Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



Move over China, the USA has a new best friend. We love India now! What began as mere flirting has suddenly become an official romance. Yesterday, US President BARACK OBAMA and Indian Prime Minister MANMOHAN SINGH embraced on a podium in New Delhi. Their love will no longer be hidden, with shady corporate deals made in dive bars and cheap motels. Nope, as of today, they are in officially in love. And haven't you heard...how they rock each other's worlds? (Did anyone get my AVRIL LAVIGNE song reference? I hope not).

Anyhow, in a state visit to the Indian capital, Obama got a little carried away. In the THREE DAY whirlwind romance, Barack hugged the Prime Minister and then spoke to Parliament. He told them: "I want every Indian citizen know: We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder, because we believe in the promise of India." (Wow! Does he realize there are a billion Indian citizens? That's a lot of shoulders!) Next, he'll be giving the other Pradeshis a little love. He'll go to Bangalore to visit a US owned company and dismiss all those 'Out-sorcing' claims. He'll go to Mumbai and denounce Islamic terrorism (always a good idea on Indian state visits.) And of course, he'll announce a lot of new trade deals. Talk about love!

But Obama's biggest bombshell on this visit involves an invitation. Barack wants INDIA on the UN Security Council. And not just in a rotating seat...No, Obama wants India to have a PERMANENT SEAT on the Security Council. This is really big news! Since the United Nations founding way back in 1945, there have been five..and only five...permanent seats on the top council. Naturally, given the date, these were the victors of World War II. Specifically the USA, USSR, UK, FRANCE and CHINA. There's been a name change or two, but these five have been in control of the UN for the past 65 years. They have veto power over another and never get anything done...but still...they are the five countries in charge. Period.

By officially backing India's bid to join the council, Barack has unleashed a Pandora's box. After all, he is proposing to re-write a world-wide constitution of nations that has been ratified by two hundred countries. Not surprisingly, a wave of jealously and fury has swept into the media around the world. It is especially angry in nations who dispute India's admission and their omission. (Come on...everyone wants to join the world's Big Boy Club and party like an international player!) Japan and Germany have the third and fourth largest economies...why aren't they in? Brazil is also mad...they're big and developing too! (I'm just curious...why does France get to KEEP their seat?) Big questions. No answers.

While it will likely take decades to change the UN Security Council, Obama is definitely giving India everything it could possibly hope for in a state visit: Trade Agreements, Photo Opportunities, Business Luncheons and Prime-Minister hugging. But don't be fooled by everything you see. As HARMEET pointed out, there is one group who is definitely not feeling the love: The SIKHS! Apparently, he had planned to visit the GOLDEN TEMPLE in the Punjab, but cancelled when he was informed he'd have to cover his head to enter. Worried about the triumphant TEA-PARTY at home, he figured he'd skip that one photo...after all, it would be the only photo most US newspapers would print anyhow.

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