Either the United States is showing signs of growing forgetfulness and increasing senility, in which case it is beyond all help, or, in his last days in power, George Bush has lost all sense of purpose and diplomatic finesse. Perhaps President Bush still thinks that the United States can have its way, with no one to challenge it. He must know that those days are gone; the United States is no longer the great power it was under President Franklin Roosevelt. It began to slide down from the early days of the Cold War under the heady leadership of President Eisenhower and his unbending Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles.
America'sefforts to shore up its hegemony started with the Korean War. It lost heavily in manpower, but it succeeded in dividing the state. The concept of South East Asia as a house of cards, implying that if one nation?say, Vietnam?turned Communist, it was only a matter of time before all south East Asian nations turned likewise one after another, was born then. The fear was that Maoism, in due course, would swallow up Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Mynmar sequentially. So, Washington took over what it considered was its responsibility to save South East Asia in a war that saw a few million. Vietnamese killed, wounded and displaced. More bombs were showered on poor Cambodia which had done the US no harm, than were dropped on Nazi Germany, during the second world war. Washington couldn't care less for world opinion. It shamelessly supported one military regime after another in Pakistan, causing incalculable harm to India.
The United States knew perfectly well what A.Q.Khan was doing in selling nuclear technology to other countries, but it turned a blind eye to his criminal activities. It was the US which supplied financial aid to Pakistan for propping up the Taliban. The Taliban is primarily an American creation and once again it is India that is paying for Washington's manipulative tactics. During the Bangladesh War, India'sgreatest enemies, the Nixon-Kissinger duo, was asking China to invade India to keep Indian armed forces engaged, so that Islamabad can keep East Bengal in permanent bondage. The US was not above stooping to duplicity in every possible way. When China annexed Tibet in 1949, the CIA got round to train Tibetans and, in 1957, US-supported Tibetan rebels were air-lifted to Lhasa from Dhaka, to make contact with local insurgents.
The Lhasa uprising started soon afterwards and the Dalai Lama had to flee. Hundreds of Tibetans, according to reliable sources were secretly trained in Colorado and from 1958 onwards, CIA flew in weapons and trained militants to a secret base in Thailand. There has been a close liaison between Washington and the Dalai Lama in subsequent years. For years, Washington supported Saddam Hussain in Iraq'swar against Iran. It provided him heavily with arms and equipment, including, according to some sources, weapons of mass destruction and poison gas. Iran was made to pay heavily in men and material for its determined stand not to be a tool of US aims and objects. US gained nothing thereby, except Teheran'senmity. Then came Saddam Hussein'sturn. He wanted full control over Iraqi oil which was not in America'sinterests. So the US turned against him, declared war on Iraq on false premises, all to safeguard US oil interests.
According to Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel Laureate in Economics) an Linda Bilmes ( a professor at Harvard), by now nearly 4,000 US troops have been killed, more than 58,000 have been wounded or have fallen seriously ill and 100,000 US soldiers have returned from the war, suffering from mental health disorders. Till now America has apparently spent over $ 600 billion on the futile war, which figure could go up to over $ 3 trillion in another five years. By September 2007, a stunning 4.6 million Iraqis?or one out of every seven?have been uprooted from their homes, as many as 2.4 million have migrated to other countries, especially neighbouring Syria and Jordan, which are feeling the strain. Iraqis who have bravely stayed behind have neither drinking water nor electricity, schools and colleges remain closed as teachers have fled, Iraq'smuseums have been looted and historical treasures taken away, and America's national debt has meanwhile gone up by $ 2.5 trillion! What is even more shocking to know is that faced with an unwillingness on the part of American youth to join the Armed Forces, the US Army and Marine Corps has been recruiting criminal charged with felony, arson and burglary, making the New York Times ask about the military'sinability to ?attract quality recruits?. Are conditions in the US so bad that the Army has to recruit criminals to join it? On the issue of the 123 Agreement, Washington has been trying to bully India to sign it. Several officials were sent to Delhi to warn the UPA government that if it does not sign the document, there will be hell to pay as a result.
As late as April 20, 2008, a former US Ambassador to India, Robert D. Blackwill told the media in Delhi that if India does not sign up, it will ?pay a substantial price in its future energy policy and its lack of civil nuclear assistance from the outside world?. That is pure blackmail. To make matters worse, Washington has been trying to dictate to India on what its attitude towards Iran should be, forcing the meek UPA government finally to tick off Washington by saying that it does not need any guidance on its conduct of relations with Iran, as both India and Iran are perfectly ?capable? of managing all aspects of their mutual ties. Since then the Bush Administration has been charging India with being responsible for the spiraling food prices and the price of oil which has gone up from $ 25 a barrel to $ 120.
India had again to hit back saying that it was not importing food and the crisis was due to the United States diverting arable land and shifting from growing wheat crops to crops meant for production of ethanol, a substitute for petrol. Indian experts have also been quick to point out that average foodgrain consumption per person in the US is 1,046 kgs, whereas in Indian it is as low as 178 kgs. It is time the US is shown its place in a purposeful way. Pets in American received more nutrition than a sixth of all mankind. And let it be known that while in India one out of four people don'tget enough to eat, in America two out of three, are overweight. Meanwhile, one wants to ask an important question: Does the United States want India to remain permanently poor, so that Americans can live comfortably and cheaply, along with their European counterparts, for ever and for ever?