Skip to comments.Top US leadership feels diplomat row with India 'most stupid thing to do'
Posted on 01/11/2014 9:37:19 AM PST by MBT ARJUN
Recognising the damage that the diplomat row has done to the India-US relationship, there is a realisation in the top American leadership that "it was the most stupid thing to do" on their part and that they would now have to "work overtime" to bring back the ties on track. As Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade landed in New Delhi last night, there was a sense of relief in the US government, with officials expressing their determination to move forward the relationship, which President Barack Obama has described as the defining partnership of the 21st century. "The US and India enjoy a broad and deep friendship, and this isolated episode is not indicative of the close and mutually respectful ties that we share," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Obama, sources said, was regularly updated on the development and National Security Advisor Susan Rice too was monitoring the situation; so was Secretary of State John Kerry, it is believed. "This has clearly been a challenging time in the US-India relationship. We expect and hope that this will now come to closure and the Indians will now take significant steps with us to improve our relationship and return it to a more constructive place," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. Arrested on December 12, Khobragade, 39, was strip- searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two countries with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps. Now that the Khobragade has returned to India, sources told PTI that there was "furious" reaction in the top American leadership when this was first brought to their notice on December 12, the day Khobragade was arrested in New York on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts. "It was one of the most stupid thing to do," a top American leader is learnt to have said, referring to the damage the diplomat's case has done to India-US ties. In fact a source pointed that the level of "furious reaction" in the top American leadership was similar to that of India. "If the Indians were furious, so were we." It is one of the reasons why Kerry, in the middle of his overseas trip, made it a point to reach out to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. Since he was not available at that time, Kerry spoke with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. During the conversation, Kerry is believed to have apologised for the incident, sources said. But the public statement issued by the State Department noted that Kerry expressed his regret to Menon. However, the strong Indian reaction did not go down well in the US as well. "There are stupid people on our side. There are stupid people on your side too," sources said. "The overwhelming opinion was this should not have happened. The sense was that there was a sectorial bureaucracy, which pursued an issue and the people who had the big picture, either had taken the eyes off the ball or were in the middle of transition," said another source familiar with the conversation happening at the senior level of US government and among the lawmakers. "For whatever reason, the big picture guys did not stop the sectorial bureaucracy at the time when people should have said, look where is this issue going," sources said, adding the sentence "that this should not have happened" is being said both at the Hill and the corridor of powers here. Sources said the case was handled by those people who did not had the sense what would be the repercussions of such an action. And by the time it came to the notice of the top US leadership, it had entered the domain of the judiciary. This coupled with a strong retaliatory action by India, sources said, tied down their hands. One sentiment encountered at fairly senior level in Washington was a feeling that nobody needed this problem and that this was badly handed. "Now that it has happened, we need to resolve this. The thought is there that we need to make sure that such things do not happen again," sources said. There was a growing sense in the Obama Administration yesterday that they would like to put this episode behind them and move forward as quickly as possible. While"Devyani was seen off at the airport by an official of the State Department," he told reporters Friday morning. "He told Devyani that, 'Madam, I am sorry, and it was wrong.' She told the official, 'You have lost a good friend. It is unfortunate. In return, you got a maid and a drunken driver. They are in, and we are out.'
Barry has never worked overtime on anything, save for scoring drugs or cruising.
Ms Khobragade, like most people, probably exaggerates her importance. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that a country would make major decisions about international relations on the basis of an event like this. But countries on the rise but not yet there always seem to be the most hypersensitive.
Never let a crisis go to waste.
The situation is not quite so extreme, but this is somewhat reminiscent of the old: "You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You have chosen dishonor. And you will have war."
Of course, with India, we shall not have war, but we have unquestionably chosen badly. And I say we did it on purpose. Muslims do not like Hindus.
India deserves an abject apology, no qualifications..a simple “We are sorry, we were idiots, please forgive us”
And a LARGE cash settlement needs to be paid to that poor woman.
Diplomatic immunity must never be cheapened. We look a bit like the thugs who took our diplomats hostage in Iran... I don’t like it when the US is the one attacking diplomatic status.
No matter what a person with diplomatic immunity does the only recourse is supposed to be a declaration of persona non grata and expulsion.
Indeed, Barry is very sad. His staff cannot enjoy perversion in India anymore the way this diplomat got to apparently exploit someone... but that is becoming a familiar sight for Barry the sorcerer to do, exploit and pimp black people to acceptance of homosexuality.
Just so. Now he can concentrate on relations with his true friends in the Muslim countries: Pokeestan Affghaneeston and Iran.
Obama, perhaps the only human on planet earth who could screw up taking a relaxing bath with a rubber duck.
just another segment of amateur hour
I wouldn’t feel sorry for India. They sided with the Russians during the Cold War. Many other puzzling episodes but they should really save their scorn for the British.
As I see it-on 2nd thought-it appears that the arresting officer(s) may have wanted to just ‘sneak in a little feel’. She looks pretty hot.
Secondly, Diplomatic immunity does not allow you to do whatever you like- thats a common misconception. A diplomats accreditation is contingent upon proper behavior in the host country and if they cant manage to do that- the accreditation is revoked and they get invited to leave. Drunken driving is another common one that gets them booted out.
They also have no special status with law enforcement. Diplomatic violators get arrested and treated like everybody else. Processing at jails is for the staff and prisoners safety- there have been instances where armed diplomats have killed people. After their status is verified they are released- usually to their missions designated personnel. Depending on the offense they may be declared “persona non grata”
She wealsed out and fled. Unsurprising, we allow fraudsters to leave all the time. As for the queers and such at our consulars in India, follow the local rules and customs. India is simply playing hardball the only way they can.
I’ll admit to not being completely up to speed on India’s Cold War relations, but it never appeared to me they were hard line anti-Western. Truth be told, you touched on a major reason why they could have gone that route. Today they aren’t what I would call rabid anti-Britain or the West.
In Russia’s hemisphere and not as militarily prepared for war as Russia, India had to do somewhat of a tap-dance. I don’t believe they could have come out totally Western without some fear of harassment or retribution. It would seem to me they played it about right.
Yes India did have relations with Russia, but they never acted hard line anti-US.
As for India having scorn for the British, in truth I think there are some things they appreciate that the British handed off to them. Their government seems to function reasonably, and Britain brought that framework to them.
It is reasonable to think India would have some big problems with the occupation, but it hasn’t gone hard line on it. I think India has handled it’s foreign relations rather well.
Perhaps you would like to explain your views on it. I may learn something if you do.
Say what you want, this was a huge mistake by the US. India is entitled to whatever reaction they desire.
In fact India sided with non-aligned (neutral) nations during the cold war. Mainly because the US favored muslim Pakistan, India’s arch rival in the region.
They do have a point. If this had been done to Chinese or Russian diplomats, the response from these countries would have been immediate and pretty severe, making headlines around the world. We know all about the Chinese government sponsored riots to express anger. Compared to that India's response has been quite calm and measured.
These sort of problems have festered for a while now. Couple of years ago the Indian ambassador to the U.S. was subjected to an extensive search in one of the airports here. Prior to that the Indian defense minister was searched at an airport.
India feels that the treatment it receives is not the same respect that other countries get. Recently there was the incident of the Saudi princess keeping near slaves and she was let go, and then the Russian diplomats engaged in some fraud, and those guys were also not arrested.
India feels that it is perceived as a "soft state" that does not retaliate or reciprocate for these incidents, that is why they are ignored when they complain.
The sad part is that the U.S. diplomats in India are the ones who have to deal with the consequences, not Bharara or anyone else.
This isn't about diplomatic immunity. It is about how you treat your friends and allies and those you wish were your friends and allies.
India is, putatively, an English speaking democracy. There are not enough of those and they are all natural allies of each other.
India is surrounded by hostile moslem countries and China. It is a bulwark against terrorism. It is a counterweight to China. It is a growing maritime power in an area the US seeks to de-emphasize militarily. India is the 7th most admired foreign country by Americans. India is a natural ally of the US.
Remember, no US citizen was harmed by this woman. She snuck a maid into the country and underpaid her. For that you set back Indo-American relations a couple of decades? How does that make sense?
I get it, and they appear to be right about what in the grand scheme of things is a completely inconsequential matter, but there are bigger things afoot. It's too bad no one's politics seems to allow for seeing it.
It only continues the difference in class and who you know. We continue to create a system of those who can get away with it, and those who get punished. We are in the get punished cat, she is not.
It is a pissing contest, India will always do what is in their best interest, right now that is kicking out fags from our State Department. Big deal, they are caste defined society and corrupt, we try to be a little different here.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.