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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bush Did Us Good

In a silly nostalgic article in New York Times (which I happened upon via another source), former US Secretary of State, who wanted to put India back in a bottle and used phrases like "stop digging if you are in a hole" while referring to India's 1998 Phokharan II nuclear tests, Madaleine Albright, rues the end of self-proclaimed white man's burden.

During the 1990s, certain precedents were created. The administration of George H. W. Bush intervened to prevent famine in Somalia and to aid Kurds in northern Iraq; the Clinton administration returned an elected leader to power in Haiti; NATO ended the war in Bosnia and stopped Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of terror in Kosovo; the British halted a civil war in Sierra Leone; and the United Nations authorized life-saving missions in East Timor and elsewhere...

The Bush administration’s decision to fight in Afghanistan after 9/11 did nothing to weaken this view because it was clearly motivated by self-defense. The invasion of Iraq, with the administration’s grandiose rhetoric about pre-emption, was another matter, however. It generated a negative reaction that has weakened support for cross-border interventions even for worthy purposes. Governments, especially in the developing world, are now determined to preserve the principle of sovereignty, even when the human costs of doing so are high.

I think we owe the current US president George Bush a, may be two, thank yous: one, for putting to rest the notion that west, mainly US with the powerless Europeans egging on, can enter any country it wants for any reason it wants - hope it stays that way for the foreseeable future; and, two, for pursing a very close relationship with India.

We already know that at least one of possible future US president, Barack Obama, a classic left winger, would bring back moral equivalence between terror victim Bharat and terror sponsoring Land of Pure, and, who knows, side with Chinese when the time comes, keeping in tune with the historic sore to ambivalent US relations with India. The days of bonhomie between US and Bharat may be coming to an end.