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Hillary Clinton visits statue of husband Bill in Kosovo

In Afghanistan, HILLARY 2012, Pakistan, Politics, PRESIDENT HILLARY, Smart Power, the Taliban and al Qaeda on October 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

Secretary Clinton is in Kosovo today, and many people there love the Clintons. In the capital, Pristina, Clinton visited an 11-foot statue of her husband Bill, who as U.S. president backed the 1999 NATO air campaign that stopped a crackdown by Serbian forces on Kosovo’s ethnically Albanian majority. When he attended the unveiling of the statue last year, he was greeted with a giant cake bearing his portrait. And, both Hillary and Bill have been lauded on billboards in Pristina.

Update, 5:09 p.m.: At a “townterview” today, Clinton said the statue’s bronze hair reminds her of how Bill Clinton looked when she first met him, back in the 1970s:

I have to say it’s quite a statue. And my husband — it still looks like he has bronze-colored hair, which I like. Because when I met him — you know we’ve been married as of Monday 35 years — so when I met him when we were in law school, he had very brownish, reddish hair. And the statue reminds me of that, so of course I like the statue. Nobody should paint it white. Don’t paint it white. Keep it that color.

Secretary Clinton visits Kosovar clothing boutique named ‘Hillary’

Clinton: It’s ‘unacceptable’ that Pakistani elites aren’t paying more taxes


Secretary Clinton blasted Pakistan’s government today for not taxing its rich more, yet expecting developed countries to aid the country. She declared, “It is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while the taxpayers of Europe, the United States, and other contributing countries are all chipping in to do our part.”

Clinton made the remarks at a news conference in Brussels with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton (seen above) in which they discussed flood-recovery efforts in Pakistan. Clinton mentioned that a stable Pakistan is essential to the fight against terrorism, which is when she started on her pet peeve: poor countries that don’t tax their elite. Here are her demands of the Pakistani government, which you can also listen to in the video below at link:

http://hillary.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/14/clinton_its_unacceptable_that_pakistani_elites_arent_paying_more_taxes

“We also believe that stability in Pakistan is essential to our shared fight against terrorism and to protect the security of the people of our country and friends and allies like those in Europe. Now, of course, the international community can only do so much. Pakistan itself must take immediate and substantial action to mobilize its own resources, and in particular to reform its economy.”

The most important step that Pakistan can take is to pass meaningful reforms that will expand its tax base. The government must require that the economically affluent and elite in Pakistan support the government and people of Pakistan. We have been very clear on that, and I am pleased that the government is responding. I know how difficult this is, but it is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while the taxpayers of Europe, the United States, and other contributing countries are all chipping in to do our part. The government must also take steps to alleviate the crippling power shortages that stifle economic growth while making life difficult for the Pakistani people.

If U.S. President Barack Obama is having such a hard time repealing the Bush tax cuts on America’s rich, his administration is going to have an even harder time getting another country’s government to increase taxes on its rich (or begin collecting taxes from the rich in the first place). Clinton is certainly right that Pakistan’s elite should pay its fair share of taxes — the rich there pay laughably small amounts or none at all, Clinton pointed out last month. But, the United States has limited influence on the country’s government. Just two weeks ago, Pakistan closed the Torkham Gate crossing into Afghanistan after U.S. forces accidentally killed several Pakistani border guards. The crossing has since been reopened, but the multiday closure held up trucks that supply international forces in Afghanistan. So, who’s really in a position to be calling the shots?

Clinton supports making peace with Taliban who meet clear conditions

Secretary Clinton said today that she and the U.S. government support reintegration and reconciliation with Taliban members who meet specific criteria. We are “willing to support what’s called reintegration — namely, people on the battlefield coming off and going back into their society — and reconciliation, which is a much more political process to work out terms of peace with people who [have] led the Taliban, but only on very clear conditions,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts during an interview in Brussels, where she attended a NATO ministerial meeting.

Those “clear conditions” are:

* Renouncing violence and laying down arms.
* Renouncing al Qaeda.
* Abiding by Afghan laws and the Afghan Constitution.

Clinton was cautious with her remarks and said she’s unsure how many Taliban leaders would agree to these conditions. In fact she said, “I think it’s highly unlikely that the leadership of the Taliban that refused to turn over bin Laden in 2001 will ever reconcile. But stranger things have happened in the history of war, but it can only happen if they [are] willing to abide by the red lines that we and the Afghan government have established.”

Other the other hand, Clinton sounded somewhat optimistic about lower-level Taliban members who likely joined in the first place just to get a paycheck. “I am increasingly convinced that many of the lower-level Taliban, young men who frankly went to fight for the Taliban because they got paid more than they could make anywhere else — I believe that they are, in increasing numbers, laying down their arms and coming back into society.”

She also told Roberts, “What we are seeing is a move by the lower-level fighters, many of them, to leave the battlefield, which is all to the good because they are being convinced that this fight is no longer one they want to be part of.”

Anything about the Taliban joining peace talks or becoming part of the Afghan government will make most Americans nervous. Anyone can pay mere lip service to meeting the three “red line” conditions listed above; how do you tell whether someone isn’t surreptitiously supporting violence and al Qaeda on the side? I also wish Clinton had reiterated that no political reconciliation should come at the price of Afghanistan’s women — which is one of the scariest things about involving the Taliban in peace talks and the government. Back in July during her visit to Kabul, Clinton made it starkly clear that Afghan women can’t be marginalized in the reconciliation process, saying:

” I don’t think there is such a political solution that would be a lasting, sustainable one that would turn the clock back on women. That is a recipe for a return to the kind of Afghanistan — if not in the entire country, in significant parts of the country — that would once again be a breeding ground for terrorism. So we’ve got our red lines, and they are very clear: Any reconciliation process that the United States supports, recognizing that this is an Afghan-led process, must require that anyone who wishes to rejoin society and the political system must lay down their weapons and end violence, renounce al Qaeda, and be committed to the Constitution and laws of Afghanistan, which guarantee the rights of women.


Clinton to Ahmadinejad: ‘We reject any efforts to destabilize’ Lebanon

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was greeted with rose petals in Lebanon today, but Secretary Clinton has a message that the Iranian president might find less rosy:

The United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon.
Clinton made the remarks, reported by AFP, while in Kosovo. The U.S. government is concerned that Iran is trying to draw Lebanon closer into its orbit and that Iranian support for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon weakens Lebanese sovereignty.

Update, 2:05 p.m.: Here is Clinton’s complete remark on Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon:
With respect to President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon, the United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon. We are very committed to supporting the Lebanese Government as it deals with a number of challenges in its region. And we would hope that no visitor would do anything or say anything that would give cause to greater tension or instability in that country.

And I don’t know whether anything I might say would have any influence; I highly doubt it. But I believe that it’s a message that the world needs to convey to the Iranians because of the balance within Lebanon that needs to be maintained.

http://hillary.foreignpolicy.com

Secretary Clinton in the Balkans

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON IS 2010 ’s MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN WASHINGTON D.C.

In Leadership Award, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Smart Power, Woman of the Year on October 6, 2010 at 7:35 am

Secretary Clinton Accepts George McGovern Leadership Award

Secretary Clinton wishing all mothers, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

In fabulous women, Global News, Madame Secretary Clinton, Smart Power, United States, Women's Day on May 9, 2010 at 1:12 am

 

… And a Happy Mother’s Day to you too, Secretary Clinton.

.. Have a fabulous day-

Secretary Clinton… busy, busy, busy-

In Smart Power, United States on April 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Secretary Clinton Hosts Breakfast With Women Entrepreneurs

Secretary Clinton Announces New Partnership With “Partners for a New Beginning”

Secretary Clinton Speaks at American Jewish Committee Annual Gala Dinner


Have you noticed… Where’s Hillary? What is Hillary up to?

In foreign policy, Global News, Greatness Award, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, Smart Power, United States on April 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Tellurian says:  Take a break, Grab a cuppa coffee, make yourself a cocktail. Be your own best witness to the tremendous job Hillary Clinton is doing for you and our country- You will be asked to participate in a pop quiz in 6mos.  Taking notes is allowed.

“Secretary Clinton Meets With meeting with European Parliament President”

“Secretary Clinton Meets With Israeli Defense Minister”

“Secretary Clinton Announces e-Mentor Corps initiative”


“Secretary Clinton Addresses Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship”


FOREIGN POLICYS TOP 100 GLOBAL THINKERS…(one guess)

In foreign policy, Global News, Smart Power, United States, Washington on December 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm


6. Bill Clinton

for redefining philanthropy in the modern era.

Former president | William J. Clinton Foundation | New York

Hillary Rodham Clinton

for giving “smart power” a star turn at the State Department.

Secretary of State | Washington

A year ago, there were questions. Would she play the follower in an administration she had hoped to lead? Would he use his global clout — tremendous, if no longer paramount — to give tacit support to the new, young Democratic administration? To both, the answer is yes, and more: In the past year, Bill and Hillary Clinton have solidified their status as the global power couple of all power couples.

Bill Clinton’s World

The former president on what to read, who to watch, and why there really is a chance of Middle East peace in 2010.

Bill Clinton’s brainchild, the Clinton Global Initiative, now in its fifth year, brings together leaders from aid organizations, academia, business, and government to put their checkbooks behind his big ideas. This year, they committed $9 billion to provide inoculations for 40 million, job opportunities for 80 million, and schools for 30 million, among other ambitious targets. In his off hours, he moonlights as a freelance diplomat, tackling Haiti, on behalf of the United Nations, and North Korea, as a private citizen.

In Port-au-Prince, he worked with humanitarian physician Paul Farmer to bolster investment and alleviate poverty. In Pyongyang, he successfully negotiated the release of two U.S. journalists and helped start a thaw in relations with the Hermit Kingdom.

Miraculously, Clinton kept his diplomatic side gig without stepping on the toes of his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This year, she has tirelessly broadcast the administration’s banner diplomatic message: The United States under Obama is a smart power, a participant in a “new era of engagement based on common interests, shared values, and mutual respect.” But Clinton is also aiming to remake the State Department itself. The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review she initiated promises a thorough, ongoing assessment of the massive bureaucracy in order to create a leaner, more responsive State Department capable of being the engine of Washington’s new diplomacy.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images


Bill Clinton’s World


The former president tells “Foreign Policy” what to read, who to watch, and why there really is a chance of Middle East peace in 2010.

DECEMBER 2009

If you wanted to know how Bill Clinton thought when he was president, you ignored the scripted set-piece speeches and instead went to listen to him talk off the cuff at an evening fundraiser. At night, he would ruminate extemporaneously on race, religion, science, and the nature of the human soul. His mind would roam widely and yet pull together disparate themes into a coherent narrative as no other politician of his generation. Today, the place to hear him think out loud is at the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, where he gathers hundreds of heads of state, business moguls, nonprofit executives, academics, and even Hollywood stars not just to talk about the world’s problems but to do something about them.

Peter Baker, White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Susan Glasser, Foreign Policy’s executive editor, caught up with Clinton there for an expansive conversation about identity, virtue, and riding the steppes with Genghis Khan. Below, the edited excerpts.

Last year we did not expect the economy to collapse quite the way it did. This year we did not think the people of Iran would take to the streets after the election. Looking ahead to 2010, what are the strategic surprises we ought to be looking for?

Bill Clinton: We should look around the world and see if there are any places where the political analogue of the financial crisis could occur. That is, what we know about all systems subject to a combination of stress and dynamism is that there are fractures and vulnerabilities that are not immediately apparent because people expect tomorrow to be a replica of yesterday and today. I always say, in a highly dynamic environment, it’s obvious you should always be working for the best and preparing for the worst. That’s easy to say, but how do you do that? And what are the warning signs? For example, could something go wrong in Nigeria as a result of a combination of economic and political conflict?

On the flip side, which other places in the world could still surprise us by doing something really smart and good? I still think there is some chance the Israelis and the Hamas government and the Palestinian government could make a deal. Because I think that the long-term trend lines are bad for both sides that have the capacity to make a deal. Right now, Hamas is kind of discredited after the Gaza operation, and yet [the Palestinian Authority] is clearly increasing [its] capacity. They are in good shape right now, but if they are not able to deliver sustained economic and political advances, that’s not good for them. The long-term trends for the Israelis are even more stark, because they will soon enough not be a majority. Then they will have to decide at that point whether they will continue to be a democracy and no longer be a Jewish state, or continue to be a Jewish state and no longer be a democracy. That’s the great spur.

The other thing that has not been sufficiently appreciated is the inevitable arc of technological capacity that applies to military weaponry, like it does to pcs and video games and everything else. I know that these rockets drove the Israelis nuts, and I didn’t blame them for being angry and frustrated — it was maddening. But let’s be candid: They were not very accurate. So it’s only a question of time until they are de facto outfitted with GPS positioning systems. And when that happens and the casualty rates start to really mount, will that make it more difficult for the Palestinians to make peace instead of less? Because they will be even more pressed by the radical groups saying, “No, no, look, look, we are making eight out of 10 hits. Let’s stay at this.” I think one of the surprising things that might happen this year [2010] is you might get a substantial agreement. Nobody believes this will happen, and it probably won’t, because of the political complexity of the Israeli government. But all I can tell you is, I spent a lot of time when I was president trying to make a distinction between the headlines and the trend lines. If there was ever a place where studying the trend lines would lead you to conclude that sooner is better than later for deal-making, it would be there.

FP: Who do you think is the smartest, most penetrating thinker you know (maybe other than your own family)? Are there people who should be on our list?

BC: Paul Krugman — I don’t always agree with him, but he is unfailingly good. David Brooks has been very good. Tom Friedman is our most gifted journalist at actually looking at what is happening in the world and figuring out its relevance to tomorrow and figuring out a clever way to say it that sticks in your mind-like “real men raise the gas tax.” You know what I mean?

Malcolm Gladwell has become quite important. The Tipping Point was a very good observational book about what happened and how change occurred. But I think his last book, Outliers, is even more important for understanding how we all develop and for making the case that even for people we view as geniuses, life is more of a relay race than a one-night stand by a one-man band or a one-woman band. I thought it was a truly exceptional book.

Robert Wright, the guy who wrote The Evolution of God, The Moral Animal, and the book he wrote in the middle, which had a huge effect on me as the president, Nonzero. This book about God is just basically an extension of his argument in Nonzero, which is essentially that the world is growing together, not apart. And as you have wider and wider circles of interconnection — that is, wider geographically, encompassing more people, and wider in bandwidth, encompassing more subject areas — you begin with conflict and you end with some resolution, some merging. So he says there is not an inherent conflict between science and God, and he explains why. Wright says, no, no, no, the religious and scientific can mix in accommodation. In Nonzero he argues that ever since people came out of caves and formed clans, people have been bumping up against each other, requiring expansion of identity, subconscious identity. You move from conflict to cooperation in some form or fashion. And so far the struggle between conflict and cooperation has come out before humanity triggered its capacity for self-destruction. So that whole Nonzero idea has now been translated into his argument on God, and I think he is a very important guy.

Another person I think has written some very interesting books on the ultimate imperative of cooperation in the human and other species is Matt Ridley. The one that had a pretty good influence on me is The Origins of Virtue. And by virtue he doesn’t mean, I never take a drink, even on Saturday night. He means civic virtue. How do we treat one another in ways that are constructive, and work together? I think that these are some of the many people. They are thinking about how the world works and how it might be at the same time. At this moment in history, we need people who have a unique understanding of both how the world works and how it might be better, might be more harmonious.

FP: The Cold War lasted about 40 years. Do you see this current struggle we are having with extremism, whatever you want to call it, the war on terror, do you see that lasting as long, or do you see that changing in some way over the next decade?

BC: How long it lasts depends on whether the places out of which really big, effective terrorist groups are operating remain essentially stateless. The territories in Pakistan and the border area with Afghanistan are not part of a centralized state. Robert Kaplan has written tons of books about what’s going on in the modern world, and if you read The Ends of the Earth and these books that say we are de facto, no matter what the laws say, becoming nations of mega-city-states full of really poor, angry, uneducated, and highly vulnerable people, all over the world, we would have a lot of slumdog millionaires. If that’s right, then terror — meaning killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority and go beyond national borders — could be around for a very long time. On the other hand, terrorism needs both anxiety and opportunity to flourish. So one of the things that the United States and others ought to be doing is trying to help the nation-state adjust to the realities of the 21st century and then succeed.

Resolving energy, ironically, could play a major role in reducing the appeal of terror because if we change the way we produce and consume energy all over the world, it would create opportunities for education, for entrepreneurs, for work, for involving women and girls in positive economic encounters, at every level of national income from the richest states to the poorest. Therefore, I think all of the creative energy thinkers need to be brought to bear on this because the world as it integrates has to have a source of new economic activity. In the poorer places just getting agriculture up to speed and putting all the kids in school, there is enough to keep going for a few years. But this energy thing could give us a decade of exhilarating self-discovery. Really smart energy thinkers, Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken, people who have been doing this for 30 years — what they’ve always known, before this ever became a serious debate, is, you couldn’t sell a clean green future unless you could prove it was good economics.

You should look at big thinkers on the question of identity. Samuel Huntington wrote the famous book The Clash of Civilizations. But we need an effort to explain and, if possible merge, theories of identity that are biological, psychological, social, and political, because it’s obvious that in an age of interdependence, you want Wright’s thesis, you want there to be more nonzero subsolutions. You want this thing to happen; you hope he is right that you can reconcile religion and science; you hope the president’s speech in Cairo turns out to be right, that it’s a walk in the park to reconcile religious differences. I gave a bunch of speeches on this after 9/11, saying that our religious and political differences could be reconciled. I think President Obama’s word was that we had to respect doubt.

What I always said was that if you are religious it meant by definition there was such a thing as Truth, capital T. So to make it work in a world full of differences, you had to recognize that there was a big distinction between the existence of Truth, capital T, and the ability of any one human being to understand it completely and to translate it into political actions that were 100 percent consistent with it. That’s what you had to do; all you had to do was accept human frailty. You can’t tell people of faith to be relative about their faith. They believe there is a truth. But the question of whether they can know it and turn it into a political program is a very, very different thing. That is an act of arrogance.

I was influenced by Ken Wilber’s book A Theory of Everything, because he tries to point out that throughout history we get connected to people who are different from us before our heads get around the implications of that, and then as soon as they do there is a parallel level of interconnectivity and we have to get our heads around that. All of the public intellectuals in the world need to be thinking quite a bit about this question of identity and need to recognize that in view of the findings of the human genome about the similarities of all of us, even the husband and wife who at the minimum are 99.5 percent the same — it’s pretty spooky, isn’t it?

FP: Lightning round: What are the three books you’ve been reading recently?

BC: I am reading H.W. Brands’s book on FDR. I am reading the new biography of Gabriel García Márquez, and I just finished Joshua Cooper Ramo’s book, which I thought was actually quite good, but I think he should write another one and think about the practical applications of the strategic insights and the theoretical insights.

FP: Top three leaders that people should pay attention to, other than Obama.

BC: The prime minister of Australia, Kevin Michael Rudd — he is really smart. He has a thirst to know and figure out how to do things.

I think people should study what Paul Kagame did in Rwanda. It is the only country in the world that has more women than men in Parliament (obviously part of the demographic is from the genocide). It may not be perfect, but Rwanda has the greatest capacity of any developing country I have seen to accept outside help and make use of it. It’s hard to accept help. They’ve done that. And how in God’s name does he get every adult in the country to spend one Saturday every month cleaning the streets? And what has the psychological impact of that been? The identity impact? The president says it’s not embarrassing, it’s not menial work, it’s a way of expressing your loyalty to and your pride in your country. How do you change your attitudes about something that you think you know what it means? How did he pull that off?

There are lots of fascinating leaders in Latin America worth studying. But I think it’s worth looking at Colombia. How has Medellín been given back to the people of Colombia? We all know President Uribe has faced criticism in the U.S., but how did Medellín go from being the drug capital of the world, one of the most dangerous places on Earth, to the host city of the 50th anniversary of the Inter-American Development Bank? I would look at that.

I would look at another guy, José Ramos-Horta, the president of the first country in the 21st century, East Timor. Is it too small to be a nation? Can you get too small? Can your courageous fight for independence and freedom lead you to an economic unit that is not going to have a population or a geographic base big enough to take care of your folks? How are the Kosovars going to avoid that?

FP: Is there any country you haven’t been to yet that you want to go to?

BC: I want to go to Mongolia and ride a horse across the steppes and pretend I am in Genghis Khan’s horde — but I’m not hurting anybody! I want to go to Antarctica. There are places where I have been where I have only been working. I would like to take Hillary to climb Kilimanjaro, while there is still snow up there.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/11/19/bill_clintons_world?page=0,0

Madame Secretary, Cherchez la femme..

In fabulous women, Global News, Save America's Treasures, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, Smart Power on November 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm

HILLARY CLINTON FIRST LADY


~ the extraordinary Hillary Clinton

The First Lady has never been more popular—or effective. As Mrs. Clinton begins a campaign to restore America’s decaying historical treasures, Ann Douglas finds that in her personal life, too, she seeks inspiration from the past.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

During Hillary Clinton’s four-day Save America’s Treasures tour to various historical sites in the eastern United States last July, large crowds of people, “presidential-size crowds,” as one reporter put it, packed every place she stopped. On July 14, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where the First Lady visited the Colonial Theatre, a turn-of-the-century architectural jewel that now houses an art-supply store, about 3,000 people had already gathered in the street outside by noon, though she was not due until 4:30 P.M. One man I spoke to said he was happy to wait. “She’s my girl,” he explained. A “phenomenal person.” A woman who expressed concern about jobs leaving the region was confident that “Hillary’s visit will be a shot in the arm for Pittsfield.” Earlier in the day, in Newburgh, New York, headquarters to George Washington for sixteen months during the American Revolution, I talked to various members of the African-American community as they cheered her arrival. “She looks much better and younger than on TV,” one woman commented. Several young men were more outspoken: “Mrs. Clinton got it going on!” “She’s the Chief!” “She canhave me anytime!”

People lined the roads in and out of the towns, holding up their babies, eager to get a glimpse of her. Near Auburn, New York, a small girl outside DB’s Drive-In ice cream store waved a sign at the First Lady’s bus: HI MRS. CLINTON! DO YOU WANT AN ICE CREAM CONE? To everyone’s surprise, the bus stopped, Hillary Clinton got out, bought a cone (a small vanilla-chocolate twist), and chatted with Marilyn Biss, the proprietor, a widow with five children. She insisted on paying, though Mrs. Biss tried to dissuade her: “It’s totally inexpensive, and you’ve been great for my lunch-hour business.” A boy with a blond crew cut rode his bicycle up to the store and looked through the window to see what all the excitement was about. “Holy Cow!” he exclaimed. “It’s Hillary Clinton!” Read more

….BUT LOOK AT HER NOW!

Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton

…her Brilliant career…

As Obama’s surprise (and reluctant) pick for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton brings her star power and stamina to the global stage. Jonathan Van Meter reports.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
It is a dreary morning in early October in Washington, D.C., and perhaps because Hillary Rodham Clinton is wearing a black Oscar de la Renta suit on such a colorless day, she seems somber. I had trailed her for nearly two weeks this summer in Africa and then again in New York during the United Nations General Assembly, and I had grown accustomed to seeing her in the vivid suits she favors. Africa is nothing if not colorful, and so not only did bright red or teal or periwinkle seem situation-appropriate, but her clothes somehow matched her demeanor, which was almost uniformly cheerful. Sometimes the color/mood connection was made overt: One morning, as her motorcade arrived at the U.N. for a panel on violence against women and girls, she stepped out of a shiny black luxury sedan in a red suit and was met by Esther Brimmer, her Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, also wearing red. “Good morning, Esther,” said Clinton. “I see you got the color memo.”

Today’s memo? Not today. When she walks into one of the many grand diplomatic reception rooms on the eighth floor of “the Building,” as everyone calls the State Department, she is clutching a big mug of milky coffee and is wearing no makeup. She looks tired and cranky. She is about to tape three I’m-sorry-I-can’t-be-with-you-here-this-evening videos for events she can’t attend. This is obligatory drudge work, to be sure, but it’s drudgery that requires her to suck it up and find that extra gear: She must be on. Clinton says hello to the group—not her usual effervescent eye-popping hello but a barely mustered blanket nicety. She sits where she is told, facing a teleprompter, and her ever-present and very chic deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, hands her a small case filled with cosmetics. Holding a compact, Clinton puts on mascara, lipstick, blush, and a little powder. She yanks her jacket straight, affixes her mic, and signals she is ready by sitting up and staring directly into the camera. And—click!—just like that, the public Hillary appears: upbeat, reassuring, in control, wide awake, means business. She nails all three videos in one take. Done. Next.

She walks into the adjoining ballroom, where she has been keeping Katie Couric waiting, and sits down to do a lengthy and tough interview on the war in Afghanistan and President Obama’s agonizing decision-making process. Not surprisingly, her mastery of the issues is dazzling. Even Couric is blown away. In fact, Clinton is so clearheaded on the subject, so eloquent, that it raises the question: Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton been more out in front on the most troubling foreign-policy issues of the day? read more..

…Because it’s not her job, she’s not the President! As if she doesn’t do enough, ya Jackass!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HILLARY!

In fabulous women, foreign policy, Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, Smart Power, United States, Washington on October 26, 2009 at 4:12 pm

This One’s For You Hillary…

Best Wishes for a Happy Memorable Day!

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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.)

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/july/126071.htm

“I realized today that I’d be a happier person if Hillary Clinton were president,” a financial contributor to National Review Online wrote last week. “

In fabulous women, foreign policy, Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Smart Power, Woman of the Year on June 15, 2009 at 11:56 pm

The Good Soldier: Hillary Clinton As Secretary of State

Hillary-Obama6/14/09

(ht/jbstonesfan)

How is Hillary Clinton doing as secretary of State?

Two recent quotes tell you all you need to know.

On May 27, frustrated by unusually tough going U.S. opposition to Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Benjamin Netanyahu complained, “What the hell do they want from me?” They: Clinton and Barack Obama.

A couple of months earlier, Colin Powell, asked to comment on Clinton’s attempt to redirect American foreign policy toward diplomacy and foreign aid, said: “We all know we ought to be moving in this direction, but it takes money.” We: Clinton, Powell, and the foreign-policy establishment.

Just over a year ago, Clinton was bottoming out in her doomed presidential race, telling reporters she was soldiering on against Obama because, after all, “we all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” Now, she has turned herself into Obama’s greatest asset, on Capitol Hill as much as around the world, in fashioning a national-security policy that has closed off all policy differences between the former Democratic rivals, co-opted many Republicans, and left the rest of the administration’s opponents astoundingly marginalized.

On the inside, Clinton has steadily accumulated power while expending hardly any political capital. For one thing, she has stirred an effective mix of politicos and diplomats into the top tiers of the State Department. Hillary has Cheryl Mills, a lawyer best known for defending Bill Clinton during impeachment, running her staff. And she has divided the position of Deputy Secretary of State into two jobs: supersmart Jim Steinberg, who was deputy national security adviser under Bill Clinton but supported Obama in 2008, is her policy maven, while Jack Lew is her management chief. Lew helped Hillary secure a 10 percent increase in the State Department’s budget from Obama while Tim Geithner was still figuring out how to turn the lights on in his office.

Further, Clinton hasn’t made mistakes. There have been no Joe Biden–like gaffes, Tom Daschle–like embarrassments, or Judd Gregg–like turnarounds coming from Hillary. Or from her husband — these days, Bill Clinton would have us believe he spends his time shopping for trinkets, unable even to get Hillary on her cell phone.

Meanwhile, nobody else has developed an alternative foreign-policy power center within the administration. Obama likes Biden, but the vice-president is no match for Hillary in mano-a-mano bureaucratic combat. For example, Clinton favored sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, while Biden opposed the move. The result: “She crushed him,” according to Republican Mark Kirk of Ilinois. At the same time, National Security Adviser Jim Jones has been an utter cipher; when Time’s Mark Halperin graded the Obama administration, he gave Hillary an A- (“significant, powerful, worldly, respected”), but had to give Jones an “incomplete.” And Obama’s presidential envoys, such as Richard Holbrooke in Afghanistan and Dennis Ross in Iran, are mostly old Clinton hands who aren’t about to usurp any authority from Hillary.

In public, Clinton has spent the last six months fundamentally realigning American foreign policy away from reliance on military force, toward what she calls (in a wise abandonment of the lefty academic phrase “soft power”) “smart power” — more diplomacy and international economic assistance. She has also been striving to ensure zero daylight between her and Obama on any issue, big or small, whatever positions she might have taken as a New York senator or presidential candidate. If Clinton minds toiling in Obama’s shadow, or representing her former rival as America’s best face to the world, she hasn’t shown it. With Hillary, it’s always hard to tell where duty stops and happiness begins, and her new job has brought out her cheerfulness and indefatigability at the same time; as she put it on her first trip to Asia, “Showing up is not all in life, but it counts for a lot.” And whether it’s laying down conditions for Cuba’s readmittance to the Organization of American States or appearing on the Indonesian teen variety show Awesome, Clinton has been showing up, albeit fairly quietly, all around the planet.

On April 23, Hillary smacked down Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who had tried to scold Obama for “warmly greeting” Hugo Chavez. “We spent the last eight years trying to isolate Chavez, and what has been the result?” Hillary replied. “We want your feedback, but President Obama won the election. He beat me in a primary, in which he put forth a different approach, and he is now our president.” Something similar happened last weekend, when she told George Stephanopoulos that Obama had passed the “3 a.m.” test that she had posed in the primaries. Clinton has become a master of selling Obama simply by stating her support for him. And conversely, by expressing that support as an act of volition, she is demonstrating her power, if not her independence.

The overall effect of Hillary’s efforts has been to bolster her reputation for being smart, effective, and a team player without associating her too strongly with the wrenching policy changes, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Obama has thrust himself far into the spotlight. And the results have been fairly amazing. Clinton’s approval ratings have been consistently above 70 percent — higher than Obama’s — with majority support even among Republicans. And media coverage has been orgiastic, probably peaking so far with Andrea Mitchell calling Clinton a “foreign-policy superstar” on the Today show. Even Obama probably never imagined how much mileage he and Clinton would be able to get out of their “kiss, make up, and go off to work around the globe” routine.

Finally, nobody has enabled Hillary’s rehabilitation like congressional Republicans and their talk-radio allies. Since Obama’s election, the neocons have doubled down on full-throated Cheneyism, pushing torture and preventive if not endless war. And from William Kristol and Newt Gingrich calling for an attack on North Korea to John Bolton wanting Israel to bomb Iran to Daniel Pipes saying, “I would vote for Ahmadinejad,” the leading lights of today’s GOP are pushing George H. W. Bush–type Republicans, such as Powell, Brent Scowcroft, and a large chunk of the country straight out of the Republican Party. There’s nothing but upside in that dynamic for Clinton: Already established in the public mind as less multi-culti and quite possibly tougher than Obama, she now also appears to be a sane, sober alternative to the crazies running the GOP.

And for the moment, the opposition doesn’t realize how much it should care. “I realized today that I’d be a happier person if Hillary Clinton were president,” a financial contributor to National Review Online wrote last week. “That scared me enough to make a donation.” Keep sending those $100 checks, pal, and your fantasy could still come true.
By: Peter Keating

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