India Has a Soft Spot for Bush





“The relationship with India is one of the few success stories of the Bush administration’s foreign policy,” said Teresita C. Schaffer, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who ran the State Department’s South Asia desk under the first President Bush.

George W. Bush’s critics often link his idiosyncratic temperament to his administration’s diplomatic misadventures. But among Indians, who in the main have no love for his ideology, even his critics say the traits for which Mr. Bush is so often condemned were, in India’s case, benignly applied: his penchant for unilateral deeds, and his moral conviction that democracies are simply better than non-democracies.

“Mr. Bush is driven by ideology and instincts, not by nuanced thinking,” said Ashutosh Varshney, a political scientist and South Asia expert at Brown University. “Bush’s ideology convinced him that, of the two rising stars on the world stage, India was preferable.” (The other is, of course, China.)

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