By Tarek Fatah
January 14, 2014
Only U.S. President Barack Obama could manage to pull off such colossal American failures in foreign policy.
It’s as if the man has the reverse Midas touch.
In fairness, it’s easy for countries to be jealous of America and detest its accomplishments.
However, to earn the wrath of both sides in every conflict requires a special skill. Obama has that.
In Israel, Jews and Palestinians are suspicious of Obama’s motives.
In Syria, where the Obama administration wanted to topple the Assad regime, it ended up creating fertile soil for Islamist jihadis, America’s sworn enemies.
But all of America’s blunders in diplomacy pale when compared to how it has managed to make an adversary out of a natural ally— India.
As if it was not enough that Washington was funding India’s archenemy, Pakistan, with billions of dollars in military hardware, we now learn the U.S. is backing the Islamist opposition in India’s eastern neighbour, Bangladesh, by undermining the legitimacy of the Muslim world’s only secular, anti-Islamist government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
We also learn from a Bangladesh news source that the arrest, strip search and subsequent expulsion of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade from the U.S. over minor charges of visa fraud to employ an Indian maid, may have been the result of tensions between New Delhi and Washington over India’s policies on Bangladesh.
BDNews.com quoted a senior official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs saying the arrest of the Indian diplomat in the U.S. took place after a meeting between Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and U.S. State Department officials, where the two sides couldn’t agree on policies towards Bangladesh.
“There were several contentious issues that Sujatha Singh raised with the U.S. officials, and Bangladesh topped our list of differences,” the official said. “The differences are well known ... but when Sujatha Singh made India’s position loud and clear, the Americans were less than amused.”
Only time will tell if it’s true Khobragde’s arrest in New York and subsequent expulsion was the result of America trying to bully India into abandoning Bangladesh to the Saudi and Turkish-backed Islamists.
After Khobragade’s expulsion, the Indians retaliated by asking two American diplomats to leave India.
It turns out they had made no secret of their contempt for India and Indians.
They were caught on Facebook making racist remarks about Indian society.
One post takes a bizarre and hateful swipe at Indians, saying, “It’s the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat-eaters.”
Another boasts of arranging to smuggle beef burgers into the country and hosting the illegal sale of pearls smuggled into India from China.
But then, not all diplomats are created equal.
U.S. diplomats can get away with murder as was the case when one of them shot dead a Pakistani man in broad daylight.
Another U.S. diplomat in Kenya killed a Kenyan in a car accident, but was smuggled out of the country before the police could talk to him.
U.S. diplomats, who kill, smuggle or make racist remarks, face no trials.
But an Indian diplomat can be stripped and handcuffed on questionable charges of underpaying her housemaid.
Virtually overnight, the U.S. has turned a billion Indians into adversaries.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, the mullahs and military chuckle in amusement, as Americans wonder in innocent exasperation, “Why do they hate us?”