December 21, 2004
Tim Dunlop Reports on the Bushies Destruction of American Power Worldwide
the road to surfdom: Last night I had an interesting conversation with a friend who works on Capitol Hill. He was recently part of a Congressional delegation that went to India. The delegation was mainly Republicans. They spoke to a lot of Indian government people and the message from them was very clear, and in a nutshell it was this: "We don't much care about America." He said they were very polite but almost indifferent. Maybe matter-of-fact is a better description. The conversation went something like this:
We consider ourselves as in competition with China for leadership in the new century. That's our focus and frankly, you have made it very difficult for us to deal with you. We find your approach to international affairs ridiculous. The invasion of Iraq was insane. You've encouraged the very things you say you were trying to fix - terrorism and instability. Your attitude to Iran is ridiculous. You need to engage with Iran. We are. We are bemused by your hypocrisy. You lecture the world about dealing with dictators and you deal with Pakistan. We are very sorry for your losses from the 9/11 terror attacks. Welcome to our world. You threaten us with sanctions for not signing the non-proliferation treaty, but you continue to be nuclear armed and to investigate new weapons. You expect us to neglect our own security because you want us to. We don't care about sanctions.
They also spoke about economic development and the message here was that we're doing fine thanks. We can't address the poverty in our country wholesale--most of it is rural poverty anyway--but we find we have skills in the hi-tech area. We will continue to pursue that. We currently produce around 10,000 (I think, ed) science PhDs a year. We will build up a rich, well-educated strata.
Another thing he said that was mentioned a number of times was the relationship with Australia. They spoke of educational exchanges and the growing number of immigrants. Australia was thought of highly.>
Like I said, this was a Congressional delegation and it spoke to key people in the Indian government. I gather it was a real eye-opener for those involved. (Having friends back home who have worked on Indian issues for Australian governments going back twenty years, I doubt you would get the same level of surprise.)
Posted by DeLong at December 21, 2004 09:03 AM