Monday, March 03, 2008

The Peculiar Situation in the US.

Flipflopping, backpedalling, indecisiveness etc... are not things we associate with American policymaking but those seem to be abundance lately.

After having opposed the India-US nuclear deal, the Democrats and the NPA are now running in circles trying to avoid blame for the failure of this deal.

In the Senate and Congress, when the deal was first discussed, the Democrats used the occasion to vent all their pent up anti-Bush sentiment and in the process ensured that the Bush admin's attempt to change the American relationship with India was completely destroyed.

Now faced with the prospect of perhaps inherting the White House, the Democrats are moving to put themselves into a negotiation with the Indian government or whoever they think they can talk to in the Indian government. I mean literally - this is exactly - "maan na maan - main tera mehmaan".

God forbid the Indians lose interest in the deal - how will the Democrats demand "expressions of support" from India to move the moth eaten deal across the floor of the Congress and the Senate?

Without at least an Indian nod, there is no question of the Americans making a dime in the next round of negotiations over the deal - because well... as Allah miyan knows, there is will simply be no next round. Without a next round - the entire game fails horribly for all those highly paid lobbyists in Washington DC. Arre bhai many of them probably have debts that rival Ken Lay's "profits" and at the very least everyone has at least one mortgage to pay... I mean seriously not everyone can die of a heart attack before the creditors come calling.

The problem is that the Democrats really do not know anything about foreign policy. Foreign policy is what they think they hear when they listen to "experts" like the NPA or read that magazine they call the "New York Times". Most of them would not know foreign policy even if it was dropped on their head. So even when they actually want to come and beg the Indians to pay them bribes, it only comes out sounding like commands and orders - which most Indians find tiresome.

One might think that a repeat of the Jaswant-Talbot talks could happen - i.e. where a wily Indian overtly massages his American "interlocuter's" ego and mumbles "shiboleths" and talks from every "azimuth" in his body. One might even expect that the well "vibed" American then writes a book about how he saved the world from "nuclear destruction" - complete with a foreword by George Perkovich.

And very sick people - you know the behuda badzaat haramis - like me would simply delight yet another self serving account from D.C.

I mean then we can once again show up the Man of Steel next door who claimed to have been hugged by Clinton in Jordan - can he claim that he was the topic of a self serving pat-on-the-ass-cheek account? ... see even our lowly foreign minister has a bigger claim to fame than those of high office elsewhere.

Another account of this kind would be a major badge of honour for total kameenas like me.

And for all I know this might be what will happen. As they say in my city - dekhna ek din hum iske baare mein bhi Hindi film banayenge.... kaun chahiye director? - Karan Johar, Mani Ratnam... etc...

However there are a few things one must keep in mind.

The proximity of the Republican Party to key/core industrial groups in the US is undeniable and only someone with the right name - Abbaji ka khaas - is likely to know what parameters are acceptable in the deal - as only such a person would be capable of polling the opinions of the people that matter in the US and communicating accurately with them.

A layer of think-they-know-it-all types from the Democratic Party are not really going to assist in this negotiation. I mean they might go some distance in providing comic relief now and then, but beyond that one should not look get our hopes up.

At the present time the bulk of the core power brokers inside the US are heavily invested in carbon based energy. These people effectively control global utilisation of such energy via various pricing mechanisms. They are keen to invest in the growth of nuclear power in India purely because they want to hedge against possible competitive pressures on their *existing* investments. Until a stable investment structure is reached for these people - where India's interests are safeguarded against any unfortunate errors of judgement (i.e. monopolistic tendencies) on their part - negotiations will remain protracted - regardless of what window dressing sits in a house somewhere.

The Democrats are preparing for a change of drapery in D.C. - all this deadlining and interlocuting is all in aid of the getting ready to answer the phone when it rings at 3 AM when the children are asleep etc....


Kya kya dekhna padta hain bhaiyon...

*** Can't resist ***

Inspector Pandit - Shani... arre rey yeh kya kar rahe ho?... tum Shani ko kha rahe ho?....

Inspector Purohit - Shani? kyon.. is mey... ?Hain..?

Inspector Pandit - Arre Shani toh... aadmi ko kha jaata hain....

scene outside Abdul Chacha Ka Dhaba near Minara Masjid...
-- from the movie Maqbool


At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi M,
Since the deal is having a troubled passage at te parliament, don't you think current & future admin will blame India for having rejected the deal.Don't you think it should have been the opposite.
with best wishes,

At 6:43 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Mukunda,

The American ethic prevents them from taking responsibility for a failure. It is too debilitating to the American psychology to be "blamed" - it is more psychologically convenient to blame others.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...


Incidentally, I think there was a naive faction among the younger US NRIs who actually believed all the stuff dished out by the democrats.

I think a lot of these people actually went along with the anti-Bush wave and are now discovering that the democrats are only pretending to listen to their gripes.

Time will tell how this farce will play out.


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