Note the following:
- India is the world's largest democracy and has been for some time.
- India is the second largest Muslim country in the world, a fact seldom reported on this trip.
- India is right next door to the Middle East, America's problem, and to China, America's rival.
- India has a large diaspora in this country, largely still engaged with its homeland in positive ways.
- Shaking off its tragic experiment with socialism (fly, as SWNID did two years ago, to India via Seoul/Inchon and Delhi, observe the quality of the airports and of the cities that surround them, then ask yourself which country suffered from a devastating war and which suffered from a devastating economic experiment, then ask which is worse, war or socialism), India's economy is growing at a breakneck rate of 8% per year, thanks to its people's commitment to education and its government's commitment to liberalizing business regulations.
- India has had nukes for a generation and has never used them.
If nobody messes this deal up in the near future, India and the United States are poised to cooperate in ways that will make Asia safer militarily and richer economically. Remember when the cliche, "Finish your dinner; there are starving children in India"? Well, many in India are still hungry, but today the cliche is, "Work harder; there are outsourcing firms in India ready to take your job."
So where's the media on this. Center-right opinion writers get it. We draw attention to the following:
- The Telegraph, capping a modest summary of the impact of Bush's visit, offers typically restrained but notably warm praise: "After five years in the White House, the 43rd President of the United States continues to surprise us."
- The Wall Street Journal opens with this dry observation: "Critics of the Bush Administration often lament that its policies have alienated America's traditional allies and embittered just about everyone else. Everyone except, apparently, a billion or so Indians."
- Conservative pundit and favorite of Mrs. SWNID Rich Lowry notes how remarkable the whole development is and how unreasonable media coverage has been and will be: "That the U.S. is friends with both India and Pakistan has a lot to do with circumstances (the end of the Cold War and the advent of the War on Terror), but it also speaks to a certain level of Bush-administration diplomatic finesse. The administration won't get any credit for it since it runs counter to the media's favored 'unilateralist behemoth alienates the world' storyline."
Indeed, nothing illustrates the MSM's inability to see beyond the bias of its templates than this event. NPR's All Things Considered actually allowed reporter Philip Reeves to say that in response to the Bush visit the "mood" among government officials, the English-language press and the intelligentsia is "euphoric." Reeves went on to say that demonstrators against Bush were largely from Muslim and Communist groups. Yet the web page that archives this report has the bleak heading, "India Deal Could Sour U.S. Relations with Pakistan."
We add the following observation, which is entirely impressionistic. Christianity in India has moved forward with the weakening of traditional cultural strictures that inevitably comes with economic development. So Bush's visit may be significant in yet one more, and in our Seldom Wrong opinion more important, way.