Skip to comments.US tells India, drop dead
Posted on 03/31/2005 2:37:47 AM PST by Gengis Khan
US tells India, drop dead
March 28, 2005
A friend, usually upbeat about India-US relations, sent me an angry mail over the weekend after President George Bush called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the evening of March 25 to inform him that the US had decided to supply F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an interview to The Washington Post, "dismissed concerns" about the fallout of the American decision. The mail reads:
"lovely easter gift to india from the us.
moral: proliferate nukes, threaten us interests everywhere, be terror hub, and get rewarded for it. this has been north korea's experience, china's experience, saudi arabia's experience, and pakistan's experience.
suck up to the us, desperately crave its goodwill, allow its odious conversion machine to dictate terms to you, and get slapped on the face. this is india's experience.
simple solution for india: proliferate nuke and missile technology to anybody who wants it, especially taiwan and japan. this will immediately get american respect, much as pokhran-ii did."
The issues that arise from USA's decision to strengthen Pakistan's strike power, I feel, are much larger than merely seeking or getting "American respect." A nation whose civilisational history stretches back to 5,000 years, that is more than Americans can count without a Texas Instruments TI-83, and whose billion-plus population is not dependent on American wheat surplus of the PL 480 variety, can do without "American respect." Thank you very much, but America is welcome to stuff its "respect" in a hot dog.
The larger concerns are two-fold. First, Washington's mollycoddling of Pakistan, a rogue state that has not only proliferated cross-border jihadi terrorism but also spawned an underground bazaar where it has been hawking weapons of mass destruction to other rogue states. Second, the arms race that will follow America's dubious deal, with both India and Pakistan upping their defence expenditure at the cost of social welfare spending.
A third aspect that merits comment is the glib manner in which Rice, during the joint press conference she addressed along with Minister for External Affairs Natwar Singh during her brief stopover in New Delhi earlier this month, waved away any 'announcement' of an American deal on F-16s for Pakistan in the immediate future. Perhaps time and space are extremely elastic for those who wax eloquent on "absent morals" of others.
It is immaterial whether or not Pakistan has been assisting the US in pursuing its "war against terror" -- ask those who are involved in the war, including intelligence operatives, and they will tell you Islamabad has been leading Washington down the garden path -- what is material is that India must protect its own national interest. There is little evidence to show that Pakistan has given up the path of terror; nor is there reason to believe that Islamabad is genuinely interested in peace.
If you have any doubts, look at the daily acts of terror in Jammu and Kashmir; the insidious growth of ISI modules in the Northeast; and, the export of jehadi fundamentalism to India via Nepal. Nothing has changed in the last one year, never mind peaceniks who are making silly asses of themselves.
The absurd claim put out by unnamed sources in the US State Department that the F-16s form part of American assistance to Pakistan to wage war on terrorism is as laughable as the lollypop of advanced fighter jets (F-18s, no less) and nuclear power reactors that has been offered to India. "What the Americans have announced is the actual, physical delivery of F-16s to Pakistan and a bunch of nice promises for India," a foreign office official in New Delhi has said underscoring the absurdity.
No less absurd is the claim made by "senior administration officials" at a background briefing for "select journalists" that the military assistance to Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf was aimed at ensuring "a fully democratic, economically promising Pakistan, that feels secure and is thus at peace with its neighbours."
The officials might as well have added that it is inconsequential the US's favourite tin pot dictator is to blame for the runaway basement bomb programmes in North Korea, Iran and Libya, among others. Boys will be boys, you see, naughty and mischievous; what's a component here and a blueprint there?
Those nations that have committed the mistake of trusting the US have come to grief, and how. It will be disastrous if India makes a similar mistake. If the UPA government believes in what it says, that India is a sovereign nation free to make its own choices, then it should not touch the American promise with a bargepole.
The Pakistanis can seek satisfaction in saving 5,000 jobs at Lockheed Martin Corp, Indians need not lose sleep over the plight of unemployed workers in Texas. In fact, it will be fun to watch Bush and Rice squirm, which they shall, if Manmohan Singh and his team look through their alleged offer and go ahead with selecting the next generation, multi-purpose jets from what has been offered by the French, the Swedes and the Russians.
If they choose to be charmed by the Americans, then India might as well say goodbye to its sovereign identity and become another client state of the US like Pakistan has become.
PS: At the launch of journalist Wilson John's book Pakistan's Nuclear Underworld: An Investigation, a devastating expose of how A Q Khan and his bosses in khaki went around hawking nuclear know-how for a fistful of dollars, in New Delhi last week, a former foreign secretary, mindful of the presence of two diplomats from the US mission in the audience, charged the Americans with "doubletalk and duplicity" on illicit nuclear proliferation by the Pakistanis.
Later, one of the American diplomats, fuming over being shown up so bluntly, accosted him and told him that he had been "offensive and insulting to my country" and "you could have been more nuanced without being inaccurate." Retorted the former diplomat: "We are a free country. We can say what we want I couldn't care less for pretensions of the American empire."
Let's order a second hot dog!
No deal with Pak on F-16 sale: Rice
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 16, 2005 12:46 IST Last Updated: March 16, 2005 13:28 IST
India on Wednesday conveyed its concern to the United States over its reported move to sell F-16 warplanes to Pakistan.
The issue figured during the wide-ranging talks visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had with External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday morning.
Singh said he conveyed to Dr Rice that any such sale might create 'some complications'.
Addressing a joint press conference, Dr Rice sought to allay New Delhi's apprehensions, saying there has been no such agreement with Islamabad and 'I don't expect any such announcement' during the course of her visit to South Asia, including Pakistan.
Dr Rice said US President George W Bush hoped to visit India later this year.
Maintaining a studied silence on India's claim for a permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, she, however, said the US was talking to countries around the world on restructuring the world body and other issues related to it.
Dr Rice said restructuring the UN was a complex issue. "We are at the beginning of United Nations reforms," she noted.
The issue of India's claim for a permanent membership did come up during the discussions with Singh and the two agreed to stay in touch, the American Secretary of State said.
Dr Rice expressed her government's concern on the India-Iran gas pipeline. She said US Ambassador to India David Mulford had already conveyed US reservations to the Indian government.
Singh said India would continue to have cordial relations with Iran despite American reservations. The petroleum ministry was in touch with Iranian officials and holding talks with them on the pipeline, he added.
Both Dr Rice and Singh said there was a greater need to find new resources of energy and also for a close cooperation in defence and other areas.
Dr Rice paid rich tributes to the rise of India as a major economic power. She recalled how in December last year Indian ships helped tsunami victims not only in the country but in other nations as well.
The two leaders are likely to continue discussions during lunch.
Earlier, the US secretary of state called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The two discussed 'various important issues' during the half-an-hour meeting, Dr Rice said.
Additional reportage: PTI
I was pretty shocked at the move by the US to arm Pakistan.. about like I felt when we gave that 20 mil to the Palestinians.. we can't play both sides..
Interesting read in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about this very subject. Their take was India wasn't as disappointed as portrayed since, in fact, India has been approved to buy the latest, more up to date fighter, the FA18. And in more quantity. Is this incorrect?
But it seems we always do. I had hoped the days of zig zag diplomacy were behind us but this Pak thing is troubling. I hope I'm wrong when I say that I think we will regret our reliance/closeness to Pak. After all, it IS a very unstable country and God forbid that something should happen to Musharaf.
On the other hand I do feel some reassurance that by using our equipment we retain some control over the operation and maintenance requirements.
All I can tell you is that at this moment most Indians are miffed. US credibility is down to the dumps and bigtime.
US acknowledges rhetoric has to match action :
1 Hour,48 minutes Ago
[India News] New Delhi, In a tacit acknowledgement that its avowed intention to make India a "world power" has not impressed most Indians, the US has said that it has to match rhetoric with action.
"We must match the rhetoric of our aspirations with a programme to realise them. Both of our great nations must take substantive - and occasionally difficult -- steps to move away from past prejudices and practices into a new world of cooperation and partnership," US Ambassador to India David Mulford said in a statement released by the embassy Thursday.
"It is now official. It is the policy of the United States to help India become a major world power in the 21st century," he said and added this was what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during her recent visit to India.
Most Indian political parties have criticised what they consider the patronising tone of the US offer and described it as an attempt to assuage Delhi over Washington's decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan - a "great disappointment" in the words of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mulford however described the US move as an "exciting turning point to years of hard work to transform the U.S.-India bilateral relationship into a true strategic partnership."
Rice's visit was to share with the Indian leadership "a vision for a decisively broader strategic relationship, to help India achieve its goals as one of the world's great multiethnic democracies," he said.
"This vision embraces cooperation on a global strategy for peace, on defence, on energy, and on economic growth. It is now clear what she meant by this", he said.
According to the envoy, there is no fundamental conflict or disagreement between the US and India on any important regional and global issue.
"We work closely together in countering terrorism, share the view that extremist governments have no place in the international system, cooperate in fighting health issues such as HIV/AIDS and polio, and work together to build a much stronger economic relationship", he said.
He said the two countries were poised for a partnership that will be crucial in shaping the international order in the 21st century.
The Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative launched by the two countries last year helped build trust and cooperation in sensitive areas - civilian nuclear technology, civil space technology, high-technology trade, and a dialogue on missile defense, he said and added "important progress" had been made in each of these areas.
"Secretary Rice shared with her Indian interlocutors the President's vision that the United States and India must broaden this cooperation to help us achieve our shared objective - making India the global power it can and should be," he added.
He said the US-India dialogue would not only address important global and regional security problems, but would move "much deeper into engagement on India's defence requirements, including discussion of co-production and addressing India's concern about the United States as a reliable supplier."
"Let's order a second hot dog!"
I thought Indians were vegans - however - a very interesting and provocative post. You raise some serious issues...
Maybe we want India to supply Taiwan with nuclear weapons so China will point the finger at them, not us, if a glowing shooting match develops over the Strait.
Actually that's just a stereotype. Indians DO eat meat. Beef is available there, but not many consume it. Poultry, fish and mutton tops the list. Agreed, Indian diets are largely vegetarian.
A nuke-armed Taiwan will keep China in a position where it can only bark. I don't understand why no one else understands that.
So you discount the contention that the limited quantities of F-16's provided are for continuing operations against the Talaban and Al-Queda forces hidden in the mountains? (which, by the way, have been very effective at pin-point accurate attacks.) Or that the assumption that these aircraft would be deployed against India would require the Pac's to be suicidal? If both sides have nukes, and the means of delivering them already, how do aircraft make this situation more deadly?
I'm just asking the question. I believe the Administration is trying to develop a new strategy in the region that incorporates all who share the same interests. I think it's more productive for India and Pakistan to join in the common defense rather than either side expecting the U.S. to favor one over the other. Wouldn't you agree?
I would think the interest for India would be to help Pakistan and Musarrif(sp) shed the radicalism of the past and continue to democratize as India has shown so well. Just my opinion.
And rightly so. Pakistan has no business with the F16 technology. But beyond that, India should realize a plane without spare parts will soon become a grounded monument, and a plane without a properly trained pilot is soon to become an oversized lawn dart..
F16s won't be used for that purpose. Tell me when you see them doing so.
As for Pakistan's current delivery means, they are vulnerable to an Indian pre-emptive strike. Not so with large numbers of F16s.
This path was not taken. The current policy, to make Pakistan an "ally", has much lower entry costs, which is likely why it was chosen.
However, the cost of maintaining the fiction that Pakistan is "friendly" rises sharply in later years, as our enemies there learn to game the system, which is what we see here.
So you believe the Pak's are, indeed suicidal?
In a way I would not be so dumb as Rice et al to put on my own head responsibility for arming terror states like Paki. I would tend to India for cultural reasons and anti terror reasons...But!
India is a Soviet/Russia client state and would not support the US in Iraq. Also, whassup with caving in to Pakistan after the parliament massacre? That is on India's head... the fear of nuking Pakistan, not on the US'
So what has India done for the U.S. ever?
The Indians have sucked up to Russia and or China for decades going any way possible but towards the U.S.
Pakistan while being a very unstable place neverthe less is a U.S. ally. Has helped in the war on terror.
We have been trying to make it easier for Pakistan to stick to the war on terror.
True - but if the US supplied them, we'd provoke the Chinese in a way that Western influence could be curbed and China's SLOW but sure move toward democratization would end.
This way, Taiwan can be defended and we can sustain our growing relations with those more friendly, pro-democratic elements in the Mainland. They DO exist, and ARE going to be a major influence in the near future.
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