Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Hillary Clinton to visit Africa

In foreign policy, Global News, humanity, news, Politics, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 31, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Hillary in Red

Friday, 31 July 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin a seven-nation trip to Africa on 05 August at the 8th US – Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (known as the AGOA Forum) in Nairobi, Kenya.

This trip will highlight the Obama administration’s commitment to making Africa a priority in US foreign policy. This will be the earliest in any US administration that both the President and the Secretary of State have visited Africa.

While in Kenya, Clinton will discuss new approaches to development, including an emphasis on investment and broad-based economic growth. She will be joined in Kenya by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson.

During the visit to Kenya, Clinton will deliver a speech at the ministerial opening ceremony for the AGOA Forum, participate in bilateral meetings with Kenya’s senior leaders, discuss global hunger and agricultural issues at a major research institute, and engage with Kenyan citizens.
She will also meet with Sheikh Sharif Amed, the President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.

Clinton will make stops in South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde.


Hillary Clinton visit would help peace in Ireland

In Global News, Ireland, Madame Secretary Clinton, news, Special envoy on July 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

First Lady, Hillary Clinton signing autographs in Ireland

First Lady, Hillary Clinton signing autographs in Ireland

Monday, 27 July 2009

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, is no stranger to Northern Ireland and an autumn visit here, if the current speculation proves correct, would be most welcome.

There is also strong speculation that she may be appointed by President Obama as the new special envoy to Northern Ireland. The post was previously held by career diplomats, and Senator George Mitchell also showed how a seasoned politician can bring an important dimension to peace-making here.

Much progress has been made since George Mitchell made his unique contribution by paving the way for the Good Friday Agreement. As Chancellor, until recently, of Queen’s University he also kept a friendly eye on the Province as he carried out his official duties and also renewed his contacts.

He has now moved on, and in his current onerous task as a Special Envoy to the Middle East, his experience here will no doubt prove beneficial.

In the recent past diplomats, including Richard Hass and Paula Dobriansky, have played an important role as Special Envoys to Northern Ireland, but it appeared initially that President Obama was unwilling to fill the post full-time.

Northern Ireland has made progress, but the Stormont power-sharing is still a fledgling experiment, and it would be foolhardy to suppose that this Province and its politicians could or should ignore offers of outside help and advice.

Hillary Clinton is well-placed to fill the role of Special Envoy, even on a part-time basis. She is a partner in one of the most influential political dynasties in the United States and together with her husband President Bill Clinton, she has made a significant contribution to building peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

There is no doubt that Bill Clinton played a major role here when he was the US president, and without his sustained interest and political skills it is doubtful if the final obstacles to the Good Friday Agreement would have been overcome.

Hillary Clinton made her own contribution, not only as First Lady, but also as a shrewd politician who developed a close empathy with the people of Northern Ireland, and particularly with women’s groups.

Obviously the situation has changed on the ground since her previous visits, but she knows enough about this Province to pick up quickly the more recent developments, and even more important, she understands the politics and the passions which makes Northern Ireland what it is.

The appointment of a Special Envoy, and the identity of such an incumbent, is a matter for President Obama who has many other major preoccupations. Nevertheless he will be keen to do the right thing by this Province and its people.

In the meantime, every welcome should be given to Hillary Clinton if and when she returns to Northern Ireland some time in the autumn. She has a wealth of experience and contacts to share with our political, economic and community leaders, and Northern Ireland will continue to need help at the highest levels to promote and sustain an economic progress to match that of the peace process.

There is no better person to provide that help than Hillary Clinton, and her visit this autumn, if it materialises, could have a significant impact on our economic and political progress and, above all, on the prospects for a peaceful future.

Belfast Telegraph

Hillary approves of Mississippi-Mekong rivers sisterhood partnership…

In Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Thailand on July 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm


Phuket, Thailand – A proposal to make the Mississippi and Mekong “sister rivers” has won the support of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her counterparts from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, officials said Friday. Clinton met the foreign ministers of the four countries along the lower Mekong River Thursday at the tail end of a South-East Asian foreign ministers meeting held this week on Phuket, a Thai island 600 kilometres south of Bangkok.

“The ministers welcomed, in particular, the initiative of the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi River Commission to pursue a ‘sister river’ partnership to share expertise and best practices in areas such as climate change adaptation, flood and drought management, hydropower and impact assessment, water demand and food security, water resource management and other common concerns,” a US press release said.

Clinton arrived in Phuket Wednesday to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia’s main security event, which gathered foreign ministers from the 10 members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and 17 of their main partners.

It was the first time for Clinton to attend a major ASEAN event and heralded the importance the new US administration has placed on its partners in South-East Asia, she said.

“The United States is back in South-East Asia,” Clinton told a press conference Wednesday night.

“US President [Barack] Obama and I believe this region is vital to global progress, peace and prosperity,” she said.

As proof of the renewed US interest in the region, it plans to open a permanent mission at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and to soon ask Congress to increase USAID funding seven-fold for climate-change projects for ASEAN members.

Clinton also presided over the first US-Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting Thursday night, whose discussions focused on health, education and infrastructure development.

Earth Times

Hillary’s remarks on Mumbai with Greta

In Fpreign Policy, India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Hillary brings comfort to our land and people fraught with a failing system put in place by a failed administration.

Clinton meets Mumbai attack survivors

In India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 20, 2009 at 7:09 am


Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, right, smiles as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during Clinton's meeting with a group of Indian businessmen, in Mumbai, India, Saturday, July 18, 2009. Clinton opened a three-day visit to India on Saturday by attending a ceremony commemorating the terrorist attack in this coastal city last November that killed 166 people and raised Indian tensions with Pakistan. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, right, smiles as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during Clinton's meeting with a group of Indian businessmen, in Mumbai, India, Saturday, July 18, 2009. Clinton opened a three-day visit to India on Saturday by attending a ceremony commemorating the terrorist attack in this coastal city last November that killed 166 people and raised Indian tensions with Pakistan. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A garlanded Clinton shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh upon her arrival at the ITC Green Centre Building in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on July 19.

A garlanded Clinton shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh upon her arrival at the ITC Green Centre Building in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on July 19.

By James Fontanella-Khan in Mumbai

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, on Saturday met survivors of last November’s terror attacks in Mumbai at the Taj Mahal hotel, where 31 people were killed, in a symbolically charged show of solidarity for India’s fight against terrorism.

/The conscious decision to start her five-day visit to India in Mumbai, where 166 people were killed by gunmen, and inside one of the hotels whose interiors became killing fields during siege, have been lauded by Indian officials and Mumbaikers.

“We have a very strong sense of solidarity and sympathy [with India] having gone through what we did on 9/11,” said Mrs Clinton.

“Both our people have experienced the senseless and searing effects of violent extremism,” Mrs Clinton wrote in a condolence book for the victims, as she said that the war to “rid the world of hatred and extremism” needed a global effort.

Shashi Tharoor, India’s junior foreign minister, said: “Her decision to spend two nights under that roof [of the Taj Mahal hotel] is symbolically a very important sign of understanding how much this matters to us.”

During a private ceremony with the hotel staff from the Taj and the nearby Trident-Oberoi, where 32 people were killed, Mrs Clinton praised the courage of those who risked their lives to protect guests trapped inside the hotels during the three-day long siege.

The US secretary of state also paid special tribute to Karambir Kang, the Taj Mahal’s general manager, who lost his wife and two children, who were trapped in a top floor that had been set alight by the terrorists.

Mrs Clinton, who will travel to New Delhi on Sunday, said she would focus on strengthening relations between the US and India throughout the trip, in particular over sensitive matters such as climate change and counter-terrorism.

However, the US secretary of state tried to avoid making any reference to India’s thorny relations with Pakistan, after Indian officials had expressed their concerns that the US was trying to pressure the neighbouring countries towards formal peace talks.

“Clearly, any decision that is made between the governments of India and Pakistan to begin talking together, to explore the very difficult issues between them, is up to those governments,” said Mrs Clinton.

India and Pakistan on Thursday signalled a new thaw in their strained relations, as Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, jointly affirmed their commitment to work together to combat terrorism.

However, Mr Singh said formal peace talks could not resume “unless and until [the] terrorist heads who shook Mumbai are properly accounted for, [and the] perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book”.

New Delhi blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist group, for the attacks and demanded that Islamabad bring the perpetrators to justice, who India believes may have been supported by agencies within Pakistan.

Mrs Clinton also met with a group of business leaders including Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Group and Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest man and owner of Reliance Industries, to discuss ways to increase co-operation and tackle climate change.

The US secretary of state urged India to act firmly against climate change and not to commit the same mistakes the US made in the past.

“We acknowledge now with President Obama that we have made mistakes in the United States, and we along with other developed countries have contributed most significantly to the problem that we face with climate change,” she said. ”We are hoping a great country like India will not make the same mistakes.”

Hillary’s Foreign Policy Address to the CFR

In Foreign Relations Committe, Fpreign Policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Smart Power on July 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm

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Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.

Richard just gave what could be described as a mini version of my remarks in talking about the issues that confront us. But I look out at this audience filled with not only many friends and colleagues, but people who have served in prior administrations. And so there is never a time when the in-box is not full.

Shortly before I started at the State Department, a former Secretary of State called me with this advice: Don’t try to do too much. And it seemed like a wise admonition, if only it were possible. But the international agenda today is unforgiving: two wars, conflict in the Middle East, ongoing threats of violent extremism and nuclear proliferation, global recession, climate change, hunger and disease, and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. All of these challenges affect America’s security and prosperity, and they all threaten global stability and progress.

But they are not reason to despair about the future. The same forces that compound our problems – economic interdependence, open borders, and the speedy movement of information, capital, goods, services and people – are also part of the solution. And with more states facing common challenges, we have the chance, and a profound responsibility, to exercise American leadership to solve problems in concert with others. That is the heart of America’s mission in the world today.

Now, some see the rise of other nations and our economic troubles here at home as signs that American power has waned. Others simply don’t trust us to lead; they view America as an unaccountable power, too quick to impose its will at the expense of their interests and our principles. But they are wrong.

The question is not whether our nation can or should lead, but how it will lead in the 21st century. Rigid ideologies and old formulas don’t apply. We need a new mindset about how America will use its power to safeguard our nation, expand shared prosperity, and help more people in more places live up to their God-given potential.

President Obama has led us to think outside the usual boundaries. He has launched a new era of engagement based on common interests, shared values, and mutual respect. Going forward, capitalizing on America’s unique strengths, we must advance those interests through partnership, and promote universal values through the power of our example and the empowerment of people. In this way, we can forge the global consensus required to defeat the threats, manage the dangers, and seize the opportunities of the 21st century. America will always be a world leader as long as we remain true to our ideals and embrace strategies that match the times. So we will exercise American leadership to build partnerships and solve problems that no nation can solve on its own, and we will pursue policies to mobilize more partners and deliver results.

First, though, let me say that while the ideas that shape our foreign policy are critically important, this, for me, is not simply an intellectual exercise. For over 16 years, I’ve had the chance, the privilege, really, to represent our country overseas as First Lady, as a senator, and now as Secretary of State. I’ve seen the bellies of starving children, girls sold into human trafficking, men dying of treatable diseases, women denied the right to own property or vote, and young people without schooling or jobs gripped by a sense of futility about their futures.

I’ve also seen how hope, hard work, and ingenuity can overcome the longest of odds. And for almost 36 years, I have worked as an advocate for children, women and families here at home. I’ve traveled across our country listening to everyday concerns of our citizens. I’ve met parents struggling to keep their jobs, pay their mortgages, cover their children’s college tuitions, and afford healthcare.

And all that I have done and seen has convinced me that our foreign policy must produce results for people – the laid-off auto worker in Detroit whose future will depend on global economic recovery; the farmer or small business owner in the developing world whose lack of opportunity can drive political instability and economic stagnation; the families whose loved ones are risking their lives for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere; children in every land who deserve a brighter future. These are the people – hundreds of millions of them here in America and billions around the world – whose lives and experiences, hopes and dreams, must inform the decisions we take and the actions that follow. And these are the people who inspire me and my colleagues and the work that we try to do every day.

In approaching our foreign policy priorities, we have to deal with the urgent, the important, and the long-term all at once. But even as we are forced to multi-task – a very gender-related term (laughter) – we must have priorities, which President Obama has outlined in speeches from Prague to Cairo, from Moscow to Accra. We want to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, prevent their use, and build a world free of their threat. We want to isolate and defeat terrorists and counter violent extremists while reaching out to Muslims around the world. We want to encourage and facilitate the efforts of all parties to pursue and achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We want to seek global economic recovery and growth by strengthening our own economy, advancing a robust development agenda, expanding trade that is free and fair, and boosting investment that creates decent jobs. We want to combat climate change, increase energy security, and lay the foundation for a prosperous clean-energy future. We want to support and encourage democratic governments that protect the rights and deliver results for their people. And we intend to stand up for human rights everywhere.

Liberty, democracy, justice and opportunity underlie our priorities. Some accuse us of using these ideals to justify actions that contradict their very meaning. Others say we are too often condescending and imperialistic, seeking only to expand our power at the expense of others. And yes, these perceptions have fed anti-Americanism, but they do not reflect who we are. No doubt we lost some ground in recent years, but the damage is temporary. It’s kind of like my elbow – it’s getting better every day. (Laughter.)

Whether in Latin America or Lebanon, Iran or Liberia, those who are inspired by democracy, who understand that democracy is about more than just elections – that it must also protect minority rights and press freedom, develop strong, competent and independent judiciaries, legislatures and executive agencies, and commit for democracy to deliver results – these are the people who will find that Americans are their friends, not adversaries. As President Obama made clear last week in Ghana, this Administration will stand for accountable and transparent governance, and support those who work to build democratic institutions wherever they live.

Our approach to foreign policy must reflect the world as it is, not as it used to be. It does not make sense to adapt a 19th century concert of powers, or a 20th century balance of power strategy. We cannot go back to Cold War containment or to unilateralism.

Today, we must acknowledge two inescapable facts that define our world: First, no nation can meet the world’s challenges alone. The issues are too complex. Too many players are competing for influence, from rising powers to corporations to criminal cartels; from NGOs to al-Qaida; from state-controlled media to individuals using Twitter.

Second, most nations worry about the same global threats, from non-proliferation to fighting disease to counter-terrorism, but also face very real obstacles – for reasons of history, geography, ideology, and inertia. They face these obstacles and they stand in the way of turning commonality of interest into common action.

So these two facts demand a different global architecture – one in which states have clear incentives to cooperate and live up to their responsibilities, as well as strong disincentives to sit on the sidelines or sow discord and division.

So we will exercise American leadership to overcome what foreign policy experts at places like the Council call “collective action problems” and what I call obstacles to cooperation. For just as no nation can meet these challenges alone, no challenge can be met without America.

And here’s how we’ll do it: We’ll work through existing institutions and reform them. But we’ll go further. We’ll use our power to convene, our ability to connect countries around the world, and sound foreign policy strategies to create partnerships aimed at solving problems. We’ll go beyond states to create opportunities for non-state actors and individuals to contribute to solutions.

We believe this approach will advance our interests by uniting diverse partners around common concerns. It will make it more difficult for others to abdicate their responsibilities or abuse their power, but will offer a place at the table to any nation, group, or citizen willing to shoulder a fair share of the burden. In short, we will lead by inducing greater cooperation among a greater number of actors and reducing competition, tilting the balance away from a multi-polar world and toward a multi-partner world.

Now, we know this approach is not a panacea. We will remain clear-eyed about our purpose. Not everybody in the world wishes us well or shares our values and interests. And some will actively seek to undermine our efforts. In those cases, our partnerships can become power coalitions to constrain or deter those negative actions.

And to these foes and would-be foes, let me say our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal. Our willingness to talk is not a sign of weakness to be exploited. We will not hesitate to defend our friends, our interests, and above all, our people vigorously and when necessary with the world’s strongest military. This is not an option we seek nor is it a threat; it is a promise to all Americans.

Building the architecture of global cooperation requires us to devise the right policies and use the right tools. I speak often of smart power because it is so central to our thinking and our decision-making. It means the intelligent use of all means at our disposal, including our ability to convene and connect. It means our economic and military strength; our capacity for entrepreneurship and innovation; and the ability and credibility of our new President and his team. It also means the application of old-fashioned common sense in policymaking. It’s a blend of principle and pragmatism.

Smart power translates into specific policy approaches in five areas. First, we intend to update and create vehicles for cooperation with our partners; second, we will pursue principled engagement with those who disagree with us; third, we will elevate development as a core pillar of American power; fourth, we will integrate civilian and military action in conflict areas; and fifth, we will leverage key sources of American power, including our economic strength and the power of our example.

Our first approach is to build these stronger mechanisms of cooperation with our historic allies, with emerging powers, and with multilateral institutions, and to pursue that cooperation in, as I said, a pragmatic and principled way. We don’t see those as in opposition, but as complementary.

We have started by reinvigorating our bedrock alliances, which did fray in recent years. In Europe, that means improved bilateral relationships, a more productive partnership with the European Union, and a revitalized NATO. I believe NATO is the greatest alliance in history. But it was built for the Cold War. The new NATO is a democratic community of nearly a billion people stretching from the Baltics in the East to Alaska in the West. We’re working to update its strategic concept so that it is as effective in this century as it was in the last.
At the same time, we are working with our key treaty allies Japan and Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines and other partners to strengthen our bilateral relationships as well as trans-Pacific institutions. We are both a trans-Atlantic and a trans-Pacific nation.

We will also put special emphasis on encouraging major and emerging global powers – China, India, Russia and Brazil, as well as Turkey, Indonesia, and South Africa – to be full partners in tackling the global agenda. I want to underscore the importance of this task, and my personal commitment to it. These states are vital to achieving solutions to the shared problems and advancing our priorities – nonproliferation, counterterrorism, economic growth, climate change, among others. With these states, we will stand firm on our principles even as we seek common ground.

This week, I will travel to India, where External Affairs Minister Krishna and I will lay out a broad-based agenda that calls for a whole-of-government approach to our bilateral relationship. Later this month, Secretary Geithner and I will jointly lead our new strategic and economic dialogue with China. It will cover not just economic issues, but the range of strategic challenges we face together. In the fall, I will travel to Russia to advance the bi-national presidential commission that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I will co-chair.

The fact of these and other meetings does not guarantee results, but they set in motion processes and relationships that will widen our avenues of cooperation and narrow the areas of disagreement without illusion. We know that progress will not likely come quickly, or without bumps in the road, but we are determined to begin and stay on this path.

Now our global and regional institutions were built for a world that has been transformed, so they too must be transformed and reformed. As the President said following the recent G-8 meeting in Italy, we are seeking institutions that “combine the efficiency and capacity for action with inclusiveness.” From the UN to the World Bank, from the IMF to the G-8 and the G-20, from the OAS and the Summit of the Americas to ASEAN and APEC – all of these and other institutions have a role to play, but their continued vitality and relevance depend on their legitimacy and representativeness, and the ability of their members to act swiftly and responsibly when problems arise.

We also will reach out beyond governments, because we believe partnerships with people play a critical role in our 21st century statecraft. President Obama’s Cairo speech is a powerful example of communicating directly with people from the bottom up. And we are following up with a comprehensive agenda of educational exchanges, outreach, and entrepreneurial ventures. In every country I visit, I look for opportunities to bolster civil society and engage with citizens, whether at a town hall in Baghdad – a first in that country; or appearing on local popular television shows that reach a wide and young audience; or meeting with democracy activists, war widows, or students.

I have appointed special envoys to focus on a number of specific challenges, including the first Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and an ambassador to build new public-private partnerships and to engage Diaspora communities in the United States to increase opportunities in their native lands. And we are working at the State Department to ensure that our government is using the most innovative technologies not only to speak and listen across borders, not only to keep technologies up and going, but to widen opportunities especially for those who are too often left on the margins. We’re taking these steps because reaching out directly to people will encourage them to embrace cooperation with us, making our partnerships with their governments and with them stronger and more durable.

We’ve also begun to adopt a more flexible and pragmatic posture with our partners. We won’t agree on every issue. Standing firm on our principles shouldn’t prevent us from working together where we can. So we will not tell our partners to take it or leave it, nor will we insist that they’re either with us or against us. In today’s world, that’s global malpractice.

Our diplomacy regarding North Korea is a case in point. We have invested a significant amount of diplomatic resources to achieve Security Council consensus in response to North Korea’s provocative actions. I spoke numerous times to my counterparts in Japan, South Korea, Russia and China, drawing out their concerns, making our principles and redlines clear, and seeking a path forward. The short-term results were two unanimous Security Council resolutions with real teeth and consequences for North Korea, and then the follow-on active involvement of China, Russia, and India with us in persuading others to comply with the resolutions. The long-term result, we believe, will be a tougher joint effort toward the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Cultivating these partnerships and their full range takes time and patience. It also takes persistence. That doesn’t mean procrastinating on urgent issues. Nor is it a justification for delaying efforts that may take years to bear fruit. In one of my favorite observations, Max Weber said, “Politics is the long and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective.” Perspective dictates passion and patience. And of course, passion keeps us from not finding excuses to do nothing.

Now I’m well aware that time alone does not heal all wounds; consider the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That’s why we wasted no time in starting an intensive effort on day one to realize the rights of Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and security in two states, which is in America’s interests and the world’s. We’ve been working with the Israelis to deal with the issue of settlements, to ease the living conditions of Palestinians, and create circumstances that can lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. For the last few decades, American administrations have held consistent positions on the settlement issue. And while we expect action from Israel, we recognize that these decisions are politically challenging.

And we know that progress toward peace cannot be the responsibility of the United States – or Israel – alone. Ending the conflict requires action on all sides. The Palestinians have the responsibility to improve and extend the positive actions already taken on security; to act forcefully against incitement; and to refrain from any action that would make meaningful negotiations less likely.

And Arab states have a responsibility to support the Palestinian Authority with words and deeds, to take steps to improve relations with Israel, and to prepare their publics to embrace peace and accept Israel’s place in the region. The Saudi peace proposal, supported by more than twenty nations, was a positive step. But we believe that more is needed. So we are asking those who embrace the proposal to take meaningful steps now. Anwar Sadat and King Hussein crossed important thresholds, and their boldness and vision mobilized peace constituencies in Israel and paved the way for lasting agreements. By providing support to the Palestinians and offering an opening, however modest, to the Israelis, the Arab states could have the same impact. So I say to all sides: Sending messages of peace is not enough. You must also act against the cultures of hate, intolerance and disrespect that perpetuate conflict.

Our second policy approach is to lead with diplomacy, even in the cases of adversaries or nations with whom we disagree. We believe that doing so advances our interests and puts us in a better position to lead with our other partners. We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage. Yet some suggest that this is a sign of naiveté or acquiescence to these countries’ repression of their own people. I believe that is wrong. As long as engagement might advance our interests and our values, it is unwise to take it off the table. Negotiations can provide insight into regimes’ calculations and the possibility – even if it seems remote – that a regime will eventually alter its behavior in exchange for the benefits of acceptance into the international community. Libya is one such example. Exhausting the option for dialogue is also more likely to make our partners more willing to exert pressure should persuasion fail.

With this in mind, I want to say a few words about Iran. We watched the energy of Iran’s election with great admiration, only to be appalled by the manner in which the government used violence to quell the voices of the Iranian people, and then tried to hide its actions by arresting foreign journalists and nationals, and expelling them, and cutting off access to technology. As we and our G-8 partners have made clear, these actions are deplorable and unacceptable.
We know very well what we inherited with Iran, because we deal with that inheritance every day. We know that refusing to deal with the Islamic Republic has not succeeded in altering the Iranian march toward a nuclear weapon, reducing Iranian support for terror, or improving Iran’s treatment of its citizens.

Neither the President nor I have any illusions that dialogue with the Islamic Republic will guarantee success of any kind, and the prospects have certainly shifted in the weeks following the election. But we also understand the importance of offering to engage Iran and giving its leaders a clear choice: whether to join the international community as a responsible member or to continue down a path to further isolation.

Direct talks provide the best vehicle for presenting and explaining that choice. That is why we offered Iran’s leaders an unmistakable opportunity: Iran does not have a right to nuclear military capacity, and we’re determined to prevent that. But it does have a right to civil nuclear power if it reestablishes the confidence of the international community that it will use its programs exclusively for peaceful purposes.

Iran can become a constructive actor in the region if it stops threatening its neighbors and supporting terrorism. It can assume a responsible position in the international community if it fulfills its obligations on human rights. The choice is clear. We remain ready to engage with Iran, but the time for action is now. The opportunity will not remain open indefinitely.

Our third policy approach, and a personal priority for me as Secretary, is to elevate and integrate development as a core pillar of American power. We advance our security, our prosperity, and our values by improving the material conditions of people’s lives around the world. These efforts also lay the groundwork for greater global cooperation, by building the capacity of new partners and tackling shared problems from the ground up.

A central purpose of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review that I announced last week is to explore how to effectively design, fund, and implement development and foreign assistance as part of a broader foreign policy. Let’s face it. We have devoted a smaller percentage of our government budget to development than almost any other advanced country. And too little of what we have spent has contributed to genuine and lasting progress. Too much of the money has never reached its intended target, but stayed here in America to pay salaries or fund overhead in contracts. I am committed to more partnerships with NGOs, but I want more of our tax dollars to be used effectively and to deliver tangible results.

As we seek more agile, effective, and creative partnerships for development, we will focus on country-driven solutions, such as those we are launching with Haiti on recovery and sustainable development, and with African states on global hunger. These initiatives must not be designed to help countries scrape by – they are a tool to help countries stand on their own.

Our development agenda will also focus on women as drivers of economic growth and social stability. Women have long comprised the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, and underfed. They are also the bulk of the world’s poor. The global recession has had a disproportionate effect on women and girls, which in turn has repercussions for families, communities, and even regions. Until women around the world are accorded their rights – and afforded the opportunities of education, health care, and gainful employment – global progress and prosperity will have its own glass ceiling.

Our fourth approach is to ensure that our civilian and military efforts operate in a coordinated and complementary fashion where we are engaged in conflict. This is the core of our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we are integrating our efforts with international partners.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, our goal is to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat al-Qaida and its extremist allies, and to prevent their return to either country. Yet Americans often ask, why do we ask our young men and women to risk their lives in Afghanistan when al-Qaida’s leadership is in neighboring Pakistan? And that question deserves a good answer: We and our allies fight in Afghanistan because the Taliban protects al-Qaida and depends on it for support, sometimes coordinating activities. In other words, to eliminate al-Qaida, we must also fight the Taliban.

Now, we understand that not all those who fight with the Taliban support al-Qaida, or believe in the extremist policies the Taliban pursued when in power. And today we and our Afghan allies stand ready to welcome anyone supporting the Taliban who renounces al-Qaida, lays down their arms, and is willing to participate in the free and open society that is enshrined in the Afghan Constitution.

To achieve our goals, President Obama is sending an additional 17,000 troops and 4,000 military trainers to Afghanistan. Equally important, we are sending hundreds of direct hire American civilians to lead a new effort to strengthen the Afghan Government, help rebuild the once-vibrant agricultural sector, create jobs, encourage the rule of law, expand opportunities for women, and train the Afghan police. No one should doubt our commitment to Afghanistan and its people. But it is the Afghan people themselves who will determine their own future.

As we proceed, we must not forget that success in Afghanistan also requires close cooperation from neighboring Pakistan, which I will visit this fall. Pakistan is itself under intense pressure from extremist groups. Trilateral cooperation among Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States has built confidence and yielded progress on a number of policy fronts. Our national security, as well as the future of Afghanistan, depends on a stable, democratic, and economically viable Pakistan. And we applaud the new Pakistani determination to deal with the militants who threaten their democracy and our shared security.

In Iraq, we are bolstering our diplomacy and development programs while we implement a responsible withdrawal of our troops. Last month our combat troops successfully redeployed from towns and cities. Our principal focus is now shifting from security issues to civilian efforts that promote Iraqi capacity – supporting the work of the Iraqi ministries and aiding in their efforts to achieve national unity. And we are developing a long-term economic and political relationship with Iraq as outlined by the US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. This Agreement forms the basis of our future cooperation with Iraq and the Iraqi people, and I look forward to discussing it and its implementation with Prime Minister Maliki when he comes to Washington next week.

Our fifth approach is to shore up traditional sources of our influence, including economic strength and the power of our example. We renewed our own values by prohibiting torture and beginning to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. And we have been straightforward about our own measure of responsibility for problems like drug trafficking in Mexico and global climate change. When I acknowledged the obvious about our role in Mexico’s current conflict with narco-traffickers, some were critical. But they’re missing the point. Our capacity to take responsibility, and our willingness to change, to do the right thing, are themselves hallmarks of our greatness as a nation and strategic assets that can help us forge coalitions in the service of our interests.

That is certainly true when it comes to key priorities like nonproliferation and climate change. President Obama is committed to the vision of a world without nuclear weapons and a series of concrete steps to reduce the threat and spread of these weapons, including working with the Senate to ratify the follow-on START agreement and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, taking on greater responsibility within the Non Proliferation Treaty Framework and convening the world’s leaders here in Washington next year for a nuclear summit. Now we must urge others to take practical steps to advance our shared nonproliferation agenda.

Our Administration is also committed to deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with a plan that will dramatically change the way we produce, consume and conserve energy, and in the process spark an explosion of new investment, and millions of jobs. Now we must urge every other nation to meet its obligations and seize the opportunities of a clean energy future.

We are restoring our economy at home to enhance our strength and capacity abroad, especially at this time of economic turmoil. Now, this is not a traditional priority for a Secretary of State, but I vigorously support American recovery and growth as a pillar of our global leadership. And I am committed to restoring a significant role for the State Department within a whole-of-government approach to international economic policy-making. We will work to ensure that our economic statecraft – trade and investment, debt forgiveness, loan guarantees, technical assistance, decent work practices – support our foreign policy objectives. When coupled with a sound development effort, our economic outreach can give us a better form of globalization, reducing the bitter opposition of recent years and lifting millions more out of poverty.

And finally, I am determined to ensure that the men and women of our Foreign and Civil Service have the resources they need to implement our priorities effectively and safely. That’s why I appointed for the first time a Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources. It’s why we worked so hard to secure additional funding for State and USAID. It’s why we have put ourselves on a path to double foreign assistance over the next few years. And it’s why we are implementing a plan to dramatically increase the number of diplomats and development experts.

Just as we would never deny ammunition to American troops headed into battle, we cannot send our civilian personnel into the field underequipped. If we don’t invest in diplomacy and development, we will end up paying a lot more for conflicts and their consequences. As Secretary Gates has said, diplomacy is an indispensable instrument of national security, as it has been since Franklin, Jefferson and Adams won foreign support for Washington’s army.

Now all of this adds up to a very ambitious agenda. But the world does not afford us the luxury of choosing or waiting. As I said at the outset, we must tackle the urgent, the important and the long-term all at once.

We are both witness to and makers of significant change. We cannot and should not be passive observers. We are determined to channel the currents of change toward a world free of violent extremism, nuclear weapons, global warming, poverty, and abuses of human rights, and above all, a world in which more people in more places can live up to their God-given potential.

The architecture of cooperation we seek to build will advance all these goals, using our power not to dominate or divide but to solve problems. It is the architecture of progress for America and all nations.

More than 230 years ago, Thomas Paine said, “We have it within our power to start the world over again.” Today, in a new and very different era, we are called upon to use that power. I believe we have the right strategy, the right priorities, the right policies, we have the right President, and we have the American people, diverse, committed, and open to the future.

Now all we have to do is deliver. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Black Frat Inducts Bill Clinton as Honorary Member

In Bill Clinton on July 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

July 10, 2009

Bill Clinton NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A historically black fraternity has voted to induct former President Bill Clinton as an honorary member.

Phi Beta Sigma President Paul Griffin Jr. said Friday that Clinton is the first U.S. president to be inducted into a historically black fraternity.

The fraternity voted Tuesday for Clinton’s induction at its 95th Anniversary Conclave in New Orleans, La.

Stevie Wonder, Al Roker, the Rev. Al Sharpton and jazz musician Ramsey Lewis are also honorary members of Phi Beta Sigma.

The fraternity was founded in 1914 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It has more than 150,000 alumni and college members in about 500 chapters throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Africa and Asia.


(funny they would induct a “racist”… hmm )

Great Orators of the Democratic Party

From history, we see greatness:

* ‘One man with courage makes a majority.’ – Andrew Jackson

* ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt

* ‘The buck stops here.’ – Harry S. Truman

* ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’ – John F. Kennedy

And from today’s Democrats we see… well, you figure it out.

* ‘It depends what your definition of ‘IS’ is?” – Bill Clinton

* ‘Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are not in crisis’ – Barney Frank (fall 2003)

* ‘That Obama – I would like to cut his NUTS off.’ – Jesse Jackson

* ‘Those rumors are false …. I believe in the sanctity of marriage.’ – John Edwards

* ‘I invented the Internet’ – Al Gore

* ‘The next Person that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads up their ASS.’ – Joe Biden

* ‘America is–is no longer, uh, what it–it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was…uh, and I say to myself, ‘uh, I don’t want that future, uh, uh for my children.’ – Barack Obama

* ‘I have campaigned in all 57 states.’ – Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

* ‘You don’t need God anymore, you have us Democrats.’ – Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006)

* ‘Paying taxes is voluntary.’ – Sen. Harry Reid

Thats All,  folks!

Clinton to raise her profile with speech next week

In foreign policy, Global News, healing, India, Iran, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Russia, United States on July 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm


Although the speech will address many foreign-policy issues, it is also meant to raise Clinton’s profile and prove that she is loyal to President Obama, her rival during last year’s Democratic primary. Clinton has a tricky balancing act: She must be loyal to Obama’s vision while also making the secretary-of-state job her own and giving it her own personal touch.

from Rozen’s article:

•** Hillary’s hard cast has been removed, and she’s in physical therapy six days a week for the next six to eight weeks. (It really must have been quite a fall. I’m assuming she is fortunate enough to have health insurance that covers all those sessions.)

•** White House aides have nixed plans to hire Sidney Blumenthal — a longtime advisor to Bill Clinton — as a State Department consultant and speechwriter. Secretary Clinton had sought to hire him to raise her profile.

Clinton, Nursing Injured Elbow, Hails Foreign Policy Progress at Six-Month Mark

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently has been absent on the world stage due in large part to her broken elbow. But she says the administration is making strides in foreign policy…

The broken elbow that has kept Secretary of State Hillary Clinton off the world stage for several weeks did not prevent her from addressing her department employees and interns Friday, as she began to mark her first six months on the job.

Clinton has not been accompanying the president on trips out of the country nearly as much as her predecessors did. When President Obama returns this weekend from his current trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana, he will have visited a total of nine countries without his secretary of state in their less than six months in office.

But aides dismiss suggestions that Obama and Clinton are growing apart. Indeed, on Friday Clinton hailed the foreign policy progress she and the president have made, saying the administration is patching up “strained alliances” and striving to influence “adversaries” to change their behavior. Making sure to throw in a couple cracks about her injury, Clinton forecast tough challenges ahead but said the administration is making strides.

“We’ve been on this job for almost half a year. We’ve been working hard and some of us have the scars to prove it,” Clinton, her arm still in a sling, said to laughter. “I have not been throwing sharp elbows,” she joked. “We are seeing encouraging results from all of our efforts, including my physical therapy.”

The secretary of state plans to make what is being called a major policy speech next week at the Council on Foreign Relations to mark, more officially, her first six months in office. She seemed to give a preview Friday, crediting the administration with making strides toward restoring ties with countries around the world.

“We are repairing strained alliances. We’re cultivating new partnerships. We’re working to engage and change the behavior of adversaries. And we are prioritizing development along with diplomacy as part of our global agenda,” she said.

The administration is grappling with a host of international challenges, not all of which look any closer to being resolved. Speaking from Italy, Obama on Friday continued to condemn the Iranian crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators in the wake of the country’s disputed elections. The breakdown in the wake of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election has imperiled U.S. hopes of restoring ties with the Islamic regime. North Korea also continues to defy international warnings by conducting repeated missile tests.

And the administration was recently caught in a difficult spot, having to stick up for leftist Honduran President Manuel Zelaya after he was ousted from office.

But Obama seemed to make some progress toward resetting relations with Russia during his talks this week with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow.

Clinton did not go on that trip, but officials said she would have, if not for her broken elbow. It’s unclear whether Clinton will accompany the globe-trotting Obama more in the latter half of the year. Clinton has met up with Obama in Europe, Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt this year, but the president has gone without her to a slew of countries.

Like her predecessors, Clinton has kept a vigorous international schedule of her own. She’s visited Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Central America, as well as Canada and Mexico, on her own time. Clinton plans to head to India on a separate trip next week, after her policy address.

Clinton said Friday that the Obama administration is facing very high expectations on the world stage. “It may not be fair, but that’s kind of the way it is,” she said, noting that foreign leaders have made “very aggressive demands on our country.”

Clinton took a shot at former President George W. Bush, saying at least one foreign leader told her that the reason they didn’t make such demands over the last eight years was because, “We knew we would never get a response.” Clinton added: “We don’t have the luxury of being bystanders.” Clinton said that the department has had to work “overtime” to deal with what she called an “unprecedented set of challenges” on the world stage. “We don’t have the luxury of deciding which issues to deal with,” she said. “We need to work better, work smarter and work together with more partners in and beyond our government.”

Clinton also announced she would be instituting a new review process within the State Department to assess the agency’s needs and progress every four years.
Fox News

Hillary Says Arias Will Mediate Honduras Standoff

In Costa Rica, foreign policy, Global News, Honduras, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, United States on July 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Hillary Says Arias Will Mediate Hondu…“, posted with vodpod
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to media after meeting privately with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at State Department in Washington on Tuesday July 7, 2009.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to media after meeting privately with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at State Department in Washington on Tuesday July 7, 2009.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters after a press conference at the State Department. US Secretary of State Clinton, preparing to travel to India next week, said Tuesday that Washington and New Delhi intend to cooperate on an unprecedented range of issues.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters after a press conference at the State Department. US Secretary of State Clinton, preparing to travel to India next week, said Tuesday that Washington and New Delhi intend to cooperate on an unprecedented range of issues.

Clinton Says Arias Will Mediate Honduras Standoff

By Janine Zacharia
July 7 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will mediate the standoff between the new regime in Honduras and deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.

Clinton, after meeting with Zelaya at the State Department in Washington, said the ousted leader agreed to participate in the negotiations, to be held imminently in Costa Rica, rather than try to return to Honduras again.

“President Zelaya agreed with this,” Clinton said. “I believe that it is a better route for him to follow at this time than to attempt to return in the face of the implacable opposition of the de facto regime. And so, instead of another confrontation that might result in loss of life, let’s try the dialogue process and see where that leads.”

Clinton said she spoke with Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and that he said he would be willing to begin negotiations “immediately.” She said the U.S. also received word that interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti agreed to the negotiations.

“I don’t want to prejudge what the parties themselves will agree to,” Clinton told reporters. “We hope at the end of this mediation there will be a return of democratic constitutional order that is agreed to by all concerned.”

Zelaya, speaking separately to reporters outside the State Department, said he plans to leave tomorrow for Costa Rica. “I already spoke with President Arias,” he said. “I go to be present in what will really be the restoration of democratic government” in Honduras.

Kevin Casas Zamora, a former vice president under Arias, said, “Zelaya respects Arias a great deal and Arias has been very strong in condemning the coup.”

The Costa Rican president is not “eager” to step into the middle of the current conflict but will do what is necessary, Casas Zamora, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said in a phone interview today.

Wedding plans for Chelsea Clinton shape up…Quickie post!

In Chelsea Clinton, Marc Mezvinsky, wedding bells on July 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm


Clintonistas are quietly being told to save the date. Chelsea Clinton’s Martha’s Vineyard wedding to Goldman Sachs banker Marc Mezvinsky at Vernon Jordan’s estate will take place the last week of August, we hear…