Modi and the Imperium: New Geopolitical BFFs


Via TRNN: Modi Eager to Make India Another Lily Pad for the Projection of American Power; Vijay Prashad says the Indian Prime Minister is eager to have a Logistical Support Agreement with the United States and participate in the US-led encirclement of China

(the transcript)

Peries: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India addressed the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, calling for stronger economic and military ties between the two countries. He said that India and the U.S. have overcome the hesitations of history, and hailed both countries’ democratic principles. He also called the U.S. an indispensable partner for India.

Unintentional satire, I’m sure…Modi had praised Amurrika as ‘a force for good in the world’, and its ‘crucial role in Afghanistan’.  And so successful for some™, eh wot?

Prashad: Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter was in Goa, where he was meeting with Indian military chiefs, and they were basically firming up an agreement which has now gone through all the logistical exchange memorandum of agreement. And what this logistical exchange MOA does, essentially, is allow the United States and India to exchange logistical material, including fuel. This means that American military hardware, and you know, the ships and planes, et cetera, can refuel in India.

Peries: Now, part of the agreement discussed between the two countries was the Indian purchase of a number of arms, and planes, and so on. What else was contained in that, in those talks, I should say, and why does India need to buy weapons from the United States?

Prashad: So this is an issue that I think Mr. Modi will have to deal with. Why is he so eager to sign arms deals with the United States? Why is India so eager to build up its military beyond its needs, in a way? And some people suggest that this is not only a part of India’s old antagonism against Pakistan, but also it is a buildup, as part of the so-called encirclement of China. And India here, particularly Mr. Modi’s party, is eager to have a relationship with the United States putting pressure on China.

But Sharmini, the main purchases that India is purported to conduct is to buy six nuclear reactors. This is, of course, not entirely germane to the question of the military, although it is linked, because India is not only a nuclear power country but is also a nuclear weapons country. Illegal, completely, because India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and therefore is outside the purview of international law, as far as its nuclear situation is concerned.

TRNN’s interview with Senior Journalist Seema Mustafa on Modi’s visit to Washington: ‘Modi’s U.S. Visit: High on Atmospherics, Short on Substance’; on PM Modi’s 4th visit to the United States. Even as the Indian media is going gaga over Prime Minister Modi’s visit, it seems to have achieved very little. This visit, initiated at India’s behest, saw Modi addressing the US Congress, a joint statement by the two governments, and atmospherics typical of his foreign trips. In concrete terms, while no major agreement such as the Logistics Service Agreement has been signed, both sides talked of being “allies” and “partners”, a significant departure from India’s foreign policy’

I guess ‘atmospherics’ can play a strong role even before the MOA is eventually signed, as in:’Get it, China?’.  Ash Carter seems convinced of it, as the MoA’s been a long time comin’, and the Pivot is seen as crucial for maintaining the Imperium’s uni-polar fervor. Seema made large mention of the political parties in India that won’t care for the deal, ad importantly that ‘The Chinese already have said that they are opposing our bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group’, which is key to purchasing the crap Westinghouse nuclear reactors as part of ‘the deal’.

This is on India’s desire to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2011, including the 14 criteria for NSG membership.

Also via TRNN June 6: ‘On Fourth Visit to the US as Prime Minister, Modi Seeks Boost in Defense Ties’; ‘Discussing India Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Former Naval Commander Atul Bhardwaj argues India is being drawn into a strategic cooperation with the US that is focused on containing China. The cooperation will require India to acquire large quantities of US arms’.  Video only at TRNN (so much Bernie coverage to transcribe), but here’s the transcript at, entitled there: ‘As Modi Clocks Frequent Flyer Miles, What is in it for India?’

Discussing India Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Former Naval Commander Atul Bhardwaj argues India is being drawn into a strategic cooperation with the US that is focused on containing China. The cooperation will require India to acquire large quantities of US arms.

Interviewer Raghu seems to believe that China has claimed the South China Sea as its own.

Atul: You know there is no threat to freedom of navigation as such. There are ships which are allowed to go. In your territorial waters, no country allows you to have your warships coming in without permission. That is a very clear cut clause in that sense.  I am not actually saying what China is doing and what China is not doing. I am basically saying you know you travel miles into another area basically, who is actually triggering the conflict?

(As to India getting dragged into the US position on the South China Sea):

India has already got dragged into that. We have already been doing this Malabar series of exercise with Americans, and in which Japanese are also coming in, in which Australians are also coming in. It’s a quadrilateral kind of arrangement which you are getting into in South China Sea. It is primarily to apply pressure on China. The entire game is to apply pressure; America’s pivot to Asia is primarily designed to counter China.

Quite a discussion on the military hardware issue as well; a US/India collaboration on a nuclear aircraft carrier, F-18s, possible purchases of the crap ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t fly’ ‘fifth-generation’ F-35s, etc., v.:

Atul: Now India is already in tie-up with Russia to produce fifth generation aircraft. Now how does that come into the picture? As I said initially, there is no naval version of aircraft that India is building with Russia. So this nuclear powered aircraft carrier that can carry 50 aircrafts comes into picture and that is how the whole game of selling F-35s of selling E2C Hawk-Eye and building India into an inter-operable network enabled warfare which is actually controlled by the United States.


From, oh, my: ‘US-Modi Bonhomie’, 6/14/2016 PM by Abdul Majid Zargar

“During his latest visit to US, Modi has received a thunderous applause to his forty five minute speech to the joint session of US congress during which he is reported to have received extraordinary number of clappings & standing ovations.

The rousing reception begs a very important question. Has the US, which positions itself as a champion of human rights around the world ,forgotten or forgiven Modi for his complicit role in killing minority Muslims thus committing grave crimes against humanity during Gujrat riots 2002 .The question is important because in its answer lies the future survival of democracy as a best model which respects human rights. I will explain that a little later. That Modi’s Complicity in Gujrat riots is well researched & adequately documented.” [snip, detailing journalistic exposés, high level commission reports, both US and British, those killed in the anti-Sikh riots by Modi forces]

“And if it is presumed that USA has forgiven Modi, then we can only mourn the sad demise of core values from American hearts. Slobodan Milosevic must be wondering in his grave for the differential treatment he got at the hands of those whose priorities are guided more by revenue & market valuations. Whatever be the case, a caveat is in order. America by its odious behavior has undermined & debased the structure of democracy, it so enthusiastically promotes in rest of the world.”

And Zargar didn’t even mention fascist nationalistic anti-Muslim India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act for Kashmir and Jammu…

From, June 14: ‘India’s NSG memebership will touch raw nerve in Pakistan, will increase nuclear arms race: China’. 

Ya think?

naremdra-modi hope

19 responses to “Modi and the Imperium: New Geopolitical BFFs

  1. Well that’s not good news. India is like, pretty big.

  2. Thanks for bringing the Modi visit to our attention, wendye. I know nothing about the political situation in India, but just from reading the transcript and some of the comments at, a variety of views seem viable with respect to the position of India in ‘the new world order.’ Modi’s address to Congress and his attitude towards the US hegemony seemed more to me indicative of conciliation rather than an attitude of subservience – “Jewel in the Crown” and all that.

    India has had up front experience with a declining empire and surely its politicians know to tread softly and sound agreeable, particularly in the face of bull in the china shop crazies in our military and in our state department – well, scratch that – in every part of what pretends to be a government in this very sick land of ours. Damage and serious damage can be done by a wounded tiger. Best to placate, to feed, to murmur gentle nothings in the beast’s ear whilst carefully maintaining a safe distance if possible.

    I’m not saying it will work, but I do have sympathy for Mr. Modi and I hope he succeeds in protecting his unique and beautiful, if in many cases wretched, teeming multitudes. More power to him for that.

    I haven’t looked at a map, but just how close to India is that China sea anyway? I think it’s a mite closer to China, maybe. We really have lost our marbles if we are considering ‘containing’ China.

    • welcome, juliania. now remember, this was modi’s fourth visit to the US in two years, so clearly he aims to get into the US military sphere more heartily, as well as to become a member of the nuclear suppliers group.

      i’m sure you’re very kind to have some heart for him, but me, i hope the lion in the photo eats him and his comrades. he’s a hindu nationalist, and has murdered many muslims over the years, including during his time as minister of gujarat. i’ll go with trouble-maker arundahati roy: he’s a fascist thug who once wasn’t even allowed into the US, but then came: pragmatism.

      this chronicle at islamophobia today is a long and hard read, and may be biased, but worth reading, imo, to counter any big heart for the man.

      good grief; i just looked for two links up yonder in the OP, and i seem to have left some key things out, including a link to the café’s report on what india’s doing to kashmiri and jammuan (muslim) citizens by law.

  3. omg! the map doesn’t show Taiwan as a separate country from China! has a secret agent woman replaced w.d., or is she finally laying her cards out on the table, apologist for the yellow hordes threatening us all? the yellow hordes that are also commie red!

    who was it that said, war is god’s way of teaching americans geography? ambrose bierce? maps are really helpful for some of us dumbass merkins who get lost going back for seconds at McDonald’s. yeah, s. china sea is kinda far from india. kinda far from Hawaii too.

    hard to see how there could be some benign 11 dimensional chess going on even w/the nuclear reactors, much less all the weapons & crap. luckily, earthquakes never hit india and there’s no danger from “terrorism” from anyone in the neighborhood, aka Planet Earth. i feel safer already. the world is learning from its nuclear “mistakes”, right? and if there is some “grand game” in Modi’s brain for the good of his country, why do these countries (S. Arabia, e.g.) always buy the latest, most expensive (and often worthless) military junk? and tons and tons and tons of it?

    one thing about the militarization of these societies: even if Europe doesn’t go to it w/Russia, or India fight Pakistan, these weapons are great against one’s own people. it’s a two for one fire sale!

    • foiled again! i say let those independence-seeking taiwanese see wot i’m really about! but dang: nobody ever told me ya could go back fer seconds at mcdogfood! foiled again! but if t’were bierce who said that, he’s right in my case. where in the world is ___ that’s under siege by the hegemon?

      india has the fifth largest military on the planet, at least 60 af bases, countless army bases and navy bases (or at least i couldn’t want to count them, esp. among three area commands…) so yeah, it’s plenty close enough, plus the new hardware and nuclear battle carrier, or whatever ya call it.

      excellent rhetorical questions, amigo; they do answer themselves. ‘fire sale’ is brilliant.

      from eurasia review: “In his address to the 2016 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter outlined the US concept of a principled security network in the Asia-Pacific. This network is emergent from existing “bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral” alliances in the region, and allows all interested parties, regardless of their “capability, budget, or experience,” to share in the security burden.”

      look at map above, then read long list of bi-, tri-, and multi-lateral agreements alliances in the A-pacific. whoa, nellie.

      then read the chinese military duo and FM responding to ashhat carter’s ‘great wall of self isolation, china’. hint: they mention a cold war, and you’re exactly trying to isolate us (like russia, remember?).

  4. unh-huuunh; no surprise here, i reckon.

    gag me with a spoon, dude… such hyprocrites and ignoramuses, i swear.

    had enuff Capitalism Rules? nah.

    Modi may not be the rapid liberalizer some perhaps unrealistically hoped for, but almost all of the US companies I met were excited to understand whether the positive pro-investment rhetoric was being matched by action on the ground. They applauded the recent passing of the national bankruptcy law, initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill India, the raising of the FDI ceiling in sectors such as railways, civil aviation, insurance, defence and e-commerce and the promotion of more competition among India’s 29 states. Add to this the warm regard many feel towards India’s central bank governor, Raghuram Rajan, a former professor at the University of Chicago and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, and you start to see why many view India more positively these days.”

    bidness for the oligarchs.

  5. Simon Tisdall was unable to disguise his disgust in his: ‘Narendra Modi’s US visa secure despite Gujarat riots guilty verdicts; Persistent human rights concerns will not stop America from lavishing honours on an Indian PM once barred from its soil’

    Note that he said: “The killings were triggered by the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire on 27 February 2002, which was initially blamed on Muslims.”

    Also via the Guardian, noting that the Snake was still welcomed by Congess and his new BFF Obama, because: Amerika’s bidness is…bidness.

    Gujarat riots massacre: judge convicts 24 over killing of 69 Muslims; Mob stormed Gulbarg Society residential complex in 2002 and targeted Muslims during riots that swept state then led by Narendra Modi’

    Of course Modi knew, and approved. The Hindu caste system is still alive and well under Modi, as well.

  6. There are three major nuclear nations not in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: India, Pakistan, and Israel. Interesting that Pakistan, a key country and with friendly relations with both the US and China is not on the map above. One of the critical hotspots in the world for close to 70 years is Kashmir and Jammu state in India. Pakistan is an interested party in the deferred referendum there. Insurgent organizations from Pakistan have operated in that part of nominally Indian territory for decades. The US has a balancing act to do between India and Pakistan for any inclusion of India and its billion people in the imperium.

    My sense of Modi is that he is a Hindu nationalist; that presents two level of problems in getting India and Pakistan to move in coordination on anything.

    My own view is that designating China as a object of encirclement creates the conditions that makes the necessity of encirclement inevitable. Isn’t that a sweet outcome of folly? A situation only an arms merchant could love.

    Basing in India? Is that what the agreement means? More opportunities for our distressed who seek their fortune in the military to see the world without cultural preparation and with the cultural sensitivites of Donald Trump. What possibly could go wrong? Too many “Ravi. Ravi Oli” punchlines to jokes? What will be the functional equivalent of “raghead” for India? Just imagine the troops’ constant search for a good burger.

    Meanwhile, China has agreements with Myanmar to provide Bay of Bengal access and basing to China and a planned New Silk Road rail connection to China.

    And India has been developing a blue-water (ocean-capable) navy for some time. It is not just the eastern end of the Strait of Mollucca that concerns Washington and Delhi.

    The nuclear power deal seems like welfare for GE and Westinghouse and a few other sweet US firms. Does it put pressure on Pakistan (or Iran?) relative to their nuclear policies to create breakout conditions to eliminate the non-proliferation treaty so that our boom-boom use everything you have brass can play with our lives? All the media attention and trends, including the 51-expert dissent point in that direction and seem orchestrated to give support to the Kagan-Nuland style of foreign policy. Something that Secretary of State Vicky can get rolling on in January.

    I think the proper term here is “Gah!!!”

    • cameron apparently claimed (in modi’s twit link above) that france wasn’t a member of the NLP, either, but the wiki claims it is. well, i dunno, then. but i’d seen mention by pols that ‘the rues can be bent a bit for india’; well, sure, when the bidness incentives are so high.

      i just grabbed that simple and very colorful map to show the locations; but this map at the bottom of my link in the OP concerning fascist nationalistic anti-Muslim India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act for Kashmir and Jammu…does have pakistan and jammu/kashmir.

      at the end of that diary, i’d mentioned i was waiting to hear back from this activist/blogger in the pashtun with answers to my questions; nope. but i’ve also seen two or three other e-addresses for him, so…anyway, i’d been collecting a plethora of links about a possible plebiscite in the latter being held…soon? or not. i never have heard back, so maybe you can shed some light on it. now when i’d finally bumped into this: : ‘European speakers oppose India’s bid for UN Security Council, call for resolution of Kashmir issue’. A heavy indictment of the ‘700,000 Indian armed forces were engaged in atrocities on the Kashmiri people’.

      ….i’d reckoned perhaps that may have been a bit of a nudge underpinning the possibility/likelihood of a vote for self-determination. and yes, it would be a yuuuuuge deal.

      more in a bit.

    • ay yi yi; ‘ravi ravi oli’ killed me! yep, a huge navy. the claim so far is that the US (that will expand to nato) will use india’s bases, exchange ‘intel’ (ha), logistics, load fuel, and prashad says: arms. US swears: no new bases! woof, woof.

      exactly on the folly of encirclement tropes, but iirc, there’s a push for the UN to make some sort of legal ruling as to the south china sea. but as with encircling russia, it creates a whole ‘nother level of cold war arms race. is is romania that just went online with more missiles and missile defense? and 50,000 polish troops on the border with russia? no, no; that’s not a bit provocative.

      didn’t know that about myanmar and the bay of bengal; good. prashad said that GE will give the insurance with the reactors in answer to a 2010 law that said we don’t want that stuff because: accidents. sweeeeet. crap amount of insurance, really.

      this is an interesting question, and perhaps what’s afoot behind closed doors: “Does it put pressure on Pakistan (or Iran?) relative to their nuclear policies to create breakout conditions to eliminate the non-proliferation treaty so that our boom-boom use everything you have brass can play with our lives?”

      yep, the stage is set for nulandia diplomacy by way of nuclear silos. did you, by the by, see that poroshenko just hired foggy r. as a military advisor? gotta love that.

      • Trump just shed his bootstrap campaign manager for the guy that puts him in the same league with Jonas Savimbi, Feredinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko. Not exactly in the Mark Penn class of consultants.

        • charming. one of course reads many essays positing that trump would be better than clinton as far as fewer foreign misadventures. i’ll leave the prez line on the ballot blank as far i know now.

          “The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.
          While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario.”

          • that DIA doc has been around for a couple of months, i believe. G-d bless those right wing kooks at Judicial Watch having fun w/FOIA.

            P. Escobar points out at CP (originally from RT) today that, if you didn’t know it already, the US is not a signatory to the Law of the Sea. unlike China, India, Japan, pretty much everyone (but i’d bet not Israel.)

            not to turn this into an election coverage-fest (barf), but who did Trump seek out for advice about running for POTUS? Arkansas Big Dawg his own self. they are BFF’s. election theatrics. ugh.

            • ack; when will i learn to read? it says right there: 5/9/2015! @cordeliers had just retweeted it, argh.

              and yes, i’d seen that big dawg thing at the wapo earlier. hilarious! it had been surmised by some, hadn’t it?

              here’s the escobar link; i’d grabbed the link but hadn’t read it yet. (for all the good my reading something does, yeeeeegawds and li’l fishes.

            • US intelligence is on the same page about as much as the Pakistani ISI. Brennan (CIA) has deep ties to the Saudis. DIA (part of DOD) need not agree. State of late (Kagan influence) has been less diplomatic than DOD and encouraging of CIA fantasies. Turkey (NATO member) is partially supportive of Daesh/ISIL/ISIS as check on Kurdish independence, especially PKK. Incoherence is built into the institutional history of the individual players (like Brennan) and the networks they built on their way to their current positions.

              In principle the President is supposed to broker these opinions, but it is kind of difficult for any President to figure out who is bullshitting him from motives of pleasing some past friend in his network. Providing so many points of foreign network pressure for so little in return is what is screwing up US foreign policy. American interests no longer enter in to the equation (save certain key American corporations in each country).

              No, the US is Not a signatory to the Law of the Sea agreement, which forms the basis for many of the US claims against nations who are. What did you think “exceptional nation” meant, after all? More scrupulous about human rights?

              • Brennan: Our Man in Riyadh. obama seems to have sided w/DOS & CIA against DOD on certain issues. pissing contest turf wars are blood sports. tons of money & influence just around the abhorrent issue of who targets whom in the drone program, CIA vs DOD, to name one among a dizzying myriad of issues. however, the people on the receiving end could care less.

  7. I certainly bow to your assessment of any political leader with respect to the ills of internal government they represent, wendye – that wasn’t the intention of my post, either to whitewash or to see clearly such things because I don’t. Worldwide there is so much going on that I’m only confident (or nearly so) of the assessments I make for our own internal affairs. I do think, however, that every other country must be currently feeling like a potential target with respect to the ‘attentions’ of our own, and that was the point I was trying to get across.

    A little astray from this, but as political matters were being discussed upthread, here’s a link which it was very hard for me to get to and even harder to watch the video – but I did see the first part of the interview and before that the alarmingly impossible route to candidacy our political system now presents. Talk about running the gantlet. No wonder we have such cruddy choices. It has been made impossible, and that in itself makes anything congressional or presidential a total sham.

    This is Chris Hedges’ new show, and I would have liked to see it better – only got halfway in before my computer shut it down. Ms. Sawant is well spoken, deserves to be heard.

    • as i’d said, i know that you tend to see the good in people; goo on you. i’d imagine even modi does, but only on behalf of those he cares abut, or claims to. some of his tweets on ‘yoga day’ are so hypocritical that they amount to black comedy, imo.

      i may change my mind, but i detest old sourpuss hedges to the Nth degree, while knowing he gets a few things right now and again. if there were a transcript…then i’d read. i wonder if he’s bailed on his contract with TRNN, as an aside? now sawant’s part may yet get posted at counterpunch, so i’ll watch for that, okay?

      here’s her most recent piece at CP.

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