NEW DELHI, March 4 — President Bush leaves this region having declared India and Pakistan strategic partners. But his declarations spoke just as loudly of the shifting balance of power in the region, and the world.One can only assume that Bush went to India seeking a new hegemonic partner. If India is the winner there are several losers, President Pervez Musharraf being the short term loser. He was already a walking dead man in a country where the vast majority, including many in the military are pro al-Qaeda and anti US. Giving Pakistan's most of the time enemy, India, the go ahead to arm itself to the hilt has only increased the probability that Musharraf will either be dead or seeking asylum in Crawford in the near future. And then Bush had the moronic gaul to push for democratic elections in Pakistan where anti-American forces are guaranteed a victory. Of course this is not what the administration wants to see so it will come as much of a surprise as the Hamas victory in Palestine and the pro Iranian theocrats victory in Iraq. The ultimate losers of course will be the entire world. An even further destabilized middle east is not good for anyone.
It was India that appeared to come out the biggest winner this week. Pakistan walked away with little more than a mild pat on the back after Mr. Bush's visit on Saturday. While buttressing America's alliances in the region, Mr. Bush also took home a formidable political challenge to sell his nuclear deal with India to a skeptical Congress.
Please George, next time you want to get away go clear brush in Crawford.