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Archive for May 23rd, 2009|Daily archive page

Hillary Clinton receives award from Hellenic group

In Award, fabulous women, foreign policy, Greece, Politics, United States on May 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

05/22/2009

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

another great article by Preeti Aroon:

Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia” name issue. Greece wants the “Republic of Macedonia” to instead be called the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (or “FYROM” for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the “official name” is “Republic of Macedonia.” To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it’s sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia”‘s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.

The official schedule for today:

9:30 a.m. Receive Award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in the Treaty Room.

11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Karel De Gucht, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.

Update: When asked about the name issue at the award presentation, Clinton said:

Well, we have been very committed to that. I have spoken out about the need to resolve the name issue in a way that is acceptable to both parties. And Deputy Secretary [James] Steinberg was recently in the region making that case.

We have picked up this issue with a lot of commitment early on in our administration. Obviously, this has to be resolved by the parties themselves, but we are urging that resolution. We think it is in everyone’s best interest. As you said, it would open the way for movement toward another nation joining the European Union, which we think promotes stability in the region, so we are very committed to doing what the United States can to facilitate that.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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UPdate: And in true Hillary fashion, she is heading to Greece on Tuesday for speaking in person to all who have a stake in an amicable resolution to this dispute .


U.S. being ‘out-communicated,’ Clinton says. Information is key!

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Middle East, the Taliban and al Qaeda on May 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Hill in Blues

Secretary Clinton testified yesterday (as seen above) in front of a Senate subcommittee that the United States is “being out-communicated by the Taliban and al Qaeda” and that it needs a “new strategic communication strategy” in order to “do a better job of getting the story of the values, ideals, the results of democracy out to people who are now being fed a steady diet of the [worst] kind of disinformation.”

Al Qaeda’s propagandists produce high-quality videos and elaborate Web sites, which has led U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to often say, “We’re being out-communicated by a guy in a cave.”

Clinton didn’t provide details about what any “new strategic communication strategy” would involve, but whatever it is, let’s hope it follows sound media ethics. In the past, the United States secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run articles written by U.S. troops. In 2006, the Defense Department’s inspector general discovered that the Lincoln Group, a private contractor, had paid Iraqi media outlets to run articles without attribution that were favorable to the U.S. military.

It’s doubtful, though, that Clinton would support such tactics. According to a 2008 Washington Post article, when then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld learned about the Lincoln Group’s “anonymous pay-to-publish program,” he told reporters, “Gee, that’s not what we ought to be doing.”

Clinton, the e-diplomat, has hinted a bit at what her communications strategy would involve. Tuesday, she mentioned reaching out directly to displaced Pakistanis on their cellphones.

In all fairness, FP — the print edition — runs multipage ads from various countries, which are clearly marked as “Special Advertising Supplement.” The May/June issue has supplements from the Dominican Republic, Angola, and Cabinda (an Angolan province).

And speaking of Angola, Clinton has that country on her schedule today:

11:00 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Ansuncao Afonso dos Anjos, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola.

11:45 a.m. Meeting with Joint Summit Working Group.

2:00 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

4:15 p.m. Attend The President’s bilateral with Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton asks you to text ‘swat’ to 20222

In foreign policy, Help for Refugees, Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

05/20/2009

(ht/Preeti Aroon)

Hillary, 21st Century E-diplomat texting to help People in need.

Hillary, 21st Century E-diplomat texting to help People in need.

Secretary Clinton, the e-diplomat, is asking Americans to pick up their cellphones and text “swat” to 20222 to make a $5 donation that will provide (non-governmental subsidized relief) medicine, tents, food, and clothing to the astounding 1.17 million internal refugees who have fled the current fighting in Pakistan (mainly in the Swat Valley). The aid will be provided through the United Nations’ refugee agency.

Clinton made the appeal for donations while announcing that the United States will be providing $110 million in emergency aid to the refugees. Including the 555,000 Pakistanis who were displaced during fighting last August, Pakistan now has nearly 2 million internally displaced people.

You can see photos of what Pakistanis in the Swat Valley are going through in Preeti’s March photo essay: “Pakistan’s New Homeless.”

Photo (ht/): Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images