February 29, 2020

President Donald Trump’s 36-hour whirlwind visit to India this past week was designed to show Americans just how adored abroad their president really is.

Unluckily for Trump, his campaign stop at this behemoth nation of 1.3 or 1.4 billion proved a fiasco.

First came the terrifying Chinese coronavirus that so far has killed less people than the weekly toll on China’s dangerous roads, but the whole world went into a panic. The US stock market, the underpinning of Trump’s popularity at home, took a crash dive even though the all-knowing president-physician assured Americans that the Wuhan virus was only a cold.

VP Mike Pence, who believes in Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, was put in charge of combating the new virus.

Next, anti-Muslim riots led by Hindu fanatics in India left large numbers of mostly Muslims dead or injured. A not very well briefed Trump had just lauded India for its harmonious communal relations. The riots were sparked by a virulent anti-Muslim immigration bill enacted by hard-line Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has caused distress across the nation.

But all was not lost. Trump signed a deal to sell $3 billion of US arms to India and got a visit to the Taj Mahal. He will very likely want a copy built in Washington. The parade-loving president also viewed a fine display in Delhi of Indian martial prowess.

The latest US military helicopters will be sold on credit to India. They could be particularly useful in the high mountain regions along India’s tense northern borders with Pakistan and China.

US President Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi are both flaming populist leaders who play to two popular passions: hatred of Muslims and fear of China. Muslims make up roughly 14% of India’s billion-plus population, or some 172 million people.

Trump and American hawks dream of unleashing India against China. India and China have a long, disputed, ill-demarcated border across the high Himalayas and Karakoram mountains that divide them. They are rivals over Tibet, Ladakh and Burma, and Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. India and Pakistan have already fought three wars over Kashmir. But Indians are clever and cautious and will not allow the US to push them into a big war against China.

For more on this topic, my geopolitical analysis of the region, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ is available through Amazon and used by general staffs, intelligence agencies, and universities.

As I’ve long warned, this little-known but highly strategic Himalayan region, the source of India’s and Pakistan’s major rivers, could well spark nuclear war between them – possibly joined by China. Many Americans could not even find Kashmir on a map and care nothing about a war there that could ignite a nuclear conflict and contaminate the entire globe.

But none of this matters at election time. Trump wants to show he is beloved by the outside world.

He has now forged a very close alliance with the Muslim-hating PM Modi, who is the front man for India’s powerful Hindu fundamentalist organization, the RSS, which was modeled in the 1920’s after Mussolini’s Fascists. Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is denounced as a ‘Jewish fascist’ by many on Israel’s left, has joined Trump and Modi in a de facto anti-Muslim rightist alliance.

At the same time, India has drawn very close to Israel, its principal supplier of arms and nuclear technology. Israel has opened doors for India across Washington. Interestingly, in a quid pro quo almost totally ignored by US media, the Trump White House has allowed massive Indian immigration to the US. There are now an estimated four million Indian immigrants in the US. Most are Hindus. They are designed to offset Muslim immigration and sway US politics in Trump’s favor.

There is nothing new in his immigration game. The Democrats encouraged large numbers of Latino and Irish immigrants who reliably voted for them. Many of the Indian immigrants are educated and fairly well-off. They cluster in IT, banking and journalism, bringing much value to both fields.

Instead of heightening tensions between India, Pakistan and China, the US should be helping calm India’s ethnic riots and promoting a fair settlement over the Kashmir dispute that has dragged on since 1947. Photo ops of the Taj Mahal are not going to help.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2020

This post is in: India


  1. arman01ali says:

    Historically, whosoever Indians (Hindus) have befriended, that empire has fallen. The Lodhies were allied with Hindu Maharajas when Babur attacked, Hindus were supporting the Delhi Moghul sultanate at the time of 1857 revolt and we all know how that ended. Even during the WW2 Hindus sent a delegation to Hitlers Germany and showing appreciation for their work, and now we can see similar concentration camps being built in India for ‘illegal immigrants’ since the passing of that CAA bill. During Cold War they allied with USSR and where is it now? Most recently, they became America’s favorite pawn, and guess who won in Afghanistan. it seems that either they have historically chosen the wrong side or that they bring bad luck (LOL) whichever theory you want to believe. Nice article by the way!

  2. Raj Sathya says:

    China, the workshop of the world has become the cause for the severe corona virus that is threatening the world that has taken thousands of lives and crossing 74 more countries apart from China alarming public health authorities across the world. Of the 90,933 confirmed cases of the virus, India’s confirmed cases were 6 while 3 were recovered. While the virus threatening Iran and Italy with death tolls of 66 and 52, the quick action of the US authorities is something to appreciate despite the death toll of 6.
    China together with Pakistan expressed her displeasure to India over the Kashmir issue, first of all is China qualified to question India?
    In 1949, when China invaded the peaceful buddhist country of Tibet, mercilessly killed the unarmed people ( over 1.2 million out of 6 Tibetans were killed)destroyed over 6000 monastaries and imprison 1000 over Tibetans.
    China, imprisoned some 2 million Uighur muslims in the name of Vocational Education Training centers, but have been referred to in the west as “reeducation” camps.
    The persecution against the Baluchistan seems internal issue of Pakistan which killed 1000’s of freedom fighters and journalist. Pakistan has had territorial ambitions over Kashmir since 1947 and promotes cross border terrorism as on date, Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of 78,000 sq kms of Indian territory in Jammu & Kashmir.
    The riots on the citizenship law is obviously is the work of Indian muslims who affiliated with opposition parties to attack Modi’s government, which refuse to grant citizenship to muslim refugees from the neighboring countries namely Pakistan and Bangladesh. India has every right to grant its citizenship to their choice. I wonder how many hindu refugees and other minorities offered citizenship in muslim countries?
    During the partition in 1947,there were 25 million hindus in Pakistan and 18 million muslims in India, but now there are 190 million muslims in India and less than 2 million hindus in Pakistan.The hindus were forcefully converted to islam in failing which they will be burnt to death, the temples will be burnt, charged under blasphemy, in most cases they will confiscate their properties, and this is reported widely.
    One may wonder why the muslim population increased extensively in India simply because the muslims were not forced to convert to hinduism neither their properties were confiscated and appointed Mr.Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, a muslim, as a minister in Modis cabinet.

  3. peter mcloughlin says:

    India is a piece in that jigsaw, that when the final piece is placed there will be a world war. Ostensibly it will be about many things: but at its heart is one reason no one likes to admit: power. It is what drives us and it is what destroys us.

  4. That’s quite an entertaining and informative article. Prime Minister Modi is a perfect companion for Trump and Netanyahu, because, like them, he seems to have highly fascistic tendencies. Most people are not aware of the many Indian immigrants who have come to live in the US during time of the Trump administration. Any of them who came to the US and who married a US citizen can apply for citizenship after three years of residency in that country (so most of them would need to have come to live there in 2017 or earlier). However, the long period to get a US citizenship application processed and approved is currently 8 to 12 months. That means that the majority of Indian people who are green card holders and who came to the US over the past 3 or more years will not get their US citizenship applications approved in time for them to vote in November.

    • Raj Sathya says:

      Since Trump became President in 2017, the US government has tightened immigration norms through policy changes. Fewer Indians migrated to the US on green cards during the two years leading up to 2018 as legal immigration dropped by 7.5% according to data from the National foundation for American Policy, a US think tank.

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