Skip to comments.Urban India loves America
Posted on 09/11/2012 2:43:38 AM PDT by coldphoenix
"The people of India deeply love you," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh famously told then US President George Bush in 2008. Apparently, the love affair extends to his successor Barack Obama too. Wait, strike that. India loves America, period.
A new Pew research poll has revealed that a solid 58% majority in urban India is favorably disposed toward the United States, seeing America in a more favorable light than they view other major world powers, including India's long time supporter Russia (48%) or the EU (38%).
The numbers are so good for the US President that he might want to move to India, where his predecessor also had high ratings at a time he was deeply unpopular across rest of the world.
The poll does not go into why American Presidents are so popular in India but the results broadly segue into the perception that US and India have by and large overcome the Cold War baggage in the last two decades. Huge number of Indian emigrants who have bumped up Indian population in the US from less than a million in 1990 to more than 3 million in 2010, consequently creating a large pro-American sentiment in urban India, could also be a factor.
Just how much Indians are besotted with the US is even starker when compared to their view of India's immediate large neighbors. Indians feel closer to the distant United States than to neighboring China.
The poll showed that Indians in cities are also generally supportive of the exercise of US power, both hard and soft. They broadly favor (73%) American-led efforts to fight terrorism and a plurality (48%) backs US drone strikes targeting extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com ...
If India loves zer0bama’s America....then whether they know it or not, they do not love America
My instructor in one of my history courses in college always said we made a mistake throwing our lot in with Pakistan instead of India during the early Cold War. We saw India as almost certainly going Red due to the large population (kinda like we count California or New York as throwaways in elections) and threw in with Pakistan.
So that is why they are all here. Great.
Business do what they need to do to survive and it's an apocalyptic environment for business these days.
May also have had something to do with India choosing to side with USSR. No enemies on the Left, you know, and India was a proud socialist state.
Also, India was a recent colony, and therefore sympathized more with the “anti-colonial” USSR than the British-allied USA.
India is a terribly frustrating place for their educated professionals.
That someone with an advanced engineering degree, at the head of his class, from a top university in India, wants to come to the US and work in a convenience store, is downright tragic. If he and his peers were just *allowed* by the Indian bureaucracy to work and innovate, they would likely quickly surpass China as the world’s largest economy.
The amount of “idle talent” in India is just nonsensical, a tremendous waste. They are probably the only country in the world that could eventually move into our shoes as “the world’s policeman”, and do a reasonably good job of it.
I understand the whole Cold-War calculus with Pakistan including the Soviet Union, but after 9/11, we should have just given up completely on Pakistan and told India - “Do what you want.”
Pakistan should now be viewed as an enemy. The goal should be to break it up into its ethnic and tribal pieces.
well, they love the ideals that make up America.
You mean the ideals that once made up America.
The idea in 1947 was that this poor country could not survive and would balkanize.
in contrast pakistan was seen as a sure bet since it was more or less homogenous (Moslem dominated and 45% Punjabi)
Also Pakistan marketed the idea that its people were the "martial races of india" while india had weak vegetarian hindu soldiers who would not be able to stand up to the USSR or china
in spite of this, ties with Eisenhower and Nehru were good and close.
The relationship deteriorated after Nehru (who for all his gullibility seemed to honestly want to be friends to all) and especially when his daughter, Indira Gandhi came to power.
They reached their Nadir in 1971 when Nixon sent a US nuclear fleet to intimidate India who was helping the Bangladeshi's get their independence from Pakistan
India was a socialist state, Sherman, but they didn't side with the USSR until after '68. Before that, they were wishy-washy, pontificating ('Gandhian values') and they were stomped by realpolitik (The Chinese had no such illusions of peace)
Not possible while:
That would be good -- Pakistan is divided into 4 areas and with 7 different regional groups.
The Punjabis are dominant and have their own province of Punjab. The Sindhis dominate Sindh, the Baluchis Baluchistan and the Pasthuns/pathans dominate the North-west frontier province.
The Pathans are really the same people as in Afghanistan, artificially separated by the British-era Durrand line.
the Baluchis are an Irani people and separated from their Balochi brethern in Iran's Sistan-e-Balochistan province
Besides these there are the Brahuis, a people in Baluchistan whose language is related to Tamil from southern India. But these associate themselves with Balochis mainly
The big non-local group are the Muhajirs who are folks from the Ganges river who came to pakistan after partition and live in Sindh mainly. they have no "land" of their own
The 7th "group" is actually a variety of different groups of people around the NWFP who don't seem Indic or Iranic but the third subbranch of the indo-irani branch of Aryan languages -- the Dardic languages.
Generally agree, especially about India not being a nation in the traditional sense. It’s a “continent” considerably more diverse than Europe.
Differ rather strongly about Pakistan being more homogenous (at independence) that India. Pakistan wasn’t eve geographically contiguous! Well over half its population lived in East Pakistan. I strongly suspect your 45% Punjabi number is for West Pakistan only.
I guess my biggest objection is the original claim that US “chose” to align with Pakistan and could have equally chosen to align with India. The Indians get to decide who they align with, you know. It’s not just our choice.
A Cold War was raging, and Pakistan was, or portrayed itself to be, or we perceived it to be, strongly anti-Communist. While India was at best “non-aligned” or at worst pro-Sovie. It’s hard for me to see why we should have aligned ourselves with the friends of our enemies.
Things look different now, but that’s the way they were in the 60s and 70s.
The notion behind these assumptions seems to me to be similar to the whole argument back in the 50s over “who lost China.” The implicit assumption behind that whole mess was that we were in control and deficiencies in our policies caused China to fall to the commies. As if the nearly 1B Chinese of the time were merely inanimate objects that we could move about at will.
The other guy gets a vote. While we may be able to influence them, we can’t control them nor should we want to.
I do believe that the US chose pakistan as a stronger ally. In the 50s and 60s India did not want to be allied with anyone -- it was too idealistic (at least Nehru was). That changed after the 1963 war with China.
But by then US ties with Pakistan deepened and this was irrevocably set in the Nixon years.
Its hard for me to see why we should have aligned ourselves with the friends of our enemies. -- yes in the 1970s and 80s and possibly the late 1960s, but India was considered a friend (a woolly-headed friend, but a friend nonetheless) in the 50s under Eisenhower and under Kennedy
Kai-shing :) KMT
Population density has a stronger correlation to leftism than population total. One possibility for that is people living in closer quarters experience more envy and therefore are drawn into the politics of envy. India is socialist to the extent they can afford it. The Calcutta region is communist. Our growing military alliance with India is strategic vs. China rather than India being anti-communist, which they are not.
India was forced to side with the Russians out of necessity when the US barred Britain from selling India aviation-related weaponry. This was when the Russians seized the opportunity and gave Nehru a tour of their MiG factories, with aid and assistance to build jet fighters in India. The US simultaneously began ramping up ties with Pakistan, believing a religiously-”unified” Pakistan had better chances of making it through.
This was also the turning point when Indian weaponry, until now dominated by British wares, began to shift to Russian ones.
Also, don’t forget that India is fiercely independent when it comes to managing its strategic areas of interest - not a single sq. km of Indian territory was ever leased to the Soviets as any form of a military base. On the other hand, India did allow America to build listening posts along the Himalayas to watch Chinese nuclear tests. That image of “peaceful” India has also allowed the country to intervene in foreign territories militarily and establish its writ there.
India has a tradition of playing larger powers against each other to defend its own interests. When the US sent the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, to intimidate India and show support to America’s ally, Pakistan, India engaged the Russians to get them to trail the Enterprise with their naval forces, including a nuclear submarine (the Soviet 10th Operative Battle Group). The US (and Britain, reluctantly siding with the US) was forced to watch as India ripped ita ally Pakistan into two separate countries.
If you ask me, depending on how well India continues to get its act together, it could swig from being a reliable ally of the West to a formidable foe in its own right. We are brain-dead stupid to continue Sidon with Pakistan, when instead, by now that entire country should have received a kill dose of nuclear radiation for its role in 9-11.
Swig = swing
Sidon = siding
That's a pretty bizarre way to put it, IMO.
The (West) Pakis were engaged in a genuinely genocidal campaign (upwards of 1M dead) to crush Bengalis with legitimate grievances. India eventually intervened, if only to stop the massive flow of refugees it couldn't adequately support.
Indian intervention in the Pakistani civil war was one of the most justified military actions of the 20th century.
You're thinking of old America, before we were intentionally flooded by tens of millions of foreigners, legal and illegal, prior to the government dividing the once united.
Government at all levels has all but destroyed America.
1971 War: How Russia sank Nixons gunboat diplomacy
December 20, 2011
Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Exactly 40 years ago, India won a famous victory over Pakistan due to its brilliant soldiers, an unwavering political leadership, and strong diplomatic support from Moscow. Less well known is Russias power play that prevented a joint British-American attack on India.
Washington DC, December 3, 1971, 10:45am.
US President Richard Nixon is on the phone with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, hours after Pakistan launched simultaneous attacks on six Indian airfields, a reckless act that prompted India to declare war.
Nixon: So West Pakistan giving trouble there.
Kissinger: If they lose half of their country without fighting they will be destroyed. They may also be destroyed this way but they will go down fighting.
Nixon: The Pakistan thing makes your heart sick. For them to be done so by the Indians and after we have warned the bitch (reference to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi). Tell them that when India talks about West Pakistan attacking them it’s like Russia claiming to be attacked by Finland.
Washington, December 10, 1971, 10:51am.
A week later the war is not going very well for Pakistan, as Indian armour scythes through East Pakistan and the Pakistan Air Force is blown out of the subcontinents sky. Meanwhile, the Pakistani military in the west is demoralised and on the verge of collapse as the Indian Army and Air Force attack round the clock.
Nixon: Our desire is to save West Pakistan. That’s all.
Kissinger: That’s right. That is exactly right.
Nixon: All right. Keep those carriers moving now.
Kissinger: The carrierseverything is moving. Four Jordanian planes have already moved to Pakistan, 22 more are coming. We’re talking to the Saudis, the Turks we’ve now found are willing to give five. So we’re going to keep that moving until there’s a settlement.
Nixon: Could you tell the Chinese it would be very helpful if they could move some forces or threaten to move some forces?
Nixon: They’ve got to threaten or they’ve got to move, one of the two. You know what I mean?
Nixon: How about getting the French to sell some planes to the Paks?
Kissinger: Yeah. They’re already doing it.
Nixon: This should have been done long ago. The Chinese have not warned the Indians.
Kissinger: Oh, yeah.
Nixon: All they’ve got to do is move something. Move a division. You know, move some trucks. Fly some planes. You know, some symbolic act. We’re not doing a goddamn thing, Henry, you know that.
Nixon: But these Indians are cowards. Right?
Kissinger: Right. But with Russian backing. You see, the Russians have sent notes to Iran, Turkey, to a lot of countries threatening them. The Russians have played a miserable game.
If the two American leaders were calling Indians cowards, a few months earlier the Indians were a different breed altogether. This phone call is from May 1971.
Nixon: The Indians needwhat they need really is a
Kissinger: Theyre such bastards.
Nixon: A mass famine. But they aren’t going to get that But if they’re not going to have a famine the last thing they need is another war. Let the goddamn Indians fight a war.
Kissinger: They are the most aggressive goddamn people around there.
The 1971 war is considered to be modern Indias finest hour, in military terms. The clinical professionalism of the Indian army, navy and air force; a charismatic brass led by the legendary Sam Maneckshaw; and ceaseless international lobbying by the political leadership worked brilliantly to set up a famous victory. After two weeks of vicious land, air and sea battles, nearly 100,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before India’s rampaging army, the largest such capitulation since General Paulus’ surrender at Stalingrad in 1943. However, it could all have come unstuck without help from veto-wielding Moscow, with which New Delhi had the foresight to sign a security treaty in 1970.
As Nixons conversations with the wily Kissinger show, the forces arrayed against India were formidable. The Pakistani military was being bolstered by aircraft from Jordan, Iran, Turkey and France. Moral and military support was amply provided by the US, China and the UK. Though not mentioned in the conversations here, the UAE sent in half a squadron of fighter aircraft and the Indonesians dispatched at least one naval vessel to fight alongside the Pakistani Navy.
However, Russias entry thwarted a scenario that could have led to multiple pincer movements against India.
Winning in Afghanistan
Saga of India-Russia diplomatic ties
On December 10, even as Nixon and Kissinger were frothing at the mouth, Indian intelligence intercepted an American message, indicating that the US Seventh Fleet was steaming into the war zone. The Seventh Fleet, which was then stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, was led by the 75,000 ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. The worlds largest warship, it carried more than 70 fighters and bombers. The Seventh Fleet also included the guided missile cruiser USS King, guided missile destroyers USS Decatur, Parsons and Tartar Sam, and a large amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli.
Standing between the Indian cities and the American ships was the Indian Navys Eastern Fleet led by the 20,000-ton aircraft carrier, Vikrant, with barely 20 light fighter aircraft. When asked if Indias Eastern Fleet would take on the Seventh Fleet, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Vice Admiral N. Krishnan, said: Just give us the orders. The Indian Air Force, having wiped out the Pakistani Air Force within the first week of the war, was reported to be on alert for any possible intervention by aircraft from the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Soviet intelligence reported that a British naval group led by the aircraft carrier Eagle had moved closer to Indias territorial waters. This was perhaps one of the most ironic events in modern history where the Western worlds two leading democracies were threatening the worlds largest democracy in order to protect the perpetrators of the largest genocide since the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. However, India did not panic. It quietly sent Moscow a request to activate a secret provision of the Indo-Soviet security treaty, under which Russia was bound to defend India in case of any external aggression.
The British and the Americans had planned a coordinated pincer to intimidate India: while the British ships in the Arabian Sea would target Indias western coast, the Americans would make a dash into the Bay of Bengal in the east where 100,000 Pakistani troops were caught between the advancing Indian troops and the sea.
To counter this two-pronged British-American threat, Russia dispatched a nuclear-armed flotilla from Vladivostok on December 13 under the overall command of Admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov, the Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet). Though the Russian fleet comprised a good number of nuclear-armed ships and atomic submarines, their missiles were of limited range (less than 300 km). Hence to effectively counter the British and American fleets the Russian commanders had to undertake the risk of encircling them to bring them within their target. This they did with military precision.
In an interview to a Russian TV programme after his retirement, Admiral Kruglyakov, who commanded the Pacific Fleet from 1970 to 1975, recalled that Moscow ordered the Russian ships to prevent the Americans and British from getting closer to Indian military objects. The genial Kruglyakov added: The Chief Commanders order was that our submarines should surface when the Americans appear. It was done to demonstrate to them that we had nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean. So when our subs surfaced, they recognised us. In the way of the American Navy stood the Soviet cruisers, destroyers and atomic submarines equipped with anti-ship missiles. We encircled them and trained our missiles at the Enterprise. We blocked them and did not allow them to close in on Karachi, Chittagong or Dhaka.”
At this point, the Russians intercepted a communication from the commander of the British carrier battle group, Admiral Dimon Gordon, to the Seventh Fleet commander: Sir, we are too late. There are the Russian atomic submarines here, and a big collection of battleships. The British ships fled towards Madagascar while the larger US task force stopped before entering the Bay of Bengal.
The Russian manoeuvres clearly helped prevent a direct clash between India and the US-UK combine. Newly declassified documents reveal that the Indian Prime Minister went ahead with her plan to liberate Bangladesh despite inputs that the Americans had kept three battalions of Marines on standby to deter India, and that the American aircraft carrier USS Enterprise had orders to target the Indian Army, which had broken through the Pakistani Armys defences and was thundering down the highway to the gates of Lahore, West Pakistans second largest city.
According to a six-page note prepared by India’s foreign ministry, “The bomber force aboard the Enterprise had the US President’s authority to undertake bombing of the Indian Army’s communications, if necessary.”
China in the box
Despite Kissingers goading and desperate Pakistani calls for help, the Chinese did nothing. US diplomatic documents reveal that Indira Gandhi knew the Soviets had factored in the possibility of Chinese intervention. According to a cable referring to an Indian cabinet meeting held on December 10, If the Chinese were to become directly involved in the conflict, Indira Gandhi said, the Chinese know that the Soviet Union would act in the Sinkiang region. Soviet air support may be made available to India at that time.
Interestingly, while the cable is declassified, the source and extensive details of the Indian Prime Ministers briefing remain classified. He is a reliable source is all that the document says. There was very clearly a cabinet level mole the Americans were getting their information from.
On December 14, General A.A.K. Niazi, Pakistan’s military commander in East Pakistan, told the American consul-general in Dhaka that he was willing to surrender. The message was relayed to Washington, but it took the US 19 hours to relay it to New Delhi. Files suggest senior Indian diplomats suspected the delay was because Washington was possibly contemplating military action against India.
Kissinger went so far as to call the crisis our Rhineland a reference to Hitlers militarisation of German Rhineland at the outset of World War II. This kind of powerful imagery indicates how strongly Kissinger and Nixon came to see Indians as a threat.
An Indian University study of the conflict says: The violation of human rights on a massive scaledescribed in a March 30 US cable as selective genocideand the complete disregard for democracy were irrelevant to Nixon and Kissinger. In fact, the non-democratic aspects of Pakistani dictator Yahya Khans behaviour seemed to be what impressed them the most. As evidence mounted of military atrocities in East Pakistan, Nixon and Kissinger remained unmoved. In a Senior Review Group meeting, Kissinger commented at news of significant casualties at a university that, The British didnt dominate 400 million Indians all those years by being gentle.
Nixon and Kissinger phoned Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and asked for guarantees that India would not attack West Pakistan. Nixon was ready to link the future summit in Moscow to Soviet behaviour on this issue,” writes professor Vladislav M. Zubok in A Failed Empire. “The Soviets could not see why the White House supported Pakistan, who they believed had started the war against India. Brezhnev, puzzled at first, was soon enraged. In his narrow circle, he even suggested giving India the secret of the atomic bomb. His advisers did their best to kill this idea. Several years later, Brezhnev still reacted angrily and spoke spitefully about American behaviour.”
Another telephone conversation between the scheming duo reveals a lot about the mindset of those at the highest echelons of American decision making:
Kissinger: And the point you made yesterday, we have to continue to squeeze the Indians even when this thing is settled.
Nixon: We’ve got to for rehabilitation. I mean, Jesus Christ, they’ve bombedI want all the war damage; I want to help Pakistan on the war damage in Karachi and other areas, see?
Nixon: I don’t want the Indians to be happy. I want a public relations programme developed to piss on the Indians.
Nixon: I want to piss on them for their responsibility. Get a white paper out. Put down, White paper. White paper. Understand that?
Kissinger: Oh, yeah.
Nixon: I don’t mean for just your reading. But a white paper on this.
Kissinger: No, no. I know.
Nixon: I want the Indians blamed for this, you know what I mean? We can’t let these goddamn, sanctimonious Indians get away with this. They’ve pissed on us on Vietnam for 5 years, Henry.
Nixon: Aren’t the Indians killing a lot of these people?
Kissinger: Well, we don’t know the facts yet. But I’m sure they’re not as stupid as the West Pakistanisthey don’t let the press in. The idiot Paks have the press all over their place.
NOTE: the text transcripts above were released by the US a few years ago, circa 2007.
nixon didn't see it that way...
nixon was a fool
Well, I was never a fan of Nixon. Now I have even more reason.
It is also relevant that the whole West Pakistani oppression of the Bengalis started because the Bengali political party won an election.
I see Nixon as being short-sighted