Sunday, October 05, 2008

U.S. Not Hated Everywhere, Condi Feeling The Love

Take note of the hatred for the Bush Administration and the US in India...

"Triumphant Condi makes farewell visit to India"

4 Oct 2008, 0041 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN

India Times
WASHINGTON: Her name is derived from the Italian musical expression, Con dolcezza, which means ''with sweetness.'' But she’s also nicknamed ''Warr
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
N-deal architect comes calling
ior Princess,'' because of her feisty nature. Which side of her personality one gets to see depends on the situation, and the audience.

On Thursday morning, it was Con dolcezza Rice who swept into the State Department Treaty Room for a short-notice reception to celebrate Congressional approval of the Indo-US Nuclear agreement. Dressed in striking red and swathed in broad smiles, Rice stood before a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, her forebear as Secretary of State, to thank the many architects and driving forces behind a ''historic agreement.''

But most present in the room agreed that she was the chief architect of the deal -- an idea that she developed with her former aide Philip Zelikow and a few trusted advisors as a stepping stone to leaping across five decades of cold vibes and mistrust between two famously estranged democracies. It was a thought, some suggest, that goes back to her days as professor of political science and later provost at Stanford University, a school with an large number of Indian students and teachers that first brought India close to Rice.

Rice, who is going back to Stanford next year, hinted as much in her remarks, hailing ''a friendship that is based on ties, people-to-people ties, including the 80,000 or so Indian students who study in the US''. As much as the nuclear deal is a breakthrough, she maintained, it is a part of a much broader framework. ''It is a relationship that goes very, very deep,'' she said.

The projection here is that it will go even deeper, and there were two Senators and a Congressman on hand -- one Democrat, two Republicans -- who also left no doubt that while the nuclear deal might be the cornerstone of the relationship, it might just be a showpiece of greater things to come.

''The details of the agreement are certainly important, but...there are issues here that transcend the specifics of this agreement,'' said Senator Christopher Dodd, who fronted for Joe Biden in piloting the nuclear legislation in the Senate. ''Given the neighbourhood in which India resides, given the tremendous issues that this century is going to pose for those who come long after we’ve finished our work here, this agreement will serve as a foundation, a bedrock for these two great democracies.''

Lugar has been even more emphatic about enhanced strategic relationship, saying at one point during the Senate debate that ''the national security and economic future of the United States will be enhanced by a strong and enduring partnership with India.'' At Thursday’s reception, he called the passage of the nuclear legislation, a ''magic moment'' for the Senate, for the bipartisan way in which it overcame the hurdles while also complimenting the Indian parliament.

Appreciating Rice’s follow through in what was a long and tedious legislative process that lasted nearly two years, Lugar joked (about the Indian parliament) ''We’ve grown together. We like each other.''

Rice herself clearly intends to transcend the partisanship that marked the debate on the nuclear deal in India. Her schedule in New Delhi lists a call on opposition leader L.K.Advani, whose BJP opposed the agreement. Ironically, the state department reception on Thursday was attended by Shekhar Tiwari, a BJP/RSS stalwart in the capital region.

Rice’s India trip will also be her farewell visit to a country where limited urban polls show the US and President Bush retain an unusually high approval rating, which some attribute to their strategic outreach. Judging by the tone of the discourse in Washington on the nuclear agreement, the outreach will likely outlive the Bush administration.


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