A Beautiful Friendship Flowers

Relations between the U.S. and India have never been better. We are cooperating on many fronts. Last summer, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh launched the U.S.-India Global Democracy Initiative. India is one of the few places where U.S. popularity is high and growing. 71% of Indians have a favorable opinion of the U.S., up from 54% in 2002, according to Pew Reseach. When the President visits India next month, he will have much to celebrate.

As with any dynamic situation, some identify opportunities where others see problems. India's growing economy could be both. It is using more and more energy. Much of that energy comes from dirty coal. Of almost all the things the U.S. could do to improve the world environment, helping India find better energy alternatives is probably the best bet. The new Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which includes not only the U.S. and India but also counties that account for about half the world’s population is a good first step. India could also be a big beneficiary of President Bush’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership to expand the use of economical, carbon-free nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. These subjects will be important parts of the President's agenda.

The President described his goals in an address at the Asia Society.

Obstacles remain. Indian leftists will gin up some street theater for the President’s visit. (When you see them on TV remember 71% favorable, but in a country that populous even a small percentage can be a big number.) Negotiations on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership are still ongoing as I write. BTW - if after successful negotiations somebody claims that this has not been openly discussed, you can safely call him a liar.), but it is likely that we will work out a workable solution, if not now, soon.

It is odd how the flowering of a relationship between the world’s two biggest democracies, after decades of missteps, is not bigger news.

Efficiency experts like to divide tasks into four quadrants: Urgent/important, Urgent/unimportant, Not urgent/important and not urgent and not important. The things that get the most attention are urgent, but many things that are urgent are not important. The most easy to overlook are those things that important, but not urgent. The important but not urgent category is where you get the biggest payoff, however. This is where we are in our relations with India are today. Let's not let the noise of the urgent mask the call of the important.

Read more about the new U.S. strategic partnerships, and here or listen to Is India the Next China on NPR.

Posted by Jack at February 24, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #129351

Wow, our popularity there is higher than all other nations in the world … combined. Can’t imagine why this news doesn’t overshadow the other minor events that are going on right now.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #129355

Yes. I think it is the urgent driving out the important.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #129358

more like the critical driving out the fluff

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #129360

If you figure realtions with the world’s largest democracy, a country with more Muslims that the Arab world and one of the world’s most dynamic economies is fluff.

And the critical. That would be Dick Cheney’s hunting accident or the purchase of some cargo handling facilities.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #129365

And if you don’t believe things are great in
India or that their people don’t love us,
just call Dell ( or any other large U.S.
company’s call-center that’s rerouted to India ) and ask for “Steve” ( a.k.a. Punjab ). He’ll set you straight ( if you can understand him ).

Posted by: Dale G. at February 25, 2006 12:54 AM
Comment #129369


Punjab is a place name, not a personal name.

You don’t like the call center?

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #129372

Of course we’re popular in India. India would be more popular with America, if they sent us thousands of their jobs too. $ 210 bn. jobs will be outsourced to India in 2005

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 25, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #129377

The Cons just keep selling out America! It’s like some kind of huge distress sale. Sell our jobs to India, sell our economy to China, sell our country to the lobbyists, sell our ports to terrorist supporters. Everthing must go! No offer refused!

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 25, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #129395


I’m curious over what measures you would use to restrict a business from using their capital, resources and expertise in the manner that they see best. Are you prepared to subsidize the company’s expenses related to implementing your ideas? Do you expect to subsidize these expenses with tax dollars? If so, for how long? If it costs more money to do business your way now, why is that going to change in the future? If the cost of subsidizing jobs for people who answer phones for a living continues to escalate, maybe those people need to get different skills.

I think that we should look at the events that led to downsizing the domestic auto industry. Unions fought for and received wage increases, while at the same time fought against modernization plans to make US auto makers more competitive. The Unions won on both fields. It turns out that the spoils of victory were a greatly diminished domestic auto industry and an unemployed semi-skilled labor force that expected to work for no less than $15.00 an hour.

I think the same event horizon is fast approaching the new batch of overpaid semi-skilled laborers.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 25, 2006 2:07 AM
Comment #129396

Yes, we outsource to India - mostly low-level programming and manufacturing jobs - but our economy benefits from upper-income class Indians who come to our schools for education, and then remain here. Since India outsources its graduate education to us, the benefit is mutual.

By the way, most Dell support calls are answered by Indians who speak excellent English. Some of them even grew up speaking English as their native language. Maybe you should make more support calls to see for yourself. (American reps are still generally better at tech-support though).

Posted by: Gandhi at February 25, 2006 2:10 AM
Comment #129401


If the cost of subsidizing jobs for people who answer phones for a living continues to escalate, maybe those people need to get different skills.

How, pray tell, do these people obtain different skill sets when they can’t afford to go back to school on their current wages and the administration is cutting education programs that help people obtain different skills?

Unions fought for and received wage increases, while at the same time fought against modernization plans to make US auto makers more competitive. The Unions won on both fields.

It’s interesting that Toyota can successfully produce cars domestically under the same umbrella of the evil unions. You ever think that maybe it was, oh, I don’t know, bad management and bad decision making that led to the fall of American auto makers?

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 2:34 AM
Comment #129402

Whether you can understand someone on the other end of the Dell support line depends just as much on your ability to understand other English dialects as it does whether they speak “English” well enough. It’s the accent and the word choice that becomes a problem. Their English is great, it’s just not American English.

I’ve had that problem before with HP support, which was especially frustrating considering I didn’t understand the technical aspect of what he was trying to tell me let alone the accent involved. However, when I’ve talked to a Dell representative whose dialect was much like my doctor’s I was fine.

Posted by: Stephanie at February 25, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #129404


It’s good to see there’s some good news out there.

Posted by: Stephanie at February 25, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #129408


Yes, we outsource to India - mostly low-level programming and manufacturing jobs.

I don’t know about the manufacturing industry, aside from always hearing that a strong manufacturing base, the ability to produce stuff that you can then sell to others, domestically and internationally, is the basis for a strong economy, but that’s just what I’ve heard.

I know a bit more about the myth of the ‘low-level programming’ however, being a programmer myself. It’s not quite the menial labor jobs that they’d like you to think they are. First off, the technological base in India, and other countries, is growing quickly, allowing them to offer greater levels of outsourced programming capabilities. American trained Indians are returning to their home to start up businesses, knowing they can be successful because of this. And technological advancements have made it easier and easier for companies to take advantage of this resource. Yes, it’s logistically difficult for a company to outsource programming overseas, but it’s getting easier.

In addition, now a greater number disenfranchised American programmers are competing for a diminishing number of jobs in America, leading to a drop in interest in pursuing Computer Science as a career field.

Finally, how do you think we get high-level programmers? We get them from low-level programmers who work and gain experience to become experts in the field. If all our low-level programming ends up overseas, then what base do we draw from to obtain the expert programmers of the future?

What we’re looking at is another collapse like the auto industry, but this time you guys can’t blame it on the unions. We don’t have a union.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #129409


There are many ways to get job training. All have some sacrifice of time or money, but if someone is willing to work to improve their skills, it is possible. If your goal is evenually become the senior phone answerer, you lack initiative.

I think that foreign auto makers are more competitative because they have modernized their technology (my second beef with unions, if you remember). Japan also benefits from an their restrictive trade policies which I predict will bite them on the ass in the future.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 25, 2006 3:00 AM
Comment #129413

Good night. I’m going to Mardi Gras.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 25, 2006 3:09 AM
Comment #129418


I think that foreign auto makers are more competitative because they have modernized their technology.

But I thought you said the unions prevented modernization? How can the domestic Toyota plant be so much more modernized if the union is stopping them? No, sorry, I don’t think the unions are preventing modernization. American auto manufacturers are pretty state of the art as well. One of the primary problems is management. The Japanese are well known for their exceptional management and work control practices, not necessarily their advanced technology.

Japan also benefits from an their restrictive trade policies

true, and our overly generous policies. That’s what you left out of your original post when you were blaming it all on the unions. Allowing Japan to flood our markets with their imports is as much to blame for the collapse of the American auto industry as anything else.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 3:47 AM
Comment #129422

CNN reports this:

President Bush urged India on Wednesday to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs and assure the world that it will be a good steward of nuclear material needed to fuel its fast-growing economy.

In previewing his upcoming trip to the country, Bush also said Americans should not fear U.S. jobs going to India. If American companies are competitive, that will translate into more jobs for U.S. workers and farmers, he said.

The president, who also is visiting Pakistan early next month, also called for an end to violent protests there over the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad.

“We must not allow mobs to dictate the future of South Asia,” the president said about the protests that have taken on an anti-government dimension. “Governments have an obligation to restore the rule of law.”

Sure hope the Indians didn’t hear that last quote. Why would they want to deal with a man who calls on others to restore the rule of law while he makes up his own on the fly here in the US and as needed to deal with other nations and peoples?

Americans are just slightly off their peak productivity numbers. Squeezing out more productivity is unlikely, giving India and China and other nations a real advantage as productivity growth there has tremendous room to grow. So, when Bush says Americans will just have to become more competitive, he knows not of what he speaks. But, then, what’s new, eh?

And what’s this talk of India dividing its military and civilian nuclear technology programs? What an absurd comment. It means nothing more than some people in India will work in nuclear power plants making electricity, and others will work in military production facilities developing even more and better nuclear weapons. DUH!!! Is that supposed to comfort someone and allay fears?

Bush has lost control of Iraq, so, now he is going to try to talk Muslims in Pakistan out of violence resulting from the Danish cartoons? Give me a break. Wikipedia will one day have synonyms for ineptitude and ignorance which will read, See George W. Bush.

With everything to lose and little to gain from division, the President has managed to divide his own GOP. Now that is saying something given the historical context of Republicans controlling every branch of government including now, the Federal Reserve. United the GOP could have stood, divided, they are going to fall from full control. That is ineptitude and ignorance of leadership.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2006 5:55 AM
Comment #129428

The real reasons Bush is going to India:

India summons US envoy over Iran - -“The US moves to defuse a row following comments made by its envoy in India over its relations with Iran.”…

India-US nuclear deal runs into troubled waters - -A landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States has run into serious trouble, with Washington playing hard ball and India’s atomic energy establishment raising objections to the terms of the…

France and India in nuclear deal - -BBC: World: “India and France sign a deal to pursue civilian nuclear co-operation during a visit by Jacques Chirac.”Shouldn’t this deal have been with the U.S. Oh, yeah, I forgot, there is the small of matter of Bush as President….

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2006 7:39 AM
Comment #129430

YES Jack—he will have much to celebrate—Bush can go visit all the companies that left the U.S. and gloat to himself how he created the economic climes in the U.S. by which they left our shores. He could also head to China then Mexico for the rest of his little celebration. Balloons, Cake, living wage jobs—yaaaay!

Bush is a moron, I don’t care where that pinhead goes he will still be just as stupid by their standards too.

A 71% approval rating though huh? Well if Bush’s past successes are any indicator (other than elections), OF WHICH HE HAS NO SUCCESSES AT ALL anywhere in his resume, and he begins some level of talks on Nuclear Stockpiling—should create a fine ww3 meltdown between India and Pakistan. Perhaps he’s just going because he found someplace that likes him—yes much to celebrate. He pleases a people who do on-street dentistry.

I just hate him too much to give him any undeserved Kudos on anything like Jack’s article is asking I do.

Posted by: Translator at February 25, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #129447

I just hate him too much to give him any undeserved Kudos on anything like Jack’s article is asking I do.

At least you admit that you hate the man. It seems that there are many others just like you. Their hatred for President Bush will not ever allow them to give him credit for anything. I think that he doesn’t care what they think anymore.

Posted by: Kathleen Schultz at February 25, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #129453

An honest man. I suspect many people hate Bust too much to give him credit for anything.

The criticism I would have is that you have to be careful that your hate for the President doesn’t translate into welcoming developments that hurt him, but also hurt the U.S. or arguing against developments that are good for the U.S. because it will also be good for Bush.


I think you are doing the The equivalent of looking at each play in a long football season rather than the final scores. There have been ups and downs in the last five years, but the trend is up. We are losing some plays and even some games, but we have a winning season.

Concerning the economic rise of India, this is largely beyond our ability to change. What we can do (and what the President is doing) is to help where we can (all people benefit when a place like India becomes more prosperous), invest and take part in their success, transfer technologies where appropriate to help them avoid some environmental problems.

We don’t live in a zero sum world and the U.S. itself is the proof of this. Had the original American states engaged in protectionism and restricted transfers to the new states, they would be RELATIVELY richer today. But is it better or worse for Massachusetts to have a rich California as a partner or a poor one? And had our original states been restrictive and protectionist, it is very likely we would not have the country we currently enjoy.

The process of globalization has created uncertainty, but it also has led to unprecedented prosperity. There is nothing romantic about villagers working long hours in the fields, barely staying alive. Rich fat cat students and professors at western university campuses like to think these guys are better off. Of course, any American can achieve this level of physical well being any time he wants. Nobody does it voluntarily. I wonder why?

India will develop with our without us. The U.S., as the world’s leader in so many fields, can help AND India can help us. Two strong friends working together is better than one strong on carrying the other.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #129460


Most labor Toyota and Nissan use in the U.S. is non-union and they have located in right to work states for a reason.

The problem with unions is not that they seek higher wages for their workers, but rather that the interfere with management decision.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #129468
Most labor Toyota and Nissan use in the U.S. is non-union and they have located in right to work states for a reason.

Most? hmmm.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Headquartered in Erlanger, Kentucky
Union State

TABC, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Long Beach, California
Union State

New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Fremont, California
Union State

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky
Union State

Bodine Aluminum, Inc.
Manufacturing plants in St. Louis and Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee
Missouri: Union State
Tennesse: Right to Work

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana
Union State

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Buffalo, West Virginia
Union State

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama
Right to Work State

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
Manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Texas
Right to Work State

TSSC, Inc.
Headquartered in Erlanger, Kentucky
Union State

National Right to Work Foundation
Toyota: Operations - NA Affiliates

You have an odd way of looking at the term most. So again, I ask, how does Toyota do what American companies can’t with the same unions to deal with? The unions aren’t what’s screwing up American automanufacturing, overpaid, incompetent management is.

Wow, I just realized, It’s kinda the same problem America itself is facing. America is great, it just has crappy management.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #129473

Is it truely strange that Mr. Bush has kept telling us that he has the best interests of the country at heart and that country turns out to be India?

Posted by: Rocky at February 25, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #129474
Is it truely strange that Mr. Bush has kept telling us that he has the best interests of the country at heart and that country turns out to be India?

Well, he’s failed at everything he’s ever tried to do in the US, so I guess it makes sense that he’d look elsewhere.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #129479


I was mistaken in that I thought Kentucky was a right to work state.

But there is no such thing as a union state, only states are have not passed right to work laws. Not all, or even probably most, workers in a non right to work state are unionized.

Are MOST of Toyota’s U.S. workers unionized? That is the important part of what I was saying.

As I recall the UAW is royally unhappy because they have been largely unable to organize them.

I read that Nissan non unionized plant starts workers at $14.19 an hour, including what Nissan calls a “guaranteed bonus” of $1.25 an hour. They top out after five years at $23.

You are right that unions are not the only problem, just one of them. Management has been poor at the big three. But unions often prevent good management by their silly seniority rules and oppostion to labor saving techniques and technologies.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #129486

Nice side step, there Jack, but, why pull a Bushism and dodge and maneuver when you can simply admit you were wrong. You said: “Most labor Toyota and Nissan use in the U.S. is non-union and they have located in right to work states for a reason.”

You were wrong. They did not mostly locate in right to work states. Are you that conditioned by Bush that you can’t admit a simple mistake in your words, but, feel compelled to cover it up by reexplaining your statement in very different words with very different meaning, as in “Are MOST of Toyota’s U.S. workers unionized? That is the important part of what I was saying.”

But that is NOT what you said at all. It may have been what you meant, but if so, you didn’t say what you meant to say. We all do it, curious, that some feel compelled to pull a Bush when it happens to them, WMD and Murdering thousands of his own people, which later turns into “he had WMD at one time, and the thousands he killed may have occured a decade earlier in a war, but, hey, you know what I meant, right? Ahh… the Bushisms run rampant on both sides of the aisle. How Kerry got tagged as a flip flopper while so many others get away with rewriting what they said without being tagged is kind of a mystery.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #129487


I’ve seen this happen before, but it still saddens me.

You wrote a post about something good—our relationship with India. You point out that India is important due to its large population, its Muslim population, and its economic relationship with the United States. You also pointed out obstacles and potential problems.

I think we can all agree that having good relationships with foreign countries is a positive for our country. Yet, along come the likes of Grant, JayJay, David Remer and Translator to show why its a bad thing.

Everyone can read through their posts as I have and not find anything positive. Only negatives.

I like a good discussion, filled with information as to the positives and negatives. But I’d ask WB readers to go back and review these 4 people’s posts and see if there is anything but the negative. Jack’s post wasn’t claiming Bush is great; it simply discussed a good thing that is happening. And the doom-and-gloomers just couldn’t keep their collective mouths shut and recognize the good.

To you four, I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt. I’d like to think that you can do more than simply spout the negative side of any argument. I’ve seen you do it before, and I hope to see it again. But based on this thread, I’ve not seen it at all.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 25, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #129500

Okay, David, I was wrong about the right to work state. I didn’t check re Kentucky and made a false assumption.

I was right about the non-union status of most Toyota etc workers.

I don’t mind admitting the mistake, since I don’t think it was material to the argument, which was about unions at Japanese auto makers, not right to work states.

The part I was responding to “But I thought you said the unions prevented modernization? How can the domestic Toyota plant be so much more modernized if the union is stopping them?” implied a union.

On the plus side, when I checked I found alot of good information that will allow me to write a story about unions not protecting workers.

Re mistakes - I always tell my staff that if you don’t make mistakes you are not doing much. But when people call for Bush to admit mistakes, they are often merely trying to give him a flat tire to ride on

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #129504

Who cares about India. They are always having natural disasters that we have to bail them out of. This is America. Once we clear out all the gays and abortion clinics, maybe we should invade India! Maybe take over our outsourcing facilities so folks can understand support techs again. Then after that we can secure our borders to keep the Mexicans out. Damn Mexicans everywhere! Sure am glad that the republicans mentioned that they wanted to stop gay marriages or many folks like me and my friends would NEVER have bothered to vote! It’s great to be a member of the rich party. I feel like my voice matters now. Like I’m somebody! God Bless George Busch!

Posted by: Joe Sixpack at February 25, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #129506

Joe Sixpack, another Democrat heard from, worried about oursourcing, immigration competing with union labor etc.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #129509


Indians should like us. The centerpiece of Bush’s “US-India Global Democracy Initiative” is an offer to help India build nuclear power plants and import advanced nuclear weapons without having to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.

The problem with going around this non-proliferation policy is that once you do, there is no policy. That’s in addition to the question of whether or not giving India nuclear plants and weapons is a good idea in the first place.

But Bush wouldn’t be doing this if there was a chance it could negatively affect our security, or would he….

“Only a strengthened non-proliferation treaty, enforced without exceptions, stands any chance of slowing the spread of nuclear arsenals. A non-proliferation policy that is selective and unilateral is no policy at all.” New York Times

“Risking the further spread of nuclear weapons is too high a price. Better to cement relations with increased trade and military cooperation as well as US support for an Indian seat on the UN Security Council.” LA Times

“The agreement represents the triumph of power politics over the cause of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons - another example of the massive collateral damage caused by the exigencies of the war on terror.” The Guardian

Another bold Bush gamble that limits our ability to stop other countries such as Pakistan, Iran, or North Korea from using nuclear technology.

But I’m being a pessimist. By pushing through this agreement, assuming the nuclear weapons are never used and there’s no major plant catastrophes, Bush will have significantly decreased India’s reliance on fossil fuels, making the air there much cleaner.

Bush. What an environmentalist. Are there any lengths he will not go to to clean the air?

Bushies. Has their ever been anything he’s said they don’t believe?

Posted by: Max at February 25, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #129510

I forgive you for calling me a Democrat. Lord says “turn the other cheek” so that’s what I’m doing. A lot of folks don’t understand us swing voters. We’re god fearing people. Just want Jesus back in the white house. Get rid of those gays and focus on family values. We don’t need to think ‘cause our government knows more than us. So why pay attention to what’s really going on in the world and at home. Hey we are a lot alike after all…you and me. Hey Jack, can me, bubba and itchy came over for dinner? We promise we won’t brake nothin’. Just glad we got rid of that Clinton guy. Man what a liar, huh Jack! Damn county went to hell in a hand basket, huh Jack?

Posted by: Joe Sixpack at February 25, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #129511

I supported Clinton when he was my president.

Sorry to call you a Democrat, but you do exhibit many Democratic characteristics. If you were to swing Republican for any reason, you would not stay with us.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #129554

joe sixpack therapeutic metaphor.

Posted by: rodney brown at February 25, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #129569


You have a good point. Jacks original post was intended to be positive and the response has been resoundingly negative. But from my own perspective, I like to look at the larger picture and ask a lot of why’s. Why is this so? Why is it important? How does it impact me and my country? Etc… Let’s put the whole thing in context.

Why is this important? Beats me. I mean what if the country of Malta had a 71% approval rating for Bush, would that be equally as important? Ok, yes, India has a much larger population than Malta, but so what? What benefit does either having a positive opinion of Bush matter in the long run? In his own post, I can’t find any point where Jack mentions how this is ultimately beneficial to the US.

Yes, I do believe in having good international relations, but this leads to two questions, at what price and since when have you guys cared?

I’ll start with the second. Since when has the right given a damn about what other countries think of us? The left talks about it all the time. When we blow off Kyoto, blow off the international court, blow off the UN. Most of the world was against us in our desire to go into Iraq and the response was ‘you’re either for us or against us’. None of you cared what the world thought of us then, why do you care now?

As for the price we pay, that has been touched on in a couple of places in this blog. The jobs and money we’re sending over there, nuclear power, etc… but what benefit is America seeing for this? Yes, our corporations are reducing their bottom line resulting in larger profits for them, but is that it? Are they importing our goods? Purchasing our services? What do we get back from this and what are we going to lose in the long run?

So to your point, I don’t really see any real positives in it to point out and, it would seem, the people posting here, both on the left and the right, don’t have anything positive to say about it either. As I mentioned, Jack didn’t point out what benefit there was for us and neither did you in your post. Sure, it feels good to know there’s another country out there that likes us, but ultimately it doesn’t matter whether they did or not. That’s what makes this a fluff piece, a feel good ‘hey, they like bush so we should to’ story.

What does matter, what is important, is the opinions of countries that would have an impact on us. European countries, North American countries, etc… Countries where we have an equal exchange or who we have equitable two way business arrangements with. Partners who we would defend and who would help defend us. It’s also important to know the opinions of countries who have a certain amount of power. Countries with nuclear technology or those that are trying to get it. Countries with large armies and arsenals. Countries who could pose a threat if we piss them off too much. These are important international opinions. India has a lot of people, who cares? In comparison to the truly important opinions, India’s doesn’t matter to me any more than Malta or Jamaica.

Posted by: Grant at February 25, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #129577


First Favorable opinion of the U.S. NOT Bush. I don’t know what they think of Bush and it is beside the point. Beyond that, it is not the opinion that counts so much as the relationships.

You are really missing the forest for the trees or maybe letting the weeds right in front of you distract you from the mountains you are approaching.

By the time our grandchildren are in college, the world will be very different. Europe will still be important, but less so. The peak of European power in the 21st Century came on January 1, 2000. By that time there will probably be fewer Europeans, fewer Russians, and fewer Japanese and their economies will be a significantly smaller part of the world GNP. In this world three power centers will stand out: The U.S., China and India.

We already recognize the importance of China (and BTW U.S. relations with China are also better today than they were in 2000). India has a bumpier road to prosperity, but it is likely at some point India will surpass China both in total population and in GNP.

Even more so, we will be affected by the pollution and energy needs of this growing economy. We will face competition and benefit from their products.

India already has probably the best technical university in the world in IIT.

So we are in a situation analogous to Great Britain in 1870 when they were by far the leading power, economically and in most other ways, but a long term thinker could see the rise of Germany and the United States would be the big issue for the next generation. I am sure that the more shortsighted complained that the Queen’s ministers were overlooking the growing power of the Zulus (who soon were to destroy a British army) or the perpetual Irish problem.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #129585

Hey guys & gals,

don’t get too upset about my last post. I was
just throwing out a point while having a little
fun. WatchBlog could use a bit more humor from
time to time. Methinks some of us take ourselves
WAAAY too seriously on a far too regular basis.

Besides, I have almost as much of a hard time understanding call-center operators in Baasten, MA., or the Bronx, New Yoock or Noth Karalina.

Posted by: Dale G. at February 25, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #129598

I supported Clinton when he was my president.
on what jack

but overall good news! glad to hear we have a friend. HP doesn’t do the hotlines anymore, beacause people were complaining about not being able to understand them, but i was instant messaging them to get my cd burner working and what polite people!

ok folks, ive made my decision

i like india too.

Posted by: CommonSense at February 25, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #129600

hey dale you should try calling tiberias ISRAEL, talk about hard to understand . yafeh nof ma ha sha,a kama? just kidding they speak better english than i do ! have a good one

Posted by: rodney brown at February 25, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #129608


On most of his foreign policy. I supported Kosovo, Nato expansion was a big deal for me. I think he made a mistake in Somalia and Rwanda, but I still supported our side.

Domestically, he was a good stewart of the economy. I liked NAFTA and welfare reform.

But generally, he was my president, just like Bush is yours. Politics stops at the water’s edge, or should.

Although I would not disagree with their right to do so, I think that many of the Bush opponents are hurting our country by constantly trying to find fault. Sometimes even a flawed policy can work if people get behind it, while a good policy can fail without support.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #129611

macsonix, i always try to back up what i say with facts, please look up on the web (SORRY) bill clinton draft dodger, where he writes his famous letter to colonel holmes dated dec 3rd 1969 also please look up colonel holmes web site . sorry bill clinton is and was a draft dodger, i wont respond to your vulgar comments.also math is easy.example 6-3=3. not 2 like you stated. that was my only point. thank you rodney brown.

Posted by: rodney brown at February 25, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #129618
Sometimes even a flawed policy can work if people get behind it

Japanese imperialism, soviet communism, German nazism. NO, I’M NOT COMPARING BUSH TO THESE GOVERNMENTS, but what’s wrong is wrong, no matter how many people stand behind it.

Posted by: Grant at February 26, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #129657

kansas dem , i just was pointing out a true fact,iam not the greatest fan of mr bush, lets see how history remembers him. history is something we should never forget. to forget history is to repeat the past.

Posted by: rodney brown at February 26, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #129667

What makes you think that the workers in the Japanese run plants in those non-right-to-work states are not union workers?

I’ve scanned the column, and so far, all I have is just your word on it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #129675

Sorry not prius maybe prism.

Let me try the link again.

ABC News

Posted by: Jack at February 26, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #129724

>>It turns out that the spoils of victory were a greatly diminished domestic auto industry and an unemployed semi-skilled labor force that expected to work for no less than $15.00 an hour.

I think the same event horizon is fast approaching the new batch of overpaid semi-skilled laborers.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 25, 2006 02:07 AM


Would you believe me if I said the auto industry failed as much because of poor maanagement decisions as union demands? The poor management remains as the union influence declines, will that heal the industry? Those semi-skilled dock workers were, at one time starving at sweatshop hours and low pay. Will the American economy rebound when the UAE lowers their pay yet again?

If, indeed, a free market economy is the goal, why is it that negotiated labor is any different than the negotiated price of repair parts or power supplies?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 26, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #129749

Jack, a very respectable reply, that last.

Your reply to my earlier comment however, lacks dealing with the issue I raised. Namely, that Bush is having to fly to India to attempt to recapture some of the potential for nuclear trade after his own envoy and administration fouled up the deal with India in the first place. And the issue of India pacting with France for peaceful nuclear power development instead of the U.S. This administration is dropping the ball at every turn, and Bush is flying over to try to piece things back together.

I believe Bush is sending the wrong person over there for that job, but, we’ll see.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #129983

I’m glad to hear about the pro-American sentiment in India. It is heartening.

But Jack, I just can’t let that cheap shot about Cheney’s Hunting accident or the selling of our ports to UAE go by.

Cheney’s accident was the result of mind-boggling negligence.

The sale of the ports to UAE begets this simple question: If you were a pro-islamist, pro-Osama minor official in the UAE who had control over what got shipped to even a small amount of American cargo space in an American city…
What is the worst thing you could do?
Answer that question, and you will understand our dismay. Again, negligence is the issue, is it not?


Posted by: RGF at February 27, 2006 3:56 PM
Comment #130089

>>Sometimes even a flawed policy can work if people get behind it, while a good policy can fail without support.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2006 11:32 PM


Does this apply to things like illegal wiretapping and forcing democracy on nations and lying into wars and outing CIA agents and shooting people, then not talking to the law until sober up has occured and such? Were these good with bad backing or bad with good backing?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #130647

Happy Mardi Gras!

Marysdude: Yes, I will concede that management problems are partially responsible for the state of the US auto industry. But, I still maintain that the Unions made bad decisions when they pursued ever increasing wages and benefits, instead of more control of operational decisions. I’ll even concede that the sort of wage/benefit increases gained were what workers wanted. However, the purpose of paying for someone else to negotiate your contracts is to get a better deal and I think that Unions failed and are still failing those that they represent.

Regarding the longshoremen’s wages, everything that I have seen, including interviews with port management and longshoremen, indicates that it is stipulated that there will be no personnel or wage changes.

Posted by: goodkingned at March 1, 2006 7:50 PM
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