Red Carpet Rolled Out for the Obamas – But Does the Warm Reception End There?

The red carpet was literally rolled out for the Obamas when they arrived in India.

No surprise they’re being treated like royalty, since that’s how they behave. You’d think he was king. We still don’t know the cost of this trip, but it’s sure to carry a hefty price tag. This is what the British Daily Mail had to say about it.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrived in India’s commercial hub of Mumbai on Saturday, days after voters punished his Democrats in mid-term elections.

Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state travelled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.

While lesser mortals – the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and so on – are usually happy to let their hosts handle most of the security and transport arrangements when they venture beyond their home shores, the United States creates a mini-America on the move to ensure that nothing is left to chance.

And that was just the beginning. Color them unimpressed.

First Lady Michelle Obama brought a message of hope and dance to a group of poor Indian children. She probably didn’t mention they could eat for a lifetime on just a fraction of the cost of this jaunt.

The president commemorated the anniversary of the Mumbai massacre. Certainly that was a fitting gesture, but the Ft. Hood families still await a word or two from the Commander in Chief to commemorate that anniversary. No word on what he’ll do to honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day.

People are still wondering what this trip is all about. We’re told it’s all about the economy, but some say it’s just to seal an arms deal.

President Obama is traveling to India this weekend to make a $5 billion sale for 10 of Boeing’s C-17 cargo planes. If India signs the contract, this would be the sixth biggest arms deal in U.S. history.This and the pending $60 billion deal with Saudi Arabia will certainly help to jump-start the economy, as they have for the past fifty years.

I suppose that’s good for the economy here at home. We sure as heck can use all the help we can get.

Not everyone in India is a big fan of President Obama, though. Some are distrustful of the man and US foreign policy.

US supplies to Pakistan have effectively nixed the F-16s prospects at being selected as one of the two US contenders for the IAF’s $12-billion fighter tender for its Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. “The US keeps telling us in every meeting that we are a strategic partner and then they go ahead and transfer arms to Pakistan which are certain to be used against us,” says a senior Cabinet minister echoing India’s dismay over the continuing US arms sales.

India cannot hope that Obama will be of any help in containing China, whose expansionist agenda and tactical alliance with Pakistan have only added to its worries. “As China seeks to remake global norms and institutions, it is also essential that the United States continues to assert its own ideals and strategic priorities and to work closely with other like-minded nations,” writes Elizabeth C. Economy in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs. Obama has his options. He can either see India as a like-minded nation, a global partner. Or he can contain India within a framework whose importance is conditioned by the war in Afghanistan. If he has vision, he will choose the first option. If he has eyes only for Pakistan, he will settle for the desultory second choice.

I wonder if that has something to do with the Indian media’s exaggeration of the cost of this trip. (Which again, we still don’t know because they won’t tell us.) Some leftist groups protested the President’s visit and called him a war monger. I guess it’s safe to say they didn’t have anything to do with the red carpet.

It may not just be Indian leftists who are unhappy with Obama. The rest of the world seems to have soured on him as well. He’s no longer The One they have been waiting for. But they sure do keep up appearances, don’t they?