US ambassador to India EATS his words
The Bush administration is on a roll this week. Iran threatened to begin uranium enrichment if referred to the Security Council, 'militant' Hamas won a democratic election by a wide margin, Rumsfeld and his generals can't get their stories straight, and today India made the US ambassador eat his own words.
Mr Mulford was summoned by India's Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, on Thursday afternoon and told that his comments were "inappropriate and not conducive to building a strong partnership between the two democracies," a foreign ministry statement said. [OUCH!]The whole thing started when...
[Mulford said] his remarks were taken out of context. [Right!]
The US State Department said Mr Mulford was voicing his "personal opinion." [Sure!]
...a week ahead of the IAEA meeting on the Iran issue, Mulford said that if India did not vote against Tehran’s nuclear programme, the fallout on the Indo-US nuclear deal in the Congress would be "devastating." (Washington agreed last year to share advanced civilian nuclear technology with Delhi.)Naturally, they didn't like that very much.
In a strongly-worded statement, the [Communist Party India-Marxist] CPI(M) called the ambassador’s comments a "threat" and said they confirmed that the US had pressured India into voting against Iran at the IAEA meeting in September last year.OUCH! That stings! The administration should quit while they're ahead.
[They] accused the US ambassador of interference with India’s sovereign affairs and said . . . [that a] strong rebuff should be given so that the message rings out clearly that India has its dignity and an independent foreign policy."
"It is an attempt to dictate what India should do. Mulford forgets that he is not the American pro-consul in a banana republic."
BTW, Mulford is some character. Bad apples don't fall far from the tree.