An Indian columnist notices how Obama is turning allies into enemies and enemies into allies — with the only beneficiaries being jihad states like Iran and rapidly Islamizing polities like Pakistan. “Arrogant Obama alienates friends,” by Swapan Dasgupta for the Daily Pioneer, April 11 (thanks to Sanjay):
When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sits with the assembled world leaders at the Nuclear Security Conference in Washington, DC, he should ponder over one notable absentee: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Once the US’s most steadfast ally and a country with which it enjoyed a ‘special relationship’, Israel’s relationship with Washington has taken a precipitate nosedive.
There are many who will undoubtedly view Netanyahu’s absence to Israeli evasion over its nuclear ambivalence. This may undoubtedly be a factor but Israel has in the past faced this ticklish question with a combination of deft diplomacy and nationalist brazenness. What is different about today’s Washington that made the otherwise pugnacious Netanyahu opt out of an important international gathering (although Israel will be nominally represented)?
The answer is simple: President Barack Obama.
In the past few months the international grapevine has been buzzing with tales of a new, abrasive style of diplomacy that has become the signature tune of the Obama Administration. It may have been understandable if this departure from niceties had been confined to dealings with countries such as Iran and Venezuela that don’t miss any opportunity to take side swipes at the US. Intriguingly, Obama appears to have reserved his acid tongue for those who are considered close allies of the US. […]
Nor was Obama’s peremptoriness limited to Netanyahu. On March 28, Obama made a sudden visit to Kabul, partly to cheer American forces stationed there and partly to confer with President Hamid Karzai. According to reports carefully leaked by the American side, Obama read Karzai the proverbial riot act. He is said to have told him that the US found his style of governance quite unacceptable and the levels of corruption well beyond the threshold of tolerance. He was told to shape up or ship out.
Obama’s sharp tongue lashing hasn’t gone down well in Afghanistan. Karzai has rightly been offended by Obama’s discourtesy and has lost no opportunity to lash out at the West. He has sought to befriend Iran, caution the US against any unilateral offensive on Kandahar and even let it be known that sheer exasperation with American arrogance may drive him into the arms of the Taliban. The US has hit back by calling Karzai’s mental stability into question and even hinting that he is suffering the effects of hallucinatory drugs. Rarely has the relationship between two allies plummeted to such incredible depths.
For all practical purposes the US has said its triple talaq to Karzai.
The “triple talaq” refers to the way in which a Muslim divorces his wife: he says to her “talaq” — you are divorced. If he says it to her three times, the divorce is irrevocable and the couple cannot reconcile unless and until she marries another man, consummates that marriage, and is divorced by him.
The question is: When will the elected Afghan President be replaced by a compliant nominee of the US and its outsourced partner, Pakistan? […]
These are concerns that the Indian Prime Minister should bear in mind during his US visit. It has now emerged that it was a peremptory Obama directive to get India and Pakistan to improve relations that was a factor behind the useless meeting of Foreign Secretaries last month. Whether India chooses to engage with Pakistan after Islamabad’s foot-dragging over the 26/11 culprits is not a matter that should be of obsessive concern to the White House. Of course, the US can give its suggestions but paying heed to the White House’s ‘directive’ diplomacy will not be appreciated within India. This may explain why the US-India bonhomie that surrounded the passage of the nuclear deal has been replaced by a climate of suspicion which, if allowed to fester, could so easily turn into hostility….