Thu Jun 6, 2002

Jumping into the abyss

The Irish Times quotes a senior Indian military officer today:

“They (the governing Bharatiya Janata Party) are fully aware that if they try backing down or blinking (in front of Pakistan) this time round, they face political oblivion,” said an officer, declining to be identified.

I’m wondering what sort of mind reasons like this, to the conclusion that avoiding political oblivion is preferable to avoiding actual oblivion. It’s reminiscent of the worst years of the cold war, and all that talk of limited exchanges and survivability. As the great Tom Lehrer once sang, “For if the bomb that drops on you / Gets your friends and neighbors too / There’ll be nobody left behind to grieve.”