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No Respect
India Takes Turn at New Global Sport: Ignoring John Kerry

India joined a growing list of nations to snub the U.S. Secretary of State last week, scuttling an important WTO agreement on customs and trade while Kerry was in New Delhi.

This decision, Donald Kirk argues in Forbes, may be at least as significant as Kerry’s recent, high-profile set-backs in the Middle East:

After  failing to win agreement to a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas, the secretary of state when he got to New Delhi ran into a stone wall on a wide range of issues.  The problems seem about as intractable as those in the Middle East and as worrisome considering India’s ties to Russia and the widespread view that India under the conservative Narendra Modi, however business-minded he may be, will resist U.S. pressure as much as his predecessors.

No sooner had Kerry arrived in India than he had to absorb the disillusionment of India’s refusal to sign a trade and facilitation agreement under the aegis of the World Trade Organization that would, as a minimum, have standardized customs rules.  That was a special shock considering that India, in ministerial-level meetings in Bali last December, had totally endorsed the agreement.  India’s sudden reversal at the vote in Geneva last week meant not only that the agreement was dead but that the WTO might as well be dead too.

The failure of Kerry’s Hamas peace proposal and the Indian snub are just the latest in a long line of incidents in which countries ignored U.S. interests, often quite pointedly, when the Secretary of State was in town. These have ranged from outright repudiations of American foreign policy goals to petty gestures, as when Kerry was patted down before meeting Egyptian President al-Sisi last month.

Between Kerry’s Middle East missteps and the Administration’s shaky grasp on international dynamics, it’s beginning to look to foreign powers as if however nattily dressed the Secretary may be, the emperor’s foreign policy has no clothes.

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  • Kevin

    The idea of Kerry as some sort of super-spy assassin who was going to take out al-Sisi is pretty hilarious. Maybe they thought no one this inept could actually be the chief diplomat – maybe he’s really an undercover hitman

    • Pete

      No, the pat down was to humiliate the prig.

  • Fat_Man

    And to think he came within a few hundred thousand votes of being President.

  • PDX_traveler

    I give up – this fine analysis by WRM and staff convinced me. Electing a Black Communist Muslim (TM) as president has led to all this. Never again, I guess. By reversing this one act, all will be well – we will have a short, rapid gaining of influence around the world, Israelis and Palestinians will make peace, and our Sec. of State’s sartorial status shall be restored, among many other benefits. Impeachment!

  • Boritz

    The title is a bit misleading. &nbspYou can’t say he’s being ignored. &nbspThat would be a slight improvement.

  • Duperray

    Kerry cannot be stupid, otherwise he would have made a pre-Obama career as he did. In my opinion, the person is not in cause, but present Administration ideology is.

  • ArmyAviator

    I don’t blame the Egyptians at all, for patting down Kerry and his strap hangers before they were allowed and audience with President Al-Sissi. After all, Kerry represents a hostile, enemy regime. Since Kerry is a known supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and represents 0bama and his pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies, why should the Egyptians trust Kerry? I don’t, and I’m just a “man on the street.”

  • Breif2

    Hmm, this situation is becoming too manifest to gloss over. Fortunately, the solution is simple: restore our standing by slapping down another country hard.

    An allied country, of course.

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