Monday, November 10, 2008

Bush's ONLY Success

This might be heresy in India, but lets be fair: George Bush gave India a lot. He blasted a hole big enough for a billion people in the NSG and IAEA. He signed a treaty for defence cooperation. He cancelled many meetings, but none with Manmohan Singh.

Indeed, Bush has been an excellent American President for India. It was his administration (following the Clinton administration) that permanently de-hyphenated India and Pakistan. He has not played an activist role in Kashmir, neither has he wrecked outsourcing.

Of course, he was terrible for the rest of the world. The invasion of Iraq was good for democracy but terrible for everything else: thanks to Bush, India is now surrounded by failing states and faces increasing animosity in its sphere of influence.

But at the same time, Bush propelled India out of its South Asian shell and into the 'big league.' We did not get a P5 membership,but we have been given a lot of chances to flex our muscles abroad. Bush's visit to India in 2005 was watched by millions - mostly out of curiosity. For, many wondered if India had indeed become so powerful that the President of the United States should come for a two-day visit.

India is George Bush's only foreign policy success: the seeds of friendship, trust and cooperation that he sowed will bear fruit generations hence. Lets hope that Barack Obama continues. If not, as The Hindu described it, an 'unabashed lovefest,' certainly more than just a neighbour-of-Pakistan. The US has little choice anyway: either India, Japan and China balance power in Asia, or China becomes the next Soviet Union. The choice is simple.

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