Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker writes about the strikingly pro-American attitudes found in India today. I recall an international poll shortly after 9/11 showing that India had some of the highest number of people who supported the U.S. going to war for retribution. Of course, this may be pure opportunism, since our war on terror is bound to box up Pakistan, Indias mortal enemy, to some extent. But it might also have something to do with India becoming an English-speaking democracy.
I also had a conversation with an American diplomat from the region more than a year ago, who told me of the significant support India is giving to the U.S. effort. Since India cant sent any troops to Pakistan or Afghanistan because it would be unacceptable to the Paks, etc., Indias navy is doing things such as providing harbor guard for our ships in Singapore (to prevent another Cole-style bombing). But I also get the impression that if things went bad in Pakistain, India would gladly help clean the place out.
This is a happy turnabout since, as John points out, India was for all practical purposes on the other side during the Cold War.
When the Soviet Union was the baddest thing around, the Europes hovered close around the USA, like chicks around Mother Hen when the hawk was out. When the SU collapsed, the Europes went their own way and disarmed, militarily and economically, in pursuit of some weird socialist dream.
When China was weak and ineffectual, Japan did its own thing, with mixed results. Now that China is becoming a power, Japan has suddenly discovered the virtues of mutual defense and cooperation.
The same is true of India now, facing both an awakened China and an aggressive Jahidistan.
Who the heck was it that thought we had reached the end of history? We will never reach the end of history as long as men survive. But we continue to improve. The number of democracies has increased by 400% in the last century. Muslim extremists are not one-tenth as big a threat as the Soviet Union was. And the miracle of democracy and free market economics continues to work its wonders.
Kiplings India is coming back.
I suspect that most Indians fear muslim extremism more than they fear China. Muslim extremism is propagated by humans. Millions of fanatic humans intent on outbreeding the infidel in his own nest.
Western lifestyles lead to low birthrates. See Italy, Russia, and other European countries with shrinking native populations. Enter the prolific muslim immigrant, more than willing to breed at public expense. No need for a crystal ball here.