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The chapter begins with Hillary explaining briefly the history of the Palestinian flag, its symbolism, and her impression upon finding it flying beside the Israeli flag at the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when she arrived for a close, tight, tiny meeting in September 2010.  Only  Mahmoud Abbas, Hillary, George Mitchell, and Netanyahu himself were secluded in Bibi’s personal study.  An impatient press was gathered outside.  Things were tense.  A construction freeze was about to expire.

The photo below was taken early in her tenure at State when she attended a conference on humanitarian aid to Gaza.  The Obama administration entered this arena to a three-day-old cease-fire and a Gaza reduced to rubble and in dire need of humanitarian aid.   Reading it now, we might feel as if we have come full circle and need another of these donor conferences for the region.

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Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Gaza Conference

March 3, 2009 by still4hill

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All of us recognize that human progress depends on the human spirit. That a child growing up in Gaza without shelter, health care, or an education has the same right to go to school, see a doctor, and live with a roof over her head as a child growing up in your country or mine. That a mother and father in the West Bank struggling to fulfill their dreams for their children have the same right as parents anywhere else in the world to a good job, a decent home, and the tools to achieve greater prosperity and peace.

On that first official visit to the Middle East  she met with both  the outgoing Israeli government and the incoming one.  Hillary’s first phone call as secretary of state to a foreign leader was to Ehud Olmert.

Hillary Clinton With Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

 

Hillary Clinton with Tzipi Livni

There is a long time friendship between the Clinton and Peres families.  At this meeting he gave her a bouquet composed of every flower that grows in Israel.

Hillary Clinton with Shimon Peres

 

Her Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman,  met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton astoundingly rarely.  Far more frequently she met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Hillary Clinton with Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman

She visited an English language teaching program in Ramallah.  Amideast is a major source of Middle Eastern students to U.S. universities.  They manage government scholarships for Saudi students and also Fulbright scholarships.

Hillary Clinton at an Amideast Event

 

The issue at this point was the controversial Goldstone Report.  All of the links below contain policy comments about it.

Secretary Clinton & Ambassador Rice: Remarks After Meeting on the Adoption of a UNSC Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

The Secretary’s Week in Review

Secretary Clinton: Interviews Galore!

Press Briefing on the Plane to Cairo

Secretary Clinton Remarks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Gheit

Secretary Clinton: Two Interviews

Video & Text: Middle East Quartet Statement, Press Briefing, & Secretary Clinton’s Remarks

The announcement, right before AIPAC and while Joe Biden was visiting Israel of 1,600 new settlement units to be constructed was considered a major insult to the U.S.  Obama was furious, and it was Hillary’s job to communicate that to Netanyahu.  Bibi denied responsibility but did not cancel the construction.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton at 2010 AIPAC Conference

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Last fall, I stood next to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and praised his government’s decision to place a moratorium on new residential construction in the West Bank. And then I praised it again in Cairo and in Marrakesh and in many places far from Jerusalem to make clear that this was a first step, but it was an important first step. And yes, I underscored the longstanding American policy that does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlements. As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed….

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New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines that mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides say want and need. And it exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region hope to exploit. It undermines America’s unique ability to play a role – an essential role – in the peace process. Our credibility in this process depends in part on our willingness to praise both sides when they are courageous, and when we don’t agree, to say so, and say so unequivocally.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks At the American Jewish Committee Annual Gala Dinner

In 2011 Goldstone retracted part of the report.  The damage had already been done.  The Palestinians were planning to put a statehood vote before the Security Council.

Hillary points out that the Obama administration policy, indeed, U.S. policy, is and has been a two-state solution as stated in Obama’s Cairo speech.  This was not a new policy and had remained a U.S. goal from the Clinton administration through the George W. Bush administration   But a vote in the Security Council was not the intended route.  There were supposed to be negotiated compromises.

She recalled their visit, before the speech, to the Sultan Hassan Mosque and the peace and calm she sensed there in the middle of a presidential visit and major policy rollout.

Secretary Clinton in Cairo

Ten days after the Cairo speech, Netanyahu endorsed the two-state solution in a speech at Bar-Ilan University.

For Netanyahu, the major sticking point from the start was the condition of a freeze on  construction of settlements.  He announced a 10-month freeze on October 31.  Hillary called the move “unprecedented” and felt a good deal of kickback for the word which she continues to stand by.  Abbas, for his part, agreed to delay the statehood vote at the U.N.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Hillary got along especially well with Ehud Barak and speaks fondly of him as endlessly optimistic and a voice for peace.  He evidently also had her on speed dial and would ring her up and say, “Hillary, let’s strategize.”  They met officially on a frequent basis and were quite a pair!

Secretary of State Clinton and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speak to reporters Secretary of State Clinton and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speak to reporters in Washington

When, in May 2010,  there was an Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists bound for Gaza resulting in the death of nine Turkish citizens, Barak called Hillary while she was marching in the Memorial Day parade.

Video: Bill & Hillary Clinton in the Memorial Day Parade in Chappaqua, NY

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu  warned that this could mean war between Turkey and Israel, called it Turkey’s 9/11, and was at the State Department the next morning.  He was very emotional.  Hillary contacted Netanyahu who wanted to patch things up but would not apologize.  During her tenure, he never did apologize, but called Erdogan in March 2013 when Obama was in Jerusalem with an apology.  According to Hillary the patching up is still in progress.

Secretary Clinton: Photos of the Day

Hillary Clinton Day One Mid-East Peace Talks

Photos: Hillary Opens Mid-East Peace Talks

Video: Secretary Clinton Relaunches Mid-East Peace Talks

… by being here today, you each have taken an important step toward freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change, and moving toward a future of peace and dignity that only you can create.

The upshot was that the parties agreed to meet in Sharm el Sheikh in two weeks.   Hillary commented that her work as secretary of state frequently brought her to lovely resorts. She never had the opportunity to enjoy any of them for all the work that needed to be done.

Where Hillary Clinton is going

From Sharm el Sheikh: Slideshow and Briefing by George Mitchell

Secretary Clinton’s Press Briefing En Route Sharm El Sheikh

Hillary in Jerusalem

September 15, 2010 by still4hill

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Israeli President Shimon Peres Before their Meeting

Hillary Clinton in Ramallah and Amman

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh

 

Later that month she met with Abbas and Ehud Barak on the sidelines at UNGA.  No statements.  One photo.  No real progress. President Obama pressed for an extension of the freeze.  Abbas was essentially saying “choose between peace and settlements.”  Hillary spoke with Ehud Barak but Bibi refused to budge.  Abbas was ready to go ahead with a statehood vote in the Security Council while Hillary kept telling him the only path to peace was via negotiations. In a phone call with Bibi, Hillary encountered intransigence.

 

Then,  In November a door opened a crack, and Hillary flew to New York to breeze through it.

Hillary Clinton’s Mid-East Charm Offensive: Remarks Before Her Meeting With Netanyahu

Hillary, Bibi in the New York Marathon: Joint Statement at the Finish Line

Hillary, Bibi, and the NYC Marathon Take Two: Some Reviews

Eventually there was a proposal to halt construction for 90 days in exchange for a $3 billion security package and a promise to veto any resolutions at the U.N. that would undercut negotiations.  No one liked this solution including Hillary.   She told Tony Blair that she felt it was a sacrifice worth making.   It began to disintegrate almost at birth and was dust by November.

Hillary took a strong stand at the Saban Forum in December.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy Seventh Annual Forum

December 11, 2010 by still4hill

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton speaks at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington

 

The United States and the international community cannot impose a solution. Sometimes I think both parties seem to think we can. We cannot. And even if we could, we would not, because it is only a negotiated agreement between the parties that will be sustainable. The parties themselves have to want it. The people of the region must decide to move beyond a past that cannot change and embrace a future they can shape together.

President Obama went to the State Department to reiterate the U.S. position regarding the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.  Bibi ignored the swaps part of that and Abbas could not guarantee that a new push for statehood would not happen at the U.N.

George Mitchell resigned.

Hillary says the tiny private meeting in September 2010 at Bibi’s residence when he raised the Palestinian flag to welcome Abbas to his home might have been the last time Abbas and Netanyahu spoke.  It might have been.

Gaza: Netanyahu and Abbas had secret meeting before ceasefire

If Bibi is going to threaten to fire his chief negotiator, Tsipi Livni, for talking with Abbas and has to conceal this possible meeting, chances for negotiation look bleak.

Hillary ends quoting Yitzhak Rabin.  “The coldest peace is better than the warmest war.”

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

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Special Event: Remarks by Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

October 6, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York will deliver keynote remarks at a special luncheon hosted by Canada 2020 in Ottawa.

Click here for more information on attending this event.

 

Monday, October 6th, 2014
Ottawa Convention Centre, Canada Hall 1 & 2
Luncheon Event, 12:30 to 3:00 PM

After nearly four decades of public service as an advocate for children and families, First Lady, Senator, and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton now helps lead the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. She is also the author of the new book, Hard Choices, which chronicles her efforts to restore America’s leadership after eight years in which it was badly eroded.

Join Canada 2020 for this special luncheon event featuring a keynote address from Secretary Clinton followed bas well as an on-stage Q&A.

For more information on how to attend this event, click here:

Hillary Clinton describes the Obama Administration’s Africa policy in typical Hillary fashion as resting on four pillars.

  1. Promoting opportunity and development,
  2. Spurring economic growth, trade, and investment,
  3. Advancing peace and security,
  4. Strengthening democratic institutions.

China, as we know, is  heavily invested in Africa.  Her description of that relationship as one of exploitation of natural resources in exchange for glitzy structure and infrastructure that benefits them and excludes local labor.  Her concern is the damage being inflicted by some foreign investment.

She quotes her remark to a TV interview question in Zambia in June 2011.

… our view is that over the long run, investments in Africa should be sustainable and for the benefit of the African people.

Confronted with a suggestion that the Chinese model, basically a hands-off local government model might serve African nations better than the good-governance model that could be interpreted as imposed by the west, responded:

 

It is easy – and we saw that during colonial times – it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders, and leave. And when you leave, you don’t leave much behind for the people who are there. You don’t improve the standard of living. You don’t create a ladder of opportunity.

We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa. We want, when people come to Africa and make investments, we want them to do well, but we also want them to do good. We don’t want them to undermine good governance. We don’t want them to basically deal with just the top elites and, frankly, too often pay for their concessions or their opportunities to invest.

Hillary Clinton’s Media Outreach: Three Interviews from Lusaka, Zambia

She mentions this speech where she spoke of sustainable partnerships that add rather than subtract value.

Hillary Clinton on Building Sustainable Partnerships in Africa

 On the subject of the disturbing downward trend in electoral democracies on the continent she refers to a speech in 2011 at African Union Headquarters where she warned African leaders that the Arab Spring could spread.  We wondered, viewing the video, why she was speaking in the dark.  It turned out that there was a power outage that occurred while she spoke that might have been a coincidence.  It is a message that older, entrenched leaders do not want to hear.  Hillary remarks upon the reluctance of some of these leaders, often seen as liberators from colonialism, to cede power.  The phenomenon is endemic on the continent.

She delivered a similar message to Arab elders at Forum for the Future in Morocco in November 2009.  Neither was that audience particularly receptive to the message of inclusiveness.  The Arab Spring was a reaction to policies that she knew then, through her interactions with civil society in Arab countries, would boil over sooner or later boil over.  A look at the slideshow in this post speaks more than 1,000 words.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa

Putting forth the example of a grassroots Senegalese movement effectively defeating Abdoulaye Wade in their 2012 election,  she posits that democratic change is possible in Africa and quotes further from her sustainable partnerships speech in Dakar.

I know there is sometimes an argument that democracy is a privilege belonging to wealthy countries, and that developing economies must put economic growth first and worry about democracy later. But that’s not the lesson of history. Over the long run, you can’t have effective economic liberalization without political liberalization … the United States will stand up for democracy and universal human rights, even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way, to keep the resources flowing. Not every partner makes that choice, but we do and we will.

Liberia, today so unfortunately stricken with the ebola epidemic,  stands as a shining example of democracy in Africa as Hillary points out that former enemies on the field of battle now sit side by side in the legislative chambers.

Clinton poses with a Liberian newspaper in Monrovia

Hillary Clinton’s Address to Joint Session of Liberian National Legislature

Some of you have seen a film that tells the story of a Liberian woman’s efforts to end the war. Tired of the killing and the conflict, she organized women at her church and then other churches and in mosques until thousands of Liberian women had joined a vocal, public movement demanding peace … These were women who woke up one day and said, “Enough, enough. We’re better than that …  I know that the suffering of the people of Liberia has been broad and deep. But now, you each have a chance, both personally and publicly through your service here, to make a stand against the past and for a future that is worthy of the sacrifice and the suffering that went on too long. The United States is proud to support you.

 

Her 2009 visit to Kenya comprised several important speaking engagements to which she refers:  The AGOA Forum (Clinton administration legislation), a “townterview” with Fareed Zakaria, a visit, with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, to an agricultural research institute, and the usual ministerials.

Hillary Clinton’s Address at the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) Forum in Kenya

Hillary Clinton’s Townterview at the University of Nairobi with Fareed Zakaria

Students greeted her with signs reading “corruption-free zone.”  At this event Hillary shared the stage with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathi who led a reforestation movement in Kenya.  The issue of natural resources being decimated arose.  You may recall that in her very lengthy confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hillary was asked a question about natural resources in Africa (it might have come from John Kerry, but I am not certain).  Immediately she responded that “Botswana comes to mind.”  Here she shared the same example.

Botswana’s national trust fund has reinvested profits from its resources into the population and infrastructure with such success that both the Peace Corps and USAID pulled out of the country since their help was no longer needed.  Hillary credits Botswana’s Five Ds for the success: Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline, Delivery.

 

Hillary Clinton at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

Well-intentio9ned as they were,  she notes that U.S. (and other) gifts of foodstuffs undercut the market for indigenous agricultural products.  She points to the Feed the Future Program as one that supports local produce and addresses the challenge of transportation.

Hillary Clinton With Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula

 

She also met with President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, and the cabinet.  There was tough talk,  to which she refers,  in this meeting but no transcript from the State Department.  The agreed-upon shared power in the government was not going smoothly. Her subsequent words with Foreign Minister Wetangula provide some insight into the tone she adopted, however.

The United States worked hard last year with Kofi Annan and the team of African Eminent Persons to support the Kenyan people to resolve the crisis that afflicted this country. Unfortunately, resolving that crisis has not yet translated into the kind of political progress that the Kenyan people deserve. Instead, the absence of strong and effective democratic institutions has permitted ongoing corruption, impunity, politically motivated violence, human rights abuses, and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

These conditions helped fuel the post-election violence, and they are continuing to hold Kenya back. The reform agenda agreed to by the coalition government and discussed in the speech that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga gave this morning must be fully implemented not just to avoid a repeat of the previous crisis or worse, but more importantly, to set the stage for a better future, a future worthy of the dynamic people of this country, a future of economic growth, democratic development, social justice, and the opportunity for every Kenyan child to live up to his or her God-given potential. I wanted the leaders to know that we respect greatly the way that the Kenyan people pulled their country back from the brink of disaster once, and the ongoing connection between the private sector, civil society, and the government that is the key to resolving these issues.

 

Hillary’s description of her visit to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in summer 2009 is a contrasting patchwork of horror and hope.   She begins with her visit, with NBA star Dkembe Mutombo to the pediatric unit he built and named for his mother.

Hillary Clinton at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center

There were so many bright and lovely moments on this first official State tour of Africa.  Most of those were, sadly, not covered by the media, but no one missed the “snap in the Congo.”  In an atmosphere that Hillary describes as sour with an air of sullen resignation in a stuffy auditorium at St. Joseph’s School. everyone saw her lose patience with a question, remove her earbuds, and tell a student at a town hall that she would not be channeling her husband.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall With Search for Common Ground and Congolese University Students

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton arrives at a town hall meeting with Congolese university students in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa

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In the book, she explains that the student came to her after the event, apologized, and explained that he had not meant to ask her President Clinton’s opinion but rather President Obama’s.

Goma is one of the the grimmest, most dangerous places on earth, especially for women.  Hillary tells of her visit there and the spirit she encountered among the residents of the refugee settlement she visited.

Hillary Clinton’s Day at the U.N. Internally Displaced Persons Camp, Goma, DRC

She says she witnessed the worst and the best of humanity there.  She was inspired to chair a U.N. Security Council meeting the next month on the subject of sexual violence in conflict regions.

Secretary Hillary Clinton Chairing Security Council Meeting Today

Secretary Clinton & Ambassador Rice: Remarks After Meeting on the Adoption of a UNSC Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Hillary turns at this point to her visit to Africa’s and the world’s newest country, South Sudan in August 2012 when a standoff between the breakout state and Sudan from which it had seceded was festering.  South Sudan had oil and Sudan had the ports and refineries.  Clearly some kind of cooperative agreement would benefit both, but South Sudan had shut down the pipeline to the North.

Hillary Clinton With Foreign Minister of South Sudan Nhial Deng Nhial

Hillary Clinton in South Sudan

The surface issue was fees charged by Sudan to transport and process the oil.  Hillary used an Op-Ed by one of President Kir’s former comrades-in-arms, Bishop Elias Taban, once a boy soldier.   Below the surface, the dispute rested on old battle wounds.  Hillary told him “a percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing.”  Taban’s words moved Kir to accept a compromise.   By 2:45 the next morning, the oil flowed again.

Hillary Clinton Welcomes Oil Agreement Between Sudan and South Sudan, Calls for Peace and Humanitarian Access

Hillary writes that South Sudan’s future remains uncertain, and indeed, while this post was being assembled the State Department issued this statement.

Bishop Taban, who provided the instrument that convinced President Kir to budge was her guest at last year’s Clinton Global Initiative where she presented him with the Global Citizen Award.

CGI 2013: Closing Plenary Session

She reviews Somalia’s war-torn, terror-ridden history and our efforts to assist through several U.S. administrations.  In August 2009, the president of the transitional government traveled to Nairobi to meet with her.  She wondered if he would shake her hand, and he did so very enthusiastically which was a very big deal all around.

Hillary Clinton With Somali Transitional Federal Government President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

They met again for a final time in their respective official positions in August 2012.  A new president was elected the next month.

Hillary Clinton With Somali Roadmap Signatories in Kenya

 

At a military base in Uganda, U.S. Special Operations advisors showed her a surveillance drone used in the search for Joseph Kony chief of the Lord’s Resistance Army and elements of Al Shabaab.  She notes that it resembled a child’s toy.

Hillary Clinton at Kasenyi Military Base in Uganda

 

She mentions the September 2013 attack by Al Shabaab on a shopping mall in Nairobi that killed Elif Yavuz who worked for the Clinton Health Access Initiative which battles HIV/AIDS and other health challenges.

Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Offer Condolences on the Death of Elif Yavuz

 In the struggle to conquer HIV/AIDS on the continent, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) begun by George W. Bush plays a major role.  She recalls this event in Johannesburg in 2009 where she was accompanied by Eric Goosby,  the State Department’s Global AIDS Coordinator, her Congressional Representative, Nita Lowey, and the late, Honorable Donald Payne who was a friend of this blog.

Hillary Clinton at PEPFAR Event in South Africa

Hillary declared a goal of an AIDS-free generation on World AIDS Day 2011.

Secretary Clinton on World AIDS Day 2011

 

Hillary Clinton at the Reach Out Mbuya Health Center, in Kampala, Uganda

Hillary begins drawing this Africa chapter to a close in South Africa around Nelson Mandela beginning with recollections of her visits to South Africa as First Lady, the second time bringing Chelsea with her.   A lifetime friendship ensued.

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Hillary Clinton with Nelson Mandela

One working relationship that brought many smiles over the years was her friendship with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.   She gave parties for Hillary on both of her visits.  There was a rare snowfall on Hillary’s last visit and she was called ‘Nimkita’ – one who brings the snow.

Hillary Clinton With South African Minister of International Relations Nkoana-Mashabane

 

Hillary Clinton with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Hillary Clinton’s Meeting With U.S. and South African Business Leaders

Hillary Clinton at a Dinner Hosted by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

 Hillary led a delegation of business leaders to this summit.  Our friend Grace Bennett of Inside Chappaqua accompanied Hillary’s traveling press on this trip,  and Hillary called her over to meet Maite.

Hillary Clinton at the U.S.-South Africa Business Partnership Summit

 

There was one last visit to Nelson Mandela.

Hillary Clinton Visits Nelson Mandela

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Mandela

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Mandela,  Graca Machel

 

Hillary Clinton at The United States – South Africa Partnership

She refers to these closing remarks in this speech.

It’s a burden being an American or a South African, because people expect you to really live up to those standards. People hold us to a higher set of standards, don’t they? And we owe it to all who came before, all who sacrificed and suffered, to do our very best to keep working every single day to meet those standards. But we mostly owe it to our future.

Many things have changed since Robert Kennedy came to Cape Town and Nelson Mandela left Robben’s Island. But some have not. The world we want to build together still demands the qualities of youth and a predominance of courage over timidity. So in that spirit, let us work together so that the values that shaped both our nations may also shape a world that is more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just.

Clintons Close CGI in Rio and Convene in South Africa to Honor Nelson Mandela

Hillary went on Air Force One with the Obamas and the Bushes.  Bill and Chelsea went from Rio.

 

Hillary ends this chapter with hopes for an Africa worthy of Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

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Hillary Clinton is one person on the world stage who most personally felt the impact of wikileaks  since she was the one who had to make the “apology tour” in late 2010 and early 2011.   She spoke in San Francisco  this morning on issues surrounding privacy of electronic data.   No transcript is available, but this account appears to be fair and balanced.

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Hillary Clinton talks NSA and privacy, data security, tech jobs in San Francisco

Summary: “I’m not an expert on software-defined storage or the intricacies of cloud computing,” Clinton quipped.

By for Between the Lines | August 28, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—Privacy and security are in a necessary but inevitable tension, reflected former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while speaking at data storage and software provider Nexenta‘s OpenSDx Summit on Thursday.

Proposing this debate has been going on in the United States since the days of the Founding Fathers (with Clinton trading out “privacy” for “liberty”), Clinton observed how concerns over privacy reached a fever pitch following the revelations about the National Security Agency last year.

Read more >>>>

 

In the wake of wikileaks, everyone expected her meeting with Angela Merkel (and other world leaders) to be awkward.  Her charm offensive defused a potentially explosive situation.

It is important for parents of bilingual children to understand that they often start speaking a little later than monolingual children because they are processing more information.  The delay is normal.

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No Matter the Language, Babies Thrive on Communication

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. —Frank Smith, psycho-linguist from Harvard University

Researchers who study language and brain development have noted the difference in brain structure between children who speak only one language, and those that speak two or more. Children who spend their early years in homes where they hear more than one language spoken – or a primary language that is different from the one they hear in the outside world – tend to better develop and exercise the executive function of their brains, which helps to improve learning. As a result, these dual language learners may have better memory, logic and attention skills than their monolingual peers.

Dual language learners may also have better social and emotional skills than monolinguals. Early research into the subject is showing that children who grow up hearing more than one language tend to have more self-control, and fewer behavior problems later in life.

While not every preschooler needs to be bilingual, it is helpful for parents and caregivers to talk, read and sing with their children in their native language, even if it’s not English. In fact, the more language a baby hears during their first years in their native language, the better prepared they will be to learn English and other subjects when they enter school.

 

Resources for Sharing:

 

  • These tips for parents from Reading Rockets (available in more than ten languages!) are meant to encourage a child’s love of reading.
  • These tips and videos from American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association explain the benefits of dual language learning.
  • Too Small to Fail’s tips for parents of dual language learners are available in English and Spanish.
  • From our neighbors to the North, this video explains how babies learn language and how parents and caregivers can encourage that development

Video

Popular children’s songwriter and performer Jose Luis Orozco sings in Spanish, and encourages parents and children to sing along! >>

 

Thought I would share this here. Shanee Gibson Hart’s little boy, Tré, objects eloquently to the news that a new baby is on the way.  “This is exasperating!”

 

 

Beginning with a brief history of U.S. Latin American policy from the Cold War to the current administration, Hillary

A.  Cites Clinton administration initiatives:

  1. The first Summit of the Americas in 1994,
  2. The successful anti-narcotrafficking and anti-guerrilla Plan Colombia,
  3. The restoration of the democratically elected Bertrand Aristede to his post in Haiti;

B. Credits the George W. Bush administration for the Merida (anti-drug) initiative and continued support of Plan Colombia, but cites left v. right wing point of view of that  prevented that administration from broadening cooperation with our neighbors to the south;

C. Cites President Obama’s promise, in his April 2009 Summit of the Americas speech, of a new “equal partnership” relationship with the region and a fairer Cuba policy.

She does not mention this encounter with Hugo Chavez at that summit, but the picture is priceless.

venezuela-hugo-chavez-hillary-clinton-barack-obama-summit

She choose Mexico as her starting point to implement the new policy.  She was familiar with the border area from her 1972 campaign experiences there. She and her then campaign colleague Bill Clinton had gone south of the border to a beach on a recovery vacation  after the election.

Hillary-Bill-Clinton-law-school

She had fond memories of Mexico, but attacks on consulates in 2008 and 2010, the last with murders involved, indicated the dangers civil servants faced. Her first trip to Mexico as secretary of state was in March 2009.  Patricia Espinosa is one of several strong Latin American women leaders with whom she formed a strong bond.

Hillary Clinton in Mexico with Women Leaders and Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa

She doesn’t mention this but I shall.  She surprised the rector at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with an unscheduled visit the morning of her second day there.  He was delighted.  That day she also held a round table with indigenous students from community colleges, visited an industrial plant, and then gave the speech in Monterrey at TecMilenio University that she does refer to in her book.  It was a spectacular two days that we celebrated here.

Hillary Clinton in Mexico Day 2

This was the Mexico visit she refers to when President Calderon was furious over the wikileaks and demanded that Ambassador Pascual be replaced – said he could no longer work with him.  She states that Pascual resigned in March 2011.  If anyone tries to tell you that wikileaks caused no damage, be skeptical.  This was only the tip of a very large and damaging iceberg.  Thank heaven Hillary had a great relationship with Patricia Espinosa and with the Mexican people.

Hillary Clinton in Mexico

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa

Secretary Clinton’s Interview With Denise Maerker of Televisa

Secretary Clinton’s Interview With Rossana Fuentes of CNN en Espanol

 

As a model for Mexico, she suggests Colombia and reviews the Clinton administration effort called Plan Colombia, a joint effort of her husband’s administration with then President Pastrana.  The initiative continued and expanded under the Bush administration, but human rights issues arose.  The Obama administration continued the plan but with additional work on governance, education, and development.

Her first visit to Colombia as secretary of state happened to coincide with a visit Bill Clinton was making there.  It was the first time they were together on foreign soil since she had assumed her post.  They actually managed a dinner date and a peaceful evening walk through Bogota.  She remarks on the contrast with the violence of the past.

Bill and Hillary Clinton: The Tryst

In her meeting with President Uribe the following day he also comments upon the dramatic security progress in the capital.

Secretary Clinton’s Joint Press Availability with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe

This morning, I was saying to some members of the media that were here (inaudible) that the best PR for confidence in Colombia is that last night, the Madam Secretary of State of the United States and the president, Bill Clinton, were in a restaurant in Bogota with complete peace of mind enjoying this beautiful city and its good restaurants. Some years ago, because of terrorism, this would have been unthinkable. Your visit, the fact that you spent the night in Bogota, the frequent visits by President Clinton, those are a great show of confidence in Colombia and the fact that one can have confidence in Colombia.

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Uribe was near the end of his term at this point.  His successor, Juan Manuel Santos continued the progress and improvement continues, she states.

Hillary attended the presidential inauguration in El Salvador in June 2009 that dovetailed with the Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial Summit.

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EL SALVADOR-US-CLINTON

Hillary Clinton at the Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial in El Salvador

Hillary Clinton Op-Ed: New Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas

A model  she suggests for conquering poverty in Latin America is Brazil’s conditional cash tranfer programs.  Dating back to the 1990s under President Cardoso and expanded by President Lula da Silva, it transfers cash to parents as a reward for keeping children in school and under proper pediatric supervision.  Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff was inaugurated on January 1, 2011, and Hillary was happy to be there there.

Secretary Clinton at the Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff

She encountered Chavez there again.

She departed El Salvador for Honduras where she attended CARICOM and the OAS Summit.

Hillary Clinton at CARICOM Breakfast

There was suspense and high drama at the June 2009 OAS summit.  Several members intended to put forth a resolution to readmit Cuba.  The proponents were the predictable suspects, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, and Mel Zelaya of Honduras was also leaning that way.  More moderate countries like Chile and Brazil were considering approval.  Cuba was not represented at the summit and had expressed no interest.  The concern was that if a vote was called a simple 2/3 majority could and might approve since Cuba was originally excluded based on outdated Cold War standards.

The U.S. strategy involved updating the standards to focus on democracy and human rights and to require that the petition be presented by the Cuban government rather than by proxy.  There was also a timing issue since Hillary was scheduled to fly to Cairo to attend the much-anticipated speech Obama was to deliver there.

The vote was not called before Hillary had to leave, but the U.S. compromise plan did prevail.  Castro reacted by refusing to petition for readmission.

06-02-09-S-02

Press Statement: OAS Resolution

 In December 2009 the Castro regime arrested USAID worker Alan Grossman.  Hillary says one of her biggest regrets is that she was not able to bring him home.  Before leaving office she recommended reassessing the Cuba embargo and shifting the onus to the Cuban government.

In mid-June, (she does not mention this, but I will)  Hillary slipped in the State Department parking garage and fractured her elbow.   I add this because a subsequent  press briefing refers to it.

Hillary’s Fractured Elbow

In late June 2009, just weeks after Hillary had been at OAS in San Pedro Sula, the democratically-elected president of Honduras, Mel Zelaya,  was arrested and put, in his pajamas, on a plane to Costa Rica.  His wife and daughters requested refuge at our embassy residence and Hillary ordered that they be kept safe.  The President of the National Congress Roberto Micheletti, assumed power.  U.S. aid was suspended (by law) as was OAS membership.

Hillary Clinton: Situation in Honduras

Here she spoke at length about the coup in Honduras.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

Hillary Clinton’s Press Briefing After Breaking Her Elbow

On July 7, Zelaya made his way to D.C. and visited Hillary at the State Department.  She had recruited Costa Rica’s President Óscar Arias to mediate.  Zeleya accepted mediation and from that point all that came before was wiped clean.  It was a new playing field.  Hillary stipulates that she made the announcement alone so as not to appear to Micheletti as if Zelaya was being favored.

Manuel+Zelaya+Hillary+Clinton+Meets+Ousted+UwBzTCaOSvNl3699334918_360ab1df4a1

Hillary Clinton: Remarks at the Top of the Daily Press Briefing

Zelaya remained in exile.  Arias was encountering a hard line on both sides and was in favor of restoring Zelaya to power based on principles.   Allowing the de facto government to stay would, he said,  have a domino effect across the region.

In September, Zelaya returned to the State Department.  There were no remarks or press briefings, only this photo.  Immediately afterwards he turned up at the Brazilian Embassy in San Pedro Sula.
2009_09_03_zelaya_600_1

At the end of October a unity agreement was in place.  The Honduran Congress voted not to restore Zelaya.  He went to the Dominican Republic.  November elections were held and Porfirio Lobo was elected.  Many OAS countries disagreed with this solution, but in May 2011 Honduras was readmitted.

Hillary Clinton Hails Return of Honduras to OAS

 

It was, Hillary notes, the first time in Central American history that a coup was resolved democratically.  She concludes that the trend in Latin American is toward democracy, shared opportunities, positive partnerships, and innovation.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

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Speaking of Vladimir Putin Hillary says “hard men represent hard choices” and goes on to provide her analysis of him and how who he is informs his particular choices.  She says he views geopolitics as a zero-sum game where if someone is winning someone else has to be losing.

Her recommended strategy for managing a relationship with the Russians: work with them on specific issues; rally other nations to work with us against negative behavior as needed.

She betrays a clear preference for the vision Yeltsin had for Russia and mentions this moment when he turned back the forces of an old soviet-era coup.

We know Yeltsin kept a photo of her in his office.  There was mutual admiration, clearly.  For the heck of it I also share these.   They always make me smile.

We will never see anything like that from Putin.

Calling Russia the fourth most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist, she refers to this meeting with civil leaders where she spoke of press freedom and human rights.

Hillary Clinton at a Reception for Civil Society Leaders in Moscow

 Hillary Rodham Clinton
She also gave this daring radio interview on this trip and spoke of human rights.

Hillary Clinton’s Interview with Moskvy Radio

It was during the 2008 primaries here in the U.S. that term limits forced Putin to relinquish the presidency to Dmitri Medvedev whom Hillary found surprisingly conciliatory.

The approach, therefore, that was THE reset, was three-pronged:

  1. cooperation on aligned interests,
  2. firmness where interests diverged,
  3. engagement with the people.

She attributes the use of the term reset to Joe Biden who used it first.  As she looks back at her first official meeting with Lavrov,  we get a glimpse of the value she places on the use of humor in diplomacy.  Even funnier, in the book she relates how Philippe Reines tried to get the button back to correct the label, prevailed upon the Russian ambassador to Switzerland who said he would have to ask the minister, and Philippe said that his minister was going to send him to Siberia if he didn’t get it back.  Hillary said she was tempted.

Hillary Clinton’s Reset Meeting with Russian FM Lavrov

The next month the two new presidents would meet. It was a watershed moment – a very productive meeting.  Medvedev acknowledged that the U.S. was probably right about Iran nuclear intentions and the two decided that it was time to revisit the nuclear treaty our two countries share. START had expired, and nothing had been done to revise and renew it.  Hillary and Sergei Lavrov were about to be assigned what might have been their most important mission: a New START.  They, and their respective squadrons, would prove to be a close and impressive team.

A year later,  she and Secretary Gates introduced the New START Treaty.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks On The New START Treaty

The presidential signing took place in Prague in April 2010.

Immediately afterwards Hillary went on the offensive to get the treaty ratified.  In the book, Hillary manages to reduce the battle for ratification to about a page.  In real life, it took a year for the teams to hammer out the treaty (not bad considering the massive assignment) and then it took all of this to get it ratified.

Her allies on The Hill were Vice President Joe Biden, Harry Reid, John Kerry, and Richard Lugar.  Her companion in the trenches was Robert Gates.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Announcement of the Release of the Nuclear Posture Review

Smart START – Hillary Clinton Unveils Non-Proliferation Rationale @ McConnell Center Speaker Series!

Yes, it was and is that McConnell Center (a very smart move). She also published an international op-ed.

Our Giant Step Towards a World Free from Nuclear Danger

Video: Secretary Clinton on the New START Treaty

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the New Start Treaty at the Senate Armed Services Committee

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Members of the U.S. Delegation to the New START Negotiations and Nuclear Posture Review Department Staff

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the New START Ratification

Always keep smiling, even when the struggle is hard!

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approval of the New START Treaty

When possible, wear pink.  It weakens resistance.

The New START Treaty: It’s Time for the Senate to Vote

But, as Hillary remarks, after the 2010 mid-term elections it appeared that ratification was going to be a tough battle.  Many Tea Party candidates had been elected to Congress and some seats had been lost in the Senate.   There was pressure from the far right that threatened to get in the way.

This is just me, not Hillary, but her analysis of Putin and what drives him could also apply to some Tea Party folks who believe in a zero-sum game and think our glory days lie in a past century.  One way Putin is more advanced than they is that he is less insular.  He intends to organize with his Pacific neighbors.

I do not believe New START would have been on the agenda, however, if he and not Medvedev were president.

Video: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Richard Lugar on The New START Treaty

Powerhouse Pow-Wow: How to Jumpstart New START

Finally, right before Christmas, as if a gift, ratification!  It was a present – from Hillary and Sergei Lavrov to the world.  Thank you both and your industrious teams!

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Senate Ratification of New START

Hillary Clinton’s New START: A Happy Beginning

The instruments of ratification were exchanged in February 2011.  Hillary was so happy that they finally had gotten this done that she remarked that she was having trouble signing her own name – a problem we have not seen on the book promotion trail.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the New START Treaty

If anyone tries to tell you she accomplished nothing or that the reset did not work,  show them this page.  She worked very hard to get this treaty and to get it ratified.  We are lucky.  This protects us all.

But as 2011 began with this extraordinary bi-national victory,  the tone shifted with the year drawing to a close.  As Hillary recounts, Russian parliamentary elections in December were marred by fraud reports,  and Putin announced his intention to run for the presidency again.

Hillary expressed concern about these reports, and when folks in Russia hit the streets to demonstrate their disapproval, Putin blamed her for the unrest.

At this OSCE conference Hillary quotes herself.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the OSCE

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.

Although she argued to Putin that it was unlikely that people woke up and went into the streets because they thought she wanted them to, she does not completely reject the idea that she might have inspired some courage to protest.

As Putin retrieved the presidency and rejected an invitation to the G-8  at Camp David, she warned President Obama that Putin’s “regional integration” was code for rebuilding the empire of the past.

The reset, she tells us was what you think it was.  It delivered or disappointed according to your expectations.  A Rorschach test of sorts.  It was meant, she states, as a recognition, not as a reward.

To illustrate the complexities of the reset she provides the example of supply routes to Afghanistan.  As we saw in the Pakistan chapter, one of these was over land.  But we also leased former Soviet air bases in both Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan for air transport.

Given the world-view Hillary assigns to Putin, it is not hard to see why he might perceive our presence on former Soviet military bases as a threat.  That, indeed, is what he warned the Kyrgys and Uzbeks of – a permanent U.S. presence on these bases (that we were leasing).

A long, but necessary land route for supplies crosses Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan by rail. The complex came to be known as the Northern Distribution Network and was crucial to the Afghanistan surge.  Medvedev signed off on our use of Russian rails for this purpose in 2009 (for a price).  The movement of lethal cargo across former Soviet land provided an opportunity for Russia to exert some muscle.

When Hillary visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, and Uzbekistan in 2010, she was asked where they stood in the reset.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

QUESTION: Where does Kyrgyzstan come in in your reset with Russia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Russia and the United States, we think, have to work hard to overcome a legacy of mistrust, and try to chart a new course. So when the Obama Administration came in, President Obama and I said we’re going to try to reset relations with Russia. That doesn’t mean we will always agree, because we will not. But it does mean, where we can agree, we should. And we should try to make the world safer and more secure, fewer conflicts, fewer problems.

… But what’s important for us, for the United States, is that Kyrgyzstan be left alone to make its own decisions about what is best for Kyrgyzstan, and that no country interfere with or undermine the legitimate aspirations of the people of Kyrgyzstan to have a democracy that will fulfill the aspirations of you, and no one else. That is our hope.

QUESTION: And is there any rivalry going on between Russia and the U.S., I mean, in the region, particularly in Kyrgyzstan?

SECRETARY CLINTON:… I think it’s important for you to have relations with many, but not be dependent on any. Try to balance off all the different relations you have, and get the best help you can from other countries that wish to participate with you.

The entire transcript is here.

Secretary Clinton’s Townterview in Kyrgyzstan

 

Strategy to counter Putin’s neo-colonial agenda included helping Europe,  eastern Europe in particular, secure alternative sources of fuel and energy and reduce dependence on Gazprom since  Russia could shut down those supply lines at will.

With Cathy Ashton she initiated the U.S. – E.U. Energy Council.  Although, as she says, these efforts did not make headlines here at home, they forced Gazprom to compete and influenced Ukraine’s desire for closer ties to Europe (and freedom from Gazprom) which, in turn, relaxed Putin’s grip on the former Soviet state and emboldened Ukrainians to stand firm in their intent to join with Europe.

Joint Statement Following the U.S.- EU Energy Council Ministerial, Lisbon

 

As she brings this Russian chapter to a close she shares some personal insights and moments with Putin, including the invitation for Bill Clinton to tag polar bears with him.

Another involves her attendance at APEC in Vladivostok in September 2012.

Hillary Clinton at APEC in Vladivostok

She mentions that President Obama could not attend because of his campaign schedule here at home.  Both Putin and Lavrov resented  1) that President Obama was not there and 2) remarks she had made about Russia’s support for Bashar Al-Assad and therefore resisted a meeting with her. Protocol dictated that the former APEC host (U.S.) be seated beside the current host at the ceremonial dinner.  As the president’s representative, the U.S. CEO was Hillary and she was seated beside Putin at the dinner.  Not only did they socialize and talk issues and strategy, but Putin shared a story about his parents that no one had ever heard.

She does not mention, so I shall, that at this APEC Summit she signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Antarctic and a Joint Statement on Strengthening U.S.-Russian Inter-Regional Cooperation with Sergei Lavrov.   So the reset continued to succeed.

Hillary Clinton At Signing Ceremony With Russian FM Lavrov

Prior to leaving the department she sent President Obama an analysis of relations with Putin’s Russia and some recommendations that some thought extreme at the time.  More recent events have shown her assessment to be on target.

As was the case with some previous chapters, the final paragraphs seem directed to Putin and the Russian people more than to us.   It is excellent advice and they all should attend to it.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

_____________________________________________________________

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She does not mention this, so I shall even though it is off-topic.  The APEC  summit in Vladivostok came at the end of this trip for which she cut short an already brief vacation.

Just Confirmed: Hillary Clinton to Visit Cook Islands, Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia

August 28, 2012 by still4hill

She had been away and working non-stop for eleven days.  There are no “weekends” for a traveling secretary of state.  It was eleven solid days packed with work.  She had  been in six countries. She was in Vladivostok through the September 9, flew home and was at the State Department for a 9:15 meeting on September 10.

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for September 10, 2012

Take note of the date.  She came home to more than a dozen embassies and consulates under siege and was at her office late the next evening as tragic events unfolded.

To those who question where she was and what she was doing, I can answer that she was working as she had been for two solid weeks with no break.  I would also ask them when the last time was that they worked through two weeks straight for the long hours that she worked without a day off.  To imply or assert that Hillary Clinton ever shirked any aspect of her duty as secretary of state, especially with our embassies and consulates in danger, is a reprehensible assault on a dedicated public servant – particularly when the agenda is purely political.

As I said, it is off-topic, parenthetical, and it is just me.
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