The lobby believes that getting entrapped in a domestic political quagmire will sap the US President’s resolve against the challenges and threats posed to the US and its allies by the Sino-Wahabi and Sino-Russian interlocking alliances
by Madhav Nalapat
New Delhi: Elements working to promote the interests of the Sino-Wahabi lobby are ensconced even at different levels in the Biden administration. Although acting on behalf of authoritarian, extremist or military-ruled states, the lobby is expert at camouflaging such intentions behind smokescreens such as “defence of democracy” and “support for human rights”. Assisted by some of the clumsiness in messaging made by a section of those supporting the NDA government that took office in 2014, the Sino-Wahabi lobby has worked hard in efforts to persuade policymakers, media personalities and social influencers in the United States that there should not be a close partnership between the US and India under the present dispensation. Within India, the corresponding message (that India should not form an alliance with the US) has been disseminated by the Sino-Wahabi lobby, as well as by those wittingly or otherwise serving the geopolitical interests of the Sino-Russian alliance. They seek to maintain, and if possible widen, the distance between the two biggest democracies in the world, especially in matters of defence and security. Such issues are closely interlinked with technological cooperation, as several advanced technologies have a dual military and civilian use. The effort is to make any negativity dynamic self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling. Progressives and liberals in the Democratic Party are usually idealists, their weakness being a propensity to accept as fact such Sino-Wahabi canards as “genocide of minorities” in India. Before their party came to power, the lobby was very successful in disseminating such negative perceptions about India, but several of those lawmakers who repeated views about India that were at variance with reality. After Joe Biden took over as US President on 20 January 2021, such outbursts by liberal and progressive Democrats have largely dissipated, to the disappointment of the Sino-Wahabi lobby.
US-INDIA TIES TARGET OF LOBBY
Fortunately for US-India ties, Joe Biden, once taking charge as President of the US and getting briefed on the challenges and threats posed by China, he and Vice-President Kamala Harris came out in favour of a strong relationship with India in the overall interests of both countries. Such a softening of their stand on India under Prime Minister Modi was unwelcome to Sino-Wahabi elements in both the Biden as well as Harris entourage. They later managed a significant coup when they persuaded President Biden to cut Afghanistan loose, thereby gifting that country (temporarily at least) to that favourite of the Sino-Wahabi alliance, the Taliban. Blowback from this error seems to have rung warning bells in the White House about unquestioningly accepting the policy prescriptions of the Sino-Wahabi lobby. Soon after the disastrous Afghanistan pull out, Biden announced both the first Quadrilateral Security Dialogue summit and the formation of the Australia-UK-US nuclear technology alliance that is designed to ensure that the Australian navy has the capability to better assist in the defence of the Indo-Pacific.
BLOCKING THE BIDEN STIMULUS
AUKUS could be followed by a separate US-India nuclear technology alliance designed to speed up the nuclear submarine capabilities of the Indian Navy through backing India’s indigenous nuclear submarine program. This is needed in the context of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. The problem being faced by Biden is that his moves such as AUKUS and the Quad summit have triggered an effort by the Sino-Wahabi alliance to politically weaken him. They believe that getting entrapped in a domestic political quagmire will sap the US President’s resolve against the challenges and threats posed to the US and its allies by the Sino-Wahabi and Sino-Russian interlocking alliances. In the age of hypersonic missiles, tanks are of little value in deciding the outcome of a kinetic exchange between countries. Similarly, when the other side has nuclear capabilities, it is essential to invest not in conventional but in nuclear submarines, as the first would be easy prey for the latter. Within their contacts in the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party, those promoting the geopolitical goals of the Sino-Wahabi and Sino-Russian alliance are working at speed to derail Biden’s infra and societal stimulus plans. Such efforts are succeeding to an extent. Several progressive legislators seek to have not just a full loaf (in terms of projects) but a full loaf now, even though this will not be possible given the present composition of the US Congress. It is not an accident that it is precisely those who were vociferous against India are the ones demanding that President Biden attempt what is (for now) the impossible. This is to bring forward at one go the entire $3.5 trillion Biden program that has been drawn up. The lobby is aware that such a combination cannot pass the US Congress unless changes occur in the 2022 midterms, yet is lobbying for both infra and social segments of the Biden stimulus to be done simultaneously. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi correctly seeks to bring to a vote and adoption of the infrastructure program and the other part after the first comes into effect.
Once the Pelosi version of the bill comes through and infrastructure spending begins, the benefits to US voters will become evident. Messaging by the Democratic Party of the way in which the Republican Party opposed this will garner the votes needed for a healthy Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives. Positioning the 2022 midterms as a choice between an expansion of social programs on par with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society is almost certain to ensure that the Democratic Party get a majority in the US Senate. The danger comes from DINOs, Democrats in Name Only. If the DINOs were to oppose the infrastructure bills now and indicate that they would oppose the social services expansion bills later, such legislators would commit political hara-kiri, given the sentiment within the base of their party in favour of both. Senators Manchin and Sinema would be ill-advised to put the interests of their donors above those of their voters. They need to get the infrastructure bills passed for their own future in the Democratic Party. As for progressives who are misled by the Sino-Wahabi alliance into adopting an “all or nothing” stance may bring forward the prospects of a Republican-controlled US Congress in 2022 and a Republican victory in the 2024 Presidential polls. Both would push into the indefinite future their chances of getting the policies they champion implemented, and deny US voters the benefits of better infrastructure for an indefinite period
BIDEN STIMULUS NEEDED FOR DEMOCRATS
Were the US House and Senate to combine the two bills (as the Sino-Wahabi lobby is urging progressive and liberal members of the US Congress to do), that would sink the chances of passage for the first tranche (Infra) and the next (Social) as well. The Democratic Party needs the buoyancy that additional infrastructure spending will generate in order to do well in the 2022 midterms, and the Republican Party is gleeful that the “left” wing of the rival party is putting forward demands that are likely to have the consequence of sinking President Biden’s efforts at ensuring that US society recovers from the aftershocks of longstanding policies that favour the wealthy over the others. A strong US is unwelcome to either wing of the Sino-Wahabi alliance, and it is therefore no surprise that they are working at speed to ensure the collapse of Biden’s legislative agenda, just as they succeeded in doing in the case of Afghanistan. The perfect is often the enemy of the good, as is said, and Senator Sanders and others who genuinely seek to improve the lives of ordinary citizens need to accept half the loaf now and the rest later, possibly even after the 2022 mid-term polls, in case the DINOs earlier sink the social welfare component of the Biden stimulus plan. Getting the infrastructure plan passed is essential for both DINOs and progressives, although this would be unwelcome news for the enemies of the US and the democracies need to ensure the sabotage of supply chain security and resilience and a free and open Indo-Pacific. The coming weeks will show whether, as happened in Afghanistan, the Sino-Wahabi lobby in the US will win this round as well, thereby weakening President Biden in a manner that promotes the interests of the Sino-Wahabi and Sino-Russian alliance at the cost of those of the US and its partners.