Pox Upon Mr. Armstrong’s Wonderful World: Of Illusory Democracies,
Rogue States, And Accelerating Humanity’s Demise
By Jason Miller
12 February, 2007
I see trees of green,
red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world….
an increasingly frightening and unstable world, there is one nation
we know will stand firm and resolute in its commitment to freedom, human
rights, democracy and the rule of law. Without the relentless, selfless
efforts of the United States, humankind would plunge into a seething
cauldron of tyranny, slavery, chaos and endless war. Besides Israel,
severely weakened as it is by the constant strain of fending off the
barbarian hordes seeking to “wipe it off the map” and Great
Britain, incessantly pressured by its Leftist, pacifist neighbors to
appease and negotiate, the home of the brave wages its courageous struggle
But fear not. The time draws
nigh when an aspiring superpower will stand firmly alongside the United
States in its defense of humankind. India, the world’s largest
democracy and a haven for the free market economics of Capitalism, is
forging a deep alliance with the United States.
What a wonderful world it
will indeed be when two nations, each of which was forged in the crucible
of revolution against the imperial tyranny of Great Britain, can ally
themselves to fend off the twin evils of terrorism and Islamofascism
as they unite to spread democracy and corporate benevolence.
As Robert Blackwill, ambassador
to India from 2001 to 2003, deputy assistant to the president, deputy
national security advisor for strategic planning, and presidential envoy
to Iraq from 2003 to 2004, noted in The National Interest(1):
“Not only do our vital
national interests coincide, but we share common values as well. The
policies of United States and India are built on the same solid moral
foundation. India is a democracy of more than one billion people—and
there are not many of those in that part of the world. Indian democracy
has sustained a heterogeneous, multilingual and secular society. In
the words of Sunil Khilnani, the author of The Idea of India (1999),
India is a "bridgehead of effervescent liberty on the Asian continent."
George W. Bush fastened onto the genius of Indian democracy very early
on, long before he was president. This has now become an even more central
element of American foreign policy, given the march of freedom across
the Greater Middle East and the president’s emphasis on the growth
of pluralism, democracy and democratic institutions in that region.”
After considering the above,
if resplendent roses and deciduous trees of all manner are not overwhelming
your imagination with a stunning display of vernal regenerative beauty,
better check your pulse.
Yet closer examination indicates
that a number of the exaltations heaped upon the United States’
new confederate in the Far East are both unwarranted and highly disingenuous.
Admittedly, one can find
a degree of ambivalence concerning the deepening relationship between
the United States and India in our daily doses of agitprop. Yet by and
large, the corporate media applauds what it portrays as an expanding
partnership between the world’s most powerful democracy and its
most populous democracy.
Their propagandistic deception
begins with the simple use of the word democracy. Neither country qualifies
as a constitutional republic, let alone a true democracy. Rife with
election fraud, Corporatism, gross wealth disparities, militarism, belligerent
expansionism, toxic nationalism, and a laundry list of traits characterizing
a fascist state, the United States could easily qualify as one of democracy’s
greatest foes. India does not lag far behind.
Hype and spin aside, determined
investigation and fastidious scholarship by people like Bangladeshi
barrister M.B.I. Munshi, researcher Isha Khan, and many others reveal
the ugly realities behind India’s corporate media façade.
India and the United States do share a number of commonalities, but
few of them relate to “democracy”, “liberty”,
or “solid moral foundations”.
While it is true that both
nations were founded by noble people who wrested themselves free of
the yoke of Great Britain’s imperial oppression, like degenerate
trust fund children, the heirs of liberty have defecated on their family’s
reputation and squandered their fortune.
Providing painstaking documentation
in his 2006 book, The
India Doctrine, M.B.I. Munshi clearly exposes India’s
unwritten and unacknowledged ambitions to realize Akhand Bharat (a unified
India). India’s desire to attain superpower status is no secret,
but its power elite and decision-makers are loathe to admit their tenacious
pursuit of imperial supremacy of the subcontinent.
As Munshi’s exhaustive
research demonstrates, India’s policies, attitudes, and actions
toward its neighbors are quite analogous to the machinations of the
United States throughout Central and South America. Replete with its
own version of the Monroe Doctrine (Akhand Bharat) and an intelligence
agency called RAW (their version of the CIA), India has a long-term
commitment to wielding undue power and influence throughout the subcontinent.
Of the Wealthy, By the Wealthy,
and for the Wealthy
In his recent book,
In Spite of the Gods: the Strange Rise of Modern India,
Edward Luce notes:
This is a country where 300
million people live in absolute poverty, most of them in its 680,000
villages, but where cellphone users have jumped from 3 million in 2000
to 100 million in 2005, and the number of television channels from 1
in 1991 to more than 150 last year….India’s economy has
grown by 6 percent annually since 1991, a rate exceeded only by China’s,
yet there are a mere 35 million taxpayers in a country with a population
of 1.1 billion. Only 10 percent of India’s workers have jobs in
the formal economy.
Luce’s brief assessment
above merely provides a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg. India has
embraced the “Washington Consensus” with such fervor that
the tenets of American Capitalism are virtually a religion amongst the
power elite in Delhi
In his Yahoo Finance fluff
piece, Why What’s Good for India is Good for Us(2), which is laden
with hosannas for India’s emergence as a powerful democracy with
free markets, economist Charles Wheelan points out that a third of the
world’s impoverished reside in India and concludes that the American
Way is their ticket to prosperity.
Never mind the fact that
free trade, deregulation, privatization, the emasculation of organized
labor, militarization, an insatiable demand for growth, and corporatization
are destroying the environment, condemning at least half of the world’s
population to abject poverty, maintaining a state of perpetual war,
and have caused the United States to devolve into a failed state. India
represents another billion workers and consumers to power the engine
of capitalism. Consequences be damned! There are profits to be realized!
Heavily tainting its credentials
as a nation modeling and promoting democracy is India’s close
relationship with Israel, a state with a foreign policy that is perhaps
more belligerent, hubristic, and criminal than that of the United States,
if such an “accomplishment” were possible. In 2005 India
bought nearly $2 billion worth of weaponry from Israel, which qualified
them as the Israeli “defense” industry’s number one
customer. India officially recognized Israel as a state in 1992 and
has since become Israel’s second-largest trading partner(3). While
the Indian government enriches Israel (a nation engaged in the ruthless
oppression and collective punishment of the Palestinians), further destabilizes
the subcontinent with its heavy militarization, and prioritizes spending
on weaponry over humanitarian needs, a third of their population wallows
in profound economic misery.
It’s Just Another
“Goddamned Piece of Paper”
Perhaps one of the most telling
hypocrisies entangled in the intricate web woven by the ruling elite
of Washington and Delhi is the Bush-Singh nuclear agreement. Barring
unlikely resistance from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the United States
will begin supplying India with uranium sometime this year. While the
United States will almost certainly go to war with Iran to squash its
attempt to develop nuclear capabilities, it is preparing to provide
India with nuclear materials. Rogue states that it is, the US is unilaterally
altering the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by denying Iran, a party
to the treaty, its right to develop nuclear power, and enabling India,
which has not signed the NPT, to further its nuclear program. Coupling
this with Ehud Olmert’s recent admission that Israel possesses
a nuclear arsenal denudes the deeply duplicitous agenda of the United
States (and its allies) and further destabilizes our world in a profound
Did Blackwill write
of “solid moral foundations”?
Please do hold the music,
Mr. Armstrong. Those illusory springtime blossoms accompanying the US-Indo
alliance wither rapidly in the face of relentless wintry blasts of truth
concerning the widespread, persistent human rights violations and social
injustices in India:
Ostensibly armed with “rights
and liberties”, most people in India grapple with an archaic and
ineffective justice system. The poor and middle class are subject to
a woefully inadequate judiciary and law enforcement apparatus which
is heavily biased toward the wealthy and powerful(4). (Sound familiar,
The Indian government is
a slow, inefficient and deeply corrupt bureaucracy. (Feel the resonance
on this one too?)
While the rigid caste system
has relaxed to some degree, the Dalits (aka “Untouchables”)
still face tremendous discrimination at the hands of the Brahmins (the
Hindu elites). Even after the valiant efforts of the late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar,
a Dalit who rose to great prominence and became the principal architect
of the Indian Constitution, true social justice for the Dalits is still
but a tantalizing mirage(5).
Despite laws banning the
traditional mandatory dowry, India’s National Crime Record Bureau
has determined that there is still one dowry death every 77 minutes!
The rampant consumerism and materialism engendered by India’s
love affair with the US socioeconomic system has heightened demands
made by grooms and their families. Often, when a bride’s family
is unable to “deliver the goods”, the groom brutalizes or
kills his wife. Like many of the laws India has passed to uphold human
rights, the legislation banning the practice of dowry demands is rarely
Another tragic result of
dowry demands is the wide-spread practice of infanticide. Many Indians
consider having a daughter to be a huge liability. Since 1987, ten million
female infants have died at the hands of parents unwilling to face the
hardships imposed by the deeply ingrained dowry system. One common technique
parents employ to murder these precious innocents is to pour sand in
their mouths just after they are born(7).
Representing another egregious
violation of human rights (and yet another feeble effort by the government
to protect the victims) is the existence of an estimated 12 million
child laborers in India. That figure comes from the power brokers in
Delhi. Various NGO’s and charitable organizations assert that
the number of Indian children enduring the deprivation of their childhood,
hard work for ridiculously paltry wages, and physical beatings is much
The Enemy of my Enemy
is my Friend
One of the oft-heard reasons
that the United States and India constitute a match made in heaven is
that India is an ideal ally in the “War on Terror”. Remember
that the United States and its collaborators are actually waging a war
on Islam. They are the enemy because a large number of Islamic people
have the sheer audacity to dwell in a region possessing a significant
percentage of the world’s remaining oil reserves and in and around
the land the Zionists, with British and American complicity, elected
Mother India is certainly
doing her part to quell the “Muslim rabble”. Aside from
her close alignment with Israel and the United States, her ongoing war
with Pakistan over Kashmir, and her pursuit of domination of her Muslim
neighbors on the subcontinent (i.e. Bangladesh), she is home to a pathological
strain of Hindu nationalism known as Hindutva. A spokesman for RSS,
perhaps the most radical Hindutva organization, stated:
“The entire world acknowledges
that Israel has effectively and ruthlessly countered terror in the Middle
East. Since India and Israel are both fighting a proxy war against terrorism,
therefore, we should learn a lesson or two from them. We need to have
close cooperation with them in this field."
In February of 2002, Hindu
nationalists slaughtered between 2,000 and 5,000 Muslims and left another
150,000 homeless in the Indian state of Gujarat. In her book, The
Gujarat Genocide, Garda Ghista observes:
“Even after the initial
72 hours, the violence continued with the active support and collaboration
of local police,”
And noted author and human
rights activist Arundhati Roy wrote this of the Gujarat massacre:
from a poisoned chalice—a flawed democracy laced with religious
fascism … Gujarat has been the petri dish in which Hindu fascism
has been fomenting an elaborate political experiment.” (9)
Recently, the Justice Rajinder
Sachar Committee conducted a study on India’s minority populations.
The results are now in the hands of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Consider some of the report’s findings relative to the Muslims
of India [who encompass 140 million people or about 15% of the Indian
In rural areas: 94.9% of
Muslims living below poverty line fail to receive free food grain.
Only 3.2% of Muslims get subsidized loans.
Only 2.1% of Muslim farmers
have tractors, while just 1% own hand pumps.
54.6% of Muslims in villages and 60% in urban areas have never been
to schools. In rural areas, only 0.8% of Muslims are graduates, while
in urban areas despite 40% of the Muslims receiving modern education
only 3.1% are graduates. Only 1.2% of Muslims are post-graduates in
While West Bengal has 25% Muslim population, only 4.2% are employed
in state services. In Assam, with a 40% Muslim population, only 11.2%
are in government employment. Kerala has 20% Muslims, but only 10.4%
of government employees are Muslim.
In Karnataka, where the Muslim
population is 12.2%, 8.5% are employed in government services. While
in Gujarat, of the 9.1% Muslim population, 5.4% are in state jobs; in
Tamil Nadu, against a 5.6% Muslim population, 3.2% are employed in government.
Though West Bengal is known
as a political bastion of the left bloc, the ones who have always spoken
strongly against parties entertaining communal bias, the state has zero%
Muslims in state PSUs. While Kerala has 9.5% in state PSUs, Maharashtra
has only 1.9%.
Though the Sachar committee
was not able to secure data regarding the presence of Muslims in the
armed forces, it is fairly well-known that their percentage here is
not more than three.
Muslims form only 10.6% of the population in Maharashtra, but 32.4%
of the prison inmates here are Muslims. In New Delhi, 27.9 % of inmates
are Muslims, though they form only 11.7% of the population here. While
in Gujarat, Muslims form 25.1% of the ones imprisoned, they form 9.1%
of the population. In Karnataka, Muslims form 12.23% of populace and
17.5% of those imprisoned.
It would appear that India deals with its “Muslim problem”
in much the same way that the United States deals with its “Black
Careful scrutiny of the consummation
of the US-Indo relationship and India’s meteoric rise toward superpowerdom
via American Capitalism raises serious doubts about our collective sanity
as we perpetuate an exploitative system conceived in the minds of men
whose thinking was heavily shaped by their imperialistic and colonial
socioeconomic paradigm. Concluding mass psychosis becomes even more
probable when one considers that corporate personhood, monopolies, plutocratic
tyranny, and unbridled avarice have so perverted what might have evolved
as an ethical and sustainable socioeconomic system.
Why are so many people so
deeply committed to an economic scheme which truly rewards so few? Driven
by greed, ruthless competition, and oppression, this virulent system
is truly beneficial for the mere handful of the world’s 6.5 billion
human beings who parasitically monopolize most of the available wealth.
Paradoxically, in a world still abundant with resources, a large percentage
of the population wages a constant (and for many futile) struggle to
attain the necessities of life.
Our ugly manifestation of
Capitalism has relegated most of the human race to some form of slavery,
serfdom or indentured servitude. It is an irresistible force devouring
Mother Earth’s resources faster than she can renew them, befouling
the environment with toxins and pollutants, and causing the extinction
of animal and plant species at an alarming rate.
So the next time a think
tank propagandist or corporate media pundit crows about India’s
conversion to the “American Way”, remember that their sophistry
amounts to a twisted celebration of the demise of humanity and the Earth.
From birth, it is burned
into our cerebrums that the “freeing individualism” of Capitalism
and the “stifling collectivism” of Communism are the only
socioeconomic models from which we can choose. This is a despicable
lie. We are not intellectually constrained to adhere to an ill-conceived
economic philosophy hundreds of years old. Nor are we bound to its antithesis,
which Marx formulated as a radical reaction to the harsh brutality of
Capitalism. Somewhere between these two extremes lies a synthesis that
could incorporate the best of both.
As human beings, we have
been blessed with highly developed frontal lobes. If we are to survive
as a species, we must use this gift to find a viable middle ground between
Capitalism and Communism…hence enabling some semblance of Mr.
Armstrong’s “wonderful world”.
Jason Miller is
a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself intellectually
and spiritually. He writes prolifically, his essays have appeared widely
on the Internet, and he volunteers at homeless shelters. He welcomes
constructive correspondence at email@example.com
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/
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