They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Saturday, September 24, 2005

US does a 'with us or against us' to India over Iran

IHT: U.S. will be judging India on its stance toward Iran

The United States is beginning to test its budding friendship with India over New Delhi's policy toward Iran and that nation's nuclear program, diplomats, analysts and U.S. lawmakers say.

As it struggles to gain support for its effort to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, the Bush administration is effectively offering the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - which has been much given to enhanced ties with the United States - a with-us or against-us choice.

Depending on New Delhi's stance toward Iran, Washington will count India as either a reliable ally in Asia or as an on-again, off-again partner - a member of a broad coalition of occasional friends.

Pressure to make this choice is mounting in the U.S. Congress, which is debating whether to anoint India as a responsible nuclear power able to buy nuclear fuel and reactors on the open market.

"I expect India to recognize that there is reciprocity involved in this new relationship, and without reciprocity India will get very little help from the Congress," Representative Tom Lantos of California, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said in a hearing this month. "If we are turning ourselves into pretzels to accommodate India, I want to be damn sure that India is mindful of U.S. policies in critical areas, such as U.S. policy toward areas, such as U.S. policy toward Iran."

The choice is not one New Delhi welcomes, especially in light of its desire to develop ties with Tehran to meet its burgeoning energy needs.

Indian policy planners have made it abundantly clear - at least so far - that they prefer to pursue pragmatic friendships with both Iran and the United States.

Such an arrangement would reflect India's longstanding commitment to an independent foreign policy while also underscoring its emergence as an influential power.

"This is a test of the new India," a Western diplomat in New Delhi involved in talks on the question of Iranian nuclear programs said on the condition of anonymity.

"This is a chance for India to position itself as an emerging superpower, and I think they're trying to." Read more

India, if you need any lessons on how to drop your draws and grab your ankles - for Uncle Sam to give it to you good - just pick up the phone and talk to Tony Blair. A note of caution though - once you start you will never stop - so much so that you will sacrifice your own national interest for that of your master.