Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Personal perspective on International Events I

1.      Iran Western Powers Nuclear Talks
The recent Geneva 7-9 November, 2013 talks seems promising and its good news for the world in general. Some might say that the Talk was possible due to change in Iranian leadership. I feel it is the change of American position. That’s why Israel and Saudi Arabia are quite disappointed with Obama Administration.
America remains the most powerful nation but its influence has been waning over the years. Wars in Iraq and Libya not only alienated many developing countries but it created conducive environment for Russian and Chinese sphere of influence to grow.
Saudi Arabia has the oil dollars whilst Israel has a very powerful lobbyist arm in Washington. But Washington has realized that it does not serve the long term global interest of American if it continues to pursue the narrow policy of pro-Israel and Saudi Arabian interest in the Middle East. The ramification of the past Middle East policy of the western world is at best unpleasant and counterproductive. The recent change in American policy thinking has helped to avert American invasion of Syria and made possible the Nuclear Talks with Iran. It does not take much of a gamble to predict that relation with North Korea will also see a better light in the near future.
In the recent Nuclear Talk, France seems to be taking a hard line stand against Iran. However, France’s hard line position will peter off because it is just a façade to placate anti-Iranian forces. The stance of France is a repeat of previously France calling for US air strike on Syria and later docilely endorsing Russian plan. So the 2nd round of Nuclear Talk towards later part of this month will see more concrete and peace oriented result between Iran and Western 5 powers. A real Peace in the Middle East region will be good for the whole world including the people of Israel and Saudi Arabia although their present respective governments are dead set against friendly relation with Iran. Administrators will come and go but the nations must adjust to co-exist in peace with each other.

2.      Domestic noose strangles foreign relations for America and India
President Obama could not make his scheduled trips to Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines due to his government shut down by the Congress. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India cannot go to Colombo because it is politically too risky domestically.
Both America and India deeply desire to contain perceived Chinese influence in South and East Asia but their domestic politics are curtailing the implementation of their external national policies. Maybe relationship with China for countries like Sri-Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia could turn out to be more fruitful.

3.      Fukushima nuclear radiators
I am relieved and hopeful that Japan would finally see the beginning of the end of Fukushima nuclear radiation problem. I pray that the attempt to remove the entire 1000 nuclear rods will succeed without any mishap. I hope that Japan’s skill and courage overcomes the great danger inherent in never before attempted massive transfer of nuclear rods. In layman’s term it is like transferring fish from one river to another. However, the risk involved is very high and incredibly destructive if anything goes wrong with the highly complex technical processes.

4.      Assassination of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Taliban leader
Peace proposal can be a means for assassination. This seems to have been the successful desired goal of USA and Pakistan to eliminate the Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. It is possible that the main objective of Pakistan led peace talk with Taliban was to locate the where-about of the elusive Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. Once that was done, American drone attack assassinated Mehsud one day before the actual peace talk. The timing of the attack prevented the collateral damage to Pakistan Peace Officials if the drone attack was made on the day of Peace Talk.
Taliban leadership would of course feel deeply humiliated more so because they got completely fooled by the peace proposal. Naturally there will be no Taliban takers of further peace bait in the near future. However, one has to admire the ingenuity of the Pakistan and USA strategists for coming up with an incredible way to expose Mehsud. 

5.      Syria Peace Talk
It looks like that Syrian Government was not responsible for chemical attack and western governments including America was aware of it from the beginning. It is not too difficult to point out who was responsible behind the scene but like president Arafat’s death by poison, it is not possible to prove and even if proven to what end. There would be more bitter and aggressive denials and threats. So I just hope that in Syria’s case, chemical weapons are eliminated without further fuss and that proposed Syria Peace Talk in Geneva becomes a good start for the stability and peace for Syrian nation and her suffering population.

6.      Indian Politics for 2014
Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi are already battling over 2014 general election. BJP and allies have already spilt and UPA is on the way. There is a distinctive crack within the Congress Party since the day Rahul Gandhi so brutally and globally stigmatized and humiliated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the political ordinance for corrupt politicians. The Ordinance was withdrawn but within party differences have widened.

7.      Obama health care rues
President Obama won all the legislative battles to launch the Obamacare. The hitch was that his administration just could not get out of the electronic maze that snared the implementation. The most powerful man having his triumph legacy Obamacare drubbed by electronic pitfall is an irony of unforgettable lesson. Maybe Obamacare got an attack of his infamous drone attacks that have killed so many innocent civilians. 


  1. Indian Prime Minister refusing to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka is proof that India has a totally screwed up foreign policy. In fact they have none. Little wonder than that Chinese influence is growing all around India. The only foreign policy India has is to bully their poor and helpless neighbors into submission through threats and economic sanctions.

  2. Recently, I had the privilege of listening to a great talk by the incumbent Ambassador of India to the United States, Mr. Dnyaneshwar Mulay, on “India: The story of growth, democracy & soft power”.
    Ambassador Mulay is highly accomplished, wise, and erudite diplomat, well known in both India and worldwide. He has more than 15 books to his credits.
    There were two things that struck me from his talk: India’s secular democracy and soft power. Ambassador Mulay touted India’s democracy as being highly secular in a pluralist country. Despite the existence of numerous cultures and religions, India has proven to be a fertile ground for coexistence of all major religious traditions and diverse ethnicity. Even His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama deeply admires India’s secularism that motivated him to propound and promulgate the concept of “secular ethics” to promote religious harmony in the contemporary world.
    There are many areas where New Delhi needs self-introspection and reexamination of its foreign policies if ever it should draw inspirations from its secularism. The recent blatant interference in Bhutanese politics by Indian government is a complete opposite of India’s secular underpinning. Indian diplomats and political think tanks fail to accept that Bhutan has every right to defend its culture and unique existence. As this giant neighbor emerges as the next generation of world economic power, it should not only uphold its secular values within the country, but must also radiate its values to its neighboring countries and accept their sovereign rights to shape their own destiny.
    On India’s soft power, the Ambassador proclaimed that the great Indian civilization has produced two eminent figures, Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. These two luminaries have changed worldviews. He explained how Buddhism spread from India to rest of the world during the time of King Asoka. He gracefully illuminated the works of Gandhi whose weapon of non-violence has won the freedom of India from the powerful Brits. He also talked about India’s 27 million Diaspora, officially recognized as Non Resident Indians, who have contributed tremendously to the host nations’ growth and development.
    In the context of Bhutan-India relationship, it is more fitting that nuclear-equipped India shows its soft power. Although Hinduism is dominant in the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist nation, which India should be proud to relate as an example of its soft power. Buddhism has thrived and positively influenced many generations of Bhutanese since its introduction in the 7th Century by Guru Padmasambhawa, an Indian by birth. The concept of Gross National Happiness, which is being hailed an alternative development paradigm by the international community (although highly contested as well), has its philosophical roots in Buddhism, a religion India prides in.
    India is a great nation gifted with many great thinkers and noble laureates. His Excellency Dnyaneshwar is unequivocally a gifted figure and a treasure of India. I do hope that Indian politics and foreign policies are shaped by such refined individuals so that India exercises its influence on its immediate neighbors by extolling the virtues of its secularism and soft power. I also wish that India is guided by wisdom, not by adrenaline when dealing with its aggressive neighbors, particularly China. Sometimes, I see India’s NDTV anchors panicking and making hues and cries about a few skirmishes along India-China border. India should use skillful diplomacy, nor fear and panic, to settle the long disputed borders with China. Through such approach trust and confidence is gained, and bilateral relationship can be fostered with mutual trust and respects.
    In the same vein, Bhutan should be allowed to use any diplomatic tactics to solve the long-standing ambiguous border with China. If border issues are resolved, things will only work in favor of India, because it is India’s desire that Bhutan remains a forever sovereign nation.

    1. India's so called secular democracy is for the gullible. Anyone who lives in India knows that India is anything but secular and democratic.

      India is basically a police state:

      As to the so called aggressive China, we can do a status check here. China has settled amicably twelve out of fourteen of its contiguous land neighbors, save India and Bhutan. India on the other hand is unable or unwilling to make peace with any of its neighbors. It still has border disputes with all of its neighbors, some of them extremely contentious and bitter.

      India does talk a good talk. I will give it that.

    2. You forgot to mention that Bhutan is unable to settle its border dispute with China because India wont allow it. Every time Bhutan tries to come to an agreement with China, India threatens sanctions and aid withdrawal.

    3. Yes, I agree with both Anons 12:08 and 12:46. India does different from its talks, especially with regard to Bhutan's move to settle border ambiguities with China. The recent interference in Bhutan's election speaks volumes about New Delhi’s firm resolve to stifle any attempts to clear border issues with China.

      Nevertheless, it is few human beings in Indian politics that are making such decisions. If highly learned and rational individuals dominate India's top brass decision makers, I am sure settlement of border disputes will move forward in a positive direction. In the changing political landscape, people come and go, and let us hope that good individuals will dominate and change the political game for mutual gains.

      But, I have no idea if Bhutan’s proposal to settle border issues with China were transparently discussed with the Indian counterparts and their concerns heard or not. If we have not done it, then it is our mistake. If done, then India is being too much irrational.

    4. I know. I am not blaming Bhutan. Bhutan needs to do whatever it needs to do lest it become another Sikkim.

    5. No way Bhutan should become another Sikkim. Such a situation would mean the end of the United Nations and probably the end of the world. Indians and Chinese can only dream about it, but we are officially recognized as part of the international league of nations.

      Such an act of aggression would be suicidal on their part, as they along with other BRICS nations are working hard on improving their image as the progressive nations, not only in economic terms but also in humanitarian terms.

    6. Not that India has not tried.

      Indian (post Kashmir) aggression in chronological order :

      1951 Annexation of South Tibet:

      1961 Annexation of Goa:

      1962 Invasion of China:

      1975 Annexation of Sikkim:

      1990 (Failed) Attempted annexation of Bhutan:

  3. Thanks for providing all the links. They were very informative.