March 9, 2006


What the Indian Giver Got (Pat Buchanan, 3/07/06, Real Clear Politics)

Standing beside Pervez Musharraf, an ally in the war on terror, President Bush explained how he told him Pakistan would not be getting the same aid in developing peaceful nuclear power that Bush had just promised to India:

"I explained that Pakistan and India are different countries with different needs and different histories. So as we proceed forward, our strategy will take in effect those well-known differences."

Bush was bluntly saying India is a democracy we can trust not to spread nuclear technology, but we're not sure we trust you. After all, your boy A.Q. Khan was running a Home Depot for A-bomb technology.

Unstated message: We're not sure any nuke technology we give you, Pervez, will not end up in an al-Qaida madrassa. For there is no guarantee you will be around that long, Pervez, given your enemies have tried to kill you four times and elections are to be held in 2007.

If Musharraf feels he was asked to come through the service entrance and given the bum's rush, who can blame him?

While even his greatest admirers do not confuse Bush with Bismarck, what the president did on his Asia tour seems inexplicable.

It is inexplicable only if you don't understand the revolution in sovereignty that has elevated regimes that are democratically legitimate at the expense of those that aren't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2006 11:59 PM

Again, W stuck to his words.

The old way is out.

Pat can't see that?

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 10, 2006 11:06 AM

Pat misses the old days when we treated "our" clients well, right up to the moment, as with the Shah of Iran, all their Potemkin Villages and lies about their internal problems were proven false and they were forced to run away leaving their country in even worse hands.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 10, 2006 11:23 AM

Buchanan mainly seemed to be complaining that Bush didn't negotiate well and get anything good for what we have India while the results of those talks will now undermine our other efforts and open Pakistan to more Chinese influence.

I don't agree mainly because continuity with pre 9/11 politics simply to be consistent does not make much sense. Failures at non-proliferation in India and Pakistan are pretty much a sunk cost now. I have no problem letting countries know that anti-terrorism is now our main criteria at handling relations.

Pakistan is a hard case. The country, for all purposes, is anti-America, but it has a secularized elite that is amenable to us. They want to please us as long as it does not mean civil war for them. That circle cannot be squared any longer though. Pakistan has been mismanaged far too long, and their leaders will need to make hard choices. I'm not convinced that we should surrender policy initiative to the Pakistani leadership in the vague hope they can figure a solution that benefits us both.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at March 10, 2006 11:44 AM

What India wants is what we want them to want. Why wouldn't we give it to them?

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2006 11:49 AM

Pat should retire to a monastery and spend the rest of his life in silent prayer thanking God that that nobody ever took him seriously enough to do damage to our Republic.

Posted by: erp at March 10, 2006 3:56 PM

Buchanan's a little confused and a bit of an Islamophile. India is DEMOCRATIC, Pat. China is it's neighbor. What else do you need to know? The Hindu's attitude toward Israel? For pete's sake.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at March 10, 2006 4:33 PM

india is rome, pakistan is carthage. do the math. "naughty india, musn't nuke the bad muslims...again"

Posted by: toe at March 10, 2006 11:01 PM