Tuesday, February 13, 2007

India in the middle

M K Bhadrakumar at the Asia Times once again gives valuable insight into the maneuvers going on around energy cooperation and competition.
For me, there were several bombshells that I hadn't seen reported elsewhere:
Most importantly, apart from underlining that expansion of relations with Iran is important for India, Mukherjee described Iran as a factor for stability in the region. That is to say, India disregards Washington's propaganda that Iran is aiding and abetting terrorism and is threatening regimes in neighboring countries.

Equally, Mukherjee called for the Iran nuclear file to be sent back to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the competent forum to handle the issue. "A solution based on talks and a peaceful approach can be realized through close cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. Besides, both sides should be flexible," he said. In sum, Mukherjee made out with great poise and resoluteness that New Delhi has its own independent foreign policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.
I would call this seriously going off the reservation by India. Naturally, the fierce warriors among the Democrats started blustering. Tom Lantos, now head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said:
...Delhi must keep its side of the bargain, "which India is not doing", over the nuclear deal with the US and that it is imperative that "we have to work on that issue".
Since India has a major treaty with the US on nuclear cooperation in the works, one would think that would give the US more control over India's policy, however, another player may be influencing the game:
There seem to be fears in Washington that India may be dragging its feet and, in the process, Russia may steal a march over US companies in supplying nuclear plants to India. It is estimated that the nuclear deal will generate US$80 billion in downstream business.
The main issue, as stated in the article, is energy security. Russia, India, China, and soon the Europeans are going ahead with planning for the limited resources of the future, while the US lives its unipolar dream of being able to bomb everyone into submission and give the profits to the multinationals. The liberal energy market that has allowed private interests to reap huge profits and exert huge power through the 'democracies' of the West may be in its last days. The big question right now is how far the US will go down the road to destruction.

It's unfortunate that the Democratic party is unwilling or unable to discuss these issues except as spokesmen for AIPAC. It makes me doubt that the last election will do anything meaningful to pull us back from the abyss.


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