The willing fields of Bangladesh

If he gets over his disenchantment with the nuclear daredevils of South Asia, Bill Clinton is slated to swing by Bangladesh, too, this October. Expect photo opportunities with cute street children, destitute women and select NGO barons.
Expect unctuous statements about human rights, democracy, poverty alleviation, economic development and bilateral trade. But when it comes to the rub, expect the bottom line to be about energy, and the access of American corporations to the massive gas reserves that have been discovered under Bangla soil and sea.

The visit, some months back, by Bill Richardson, special envoy of the president and the US Ambassador to the United Nations gave us a taste of things to come. As he came and went, the Dhaka media and intelligentsia cooed with appreciation and amity. As we all know, the task of mature journalism and pragmatic scholarship is to keep the truth beyond the reach of the general public.

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Himal Southasian