Viewpoint by Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. and Ritesh Tandon
Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. is an ex-diplomat & ALCAP’s Special Adviser for Asia & Africa and Ritesh Tandon is the Republican Party’s Congressional Candidate from California’s 17th District. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of IDN-InDepth News.
CALIFORNIA (IDN) — “Our world is in peril and paralyzed,” said the UN chief António Guterres in his opening General Assembly address. Whether it is the climate chaos that has been impacting the US, Africa and Asia drastically or Europe grappling with its first major military conflict since World War II, the scenario is indeed very gloomy that demands a joint effort led by the US to address the challenges.
But how to lose friends and alienate friendly nations is a special talent that many US politicians have perfectly mastered. Oft their acts and comments are so blatant that remind one of the Latin saying—Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses—if he’d kept his mouth shut, people might have thought him to be clever.
The most recent to join the ignoble list is Rohit “Ro” Khanna, Representative from California whose irresponsible and unwarranted comments on Saudi Arabia with whom the US shared a wonderful relationship since 1931 now stand severely jeopardized.
Prior to the recent fiasco, Ro Khanna falsely claimed that he got a legislative bill approved that gave a waiver to India against the punitive CAATSA sanctions. However, the official records show that Ro had in fact voted against the bill so that India could not get an exemption from the CAATSA sanctions— “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44).
The above incidents show that how vexatious actions of unscrupulous politicians blinded and driven by ideological narcissism have a potential to severely damage international relations. And even the leading country of the world is not immune from its motormouths.
Both the US and the world now miss the Republican administration of the US when the top leadership of the country decided to avoid new wars and focus on growth.
In fact, President Trump is the first president in decades that did not commit the nation to new overseas military campaigns and focused his priorities to ‘Make America Great Again’. It was also the time when Abraham Accords were signed.
But January 2021 saw President Biden taking oath, and with it the Democrat administration of the US took decisions that drastically impacted the country’s image, credibility and standing both internationally and locally.
It started with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that many interpreted as a step that would compromise global peace, and the country now has an uncomfortable relationship with the OPEC, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, China, France and Iran etc.
Considering the fact that the US had shared a wonderful relationship with many of the above-mentioned countries that now stands jeopardized, one can’t help but doubt the effectiveness of the Foreign Policy of the incumbent administration.
The US-India relationship is an example. India is the world’s largest democracy and the Indian Diaspora is the most educated and highest earning of all immigrants in the US. That there would be a wonderful synergy between India and the US, world’s oldest democracy, was always a foregone conclusion.
But the Biden administration’s decision to give a $450-million F-16 package to Pakistan was very confounding. Not only Pakistan’s democratic credentials were always doubtful, among other shenanigans the country was caught providing safe haven to a terrorist like Osama Bin Laden just next to its military cantonment.
Who can ever forget Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl, an American journalist who was kidnapped and later decapitated by terrorists in Pakistan? Even Hillary Clinton feared the emergence of Nuclear Suicide Bombers from Pakistan.
After giving military aid of $450 million to Pakistan and now calling it “One of the Most Dangerous Nations” that has “Nuclear Weapons without any cohesion,” reminds one either of cognitive dissonance in the US policymaking or of an old saying—He first breaks his wife’s head and then buys plaster for her.
No wonder it was the Republican Party’s Steven Chabot, representative for Ohio’s 1st congressional district who had to bring a resolution in the House of Representatives about the Pakistani armed forces committing genocide against ethnic Bengalis Hindus in Bangladesh in 1971.
Most of the victims of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide by Pakistan were Hindus and the very Pakistani mindset still prevails. In the wake of the incidents of rising Hinduphobia in the US, UK and Canada or western media whitewashing the atrocities of Islamists, the silence of global political elites is criminal.
One can only speculate about the silence of the Biden administration and its representatives on the violence against British Hindus by Pakistani Muslims in Leicester that soon spread to other cities of England.
Hence one can only be skeptical about Democrats like Ro Khanna taking the media limelight for the initiatives of Steve Chabot; and their lending support to Steve’s resolution can only be interpreted as a political ploy to gain Hindu votes and support in the US.
Another example is of Saudi Arabia which is not only the home of Islam’s holiest sites but also shares a very strong economic relationship with the US. It is one of the US’ largest trading partners whose Vision 2030 program offers immense opportunity to the US and its companies to increase trade and investment with the Saudis.
Under the leadership of its Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia’s institutions have undergone massive reforms as the monarchy consolidates its vision for the country’s future.
It would have been most wonderful if the US had helped Saudi Arabia restructure its politics and society rather than jeopardizing an 80-year-old relationship, considering the unique trust and relationship both countries had shared over a long period of time.
Though having national interest in its core, politics, whether local or international, is all about having strategic empathy to sort out issues amicably. Unfortunately, the incumbent US leadership is unable to realize this and the importance of dialogues, negotiations and diplomacy to work together for mutual gains, upliftment and betterment.
From being the torchbearer of freedom, innovation and enterprise to becoming a country with its core inflation at 40 years high that is pushing the Federal Reserve toward another aggressive rate hike, the question that demands an answer is whether the US is heading in the right direction.
The crisis in Britain shows how the leadership of a country can make or mar its prospects. The collapse of the British Pound or the freefall of its economy, and it might not be a one off, is a new chapter in the story, the world has witnessed oft
Liz Truss has set the record to lead the wokest cabinet in the British history, and the results are there for everyone to see. It is indeed a genuine human and political tragedy. The US must avoid such adventures at any cost because the world cannot afford the US shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
So, it was not a surprise that Tulsi Gabbard, former representative for Hawaii and candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 US presidential election quit the Democratic Party accusing them of serving the elites.
Termed as a voice of reason, Tulsi Gabbard claimed that today’s Democratic Party is under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness that actively works to undermine the God-given freedoms enshrined in the US Constitution.
It is often argued about the US Democrats that their policies are usually grounded in and a poor manifestation of the European Left which usually are not conducive to the local ethos of American Exceptionalism. The case in example is the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders that failed miserably. His bet on a theory of socialist class politics turned out to be quite wrong.
Therefore, it was a bit baffling to go through the media reports that Ro Khanna is paying a cadre of political consultants that helped orchestrate Bernie Sanders’ 2020 wins in the early presidential nominating states. It is being interpreted as a possible sign that Ro is exploring a presidential run as early as 2024.
How the future will unfold only time will tell. But none can ignore the importance of a pragmatic political leadership for a prosperous and peaceful world, especially of a country like the US that leads and inspires the world.
The forthcoming mid-terms elections in the US in November give the populace a wonderful opportunity not only for a course-correction but also make its political leaders realize that politics is about ethics and morality, openly or not openly, and those people who treat politics and morality separately will never understand either of them. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 October 2022]
Photo (left to right): Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. and Ritesh Tandon.
IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. You are free to share, remix, tweak and build upon it non-commercially. Please give due credit.