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kelcimer
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For something differant to talk about...India.

India through the Rice prism
quote:
NEW DELHI - India has reason to be happy over the appointment of the two people who will ostensibly command US foreign and strategic relations with the rest of the world in the second administration of President George W Bush. The next secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, as well as the next national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, have played key roles in a paradigm shift in US policy toward India, incorporating long-standing demands as well as removing India's grouses in US policy toward India.
Rice, whose nomination follows Colin Powell's announcement on Monday of his resignation, is considered the original architect of an expanded relationship with India and in giving it high priority and a fresh focus in the Bush administration. The Indian Foreign Ministry was never comfortable working with Powell, who despite being the lone moderate voice and other achievements, was not a Bush confidant and did not share the president's larger vision of India. On the other hand, unlike with his boss in the US, Powell enjoyed a personal rapport with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, referred to here as "general-to-general speak", that India was never comfortable with. Rice had to face several roadblocks by State Department mandarins (under Powell) who tried to dilute the agreements as well as expand the benchmarks for further cooperation. She will be their boss now.

India shifts gear on Iraq policy
quote:
India's relations with Iraq appear poised for transformation, with Iraq's interim foreign minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, scheduled to visit New Delhi this month. The visit will mark the first political exchange to take place between India and the Iraqi interim government, headed by Iyad Allawi, since the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority formally handed over "power" in June.

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The UPA government is acutely conscious that India is being left behind over the Iraq problem even as the international community is moving forward. Several factors come into play. Firstly, it is possible for sections of Indian opinion to keep on arguing dogmatically that the Allawi government is neither a representative government nor is it heading a sovereign country. But, New Delhi has been witnessing that, all the same, Iraq's neighboring countries and even those countries that had strongly opposed the US invasion of Iraq, have incrementally begun to veer round to having official dealings with the Iraqi interim government: Allawi had a summit meeting with the European Union just ahead of the India-EU summit meeting. Meanwhile, Russia's not-so-subtle turnaround over Iraq was also keenly noted in Delhi - culminating in President Vladimir Putin's telephone conversation with Allawi and the latter's scheduled visit to Moscow next week. The foreign minister of the Iraqi interim government already visited Moscow in August.

But it was the international conference at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on November 23 that came as the real eye-opener for Delhi. Virtually all of Iraq's neighbors - as well as "Old Europe", Russia and China - all participated (including the Pakistani diplomat who has been designated as the United Nations secretary general's envoy on Iraq). India, however, which aspires to a role in the affairs of the Gulf region that is of vital interest to it, was not invited to the conference.

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Fourthly, and most importantly, India has to weigh carefully the broad implications of its Iraq policy for the overarching strategic partnership with the US that it is assiduously forging. Washington would be justified in posing the question: what does a strategic partnership amount to when India cannot be counted on to be cooperative toward the single biggest challenge to the US's global standing at the moment? In fact, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage made much the same point in diplomatic terms during his visit to Delhi in June soon after the UPA government assumed office - where he told the Indian leadership that short of committing Indian troops in Iraq, there were many things that India could still do.

I think this is all a good thing.

India on track to become the worlds most populous county, is an emerging democracy, has growing economy, and very much not China or Islamic. A greater stratigic relationship between them and us as they grow to become a more powerful nation. Down the line when China becomes more of a problem it would be very nice to have an ally in India, for proximity and sheer numbers.

Thoughts?

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kannan
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Hello folks, first time poster here. I am an Indian in California. Not taking up any American jobs though [Smile] I had always intended to go back immediately after grad school and still do (Just 3 more months to go [Smile] ).

On the war: I am glad that India didn't jump into Iraq, though there were folks who said we would be "left behind". I am glad that we took a principled stand based on what we knew at the time. I am still against the way the U.S went to war though I really think we should do something to support the Iraqis now that they are struggling despite being freed from Saddam and seem to have been mostly in support of the war themselves (why does the media never make this clear? [Confused] ) . However, I think that it would be unprincipled for us to join if the only reason we wish to get in is to make moolah off the reconstruction efforts. Sadly, this is probably what will end up happening.
I have not read a single (Indian) article saying that we should help these people because it is the right thing to do. It is always "others are getting ahead" [Frown]

I do think the current bunch of politicians will love the Bush administration though the current coalition government is formed in part by the Communist Party. They would hate gungho behavior though, and the administration would have to careful about that.

kelcimer : One quibble--"India on track to become the worlds most populous county, is an emerging democracy."

There is nothing emerging about India's democracy (I apologise if the emerging was meant to be a modifier to India and not to democracy). It is by far the strongest democratic nation you will see today. I wish it were more of a Republic, but that is me. We have voter turnouts that have always hovered around around the 60% mark. We had 675 million registered voters this time .This, despite the enormously long queues that folks have to stand in to get their votes. Typically, a couple of hours is the norm. It is not pretty, given the heat [Smile] . We have our problems in some areas but that is far from the norm and is somewhat understable given the logistics. I am really sorry if this seemed snarky (didn't intend it to be). Democracy is something we are very proud of [Smile]

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sakredfire
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Its about time Washington realizes India's potential. For all our desire to promote democracy, backing Pakistan over India just doesn't make sense (we supply Pakistanis with much of their hardware, whereas India gets her toys from the Russians (MIGs, etc.)).

Sure, Afghanistan yadda yadda but here I'm talking about PRINCIPLES!

just a rant, but comments welcome..

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kelcimer
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Welcome kannan
quote:
There is nothing emerging about India's democracy
Sorry about that. I haven't devoted as much thought to India as other parts of the world, to which I credit my poor word choice.

Take out emerging and put in healthy.

editted to add:

Meant to say "India on track to become the worlds most populous county, is a healthy democracy, has a growing economy, and is very much not China or Islamic. As they grow to become a more powerful nation, a greater stratigic relationship between them and us would definitely be good thing. Further down the line when China becomes more of a problem it would be very nice to have an ally in India, for proximity and sheer numbers." instead of that error ridden thing I posted.

Here's to 3 o'clock in the morning editting skills. Cheers.

[ December 09, 2004, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]

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potemkyn
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quote:
From the Khartoum Monitor - Sudan's leading independent newspaper (October 20): Indian President to explore further oil investment opportunities in Sudan


By Staff Writer




Indian President Dr. Abubakr Zain Elabdeen Abu Kalam arrives Khartoum today on a three-day official visit to Sudan to explore further oil investment opportunities.

Earlier this year India bought the shares of the Canadian oil firm, Talisman for about 775 million dollars (1.2 billion Canadian dillars). Abu Kalam is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising ministers of Foreign Affairs, trade, and Investment in addition to key personnel in India. .

Abu Kalam is due to hold discussions with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other members of the government. His talks are due to focus on trade and further Indian investment in the country's oil industry.

The two leaders are also due to discuss bilateral relations on coordinating their positions at the regional and international levels. This is the first time an Indian President has visited Sudan in thirty years. A renowned scientist, Abu Kalam was elected President of India earlier this year.

His schedule in Khartoum includes meeting with Indian community. Abukalam will on Tuesday address a mass rally at the University of Khartoum.

A bit of a blemish on India's good looks to the US. India and China are the two reasons nothing happened in Sudan. They are heavily invested and getting deeper everyday. So when the UN and he US put up a blockade, Sudan just looked at India and China for more cash, and they gave it.

Potemkyn

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towellman
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Good job pointing that out.

I personally am very comfortable with the US forging more of a relationship with India. I think that it will be crucial for there to be a force in Asia that can counterbalance China in terms of labor supply, geopolitical influence, and population. I worry that 30-40 years down the road when a fully developed China looks around it's neighborhood and everyone looks weak that things could get ugly. Encouraging and supporting the development of India along with China is very important.

Besides that issue, they are a democracy, speak English, are religious and make funny movies (bollywood). What's not to like?

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witless chum
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I think it behooves us to keep a middle position between Pakistan and India, so we can exert any influence we have to keep them from nuking back and forth.

Also, favoring India over Pakistan is not going make less Muslims willing to fly planes into our buildings.

I would assume they're very aware of China next door and the chance it could become expansionist again.

Dan

(soundtrack "Broken Chairs" by Built to Spill)

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by witless chum:
I think it behooves us to keep a middle position between Pakistan and India, so we can exert any influence we have to keep them from nuking back and forth.

A middle position between India and Pakistan? Are you suggesting we invade Kashmir? (j/k)
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kelcimer
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http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/FL24Df02.html
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