November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving in Mumbai

The world is a strange place. I just finished playing in my yearly football game. For two hours I ran or should I say staggered my way through a muddy field. For two hours I pushed my ancient almost 40 year-old body against 18-20 year olds. And when it was all done we hugged each other goodbye and wished each other well.

Driving home I thought about the attacks in Mumbai. Two of my cousins were recent guests in the Chabad house. We emailed each other last night to confirm that they were back home in Israel. I thought about my friend David and his post about his recent trip to India in which he was a guest at the Chabad house.

I listened to the news in the car as they explained that this was a well coordinated and professional hit. I thought about how they intentionally attacked a place that they knew had Jews and Israelis. I listened to reports in which they said that the terrorists tried to identify American and British passport holders. An attack on the west.

While I sat there listening I felt very badly for the victims and was reminded that there are people who are willing to do terrible things to my family, my friends, myself and many others. They are willing to murder and maim without regard.

Look I can sit here and feed platitudes about why they might do this. I can wax on about it being a war of ideologies, but I am not going to. On this day I have no patience for that. Terrorists deserve to die. Or as I read earlier this week terrorists should just get dead.

A message needs to be sent. A clarion call that cannot be mistaken. Use violence to try and affect change and you receive a bullet in the head.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that the solution to these problems is also going to include a diplomatic component. It has to. But sometimes diplomacy has to come after you have made it clear that a refusal to come to the table will not yield the results that you want. Terror cannot win.

So on this day I want to say that I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the health of my family and friends. I am grateful to those who serve to help preserve and protect those freedoms. I am grateful to live in a land whose limitations are set more by us and less by others. Sometimes circumstances favor you and sometimes they dont. But more often than not the real limits on your future are those that you set yourself.

Have a good Thanksgiving and may we all be safe.

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