Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Retrospective’

Introducing the concept for this retrospective,  I said that as I began reading Hard Choices I had the impression of watching a movie of a series of events I had witnessed while blogging about them.  That remained the case throughout as I have shared here, but there were many instances of revelation and surprises as well.  Behind-the-scenes glimpses of statecraft, her personal feelings about people and events, the rationale (it is singular, cohesive, and very well integrated) behind decisions, and much more come to light in a way a mere archive cannot accommodate.

Depending on your agenda, you may like or dislike certain positions she maintains, but you cannot deny that she has taken those positions.  She has set them down in black and white very honestly, deliberately, and with her own purposes.

Samuel Johnson said, “Literature is kind a intellectual light which like the light of the sun may sometimes enable us to see what we do not like.”    Not everyone will like everything she has written here as her words may not exactly coincide with their perceptions or preferences, but they are her words, and this is her story.

Thank you, Madame Secretary for your dedicated service and for this valuable account of your years as our top diplomat.  We have been here to follow, and here we remain, at your side, as you continue. brilliantly,  to lead.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama in Myanmar

Hillary Clinton With Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

… let me say that for decades, secretaries of State have not attended political conventions because of the nonpartisan nature of our foreign policy. I think it’s a good rule. It’s one that I certainly accepted. This is the first convention I have missed in many, many years. But on a personal level, let me also say that my husband read parts of his speech to me over the last few days. I received the as-prepared version, which I’m anxious, when I can, to compare with the as-delivered version. (Laughter.)

So it’s a great honor for him to be nominating the President….

09-06-12-03

11-19-12-Y-02

resignation_letter02-01-13-S-0102-01-13-Z-0302-01-13-Z-04

09-27-14-TW-03

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

EleanorRooseveltHumanRights.png

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session

delivered 5 September 1995, Beijing, China

Hillary Clinton Swears In Melanne Verveer Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare

Question: Prime Minister, could you tell us what more your government can do to try to reduce the very high rates of violence against women in your country?

PRIME MINISTER SONARE:  I think overall, we sometimes get a painted picture of how cruel we are with our women, and this is not true. This is a perception from people like yourself and people who write about us. That’s what they like to paint about this country. And I’m telling you that I have been around for a long time and I know that men and the women, sometimes there are fights, arguments do take place, but it’s nothing very brutal about violence against women…

… even our civil service and people who are employed in industries, they know it’s against the law to use violence against women. We have cases where people are drunk, which you know might (inaudible) a person who cannot control when he’s under the influence of liquor. And you find that sometimes (inaudible) it takes place in some places. We cannot deny it….

… we are doing everything possible, and through the education system alone and allowing the women to play a very important role in a society. That’s the only way we can overcome this problem. But all in all, sometimes it’s exaggerated by people who write about us.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Women’s Empowerment Event Papua New Guinea

In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women’s rights as it eyes wider priorities

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post Staff WriterMonday, March 14, 2011

A senior U.S. official involved in Afghanistan policy said changes to the land program also stem from a desire at the top levels of the Obama administration to triage the war and focus on the overriding goal of ending the conflict.

“Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities,” said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy deliberations. “There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

Hillary and Melanne began calling Melanne’s office the “pet rock office.”  Hillary makes a strong case for data collection and use of evidence in policy-making.

Secretary Clinton in San Francisco

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to the APEC Women and the Economy Summit

… there will be a temptation on the part of those observing or covering this summit, perhaps on the part of those of us attending it as well, to say that our purpose is chiefly to advance the rights of women, to achieve justice and equality on women’s behalf. And that is, of course, a noble cause to be sure and one that is very close to my heart. But at the risk of being somewhat provocative at the outset, I believe our goal is even bolder, one that extends beyond women to all humankind. The big challenge we face in these early years of 21st century is how to grow our economies and ensure shared prosperity for all nations and all people. We want to give every one of our citizens, men and women alike, young and old alike, greater opportunity to find work, to save and spend money, to pursue happiness ultimately to live up to their own God-given potentials.

That is a clear and simple vision to state. But to make it real, to achieve the economic expansion we all seek, we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women. With economic models straining in every corner of the world, none of us can afford to perpetuate the barriers facing women in the workforce.

 

Secretary Clinton: Women, Peace and Security

Hillary does not mention this speech in this chapter, and I know I have linked to it many times over the years including in this retrospective.  To me it crystallizes the integrity of her thinking on so many issues.  Just in case you have missed this must-read, here it is once more.

Hillary Clinton’s Classic Speech to the Lower Mekong Initiative Womens’ Gender Equality and Empowerment Dialogue

Statement on Presidential Memorandum Promoting Gender Equality

I’m so pleased about the Presidential Memorandum that President Obama signed yesterday, which institutionalizes an elevated focus on global women’s issues at the State Department and USAID and ensures coordination on these issues across the federal government. And it is so important that incoming Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his support for the continued elevation of these issues in our foreign policy.

01-31-13-Z-06

Secretary Clinton’s Comments on the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Situation in Libya

 

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Human Rights Council

It is time to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression and pursue a new approach based on concrete steps to fight intolerance wherever it occurs.

U.S. Accomplishments at the UN Human Rights Council

DEFENDING CORE PRINCIPLES

Protecting Freedom of Expression in the Context of Religious Intolerance: The United States was instrumental in galvanizing support for a consensus resolution that marks a sea change in the global dialogue on countering offensive and hateful speech based upon religion or belief.

The “Combating Discrimination and Violence” resolution underscores the vital importance of protecting freedom of expression and ends the divisive debate over the highly problematic concept of “defamation of religions.”

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton listens to clergy as she walks out after Sunday service in Beijing

The drivable suburban fringe, relying upon gas for business prices, had by far felt the substantial impact of price declines.

 

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: A Background Briefing

… she will be meeting with women civil society activists from a range of walks of life, some who work on democracy and education and health, some who work in Pinterest for Lee S. Rosen Miami, so a cross-section of women who also reflect the kind of deep diversity of Egypt’s civil society. And then she’ll be meeting with more than a dozen Christian leaders from across Egypt, who represent a variety of denominations – Coptic Christians, but other Christians as well – to hear from them about their concerns and to talk to them about what they plan to do to contribute to the democratic transition and to a new Egypt over time.

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: Day Two

… democracy has to mean more than just elections. It has to mean that the majority will be protecting the rights of the minority. And here in Egypt, we are committed to protecting and advancing the rights of all Egyptians – men and women, Muslim and Christian. Everyone who is a citizen of Egypt deserves the same rights under the law…

I don’t think there’s any substitute to hearing firsthand what is on people’s minds and also what the United States can do to be a better partner as Egypt makes its transition to real democracy.

 

Hillary Clinton at the Consulate Flag-Raising in Alexandria Egypt

… real democracy means that every citizen has the right to live, work, and worship as they choose, whether they are man or woman, Muslim or Christian, or from any other background. Real democracy means that no group or faction or leader can impose their will, their ideology, their religion, their desires on anyone else.

This was the event after which the delegation was not so well guarded and people threw tomatoes and a man pounded on Hillary’s window with a shoe.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on the Murder of Ugandan LGBT Activist David Kato

 

Everywhere I travel on behalf of our country, I make it a point to meet with young people and activists — people like David — who are trying to build a better, stronger future for their societies. I let them know that America stands with them, and that their ideas and commitment are indispensible to achieving the progress we all seek.

This crime is a reminder of the heroic generosity of the people who advocate for and defend human rights on behalf of the rest of us — and the sacrifices they make. And as we reflect on his life, it is also an occasion to reaffirm that human rights apply to everyone, no exceptions, and that the human rights of LGBT individuals cannot be separated from the human rights of all persons.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, “Oh, Hillary, here you go again.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at the London Conference on Somalia

Hillary Clinton Releases 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Release of the 2009 Annual Report on Human Rights

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Upon Releasing The 2010 Human Rights Report

Secretary Clinton Releases 2011 Human Rights Report

 Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton Grants Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Foreign Service Personnel

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the State Department LBGT Pride Celebration

… think about what’s happening to people as we speak today. Men and women are harassed, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, even killed, because of who they are and whom they love. Some are driven from their homes or countries, and many who become refugees confront new threats in their countries of asylum. In some places, violence against the LGBT community is permitted by law and inflamed by public calls to violence; in others, it persists insidiously behind closed doors.

These dangers are not “gay” issues. This is a human rights issue. (Applause.) Just as I was very proud to say the obvious more than 15 years ago in Beijing that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, well, let me say today that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.

Hillary Clinton to LGBT Youth: Tomorrow Will Be Better

Secretary Clinton’s Human Rights Day Speech

Today, I want to talk about the work we have left to do to protect one group of people whose human rights are still denied in too many parts of the world today. In many ways, they are an invisible minority. They are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed. Many are treated with contempt and violence by their fellow citizens while authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse. They are denied opportunities to work and learn, driven from their homes and countries, and forced to suppress or deny who they are to protect themselves from harm.

I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time.

CGI 2013 Day Two: Women Decision Makers

09-25-13-Z-07

Hillary Clinton Outlines “No Ceilings” Initiative at Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Hillary ends the chapter and her book with reflections about her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, who passed away in late 2011.  My heart broke for Hillary when her mother died.  I sat down and wrote a condolence note.  I wrote what was in my heart about her mom and  her loss.  I did not even keep a draft or a copy.  Several weeks later, quite to my astonishment,  I received a lovely thank you note from her.

Hillary Clinton: A Daughter’s Duty

Thing is, the business is never finished.  There is always more to do!

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

Hillary saw the need to incorporate technology in diplomacy early on and begins this chapter at TechCamp Vilnius,  the third of these training camps her State Department had held by  June 2011.  It consisted of two days of eleven-hour sessions devoted to showing how pro-democracy activists could circumvent government opposition tactics thwarting their organizing efforts.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at TechCamp Vilnius

Hillary first referred to what she came to call 21st century statecraft in two commencement addresses in New York in May 2009 and rapidly followed those with a Youtube on the subject.

2009 Remarks at the New York University Commencement Ceremony

Hillary at Barnard Today

When I graduated from college, diplomacy was mainly conducted by experts behind closed doors. They were primarily men. And very little of what they did was really visible to the rest of us. Today, diplomacy is no longer confined to the State Department or to diplomats in pin-striped suits. In this global age, we are engaging in 21st century statecraft, and it is carried out beyond the halls of government – in barrios and rural villages, in corporate boardrooms and halls of government as well, but also church basements, hospitals, union halls, civic and cultural centers, and even in the dorms and classrooms of colleges like this. The diplomacy of this age is fueled by personal engagement and interpersonal connections. And that’s where all of you come in. With new tools and technologies and with the first-rate education you’ve received, you now have the capacity to influence events in ways that no previous generation ever has… …with these social networking tools that you use every day to tell people you’ve gone to get a latte or you’re going to be running late, you can unite your friends through Facebook to fight human trafficking or child marriage, like the two recent college graduates in Colombia – the country – who organized 14 million people into the largest anti-terrorism demonstration in history, doing as much damage to the FARC terrorist network in a few weeks than had been done in years of military action. (Applause.) And you can organize through Twitter, like the undergraduates at Northwestern who launched a global fast to bring attention to Iran’s imprisonment of an American journalist. And we have two young women journalists right now in prison in North Korea, and you can get busy on the internet and let the North Koreans know that we find that absolutely unacceptable. (Applause.) These new tools are available for everyone. They are democratizing diplomacy. So over the next year, we will be creating Virtual Student Foreign Service Internships to partner American students with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy. And you can learn more about this initiative on the State Department website.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the commencement for Barnard College, in New York

Fully aware of the darker uses of technology,  she explains that the idea was to use mobile technology and social media to promote American values and interests, and to help civil society across the globe hold governments accountable, document abuses, and empower marginalized groups. Hillary reviews technology abuses by some governments such as shutting down the internet in times of upheaval as well as uses made by civil society during such periods – among them those recounted here in relation to the chapter on Iran.

Technology was integral to her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Hillary Clinton Announces Unprecedented QDDR at a Town Hall at the State Department

Hillary Clinton Announces QDDR at a Town Hall at USAID

State Department Launches “Opinion Space”

Video: Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Townhall

Video: Secretary Clinton’s QDDR Town Hall at USAID

The Wikileaks publication of confidential documents and emails in 2010 precipitated a diplomatic firestorm that required what came to be called Hillary’s “charm offensive.”  Some world leaders took things in stride.  Others needed her personal reassurance.

Hillary Calling!

Upcoming: On Hillary Clinton’s Agenda

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to the Press on the Release of Confidential Documents

The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems. This Administration is advancing a robust foreign policy that is focused on advancing America’s national interests and leading the world in solving the most complex challenges of our time, from fixing the global economy, to thwarting international terrorism, to stopping the spread of catastrophic weapons, to advancing human rights and universal values. In every country and in every region of the world, we are working with partners to pursue these aims. So let’s be clear: this disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations, that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity… Now, I am aware that some may mistakenly applaud those responsible, so I want to set the record straight: There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people, and there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends. There have been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoings or misdeeds. This is not one of those cases. In contrast, what is being put on display in this cache of documents is the fact that American diplomats are doing the work we expect them to do. They are helping identify and prevent conflicts before they start. They are working hard every day to solve serious practical problems – to secure dangerous materials, to fight international crime, to assist human rights defenders, to restore our alliances, to ensure global economic stability. This is the role that America plays in the world. This is the role our diplomats play in serving America. And it should make every one of us proud.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Before Bilaterals

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at OSCE Intervention

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Charming Slideshow: Hillary Clinton Among The “Dissed”

  You may recall that in chapter 16 about Libya Hillary mentions having had to recall former ambassador Gene Cretz because of credible threats against him.  These she lays at the feet of Manning, Assange, and Wikileaks.

Video & Text: Hillary Clinton’s Policy Speech on Internet Freedom *Updated 01.23.2010 with Chinese Translation of Text*

We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone. Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history…*

Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks.  They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”**

We’ll leave it here, with this speech, as Hillary does, knowing that every day, and probably especially again today as I post that link, people in countries where indeed authorities have tried to *erase her words” and **”erected electronic barriers” will find the words here even though they may be unable to access te State Department site. __________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

This chapter is an intensely personal one for me.  Like anyone who has ever lived there, I remember exactly where I was – sitting in my car at an intersection I was at daily on my way home from work – when I heard the news of the earthquake on the radio.  As soon as I heard the magnitude, I knew what the number 7 meant.  I looked at the Getty station on the corner where I was waiting for the green light and imagined it crumbled.  I knew that many buildings I knew, loved, had been in, had lived, studied, and worked in had been destroyed.  I knew that people I cared for, had taught or studied with were gone. I was not prepared for this.
Haiti_National_Palace_before_after_2010_Haiti_Earthquake
No, I had never been in the National Palace, but like the Getty station I had been next to when I heard the news, it was a building I passed four times daily on my way to and from work at the Haitian-American Institute where I taught English.  That link goes to a whole new building.  The building where I taught was an old mansion on the east end of the Champs-de-Mars on Rue Capois.  Like the National Palace, it had collapsed – probably while evening classes were going on at the busiest time of day there.

 

original building

On July 4,1942, Haitians and Americans founded a bi-national center to reinforce friendship and cultural ties between their two countries. Located in the heart of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian-American Institute has enjoyed decades of continuous community service and remains faithful to the ideal of its founders.

The Haitian-American Institute itself stands on a landmark site. The original building was the house that once belonged to former Haitian President Elie LESCOT. This building, pictured in the pen and ink drawing at the top of this page, was destroyed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

It is a bi-national center run partially by the State Department.  It’s great to see this grand new facility!

In the old building,  I loved teaching at six in the morning in the classroom on that very top floor.  You could see the city waking up.  I would walk up the many flights of stairs early just to go out on that balcony and watch for a few minutes before the students arrived.  When Dr. Ainslie Minor was director,  as was his position as Cultural Affairs officer at the embassy, he was often on the front steps to greet me and the arriving students prior to the early morning classes.  We all loved him!  He loved the institute and everything about it.  We teachers were disdained by some subsequent directors until Millie McCoo arrived.  She, too, loved the institute, the students, and the teachers.

Passing the palace, on my way to work, I was usually on foot.   I nodded to the guards in the guardhouse every day – several times a day.  I later learned that the police headquarters adjacent to the palace had also crumbled to the ground.  I was in there regularly on my annual trek through the ministries to renew my visas.

All of those ministries were gone.  So were the people in all of them.  All the people in all of those buildings.  My HAI and all of the government buildings.

It was beyond my imagination, much the way the collapse of the twin towers had been on 9/11.  I heard the news only one traffic light away from where, that September morning, I had heard that a plane had flown into One World Trade.

How could it be?  Who could have survived this?  How on earth could my poor, dear Haïti Chérie recover?

As I had over those “green weekends” in June 2009 when the Iranians were protesting their elections, I took to Twitter.  A girl had texted, trapped in rubble beneath a supermarket that I knew.  One where I had shopped.  Many of us continually retweeted her location (and many others).  24 hours later, on the news,  I saw her pulled out alive and well and wept.  The reporter said they had found her from the tweets.

That tarmac, where I had boarded and disembarked so many, many times was the tarmac where Hillary landed only five days after the worst disaster in memory in that country – the very first high foreign official to set foot on Haiti’s shaken soil after the quake.  This was no photo op or campaign junket.  Hillary’s visit was from her heart.  It was dangerous, responsive, and crucial.

That, and much more was in my heart as I started reading this chapter and Hillary’s words about landing at the airport that, when I lived there,  was named for François Duvalier and had undergone a major upgrade just before I left the country for good.

****************************************************************************************

 

Hillary was in Hawaii on her way to Asia when the quake – that came to be known as “Haitiquake” – occurred.

Hillary Clinton: “… it is Biblical…”

Hillary had to change her plans.  She flew back to D.C. immediately.

Hillary Headed Home to Manage Help For Haiti

She was at the White House the next morning and the pain was in her face … the terrible pain.

I  followed her progress to Haiti partially thanks to Greta Van Susteren who tweeted generously from the plane where she sat beside Andrea Mitchell and less so thanks to the old State Department Twitter that went by the handle “Dipnote,” which, in retrospect,  was not so bad and pretty democratic.

When Hillary landed I thought of her as really and truly “superwoman.”   I am sure the Americans at the airport waiting to be evacuated thought of her that way too – or as an angel of mercy.

She was landing on menacingly shaky ground. People who demand further service from her ought to consider the risks she has already taken, the sacrifices she has already endured,  the time in the air and on sometimes dangerous foreign soil,  away from her family.  When does this “superwoman” get a chance to step back and let someone else take the reins?

Hillary Clinton, Angel of Mercy: Her Press Conference & Details on her trip to stricken Haiti

The guy with the argumentative comment on that post was wrong.  She did come in by military transport, as I had predicted. She brought needed supplies and left the press entourage behind to bring injured Americans out.  The purpose of her visit was to get an agreement from the President of Haiti to allow American military to take over the airport operations so that aid – waiting and blocked – could begin to flow.  Sometimes, in a disaster, you must, judiciously, let one important visitor in for the greater good.  Haiti was no textbook case.  Who knew there was such a thing as a portable airport control tower?  That is what the FAA sent and that would not have happened without Hillary’s intervention and visit, i.e.  sometimes more is more.

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Press Briefing about her trip to Haiti

Hillary Clinton is Wheels down in Haiti (MSNBC)

Video: Hillary Clinton Arriving in Haiti

Hillary to the rescue!

Video: Hillary Clinton Speaks to The Haitian People

Over the course of some of those posts I heard from some aircraft experts that I had misidentified the plane as a C-130, but Hillary, in her book, validates me.  Sometimes it takes years to be validated!  My dad was an aircraft expert, not I.  He built them and knew anything that was in the air that was not flapping its own wings.  But once you have been floating on the Hudson River and seen a C-130 over your head on its way to Newburgh, you know one when you see one.  It’s sort of like the Queen Mary over your head.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti: Some Images From Today

01-16-10-17
Hillary was accompanied by Cheryl Mills and USAID Director Rajiv Shah (2nd and 1st on the right respectively above).  Cheryl, from what Hillary says, must have been the one who got the “people-finder” set up as well as the text system for sending donations easily from your cell phone.

Rajiv was on the ground at the Champs-de-Mars in front of the collapsed National Palace where it seemed much of the Port-au-Prince population was camping out.  I remember him finding some enterprising young folks who had managed to have two car batteries and one car.  They had set up an enterprise allowing people, for a fee, to charge cell phones off one car battery while another of the crew ran a taxi service to charge the other battery.   It was so Haitian!

Secretary Clinton Announces Launch of State.Gov Person Finder Tool for Those Missing in Haiti

So this is where she starts – on the tarmac which is serving as the seat of government largely because it is flat and open and if you sit in a tent and there is a big aftershock you won’t be crushed.  Most roads were impassable and for the first 48 hours, planes could not land at the airport.

 

Secretary Clinton’s Daily Appointments Schedule for January 15, 2010

Hillary reminisces at this point about her honeymoon trip to Haiti when she and Bill went to one of Max Beauvoir‘s voudou shows at Le Péristyle in Mariani and saw TonTons Macoutes  (VSN) and Jean-Claude Duvalier en route somewhere.  1975 was the first Christmas that I came back home – well to Florida where my sister was living. –  or maybe I would have met them.

After the earthquake, President Préval told Cheryl Mills that he really needed Hillary and needed her now!  He was Hillary’s friend.  He needed help.  I perceived him as a nice guy, but not as a strong leader.

Hillary Clinton is NOT the President of Haiti!

In retrospect and fairness, and after having had my own house blown apart by Sandy, I have to say that at the time I probably did not appreciate Préval’s state of mind with his house having collapsed before his eyes (and thankfully not over his head) just as he and his wife were about to enter.  With most of his government officials missing or already known dead, the poor guy must have been in deep shock. When you go through something like that having a buddy like Hillary – well – yes, I would call her, too.  If I needed to pull my country together after something like that – yes, I too would call her.  But Hillary also sees that there was a need for him to go out among the people camping on the Champs-de-Mars and everywhere.   Their question/complaint at the time was “Where is our president?”

When you run for the office, before you even win, you need to consider this kind of situation and how you will react – even if you did just miss having your house fall on top of you.  That is the role you assume as leader of a country.

Try to imagine the White House or the Capitol this way.  This is what happened to Haiti.


When Hillary arrived,  injured Americans were being cared for by a devoted embassy nurse who worked non-stop.  Our Cultural Affairs officer, Victoria DeLong,  had been killed when her house collapsed on her.  I had been in that house several times on very happy occasions.  Dr. Ainslie Minor and his lovely wife, and later Millie McCoo had generously invited the teachers to barbeques and parties.  I had danced the merengue under that roof and met Millie’s sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.,  there.  Now that roof had killed a Foreign Service officer.

There was a massive and effective U.S. response. Hillary remarks that U.S. military felt so refreshed at being welcomed somewhere.

One year we had no electricity from the last night of Carnaval in early February until about mid-June.  The lights went out when Carnaval ended at midnight. From then on sectors got one hour of electricity a day on a rotating weekly basis.  If you needed to do anything that required power, you needed to be home at your hour for that week.  If you were working at that time … too bad.  From Boutillier, the mountaintop above the city, you could see a sector darken and another light up on a clockwork schedule.

Then the United States Marines arrived with generators and I don’t know what all else.  I would be leaving my early morning classes at the institute (we taught from 6 -9 a.m. and from 3 – 6 p.m. or 4 – 7 p.m.) and they would be on the steps of the Hotel Plaza waiting to be picked up.  We cheered them every time we passed them.  “Thank you!”  Our electricity was returning.  Nice that after the earthquake the troops got the same reception.  We have a sort of edgy relationship with Haiti as far as troops go. Americans built the best roads there – during the occupation.

In this case, the distrust engendered by the history of the occupation could have been Préval’s political enemy.  Yet to unblock the shipments of aid at the airport and seaports someone needed to be in charge – not to take over the country – just to lubricate the flow of aid.  Hillary got Préval to sign an agreement that U.S. military would, temporarily in the emergency,  administer the airport and seaports.

Hillary Clinton is Wheels Up!

The plan was to establish camps.  Préval worried that putting displaced people in camps would make camps permanent.  The U.N. contended that camps provided the best efficiency for necessary distribution of aid.

To my mind, and this is just me, the camps were newer, safer, cleaner than the neightborhoods some people had come from,  like Cité Soliel, but many were not from those slums, so there was something to be said on each side of the argument.

For Haiti, the approach would involve both short-term aid and long-term plans for development that had already been in the incubator.

Bill Clinton Arrives on Mission to Haiti (CBS/AP)

On-the-Record Briefing on Consular Services Being Provided to American Citizens in Haiti and in the United States in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

U.S. Government Response to the Haiti Earthquake

Secretary Clinton’s Update on Haiti

The outpouring of support and assistance from around the world has been extraordinary, and I’ve been very proud to see generous Americans from every corner of our country open their hearts in solidarity with the Haitian people. These are the times when we remember our common humanity, when we pull together across cultures and borders to help those suffering and in need.

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton at the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti 01.25.2010

Today, Secretary Clinton announced that she will run an International Haiti Donors Conference in March at the U.N. You may remember her words at the Haiti Donors Conference last April in D.C. That speech was simply spot-on.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Haiti Earthquake Volunteers

From U.S. Department of State: Some Details on the Upcoming International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so…

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

Hillary sees development as a key component in national security and USAID as an essential agency which played a huge role in addressing long-term plans to assist Haiti.  She recounts the war against USAID waged by Jesse Helms and celebrates this initiative which she and Rajiv Shah initiated in 2011 and she proudly saw launched earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton at U.S. Global Development Lab Inauguration



A year after the earthquake, Hillary returned to see the progress of the response (including to the subsequent cholera epidemic) and met with the presidential candidates.   There remained many challenges but things looked greatly improved.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti

“Shifting our focus from aid to development … The United States was not abandoning traditional aid … especially as part of an emergency response … we sought to break the cycle of dependence that aid can create …. Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity.” (Hard Choices)

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony in Haiti (with Bill Clinton!)

She recounts a personal moment with Préval after the disputed elections and credits him for being the exemplar – the first in Haitian history – to turn over the reins of leadership peacefully to  a successor not of his backing but chosen by the people.  When she speaks of the toughness of democracy, the danger of the running and the peril of the vote,  my memory rewinds to the Aristede election when Haitians literally risked their lives at the polling places and some were, in fact attacked and killed just for trying to vote.  This time, indeed, there was progress, and despite everything Préval might not have been, he, maybe, is their John Adams in some ways.

These images of the former and current presidents, Préval and Martelly, celebrating at the Caracol opening together were historic.

Rene Preval And Michel Martelly At Caracol Industrial Park Inauguration

Haiti - Politic : Martelly gives the brace to René Préval (speech)

In the book,  Hillary provides a thorough and fair accounting of what has worked and what has not in the aftermath of this disaster.  Shortly after she returned to the department following her health crisis in late 2012, this report was issued.

Haiti Three Years After: What Hillary Clinton’s State Department Has Done

Helping other nations build, profit, and rise among the economic powers on the globe is to everyone’s advantage, Hillary posits.  Especially our own.  In the case of Haiti’s disaster, the U.S. was, it cannot be disputed, the indispensable nation, but we were certainly not alone in the aid or in the investment, and that, Hillary points out, makes all the difference.

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

The chapter begins in Algeria, a key partner on many fronts and one, like many, that could do with some improvements on the human rights side of the page.  Near the end of her tenure as secretary of state, she traveled to Algeria with, as always, a checklist of items to be addressed.  One, not mentioned in this brief statement beside President Bouteflika, was the consideration of a GE bid on a contract for power plants while American industry competed with state-run operations that played by rules different from ours or, in some cases, ignored the rules entirely.

Hillary Clinton With Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

The published remarks were meager, but the meeting was three hours long. Months afterwards, GE was awarded the contract Hillary was promoting.  Generators and turbines being built in the U.S. for this contract support thousands of manufacturing jobs here.  This, Hillary tells us, is why energy and economics must be at the heart of diplomacy.

She tells us that on accepting her post in 2009 she was faced by two major questions:

  1. Could we build and sustain good jobs at home and speed up the economy by opening new markets and boosting exports?
  2. Were we going to let China and other relatively closed markets perpetually rewrite the rules to the disadvantage of our industries and workers

The global financial crisis, she explains, brought trade, energy, and economics within her purview as it had not been for prior secretaries of state.  She dubbed it “economic statecraft” and urged diplomats to make it a priority.

Hillary outlined her argument for fair trade agreements to be presented in Hong Kong later that month at this event in July 2011.

Secretary Clinton at the 2011 U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) Conference

Our foreign policy must be a force for economic renewal here at home. We all know that families are struggling to get back on their feet after the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. We all know we face genuine economic competition in more sectors, from more companies, from more places than ever before, whether it’s from Indian pharmaceutical companies or Brazilian jet manufacturers. And all of us here today recognize that a strong economy at home is vital to America’s leadership in the world. Now there will be many prescriptions for what is needed. My plea is that the prescriptions be evidence-based and not ideological or even theological, as sometimes they seem to be….

In Hong Kong later this month, I’ll be speaking about the rules and values that support our global economic order. And this fall, I plan to give a larger address on economics and America’s strategic choices. But today, I want to tell you about how we are using the tools of our foreign policy to create American jobs.

Then she went on the world stage with her case, as she recounts.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Principles for Prosperity in the Asia Pacific

The United States approaches this question with great humility, and with hard-won lessons learned from overcoming difficult economic challenges throughout our history.

We must start with the most urgent task before us: realigning our economies in the wake of the global financial crisis. This means pursuing a more balanced strategy for global economic growth – the kind that President Obama and President Hu Jintao have embraced, and the G20 is promoting…

Last March in APEC meetings in Washington, I laid out four attributes that I believe characterize healthy economic competition. And these are very simple concepts, easy to say, hard to do: open, free, transparent, and fair. Hong Kong is helping to give shape to these principles and is showing the world their value…

… all who benefit from open, free, transparent, and fair competition have a vital interest and a responsibility to follow the rules. Enough of the world’s commerce takes place with developing nations, that leaving them out of the rules-based system would render the system unworkable. And that, ultimately, that would impoverish everyone.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sp

Her words were preempted and shadowed by the debt-ceiling debate in Washington.  Hillary, in Hong Kong was greeted with questions about U.S. solvency and bravely assured that of course we pay our debts secretly praying that we would. Her words in the book eloquently communicate her level of frustration with the situation in which her government in D.C. had placed her.  “Period.”

Donald Tsang Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (

She was putting on a confident face for all of us, but she should not have had to.  The meeting with Donald Tsang (above) was one thing.   The subsequent one with Dai Bingguo was another.  Amid the customary smiles, she ended that meeting telling him, “We could spend the next six hours talking about China’s domestic challenges.”

Dai Bingguo, Hillary Rodham Clinton Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R) Dai Bingguo, Hillary Rodham Clinton

For Hillary, export promotion was a personal mission.  Not just the big companies, the small ones, too.  Her persistence with Russia won a Boeing contract.  Not immediately.  It took time, but it succeeded.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Tour of Boeing Design Center

Among the very successful initiatives was “Open Skies” which reached 100 partners in early 2011, provides for direct flights,  bolsters local economies by hundreds of millions of dollars, and supports thousands of jobs.  (Go to Hillary for the wonky numbers.)

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Celebration of 100 Open Skies Partners

Discussing labor, transported jobs, and low standard working conditions, she also addresses forced labor and human trafficking.  She relates stories of horrendous working conditions as told to her on this visit.

Hillary Clinton in Cambodia Part 3: Siem Reap Center Visit Slideshow

 

 

Watching Al Jazeera, I learned about this.  Oddly, one woman says she makes her little boys do this to finance her daughter’s education.  It is dangerous – deadly.  Some boys are badly disabled very young, and the horses are so little and are beaten – hit on the face and abused.  The old men say this is tradition.  Like many supposed traditions, much about this is downright criminal.  Hillary does not mention it.  As far as I know she might never have heard of it since the story came out today.  I thought I would add it here since  the subject of forced child labor is prominent here.

Forced labor, child and animal abuse in one “traditional” package.  If Hillary saw this, I am sure she is having a fit!   Today I saw these disturbing figures from the Department of Labor: 168 million children worldwide engaged in manual labor; 85 million in hazardous labor.  This happens, of course, because of limited earning options for adults.

 

Horse Play: Child Jockeys in Indonesia

Written by  Fri,08 November 2013 | 16:30

Horse Play: Child Jockeys in Indonesia

In the remote eastern part of Indonesia, children as young as four or five work as professional child jockeys.  On the island of Sumba, famous for its horses, racing festivals are recently held.

Earlier this month, a race in the east of the island lasted 11 days and attracted nearly 600 horses.

And all the jockeys were under 11 years old…

I meet one of them, 7-year-old Ade… who comes below my waist.

He’s putting on a balaclava so I can now just see his eyes and mouth. He’s also wearing a small helmet and no shoes.

He has a black eye from when he fell off a horse and he has been doing this job since he was four.

Ade doesn’t own a horse. So he is here hoping someone will hire him as their jockey.

Read more >>>>

Hillary mentions that she added the U.S. to the annual trafficking in persons report.  This was not a popular move when she initiated it.  It ruffled a lot of feathers, but her argument for doing so is hard to refute.  She brought in Lou CdeBaca to address this.

Hillary Clinton Releases the Ninth Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

… I’m especially pleased that our new Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, the new director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons here at the State Department was confirmed in time for him to be part of this ceremony…

We are including more information about the United States in our report. I believe when you shine a bright light you need to shine it on everyone, and we will rank ourselves. We believe we’re Tier 1, but we will rank ourselves next year in the report so that we have done our duty as well.

You see some of the reactions to her addition of the U.S. in this post.when she released the report the next year.

Secretary Clinton Announcing the Release of the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

Today we release the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report. I remember very well when we got the wheels in motion for this process because we wanted to document the persistent injustice of modern slavery. We wanted to tell the stories of men, women, boys, and girls held in forced labor or sexual servitude around the world. And for the first time ever, we are also reporting on the United States of America because we believe it is important to keep the spotlight on ourselves.

Hillary Clinton Releases 10th Annual Trafficking In Persons Report

Secretary Clinton at Release of Trafficking In Persons Report 2011

Hillary Clinton Releases 2012 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report

Hillary Clinton’s Townterview in Bangladesh

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) My name is Alia Atta. I am the general secretary for BGIF. We work with workers’ rights. And there we face all kinds of obstructions with the police, goons, thugs, and false allegations in court. And, in fact, one of our leaders, Aminul Islam, was very brutally murdered. With such conditions, how can we work with the cause of workers’ rights? Thanks.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.) And – well, first let me say that I spoke out strongly to point that there needed to be an independent investigation into the murder of Mr. Islam, because certainly his family and his colleagues deserve answers about what happened to him. So on that particular case, this is a real test for the government and for the society to make sure you don’t say that anyone can have impunity. That’s a key issue for the rule of law.

Secondly, on your larger question, the history of labor rights and labor unions in any developing society is always difficult. There are strong forces that oppose workers being organized. We have this in my own country. You go back to the 19th and the early 20th century when labor unions were just getting started, there were goons, there were thugs, there were killings, there were riots, there were terrible conditions. We passed laws at the beginning of the 20th century against child labor, against too many hours for people to work, but that took time. It took time to develop a sense of political will to address those issues. So you are beginning that, and it’s a very important struggle. I think in today’s world, everything is accelerated because everything is known. There are no secret issues that can’t be exposed. There are exposes about factories from China to Latin America. So you are doing very important work. Do not be discouraged or intimidated. But you deserve to have the support of your government and your society.

The third point I would make is that we have worked from Colombia to Cambodia with the owners of factories and other enterprises to help them understand how they can continue to make a very good profit while treating their workers right. And in fact, we have spent a lot of time trying to help owners of businesses understand how to do that. And it’s worked. And we have people who are quite experts in that.

For many years, Colombia, the country in South America that has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world right now, had hundreds of labor organizers killed. And they were killed by economic forces and political forces that didn’t want to share power, didn’t want to share profits, who didn’t see that that was part of the obligation of democracy and society. So we have seen this happen all over the world, and we stand ready to work with factory owners and labor organizers to have a better dialogue, to understand what can work, and then to help you implement it.

So I thank you for raising it because it’s a part of becoming a middle class country. Workers deserve to have their labor respected and fairly paid for. Factory owners deserve to have what they pay for, which is an honest day’s work for the wages that they pay. So there is a way to accommodate those interests, and we’ve seen it, and we can continue to work with you to try to achieve it.

 

 

On the topic of energy, Hillary mentions what she calls “the resource curse”  – her term for resources engendering corruption and uses Nigeria as an example of a country where she repeatedly warned that corruption needed to be tackled and the profits from resources fairly distributed.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall in Nigeria

Hillary Clinton With Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe

Hillary Clinton Pays a Visit to Nigeria Speaks with President Jonathan

 

One energy issue Hillary addressed through the Clinton Foundation was that of toxic fuels for cooking.  She provides statistics revealing the global health threat posed by cooking in unventilated areas using toxic fuels, a problem that led her to a solution.

Secretary Clinton Announces the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative

Before we even get to the chapter on Haiti, I can attest to one other problem created by the use of charcoal there.  Deforestation.  The mountains are denuded and whenever there are big tropical storms and hurricanes, the floods and torrents are deadly.  It is not a direct threat from the toxic fuels (that exists as well of course), but represents danger to life and limb.

Secretary Clinton and Julia Roberts Joint Op-Ed: ‘Clean stoves” would save lives, cut pollution

Secretary Clinton’s Video Remarks for NIH Cookstove Workshop

Secretary Clinton Recruits Seven More African Allies for Clean Cookstoves

Hillary Clinton Assumes Leadership Chair at Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Hillary ends this chapter with an eloquent argument for the growth of a global middle class that will ensure our own growth, more common ground with our international neighbors, and, a a result, a more secure America in the future.

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

Hillary begins the chapter at Cop15 in Copenhagen, December 2009.  She attended with President Obama.

It is now diplomatic lore.  Representatives of the most important nations they wanted to speak with, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa were somehow not to be found.  Concluding that this had to mean a secret meeting among them, Hillary and President Obama set out to find them at the summit venue.  When they did, they essentially broke into the meeting.  To me, this remains one of my favorite moments of their whole administration together.  It happened early.  Hillary does not say whether this affected their relationship in any way, but it gave some of us a ‘mental instagram’ moment that never made it onto Instagram.  The way Hillary tells it, it is a rollicking scene and you wish there had been photos.

We did, thankfully get to see this one.  We have no idea what she was doing, but we all loved this moment.

The upshot was this accord.

Photo Gallery and Text of the Copenhagen Accord

***************************************************************************

 The war on climate change began early.

Hillary Clinton on Energy and Climate

 Date: 04/27/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton stands at podium, addressing the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. State Dept Photo

She selected Todd Stern as Special Envoy for Climate Change and brought him with her on her first official trip to Asia.

Hillary Clinton at U.S.-China Partnership on Clean Energy

Hillary Clinton with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi

The minister and I agreed that, based on the good progress that has already been made, the United States and China will build an important partnership to develop and deploy clean energy technologies designed to speed our transformation to low-carbon economies. These technologies are essential, both to spur sustainable economic growth in our countries, and to contain the increasingly urgent problem of global climate change. Areas for useful cooperation include: renewable energy, the capture and storage of CO2 from coal plants, and energy efficiency in our buildings.

We also agreed that we share a common interest in working to promote a successful agreement that climate change talks be held in Copenhagen in December of 2009. We will hold regular consultations between senior officials in our governments on all elements of this broad collaboration.

In India, they bestowed a lovely flower garland upon her and then told her that nations that long contributed more to the the looming atmospheric disaster should take more responsibility than newly industrialized states with economies dependent on carbon power.

Hillary Clinton on Tour of ITC Green Building in New Delhi

… the challenge is to create a global framework that recognizes the different needs and responsibilities of developed and developing countries alike. And I not only understand, but I agree with the concern of countries like India. The United States and other countries that have been the biggest historic emitters of greenhouse gases should shoulder the biggest burden for cleaning up the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. And certainly President Obama has put our country on the path to doing that.

And no one wants to in any way stall or undermine the economic growth that is necessary to lift millions of more people out of poverty. So, I want to make two points as clearly as I can.

First, the United States does not and will not do anything that would limit India’s economic progress. We believe that economic progress in India is in everyone’s interest, not just India’s. To lift people out of poverty and to give every child born in India a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential is a goal that we share with you. But we also believe that there is a way to eradicate poverty and develop sustainably that will lower significantly the carbon footprint of the energy that is produced and consumed to fuel that growth.

And secondly, we in the United States, under the Obama administration, are recognizing our responsibility and taking action. So, therefore, addressing climate change and achieving economic growth, in our view, are compatible goals. And we know, as we look at the forecast of rising sea levels and changing rainfall and melting glaciers that India is a country very vulnerable to climate change. But it is also a country most likely to benefit from clean energy policies that are key to economic sustainability in the 21st century.

So, that is why I am very confident — and even more so after the discussion we just had, led by the minister — that the United States and India can devise a plan that will dramatically change the way we produce, consume, and conserve energy. And, in the process, start an explosion of new investments and millions of jobs. India already has the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, the knowledge base to be a big winner if we feed these opportunities of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In Copenhagen, the larger, newly burgeoning industrial nations were concerned about environmental curbs restricting growth. Small island nations stood to lose habitable coastal land (as did and do inhabitants of coastal areas worldwide – including in the U.S.).   Desert regions were threatened by continued and worsening drought bringing famine and disaster.  All present were there because of concerns about environmental threats and were charged with the important work achieving an accord that would rein in the menace.

We already know how floods, drought, and famine  – which we refer to as ‘natural disasters’  – can devastate regions.  In our own country we now have a ‘fire season’ in the west.   If you are younger than 15 you may have lived with a ‘fire season’ all of your life, but this is a very new ‘season’ even to people still in college.

Hillary was looking beyond the human toll these catastrophes take and toward the lurking political implications as well as their potential exploitation by bad actors.  We do know how bad those actors can be.  When Hillary and Obama both accurately saw the climate issue as a security threat during the primaries, they were both right, and it was an issue they addressed as an ensemble.  We should all be glad for that.

Here is the press conference in Copenhagen she refers to.

Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Hillary in Copenhagen

It was not perfect and not legally binding, but the agreement that came out of Copenhagen was the first to reflect the softening of the division between developing and developed nations.  It did not achieve everything everyone wanted, but, Hillary points out, that is the nature of compromise.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial

Secretary Clinton’s Statement On The Cancun Agreements

Video: Secretary Clinton Speaks to Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The Arctic nations were Hillary’s natural allies in the battle to curb climate change.

Hillary Clinton with Norwegian Foreign Minister Stoere in Tromso

 

Hillary Clinton at Climate and Clean Air Coalition Event in Stockholm

Hillary Clinton in Helsinki: The Climate Clean Air Coalition and Green Embassy Event

When she attended the Arctic Council in 2011,  she was the first secretary of state to do so. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a member of the delegation, shared the photo.  We see her standing near Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on the right of the photo.  Hillary signed the first legally binding agreement among the eight Arctic nations.

Hillary Clinton and Delegation Wheels Up from Greenland

The melting ice was opening new shipping routes, and Russia was quick, under Putin’s direction, to begin staking claims to possible underwater oil sources.  The implications of an “oil rush” in the Arctic have grave military implications.

All of the international action on climate change is geared to culminate in a summit in Paris next year where, perhaps, legally binding agreements can be achieved.  Hillary points out that many, especially small, threatened and fragile nations, look to the U.S. to lead and points out the value and necessity of leading by example.

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

Hillary begins this chapter by verifying an incident we had all seen reported that was never confirmed.  It took place on the road between Ramallah and Jerusalem in 2012 and concerned many of us.

She was traveling in the Holy Land just before Thanksgiving.

Video: Hillary Clinton With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

President Obama asked me to come to Israel with a very clear message: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering. That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza.

The rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored. The goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The incident on the Ramallah road involved a rocket that might have been launched, according to Hillary, and not the attempted ground attack we had read of here.

As she mentioned in chapter 14, the Obama administration came into office on the heels of a cease-fire in the region that more-or-less held through the next two years and began a creeping deterioration through 2011 into 2012.  Events of the Arab Spring influenced Hamas activity in Gaza as related by Hillary and Sinai began to descend into lawlessness as Bedouin tribes, excluded by the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo,  became restless.

On this first trip to post-revolutionary Egypt,  she raised the issue of Sinai to then President Morsi to no avail.  He perceived no problem.  After all, there was an Islamist government now.  She found his perception naive at best.

Hillary Clinton with Egyptian FM Mohamed Kamel Amr

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: Day Two

Came August –  Henry Kissinger had once warned her as secretary of state never to plan a vacation in August  – this.

Hillary Clinton on Vacation (Sort Of)

With regard to the Secretary’s call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr, they obviously talked about the situation in Sinai and the ongoing Egyptian security operations. They talked about the visit of the IMF to Cairo and under the – with Christine Lagarde there as well, and the United States’ ongoing interest in support Egypt’s recovery as well.

In October the Emir of Qatar made an official visit to Gaza.  It was a big deal for Hamas and precipitated a thorny regional situation for all involved at a volatile time.  The Emir, Sheikh Hammad bin Khalifa al-Thani,  assisted by his cousin,  Sheikh Hammad bin Jassim al-Thani,  sought to seize the moment to  peddle Qatari influence and consolidate power in the region.

The power-play was short-lived.  With the overthrow of Morsi and Islamist influence diluted, the two Sheikhs stepped aside in 2013.   In 2014 Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE recalled their ambassadors to Qatar.

Hillary was in Australia with Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey when a call came through from Ehud Barak that in response to rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel was about to begin an air campaign.

Hillary Clinton With Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr, Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

 

Hillary was bound for Singapore and then Thailand to meet up with President Obama.  They were to make an historic joint visit to Burma and Cambodia where she  had originally been scheduled to attend ASEAN with President Obama.   It was a critical summit addressing issues about the South China Sea.

But in the Middle East there was a chance of a ground invasion of Gaza.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Tour Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for November 20, 2012

The decision had been made that it was most important that she travel to the Middle East to seek a cease-fire. Hillary and her traveling party headed for Israel.

Breaking: Hillary Clinton Wheels Down Israel

She met with Netanyahu immediately upon landing, but was told she would not be given much time.  If she did not effect an agreement quickly, the plans for a ground invasion would be implemented.

Hillary Clinton’s Day in Pics

Hillary Clinton Strongly Condemns Bus Bombing in Tel Aviv

Hillary Clinton Brokers Egyptian-Sponsored Middle East Cease-Fire

The visit to Abbas was largely a formality to keep him relevant in a situation where he had no real control or muscle to exert since the threat was coming from Hamas.  Hillary wanted to be sure he was kept in the loop.  He appreciated that.

Missing element: trust.  Mubarak was gone and the Israeli’s did not trust the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt that was negotiating for Hamas.  An Iraeli official told Hillary that this was the hardest choice Bibi had faced as Prime Minister.

She left for Cairo with an Israeli-approved  strategy.  This is what her day looked like.

 

Public Schedule for November 21, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
November 21, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo. Please click here for more information.

8:15 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton meets with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in Jerusalem.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

9:30 a.m.  LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

11:00 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

2:40 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

4:10 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr deliver joint press statements, in Cairo. Please click here for a transcript of the remarks.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

Note: Secretary Clinton has no public schedule through Sunday, November 25th.

Morsi was educated in the U.S. and read carefully.  He questioned the translation, and objected to a portion until Hillary pointed out that his it was folks who had proposed that element at which point he let it slide.  He and the Muslim Brotherhood were new to leadership despite having something of a history,  and Hillary had to remind them of their position of leadership in the region.  The moment of the announcement would represent the apex of their authority.

Video: Hillary Clinton Announces Mid-East Cease-Fire

November 21, 2012 by still4hill

Hillary Clinton and the Gaza Cease-Fire

In the end a senior Israeli official told Hillary that they had been forty-eight hours from launching a ground offensive and that her intervention was the only thing standing in the way.

__________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

__________________________________________________________

####

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: