Erring Powell errs again
”America can have no closer partnerships in the world than those we forge with fellow democracies,” [Colin Powell] said [in July 2002].[NYT via HVK]
He was talking about Pakistan!
One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq’s biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities. [‘BBC’]
It turned out that it was the intelligence that was thick.
Colin Powell’s handling of relations with India has been marked by a singular lack of imagination and sensitivity. Earlier this year, the manner in which he announced the designation of Pakistan as a ‘major non-NATO ally’ almost sold the pro-American elements of India’s foreign policy downriver. Jaswant Singh (who did much to bring India and United States into a ‘strategic tango’) was not likely to forgive or forget that bungling, considering that it might even have contributed to the BJP’s subsequent electoral defeat.
So when Colin Powell claimed that it was due to his considerable skills in patching calls together that India and Pakistan began their current ‘thaw’, Jaswant Singh was livid.
“I don’t know whether the State Department of U.S.A., in addition to attempting to run U.S. foreign policy as best as it can, is also a telephone exchange and now is acting as a kind of elocution instructor to South Asia. [Washington Post]
Also while the US State Department kowtows to such regimes as China and Saudi Arabia and indulges such dictators as Gen Musharraf, for reasons of pragmatism of course, it finds it necessary to criticise India, for reasons of principle, for rolling out the red-carpet to Myanmar’s Than Shwe.
And while the United States can claim A Q Khan, the proliferator who went scot-free, has been ‘brought to justice‘, again for reasons of expediency, it finds it incumbent upon itself to impose sanctions on two Indian scientists who are, according to the United States itself, at worst bit-players compared to the big kahunas running the nuclear Wal-Mart.
The greatest irony of all this is that Powell’s botched diplomacy leaves the world’s most powerful democracy unable get its relations with world’s biggest on a consistently sure footing. The good news is that Powell is likely to lose his job whichever way the US elections go; the bad news is that some of his replacements-in-waiting are even worse.