February 22, 2005


Democracy Promotion to be at the heart of India’s new South Asia Doctrine (Minivan News, February 20, 2005)

India’s Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran outlined a hawkish new policy vis a vis SAARC member countries last week. He said that “India’s sympathies with will always be with democratic and secular forces…we need to go beyond governments.”

India further said it would not entertain a SAARC in which some of its members perceive it as a vehicle primarily to countervail India or to seek to limit its room to maneuver.

In a strongly worked speech, India’s top diplomat unveiled a new South Asia doctrine, setting out the new rules of the game within which India will engage with its neighbours. India was willing to make its neighbours “full stakeholders in its economic success story but the neighbours would have to demonstrate sensitivity to New Delhi’s vital concerns” said Saran.

"India can and will not ignore such conduct (cross-border terrorism and hostile activity against India) and will take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard its interests", Mr Saran said.

A key pillar of the new doctrine is also a sharper stance with non-democratic neighbours. “India would like the whole of South Asia to emerge as a community of flourishing democracies.”

The synergy he's developed with India ranks among Mr. Bush's most significant and least acknowledged achievements.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2005 12:00 AM

penn and teller could give a most cogent analysis of gwb's talent for misdirection. here's a hint: while the bone headed democrats go chasing around barking at the social security feint, the real action is going to be somewhere else.

Posted by: cjm at February 22, 2005 1:10 AM

Actually, cjm, the Democrats still can't accept the fact there exists a politician who puts in a full day's work. I bet GW gets more done before 10:30 AM than any president in recent history. Didn't Clinton punch in around 1:30 in the afternoon?

It is very hard to beat a guy who outworks you, even if he is "dumb".

Posted by: Randall Voth at February 22, 2005 6:08 AM

He also doesn't need to hear from that focus group at the trailer park in South Succotash, Oklahoma before he decides what to have for breakfast, unlike a certain recent President and current pumphead we all know and love.

The remarkable aspect of the India policy is how the Congress Party has maintained if not strengthened India's ties with America.

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 9:02 AM

rv: you also get more done when you work consistently on the same set of goals. clinton was a purely reactive individual and never really moved very far forward even on his modest goals; i.e. no uniforms and no v-chips.

the new alliance gwb is forging is going to be incredible, its almost like watching a superstar band being formed. perhaps the recent reunion of "Cream" was a harbinger ("in a white room, with dark curtains...")

Posted by: cjm at February 22, 2005 9:58 AM