Monday, January 30, 2017

You really need to get the facts right first

In this article Swapan Dasgupta attempted to get his head around what was happening to the US-India relationship after Donald Trump's inauguration. 

Unfortunately  there are some factual disconnects here that need to be remedied as they lead to a very different conclusion from what Swapan proposes.

1) Brexit and the US2016 elections are different :  Brexit was a referendum where the majority vote won. If the US 2016 election were a referendum - Hillary would be president. The US elections are not democratic so Trump became president.  I agree that in both elections gullible voters were targeted by with false promises of national progress after departing from liberal agendas, but in the US the majority voted for the liberal agenda and not for the departure. In Britain the story is different, and many who voted "leave" expressed deep regrets about it after the "leave" victory was declared.  The Arab Spring protests were genuine expressions of anger against repressive regimes that do not accommodate basic democratic processes. The #NotMyPresident movement or the Women's March is more like the Arab Spring because it speaks to the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the US electoral process (both at party primary and at the national level). 

2) The "Great Unwashed" actually voted for HRC -  In India - it is common for people to dismiss "liberals" as being disconnected from the "Great Unwashed" majority in the country. You may debate whether this is actually true in India, but in the US it is *NOT* the case. If you look at the economic demographics, barring one segment (old rural white men and the women they hold in their thrall) - the vast majority of the "Great Unwashed" (the Hispanics, Blacks, urban poor whites (so called "White Trash") etc....) all largely voted for HRC. This is because Donald Trump appealed to a very toxic image of manhood that has been used to subvert the loyalty of the rural whites for several decades now and it alienates all other segments of the country. Also HRC's emphasis on government support to the poor resonated with people who didn't see sense in Donald Trump's vision of a racially divided and socially repressed America. 

3) "Predictability" and "Donald Trump" are opposites - Donald Trump likes to be unpredictable, so you really can't base any interaction with him on a set of fixed assumptions about "what he wants" as that might change on a second-by-second basis. Domestically speaking, the GOP does not have any idea what he will do next. Even during the year and half they interacted with him, no common minimum program could be written down. NATO states have a significant common interest with the US, they have supported US policy decision even at great cost to themselves. And President Trump has hung them out to dry because people say - he has something going on with President Putin. So why will Donald Trump suddenly become more predictable in his ties with India? 

You don't have to take my word for it. Just ask people that have worked for him in the past - the banks, the contractors, the public service employees he has interacted with, the small investors who bought stock in his projects - and you will see the pattern I speak of. 

If anything a review of the facts suggest that all foreign powers must treat the Donald Trump regime as being unstable (either due to the pressure of "illegitimacy" or merely due to the fears and phobias of its leader) . A direct consequence of this is that every nation on earth must define a split policy - one which appears to reach out to Donald Trump while simultaneously getting ready to cut off the hand he has just shaken. 

I can understand if the Modi government can't handle the task of keeping apace with Donald Trump's minute by minute mood swings and seeks the solace of false premises but it will do so only at great cost to India's national security interests.  

As the Steele report suggests, Donald Trump clearly values his true economic position which may be far more precarious than his glossy website have people believe. This is consistent with the RIS targetting approach via the Mogilovich Cartel but now that he is President, he has something even greater to lose - his "legitimacy".  As Indians reading this I don't need to remind you that the entire Mahabharat was fought over the perception of legitimacy.  

Even if we assume that somehow real power will rest not in an unpredictable leader but his predictable followers (an obviously flawed idea) - and we assume that the Kushner led pro-Netanyahu faction and the Bannon's Nazism 2.0 branch agree on a common goal of killing all Muslims in the world and , is that an agenda that India can really associate contact with? for any length of time? 

So before joining any coalition of the genocidal insane - India may want to think carefully about where it will fall once the history is written.


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