If we’ve to choose between Israel and Iran, choose the former

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Galaxy, Feb 15, 2012.

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If India had to choose between Iran and Israel, what should India do?

Poll closed Feb 26, 2012.
  1. Iran

    3.8%
  2. Israel

    42.3%
  3. Abstain

    11.5%
  4. Both

    42.3%
  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    If we’ve to choose between Israel and Iran, choose the former

    Feb 15, 2012

    The sticker-bomb attack on an Israeli embassy car in Delhi and the soft coup in Maldives, supported by Islamic extremists, show how sadly out of touch India’s foreign policy establishment is about the challenges facing the country from Islamic extremism and global powerplays.

    India’s policy responses have been inadequate since they flow from non-strategic thinking, and a vain belief that our neighbours will see the benefit of peaceful cooperation and progress. But this is simply not true. Certainly not with China, Pakistan and that autonomous force called Islamic fundamentalism.

    Two simple illustrations will help illustrate this point.

    In the car-bomb case, Israel has accused Iran of being behind the attack. We have, so far, rightly refrained from falling for this, but no matter what turns out to be the truth, we need to ask ourselves one thing: how has our kowtowing to the Islamic world benefited us? We can say cheap oil – but neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia is in the business of selling us cheap oil. But even while profiting from selling us their oil, they follow policies driven by Islamism that are against our interests in Kashmir and in the rest of India.

    In the Maldives, an island country with barely 400,000 people, recent developments have been largely anti-India in content. In the rioting that preceded the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Nasheed, guess what the rioters targeted: a museum with Indian artifacts.

    The Washington Post, quoting AP reports, notes that the Maldives’ national museum reopened on Tuesday minus all its pre-Islamic era exhibits. “About 35 exhibits — mostly images of the Buddha and Hindu gods — were destroyed.”

    In the car-bomb case, Israel has accused Iran of being behind the attack. We have rightly refrained from falling for this, but we need to ask ourselves one thing: how has our kowtowing to the Islamic world benefited us? AP
    According to museum director Ali Waheed, 99 percent of the Maldives’ pre-Islamic artifacts from before the 12th century, when most inhabitants were Buddhists or Hindus, were destroyed. “Some of the pieces can be put together but mostly they are made of sandstone, coral and limestone, and they are reduced to powder,” he said.

    Even worse was Waheed’s explanation for the vandalism. According to an ABC News report, Waheed said the attackers did not understand that the museum exhibits were not promoting other religions in this Muslim country. So, clearly, even in tiny Maldives, extremism is alive and well.

    And big powers inimical to India are fishing in the Maldives.

    An Indian Express interview with deposed President Mohammed Nasheed quotes him as saying that his army was in favour of a defence pact with China. Why does Maldives need a defence pact? And against whom? India?

    In fact, senior defence officers told Nasheed he had to sign the China defence agreement. “I had the paper on my desk two weeks back to approve the agreement. The MNDF (Maldivian National Defence Force) had sent it three months ago also but I refused to sign it. They sent it again saying that I have to sign it,” said Nasheed.

    So why did India acquiesce in the replacement of Nasheed by his deputy? To give China a free run in the neighbourhood? Do we really know where our interests lie?

    Now, the car bomb base. Thanks to India’s large Muslim population, our foreign policy has been skewed towards appeasing domestic Muslim sentiment by seeming to be friendly with all the murderous regimes of West Asia instead of creating long-term alliances that are truly in our interest.

    In this case, it should be obvious to anyone that India’s strategic interests are most tied to Israel, which faces the same kind of hostile neighbourhood that India does – though it bears repeating that we have done nothing to deserve anyone’s enmity, while Israel has.

    India’s friendship may even help Israel follow a less brutally repressive regime in Palestine – but that is another story. For now, we will focus on our hostile neighbourhood.

    Between Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, only Bhutan really counts as a friendly neighbour – and it almost does not count.

    This does not mean all the others are our enemies, but it does mean we need to have a separate policy for each one of them. China is making its moves everywhere, and so is Pakistan (or Pakistan-based Islamic groups). China’s bid for a defence pact in the Maldives — which can have no target but India — shows what’s going on. Add the Islamic thrust of the Maldivian rebels, and it is not difficult to see how both China and Islamic groups may be involved.

    If we assume that Pakistan is always going to be an enemy, and China an ever-present military threat and half-enemy, it figures that we have to get the rest of our policies right, apart from the larger geopolitical alignments.

    Nepal: We have traditionally presumed Nepali friendship, on the assumption that since they are a Hindu country and we allow all Nepalese to enter India freely to work and to prosper, they should be thankful for the same. Wrong. The Nepali Communists have used both the population’s innate envy of India and China’s willingness to invest there to put India on notice. Clearly, we have to rebuild trust with Nepal, even while quietly leaning on them to protect our interests.

    Bangladesh: We have squandered an opportunity to rebuild our relationship during Sheikh Hasina’s regime. She has tried to reduce the overt Islamism of the regime, and taken the country towards secularism, even while being helpful in reducing the Islamic fringe’s anti-India activities. Clearly, we need to deliver more to Bangladesh in terms of trading benefits. Perhaps, we need to have an arrangement like Nepal for free movement of people here for work. It is happening clandestinely. Many Bangladeshis have even entered voter lists.

    Demography is destiny. There is nothing we can do to reduce the Bangladeshi influx – just as the US cannot do anything about Hispanic immigration. We now need to formalise an arrangement with Bangladesh by giving more work permits to its citizens, but without voting or citizenship rights.

    The Maldives national museum in Male is reopening without some of its most valuable exhibits a week after a mob of suspected religious extremists smashed images from the pre-Islamic era of this Indian Ocean archipelago.

    Sri Lanka: With our southern neighbour, our relationship has been much better after the end of the LTTE. But China is already spending huge amounts to woo Sri Lanka – and that country is happy to use this opportunity. Tamil Nadu’s on-and-off efforts to stoke trouble among the Tamils of northern Sri Lanka make it easier for that country to seek Chinese help as an insurance policy.

    India’s policy needs three elements: a guarantee that Tamil politicians will not start meddling in that country’s ethnic issues; more Indian investment to counter the Chinese; and a free trade agreement that is tilted towards Sri Lanka.

    Myanmar: We seem to have got the broader policy of engagement and slow march towards democracy largely right in Myanmar. We should now open up border trade, both to benefit them and our eastern states. An eastern Free Trade Area comprising West Bengal, Bangladesh, Burma, and our north-eastern states will lift millions out of poverty in less than one or two decades.

    Pakistan: Our western neighbour will always remain an enemy till its army and the mullahs realise that Islamism is not the answer. So the best thing we can do is to keep improving trade, but we will always have to stay vigilant on terrorism and other kinds of mischief. Pakistan can always count on China to back it against India as long as the Islamists – who work on their own agendas – prove too difficult for the Chinese themselves to deal with.

    China: With China, only a hard line will work. We need to beef up our defences, both the army and airforce, both in the north-east and in Ladakh, and we have to stop saying that Tibet is a part of China. While we don’t have to go the other way and talk about Tibetan independence, we should stop mentioning Tibet as a part of China till China reciprocates our goodwill. Currently, China takes our goodwill for granted, but gives nothing in return. This won’t work. We have to move out of the Nehruvian mould on foreign policy driven by generosity and righteousness.

    This brings us to the larger geopolitical alignments we need to make to counter Pakistan, China and the Islamic powers that back Pakistan for their own and fundamentalist reasons.

    India’s natural partners are the US, Russia, Japan, and Israel. The first three are important as a counterweight to China, and the last one is important in our anti-terror stance.

    In the Muslim world, India needs good relationships with Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, but we have to be clear that the relationship must be based on quid pro quo. Iran is the fountainhead of the Shia world, and hence a natural rival to Saudi Arabia, which foments hardline Wahabi doctrines. But Iran is a fundamentalist regime in its own way, and so our relationship should be based on mutual respect and balance.

    If Iran is going to keep backing the Kashmir cause, we need to make it clear that it comes at a cost. Ditto for Saudi Arabia – where we have to oppose their funding of conservative ulema and Wahabi mosque building.

    We cannot do this without first reducing our dependence on Iranian and Saudi oil. It’s not impossible, but the change has to start by pricing our oil at realistic levels. Our foolish subsidisation of oil — diesel, kerosene and cooking gas — makes our people use oil inefficiently, increasing our dependence on Saudi and Iranian oil. We are actually subsidising Saudi Arabia and Iran — not our poor.

    A higher price for oil means alternative sources of hydrocarbon and renewable energy will become more economic. Thanks to high oil prices, and the discovery of shale oil and gas, America’s dependence on West Asian oil is down to just 16 percent of imports, which too are down from 60 percent of US needs to just around 46 percent, says a report in The Wall Street Journal.

    Israel, with the world’s third largest reserves of shale, is also heading towards less dependence on oil.

    And India? We now import 80 percent of our oil requirements, and due to unfair pricing, our gas output is also falling – even though we have lots of it in the Krishna-Godavari basin. We are busy increasing our dependence on West Asian oil, and circumscribing our foreign policy options in the process.

    If we had to choose between Iran and Israel, who should we then choose? The answer is obvious. With Israel we have no conflicts of interest. While this does not mean we should be drawn into Israel’s larger West Asian conflicts, there is no reason why we should not expand our economic, defence, security and geopolitical relationship to the limit.

    If we’ve to choose between Israel and Iran, choose the former | Firstpost
     
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  3. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    India needs oil, and if Uncle Sam or it's allies can guarantee/arrange a good alternative, we can take it, but till then Iran it is.

    India is a nobody in international politics. In this part of the world, only two nations Russia and China matter, so we don't have to choose. In case of War India will remain neutral. Iran is also our gateway to the Central Asia, without Iran our Afghan policy will go into gutters.
     
  4. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Even though I have nothing against Israel, I choose Iran.
     
  5. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    UPDATE 1-Saudi offers more crude supplies to India | Reuters
     
  6. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    The world will laugh at India as usual, In Israel vs Iran if we are not taking position. The Reason for Silence: Election in U.P. :wave:

    Iran needs Money and we need Crude/N.Gas. That's it. Show them money, they will show you black commodity whereas Israel is providing all kind of support including High-Tech weapons. We are Largest weapons importers of Israel. Although Iran is neutral to India but If we have to chose anyone, Israel would be the ultimate one on any day. They are much reliable than Hezbollah supported Iran which is spreading extremism everywhere.
     
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  7. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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  8. Nirvana

    Nirvana Regular Member

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    Israel anytime - Common goal - Eradication of Terror , but we should Maintain ties with Iran on similar line.Diplomatically we have done well till now in maintaining relation's with both of them
     
  9. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    All Crude exporter are unreliable. But see it doesn't matter because we are paying for each drop of crude. They need money, we need Crude/N.Gas. That's it.
     
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  10. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Stupid article from stupid Firstpost ibn nuts.

    Country like India has multiple interests on multiple fronts with multiple countries simultaneously. We shake hands where interests match, rest of the times they turn their back.

    There is no choice between countries. Other states can replace Iran from Indian binocular when they are able to shift geography leaving us route to central Asia.
     
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  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The bogey of Iran spreading terror is a wrong one. Iran has not done anything like the kinds sponsored by Saiudi money and ideology which Pakis have become thekedars of. Iran is like a dove in front of Pakistan which has directly hurt American interests while any "terror" from Iran has not effected the US. Iran is linked to the alleged sponsor of Hezbollah. There is more Shia Sunni rivalry in that than international terror.
    Yet Pakistsn is a major non NATO ally while Iran is part of axis of evil.

    Please remember Pak sponsored terrorists were freedom fighters for the US 15 years ago. India does have historic and cultural ties with Iran and it is strategically important not only for its oil but being a logistic base for Astan in future and also a route to CAR.

    India has to use its own judgement in matters that concern it's interest.

    I am pro US/Israel but Iran has a place too in India's strategic interests.
     
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  12. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    I choose Iran on humanitarian grounds. i just dont understand what is its mistake? Like any other country its trying to develop nukes to protect its sovereignty.!!!! what USA is doing is wrong...it has orphaned Afghanistan,it has orphaned Iraq.....it has orphaned Libya...ppl are suffering in these countries from lawlessness, mass killings .....is this the world order USA is planning?
     
  13. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    I choose both because there are no permanent friends and only permanent interests and it is in India's interest to have cordial relations with both. With israel we benefit regarding military technology and with iran we get oil and access to afghanistan and central asia.

    Only an idiot chooses sides. Look at israel itself...why it is selling military tech to china even when china vetoed the resolution ? why is usa giving military hardware to pakistan even though they are biggest terrorist country ? why is uk giving guns and sending there police chief to bahrain to clamp down on protestors demanding elections ? Only foolish people come out with such nonsensical ideas that only India should act like houlier than thou while rest can do whatever :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
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  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    I like Pistas and Bar Rafaeli. So I choose both,

    Jokes aside, We have done an admirable job so far keeping all parties at bay. We are pals with Israel, Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, US and Saudi Arabia. We are in no position to dictate or choose. Israel is vital for our security needs and Iran for our energy and cultural? needs.
     
  15. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    I just realised that another very important thing is Iran is our route to central asia as well.. :shocked:\

    To much in stake as far as geopolitics goes, Israel is only an ideological and military friend of ours, Iran seems to be very important for trade for us.
     
  16. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    It's a no brainer.

    Israel.
     
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  17. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    @ All those who want to have have the cake and eat it too :

    Remember that is the ideal scenario. Sooner or later, going by the way things are progressing, we HAVE to choose between one. The question is who ?


    Reasons being ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  18. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Humanitarian grounds cant win you a war.

    PGMs can.

    When was the last time a Islamic country stood by India when it was in a war. ? It is in India's interests that they dont go overboard in their love for Iran , thus creating suspicion and distrust in the minds of Israel.

    Oil we can buy from Saudi Arabia if not from Iran. But Phalcon radars ?
     
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  19. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    so no islamic country stood by us so stop oil from iran and goto another islamic country saudi arabia ? :rofl:
     
  20. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Dude..tell me how old are you ?

    I said for oil we have alternatives...but for Phalcons we don't.

    Was that so hard to understand ? :noidea:
     
  21. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    we will get from both what we want. end off!!
     

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