Tom Lantos' life story was extraordinary in many ways: Holocaust survivor, economist, and long-serving congressman who ended up being Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congress had a little more integrity with him around, and his death this past weekend was a major loss.

It's also not the greatest news in the world for the prospective Civilian Nuclear Agreement with India. Lantos was its leading champion on the Hill, and now it will be that much more difficult to create momentum for the necessary U.S. approvals — especially since fundamental differences remain over U.S. rights to inspect Indian compliance.

Meanwhile, not only has Washington's lead negotiator on all this, Nick Burns, just left the State Department, New Delhi hasn't exactly helped its case by flirting with Moscow these past few days. Sure, dig a little and it's easy to see that the two may not be able to work out all the details, but the headlines still said that Russia will be building several subcontinental generational facilities — which is not the way to win Beltway hearts.


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