downplayed the news, it bent over backward to let Rubin
off the hook, by emphasizing that he eventually agreed with Fisher that calls to
the bond-rating agencies would be inappropriate.
But alas, the Times
noted, Rubin's call to Fisher "inadvertently gave comfort to the White House and
to some conservative commentators" by adding a prominent Democratic name to the
list of Enron's friends. "Even some of Mr. Rubin's friends say privately that it
was a rare misstep for a man known for caution and foresight," the article
noted, implying that it was the political embarrassment to the Democrats and not
the impropriety of the call that the Times finds troubling.
Rubin's call to Fisher "will probably be
no more than a footnote in the Enron story," the Times asserted. "But it
draws attention to the extent, and perhaps to the limits, in Mr. Rubin's two
roles. Was he lobbying his old agency on behalf of a bank? Or exploring policy
options as he did at the Treasury Department?" It was both, Rubin told the
Times, and he has no regrets about calling Fisher: "I would do it again."
The Times let him make that point
unchallenged, then digressed to a long, fawning profile of Rubin, who "is
youthfully trim but gives little evidence of overt vanity," and who "masks an
overpowering intellect behind verbal modesty," and who as Treasury secretary
"had some commentators calling him the best steward of the economy since
Alexander Hamilton." Finally, in the very last paragraph of this lengthy story,
the Times reluctantly returns to Enron: "Mr. Rubin's peers say he has the
judgment to navigate smoothly between his two worlds. But the call regarding
Enron illustrates that even he can steer astray. 'Bob is no longer in the public
sector and had the right and every reason to make the call,' said his friend
Felix G. Rohatyn, the financier. 'It's delicate--the impression is not great
when it is on behalf of a company that has created the worst profile in the
history of capitalism.'"
Enron is a
scandal, all right, but members of both major parties have been recipients of
the firm's largesse. Apparently, no Bush Administration officials responded to
the firm's desperate calls for help last fall, whereas Rubin--a prominent
Clinton Administration official--was happy to pick up the phone on Enron's
behalf. This scandal is indeed a bipartisan affair--which may be more than one
can say about the Times' coverage, at least with regard to Robert Rubin.
And from The Sunlight Foundation:
The Revolving Door, Robert Rubin, and
Today, President-Elect Barack Obama named the key
members of economic team including Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and
Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council. Notably, many in Obamas
economic circle are acolytes of former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert
Rubin, the subject of much talk in the
wake of the bailout of Citigroup. Rubin, a revolving door spinner between Wall
Street and Washington, began his career at Goldman Sachs, moved to the National
Economic Council, then Treasury, and in 1999, left government and joined
Citigroup. Rubins story provides a telling story about the conflicts of
interest that can occur when a high-ranking official moves so seemlessly between
the public and private sector.
In this New York Times
article addressing Citigroups economic troubles, Rubin appears as a key player,
in both the deregulation that allowed the bank to become so large and unwieldy
and as an adviser to the bank urging riskier behavior:
The banks downfall was years in the
making and involved many in its hierarchy, particularly Mr. Prince and
Robert E. Rubin, an influential director and senior
Citigroup insiders and analysts say that
Mr. Prince and Mr. Rubin played pivotal roles in the banks current woes, by
drafting and blessing a strategy that involved taking greater trading risks to
expand its business and reap higher profits. Mr. Prince and Mr. Rubin both
declined to comment for this article.
When he was Treasury secretary during
the Clinton administration, Mr. Rubin helped loosen Depression-era banking
regulations that made the creation of Citigroup possible by allowing banks to
expand far beyond their traditional role as lenders and permitting them to
profit from a variety of financial activities. During the same period he
helped beat back tighter oversight of exotic financial products, a development
he had previously said he was helpless to
But while Mr. Rubin certainly did not
have direct responsibility for a Citigroup unit, he was an architect of the
In 2005, as Citigroup began its effort
to expand from within, Mr. Rubin peppered his colleagues with questions as
they formulated the plan. According to current and former colleagues, he
believed that Citigroup was falling behind rivals like Morgan Stanley and Goldman, and he pushed to bulk up the banks
high-growth fixed-income trading, including the C.D.O.
Former colleagues said Mr. Rubin also encouraged
Mr. Prince to broaden the banks appetite for risk, provided that it also
upgraded oversight though the Federal Reserve later would conclude that the
banks oversight remained inadequate.
Once the strategy was outlined, Mr. Rubin helped
Mr. Prince gain the boards confidence that it would
The conflict of interest line is often easy to
draw when involving revolving door moves from Washington to K Street. When
high-powered officials move into other parts of the private sector they still
maintain large amounts of influence in Washington, and have just as much of a
need to influence officials as lobbyists. (Citigroups lobbying expenses are
close to $6 million for the year.)
In Rubins case, the industry into which he went
has fallen into complete turmoil roiling not only economic markets but politics
in Washington. Yet, Rubin remains a top transition adviser to President-Elect
Obama and, as noted above, his proteges are among Obamas top picks for economic
So what we have here is a man who was up to his eyeballs in Enron, and
then moved on (at huge compensation, let's remember) to Citigroup where he was
instrumental in its current state of near-collapse.
And what does this get him? A key spot on the Obama team, that's
Incidentally, the New York Times article referenced by the Sunlight
Foundation is from November 22, just over a week ago. Nice of the Times to
notice what a complete eff-up this man is now, after enabling him to
eff up for the last 7 years.
I'm old enough to remember when The Times was a great newspaper. At one
time age didn't have to be invoked to be able to say that. But now it
does. Great job, "Pinch".
CHARLES RANGEL & DEMOCRATIC ETHICS
The 2008 elections will give Democrats the White House and large
majorities in both houses of congress. Republicans will be lucky to have
anything more than tug-at-your-sleeve influence for the next 2 years.
NOW will they do something about charles rangel?
rangel is the consummately dirty representative from Harlem, New York, whose
dealings are spelled out in the New York Post editorial below. As you read
it, please note that rangel currently chairs the House Ways & Means
Committee, which is responsible for disbursing and allocating untold
billions of dollars. I've highlighted some of rangel's lowlights, by
putting them in bold print:
Are congressional Democrats truly
committed to dealing with the economic and fiscal policy challenges they face
The answer will be seen in how they address their
increasingly problematic Charlie Rangel situation.
Scarcely a day goes by without yet another
ethical impropriety coming to light regarding the chairman of the House
Ways & Means Committee.
Last Wednesday, the DC-based National Legal and
Policy Center urged the House Ethics Committee to expand its ongoing Rangel
probe to include the recent revelation that he took a "homestead" tax
deduction meant for year-round DC residents - though he legally resides in New
Tuesday, The New York Times delved into
the relationship between Rangel and oil-drilling businessman Eugene Isenberg -
who made a $1 million pledge toward building Rangel's school for public service
at City College of New York. Rangel later preserved a controversial offshore tax
loophole that saved Isenberg's company, Nabors, millions.
Rangel's previous ethical woes, though troubling,
were largely personal: not paying taxes on property in the Caribbean;
using one of four rent-stabilized apartments as a campaign office; improperly
storing a car in a House parking garage.
The Isenberg-Nabors deal is, potentially, far more
serious: It reeks of a quid pro quo between Rangel's official duties and
fund-raising for his personal project.
The Times reported that Rangel held meetings the
same day, at the same hotel, with Isenberg to discuss the CCNY project and then
with Nabors' chief lobbyist on the tax loophole.
But what are House Democrats doing?
Speaker Pelosi has all but ruled out relieving
Rangel of his chairmanship, pending the Ethics Committee probe.
Rangel's "fear" of that panel was illustrated by
how quickly he reported himself: He knows it's rare for members to get much more
than a slap on the wrist.
Indeed, Pelosi's statement that the ethics
committee promises to finish its work by Jan. 3 - too soon for them to have even
begun looking at the newest allegations - shows how unserious the probe
Thus, bolder Democrats on the Ways & Means
Committee need to step forward.
Tax and spending bills begin in that committee: Do
its members really think Rangel can credibly push through an ambitious agenda,
given the cloud over his head?
Charlie Rangel has fatally compromised his
effectiveness as chairman of one of the most powerful congressional
If Pelosi won't act, surely a Ways & Means
Committee member will, no?
There is nothing sacred about committee chairs:
Earlier this month, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) dethroned the very dean of the
House - John Dingell, in Congress since 1955 - to take over the Energy and
That power play was about ideology. Many Dems saw
Dingell as too pro-business.
This one is about ethics.
The Obama team will have enough to worry about
without having its tax and spending bills drafted by a profoundly ethically
challenged committee chairman.
The new president himself surely must wonder:
Can't Democrats do better?
It was bad enough that Democrats let rangel slide until now. But
with virtually airtight control over every branch of federal government, they
don't need him anymore. And since it is 100% certain
that he will be replaced with another Democrat, there isn't even a
partisan reason to put up with this embarrassment on legs.
Will Democrats do something about charles rangel? Will Barack Obama
step up to the plate, from his hallowed "office of the President-elect" and
encourage them to act?
A party that will not dump someone this dirty, even when it has nothing to
lose by doing so, is a party that will not address political corruption at
THE COST OF GIVING TERRORISM AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED
I don't know how many times I've written that if we fight terrorism we may
win or lose, but if we don't fight it we will assuredly lose because
they will keep fighting. Probably dozens and dozens.
Well, some countries seem determined to pretend this seemingly obvious
reality does not exist. Until last week, India was one of them. But
Here, from Reuters, is the country's reaction so far:
Indian security chief resigns over Mumbai
By Rina Chandran
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The fallout from a three-day
rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatened on Sunday to unravel
India's improving ties with Pakistan and prompted the resignation of India's
New Delhi said it was raising security to a "war
level" and had no doubt of a Pakistani link to the attacks, which unleashed
anger at home over the intelligence failure and the delayed response to the
violence that paralyzed India's financial capital.
Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation
would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led
anti-militant campaign on the Afghan frontier.
Newspaper commentaries blasted politicians for
failing to prevent the attacks and for taking advantage of its fallout before
voting in Delhi on Saturday and national polls due by May.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would
boost and overhaul the nation's counterterrorism capabilities, an announcement
which came after Federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigned over the
"We share the hurt of the people and their sense
of anger and outrage," Singh said. "Several measures are already in place ...
But clearly much more needs to be done and we are determined to take all
necessary measures to overhaul the system," he said.
Air and sea security would be increased, and
India's main counter-terrorist National Security Guard would be increased in
size and given more regional bases, he said in a statement.
Singh also named Finance Minister Palaniappan
Chidambaram -- much derided as finance minister but respected for his work
overhauling India's security agencies as a junior minister in the 1990s -- to
take over Patil's job.
Singh, an economist by training, will take over
the finance portfolio for now, the government said.
Analysts said they expect India's financial
markets to get a boost from the personnel changes.
"Markets will rejoice," Arum Kejriwal, a
strategist at research firm Kris, said of Chidambaram and Patil. "People will
accept that the government has removed two non-performers and this can
positively influence the markets."
Indian stocks closed up marginally after markets
opened on Friday, the first time since the attacks, while the rupee fell. But
analysts said it had already been under pressure.
Indian officials have said most, if not all, of
the 10 Islamist attackers who held Mumbai hostage came from Pakistan.
The tension between the nuclear rivals has raised
the prospect of a breakdown of peace efforts going on since 2004. The two
nations have fought three wars since 1947, when Muslim Pakistan was carved out
of Hindu-majority India.
They went to the brink of a fourth conflict after
a 2001 militant attack on the Indian parliament which New Delhi also blamed on
"We will increase security and strengthen it at a
war level like we have never done it before," Sriprakash Jaiswal, India's
minister of state for home affairs, told Reuters on Sunday.
"They can say what they want, but we have no doubt
that the terrorists had come from Pakistan," Jaiswal said.
An official in Islamabad said the next one to two
days would be crucial for relations. Pakistan has condemned the assaults and
denied any involvement by state agencies.
MOPPING THE BLOOD
The three-day rampage and siege in Mumbai turned
India's financial and entertainment hub into a televised war zone.
On Sunday, the smell of disinfectant was strong
outside Cafe Leopold, and the sidewalk wet from mopping -- a different sight
from Wednesday night, when blood-splattered shoes and napkins lay strewn among
broken furniture and glass.
It opened briefly before police came and shut it
down again, saying investigations needed to be completed first.
Elsewhere in the trendy Colaba district where the
fighting took place, shops were open and traffic flowed despite police
barricades and heavy clean-up work around the Taj Mahal hotel, a 105-year-old
landmark and site of the longest siege.
Broken windows were boarded up and firemen used a
crane to reach the sixth floor, gutted by a fire set by the militants as they
fought dozens of commandos in the corridors.
Elite Black Cat commandos killed the last of the
gunmen on Saturday after three days of room-to-room battling inside the Taj, one
of several landmarks struck in coordinated attacks on Wednesday
Hundreds of people, many of them Westerners, were
trapped or taken hostage as the gunmen hurled grenades and fired
indiscriminately. At least 22 of those killed were foreigners, including
businessmen and tourists.
Nine gunmen and 20 police and soldiers were also
killed. A tenth militant was caught alive.
On Saturday, India's navy and coast guard boosted
coastal patrols, after evidence mounted that the attackers had come by boat to
Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan's main port.
India's Home Ministry said the official toll in
Mumbai was 183 killed. Earlier, Mumbai disaster authorities said at least 195
people had been killed and 295 wounded.
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Whatever gains there were between India and Pakistan are now officially
obliterated. India's security is at "war level" (which means that Pakistan
has to be as well) and we quite possibly are one new episode away from a war -
probably a nuclear war - between these two countries.
Would a more serious regard for fighting terrorists have prevented
this? Would a more capable reaction when the attack started have
minimized the death and destruction? The answers, in order, are maybe and
But India was not prepared for this.
While it would have been almost impossible to prevent the initial attack,
India's lack of preparation made the "success" and duration of the attack
way too simple. Because of that, many additional lives were
The result? Beyond the horrific casualty count, we now have two
nuclear powers teetering on the brink of a war.
Maybe, just maybe, it is more sensible to do what has to be done to
fight terrorism before it hits.