Why the hullabaloo about protesting Bush’s visit to India? I never knew he was that hated (if at all anyone cared) in India. According to an opinion poll, regard for America is the highest in India apart from United States. Although their president is generally considered a moron and inept, a sentiment that even I share, as a country no one can deny America its righteous place as the only superpower. When the President of the world’s most powerful country visits you, we are naturally expected to lay out the red carpet. It is the right thing to do. Even if it wasn’t a powerful country, we definitely would not deny a welcome to any head of state. After all, we welcomed and feted the head of states of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Their violation of human rights records are nothing compared to Bush; if that is the real issue that the protestors are fighting against. Take a look at the pictures Akshay took of the protestors in Mumbai (Bush is not visiting the commercial capital). You can see angry Islamists who definitely were incited by their fundamentalist mullahs to take to the streets. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when they issued their clarion call to protest the visit of the ‘shaitan‘. Why are the common folk in Islam so gullible? Or probably, common folk everywhere are gullible.
The Left weirdly is opposed to Bush because we voted against Iran and they think that we are sucking up to America. I guess, they aren’t opposed to the act of sucking up (politically correct term — diplomacy) but whom we are sucking up to. Their ego takes a beating that we have abandoned our old communist friends. They also rather have us prefer to suck up to the Saudis and other Islamic countries that routinely violate human right just because we are a ‘secular’ country. Hindu fundamentalism, according to the Lefties is a much more dangerous activity than Islamic fundamentalism in spite of overwhelming evidence contrary to the fact. Any form of fundamentalism is bad and thankfully, Hindu fundamentalism is on the wane but the Left insists on us being afraid of it.
Let us get some facts straight. Bush is not here to discuss the Iraq issue that he botched up. He is here to talk business — to discuss the nuclear agreement and sharing of nuclear technology, which is definitely to our benefit. It makes us bully-proof and lets us explore options in expanding our energy sources while elevating our status globally. Pakistan has demanded a similar status and they were rightfully denied [see Condi's statement] because of previous incidents of proliferation. How can you trust a country whose chief nuclear scientist sold nukes to rouge nations? Musharraf claiming that the proliferation happened without his knowledge is pure bullshit. If he doesn’t know what is happening with his country’s arsenal of nukes, he is heading up a rouge nation himself. The farce of a trial that followed with the guilty granted a presidential pardon was enough to confirm my doubts. As Amit also notes, Pakistan has benefited tremendously due to generous aid from the U.S. In fact, even people in Pakistan should not be protesting Bush’s visit. They should be laying out the red carpet; which of course they are except it is tainted with the blood of a U.S. diplomat in Karachi.
I opposed the visit of Musharraf last March simply because he wasn’t interested in talking business and kept harping about Kashmir. Had he come as a genuine elected leader with a modicum of credibility and talked about issues more important than Kashmir, I would have welcomed him as well. After all, in Indian culture we even welcome the enemy with open arms when they visit you.
All said and done, I don’t mind the act of protest itself. But I am going to disagree with their objectives and intentions of their protests because according to me, they are hollow. Think straight for a change, please.