Who’s my bitch now

A recent picture showing Tony Blair in an almost sub-servient position while talking to George Bush epitomizing Britain’s relations with the United States.

The current American administration deals with foreign policy in clear black and white terms. An historical American ally, Pakistan, found out recently when they had to choose between siding with “the coalition of the willing” to fight the Taleban and Al-Qaeda or be refuse and be termed as an enemy.

Against this backdrop India has been steadily leaning away from its traditional stand of Non Alliance (NAM) which it co-founded with Yugoslavia and Egypt during the Cold War and increasing its ties with the US Government.

The Indian government has been pushing the Civilian Nuclear Agreement which would ensure that the civilian nuclear plants would come under IAEA supervision and in return India would get raw materials and technical know how to improve its nuclear power generation. In return India has already made some tough foreign policy changes based on “American persuasion”.

One of its first changes was voting against Iran in the United Nations. Iran has traditionally been an ally for the Indians and the change in stand didnt go down well for bi-lateral ties. In the meanwhile India put forward Shashi Tharoor, the current Undersecretary General of the UN, as its candidate for the Secretary General’s position. Its been rumored that America used its secret veto power to reject the candidate.

Recently President Bush called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh trying to “persuade” India to vote against, fellow NAM member, Venezuela’s bid for a non permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. In trying to get the civilian nuclear agreement through, India may end up in the same situation as Britain. America may end up having options to the question, Who’s my bitch now?

It’s been a good month for the dictators

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Aung San Suu Kyi started her “Freedom from Fear” speech with these words. Her party won the Myanmar (formerly Burma) general elections in 1990, however the ruling military junta annulled the elections. Aung San has been under house arrest since 1989 in her quest to bring democracy to her country (reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi’s and Nelson Mandela’s struggles), however the world has turned their back on her and her non-oil rich country (hence not fit for democracy).

Thailand – the military staged a coup when the Prime Minister attended the UN General Assembly in New York. This isn’t Thailand’s first coup and it remains to be seen if Aung San’s words come true.

Pakistan – President General Pervez Musharraf is on a state sponsored official tour of the United States cum book promotion tour. Its nice that the general gets to go on the Daily Show with John Stewart with the state sponsoring the expenses. Aung San’s words have come true in this case as the General was supposed to call general elections three years after seizing power, maybe the millions earned in book sales would ensure a healthy retirement fund.