Daya Varma


Does the ascendancy of Barrack Obama to the highest office in the US need a fresh look at our attitude towards the US?


Since the end of World War II, almost all major catastrophes in the world have been engineered or executed by the U.S.  Between nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the fag end of World War II and the attack on Iraq, the US  toppled many governments, killed many leaders and dictated the policies of most countries if not the entire world outside the sphere of Soviet Union. The US became a continuum of the menace started  by  Germany, Italy and Japan. But these atrocities of the US also generated instruments of its decline. The milestone was the Vietnam war; since then the US has not been able to achieve what it wanted, and that includes the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


The decline in US prowess was starkly manifested during the Bush regime, especially his second term. However, Bush continued to yelp as a salute to its past glory but its clientele declined one after the other. After years of servility Latin American countries stood up one after another. In the recent summit of Americas the star was Castro and not Obama. The people of America too realize that the heydays of the US are over so much so that they chose to replace Bush by Obama and not McCain. The decline in its political power split open the hollowness of its economy.


Obama is showing the courage to call a spade a spade; however, he was elected to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military in history, which is currently engaged in two hot wars and has bases in over 100 countries around the world.  It is obvious that he cannot abruptly reverse direction; it is not so much his fault as it is the constraints of the system.  Obama is the historic need of the US. Obama is not accountable to the sordid past of the US but neither is he a magician who can transform a lion into a pigeon.


While the US has faltered, and is now attempting to hitchhike on a new course, the progressive forces too have been slow to grasp the new realities. For many on the left, the inter-imperialist contradiction headed by US imperialism constitutes one of the fundamental tenets of the world situation; consequently they think that the greater the distance from the US the greater is the opportunity to serve national interests. This is more true perhaps for the Indian left than for the left anywhere else.


India does not exist in isolation and the relations of India with the US need not be one-sided or based on domination. Both countries realize this.  The Indian left needs to recognize it too.  India’s need is for national and not regional parties but it will take much longer for it to happen because it is tied with elimination of poverty on one hand, and regional disparities on the other.  It would be prudent for the left to assist the forces of national regeneration, secularism and democracy as they exist in the real India and it would also be prudent for them to reassess relations with the US and not respond in a stereotyped or knee-jerk fashion to the development of Indo-US relations.

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