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September 23, 2004
Foreign Leaders Not For Kerry?

Today's Hindustan Times reports that although the Indian political establishment remains diplomatic silence on the subject, they would far prefer an extended George Bush presidency rather than John Kerry (hat tip - Jim W):

He may not be the most popular US President among educated Indians but there's no doubt that the Indian foreign policy establishment cutting across party lines would prefer to see George W. Bush re-elected as President of the United States. ...

The Indian position is a complex one and hinges on several assumptions. One: Bush appears to be genuinely interested in India. Shortly after he was elected, he made a sincere effort to get to know the country and its leaders. He has also spoken admiringly of India's pool of skilled professionals.

In contrast, about the only time Kerry has mentioned India during his campaign has been in the context of outsourcing. There is no evidence that he regards India as anything more than a place on the map.

You might expect the Indian establishment to distrust the American president who pulled Pakistan into a close alliance with the US, but according to the Hindustan Times, New Delhi sees this as an inevitable and temporary necessity after 9/11. They feel -- as many of us do -- that India is America's natural ally in the region, and they believe that George Bush understands that better than John Kerry.

Indians, according to Vir Sanghvi, fear Democrats as too ideologically driven on foreign policy. They do not want an oppressive environmental regime forced down their throat, for instance, and Kerry's continued invocation of Bush's rejection of the Kyoto greenhouse protocols exacerbates their nervousness. (Since the Senate rejected it 95-0 in 1998, obviously Kerry failed to vote for it before he embraced it.)

Considering the uncertainty of the world and especially their region, in the final analysis Sanghvi asserts that Indians would rather stick with stability and continuity rather than take chances on a newcomer like Kerry. Americans appear to be coming to much the same conclusion this month.

UPDATE: CQ readers are all over this -- the Senate never got the opportunity to reject Kyoto, since Clinton and Bush never submitted it for approval. The Senate denounced the treaty 95-0, and Kerry voted for the censure.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 23, 2004 5:48 AM

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