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Obama Transition Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai

Onlookers stand at the site of a bomb blast in Mumbai Nov. 26, 2008. (Reuters)

Obama Transition chief national security spokesperson Brooke Anderson condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, on behalf of the president-elect, saying:

President-Elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India. These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 26, 2008; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , National Security  
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JRM2 and whathefox:

THE PRESIDENT: On behalf of all Americans, Laura and I extend our condolences to those suffering from the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. We mourn those who lost their lives, including American citizens. We pray that the injured will recover. We pledge the full support of the United States as India investigates these attacks, brings the guilty to justice, and sustained its democratic way of life.

My administration has been monitoring the situation in India closely since the attacks on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, I spoke to Prime Minister Singh from Camp David. I sent our heartfelt condolences to the Prime Minister. This morning, I held a videoconference with Secretary Rice, our Ambassador to India, our Consul General in Mumbai, and other national security officials. We reviewed the latest developments, and we are working to ensure that American citizens in India are safe. Throughout the process, we have kept President-Elect Obama informed.

The killers who struck this week are brutal and violent, but terror will not have the final word. People of India are resilient. People of India are strong. They have built a vibrant, multiethnic democracy that can withstand this trial. Their financial capital of Mumbai will continue to be the center of commerce and prosperity.

The leaders of India can know that nations around the world support them in the face of this assault on human dignity. And as the people of the world's largest democracy recover from these attacks, they can count on the world's oldest democracy to stand by their side.

Thank you very much. May God bless the people of India.

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The President, of course, did not single out four Americans in his statement. Learn how to read:

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

India needs to respond accordingly to the assaults. That DOES NOT include a war with Pakistan, though.

Posted by: MatthewAvitabile | November 30, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for newspapers. I am sick of hearing TV anchors describe the thugs who murdered innocent people in India as "well organized," or implementing a "sophisticated plan." Give us a break. I can cite several instances in the US where high school students carried out horrific attacks like this. When people with assault weapons attack unarmed,innocent people, that can be done by a trained chimpanzee. These people are thugs, pure and simple.

Posted by: oldwoman | November 29, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

President bush, that still makes me laugh to say it, it's either laugh or cry. Anyway, his statement was that he was sorry to hear that 4 Americans and many other foreignors were killed in these attacks, and that our thoughts and prayers ar with them. Speak for yourself pea brain, my thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who were killed in the attacks (most of whom are Indians) not just the Americans and other foreignors. I could not believe those insensitive words. Can you imagine if India's president had sent condolences to the families of the Indians killed on 9/11 and all of the other foreignors in the country? Stick to pardoning turkeys, and stuffing your mouth with the death row turkey left overs that you didn't pardon please. I get dumber everytime that I listen to that man. Thank God Obama has the grace and sense to make a statement of his own so that the whole world doesn't think that we are all a bunch of idiot insensitive jerks.

Posted by: whathefox | November 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

There is refreshing balance in the Obama transition. In historical terms, moderation always wins. Center Left or Center Right are both areas of complimentary solutions. ...........

Posted by: glclark4750 | November 29, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

India and USA needs to come together to protect democratic values and culture across the globe.Terrorist groups have threatend democracies all over the world and in this context the demonstration of solidarity by Barak Obama with india is highly significant.Indians went to America via Baring Strait somewhere around10,000 years ago and settled there who were referred by Columbus as Red Indians.India and America shares common values and cultural traditions and hence we need to work in unison to establish a just and egalitarian peaceful world order.What B Obama can do when he takes over is to disarm neuclear Pakistan and eliminate Talibanis from the soil of Pakistan and Afghanistan .This would go along way in restoration of Peace in Asia Pacific region.We,are thankful to Barak Obama for showing solidarity with India.

Posted by: raonarayan2005 | November 29, 2008 4:28 AM | Report abuse

Please. It helps nobody really to over-simplify issues.

The Mumbai Carnage, horrifying as it may be,_should be_ meticulously studied in all its complexities and adumbrations preparatory to devising options to (1) prevent its recurrence and (2) bring the civilized law and humane justice into play so as to lift it away from the morass of mindless retributions that only exacerbate matters into spiralling violence. As it is aptly observed: An eye for an eye,,, and everybody goes blind.

We must seek the root causes rather than base our reaction to immediately and conviniently apprently ones. This India-Pakistan confrontation has been a long drawn conflict precisely because it is intertwined in a variety of "reasons" instigating the opposing sides to murderous actions.

To denounce the violence is proper and good in that it may serve to deter quick escalation of the same. It is, however, insufficient in putting a stop to it. "Denouncing" is mere "rhetorics" and what could "words" do to redress the matter? Pres.-elect Obama knows so and will surely push the envelope further and immediately.

Meantime, let us soberly surface the elements composing the issue to find in the compedium the correct -- and most probably simple -- solution, one couch in fraternal terms to establish a just and cooperative way of life between India and Pakistan and the rest of the world.


Posted by: olegnaj | November 28, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I noticed a comment and agree that religion played some ugly roles but offer the following for "arthur_ide".

Some facts about genocide:

Stalin’s regime is said to have killed over 20 MILLION persons.
The Manchu government is said to have killed over 20 MILLION persons.
Hitler’s regime is said to have killed 6 MILLION Jews.
Pol Pot’s regime is said to have killed 1.7 MILLION persons.

I didn’t see any mention of religion, in fact it might be true that there was an absence of religion. Yale University has a good starting point if you are interested.

Posted by: vitaglubet | November 28, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"I am not a religious person. But I believe in law and order"...writes Arthur?

You have conveniently omitted any mention of Jews and Zionists in your rant against so many that believe in whatever. Am I to read between the lines and guess which camp you are from?
Some people have a knack to hide behind a smokescreen and spread venom without looking inwards. I am sorry, but you are a classical case of hypocrisy at its finest.

Posted by: callaspadeaspade | November 28, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I am not a religious person. But I believe in law and order. An ancient Babylonian law, plagarized from an even older Akkadian rule states: "an eye for an eye, a life for a life." The only justice for the insanity that occured in Mumbai, India is for all the fanatical Moslems to be killed immediately upon capture--and preferably be executed in their mosques as they killed the Jews in their headquarters. Not until every religious radical (every fanatical fundamentalist: Christian (evangelicals and rapid rightists such as the Southern Baptists), Moslem (especially Taliban and al-Quida goon squads), Mormon sects (all) and the rest) are stamped out of existence there will be no peace on earth. I reject all gods, as murders and other cruelties are committed in her/his/their name(s). Religion has caused more suffering than any other ideology of plague on this planet.

Posted by: arthur_ide | November 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked we still had a President in office filling out his term.

Where's his statement?

Or is he still too busy pardoning turkeys?

Posted by: JRM2 | November 28, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Its impossible to say with confidence what is happening in India, looking on from here in the United States, through the dense fogs of distance, differences in culture and language, and intentional propoganda (that of our own government, as well as of a hundred other interests, big and small, foreign and domestic). That won't stop some commentators from speaking with great certainty, as if they did possess the authority of actual knowledge, but its a useful caveat for their listeners.

The history of conflict in India is as long AS history... and conflict itself probably preceded even that. The Aryan invasion of an indigenous Dravidian culture, subsequent invasions and migrations and conquests... the Mughals, the Mongols, the British... a long and messy history. In many ways, the current conflicts between Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and others in India, as the conflict between Pakistan and India, has its roots in the British Raj... the ubiquitous technique of colonial governance by playing one group, ethnic, linguistic or religious, against another. But the lines of conflict the British exploited were already there TO exploit before the first Europeans wandered into the subcontinent.

Everyone should take a deep breath before finding, in this latest explosion of violence, powerful vindication for opinions they already held, and instead watch and listen carefully. The Indian and Pakistani governments will each put their own spin on these events (and the Indian media may be the first filter through which we all see this at all)... we can expect them to cast this entirely in the context of the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir, etc; there is also little doubt but that American Neocons will see the face of al Qaeda on every gunman ("See? We were right to invade Iraq. Those damn Muslims are out to get us everywhere, so we gotta get them first")... and some political opponents will be happy to accept this assessment, but with a conflicting interpretation about what it means ("See? Invading Iraq has so antagonized Muslims that even in India, where the conflict has little to do with the US, UK or Israel, WE have become the focus of their anger anyway").

Its could be more complicated than that... or far more simple. It WON'T be simple to determine whats really going on, however, if we all listen uncritically to the talking heads.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 28, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Gates has done a fine job and generally has the same foreign policy viewpoints as Obama. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Clinton also was a move to the center on military and foreign policy. Hopefully a bottom up bailout of subprime and sub a, along with small business short term financing by his economic team will turn the economy around. Putting 2 million to work in alternative energy, building the national grid for electric and com, fixing our infrastructure, combined with a retooling of the auto industry will run deficets, but may like Reagan turn the economy around with falling oil prices. Paulson has shown a disregard to the working class and rightfully will not get over 350 without congressional approval. Dec. 10 ends policy decisions by the executive and they can only advise from that point. Competence over loyalty is a welcome change in the president elect.

Posted by: jameschirico | November 28, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

The Iraq massacre (over a million death) will not pass unpunished.
The western hemisphere gets paid back with equal coins.

The good situated people of the western hemisphere on vacation
will be haunted and targeted all over the world, forever.

There will be no safe holiday place left for those
that supported the war in Iraq, the war of greed, the war for oil.

You must impeach Cheney and Bush, and incarcerate a few million officials,
that might bring some rest and satisfaction on the counter terror front.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | November 28, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I have written a detailed article analyzing the political factors that caused the Indian intelligence agencies to be caught unawares of the terror attacks being planned. Read on:

Posted by: varunvermav | November 27, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post has been far, far better than news outlets like CNN, in covering this story.

India-centric sites, and news sites within India are the best way to keep tabs on the activity.

To see examples of stark differences in reporting, including the Pakistani sea-route connection to the attacks, go to:

Posted by: scootmandubious | November 27, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

We should probably stop using the term 'Terrorist' and use the more appropriate term "Criminal." While the civilized world is certainly terrorized, the response is dictated by our understanding of the problem. Organized terrorists are nothing less than organized criminals. .....................

Posted by: glclark4750 | November 27, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

faithfulservant3 wrote, among other blather, "First, India has no true democracy. Although they have made advances over the last decade it is clear that this is a country full of unjust discrimination and elitism that is bitterly divided by class, ethnic group and religion."

What a bunch of ethnocentric claptrap! A person carping in a comment box in the Mumbai Post could, with as much justification as you have, say the same thing of the USA.

I take it that some half baked religion is at the root of your insensitivity to human beings in India at this sad time, and explains your incredibly (how to say this without violating WaPo terms of service?) poorly thought out view of world affairs.

Mark this carefully: I am no atheist.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 26, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

hey faithfulservant3,
are you Mr. Bush,.... know nothing about this part of the world!
get some gyan on Foreign affairs before commenting.

Posted by: manojjournalist | November 26, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

First, India has no true democracy. Although they have made advances over the last decade it is clear that this is a country full of unjust discrimination and elitism that is bitterly divided by class, ethnic group and religion.

It is not clear that this attack has any relationship with the "terror network." It may simply be the latest in sectarian violence that has gone on continuously since before independence. If it is related it is doubtful that India can really help in any substantive way solve internationally the intractable problems it has been unable to solve at home.

But I guess the president-elect, like the president, has to release some garbage propaganda at a sad time like this.

Posted by: faithfulservant3 | November 26, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

DaTourist and nowanna1: You are wasting your time. Grow up, get over the fact your guy lost and at least give Obama a chance. I was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt through most of his term; why don't you both try acting like an adults as well. This attack has nothing to do with Obama, OK?

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice to witness the GOP goons foaming at the mouth even before 44 begins his work.

Foam on. I am going to have a wonderful 4 years, hopefully 8. My dream come true, if it can be 8 more of HRC as 45.

We need to keep the goons hydrated. They may run out of spit.

Posted by: sandharm | November 26, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Smart people ignore stupid people. Fellow Democrats, get smart. Stop letting the idiots get under your skin. That is all they have the power to do now, and we can deprive them of even that small satisfaction by just letting them bark like abandoned dogs.

Posted by: windroad | November 26, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Datourist/nowanna1- Let the man at least get sworn in. Gitmo is a recruiting tool for the jihadist. We had plenty of warning of 9/11 before warrentless survaillance. Bush is still the President so why don't
mock his statement. The truth is Obama may just have these people a little worried because he has a brain, and will not be swayed by a neo-con ideology that pulled us away from the real war on terror and into a war for profit like Iraq. I guess when you have nothing of substanse to say, you atteck the person.Becuse your logic,what you support, has failed and has leed to almost ruin.

Posted by: mfrede | November 26, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Wait... who was president when we DID get attacked? Emperor Bush.

Posted by: visionof75 | November 26, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

All good Obamaniacs will understand immediately that recycling the Gitmo terrorists is just the price we have to pay for violating the Civil Rights of those poor victims, so unlucky as to be caught on the fields of battle and classified as enemy combatants by the Military Police, without having their Miranda Rights read on the spot and videotaped.

In the meantime, we strongly condemn those terrorists who ambushed and murdered nearly a hundred innocent Indians in Mumbai. But lets not use intemperate language, shall we? That might inflame the terrorists instead of winning their hearts and minds.

Posted by: DaTourist | November 26, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, you understand, the Emperor-Elect Obama can't be expected to make a personal statement about this little crime in Mumbai, which the Indian police will surely handle in just no time.

The Emperor-Elect is busy, oh, so busy! The Emperor-Elect's kinda overwhelmed with economic worries, so accept this Form Letter of Condemnation from his spokesperson. Dontcha just love how PC this Form Letter's language expresses everything?

It seems that the Islamofascists don't love us appreciably more just yet, but the Emperor-Elect's workin' on that. Oh, yes, indeedy, he is. Workin' like a beaver...

Posted by: DaTourist | November 26, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what planet nowanna1 is living on, but there is no way, no how, to avoid a terrorist if they are hell bent on attacking you. Particularly in as open a society as the United States is. Terrorist win when we begin to curtail our own rights and liberties to "protect" ourselves from them, in essence, we become a nation on lock down. Would that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | November 26, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, when the Emperor-Elect Obama "condemned" the attacks in Mumbai, did any of the Islamofascist fall down dead?

I thought not.

Posted by: DaTourist | November 26, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, yes, of course, the Emperor Obama condemned the attacks (or so sez the WP, without any of the Emperor's original language), but can this wise and omnipotent President-Elect keep America as safe as Bush has.

Time will tell.

But urban America will find out first.

Good luck!

Posted by: DaTourist | November 26, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Soon reinforcements will arrive when the gates of Guantanamo are opened. And soon the warrantless surveillance of foreign electronic exchanges will be will be withdrawn, and it will be 9/10 again in amerika.

Posted by: nowanna1 | November 26, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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