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The channel is not available from my provider, and the video cannot be viewed outside the UK, so if you are there, lucky you!  For the record, though, Hillary was interviewed for a BBC documentary that aired on BBC2 last night.  Here is the link to the video,  for those who can access it.  followed by a review.

Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women, TV review: Women’s rights isn’t about the battle of the sexes – it’s the inequality, stupid

The documentary was a story of what’s happened to women in the world since Clinton gave a landmark speech at the UN’s Fourth World Congress on Women

Before BBC2 turned to the possible next US President in Hillary Clinton: the Power of Women, it launched a new documentary series The Ladykillers: Pest Detectives. The latter’s premise was based on the fact that a mere six per cent of pest-control professionals in the UK are women. It’s a classic bit of man-bites-dog TV commissioning. Look at the women! Killing the rats! Fancy that!

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Thanks to Jen for finding the Youtube!

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Shortly after her well-publicized NPR interview yesterday, Hillary did an interview with the BBC.  She established her position on the upcoming Scottish independence referendum and  British membership in the European Union.

Hillary Clinton speaks out against Scottish independence

Former secretary of state says she would “hate” to see Scotland separate from the rest of United Kingdom

Hillary Clinton claims she left the White House

Hillary Clinton’s intervention in the Scottish independence debate comes a week after Barack Obama said he wanted Britain to stay “united”. Photo: Roger Wong/ INF

Hillary Clinton has said she would “hate” to see Britain “lose” Scotland, adding her voice to President Barack Obama‘s in opposition to Scottish independence.

The former secretary of state, who is widely assumed to be preparing for president in 2016, said she hopes Scottish independence “doesn’t happen”.

“I would hate to have you lose Scotland,” Mrs Clinton said in an interview with BBC Newsnight. “I hope it doesn’t happen but I don’t have a vote in Scotland.”

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Bloomberg News

Hillary Clinton Joins Obama to Rowling in Warning Scots on Vote

June 13, 2014

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entered the debate over Scottish independence, becoming the latest high-profile figure to warn against the breakup of the U.K.

“I would hate to have you lose Scotland,” Clinton told BBC Television yesterday. “I hope that it doesn’t happen.”

As Scots prepare to vote in a referendum on independence on Sept. 18 that could result in splitting from Britain after more than 300 years, Clinton’s remarks echo those made by President Barack Obama, who last week advocated that the U.K. remains “united.”

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06-12-14-BBC-01

Hillary Clinton: Full Newsnight interview

12 June 2014

The US should withhold military support for Iraq until certain preconditions are met, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight, Mrs Clinton said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki first had to show he was “inclusive” – seemingly conflicting with President Obama’s statement that the US was looking at “all options” in Iraq.

Mrs Clinton also discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the Scottish independence referendum, and whether or not she will make a second run for the US presidency in 2016.

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On this blog, over four years of the Hillary Clinton State Department, we have seen many interviews that Hillary granted to Kim Ghattas of the BBC.  A regular on the State Department “Big Blue Bird”  as well as in the press room, Kim has traveled to the far-flung corners of the earth with Hillary and now is releasing the log she has kept of her travels with the the most traveled  U.S. Secretary of State.  Ghattas has provided some of the most penetrating and balanced coverage of Mme. Secretary, and we can expect this seminal work to be among the most comprehensive accounts of Hillary’s work at State.

Hillary Clinton’s story released

11.02.13 | Charlotte Williams

A biography of Hillary Clinton’s time as US secretary of state will be released on 5th March by Henry Holt imprint Times Books, with Melia Publishing distributing the title in the UK.

The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power is written by BBC correspondent Kim Ghattas, who had access to Clinton and her entourage over the four years from November 2008, when Clinton agreed to be President Obama’s secretary of state, to her last day in the post on the 1st of this month.

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Mme. Secretary did a slew of interviews along with bilaterals and a working lunch in Rabat, Morocco today.

Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Sofitel Hotel
Rabat, Morocco
February 26, 2012

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for speaking to the BBC. Just over a year ago, I asked you a question about Libya, and I know that Libya and Syria are very different, but in essence the question kind of remains the same. With no sign of rapid tangible action to stop the violence in Syria, if we wake up tomorrow and President Assad has leveled Homs to the ground, history will not judge the Obama Administration very kindly.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I just disagree with that premise, Kim. I think that if you look at what’s happening in Syria, and it’s very different from Libya – and you’re right, a year ago we were cautiously assessing what was possible, and what became possible, because the opposition controlled territory, had a united national presence that was quite prepared to not only engage diplomatically but organize against the Qadhafi regime is not present yet in Syria. And certainly that is a condition precedent for anyone who is trying to figure out how to help these defenseless people against this absolutely relentless assault.

I wish that people inside Syria were responding as people inside Libya responded. They are not, at this point, perhaps because of the firepower and the absolute intent that we’ve seen by the Assad regime to kill whomever. But the fact is we are moving to do everything possible with the international community.

QUESTION: But if the people inside Syria can’t get organized, and the rebels don’t have the territory to organize properly, what is the responsibility of the international community to make sure that we don’t end up with a large-scale massacre?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, we still have a very strong opposition to foreign intervention from inside Syria, from outside Syria. We don’t have the United States Security Council approval, legitimacy, credibility that comes with the international community making a decision. We have a very dangerous set of actors in the region, al-Qaida, Hamas, and those who are on our terrorist list, to be sure, supporting – claiming to support the opposition. You have many Syrians more worried about what could come next. So I don’t want to say that nothing can be done, because I don’t believe that and I feel like we are moving to the best of everyone’s ability who is concerned as we are about this.

But I want to make clear that for anyone watching this horrible massacre that is going on to ask yourself: Okay. What do you do? If you bring in automatic weapons, which you can maybe smuggle across the border, okay, what do they do against tanks and heavy artillery? So there’s such a much more complex set of factors. But I want to assure you part of the reason for the Tunis meeting was to see whose side who was on.

QUESTION: At the Tunis meeting, the Saudi foreign minister said it was an excellent idea to arm the rebels. Others are perhaps already doing that. Are you discouraging them or encouraging them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are doing neither. We are only speaking on behalf of the United States.

QUESTION: But aren’t you worried that arms flowing into in the country will feed into the conflict?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but that contradicts the point you were making earlier, and understandably, because it’s a very difficult set of considerations. I have no doubt that people are already trying, to the best of their ability, to get arms into those who are defending themselves. What I can’t understand is why the Syrian army is doing Assad’s bidding and taking these actions against defenseless people, staining their honor, undermining one of the institutional pillars of their country. I don’t understand that.

QUESTION: It’s starting to look like this is going to be a long conflict. Are you worried about that? Are you worried about years of conflict in Syria, perhaps something like a Lebanon scenario with regional pairs and different groupings and armies splintering?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am worried about it. I think that there’s every possibility of a civil war. Outside intervention would not prevent that; it would probably expedite it. So I think that as you try to play out every possible scenario, there are a lot of bad ones that we are trying to assess while keeping our eye on the need to get humanitarian aid in, to try to do everything we possibly can to support the Syrian opposition, to make it credible, to have it be both inside the country and outside the country speaking on behalf of the Syrian people, inclusive, representative. And we’re trying to help push a democratic transition. It took more than a year in Yemen, but finally there was a new president inaugurated. People kept being killed all the time.

So these are very painful situations. There’s no getting around it. I feel like everyone else watching the video, and I also have the additional information that comes from all kinds of intelligence sources, so I know how terrible things are in parts of Syria. Other parts are totally unaffected. So this is a difficult but necessary engagement for the world to stay focused on.

QUESTION: In Tunis, you called the Chinese and Russian actions despicable on Syria. Is that wise? Aren’t you cutting them out of the solution? You may need them to negotiate a possible exit for President Assad.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they’re free to negotiate anytime they want to try to bring this to an end. The best I can see is their negotiation is only to reinforce Assad’s existing tendencies and actions. And their actions are very distressing, because they could be part of the solution.

If you look at the Security Council resolution that they vetoed, there were no arms going into Syria under it, no foreign intervention of any kind, no basis for foreign military action, not even sanctions. What we were trying to do is to have the international community behind the Arab League’s leadership, which was to negotiate that kind of handover that proved successful with Yemen. And that is something that the Russians wouldn’t go for, so we, of course, would invite, welcome, encourage Russian and Chinese intervention that could lead to the end of the bloodshed.

QUESTION: But some argue that the United States and all the Friends of Syria are hiding behind Chinese and Russian obstructions. Because the reality is no one, as you said, is really ready to deal with the consequences that any sort of intervention to halt the violence would actually entail when it comes to Syria. This is a very complicated country. So in a way, the Russians and the Chinese are also making it easier for you to step back and see how this plays out.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. If they had joined us in the Security Council, I think it would have sent a really strong message to Assad that he needed to start planning his exit, and the people around him, who are already hedging their bets, would have been doing the same. Because they know they’ve got Iran actively supporting them, Russia selling them arms and diplomatically protecting them, and China not wanting anybody to interfere with anybody’s internal affairs. So that gives them a lot of comfort. Those are three consequential countries, one right on their border, one nearby, and one that has a lot of influence.

So I think that we have to take the facts as we find them. I wish I could wave my magic wand and change them, but that’s not possible. So therefore, we are waiting for the Russians to play a constructive role, as they have continued to promise us. Unfortunately, that’s not been forthcoming.

And I would not be doing my job if I were not looking at the complexity. I mean, I could come on and I could do an interview with you and I could say, “Oh, we’re all for them. Let’s go get them.” But what would that mean? Because clearly I know how complex this is, and anybody who is thinking about it and having to actually consider what could happen next understands it. So what I’m trying to do is work through this with likeminded countries that so we can get to a point where there is sufficient pressure so that the people around Assad – the business community is still supporting him, the minorities, which you know so well from Lebanon, don’t know which way to jump and are scared about what might come after, the opposition, which doesn’t have any place that can really be a base of operations. I mean, there’s just so many features of what it takes to run an effective campaign against such a brutal regime that are still not in place.

QUESTION: I’m going to squeeze in a last question about Egypt. Regardless of the outcome with the issue of American NGO workers who are detained and others as well, because there aren’t only Americans who are facing charges – regardless of the outcome, it seems to show that the current political establishment, which is a result of the popular revolution, is just as opposed to the work of civil society as the government of President Mubarak was. That’s not a great result for a popular uprising.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, I’m not sure what it shows, because there isn’t a government yet. I mean, that’s one of the problems, is that they’re still in transition. They finished elections for the parliament. They don’t have an executive that would have such authority to be able to determine what is and is not the policy of the new Egyptian Government. So we’re in a transition. And I think that’s one of the reasons why these difficulties flare up.

QUESTION: Would you trust the judicial system in Egypt?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we are working with the highest levels of the existing Egyptian authorities and we’re hoping to get this resolved.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

Interview With Wyatt Andrews of CBS

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Sofitel Hotel
Rabat, Morocco
February 26, 2012

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, good morning.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.

QUESTION: Thank you for doing this. Let’s get right to Syria, please. I know and respect that you think the Friends of Syria Conference on Friday was a success. But the shelling continues. I don’t think we have any evidence that humanitarian aid is going in as the conference demanded. So on what level exactly was the conference a success?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Wyatt, perhaps I take a longer view than some in looking at the way that, again, the Arab League has led, which has been one of the most remarkable developments in the last year that they would take positions against fellow Arab nations on behalf of the aspirations that we all hold for the Arab Spring. The fact that so many other countries were present and all speaking with one voice – this is not to be, I think, diminished in terms of its importance. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t deeply distressed by what has continued.

QUESTION: But the world is united. I take your point, but what does that do?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, except that – well —

QUESTION: What does that do?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it does several things. Sometimes, overturning brutal regimes takes time and costs lives. I wish it weren’t so. I really, really do. I wish that those around Assad would realize that it may not be tomorrow, may not be next week, but they’re done. I wish the military that serves that regime would quit staining their own honor and stand up for the rights of the Syrian people. I wish the businesspeople who are still sitting on the fence would realize that they’re going to be so tightly sanctioned that it’s going to be a big price for them to pay and so on. Because it’s not just one man; it is a regime. And we think that we’re putting a lot of pressure on that regime, and that there will be a breaking point. And we think that the regime itself is dishonoring who they are and what they stand for. They don’t represent the Syrian people anymore; they represent a family, maybe the Ba’ath Party, a small group of insiders.

And so we’re – we are pushing this day by day. But they also have very, very strong friends, if you look at Russia, China, and Iran, who are in there determined to keep Assad because he does their bidding, he buys their arms, he sells them oil. This is as clear a contrast between the values that the world now is embracing and the past.

QUESTION: But on the point of the pressure and the pressure you’re trying to apply, our correspondent in Syria yesterday was interviewing some of the people still being shelled in Homs, and there was a poignant moment in this interview where this man says, who is under the shelling, says, “Where are you, Friends of Syria?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: He specifically mentions the conflict. He says Baba Amr – that’s the suburb of Homs —

SECRETARY CLINTON: The – right.

QUESTION: — is being shelled as if you did not exist, that – meaning the Friends of Syria Conference.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: Does he have a point?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Of course he has a point, and I am deeply, deeply distressed for the people that he represents who are trapped under this artillery bombardment. But the problem for everyone is you have a ruthless regime using heavy artillery and tanks that are war weapons of the greatest impact against defenseless people. So there will be – and I’ve said this before – there will be those who are going to find ways to arm these Syrians who are under attack. But even if they are given automatic weapons against tanks, against heavy artillery, the slaughter will go on.

And what I’m at – I’m wondering is what about the people in Damascus, what about the people in Aleppo? Don’t they know that their fellow Syrian men, women, and children are being slaughtered by their government? What are they going to do about it? When are they going to start pulling the props out from under this illegitimate regime?

QUESTION: You’re sending a message to them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I am.

QUESTION: The Administration made a point this week of suggesting that if Assad does not step down, does not stop the violence, that the U.S. would consider additional measures.
Talk to me. What are the additional measures?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not going to go into that, Wyatt. I think we did signal that this kind of wanton violence is just unacceptable. There are countries that are much closer with a much greater stake in the neighborhood who are looking at what they might do. Obviously, we are talking with them to see whether they intend to take action and whether they need any kind of logistical or other support, but no decisions have been made.

QUESTION: You’re suggesting nonlethal support? Or are you suggesting that the United States may support the closet backchannel arming of the rebels that’s going on now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have made no decisions to do any of the above. We are in consultations with others who are watching this as we are watching it, and trying to determine what more can be done.

QUESTION: When I go back to the plight of the folks being shelled and who are very plaintive in their requests of the international community to be stronger, the question is: How long does the killing go on before the additional measures you’re talking about kick in?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think, Wyatt, if you take just a moment to imagine all the terrible conflicts that go on in the world, we have seen in the last 15 years millions of people killed in the Eastern Congo in the most brutal, terrible, despicable ways. It wasn’t on TV. There were no Skype-ing from the jungles that were the killing fields. And I could point to many other places where governments oppress people, where governments are turning against their own people. And you have to be very clear-eyed about what is possible and what the consequences of anything you might wish to do could be.

I am incredibly sympathetic to the calls that somebody do something. But it is also important to stop and ask what that is and who’s going to do it and how capable anybody is of doing it. And I like to get to the second, third, and fourth order questions, and those are very difficult ones.

QUESTION: The U.S. has repeatedly said that it’s reluctant to support the direct arming of the dissidents. The U.S. has been reluctant to arm the dissidents. Why?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, we really don’t know who it is that would be armed. We have met some of the people from the Syrian National Council. They’re not inside Syria. This is not Libya, where you had a base of operations in Benghazi, where you had people who were representing the entire opposition to Libya, who were on the road meeting with me rather constantly, meeting with others. You could get your arms around what it is you were being asked to do and with whom. We don’t have any clarity on that. We —

QUESTION: But what’s the – Madam Secretary, what’s the fear?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well —

QUESTION: On the ground, what is the fear —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first —

QUESTION: — of arming the rebels?

SECRETARY CLINTON: First of all, as I just said, what are we going to arm them with, and against what? You’re not going to bring tanks over the borders of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. That’s not going to happen.

So maybe at the best, you can smuggle in automatic weapons, maybe some other weapons that you could get in. To whom, where do you go? You can’t get into Homs. Where do you go? And to whom are you delivering them? We know al-Qaida. Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaida in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?

So I think, Wyatt, despite the great pleas that we hear from those people who are being ruthlessly assaulted by Assad, you don’t see uprisings across Syria the way you did in Libya. You don’t see militias forming in places where the Syrian military is not trying to get to Homs. You don’t see that, Wyatt. So if you’re a military planner or if you’re a Secretary of State and you’re trying to figure out, do you have the elements of an opposition that is actually viable, we don’t see that. We see immense human suffering that is heartbreaking and a stain on the honor of those security forces who are doing it.

QUESTION: We’re out of time, but thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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Interview With Elise Labott of CNN

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Sofitel Hotel
Rabat, Morocco
February 26, 2012

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thanks so much for joining us. We’re here in North Africa a year after the Arab Spring. It’s a new region. Most – Islamists are in power in many of these countries. And when you were speaking in Tunis yesterday, you kind of suggested that you have concerns that maybe some of these transitions are faltering and risk being hijacked by extremists.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is certainly not my concern. It should be the concern of anyone who is watching these transitions. Let’s take a step back. On the one hand, the elections have gone well. People have been empowered and enfranchised. But democracies don’t equal elections. A lot more must be done to ensure that people’s rights are protected, women’s rights are protected, there’s no discrimination of the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and all the freedoms that really go with a democracy. So as I’ve said, we’re going to listen to what these new governments say and we’re going to watch what they do.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about Egypt, these 16 Americans working for NGOs expected to go to trial today. You’re having talks with them. Where do they stand?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Elise, we are having intense talks at the highest levels of the Egyptian Government because, obviously, we’d like to see this resolved. Our relationship with Egypt is, I think, very important to both countries, and we have a lot of work to do together. We want to support the new Egyptian Government, we want to support the aspirations of the Egyptian people, and we have to resolve this matter.

QUESTION: Are you going to surrender them for trial if you can’t resolve it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to go into any of the legal issues. We’re just trying to get it resolved.

QUESTION: But this is a country – I mean, how do you feel about this? Thirty years, you’ve been supporting the Egyptians, and this is what they do to the Americans?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t want to go making this a dramatic confrontation. It’s a problem. We have problems with a lot of our friends around the world. We’re trying to resolve it.

QUESTION: Okay. On Syria, you’re really making an effort to peel away Assad’s inner circle. Are you hearing from anybody? Is anybody contacting you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have a lot of contacts, as do other countries, a lot of sources within the Syrian Government and the business community and the minority communities. And our very clear message is the same to all of them. You cannot continue to support this illegitimate regime, because it’s going to fall, so be part of an opposition that can try to have a path forward that will protect the rights of all Syrians.

QUESTION: But what about the message that the Syrian National Council is sending to those inside Syria? Do you think they’re sending the right message?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s very difficult to form an opposition when you have no place to operate out of inside the country you’re trying to change. In Libya, we had a very effective operation in Benghazi that gave us an address. We could deal with people. It represented Libyans across the country. We don’t have that in Syria. And the Syrian National Council is doing the best it can, but obviously it’s not yet a united opposition.

QUESTION: What are you – how far are you prepared to go to get this aid in? I mean, the shame tactic, it doesn’t seem to be working. And today – and Russian state paper Pravda is calling you the despicable one. I mean, how are you going to get that aid in if they won’t – if President Asssad won’t do it and the Russians won’t pressure him to do it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that that speaks for itself. I think that the Syrian people themselves need to start acting on behalf of their fellow Syrians. Where are the people inside Syria who are going to demand that men, women, and children cannot be assaulted and left to die, given no medical care, no food, no water. And look, I think that Russia has a commercial relationship, ideological relationship with Syria. It’s made its decision to stand on their side.

QUESTION: Well, are there going to be – are there consequences to the relationship with Russia if they’re not willing to at least help, use their influence to provide the aid?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I mean, I think we’ve already seen some very clear disagreements played out in public between us, but at this point, we’re doing everything we can to marshal public opinion internationally and work with neighbors in the region to try to get that humanitarian aid in.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about Afghanistan. The Embassy’s in lockdown right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: And employees not allowed to go anywhere?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No.

QUESTION: Okay. Listen, President Obama’s apology has become very controversial. I mean, obviously Newt Gingrich and others have made this apology part of the campaign, but other experts in Afghanistan are saying this apology sends the wrong message, it gives the Taliban the excuse to go against us, to help use our enemies against us. And also, a lot of these attacks that are happening against Americans, these horrible attacks, seem to be in retaliation for something the U.S. is taking responsibility for.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I find it somewhat troubling that our politics would enflame such a dangerous situation in Afghanistan. I well remember during the eight years of President Bush’s administration, when something happened that was regrettable, unintentional, as this incident was, President Bush was quick to say, look, we’re sorry about this, this is something that we obviously did not mean to do. That’s all that President Obama was doing, and it was the right thing to do, to have our President on record as saying this was not intentional, we deeply regret it. And now we are hoping that voices inside Afghanistan will join that of President Karzai and others in speaking out to try to calm the situation. It’s deeply regrettable, but now it is out of hand and it needs to stop.

QUESTION: On Iran and the IAEA report, damning evidence that Iran is continuing to build these underground sites. What do you think is going on at these sites, and are they playing for time? If you’re going to have these talks, is it really that they’re playing for time and those talks would lead to Iran further constituting their program?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we want to know what’s going on in those sites. And the fact that they are secret, heavily protected sites seems to suggest something’s going on the Iranians don’t want the IAEA or the world to know about. That can only raise suspicions even higher than they already are. We have said that we would engage with the P-5+1 to meet with the Iranians if they came to the table prepared to talk about their nuclear program.

QUESTION: Do you think talks will happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’ll – we’re moving toward them. Cathy Ashton has been empowered to negotiate on our behalf, but these latest actions by the Iranian Government, not permitting the IAEA inspectors to see what they wanted to see, are certainly troubling.

QUESTION: Your envoy for North Korea, Glyn Davies, had talks in Beijing.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: Any glimmers of progress there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think modest progress. We’ve always said that we are willing to talk. This is the first time that, under this new leader, we’ve had this opportunity, and we’ll follow through.

QUESTION: Did you learn anything – the way they’re negotiating about Kim Jong Un, is there – do you think there’ll a consistent approach from the North Koreans?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’ll see, Elise. We are – yeah, there’s a lot of experience in negotiating with previous North Korean leaders, and it’s usually a challenging process, but we have some of our best, most experienced diplomats on the front lines.

QUESTION: You said yesterday that President Obama will be reelected. It’s not – it raised a lot of eyebrows. It’s not really the Secretary of State to say anything about an election, and it seemed to be kind of a campaign statement.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, remember the context of it. I was asked whether the comments in the primary campaign, some of which have been quite inflammatory, represented America. And I represent America, and I know what happens in campaigns. I’ve been there, done that. And I know that things are said that are not going to be put into practice or policy. But I did think I needed to point that out to the audience. And probably, my enthusiasm for the President got a little out of hand. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well – no political juices flowing there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m trying to dampen them down. I’ve tried to have them taken out in a blood transfusion, but occasionally they rear their heads.

QUESTION: Does that suggest maybe going back in at some point?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. No. It just suggests that I want what’s best for my country.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you have a year left. Last year was a crazy year – (laughter) – with the Arab Spring and so much other things going on – Iran, North Korea. What, this year, do you hope you’ll accomplish? And moving towards thinking about your legacy, where do you hope to have your priorities?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ll talk about legacy when I’m done because I don’t like looking back, I like looking forward, and we have an incredibly active year ahead of us. We are looking to consolidate a lot of the work we’ve done the prior three years – in Asia, in Latin America, is Africa, you name it. So there’s just an enormous agenda ahead of us, but we’ll stay focused on what keeps America safe, what promotes America’s values and furthers our interests. And that’s our – those are our three north stars, and we’re following them.

QUESTION: Just to wrap up, I mean, what were the – what are the key things you’d like to see happen by the end of this year?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Peace, prosperity, happiness everywhere. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I think we all would. Thank you so much for joining us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Here are some beautiful pictures from her very busy day!  Thank you for your hard work, Mme. Secretary.  Have a safe trip home!

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Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Rangoon, Burma
December 2, 2011

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for talking to the BBC.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Kim.

QUESTION: As usual, we’re very delighted to be here with you in Burma. It’s very special for the BBC to be in the country.

I wanted to start by asking you about your meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. You’ve said that she is an inspiration to you. She has talked about the fact that she’s read your book. What was it like? What did it feel like when you finally came face to face?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Kim, it felt very familiar, and perhaps because I certainly have followed her over the years and have communicated with her directly and indirectly. So it was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time even though it was our first meeting. And it was also incredibly emotional and gratifying to see her free from the many years of house arrest and to see her once again leading her party and standing for elections in this new democratic process they are trying to put into place. So it was, for me, a great honor and a delight to spend time with her.

QUESTION: She sounded quite positive, cautiously so perhaps, but positive about the path towards reform that this country seems to be embarking on. Are you on the same page?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s important for those of us on the outside, whether we’re in government or in an NGO or a human rights activist, to appreciate how it looks from the inside. And certainly, her perspective is there are signs of change, that there is a rhetorical commitment to reform. I think it’s very wise of her to take advantage of that, to do everything she can to support it because, as in any transition, as this one could very well be, there are those who are pushing reform, and there are those who are dead set against it, and then there are probably the most people in the middle trying to gauge which way they should jump. So anything that can be done which legitimates the reformist tendencies should be, in her view, and I agree with this, validated and encouraged. But at the same time, you have to see continuing actions. It’s not enough just to give a speech or to do a few things. There has to be a momentum behind reform, and we’re waiting and watching for that.

QUESTION: You’re obviously coordinating quite closely with Aung San Suu Kyi in terms of America’s own engagement, reengagement with Burma. Do you run the risk that you’re basing your whole policy just on one person?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course we’re not. We are closely coordinating with her, but with many others. We’ve had high-level visits to Burma for nearly two and a half years, because when I became Secretary of State, I said we needed a Burma review, that I wasn’t satisfied with what our policy had produced, which was, frankly, not very much.

And in the course of the last two and a half years, we’ve had more than 20 high-level visits. And whether it’s our Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell or our Special Representative Derek Mitchell, they’ve met people across society – a lot of the representatives of the ethnic nationalities, a lot of civil society members, a lot of government members. So we’ve had a good sense of where people were.

So, yes, of course, it was critical that we closely coordinated with Aung San Suu Kyi, but she was not the only person we were working with. And uniformly led by her, we were encouraged to engage. And as she said publicly, she appreciated what the United States was doing, and we all hope that it can continue.

QUESTION: She said that she will run in the parliamentary by-elections that are coming in the next few months. Do you think that she runs the risks of being absorbed by the system? Is it perhaps better for her to continue leading the call for reform from the outside?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, that’s her decision, and I totally respect what she has decided. And I think from her perspective, it’s important to validate the political process. And the only way to do that is to ensure there is as much participation as possible. Her deciding to run sends a very important signal to others as well that this is worth doing. Because if all the people who have a deep, abiding commitment to democracy decided it was better to stay on the sidelines – because after all, getting involved in politics anywhere is a messy business, as I know from my own experience – then you would leave that to perhaps those whose commitment to reform and democracy are not as deep as they should be.

I think as a member – an elected member of parliament, she would have an important role to play, because she’s the one who has read deeply and thought deeply about how do you actually do this. And when I was meeting with members and leaders of the parliament, it was very clear they’re seeking advice. They wanted all kinds of ideas about how do you run an elected body. And so I think she is following through on what she believes to be her responsibility to the future.

QUESTION: Did you give her political advice about how to run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, she, I think, is more than capable of doing that on her own, but we did discuss how challenging the political process can be.

QUESTION: Now, you had other meetings here in the country up in the capital in Nay Pyi Taw. You met with the country’s civilian president, Thein Sein. He’s a former junta leader. What were your impressions of him? Because you did come here to try to gauge his intentions. Is he really serious about reforming? What were your impressions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that certainly what I heard from him and what I heard from all of the leaders that I met with in Nay Pyi Taw was a stated commitment to continue the reform process. That’s obviously a first and important step, but it can’t end there; there has to be a series of actions that create a momentum toward democracy that cannot be reversed or undermined.

And I had the impression in speaking with all of the leaders that they’re well aware of the tensions within their own government about how far to go, how fast to go. That’s not unusual. But what I was reminded of is that we have experience in Latin America and in Asia, even in Africa, where military leaders transition into civilian leaders, and then create a democratic process which is left for those who come after them. That’s the hope that I think we all share.

QUESTION: Well, when you, let’s say, looked into his eyes, did you see a real intention for reform?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t speculate on matters like that. I judge people by their actions, and there have been some promising actions, but there needs to be a lot more.

QUESTION: Because indeed, as you said, there are those who are perhaps sitting on the fence, and you’re hoping that your visit will encourage the reformers, reinforce their hands, but also encourage others to join the camp of the reformers. That is the hope. The risk, of course, is that your visit might give legitimacy to a government that is desperately seeking it, and then when you leave, who knows what might happen on the ground. Are you worried about that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I think it certainly is important for the United States to be on the side of democratic reform, and when there is such an opening, as we see here, to demonstrate what the engagement might lead to on behalf of investment in the country and the like.

I was struck by how everyone I met with from civil society representing the ethnic nationalities were all so welcoming of engagement. I mean, people who – and it’s not just whom I met, but the stories and reports I’ve received from all of my team, people who had just gotten out of prison who said, “Thank you so much for engaging.” Well, how can we have less of a willingness to try to move this forward than the people inside the country who have suffered because of the repression? So I think it certainly is the right thing to do, but we’re not making any long-term commitment. This is a first date, not a marriage, and we’ll see where it leads.

QUESTION: So where are we going next? North Korea? Cuba?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. I think that if they ever had a leader who did things like begin releasing political prisoners and – on a wide scale and set up a system for elections and the like, then we’d think about it. But right now, we’re focused on what we could see happening here.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for talking to the BBC.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Kim.

QUESTION: Thank you.

Interview With Michele Kelemen of NPR

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Rangoon, Burma
December 2, 2011

QUESTION: I want to ask you first about just being at the house, Aung San Suu Kyi’s house, where she spent so much time under house arrest. How did it feel for you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in one way, it was familiar to me because I had seen pictures of it over so many years, and friends of mine who have had a chance to visit with her have, of course, described the house. On the other hand, it was an overwhelming personal experience for me, because I’ve admired her for so long, and to see where she was unjustly imprisoned, where she had her unfortunate experience of really spending a lot of time alone, which was difficult, but also gave her the chance to think deeply about what she hoped to see for her country.

Last night at dinner, I was talking to her about my long conversation with Nelson Mandela and how he, looking back, had realized that all those very lonely days and nights in prison for him helped him really summon the strength that he – and of course, I feel the same way about her, that she sacrificed so much. And now, she has perhaps another chance to try to see the democracy that she’s believed in and struggled for and sacrificed for come to reality.

QUESTION: She’s now making this transition from democracy activist to politician, running for elections. Have you given her some advice on what politics is all about?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think she certainly understands that it’s a rough-and-tumble experience, no matter where one is. But we did talk about the difficulties of not only standing for election, but being elected and having to make compromises. And that would be true in any political process. Democracy really has to be constantly oiled by compromise, and a lot of people think that somehow is less than principled. But if you look at it from a historic perspective, people come into elective offices with many different experiences and ideologies, and you have to work together. She’s fully aware of all of that, but I think it will still be something quite new and challenging for her.

QUESTION: She’s really been guiding, in a way, this step-by-step U.S. rapprochement with Myanmar, and I wonder if you think – did she give you a sense that you guys have gone far enough or did she want you to do more, for instance, exchange ambassadors?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think she has been very helpful to us as we have designed our engagement, but continues to support the approach we’re taking, as she said publicly in her house today. And we’ve been very clear that we have to see further steps by the government in order to move again. And she has expressed her confidence in how we are proceeding. Obviously, we both want to see significant steps taken by the government, starting with the release of all political prisoners, before we are able to do any more.

But it’s also the testing of the sincerity and seriousness of the new leadership, which is important for her to know, because they are not releasing prisoners for us. They’re releasing it for their own internal decision-making, because they want to be on this path. So that’s helped her a lot about how they intend to proceed, which is on an important piece of information.

QUESTION: Now you’ve met Thein Sein, the president. She seemed to have confidence enough in him, but do you think he can deliver? I mean, he has a government that has a lot of people in that don’t like what he’s doing.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can’t speak for her. She is the one who has to make her own assessments. But we’re going to be watching. That’s – our measurement is what actually happens – not what is promised or not what is intended, but whether it’s delivered. And we discussed at some length, when I met with him at Nay Pyi Taw, what the next steps needed to be. And there are a lot of small steps that have to be taken that are of significance, but – releasing all of the prisoners, setting a date for the elections, and ensuring that they are free, fair, and credible, having a really comprehensive, well-designed effort to resolve the ethnic conflicts – those are three very big steps that we think have to be taken before we can further engage on a range of issues that we’d be willing to discuss.

QUESTION: I just have to ask you one question about Nay Pyi Taw. What were your impressions about this place? I mean, here in Rangoon, it’s a lively city, but up there, it’s just nobody there. Are you worried that they’re just too isolated from reality?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know about that. But it’s like a lot of these capital cities that get built in green space areas far from where they used to be. I’ve seen it in several countries around the world, and it always gives you a surreal impression, like is this a set; is it going to be here when I come back tomorrow? But they obviously invested a lot of money and effort in designing their government buildings. They’re looking to host a series of events of regional significance there over the next few years. So as for the business of the government, apparently it’s going to be done, but it’s not a bustling, lively city like Rangoon is, for sure.

QUESTION: So you think Aung San Suu Kyi will manage to live there or work there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think she is disciplined, determined, and they say that – nice meeting with me, (inaudible) when we get there.

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Read Full Post »

Hillary Clinton is the most energetic person I have ever seen.  While in Afghanistan, she did all of these interviews.  Jill Dougherty reported from Kabul this morning that they were setting up for these when the news about Gadhafi came through.

Here are the interviews.

Interview With Abdul Merzee of Ariana Television

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

QUESTION: For my first question, as you know, the role of the U.S. in Afghanistan is very important. The people of Afghanistan worry about their future. Would you please describe the United States military exit strategy in 2014? What is your message to the Afghan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: My first message is that the United States stands firmly on behalf of the people of Afghanistan to build a future of peace and prosperity. We have invested a great deal over the last 10 years. We intend to be part of Afghanistan’s future as well.

But we know that there has to be a transition from a military role that is the dominant relationship to a political assistance supportive role. So there will be a transition, something that the Afghan Government asked for and something which the international community agreed to. But the transition as we move from international military control to Afghan military control, and the security presence throughout Afghanistan led by Afghans themselves, will be accompanied by a commitment embodied in a strategic partnership document that will outline the enduring presence of the United States, because we want to be part of helping Afghanistan for many years to come.

QUESTION: Okay. Do you support President Karzai’s initiative to talk Pakistani state, not to militants? What is the role of the United States as an important party in the region in peace talk with Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think there are three things we have to do all at the same time. We do have to fight, because there are a lot of Taliban and their sympathizers who do not want to see a new Afghanistan. They want to turn the clock back on the people here. We have to talk because we know there is no military solution; there has to be a negotiated political solution eventually. And we have to build. We have to continue to build the institutions of democracy. We have to continue to provide services to the people of Afghanistan, education for the young, healthcare for people. So I think fight, talk, build is our motto. We need to do all three at once.

And we do have to go after the sanctuaries, whether they are in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. And to do that, we have to enlist the support of the Pakistanis, who must recognize that the extremists on their soil are a threat to them as much as they are to Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Okay, the third question. The strategy (inaudible) the United States one of many element of debates in the Afghan society. How confident you are that the Afghan state become a strategic partner that United States (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m very confident, because I think both of us want to continue our strong relationship. And we know that it will change. As we draw down our military forces, which has been part of the agreement between the United States and Afghanistan, we will transition to Afghan security but we will not be abandoning Afghanistan. We want a strategic partnership that looks at all the ways that the United States will support the people and a new future for them.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) my last very short question. Afghanistan has election on June 2014. As I said, international forces, including United States military, exits on July 2014. Now the Afghanistan people can be confident to have free and fair election?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think there will be a great commitment on the part of the international community to help Afghanistan have free and fair elections. We’ve learned a lot about how to conduct elections in conflict zones, in very difficult geographic areas.

And I want the people of Afghanistan to just take a moment to reflect on how much progress has been made. It is not easy to hold elections for the first time, especially when people are shooting at you as you try to cast your vote. I think it’s only fair to say that a lot of the progress which has been made should be recognized. And yes, much more needs to be made. We all know that. But we intend to do everything we can to ensure that the next elections and the elections after that will reflect the will of the people of Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. My pleasure.

# # #

Interview With Nick Schifrin of ABC News

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with ABC News

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for coming.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: I’ve worked in this in this region, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, for three years. I listened to your press conference today. What is it that you want Pakistan to do? Pakistan says that they cannot or will not take militarily on Haqqani Network. Are you going to propose taking them on yourself?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Nick, I think there are three things that we want Pakistan to work with us on. And as I said earlier today, we believe that we have to continue fighting, we have to start talking, and we have to keep building. And so what can they do to assist us and the Afghans in following both – all three of those approaches?

Well, first of all, when it comes to the fighting, there’s a lot they can do. There is no doubt, if there ever were, that there are sanctuaries in Pakistan that are the sites of the planning and operationalizing of attacks against Afghans, Americans, and others.

They’re also the sites of attacks against Pakistanis. Thirty thousand Pakistanis have died from terrorist attacks in the last 10 years. So this is an area that should be one of mutual cooperation. You can squeeze these sanctuaries. Maybe not everyone is susceptible of a military action, although the Pakistanis have taken action against the Pakistani Taliban in the past two and a half years, which we were very encouraged by.

You can do a lot to help us in making sure that they don’t cross the border. You can help us find them when we are looking for them. You can cut off all connections between elements of the military or the intelligence service who provide information and give advance notice – we know for a fact – to certain elements of these terrorist groups. So in the fighting category, there’s a lot they could do.

In the talking category, they can unequivocally state publicly that they want to see the Afghan Taliban and those associated with them, which would include the Haqqani Network, to begin negotiating toward a resolution with the Afghans themselves, and that they will, with us, stand behind that kind of negotiation.

And then when it comes to building, they can be part of helping to create the regional architecture that we’re looking for at the conference in Istanbul in early November and the conference at Bonn in early December, so that they’re part of the international community that promotes economic integration in the region, that understands there has to be security for there to be prosperity.

So I think there’s a lot that we’re going to be discussing when I’m there later tonight and tomorrow.

QUESTION: The Haqqani Network has killed more than a thousand U.S. and allied troops. Why is the U.S. going to negotiate with them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the sad and painful truth is you don’t make peace with your friends. You don’t sit down across the table from people who you already have some kind of an agreement with. We’ve done it in previous conflicts. This now has reached the point, in our opinion, where it’s appropriate to begin talking. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting. We do both. They certainly are doing both.

And it may be that there are some elements in these groups – the Taliban and the Haqqani – that are not reconcilable, that do not seek anything resolving this conflict that we would accept or that the Afghans should accept. But we won’t know till we try. So part of this is to keep pushing as hard as we can on the peace and reconciliation track to see what comes up, to see whether there is a willingness on the part of any of the leadership of these groups to have a serious discussion.

QUESTION: U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan have said that they have received fire from areas of Pakistan’s – right next to Pakistani military bases or small outposts. They even say that they have received fire from the outposts themselves. Is the Pakistani military an ally of the U.S. army?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ve heard those. They deeply concern me. And of course, the Pakistanis claim that they receive fire from the Afghan side of the border. Now, I am sure that that happens, that there is fire from Pakistan positions, there’s fire from Afghanistan positions. How much of it is intentional, how much of it is to send a message, how much of it is in support of the insurgents or in retaliation to what they are doing – we’re trying to sort all that out.

And I know that General Allen has made it a point to talk directly with General Kiyani in Pakistan to say, look, if this is happening, and we have reason to believe it is happening from both sides of the border, it needs to end. And so we need to get to the bottom of it. We have enough problems without having some kind of incident that may be sparked by a mistake. You have friendly fire in conflicts, you have other kinds of miscalculations.

So I think that is manageable. What is not manageable or acceptable are the safe havens. I mean, it’s one thing for a rogue group of Frontier Corps or Afghan police to be shooting back and forth across the border. It is something entirely different for there to be, in settled areas of Pakistan, the headquarters of groups that are directing actions against our troops, that are running operations against our troops, that are killing Americans and Afghans. And that’s what has to stop.

QUESTION: How can you trust the Pakistani military when they have allowed or at least known about those sanctuaries for 10 years or more?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, when I became Secretary of State, the Pakistanis were not even confronting the Pakistan Taliban. I remember very well calling them out on that, because they were ceding territory to terrorists, which I don’t ever think is a good idea. And they began to take that territory back and to confront the Pakistani Taliban.

They have some concerns about their ability to go into settled areas, which our military planners understand. But what we want is a meeting of the minds that this threat is not just a threat across their border, it’s also a threat internally to them. And if they allow it to continue and fester, it’s going to come back against them as well.

So what we are working on – and I’ll have with me General Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and General Petraeus, who of course now is Director Petraeus of the CIA, and other top officials. But we just want to get some clarity. Are they going to share cooperation with us or not? Because our actions will depend upon whether they intend to cooperate or not.

QUESTION: And do you – sorry. And do you trust them (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that goes back to actions speak louder than words. I mean, if we see actions – and we have. I have to hasten to add that we have made specific demands and requests on them regarding certain al-Qaida members and other associated terrorists. We have conducted joint counterterrorism operations.

QUESTION: But not against the Haqqani Network.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not against the Haqqani Network. And so part of this is to build on what we already do together and expand our understanding of what is necessary for us to do together.

QUESTION: One last question, because I think I’m out of time. For an American viewer right now, how long should he or she who is sitting in America right now help support the Pakistani Government, the Pakistani military, with his or her taxpayer dollars if, in fact, the Pakistani military has been supporting or at least been knowing about these safe havens in Pakistan that attack you in Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I take that question very seriously, because clearly our support – both our military support and our civilian support for any nation – depends upon whether we think it’s productive, whether we think it is in the interest of our goals and our values. And for a long time we’ve had – to put it, I think, charitably – an inconsistent relationship with Pakistan, which they remind us of every time I meet with them. They believe that we have abandoned them on several occasions when they thought their security was at risk.

So this is a complicated relationship. And therefore, I think we have to be aware of and even sensitive to how we are viewed, and they need to be aware of and sensitive to how they are viewed. Both of our publics right now are quite hostile to the other nation. Yet at the same time, I make the argument that it would be far better for us to work together, because I believe it will benefit Pakistan and the United States to do so. At the end of the day, that’s a choice that the Pakistanis have to make. And we’re going to see what choice they intend to make.

QUESTION: And if I could, just – I know I’ve got no time, but just one last question. It’s not only about militants crossing the border. Are the materials of the bombs that are killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan also coming from Pakistan? And if so, what are you going to ask them to do about it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think some of them are. I think the so-called IEDs, the improvised explosive devices, are coming in large measure from Pakistan. And I had a very long conversation about this back in July when I was in Pakistan. And I had to explain – and I really think that to some of the leadership of Pakistan, it was something that they hadn’t quite put together before – that an ingredient of fertilizer is a key chemical ingredient in explosives. And we had to learn the hard way after the Oklahoma City bombing and we had to take steps in the United States to be able to regulate and control ammonium nitrate and related chemicals. We even had to figure out how to tag it so that we could follow the trail.

That was all new to the Pakistanis. And so I think they are beginning to take action on that. We just are going to press for even more.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you.

# # #

Interview With Mujahid Kakar of Tolo TV

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy Kabul
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

QUESTION: First of all, Madam Secretary, welcome to Afghanistan.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. I’m very happy to be back here.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you’re trying to advance something, which Afghanistan is in a very critical state. On one hand, the Afghanistan (inaudible) Pakistan is in trouble. (Inaudible) also we have some difficulties. What do you think, somehow the – how much it might be make difficult problem for the United States, or how much impact it have for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, I think what I believe is that progress has been made in Afghanistan. We’re sitting here talking in a way that was unthinkable 10 years ago. There have been great advances on behalf of women and human rights, education, health care, so much else. But there’s also a very clear need to continue fighting those who would undermine this progress. At the same time though, we know that there is no military solution to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

So we have to do three things simultaneously: We have to fight, we have to talk, and we have to build. And I’m here to assess all three of those and how we can do better in each. We need to send a very clear message to the Taliban and those who support them in sanctuaries and safe havens and funding sources that we will not give an inch to them and their desire to turn the progress in Afghanistan backwards. Yet we also need to reach out and talk with those who are willing to reconcile on the three terms that have been laid out: Renounce violence, break with al-Qaida, and respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including protecting the rights of minorities and women. And we need to continue to build a new Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, the U.S. was carry out type of attacks like in (inaudible). Do you think because most people in Afghanistan think that after the attack on the U.S. Embassy, especially the statements that which was made in the United States that the Haqqani Network is close to the (inaudible), do you think the U.S. will clear out these type of attacks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think if you look at the news in the last several days, there has been a very effective joint operation by Afghan and coalition international forces to go after Haqqani operatives inside of Afghanistan. And there’s also been efforts to target those who are leaders inside the safe havens in Pakistan. This is not an either or problem. There are problems, yes, in Pakistan that contribute to the conflict in Afghanistan. But there are also problems in Afghanistan that we have to address. So we are taking a comprehensive approach and going after the problems where we see them.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, with pressure on Iran, especially after the arranged assassination plan against the Saudi ambassador in Washington, people think that Iran might retaliate or somehow fight back. Do you think Iran will choose Afghanistan to fight back against the U.S.?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think Iran is trying to cause trouble everywhere. I don’t think that Afghanistan is immune. I don’t think any place in the region is immune, and they tried to bring that state-sponsored terrorism to our shores with their planned attack on the Saudi ambassador. Iran is just in a trouble-making mood. I think that’s fair to say. So we all have to be on alert to make sure that they’re not causing trouble here or elsewhere in the world.

QUESTION: Madam, about the Strategic Partnership between Afghanistan and the United States, there were some differences, especially Afghan Government had some issues over the (inaudible). So do you think there is any progress on these issues?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think we are making progress, because the Strategic Partnership document covers a wide range of issues that are important to the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. There are some issues that are more challenging than others, and we are addressing them in a very thorough way. Our ambassador and representatives of the Afghan Government are working through all of those issues. But I’m quite confident we’re going to reach a resolution, because we want to demonstrate clearly to the people of Afghanistan, to the wider region, and the world, that the United States will not abandon Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mrs. Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you.

# # #

Interview With Whit Johnson of CBS

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with CBS News

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for granting this interview. We have some breaking news happening right now. Several reports coming out of Tripoli that Qadhafi has either been captured or killed; can you confirm any of this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Whit, I can’t confirm it. I know that this was a subject of a lot of conversation when I was in Tripoli, but I will wait to comment on it until we know whether it’s true and which is true, if either.

QUESTION: Could you at least comment on what that would mean for the NTC for something like this to happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. I think it would mean a lot to them. They were fighting so hard to get Sirte, which is Qadhafi’s hometown, and to try to end the fighting phase of their revolution and begin the building phase. And they knew that if Qadhafi remains at large, he will continue to buy mercenaries, to cause problems for them, and if they know that he is no longer a threat to them, I think that will actually ease the transition process into a new government.

QUESTION: Do you believe that the end of Qadhafi would mean the end of fighting altogether? And do you think there could be some pockets of resistance?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do, and they do too. They know that there will be. I mean, the fighters who streamed out of Sirte, the families of the fighters, there is going to be a population of people – a small one, but nevertheless one that has to be contended with – who believe they were better off because of Qadhafi.

If you were from Sirte, where he just put money everywhere he could to make his hometown feel better, you’re going to be more concerned about a non-Qadhafi regime than if you are from Bengazi, which he totally neglected and really did everything he could to break. So yes, there will be some, but I think it will be limited if Qadhafi is not active. I think a lot of people will find a reason to reconcile and move forward in a new Libya.

There’s also a concern as to how we disarm – or how the Libyans disarm everybody who has weapons, because most of the people who were doing the fighting had never even fired a gun before. They were doctors and businesspeople and dentists and lawyers and students. And so they’re now awash with weapons in Libya, and a lot of the warehouses of all the weapons that Qadhafi had stocked have either gone missing or are in hands of those who need to be disarmed.

So that’s a big concern. It’s a big concern for the United States, it’s a big concern for the Libyans.

QUESTION: I want to shift gears a little bit. We’re here in Afghanistan 10 years after the war began. Once again, you’re promoting this idea of a political solution, peace negotiations between the Afghans, the Pakistanis and the Taliban. President Karzai recently has been resistant to this idea. The Pakistanis, the Taliban seem uninterested. What is it about now, the timing right now, the developments on the ground that leads you to believe that this could actually happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think with – this is probably the first time in 10 years that it’s realistic, and I think in large measure because of the decision of President Obama made to surge forces into Afghanistan that was matched to an extent by our international partners so that the momentum of the Taliban was reversed. And they are very much at a disadvantage now in many parts of Afghanistan. Now they can still pull off the suicide mission; unfortunately that’s all too common in many places in the world today. But they don’t control territory the way they once did. The Afghan security forces have much improved.

So it seems to us that now is the time to say, “Okay, we can keep fighting you and we intend to, because if you’re going to fight us, we’re not going to give you an inch, but we’re ready to talk if you’re ready to talk.” And you’re right that President Karzai was deeply distressed by the murder of Professor Rabbani, but I think he too believes that there is no military solution. We can keep fighting, we can keep killing them, they can kill a few Afghans and unfortunately Americans and others, but if we’re really going to try to resolve this, then we should at least explore whether talking is possible, and that’s what we intend to do.

QUESTION: How do you get the Pakistanis on board, though? They’ve said that they’re not interested. They deny their connections to some of these militant groups and their safe havens in Pakistan. How do you bring them into the fold after 10 years and convince them, especially with some of the mixed messages that have been coming from Washington, that now is the time?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what we’re going to be discussing tonight. I think it is in their interests to make it clear that they want to see a peace process. I don’t know that they would ever say that they have any control over or even any knowledge of the activities of these Taliban groups and the Haqqani Network. But if they publicly say it’s time for there to be a peace process, that sends a really powerful message to the Pakistani establishment and to the Taliban that there is a change coming, that there needs to be a concerted effort to explore this.

QUESTION: Do you think you can get them to publicly say that on this trip?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know. I don’t – well, probably not on this trip, because they wouldn’t want to look like they were, but I think that this has got to be something they consider, because what are their alternatives? There is going to be an Afghan security force, there’s going to be an enduring American presence, there’s going to be an enduring NATO presence. Even as we draw down our combat troops, there will still be troops in Afghanistan to support Afghan security.

I mean, what is their alternative? Do they want to keep this up or would they like to turn their attention to developing their own countries, to dealing with their economic problems which are so immense? So, I mean, this is a turning point for them to make some serious choices.

QUESTION: I want to talk more about those safe havens. President Obama ordered U.S. troops on the ground in Pakistan kill Usama bin Ladin because he killed thousands of Americans. We know that these safe havens are producing fighters who are killing Americans as well. I mean, how far is the U.S. willing to go in crushing those safe havens? And could that include someday putting American troops on the ground in Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Whit, let me put it this way. The Pakistanis were very helpful to us in our pursuit of al-Qaida in Pakistan. They too had sought safe haven in Pakistan. And our goal, our primary goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan was to dismantle and defeat al-Qaida. And we could not have done it without the support of the Pakistanis. Until recently, these other groups – in particular, the Haqqani Network – were not targeting Americans. We were certainly in the line of fire because we were fighting alongside the Afghans and we were taking the fight to the Afghan Taliban.

But something has changed. The Haqqani Network is now targeting Americans. They attacked this embassy that we’re sitting in today. That changes our calculation. And the Pakistanis need to understand that – that what was acceptable before may no longer be acceptable. Now how we work together, how we create new modes of cooperation, that’s what we have to discuss, and we will, starting tonight.

QUESTION: I have to get your response on Admiral Mullen’s statements that the Haqqani Network is a veritable arm of the Pakistanis’ – Pakistan’s intelligence agency. Is that something that you agree with or disagree with? There have been some mixed messages, so to speak. Some people in the Administration have kind of walked that back. We, CBS News, interviewed Leon Panetta recently and he said that he stands behind Admiral Mullen. What’s your message when you go to Pakistan tomorrow?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think what we do know is that there are elements within the Pakistani military and the ISI who support the militants. We have known that for a long time. My first trip to Pakistan, I said publicly that I found it hard to believe that there were not people in the Pakistani Government who did not know where Usama bin Ladin was.

And I think the same goes for the Haqqani Network; they know where they are, they know their address, they know their activities. Now whether that is a leadership decision, a policy decision or down the ranks, we cannot with any certainty say that, which is why sometimes you hear people say, “Well, we’re not so sure,” because the exact facts we cannot verify.

But the point that Admiral Mullen was making is the right point, that there are connections between the military and ISI and the Haqqani Network. Those connections may not have been as much of a concern in the past because they were, frankly, not as focused on Americans in the past. They are now.

QUESTION: So to a degree, you agree with those statements?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, but again, I want to be careful in saying that we try to get as much evidence as possible. We are comfortable saying there are connections; whether we can characterize it further, that’s not so clear. But the connections are provable.

QUESTION: How would you characterize our relationship with Pakistan after those statements?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s complicated. I mean, look, there are people in the Pakistani Government who can, with an absolute clear conscience, deny that. They do not believe it. And they do not think we are being fair to them when we say it. There are others who know something, but for a combination of reasons are not about to share that with us. And there are others who are complicitous.

So it runs the gamut, and probably the best way of describing it is that the Pakistanis look at us and they say, “Come on. Give me a break. You’re the one who introduced the idea of organized Jihadi groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan when you used them to defeat the Soviet Union. You came to us, you said, ‘Use these groups, we will help fund you, we will help train them’ and we did. And then you left us when the Soviet Union fell and we had to cope with it. And we’re not as strong a nation as the United States is, and so did we hedge? Yeah, we hedged. Did we make some alliances for our own benefit? Yeah, we did. Okay, so now you’re here saying, ‘Forget the past. Help us defeat these guys.’”

So it’s not a totally one-sided story, and I always like to remind our American colleagues of that. The Pakistanis have an argument that they make as well. So my hope is we can say, “Look, each of us bear responsibility for where we are today. But now let’s figure out and be smart enough to chart a new way forward.”

QUESTION: Okay. They cut me off. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Nice to talk to you. Good luck to you.

QUESTION: Nice to talk to you. Thank you very much.

###

Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with CNN News.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for talking with CNN. You’ve seen these reports coming out of Libya about Qadhafi. He could be captured. What do you know about that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We cannot confirm it yet, Jill. We have seen the reports, and we want to wait until there is evidence, because we’ve had reports in the past. But certainly, the concerted effort that the Libyans made to liberate Sirte, which was Qadhafi’s hometown, seems to have gone very well, and we’ll wait and see whether it included the capture or killing of Qadhafi.

QUESTION: If it is true, what would it mean?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jill, I think it would add a lot of legitimacy and validation and relief to the formation of the new government. The TNC made it very clear when I was in Tripoli that they wanted to wait until Sirte fell before they declared Libya liberated and then started forming a new government.

But they knew that if Qadhafi were – or still is – at large, they would have continuing security problems that were deeply concerning to them, which they shared with me, because they had every reason to believe that he would try to marshal support, that he would pay for mercenaries, that he would engage and affect guerrilla warfare. So if he’s removed from the scene, there may still be those who would do so, but without the organizing figure of Qadhafi, and that makes a big difference.

QUESTION: Okay. So on to Pakistan, in more ways than one. On Pakistan, your comments were extraordinarily strong. We’ve never heard you say exactly that. What is your level of frustration right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s not frustration; it’s resolve. I mean, we have a job to do. And the job consists of fighting, talking, and building. And Pakistan can either be part of the solution on all three of those tracks or part of the problem, and we want to pose the choice as clearly as we can. We also believe, and have always believed, that what we are seeking in terms of cooperation from Pakistan is very much in Pakistan’s self interest and national security.

Up until recently, the primary focus of our efforts in Pakistan were the dismantling and defeat of al-Qaida, and the Pakistanis were helpful. They were cooperative and have continued to be as we have been successful in not only removing Usama bin Ladin but others that were principal leaders of al-Qaida. So we do think we’ve severely damaged al-Qaida.

And then in recent months, we’ve seen the Haqqani Network turn from being a fighting force to one that is deliberately targeting American targets, like this embassy that we’re sitting in. We cannot tolerate that. And the safe haven in Pakistan from which they launch these attacks has nothing to do with the Taliban coming back into Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with Pakistan hedging against India or whatever the explanation is. It has to do with this group that has a safe haven in Pakistan targeting Americans. And that changes the calculation for us, and it should change the calculation for the Pakistanis.

QUESTION: Could the strategy be a dangerous one? Because, I mean, in essence you are saying it’s up to them, it’s up to the Pakistanis. It was very much you were pinning this on the Pakistanis. And if they don’t cooperate, if they don’t do more, does that mean that the Afghan strategy goes down the tubes?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, not at all. I think we’ve made it very clear that we cannot tolerate safe havens on either side of the border. There has been a concerted, successful effort against Haqqani fighters carried out by American and Afghan troops over the last several days. There has been an effort to target Haqqani Network leaders. That will continue, because it is intolerable for us to stand aside and allow these attacks against anyone, but in particular, speaking as the Secretary of State of the United States, against Americans.

Now, but remember there are two other elements here. We want to start talking. We believe that the time has come. I personally attribute the timing to President Obama’s decision to put more troops on the ground and to have our allies also add more troops. We have reversed the momentum of the Taliban. So how do we take advantage of that? It is now time to see whether there is an appetite for any kind of negotiations that would lead to a reconciliation.

The Pakistanis should be publicly in favor of that. So far, they have not yet been. But we are seeking a public statement of support for Taliban reconciliation, because that will send a message to those Taliban who wish to reconcile that they can do so without fear of retaliation inside Pakistan from either their fellow Taliban or other extremist groups.

So this is like a multidimensional chess game, Jill, and there are many moving parts to it. But one piece that is non-negotiable is you cannot target Americans and expect there to be no change in our approach.

QUESTION: Do you understand President Karzai’s decision or these recent comments about talking with the Taliban? He seemed at one point to be saying, “This is it. I’m not doing it.” Today he said, “I want an address. I want to know where their – their controlled.” Do you understand what he’s saying?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I do. I mean, first of all, the assassination of Professor Rabbani was intended to be, and certainly was, a great blow to the hopes of reconciliation. He was a widely respected figure who represented all of Afghanistan. And it’s only understandable that President Karzai and other Afghans would be shocked and horrified and not wanting to talk about any kind of peace or reconciliation for some time.

Having thought about it, President Karzai, I think, has taken the right position, which is fine. I’m willing to talk, but only if there’s an address, because remember, Rabbani was killed by someone pretending to be a peace emissary from the Quetta Shura, and instead was an assassin, a suicide assassin. So I think President Karzai is being quite sensible. He’s saying we want to pursue this, but no more of this one-off kind of activity. You give us an address, give us a formal, proper process, and we will be there.

QUESTION: There was a moment in which, today, you were talking to President Karzai about Cain – (laughter) – Cain and the comments. When you are traveling around the world, how hard is it when other leaders, leaders of other countries, say, “What’s going on in your country with this election?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have to say that was the very first thing President Karzai said to me, was, “I saw this news report, and there is a man running for president who says he doesn’t care what the names of the people in this area are.” (Laughter.) And then he said, “And I saw you on TV with President Karimov,” the president of Uzbekistan, and I said, “Yeah. That was when I was there before. I’m on the way again.” But I’m not going to get involved in the Republican primary, but President Karzai has an opinion, I must tell you.

QUESTION: But it does affect foreign policy, doesn’t it? I mean, they’re asking you to explain this.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s good to be reminded in American politics from time to time that everything we do is now seen everywhere in the world, and it really matters to people how people in the public eye in America are viewing them.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with BBC News.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for talking to the BBC. We’re in Afghanistan, but you’re about to travel to Pakistan with a very high-profile delegation of American officials – the head of the CIA, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – and you are going to push Pakistan very hard; these are your words. Tell us more.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, as you know because you have followed this for quite some time, we have gotten cooperation from Pakistan on some very key counterterrorism objectives, but we cannot any longer tolerate the safe havens that are run out of Pakistan. Now, there are also safe havens on the other side of the border in Afghanistan, but of course, they are more susceptible to Afghan-U.S. coalition efforts. And we want to make it very clear to the Pakistani Government that the time has come for them to make a fundamental choice. They have taken courageous action against the Pakistani Taliban, and they’ve lost 30,000 Pakistanis to terrorism in just 10 years, which is an extraordinary sacrifice. But in our assessment, they can and must do more.

So we want to have a very open, serious conversation about what they are able to do, what they are willing to do, so that there is no misunderstanding between us because we need to simultaneously, as I said at the press conference, be fighting, talking, and building. And in each of those categories, the Pakistanis have a role to play. They can either be helpful, or indifferent, or harmful. And we’re hoping that we can convince them to be helpful in our efforts.

QUESTION: During the press conference, you said it was time for people to declare themselves. Are you going to ask the Pakistanis to clarify whether they’re with you or against you or exactly on whose side they’re on?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are going to ask them publicly to support the process of reconciliation and peace negotiations. We think it’s a very important signal to be sent from the Pakistani Government. We’re going to ask them to squeeze the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network to make it very clear to those groups that there is not going to be continuing acquiescence and maybe even assistance to them coming from Pakistan, and in doing so to send a message not only to Afghanistan but to the larger region that we need to get beyond this conflict. We need to get into a new period of cooperation where we can be engaging in more economic activity, for example. So yes, we’re going to ask them to declare themselves.

QUESTION: But why would you think that they would suddenly see the world through your eyes? They have their own calculations, they have their own long-term objectives, and even President Obama said the Pakistanis are hedging their bets.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we know they are, and they have been, and what we want to do is point out that it’s a bad bet to hedge on, that there are better bets to make, and there are better bets that will more directly benefit the government and people of Pakistan. Now, they’re a sovereign nation; they can make whatever decisions they choose. But they need to know that we are not going to tolerate these safe havens; we cannot afford to do so. We are trying to bring the international operation in Afghanistan to a resolution. I think the timetable helps focus everyone’s attention, and therefore, it is now imperative that people support a peaceful resolution, a negotiation. And those of the Taliban and other groups who are willing to negotiate should be encouraged to do so, and those who are not should be told they’re going to be captured or killed, and that that is the choice to them. So that’s what we’re looking for.

QUESTION: You indeed said in the press conference as well that you will seek the militants, wherever they are, on both sides of the border. What is the U.S. preparing to – what is the U.S. prepared to do to make that happen without a confrontation with the Pakistanis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have made it clear to the Pakistanis, as we have sought out al-Qaida operatives who directly threaten us, we see a growing threat from these other groups. Historically, that wasn’t the case. They were focused on Afghanistan, some were focused on Pakistan, but now we see as the recent attacks right here on our Embassy certainly convinced us of, that these groups pose a threat to the United States. No country can tolerate that, and we’re going to make that very clear.

QUESTION: You call the Pakistanis your allies and your friends, but you really are at war with them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No.

QUESTION: Perhaps their proxy, but you are war with them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. I think that’s an overstatement, and it is not reflective of reality. They are our partners. They have been very useful partners to us in our struggle against al-Qaida. There’s no doubt about that. That was our highest priority. Remember that our primary goal was the dismantling and eventual defeat of al-Qaida. We are on the path to do that right here in this region. So I want to make it very clear that the Pakistanis have been good partners and very helpful. They also went after the Pakistani Taliban who were connected with the Afghan Taliban, again, at great sacrifice. So yes, they’ve done a lot to protect themselves, and by extension, to assist us.

But now the environment is changing in two important ways. On the one hand, because of the troops that President Obama ordered into Afghanistan, we have reversed the momentum of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is why they’re at all interested in perhaps pursuing peace. But they’re under tremendous pressure from other elements within Pakistan itself not to do so. That needs to change. And secondly, because of the increasing threat from these groups that did not used to target American targets, we have to defend ourselves. And so that must be made very clear to the Pakistanis, and we think that calls for a new level of cooperation, which is what we’re seeking.

QUESTION: And if not, if you don’t get that cooperation, will that visit have been a last-stitch effort at engagement with the Pakistanis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’d never want to predict what is or isn’t going to happen. I think we have a lot to discuss, and we have a lot of common objectives. We just have to try to get better aligned and make common cause on getting these sanctuaries removed as a threat either to them or to us.

QUESTION: I want to move away or back to where we were when we started this trip to Libya. There are reports that Colonel Muammar Qadhafi may have been captured. I don’t know if you can confirm those.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I cannot confirm. I literally got the same reports as you were walking in. I cannot confirm them at this time.

QUESTION: Regardless of whether he has been captured or not, the Transitional National Council has expressed concern about the instability that Colonel Qadhafi could be sowing in the country. He has apparently hired or recruited fighters to lead a counterrevolution in the country, and that could lead to instability in the country, whether he gets captured or not. We all saw what happened in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. How concerned are you about this for Libya, and how – to what extent did the Libyan officials that you met with in Tripoli express that same concern?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we discussed it at length because of course it’s a concern. The Libyans know that they have to finish the job, which is why the fall of Sirte, if that is confirmed, is so important. But even with the fall of Sirte and the ability of the TNC to control much of Libya going forward, Qadhafi and his associates pose a threat. So we discussed about the need for there to continue to be vigilance and attention paid to where he is, where his sons are, where other of his associates are. So it’s too soon to tell whether this unconfirmed report might be true, but it’s important that we stay with the Libyans while they try to eliminate those direct threats to their security.

QUESTION: But do you think that he has laid the ground for instability, perhaps for an insurgency in the country regardless of what happens to him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Unclear. Unclear. I think that he would be the rallying point. Perhaps one of his sons or another associate could as well. It depends upon how much money or gold he has left, because that would be important to those whom he hired, because he clearly would have to rely primarily on mercenary force. So I don’t want to speculate because we are taking this as it goes, trying to get the information and verify it, but I certainly assured the Libyans, as I know the rest of the international coalition that worked to enforce the Security Council resolutions did, that we would remain vigilant and we would remain supportive with respect to their security.

QUESTION: Just a question on North Korea. You’ve announced that there will be face-to-face exploratory talks between American and North Korean officials in Geneva, and American officials have said that’s because it’s important to keep the door open to engagement. Why? I mean, that door has been pretty closed over the last two years. What’s changed?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, we’ve had some preliminary discussions over the last several months, and there has always been a willingness on our part to meet with the North Koreans so long as they met certain conditions. And it had to be closely coordinated with our South Korean ally, it needed to be considered as part of the Six-Party framework. So I think this next meeting demonstrates that there’s a continuing interest and a continuing commitment on both sides to continue the conversation.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Always good to see you, Kim. Thank you.

Interview With Mike Viqueira of NBC News

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with NBC News

QUESTION: Thank you for sitting down with us. First, I’m sure you’re aware there’s some breaking news. What can you tell us about the reported capture of Colonel Qadhafi?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We cannot confirm it yet. We have obviously a great interest in knowing whether it is accurate not, because it would be a real turning point for Libya if true.

QUESTION: You spoke when you were there just the other day of the militias and the need to unify them, of the fact that sort of a clock starts when and if Colonel Qadhafi is accounted for. Can you describe the importance of getting this – not this – well, him out of the way, literally?

SECRETARY CLINTON: In my conversations with the TNC leadership, they made very clear that they recognize they have a lot of work ahead of them. They have to try to unify the country, unify all the militias under a unitary command. They have to disarm a lot of people who have acquired the thousands of weapons that Qadhafi had stockpiled. And that they worried that if Qadhafi were still at large, he would be waging guerilla war against them, that he would be recruiting mercenaries, paying with the gold that they believe he had absconded with.

So if he is removed from the picture, I think there’s a big sigh of relief. The job is still daunting, but they won’t be quite as worried that they have to be constantly looking over their shoulder at him. Now, there still maybe be remnants of Qadhafi loyalists and they’ll have to contend with them, but I think removing him as the kind of organizing figure of a resistance is a very positive step if indeed it’s true.

QUESTION: I’d like to move on to Afghanistan, where we are today. Your appearance with President Karzai today – very tough on Pakistan – some of the language that you used with regard to the safe havens (inaudible) the Haqqani Network. My question is this relationship that various officials have described, from you yourself to Admiral Mullen, that the Pakistanis have, I mean, certain elements of the Pakistani military and the ISI have with the Haqqani Network, has existed for a long time. I mean, we can assume that the Pakistanis have this relationship because it’s in their self-interest. Why, with the United States having a definite timetable (inaudible) draw down beginning this year, why should the Pakistanis listen to these pleas or these demands, or however you want to phrase it, for them to cut these relations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there are a couple of reasons why this has become more urgent. As I said at the press conference, we think we have to fight, talk, and build all at the same time. And we are on a timetable, although the United States and our NATO allies have pledged an enduring commitment to Afghanistan. And the Afghan security forces are becoming much more able.

So what does that mean? It means that we have to fight effectively, and it’s very hard to do with the safe havens. Part of what has happened the last two and a half years, I would argue, is that we reversed the momentum of the Taliban. They do not have the kind of reach in the country that they did before. But the Haqqani Network has become even more active. They’ve always been on the battlefield, but they didn’t target the American Embassy before. I consider that a very important change in their emphasis and one that we cannot ignore and we cannot let the Pakistanis ignore. If their embassy had been targeted somewhere, I’m sure they would also take it personally, which I do, with the hundreds and hundreds of Americans and Afghans who work out of this Embassy.

So our point is very simple: The safe havens on both sides of the border pose a threat to both sides of the border. And the Pakistanis, whatever calculation they made in the past may no longer hold true. They may think it does, but in fact, they are allowing the extremists to gain even greater reach and lethality in their country, which is a threat to them.

So we want to go through the fighting issues with them. We want to go through the talking issues. We want to see them support Afghan peace and reconciliation publicly. And we want to talk about building, because there’s a vision, which we call the New Silk Road vision, that would have Pakistan and Afghanistan trading economically in ways that would benefit both of their people tremendously, and opening up markets all the way into Central Asia and down to the coast.

So our case to them is whatever worked in the past, we do not believe can be permitted to continue. And equally importantly, we don’t think it works for you or for us, and we cannot tolerate it.

QUESTION: The reaction of many of the Afghans – we saw pictures in the previous couple of hours since the press conference – is we’ve all been seeing congressional delegations come here and they talk very tough about the Haqqani Network, and even the Pakistanis, the ISI and that linkage that you outlined, but then they go to Pakistan and they sing a different tune. Will you be tough on the Pakistanis publicly and privately as you were today when you are there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think if you look at what I’ve said in Pakistan in the last two and a half years, that is pretty much what I’ve tried to do. I try to be as straightforward as I can. It was my first visit to Pakistan when I said I found it hard to believe that nobody in the Pakistani Government knew where Usama bin Ladin was. They were all shocked and surprised, and I was very clear that at some point al-Qaida is our primary target and we are going to seek out and find them. And if they’re here, you need to understand that. And indeed, that is what happened.

Well, similarly now that we’ve got the Haqqani Network trying to assault our Embassy, we cannot act as though that is not a direct threat to the United States. Of course, they have on the battlefield killed Americans in combat, but this is a threat to a symbol of our country in a way that I think elevates the real imperative for us to tell the Pakistanis we have to take joint action, they have to step up and move on these sanctuaries.

QUESTION: I just have – the way you construct that – they’ve attacked the Embassy and therefore we have to go against them – but they’ve existed for a long time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: They have.

QUESTION: We’re here to get bad guys who attacked us to begin with. So why now the escalation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I mean, first of all, al-Qaida was our primary target. I mean, we all said that. And when President Obama announced his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, it was focused on dismantling and defeating al-Qaida.

With the killing of Usama bin Ladin, with the killing of the top members with the exception of Zawahiri of al-Qaida, we see that we’ve made real progress on that goal. Now, you would think that the Pakistanis would say to themselves, “The Americans have really done a good job on al-Qaida and we’ve actually helped them,” which they have. So now Haqqani, who we have some contact with, even if it’s only just to figure out what they’re doing, are not only on the battlefield where they’ve been for years, but they conduct this brazen attack on the American Embassy? And we’re going to act like it’s business as usual? I don’t think so.

QUESTION: Earlier today, you had an interesting discussion with President Karzai about American politics, and I’m wondering if I could – (laughter). I wonder if I could pursue that a little bit, because there was a debate last night in the United States in Las Vegas. Every candidate, every Republican candidate on that stage, says they want to cut foreign aid. One of them, Rick Perry I believe it was, wants us to get out of the United Nations, cut foreign aid to everyone but – Israel is one of them. What’s your reaction to that kind of attitude, and are they speaking to a desire on the part of Americans?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know. It’s the heat of a campaign. There are debates going on. A lot of things are said. I’m not going to get involved in the Republican primary. I have every reason to believe and actually —

QUESTION: But does it undercut you as you travel the world and —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, no, because I think President Obama is going to be reelected and therefore we’re going to maintain what I consider to be a robust and effective foreign policy, which includes defense, diplomacy, and development.

QUESTION: We’re out of time, but I just want to – just the fact that President Karzai brought it up —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: — people are paying attention to that. People think that’s a reflection of some sentiment in the United States. Doesn’t that get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s a good reminder to all of us back home that the world is watching what we say and they do take it seriously. But I am not going to comment on the Republican primary. I’ll leave that to Republicans.

QUESTION: I knew you’d say that. (Laughter.) Thank you, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good to talk to you. Thank you.

# # #

Interview With Wendell Goler of Fox

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with FOX News

QUESTION: With respect, if I could ask you, a source has confirmed to Fox that Muammar Qadhafi has been captured, injured in Sirte. What does that mean for the Libyan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we can’t confirm yet what exactly has happened. But I think it would bring a sigh of relief to a lot of Libyans. Because they expressed to me their concern when I was in Tripoli, two days ago, that if he remained at large, even after they liberated Sirte and declared that the entire country was liberated, that he would wage a guerrilla war against them, that he would recruit mercenaries and pay out of the stocks of gold that they think he has secreted.

So if it is true, then that is one more obstacle removed from being able to get on with the business of announcing a government and trying to unify the country. They have a very steep climb ahead of them, as you know, to try to bring together Libya, build institutions, start on a new path to the future. Having him out of the picture, I think, will give them more breathing space.

QUESTION: Now (inaudible) this region, you today articulated a new formulation of your Afghan/Pakistan strategy: fight, talk, and build. President Karzai has broken off talks with the Taliban. The Pakistanis haven’t mounted the fight that you want them to wage in the tribal areas. How do you get to build?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. I think that we have to do all three simultaneously. We do have to keep fighting, and we are. We are seeking an end to the sanctuaries on both sides of the border. We have to do more on this side, and we expect to do more and see the Pakistanis step up and do more on their side.

On the talking path, President Karzai has made clear that he’s not going to respond to offers, as unfortunately was the case with the suicide bomber who killed Professor Rabbani. He’s going to want a proper process. He’s going to want, as he says, an address where the negotiations can be held and where we know who it is that’s negotiating. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. So we intend to work with him for an Afghan-led process to try to put together talks that will lead to either determining whether there are some Taliban who wish to abide by the red lines – cease violence, break off with al-Qaida, respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including the rights of minorities and women – or not. So we want to test that, and so does he.

And on the building side, there’s a lot of good work that has been and is going on here in Afghanistan. But the security problems, as they would be in any country, interfere with and undermine what could be the potential of that work being realized. So we have to continue to build while we try to fight and talk in order to increase the environment’s susceptibility to moving toward the outcome we seek.

QUESTION: Pakistan’s Army chief says Afghans should look inward to solve their problems. Is he telling you that, or is he only saying it for domestic consumption?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that he is saying it because, to some extent, Pakistan does believe that Afghanistan has to deal with its own problems and that they have problems. I mean, if you’re sitting on the Pakistani side of the border, you say, “Look, we’ve lost 30,000 people to terrorism in the last 10 years, so we know what it’s like. We’re trying to deal with the many different forces at work in our society, so don’t blame us for all your problems.”

Nobody would be fair to say that all of either problems are anybody else’s fault. There do have to be decisions made in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions to deal with the security challenges. But what we are asking the Pakistanis to do is to step up their cooperation in shutting down the safe havens. Because it’s very hard to have a successful military campaign if the people you are seeking are constantly moving back across the border or if the operations that you are defending against are being planned and executed from safe havens across the border. You saw the news today. I mean, the Turks are chasing after the PKK, who killed 24 of their soldiers, and they’re doing it by going into northern Iraq, because that’s where the safe havens are.

So we have to come to a meeting of the minds about how we are going to resolve what I see as mutual threats to both countries arising from the same kind of extremism and violence that these groups propagate.

QUESTION: Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen said the Haqqani Net is a veritable arm of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency. The Pakistanis deny that. Do you need to show them proof? Do you intend to?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we believe we do have evidence that elements within the Pakistani Government are certainly in contact with, know about, turning a blind eye to, at the very least, the Haqqani Network’s operations out of Pakistan. And this is a source of discussion, because as in any government, there are members of the Pakistani Government who, sitting here today, could pass a lie detector test that they know nothing and they do not believe it and they reject it out of hand. And then there are those who we believe are actively involved, and various levels of involvement and knowledge along the spectrum.

So we want to make it clear that the fact they are operating out of Pakistan, whether or not anybody is involved with them, is reason enough for us to be concerned, and therefore we need to join forces to end their safe haven.

QUESTION: Do you intend to show them proof of that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have shared information with them, and we will continue to do so.

QUESTION: Next week, the U.S. – on another subject – will meet with (inaudible) with North Korea. What do you want to hear from them? What do you expect to hear from them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, we have had some preliminary conversations with the North Koreans over the last several months, in conjunction with closely collaborating with our South Korean friends, to determine whether they are serious about resuming negotiations on a range of issues, and most particularly from our perspective the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

They seem to be open to continuing the discussions, so we are pursuing those. We also know that there’s an interest in returning to the Six-Party Talks, to the framework that was put in place several years ago. We would like to see the agreement that was reached through the Six-Party Talks in 2005 actually implemented, so that’s one of the issues that we’ll be discussing with them.

But I think that it’s always important for us to hold the North Koreans accountable. There are certain steps we expect them to take, but if they are willing to be open to conversation with us and with the South Koreans, that we respond.

QUESTION: Do you expect to see measurable progress in this next meeting that —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Too soon to tell. Too soon to tell. But we – it’s the kind of situation where I think we’re willing to go and listen. But we have to see steps taken to go much further.

QUESTION: Thank you.

###

 

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Secretary Clinton gave this interview a month ago in Dubai,  and the beginning of it explains the missing day on the trip home from Africa.  Everyone was aware that a volcano eruption has caused her to cut short her stay, but there was no explanation at the time for why a trip that should have taken maybe about 16 hours (given a stop for refueling) actually took about twice that amount of time or more. It seemed like it took forever for her to get home, and now we see why.

When I look around on the news feeds, I always see headers and stories that interpret what the secretary has said.  That is one thing I religiously try to avoid above the fold on these posts.  Toward the end of this interview,  she makes a remark about what people “know” about her when in fact the “knowledge” is faulty.   I believe that comes of interpreting rather than delivering her words.   It is for that reason that here on this blog I simply deliver her words. I may interpret below the fold in the comment threads, but her on top, Hillary Clinton speaks for herself.

Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
June 14, 2011

 


 

QUESTION: I know it’s a strange question, but may I ask you to start by introducing yourself to BBC listeners?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’m the 67th Secretary of State for the United States of America, serving in the Administration of President Barack Obama.

QUESTION: Okay. We’re in Dubai because we had a little problem with your plane.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: Now, what does that say – (laughter) – about American power, because it’s not the first time your plane breaks down?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it says that we prioritize. So the President’s plane, Air Force One, is absolutely impeccable. Our fighter jets are the best in the world. Others of our Air Force are first-rate. But I think there’s a long line ahead of the plane that I’m in, which I share with the Vice President and other high officials. So we’ve had our ups and downs, as you might say, with this airplane.

QUESTION: On the other hand, you actually have an airplane that you can commandeer to go wherever you want when needed.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s exactly right. So I have no complaints. And if we were to just chart the hundreds of thousands of miles that I have traveled, the mechanical problems, or in the case of volcanic ash clouds or rocks on runways, have been relatively few.

QUESTION: Does the plane feel like a home away from home, an office with wings?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It feels like an office, not a home, because it is an office. It has secure communications, it has a very able civilian and military team, we get a lot of work done on the plane, but it’s a little challenging jet lag-wise, mileage, dehydration, all of the problems that come with spending a lot of time in the air. So I am always happy to be home once we finally land.

QUESTION: How do you handle jet lag? I mean, I travel with – I’ve traveled with you quite a bit, and at the end of the trips, I’m exhausted and I take a few days off. You go back to the office the next day. How do you do it? Do you do yoga, a special diet, what’s the secret?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I sleep a lot on the plane. I know that some people think you should stay up for a certain period of time and not sleep on certain legs, but since I am perpetually tired, I figure make up for the lost hours of sleep while flying. Also, I know very simple things – drink a lot of water, deep breathing, try to get a little bit of sunshine if you can every day. But I don’t know that there’s any magic formula. Because I, too, often am tired; there’s no doubt about it. But I’m exhilarated at the same time. I love what we’re doing, I’m honored to represent our country everywhere we go, and I feel like we are making a difference. So that is enough to keep me going.

QUESTION: I want to take you back to our stop in Shannon when we were on our way here. You took me outside to talk to those two Irish guys. Tell me about them. You seemed to have a very nice conversation with them. Are they always there to welcome you when you land?

SECRETARY CLINTON: They work at the airport, so they and a few others are usually always there. They’re combination security and welcoming, and I have gotten to talk with them over the years, stopping, going from Shannon. And I love Ireland, so it was great because we were there while it was still light out, and actually, I had slept till about five minutes before we were going to take off again. So I wanted to get a little air and a little bit of sun, and they kindly accommodated me.

QUESTION: When we travel with you, we are in what is known apparently as the bubble. How would you describe the bubble?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t think of it so much as a bubble. I think of it as more of a caravan going from place to place, and sometimes the dogs bark, but we still move on. And it is for me a moveable adventure. No day is the same, in part because the places, the issues, the leaders, the people, the food are enough different still in our increasingly interconnected world that there’s always something new to see or hear about or discover. But it is true that when we’re traveling, we are focused on where we have been, are, and intend to go. So a lot of what happens back in the United States has to take second priority to what we are actually focused on. But there is no escaping the constant stream of paper, which is never ending. And I keep up with that on the road. So I don’t feel like I’m cut off in any way. I assume it would have been quite challenging, but such different times you would not maybe have noticed, 50 or 100 years ago when travel was much slower, communication was either so slow or nonexistent. So we live in this 24/7 media environment. So I’m always kept up to date, but I try to keep my attention on what we’re doing.

QUESTION: But do you ever wish you could break free of the caravan and go explore on your own? Where would you go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I do wish that, and I’ve been fortunate because I’ve traveled before this current job where I had the opportunity to explore, wander, walk anonymously, and even in –

QUESTION: Anonymously?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Anonymously in those days. (Laughter.) That was a long time ago. So I would have felt very sad if I hadn’t had that experience before I – before my husband was president, certainly before I was a first lady, a senator, or a secretary. I went to a lot of places, and that gave me a familiarity. But even on these trips in the last two and a half years or so, every once in a while I will go for a walk and just get away. I remember when we were in Wellington, New Zealand and we were on the water, and there was a great walkway. I walked for probably an hour, and it’s just so rejuvenating to me. It’s my favorite thing to do. So I don’t get enough time to do that, but I try to fit it in.

QUESTION: If I’m not mistaken, your Secret Service code when you were first lady was Evergreen, and it’s stayed. And in hindsight, it’s quite a fitting name – (laughter) – because you’ve renewed yourself, reinvented yourself so often and so well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Apparently – well, apparently so. I had no choice. I was just given the name. My husband was Eagle. My daughter was Energy. And I think those are all fitting code names. But I have been lucky. I’ve been so fortunate to have been given these opportunities in my life over the course of a long time now. And I never take it for granted. I’m never complacent about it. I’m always energized by it because I think it’s important. I think the work that we’re trying to do, especially in this time of such tumultuous change, is going to set the template for the rest of this century.

QUESTION: It is a very tumultuous time in the Arab world and in many other places, and you have to meet a lot of leaders around the world. Some of them you like; some of them perhaps you like a little bit less. What is it like to have to shake hands with an autocrat, with somebody whose values you don’t really share? It can’t be easy to smile for the cameras all the time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It isn’t, and I have had to do it quite a bit over the course of the last 20 years. But I try to remember why I’m there and why I’m doing it. The United States has relationships with every country just about. There are a few exceptions that we don’t, obviously, but we are everywhere in the world, and we have a great mission to protect our security and advance our interests and promote our values. We see that very clearly. So with some you can work on all three, and some you can work on two or one of the three, and we’re always looking for those moments. I also try to be sensitive to the historical, experiential, cultural, religious, social differences that exist that make life so intriguing on this planet we share. But there have been times when I have left a meeting or an encounter, and it’s been very difficult to smile for the cameras, as you say. But some of what you do you do because of the goal that you are trying to achieve. And you cannot get from point A to point B without working with leaders and regimes that you don’t have much in common with or, frankly, who you disagree rather significantly with.

QUESTION: When a foreign minister travels to a foreign country, they’re usually – they usually only get to meet their direct counterparts, the foreign minister of that country. When an American secretary of state travels, when you travel, you get to meet with presidents and kings. Why is that? What does it say about America?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it says a lot about America and about our great reach and the relationships that we have. I also know many of these people from my prior incarnations, so I have personal relationships with them, which I have certainly called upon in this role. So I find it very helpful to meet with, as you say, kings, presidents, and prime ministers.

QUESTION: But they also open the doors to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, they do.

QUESTION: They wouldn’t do that for the foreign minister of another country, for example.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can’t speak to that, but I know that because of my prior relationships, which are often on a long-standing personal basis, they would see me under any circumstances. They saw me when I was a senator, they saw me when I was a First Lady, so they continue to see me in my current role, and then I do think that as Secretary of State of the United States, there is a lot of business to be done, and some of that business is not only in the foreign ministry.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite story from your time – (laughter) – as a secretary of state?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, my gosh, Kim. I have too many. I’ll probably save them for my next book if I ever get around to writing it, but there have been wonderful moments, and then there have been moments of high comedy and even some quite difficult times. But the few times when I really feel like we’re making a difference are the best times because for me it’s mostly about the work when I travel. I mean, I don’t try to think too much about what else is happening, and I haven’t had too many difficult experiences. So I’m not looking back on it and rolling my eyes or anything, but I think I’ll probably wait until I can really think that through. Certainly, the last time I was in South Africa, getting to see Nelson Mandela, which for me has always been important personally, was very gratifying because he’s an international treasure. But there’s too many stories to tell.

QUESTION: And what was your biggest challenge or your worst moment? I mean, we’ve been on some very interesting trips.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, you have. I think that first trip to Asia was maybe one of the most consequential because there was a feeling in Asia that the United States had abandoned its role as a Pacific power, and that’s why I decided to go, but we did not know what would await us. And I heard a lot from the leaders there about our economic crisis, the global recession, whether the United States was going to remain a player in the region. So that very first trip for me was a real baptism by fire, so to speak.

QUESTION: You were practically mobbed by adoring fans, and you were greeted like a rock star everywhere. Two and a half years into your job, do you think people still look at you as a rock star, a celebrity, or do they see you more as part of the Obama Administration?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a great question. I actually think it’s both. I mean, I was just walking through the mall here and had some young women come up and shout at me and tell me how much they appreciated me. And I think for young women and not so young women, there is a connection. They know that I’ve spent a lot of time working on women’s issues and they care about what I’m doing and what it might mean for them. So I still encounter that a lot. And so that’s kind of my independent role. But also as someone who ran against Barack Obama, and you’ve heard me say, ran very hard and didn’t make it, but then supported him and much to my amazement was asked to be Secretary of State. That is a very powerful story around the world.

I started telling that story on that first trip to Asia, and I could see people just nodding, little light bulbs of thinking and recognition going off about, oh yeah, that did happen there, and we have politics where basically we try to kill each other. And so people do see me connected with the Obama Administration. I often encounter very positive personal responses in the town halls, the townterviews kind of programs that we do, and then an interviewer or an audience member will mention President Obama’s name and people will break into applause. So I think there’s still a very good feeling about what the President and what this Administration are trying to do.

QUESTION: Do you ever wake up in the morning think, oh, I’m too tired to go to work today?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I really don’t. I wake up and say I’m tired so I better get up and get going. But no, every day is fascinating to me because I really don’t know what’s going to happen during the day. I am very aware of how much energy this takes because, clearly, it’s a nonstop marathon. But let me knock on wood here, I have been lucky with health, stamina, and all that goes with it. So no, I won’t lie to you. I’m tired. My friends call and email saying, “Oh, my gosh, I saw you on television. You looked so tired.” (Laughter.) Which I send back saying, “Gee, thanks a lot.” But I know, because if you work around the clock like we do, that’s just inevitable. So I do try to take some time, long weekends, take some deep breathing. I do exercise, yoga, those kinds of things. But no, I’m never tired about the work. It’s just the physical challenge.

QUESTION: You have an incredible amount of people you know around the world. You must have the biggest Rolodex in town. (Laughter.) How many contacts do you have in your Blackberry that you can just call up like that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, thousands. Really, thousands. And it’s the right kind of contacts, because they are people who have some connection with me.

QUESTION: Somebody’s calling you right now. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Somebody’s calling me right now, so if somebody else will, I hope, answer it and see what they want. But that – you timed that question. Is that one of your colleagues calling and saying, “Oh, my goodness”?

I’m lucky. I know a lot of people. Now, they’re not close friends, but I have become friends with a number of the leaders with whom I do work. And I have found over this 20 years of high-wire American and international activity, people do not end up in the positions they hold by accident. There is a reason. Even in authoritarian, dictatorial systems, there is something that has set them apart. And it’s always fascinating for me to figure it out. Because from afar, you can say how did that person end up as prime minister, president, whatever? But then you work with them and you – and there’s an intelligence there, there’s a savvyness, there’s a sense of survival. It’s really, for me, not just diplomatic. It’s political, psychological.

I remember very well when – on my first trip to Africa and I went to Kenya, and it was shortly after they’d had this terrible violence after their prior election, and I delivered a really tough message. And they were taken aback by it, but I felt strongly that here was a country that had so much going for it. And we slowly saw some changes. I had very open, honest conversations with some of the leaders there. The President followed up because, of course, his deep interest in Kenya, with his father. And then two years later, we were at a democracy conference in Poland, and Kenya had been invited. They had taken some rather significant steps, including reforming their constitution. And the spokesman who came from the government started off by saying to me – I was in the audience – that you came and you really spoke very truthfully to us, and we have tried very hard to change. And that’s worth it to me. That’s worth all the travel.

I have no illusions about how hard this is to create strong democracies, to build free market economies, to stand against a culture of corruption, and all of the things that I talk about endlessly. But when I see progress being made against the odds, I say okay, this is really worth it, because we’ve been at independence for 235 years this year. We’ve had our own ups and downs and our own difficulties, including a civil war and so much else. But it’s the intention and it’s the direction. And when I see positive intentions matched with a commitment to a path that could lead in a positive direction, I just am going to stand up and say hooray, and the United States will be with you, we’ll support you, we’ll do everything we can to help you.

QUESTION: You are still very popular, both in the United States and abroad. In fact, I think you’re skyrocketing in polls. But some of your critics say that they can’t quite put their finger on what it is that you are trying to achieve as a Secretary of State. What is the issue that you are trying to get your hands on and bring to fruition? Is it Middle East peace? Is it Afghanistan? Is it Pakistan? What is – what do you want to be remembered for as Secretary of State?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t see it that way, especially at this time. I think there are so many converging challenges that are interconnected in ways that we could not have imagined 25, 50 years ago, that what we’re trying to do is restore America’s leadership in the world, because I fervently believe American leadership is essential for the promotion of human rights and dignity, freedom, economic opportunity.

And I am well aware that for the years prior to this Administration, there were a lot of questions about what we were doing. And of course, there are those who say, well, history will look back and see Iraq as a great success, and I hope that’s the case. But I think much of what we did was because we were attacked on 9/11, and I think we made fiscal and budgetary decisions that undermined America’s strength at home and abroad.

So what we’re trying to do, and what I am personally am committed to doing, is moving on a very steady path toward restoring America’s influence and leadership. That’s why going to Asia was important. That’s why continuing to pay attention to Latin America and Africa, working with regional institutions that can espouse the same values that we think are the best way to live and for societies to flourish.

Now, when I took this job, people said, well, you can either try to do that or you can pick one or two or three things. I don’t think this is a time to pick one or two or three things. And I’m well aware of – others might well choose a different perspective, but that’s how I see what I’m doing.

QUESTION: Do you think you are on the right track in terms of restoring American leadership? Some people argue that, in the Middle East, America is becoming irrelevant.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I just don’t believe that for a minute. I think that it’s nothing we can take for granted. We can’t be complacent and we certainly can’t walk away. I have fought hard within the Administration for a significant economic program for both Egypt and Tunisia, because I think that the revolution of expectations in both countries was as much economic as political, because it wasn’t only the freedom to vote or the freedom to speak, but the freedom to work and to increase your standard of living and to see your life improve.

And I think that we are still looked to, sometimes begrudgingly and critically, but there is no doubt in my mind that people still care very much what the United States says and does. And what I worry about is the contrary, that it’s not what people around the world think about our role, but at home people who rightly are concerned about our own domestic economic situation, our own federal budget deficit, who are saying enough with the foreign involvements; let’s just do nothing but stay right here and tend to our own garden. That would be, in my view, a great mistake.

So part of what I’m trying to do is speak and work on behalf of America’s influence and leadership in a way that my own country understands, so that people who are unemployed auto workers in Michigan or struggling small businesspeople in California can say, “Yeah, I really want the President, the government, to pay attention to me, but I get it. I know why we’re working to make sure Egypt and Tunisia turn out well. I know why we still put money into developing agriculture and fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, and all the other things that we are working on.”

QUESTION: And a final question, to wrap up on a lighter note. Tell us something about yourself that BBC listeners don’t know. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I sometimes think I’m the best-known unknown person. I’m always amazed when people – and sometimes interviewers but sometimes just citizens around the world – will say something to me about me that I think, well, no, I didn’t do that or I didn’t say that or I don’t like that. So I’m always amused by that. But there’s – look, I don’t think anybody in the public eye can ever be totally known. That’s a misnomer, even though people are constantly in the press and therefore, you think you know them.

But I think that I am a pretty normal, average person, despite all of the hype. And I am very interested in spending time with my friends and my family and not being on the merry-go-round all the time, which is one of the reasons why I have decided that I will move on and return to private life at the end of what will be a very intense period of activity and work in the next 18 months. But I just – I believe what I say and I work to try to see life improve, particularly for women and girls, and I love what I’m doing.

QUESTION: I think one thing that people don’t know about you is that you have a great sense of humor. (Laughter.) You (inaudible) I think.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you’ve got to have a little bit of fun doing these kinds of jobs, Kim, as you know. And thank you for all of your good work.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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I had every intention of the previous post being the last for tonight, but, alas, an article I could not ignore spilled into my news feed, and I simply could not sleep tonight without sharing this lovely piece.  Regularly, on these pages, I have posted interviews the BBC’s Kim Ghattas has done with Mme. Secretary.  I have also  shared links to feature articles about Hillary in major publications. This is a little different.

This lovely article by the aforementioned  Kim Ghattas will not, as far as I can tell, be available at your local news stand as a collector’s item any time within the coming week, but a collector’s item it is nevertheless.

Kim has traveled many thousands of miles with Hillary Clinton, and this article is a tribute to both of them in my book.  I hope you enjoy reading about our “Evergreen” as related by Kim Ghattas,  press corps member extraordinaire!

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The Secretary gave several interviews today. I am consolidating all of them here.  There is an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN as well.  It is being aired as I write.  I will post it separately when it is available.

Interview With of Andrea Mitchell of NBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Cairo, Egypt
March 16, 2011

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. I wanted to talk first about Japan. The scale of this catastrophe is so enormous, and it’s inevitably going to affect nuclear policy. It already is. Germany is shutting down plants. What does this mean for the future of the world in terms of nuclear energy, nuclear power, and increasing reliance on oil?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, that’s one of the questions that is obviously going to have to be examined. And right now we are focused on trying to deal with the immediate disaster – earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactor problems. We’re doing everything we can to support Japan, and we’re doing everything we can to assist American citizens because their health and safety is obviously our highest concern. And we’re following this very fast-moving dynamic situation literally minute by minute.

So in the immediate short term, we have a lot that we have to handle. And in the longer term, you’re right. This raises questions that everybody in the world will have to answer. But for us right now, just trying to stay very connected with our Japanese friends. We have Nuclear Regulatory Commission experts, Department of Energy experts, others who are on the ground in Japan working with their counterparts to try to mitigate the effects of this particular disaster.

QUESTION: Some people have suggested that the Japanese were reluctant to take advice, nuclear advice, initially, and waited too long.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I can’t comment on that because I’m not a nuclear expert. I know that our experts were immediately in communication with their Japanese counterparts. But the scale of this crisis was so immense and so unprecedented to have the earthquake followed by the tsunami, followed by the problems in the nuclear reactors, that our goal now is just to do everything we can to assist the Japanese to do the humanitarian work.

We have search and rescue teams on the ground from Los Angeles, from Fairfax, Virginia. Our naval assets, our brave Navy men and women, are doing a lot in the humanitarian relief delivery. So we’re just so busy trying to assist in every way possible, and so is the rest of the world. Because Japan is historically such a generous country, everyone is rushing to try to reciprocate.

And I know how hard it is to make decisions in the midst of fast-moving disastrous events. But we’re doing everything we can to help the Japanese as they struggle with these tough calls they’re making.

QUESTION: Do you have concerns about nuclear power in the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have concerns about a lot of our energy issues because clearly we’re talking here in Cairo, in the Middle East, in a region that supplies a lot of oil. We have oil dependence problems. We have nuclear power safety issues and waste disposal problems. We have the difficulties of getting a lot of the renewables like wind and solar and others up to scale. And we have a really hard challenge convincing people that energy efficiency is actually the most effective way to try to lower our energy costs and usage.

We need an energy policy. That’s something that President Obama has said repeatedly. And we need it to be yesterday, and it’s got to be comprehensive. I think what’s happening in Japan raises questions about the costs and the risks associated with nuclear power, but we have to answer those. We get 20 percent of our energy right now in the United States from nuclear power. So we’ve got to really get serious about an energy policy that is going to meet our needs in the future.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about Libya, because Qadhafi’s son says that within 48 hours it’s going to be over. The Libyan opposition asked for help, they asked for military help. You’re resisting that. You want Arab League leadership, you want a UN vote. It might be too late to save them. Do you have concerns about that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, I’ve consulted with our European and Arab partners in the last two days. I’ve also met with the leader of the Libyan opposition. We are working very hard in New York with members of the Security Council and others because we believe that we have to take steps to try to protect innocent civilians, and we cannot do it without international authority.

The Arab countries, with their statement through the Arab League last Saturday, made it very clear that they wanted to see action, so we need Arab leadership and Arab participation in whatever the UN decides to do. So we’re working as we speak to try to get international support, which is very important, because unilateral action would not be the best approach. It would have all kinds of unintended consequences. International action with Arab leadership and participation, we think, is the way to go.

QUESTION: Your husband, the former president, last week said, “We’ve got the planes. We should do it.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we do think that among the actions that have to be considered by the United Nations, the no-fly zone is one of them, but it’s not the only one. There are other actions that need to be also evaluated. And we are putting everything on the table. Our UN team is working very closely with other members of the Security Council, and we hope to be able to move forward in a way that does respond to some of the requests by the Libyan opposition.

QUESTION: What if it’s too late?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, we’re very aware of the actions of the Qadhafi regime. We deeply regret his callous disregard of human life, his absolute willingness to slaughter his own people. But we think that there is a lot that can be done if we can reach international agreement on what should be done.

QUESTION: There are more casualties in Bahrain. The Saudis intervened. The other – the UAE and others moved in, even after you had appealed for calm and expressed your deep concern. What does this say about the U.S.-Saudi relationship? Defense Secretary Gates was in Bahrain only last Friday and had no heads-up that this was going to happen.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I know. I think it’s fair to say from everything we are seeing that the situation in Bahrain is alarming. We are in touch with the highest levels of the Bahraini Government today, as we have been for the last – a period of time. And our message is consistent and strong: There is no way to resolve the concerns of the Bahraini people through the use of excessive force or security crackdowns. There have to be political negotiations that lead to a political resolution. We have urged all the parties, including the Gulf countries, to pursue a political resolution. That is what we are pushing, along with others who are concerned by what they see happening. We would remind the Bahraini Government of their obligation to protect medical facilities and to facilitate the treatment of those who might be injured in any of the demonstrations and to exercise the greatest restraint. Get to the negotiating table and resolve the differences in Bahrain peacefully, politically.

QUESTION: They’re ignoring us so far. Is there anything more that you can do?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are very concerned and have reached out to a lot of different partners. There’s a lot of the same messages coming in from across Europe and the region to the Bahraini Government. And in fact, one of our assistant secretaries for the region is actually there working on a – literally hour-by-hour basis. We do not think this is in the best interest of Bahrain. We consider Bahrain a partner. We have worked with them. We think they’re on the wrong track, and we think that the wrong track is going to really affect adversely the ability of the Bahraini Government to bring about the political reform that everyone says is needed.

QUESTION: And you went to Tahrir Square.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: An emotional experience to walk in that square. At the same time, women have been kept out of the new government, and there are some concerns that they are moving too quickly here in Egypt to create a new constitution without developing political parties and being more thoughtful about what it requires to create a democracy.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, going to Tahrir Square was exhilarating. It was a tremendous personal experience to be there and to see Egyptians with smiles on their faces saying hello, welcoming me to the new Egypt. That was an extraordinary uplifting experience.

I know and the Egyptian people know – because I’ve been talking with a broad cross-section of Egyptians – that translating the enthusiasm and the energy of Tahrir Square into the political and economic reforms necessary to establish a strong, functioning democracy, more jobs for people, a real sense of a positive future, is going to be challenging. But they’re up for that challenge. I feel very good about what the Egyptians are doing. It is an Egyptian project, an Egyptian story. They are making their own history. The United States stands ready to assist in any way that is appropriate. But this is being molded by Egyptians themselves, as is only proper. I told them that they have a 7,000 year old civilization; we’re a young country, but we’re the oldest democracy, so we stand ready to help them as they navigate into this very exciting period of their long and storied history.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Interview With Steve Inskeep of NPR

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Cairo, Egypt
March 16, 2011

QUESTION: Okay, we’ll jump right into it. Again, I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. Before I ask about Egypt, I’m obliged to ask you about one other thing – Raymond Davis. Can you explain why, in your view, it was a wise idea in the long term to pay blood money for Davis’s release?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, the United States did not pay any compensation. The families of the victims of the incident on January 27th decided to pardon Mr. Davis. And we are very grateful for their decision. And we are very grateful to the people and Government of Pakistan, who have a very strong relationship with us that we are committed to strengthening.

QUESTION: According to wire reports out of Pakistan, the law minister of the Punjab Province, which is where this took place, says the blood money was paid. Is he mistaken?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you’ll have to ask him what he means by that.

QUESTION: And a lawyer involved in the case said it was 2.34 million. There is no money that came from anywhere?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States did not pay any compensation.

QUESTION: Did someone else, to your knowledge?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You will have to ask whoever you are interested in asking about that.

QUESTION: You’re not going to talk about it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have nothing to answer to that.

QUESTION: Okay, let me move on to Egypt here and other countries as well. Having had some meetings here, has the United States, because of the events in the last couple of months, lost influence in Egypt?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that the United States has a different form of influence. We are now dealing with a developing democracy. We have a lot of practice doing that around the world. It was clear from my meetings yesterday and today that both government officials, as well as private citizens – civil activists, youth activists – want the United States to be helpful, and we are going to look for every way we possibly can.

QUESTION: Although you have a country where Hosni Mubarak was an ally, and willing, in some cases, such as policy towards Israel, to do things that were clearly against Egyptian public opinion. If a democracy is formed here, whoever runs this country will have to be responsive to public opinion.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steve, first of all, the Camp David Accords set out certain obligations on the part of Egypt. And those obligations were immediately accepted by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces after the changeover in government here. So I think those were obligations that the state of Egypt assumed. And we were very pleased to see those reaffirmed by the Supreme Council.

QUESTION: What if we get more specific? If you think about Egypt helping Israel to blockade Gaza, which Egypt has been doing, that’s something that’s very unpopular here by all accounts and not necessarily something that would be envisioned in the Camp David Accords. Could not Egypt in some ways move away from – make some distance between the U.S. and Egypt in its policy toward Israel?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that will be up to the new Egyptian Government. But I think there’s also an argument that Egypt’s got security interests in not permitting the import and export of arms and possible ingress and egress of terrorists. So it’s not only what Egypt will or won’t do with respect to Israel, it’s what Egypt will decide is in its interest to do. And that will be up to the Egyptian Government to determine.

QUESTION: Do you expect that Egypt’s interests will lead it to the same decisions that it made under Hosni Mubarak, as far as foreign policy is concerned?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I think there will be different decisions. But I think that there is such an interest in keeping the peace in the region. Egypt has got a lot on its plate. It’s going to have to politically reform, economically reform. It’s got a big agenda ahead of it. I think the last thing it wants is to see any kind of problem between itself and its neighbors.

So I think that there’s always a likelihood that no two countries will agree on everything. That we don’t expect. And we certainly look to Egypt exerting leadership in the region and beyond, and doing so as a democratic nation, which we think will be a very good example.

QUESTION: But, Madam Secretary, as some people will know, you toured Tahrir Square while here in Cairo, the scene of the protests. One week ago, in Tahrir Square, the army moved in against protestors who were occupying that square, arrested well over 100 people. A number of those people say they were tortured. I visited a man who said he was tortured and who had clearly been beaten severely. He had injuries all over his back. Did you speak, in your meetings with Egyptian officials, about the way that the new government is treating its citizens now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly raised the concerns that you just mentioned, because they were raised with me. And I was assured that they would be looked into, which I expect will be done.

One of the challenges for this new Egyptian Government is to create a police force and to have a well-trained police force that respects the human rights of its citizens. And they are very committed to that. As you know, they’ve dissolved the state security apparatus yesterday, and I had a lengthy discussion about what it will take to try to create a new security system that will be respectful. If you need an upgrade in security or if you lost your keys, contact the experts from locksmith suffolk county!

QUESTION: How are they going to do that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: They are going to start. They are very determined to do it, but it’s a big task. I mean, I think that is important that certainly the army has tried to assert a very careful control. They do have problems. As you know, there were a lot of criminals who broke out of prisons that, unfortunately, have not yet been apprehended, and there are signs of lawlessness. They’re trying to move as quickly as possible to turn over law and order to a police force. That is not something that the army has told me that they have any intention of continuing. So there are some questions and some allegations that deserve and should be investigated, and I was told they would be.

QUESTION: We have also been talking here in Cairo with correspondents coming out of Libya, where the rebel position at the moment appears to be collapsing. The view seems to be that it is likely too late for a no-fly zone (inaudible) outside can make very much difference. Is it too late?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think so. I don’t want to put a timeframe on what is likely to happen in Libya. I’m well aware that Qadhafi is moving against the rebel stronghold in Benghazi. I have received different estimates as to how long it will take him to do what he intends to do, to try to crush the rebellion.

But I think it’s important to note that there is intensive negotiation going on in New York as we speak to try to obtain authorization from the Security Council that will provide a series of potential actions, including a no-fly zone that could be taken. And I think that is the appropriate venue. There should not have been unilateral action by any country. When the Arab League made its decision on Saturday, that changed a lot of people’s assessment about what could and should be done. And part of what is being discussed in New York is how much leadership and participation can be expected from the Arab states.

QUESTION: I invited questions from our listeners before this interview. And one question came in from a man named Jim Voorhies (ph) from Nashville, Tennessee, who asked about uprisings through the Arab world such as Libya, where there is a great resistance or oppression by the government. And he asks: How long will we fail to help?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steve, that is not a question that should be only directed to the United States, with all due respect to your listener. I think that President Obama has been absolutely right in being clear in saying that Qadhafi has lost the legitimacy to govern. But as you know very well, there is a vigorous debate by people of good faith as to whether any particular action is called for or would be effective.

But there is very little debate that the Security Council, in its Resolution 1970, did not authorize any no-fly zone, any delivery of arms, or any other kind of assistance, other than humanitarian assistance. Now, we are in a different environment where enough countries have watched what was happening. The Arab League has taken its stand. And now, countries that said flat out they were opposed, they would veto, they would never support, are reconsidering.

QUESTION: Meaning that you don’t have that option? You cannot act with an international consensus, because it doesn’t exist? That’s what you’re saying?

SECRETARY CLINTON: But we are working to achieve that international consensus. But I think –

QUESTION: By the time you do, it’s going to be too late, isn’t it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, sometimes – we have – I wake up every day and I look at violence around the world. I look at women being murdered who marched on International Women’s Day in Cote d’Ivoire. I look at women and men being murdered in eastern Congo. I see a lot of violence by bad guys all over the world.

And the United States has, for decades, tried to enforce the peace, tried to stand against people who were abusing their own people to a terrible degree. But we haven’t been able to do everything that everyone would want us to do.

But one thing that we are clear about is unilateral action would have unintended consequences that we cannot undertake. If there is international decision in the Security Council, then the United States will join with the international community.

QUESTION: As a realist, watching the news from Libya, watching the news from Bahrain, where the government has fired on protestors, are you in a position of accepting that some of the Arab uprisings are simply going to fail?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. But we are in a position of supporting the popular uprisings by people themselves and doing everything we can to help nurture that democracy. We’re alarmed by the situation in Bahrain, and we have spoken very forcefully against the security crackdown, in fact, at the highest levels of the government. And with the Gulf countries, we’ve made it very clear that there cannot be a security answer to what are legitimate political questions. And the sooner that the government of Bahrain and the opposition, which has resisted negotiations as well, get back to the negotiating table, the more likely that this matter can be resolved. And there has been absolutely no doubt about where the United States has stood on this. And we have communicated that in every way possible.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Steve.

Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Cairo, Egypt
March 16, 2011

QUESTION: Thank you for speaking to the BBC, Madam Secretary. I want to ask you first about the UN resolution that is being tabled at the UN in New York by France and Britain and Lebanon. Among other things, it would try to establish a no-fly over Libya. Does the United States support the resolution as it stands now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, as we speak, the United States and other Security Council members are in intensive discussions about what should be in the resolution. We greatly appreciate the leadership shown by Lebanon, the UK, and France. And we think it’s significant that the Arab League made its statement on Saturday, so we want to be sure that there will be Arab leadership and participation in whatever comes out of the Security Council. So there’s a great deal of discussion, and I think there is a sense of urgency that was precipitated by the Arab League’s courageous stand on Saturday. And we hope that there will be a resolution of the discussions and a decision made very soon in order to enable us to protect innocent lives in Libya. We are well aware that the clock is ticking.

QUESTION: Do you want Arab participation, Arab military participation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are in the midst of discussing the details about what Arab participation and leadership would mean. But I think it’s important that, number one, we get international authorization through the Security Council. This cannot be a unilateral action by anyone in Europe or the U.S. or, frankly, anyone in the Arab League. It has to be international and authorized. And then we have to be very clear about what Arab leadership and participation will be.

QUESTION: But is there still time for a no-fly zone, or is it too late for that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there will be other things considered in addition to a no-fly zone. That will certainly be one of the actions considered, but there are other ways to assist the opposition. As you know, I met with one of the key leaders in Paris. There are other ways that we can assist, and all of those are on the table and being examined.

QUESTION: Could you tell us anything more about what those other ways are?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m going to let the resolution speak for itself when it is introduced because I do not want to intervene into these delicate negotiations. As you know, prior to the Arab League statement on Saturday, there was a great deal of opposition. There were countries which said they would veto anything. There were other countries that were adamantly opposed. That has changed. So now the discussion is of a different tenor with a level of detail that we were just not able to have before.

QUESTION: But at the same time, the British and the French seem frustrated and, frankly, a little bit upset almost with the United States. They feel that you are dragging your feet, that you’re not really warm to the idea of a no-fly zone, or perhaps that you can’t make up your mind about what it is you want to do about Libya. Is that fair? Is that what the situation —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t think that is fair. I think, based on my conversations in Paris with the G-8 ministers, which, of course, included those two countries, I think we all agree that given the Arab League statement, it was time to move to the Security Council to see what was possible. I don’t want to prejudge it because countries are still very concerned about it. And I know how anxious the British and the French and the Lebanese are, and they have taken a big step in presenting something. But we want to get something that will do what needs to be done and can be passed.

It won’t do us any good to consult, negotiate, and then have something vetoed or not have enough votes to pass it. So I think that we are where we need to be right now. And yes, I understand the frustration before the Arab League because there was a lot of ambivalence and opposition and concern about whether this would be accepted or not. But now that the Arab League has spoken and that there is active consultation with our Arab friends and partners, I think you will see a resolution coming forth.

QUESTION: You say you want a resolution that will pass and that will not be vetoed. Would a resolution that isn’t vetoed be tough enough to do the job, which is to get rid of Colonel Qadhafi?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the job is really to protect innocent Libyans. The job is to prevent the kind of massacres and slaughters that, unfortunately, everyone expects from Colonel Qadhafi and his regime. And so there are a lot of steps that can and should be taken. But I don’t want to prejudge the discussions because they are intensely going on right now.

QUESTION: But Madam Secretary, sanctions, arm embargo, no-fly zone – these are all long-term solutions, perhaps they’re not even solutions. We don’t know what the outcome is of those steps. But 13 days ago, President Obama said he wanted to see Colonel Qadhafi go. What is the United States prepared to do to make sure this actually happens quickly?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are prepared to join an international consensus that comes out of the Security Council. And we would want to see that consensus include actions that would protect the Libyan people and would assist the opposition in their legitimate aspirations.

QUESTION: Targeted strikes?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think everything is on the table. Everything is on the table. But it’s important to underscore that unilateral action is not an option; that is not anything that either can or should be supported. International action must be the route we take. And so therefore, we are hoping to see a consensus reached in the Security Council.

QUESTION: At the same time, while the talks continue in Benghazi – sorry, in – while the talks continue in New York about the resolution, in various European capitals and in Washington, Qadhafi’s forces are advancing on Benghazi. The rebels seem to be losing ground day by day, perhaps hour by hour. If Benghazi falls to Colonel Qadhafi because the U.S. was seen to take its time deliberating, history won’t judge the Obama Administration very kindly, will it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, first of all, I don’t want to engage in hypotheticals. We don’t know what will happen. And secondly, the United States under President Obama is engaged in numerous efforts around the world to ensure peace and stability. And it is important that no one sees the United States acting unilaterally. This is what we were criticized for in the not-so-distant past.

I think President Obama has been very clear. He has said there needs to be action. This man must go. He has lost legitimacy to govern. Let’s get an international consensus as to how we’re going to do that.

There’s a lot in making a decision like that. I give the Arab League an enormous amount of credit to take an action that is aimed at a member of the Arab League; that’s unprecedented. And of course, it takes time to consult and think this through. Now I hope that everybody understands that we don’t want to see countries going off and doing things unilaterally. What we want to see is exactly what is happening – a very thoughtful process. Yes, the timeframe is very short because of what’s at stake. But I believe that we are moving in the right direction and that hopefully there will be a consensus and the United States will be part of that consensus.

QUESTION: When you look at what’s going on in Libya and in Bahrain, it seems to me that – or it seems to a lot of people that the lesson from the Egyptian revolution is quite clear, a lesson that Arab leaders can draw: Don’t give an inch to the protestors, unleash your fire power, or you’re out the door like President Mubarak.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that’s a wrong reading of history. I think the —

QUESTION: But isn’t that what these leaders are doing in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they may be taking short-term measures that will not have the long-term effects they are seeking. I think the situation in Bahrain is alarming. We have made it very clear at the highest levels of the government there that we think they’re on the wrong track, that they need to resume immediately a political dialogue. We deplore the use of force against demonstrators, and we deplore the use of force by demonstrators. We want a peaceful resolution. We also would remind the Bahraini Government to protect medical facilities and to facilitate treatment of the injured, and we have called on our friends in the Gulf – four of whom are assisting the Bahrain security efforts – to force through a political solution, not a security standoff.

QUESTION: But they’re your allies, and they’re not listening to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I wish we could get everybody in the world to do what we ask them to do. I think that would make for a more peaceful world, but countries make their own decisions. But the United States stands very clearly on the side of peaceful protest, nonviolent resolution, political reform. And I think that what happened in Egypt and Tunisia are really the models of what will happen. It may take a little longer, but there is no turning back the tide of democracy and the universal human rights of every person to have freedom and an opportunity to fulfill his or her own dreams.

QUESTION: So what leverage do you still have on countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? They’re your allies. You – they – you train their armies. You supply them with weapons. And yet when the Saudis decided to send troops into Bahrain – and I believe Washington made clear it wasn’t pleased about that – they said, “Don’t interfere. This is an internal GCC matter.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they are on notice as to what we think. And we will intend to make that very clear publicly and privately, and we will do everything we can to try to move this off the wrong track, which we believe is going to undermine long-term progress in Bahrain, to the right track, which is the political and economic track.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Kim.

QUESTION: Thank you.

 

 

 

Interview With Shahira Amin of Nile TV

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Cairo, Egypt
March 16, 2011

QUESTION: American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it’s such an honor to meet you, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to host you on Egyptian television.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, and it’s an honor for me to be here with you and to have this opportunity.

QUESTION: Thank you. Let me start by asking you – you are the first and most senior official to visit Egypt since the popular revolt that led to the fall of President Mubarak. Why did you choose to be here at this time?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, for three reasons. First, because I wanted to demonstrate the very high-level support that comes from President Obama, our Administration, and our country on behalf of the Egyptian people as you make this transition toward democracy. Secondly, I wanted to discuss with government officials what their needs were and how the United States could be helpful. And thirdly, I wanted to meet with representatives of civil society, the youth revolution, other Egyptians who brought their own perspective to the table, so that I could listen carefully, so that I would know what we could do that would be most helpful to you.

QUESTION: Egyptians are looking forward to a secular civil state, but most important, they dream of a free and democratic Egypt. How exactly does the United States intend to support the democratic transition? Is there a roadmap?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that it will have to be an Egyptian roadmap because this is an Egyptian commitment to move toward a free and democratic future. We have the greatest respect for Egypt’s 7,000 years of civilization. We are a young country by comparison. But we are the oldest democracy in the world. So we have some idea, having gone through these stages our self and having worked with other countries, what it will take to ensure that the road to democracy is not detoured, that the dreams of the Egyptian people are not derailed. And so we think that there are steps that have to be taken, which you are already planning for.

Obviously, elections are a big part of a democracy, but not the only part. Political parties, the idea of protecting the rights of all Egyptians, the – as you say, the secular state that will respect each individual Egyptian – all of that is important along with a free press, an independent judiciary, and other democratic institutions.

We also think there are economic reforms that are necessary to help the Egyptian people have good jobs, to find employment, to realize their own dreams. And so on both of those tracks – the political reform and the economic reform – we want to be helpful.

QUESTION: Let me be honest with you. Many Egyptians are disappointed. They say the Obama Administration didn’t throw its full weight behind the popular movement right from the start. The U.S. was a bit hesitant before finally extending its support to the opposition activists in Tahrir. And some are calling it “double standards.” They say the U.S. preaches democracy and freedom on the one hand, and supports autocratic regimes when it suits their own interests.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me say that I don’t think there’s any doubt that the United States, President Obama, all of us stand for democracy and for the values that undergird democracy. And we spent a lot of time trying to make sure that the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, which I was very excited to visit myself this morning, were peaceful. That was our message from the very beginning. There is no doubt about that – that the people had a right to demonstrate, that their rights needed to be respected, and that the government had a duty to do so.

To the credit of your army and other officials, we saw a largely positive response from the army, and even standing against the security forces that were trying to disrupt the demonstrations. That stands in stark contrast to what we’re seeing in Libya, for example. So the United States was very clear about its messages, that from the beginning, this needed to be peaceful, nonviolent, respecting the rights of the individual demonstrators and having a reform agenda that would meet those needs.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, in the last 30 years, much of the aid from the United States went to creating a strong security apparatus to ensure that Mubarak continues to have a tight grip on power. Very little of that aid went to improving the lives of average Egyptians. Is it likely that aid to Egypt will now become conditional?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we had a lot of aid that went to the military, not the security forces. And I thank you for asking that question because our aid was to assist the Egyptian military. And I think that really paid off because during the height of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, our military leaders were talking to your military leaders and exchanging ideas because they knew each other over 30 years of training together, working together. So in a way, I think that that investment was a good investment because the Egyptian military performed so admirably in everyone’s eyes. And we were very proud we had some contribution to them.

With respect to other aid, we have given, over the course of many years, money to support the American University in Cairo, money to support education, money to support healthcare, money to support civil society, human rights activists. But you’re right; it was always a difficult negotiation with the former government because that was something that we wanted to do to help the Egyptian people. Some of it went through, and some of it did not go through. Now we look forward to be able to work on the economic agenda to try to assist the government and private investors to create more jobs, and we look forward to assisting what the Egyptian people want in terms of education or healthcare or anything that you are going to ask us for.

QUESTION: It was globalization and social media that led to the changes that we’re witnessing in the Middle East today. And recently, you engaged in a discussion on the internet with young Egyptians. And you had a very important message for them, that there can be no prosperity without the empowerment of women and girls. What are your hopes for the girls – the millions of girls, the Nujoods in this region?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I believe that what happened in Tahrir Square was not only an Egyptian revolution, but a human revolution. As I was, like millions of Americans, transfixed to the television screen, I saw Egyptians of all ages, primarily young, but other generations as well, and I saw women and men. And what it said was that every Egyptian, regardless of who he or she were, were standing together for the future you were demanding. And I think it would be a great tragedy if anything were to happen that would start marginalizing any Egyptian on the basis of being a man or a woman or a Copt or a Muslim or from upper or lower Egypt.

I mean, it would be a great tragedy because Egypt not only has the opportunity to lead the way in the Middle East, but to be a democratic, successful country for the 21st century and to be a leader that everyone will look to with admiration. And in my conversations with civil society activists, with young people, with government officials, we’ve talked about other models because other countries have made that transition. Indonesia, for example – they often say if you want to see a democratic state where women are empowered, come to Indonesia. Well, I want to see a democratic state where women are empowered right here in Egypt, because to leave out half the population is to leave out half the potential of what Egypt can become.

QUESTION: I echo that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.)

QUESTION: First, it was Tunisia, then Egypt —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: — and now the desire for change is spreading like a wildfire across the region – Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, even Saudi Arabia. Does it concern the Obama Administration that America is losing some of its staunchest allies in the region and that these mass protests may result in Islamists taking over power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it would concern us because it would, in our view, only have one point of view represented in societies that are very diverse, and that’s not a true democracy. One election is not a true democracy. It takes time and effort to build a democracy. But we have always stood for democracy, for human rights, for freedom, and we have friends and we do business with countries all over the world that don’t always reflect those values. But our message publicly and privately has always been the same.

Even here in Egypt, you know that we were privately urging changes, publicly urging changes; we were not successful. And it is only fair and proper that the Egyptian people themselves seized this moment in history and determined that you were going to move beyond the government that existed. And that’s what we’re seeing in Tunisia, and the efforts that are going on in other parts of the region are by no means completed. And we happen to believe that governments and societies will be more stable if they institute democratic reforms. And so we are urging all of our friends to do that.

QUESTION: You’ve just come from Paris where you attended the G-8 meetings and where the UK and France were leading the push for a no-fly zone over Libya. The U.S. has also been consulting with the United Nations on possible stronger measures against Qadhafi. What measures? More sanctions or is the military option on the table now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is on the table, and I think the Arab League statement on Saturday was an extraordinary commitment. For the Arab League to call for action against one of its own members because Colonel Qadhafi has lost his legitimacy to govern, and he is murdering his own people, and of course, he’s putting a million Egyptian lives at risk as well who are still in Libya, was a real strong message to everyone. And so when I was in Paris meeting with the G-8, the talk was all about the Arab League statement. So as you know, the Lebanese, the British, and the French have introduced a resolution.

There is intensive negotiations going on in New York as we speak to determine whether we can reach international consensus on a resolution that will authorize strong action and that will include Arab leadership and participation. So the United States is deeply involved in those negotiations. Some nations were very much opposed before the Arab League statement; they are much more open now. And there is a sense of urgency because Colonel Qadhafi and his forces are moving east, and so we want to see the Security Council act as soon as possible.

QUESTION: Years on, Iraq is still not quite the stable democratic model that the U.S. hoped it would be, and many are concerned that this may be the fate of other countries in the region if the United States intervenes militarily.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is why the United States does not want to take any unilateral action and why it is very important that no country take action unless it is authorized by the United Nations Security Council. And we will see whether the Security Council will do that now.

QUESTION: Iran seems to have been put on the backburner for now because the focus is on other countries in the region, and yet the Iranian threat is still very much alive. They’re calling what’s happening in the region an Islamic awakening, and they’ve threatened to intervene in Bahrain. What is the United States reaction when you hear such defiant statements from Ahmadinejad?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that it is the height of hypocrisy for Iran, which allowed its own revolution to be hijacked and is turning into a military state with the revolutionary guard largely in control at this moment in time – it’s a very sad commentary on what the people of Iran expected back in 1979. And it’s an (inaudible) lesson to Egyptians, Tunisians, and everyone that democracy must be carefully nurtured, and no one should be allowed to claim that they have all the answers and that only they can govern. I have a lot of confidence in the Egyptian people. I think that Egypt has shown that Egyptians are ready to stand up for your rights and to claim those rights and also to be part of making the decisions necessary for a democracy.

So I think Egypt is the best rebuke to Iran. You are basically demonstrating to the Iranians that they can talk all they want and try to somehow take credit, but they don’t deserve any credit because they have allowed their own revolution to unfortunately deny their own people their voices, their votes, their freedoms, and their rights, which is not at all what Egypt is looking for.

QUESTION: How do you see the fate of the stalled Middle East peace process after Mubarak? After all, he had been trying to reconcile Fatah and Hamas, he had promised to block the tunnels into Gaza, and he was trying to negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit. So what now after Mubarak and after Omar Suleiman?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that now, there is even more of a reason for the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve their conflict and to create a two-state solution. I think what is happening in the region which gives so much energy to democracy should be a strong encouragement to both the Israelis and the Palestinians. And we are determined to pursue the peace between the two of them.

We have never given up. We are not discouraged no matter what they say. We are moving straight ahead. President Obama and I have made that clear time and time again because we think actually it is even more important to do now to make sure that the Palestinians can realize their own dreams for a state and to have their own democracy, and that Israel can have security so that they can contribute to the economic prosperity of the region. And so I’m hoping that the circumstances of these events will actually push the parties closer together.

QUESTION: American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I can’t thank you enough for joining me on the program. For me, this is a comeback, and I am hoping that it will be a contract for Egyptian television for a freer, more open state media. Thank you for giving me this time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you for your leadership on that, too.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

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Interview With Kim Ghattas of British Broadcasting Corporation

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Geneva, Switzerland
February 28, 2011

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I want to start by asking you about the steps you’ve taken towards Libya. You have imposed sanctions, both you and the EU and the UN. You’ve placed an arms embargo on the Libyan leadership. But this doesn’t really stop the violence quickly. How do you protect the Libyan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, I think that the unanimous international decision at the Security Council is a step toward ending the violence, because what it does is to send a clear message, not just to Qadhafi, who may or may not be listening, but to the people around him, people who may want to live longer, people who may no want to be pariahs, people who have a stake in ending the violence. So I think that the message of what we are doing is part of an overall international effort to end the violence.

In addition, there will be other steps taken to freeze the assets, to prevent access to those assets, so that Qadhafi can’t use them to perpetuate and escalate the violence, which is something we’re worried about.

QUESTION: So do you think this could take weeks and months?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Unclear what we’re looking at. We know that the situation for Qadhafi is worsening, that he is in control of a smaller part of the country, really now probably only a part of Tripoli. But he still has allies who are not yet turning against him, and we are trying to send very clear messages that that needs to happen.

And I think as I said earlier, we are looking at all forms of action. Nothing is off the table. We want to be prepared in the event that some other steps is necessary.

QUESTION: At what point does military force become necessary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a very difficult decision to make for many reasons. First of all, none of the countries with whom I’ve consulted today put that at the top of the list because it’s always fraught with uncertainty. And in a country like Libya, where we don’t have enough information to know exactly what is happening on the ground, it would be particularly difficult.

At the same time, we know that this violence must end. And if we can take action that would expedite its end, we have to consider that.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, the Libyan leadership says there were no aerial bombardments and the deaths that we’re seeing in Libya are a result of fierce fighting between loyalists and rebels, if this is how we want to call them, that it’s 50/50. You’ve spoken about war crimes and the possibility of aerial bombardments. Do you have the evidence?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a very good question, Kim, and that’s why I’m cautious in how we talk about this. We do believe that, according to pilots who chose to disobey orders they were given that certainly the Qadhafi regime tried to direct certain actions from the air against targets on the land. We also have heard of additional accountings concerning limited but unmistakable efforts using helicopters and the like.

But it is unclear at this time, and we don’t want to make any decisions based on anecdotes. What we do know is that most of the violence is on the ground. And frankly, that’s one of the drawbacks of a no-fly zone is, as we learned in Iraq when we ran a no-fly zone in northern Iraq, sometimes absolutely horrible regimes decide that that means it’s open fire on the ground. So this is a much more complicated decision matrix than it might at first appear.

QUESTION: I’m going to try to squeeze in a question and answer in 30 seconds or less from you. Madam Secretary, you’ve said again and again this isn’t about the United States, this is about Arab people rising against their leaders. But it is about the U.S. also. It is about the access you have to oil, to trade routes. It’s going to have an impact on your policy towards Iran. It is about the United States and your national security interests.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s about the international community and our national security and global security interests. The United States gets hardly any of its oil or gas from Libya. Europe does. And so that is a bigger —

QUESTION: I was speaking about the wider Arab world.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the entire Arab region is an area of immense importance, but it’s also one of great potential which has not been realized. And part of what we see happening now is an effort by people themselves in these countries to gain access to the opportunities that the 21st century should offer. We are wholeheartedly in favor of that.

At the same time, we know there are many ways that these revolutions of expectation can be hijacked. They can be killed at birth, so to speak. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong. So we are in favor of orderly, peaceful, irreversible transitions that can give people a truly positive democratic outcome. But we’re working to make sure that happens, as opposed to having it go off in a direction that will lead to more autocracy, to ideological extremists, and all of the things that would betray the aspirations of the young people we’ve heard.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. Thank you for your time.

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