Eric Garcetti: When you wait longer than normal for something, expectations are on a whole different level. For their 14-year-long perseverance, the people of Ayodhya got Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram as king. The message is clear: the longer the grind, the sweeter the result. The question is whether that holds true in the current world order.
If we go by the examples set by those at the top of the world order, then it is not. Take, for instance, the new US ambassador to India. His past acts and statements have killed all the enthusiasm that people in both countries had for the last two years.
Eric Garcetti’s career
Until and unless something is seriously and structurally wrong with the bipartisan divide in American politics, India is set to receive a new American Ambassador. His name is Eric Garcetti. Eric Garcetti is a former United States Navy Reserve Information Dominance Corps lieutenant. After his naval stint, Garcetti became a visiting instructor of international affairs at the University of Southern California. He later went on to become an assistant professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College.
However, it is his political career that gave him an upshot. In 2013, at the age of 42, Garcetti became the youngest mayor of Los Angeles in 100 years. Yes, it is the same city that is famous for Hollywood. In 2021, the Biden administration decided to nominate Garcetti for ambassadorial duties in India. Apart from belonging to Biden’s own Democratic party, his academic work went in Garcetti’s favor. During his academic days, Garcetti had worked extensively towards understanding and decoding ethnic conflicts and nationalism in Southeast Asia.
This should have been enough. But, no. There is no consensus, even in America, over his nomination. Yeah, yeah, you may say that it is a part of bipartisan politics, and Republicans will always oppose anyone pushed up by the Democrats. But that is too simple and only a surface-level analysis. What these Republicans have against Eric Garcetti is his record as a mayor and his not so clean record in professional life.
Eric’s mayorship has been a disaster for Los Angeles. The city erstwhile known for its celebrities is now known for homelessness in America. The city hosts nearly 70,000 homeless people and is quite close to the tipping point. It seems as if Democrats are looking to pitch Eric for something big, but his mayoral stint has dented his prospects. Nomination for being an ambassador in India seems to be a safe bet for Democrats to wash Eric’s image.
But the problem is that Eric Garcetti is in the way of his own career. In December 2021, Eric was up for confirmation before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There he committed the biggest blunder any prospective candidate could do. Without any slouch in his back or any body language suggesting confusion, Eric told the committee that he would interfere in India’s domestic policies.
Responding to a question from his party colleague, Senator Ben Cardin, Eric Garcetti decided to raise the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Citing his record as a board member of Human Rights Watch in California, Eric said that he won’t be doing any formalities with CAA. Instead, Garcetti said that CAA and other human rights-related issues, specifically those affecting Muslims, would be core to his engagement with India.
Eric seemed so much at ease that he had the gall to say that he would engage with civil society in India. In other words, Eric was talking about galvanizing foreign-funded NGOs. “It’s a two-way street on these, but I intend to engage directly with civil society. There are groups that are actively fighting for the human rights of people on the ground in India that will get direct engagement from me,” said Garcetti.
Boy, you are really traversing dangerous territory with these kinds of statements. This is by no means a statement by an ambassador appointed by one country to another. When you are a government servant appointed to any country, you are supposed to work to create a strong bond between you and the host country. With such statements, Eric indirectly said that he considers anti-government organizations more credible than the Modi government itself.
What a travesty of common sense! To be honest, his 2021 confirmation hearing felt more like a political speech to woo the local fan base than a step towards amicable relations with India.
And if that was not enough, Eric Garcetti also said that if he is confirmed, he would raise his voice against sexual harassment in India. But wait! Where did that come from? For one thing, it has once again become a domestic talking point for every Democrat in Washington, DC. Secondly, Eric probably had something dirty in his closet.
The main reason why it took more than 21 months for Eric to get the latest clearance is because he was involved in a sexual harassment controversy. Rick Jacobs, his deputy and top advisor, is a sex offender. The allegations are that Eric knew it all along but decided to stay silent. En route, Eric Garcetti lost many supporters. On March 8, this year, the man managed to avoid the committee grilling. Ball is in Senate Court, and he looks poised to come to India. In all likelihood, the staff of the American Embassy in India know it. Recently, its Twitter handle was happy to share a video by RJ Sayema. Sayema is a classic hardcore Islamist with a sweet voice who works as a moral veil.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson laments the Democrats as a party of weak men and unhappy women. If there is any chance that Eric is weak, you can expect some viciousness on his behalf. Not a good sign for any bilateral relationship, of course.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM