Indian and American negotiators worked through the weekend to find an emollient form of words that would allow both sides to make President George W. Bush’s visit this week into an apparent triumph by skating over the profound differences that have emerged over India’s nuclear status. Bush was supposed to sign a deal this week that would allow India full access to U.S. civilian nuclear technology and nuclear fuel.

But the deal has proved elusive, with India’s nuclear scientists, key security officials and politicians within the ruling government coalition all combining to say that the small print of the current draft deal is unacceptable to India.

High level dissent is already appearing.

It was not supposed to be like this. Last July 18 President Bush and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agreement in Washington that set out the broad principles of a deal, which was presented with great fanfare as the United States recognizing and supporting India’s rise to great power status.

Under the American draft that India is now rejecting, India has been demoted from this top table to the status of a country that has a “developing nuclear power program.”

In his speech to the Asia Society last week, President Bush clearly endorsed this demotion of India’s status. He said: “Under this partnership, America will work with nations that have advanced civilian nuclear energy programs such as Britain, France, Japan and Russia to share nuclear fuels with nations like India that are developing nuclear energy programs.”

The reaction among India’s critics of the deal was furious.

“This is more than just a symbolic downgrading of our status. It leads the way to whole series of controls on our civil and military nuclear programs and our access to nuclear fuel that will erode our nuclear deterrent, expose our own pioneering researches in new nuclear technologies, and tie the hands of India as a sovereign nation by insisting we commit to this deal ‘in perpetuity.’ It all adds up to an insult.”

Uh, George. Real diplomacy is more difficult than the sort of snowjob that works on Texas voters.

  1. moss says:

    Since Bush doesn’t honor diplomatic treaties and documents signed by preceding administrations — why should anyone be surprised that he doesn’t honor his own?

  2. Jared says:

    Not all Texas voters!
    I, for one, never believed anything that came out of his mouth. He was actually against most of the Texas laws that he later ended up taking credit for in his first presidential campaign.

  3. doc says:

    This is in resposnse to improbus’s post and yes i have read that wired article.

    I am a training physician and I can say that clinial trials are on in US hospitals all the time so does that makes all these patients ‘lab rats’.

    I dont think so.

    By participating in trials those patients (poor indian patients) will get much better follow up as compared to what they are getting now. If done ethically these trials may benefit them and in turn rest of the world with their results.

    On the contrary lot of US patients want best of the world’s treatment but become furious the moment you discuss participating in a trial. A lady yesterday plainly refused when resident requested her if a student can examine her eye.

    Things are much more complicated than they appear to be.

  4. Tallwookie says:

    personally, I dont trust anyone at all with nuclear technoilogy, peaceful or otherwise – ‘cept me.

  5. AB CD says:

    I suppose real diplomacy is complaining about outsourcing and putting tariffs and shutting off visas.

  6. Mr. Fusion says:


    I don’t know why I would trust you. I’m the only person I trust.

  7. Me says:

    I say if they don’t want to have nukes on our tems, nuke ’em.

  8. name says:

    Mr. Fusion-
    Trust no one… not even yourself.


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