“Help Your Friends, Hurt Your Enemies”

It’s a dim memory, but I think that is one of the concepts of justice offered by a participant in Plato’s Republic. I’ve always thought that formula has more merit than most, but so far, at least, Barack Obama seems to be operating on a different principle: suck up to your enemies, ignore your friends. At the Examiner, Michael Barone explains why the administration should pay more attention to India, in particular:

During the Cold War, India was something of a de facto ally of the Soviet Union. This was due in part to our alliance with its rival neighbor Pakistan, but also to a feeling of solidarity with the U.S.S.R. on the part of the ruling Congress party and its two historic leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi.

The Congress vision of India was built on three pillars: socialism, autarky and secularism.

But those days are long gone. India has just completed an election in which around 700 million people voted. The results were favorable to the U.S.:

The Congress party has been returned to power with a larger share of the vote than indicated by pre-election and exit polls, and will no longer need Communists and left-wingers for majorities in the Lok Sabha. The BJP attacked Congress for being too close to the United States; voters evidently decided that this was not a minus but a plus.

India is one of the world’s most important and dynamic countries with enormous strategic importance in Asia. Strengthening our alliance with India was one of the Bush administration’s major foreign policy achievements. Maybe Obama considers that a reason to ignore India; let’s hope not.


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