Today, with Mme. Secretary traveling and not making public appearances, I thought I would take a moment to revisit a statement she released two days ago on the assassination of Hamid Karzai’s brother. What stands out about this statement is her tone. There were many stories out here in cyberland about Ahmed Wali Karzai, his “connections,” the nature of his dealings, implications that would probably amount to RICO predicates here in the U.S.
Our Secretary of State is the one who reminds us here that the act that took him down resides within the confines of what we deem terrorism, and she condemns it, reminding us that this is not an episode of The Sopranos. These are people’s lives
Press Statement on the Assassination of Ahmed Wali KarzaiHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateWashington, DCJuly 12, 2011
I called President Karzai today to extend my deepest condolences to him and to his family on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai. The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms. For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism. We join President Karzai in his prayer for peace and stability in Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace.
Corollary to this statement, and tragically, Foreign Policy led this morning with the story of an additional terror attack at the funeral. Kandahar’s chief cleric and three others were killed by a suicide bomber at the Red Mosque in Kandahar city. Suicide bomber attacks Karzai memorial service.
No matter what you think of President Karzai, this is a family tragedy, and the Secretary hit exactly the right note in her message. No matter where you stand on our military presence in Afghanistan, here is something to bear in mind.
A military draw-down will not terminate our presence there. The model for this is Iraq. We will remain in Afghanistan, but the operations will be transferred from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom. The basis for this is what Secretary Clinton has called “smart power,” resting on the tripod of Defense, Diplomacy, and Development. These triple Ds are the Clinton Doctrine, and we see it working successfully in sharp contrast to “Obama Doctrine” of “leading from behind”.
Secretary Clinton has forged a doctrine for the 21st century that ensures a leadership position for the U.S. by working cooperatively with many allies and, as her QDDR (Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review) has successfully organized, by allocating tasks appropriately among agencies within our own government.
If Hillary Clinton does nothing further in the public domain for the rest of her life, she will have set this country on a viable leadership course for this century. She has transformed the State Department and placed it and the U.S. in a proactive rather than reactive position for the future as global issues arise. She has worked hard to accomplish this and leads wisely. That wisdom is apparent in her brief, powerful message on the death of Mr. Karzai. It is a strong, compassionate statement from a strong, compassionate leader.
Thank you, Mme. Secretary for your brilliant, diligent, courageous service. God love you and keep you safe. You are a leader for our time, and you cast a giant shadow long into the future.