There are events that define the course of a nation, and if that nation is a world power like the United State, the course of the world may also be set -- or mis-set. The defining moment for the George W. Bush presidency, for example, not to go so far back as the purposive abolishment of slavery for Abraham Lincoln or the event of the 1929 Great Crash for Franklin D.Roosevelt, was 9/ 11. Whatever George Bush may have envisioned for his presidency, it became a prisoner of the military/ politics/ economics of 9/ 11. The Iraq war could be said as being part of his original presidential agenda, delayed in the execution by the Afghanistan war of necessity. But whether or not the Iraq war would have succeeded to the best of the president's calculations and ambitions, whatever those were, ultimately, the cost of two wars brought America close to imperial overreach, made worse by the September 2008 bankruptcies. If America was in decline, as most objective analysts believe, including this one, Bush hastened the decline.

His successor, Barack Obama's defining moment came with the Nobel Peace Prize. From all accounts, Obama was surprised by the award, and accepted it while admitting he may have been undeserving. He advanced a bogus theory that the award recognized the criticality of an American presidency in transforming the world (those were not his words but he meant as much), and even if one suspends one's judgment and accepts it, it still doesn't elevate Obama. But ultimately, this piece is not about Obama, but the defining moment that prize-winning constituted for America and the world. If Obama had politely refused the award, saying the very same things, that he was undeserving, etc, he could have saved himself for bigger things, salvaged the American presidency, and, according to this writer, saved the United States from expending much of its capability to transform the world. But as this commentator has already noted in a previous writing, the Nobel prize makes Obama a prisoner of the intentions and scheming of the European peaceniks, which, among other things, is directly going to hurt India's interest. The rest of the piece will devote to that subject.

Under Obama, India hoped for a continuation of the reasonable friendship accorded by the previous Bush administration, but feared the worst. Democratic administrations have generally been bad for India and politically and militarily isolated states like Israel. Specific to India, the United States was expected to lean towards Pakistan again, putting India on notice, as it were, on the Jammu and Kashmir issue, and if the older Bill Clinton administration showed the way, engagement with China would be pursued in the belief that it was necessarily the bigger Asian power compared to India requiring more understanding and the ceding of concessions. But since especially the Indo-US nuclear deal had raised Indian stakes in American goodwill, there was fear, nay dread, on that count, knowing the Democratic Party's obsession with non-proliferation issues, NPT, CTBT, and so forth.

Even before the Nobel Peace Prize, the defining moment for Obama's presidency, as this writer sees it, many of those fears came true. Indian firmness rejecting expansion of Richard Holbrooke's brief beyond Af-Pak narrowly prevented the hyphenation of India and Pakistan with the J and K issue. While Obama has been assuring India on the nuclear deal, he has also moved the G-8, and through G-8, the NSG states, to deny non-NPT countries (including nuclear weapons' states like India, without naming it) ENR technologies. Obama is also determined to push the US Senate to ratify CTBT earlier rejected during the Clinton administration. With China, despite the failure of a so-called G-2 engagement, Obama is determined to pursue friendly ties to save the American economy. There is some fear that the US will side with China on its border dispute with India, especially on its claim to Arunachal Pradesh. The US president has already shied away from meeting the Dalai Lama before his conference with the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, and this may work to India's ultimate disadvantage.

So, in sum, Obama was being true to the Democratic presidential type even before the defining Nobel Peace Prize moment. Now he will surely be, from India's perspective, the worst of that type. No one has suggested, not to this writer's knowledge at any rate, that the Democratic Party fixed the Nobel for him with the Norwegian parliamentary Left-wing to arrest his tumbling domestic popularity, but the price plays Obama into the hands of the party establishment. As suggested in this writer's previous commentary, Obama's famous indecisiveness will exacerbate with winning the prize. He will delight even more with words but will increasingly be deficit in action, especially on the sides of the good states of the world, like India. This action deficit will isolate India more and increase the machinations of the "evil states" (two that can be named being Pakistan and China) against it. In the next three years of the Obama administration or seven if he wins a second term (doubtful on present trends), India will face greater Chinese-Pakistani encirclement in South Asia, in which only its own thinking and strategic genius will save it. The worst-case scenarios can easily be sketched by anyone who has understanding of these issues, but it is not clear if the Manmohan Singh government is sufficiently alive to the consequences of the changed Obama prize moment. India is on its own again, and the situation must squarely be faced for all its harsh and unrelenting truth.