Sunday, November 08, 2009

Just a few sobering and random thoughts for recognition-seeking Indians.....and a whole host of others..... especially ARABS.........

Just a few sobering and random thoughts for recognition-seeking Indians.....and a whole host of others..... especially ARABS.........

Insightful article. But just don't stop it ALL.

The challenge is how to leverage this "beautiful friendship" into Indian strategic gain to become the unquestioned hemegon in the region. Anything less would be a disaster for India. India has two choices a) assert control, by force if required, and bring the region back into an 'indic" civilizational fold or b) allow Wahabbi Islam to gain ascendency throughout the region, including India. Sorry for putting these into "mathematical" whatever, but it cannot get any CLEARER than this.

Regarding the article. We Americans certainly know how to "use" our friendship. Starting from the kindergarten level, we teach our children "what is in it for me?" In short, what we do get out of this friendship. We do not teach them to "obey" us parents, we teach them to "negotiate" with us showing them how best they can leverage the discussions to their advantage -from when they are in their terrible twos.

So behind that innocuous NGO facade, there is a hidden-agenda which we always maintain discreetly. Please do not take our friendship for granted. Permanent friends vs. interests yada yada...! You will be made to pay the price of that friendship each and every time. The question for India is the level of friendship you wish to seek with us. You can either approach us as Pakistanis or the Chinese. Either you open your arms or your ...s! It is not surprising that Pakistanis feel like "used condoms" every time we 'engage' with them.

Also remember, Americans respect strength. If you show no self-respect and come to us groveling and on your knees, there will be a natural tendency of us to kick where it hurts most. Watch our Sports?game/Hunting/Fishing shows on American TV channels. You will know what I mean. This should be made mandatory for Indian babus to watch these shows. Watch the intensity, respect, and the interaction that American hunter expresses towards his "sport" and you will get a fairly good idea how Americans foreign policy is conducted. Even the staid PBS National Geographic shows on African wildlife is depicted as a fight for space and survival between the hunter and the hunted. This is classic American approach to foreign policy. I teach at a local American post-secondary educational institution. When asked how we should deal with AfPak, almost 100% of the students express "nuke 'em sons-of-bitches. Nuke 'em all!" The sober ones suggest creating a wall around them with no interaction with the outside world and letting themselves kill each other (pheasant hunting season is in full swing locally and people are just loving it!) For the record, this statement was made a day after the Fort Hood carnage. I am not here to debate what is right and wrong It is just the way it is!

That way I admire the ISI/Pak army chutzpah for having the tenacity to play this charade for the past sixty years. Unbeknownst to the Americans, it is the tail which has been wagging the dog - and continues to do so!

If India cannot call this bluff off, or confront it head-on, it just validates the fundamental weakness of the Indian foreign policy.

Just a couple of Google searches and some other random thoughts...

Indians need to think what constitutes friendship. Americans and Indians have very different concept of such terms. Words like "sharing," "secular," "friendship," "interesting," etc. have very different connotation and meaning in the USA and India.

To wit:

a) "Sharing": When I first arrived in the USA, the local church would always invite me to "share." Of course, "sharing" to them meant for me to accept their God and Jesus Christ (and reject mine). They were such party-poopers when they wouldn't allow me to "share" my God Krishna (Reggie hurt!). So never consider "sharing" as a equal-equal reciprocal arrangement in the American context. More likely, sharing in the USA means "I am allowing you to become/partake a part of me/goods and services on my terms and conditions (and you better be grateful about it!)." There is a reason why Africans say, in reference to the Europeans, "When they came, we had the land, they had the bible; when we converted, we had the bible, and they had the land." Just wanted to put that cautionary sign on.

b) "Secular": The most recent faux pax was the Indian General's speech at Yudh Abhyas, Babina. He extolled the virtues and commonality of India and USA as both being "secular." This sort of nonsense and lack of knowledge extends within the highest reaches of the GoI and its officials (who was the MEA babu coordinating this show? Must be sacked). The word "secular" has ABSOLUTELY different meaning in the USA vis-a-vis India. What do you think I as an American general/top brass for the Babina show, thinking? Driving from Agra to Babina, seeing the filth, dirt and poverty, I was quite probably whispering to myself, "these heathens, if only they accept Jesus Christ in their lives, they would not be rotting in this squalor."

c) "Equal": It is very difficult for an American to be view things from an "equal" standpoint. From an American viewpoint, some things/people are more equal than others, or they simply just don't care! Indians need to be aware of this. Case in point. Interview with one Stryker soldier the day Yudh Abhyas commenced at Babina about his views on the Indian army. His response: "frankly, until yesterday, I had no idea Indians had a mechanized army." (it is there on YouTube). Think of it, the Yudh Abhyas was in planning for over six months. Both the armies/soldiers knew, anticipated and planned for this joint-exercise for over a period of time and this Stryker soldier has absolutely no frigging idea he is about to engage with a 'mechanized" IA? The U.S. commander/office-in-charge responsible for Yudh Abhyas should be sacked due to his failure to properly educate his troops. No wonder we seem so clueless going into Iraq/Afghanistan.

c) "Negotiating": Save a few IFS babus on an individual level, as an institution/system, MEA/Indian babus lack the basic knowledge and tools in dealings with Americans officials; last time while I was prepping the Chicago Consul General before meeting a top Iowa politician, he bombastically remarked, "arre, ek baar unse mila dejiye, dekhyie unko hum badal denge." What bombast, what arrogance! Each American politician has an army of staff/aides who provide the "intellectual" background and counsel to the politician. One meeting does not a policy change! Worse, he had absolutely NO idea of Tom Harkin's position on India. He looked at me with "hairyaanniat" when I explained Senator Harkin's extremely rigid reflexive anti-Indian stand. And here he is, the Consul General of India going into a meeting with a strident anti-Indian senator without ANY prior background information about him. One would think before leaving his Chicago office, he would have printed a one page "dossier" about Senator Harkin and brushed up on the piece of information on the flight or the morning of the meeting. Do the MEA babus prepare such "briefs?" In any case, the babus cannot be blamed as their time is consumed in more important and irrelevant frivolous pursuits like making all sorts of "arrangements" for some two-bit visiting Indian politician. Where would they have the time to do the sort of professional work the citizens of India actually pay them to do?

d)"Interesting": Ask an American upon his/her return from India. "Hey, how was the trip?" Most likely, he will say, "interesting." At this point, the Indian starts feeling all giddy thinking that the American has had a terrific time in India. When the American says "interesting," he is being rather polite. What, most likely, he is trying to say is that the trip was nauseating (even the "hey, how was the trip?" is American lingo. The Indian way to ask this question (frame the question) is "How did you like India?" leaving the tourist with little or no choice to express anything negative about the country.

d) "Friendship": With all the bonhomie, let me put things in a somewhat realistic perspective.

Another sticking point is that despite several reminders US has refused to alter its entities list, or the black list that bans trade in sensitive technology for some Indian companies, including a dozen key government companies like Indian Space Research Organization and Defense. This is despite the fact that the matter has been raised several times with the US as India is in dubious company of countries like North Korea, Pakistan and China that have a past track record of proliferation.

Just a few sobering and random thoughts for recognition-seeking Indians.....and a whole host of others..... especially ARABS.........