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Heard Around the Hillary-Sphere: TGIF Edition *updated*

August 28, 2009

M_Id_103340_Hillary_ClintonThank God It’s Friday!

Here’s a round-up of some of the articles about Secretary Clinton…

I’m glad to see Honduras is back in the news again because quite honestly, one might have been tempted to think that everything had been resolved given the almost total lack of MSM news coverage about the ongoing stalemate which has occurred.

Yesterday in the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing, the issue of Honduras came up and today, there are quite a few articles about the State Department considering cutting off aid to the country (some aid has already been stopped, but a relatively minimal amount compared to the total) and looking into other options given the de facto regime seems unwilling to sign onto the San Jose Accords and is instead, trying to fashion an alternative solution:

Honduras’ de facto president said Thursday that he is willing to resign and let ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya back into the country, as long as Zelaya gives up his quest for leadership.

Ousted Honduras leader Jose Manuel Zelaya may be allowed to return to his country under certain conditions.

The new proposal calls for the person next in line, as required by the constitution, to succeed de facto President Roberto Micheletti. Under terms of the proposal, Zelaya could return as a private citizen, but not be allowed to resume his post.

Presidential elections held after both resigned would be monitored by international observers such as the Organization of American States and the European Union, according to the proposal.

Zelaya did not immediately issue a response to the offer.

Until now, Micheletti has made clear that Zelaya would be arrested if he returned.
The offer comes two months after Zelaya was seized by the military in his pajamas and forced to leave the country…

And this article discusses the imposition of possible sanctions against Honduras (ie. cutting off monetary aid):

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is considering action against Honduras in the wake of the ouster of its president, a move that could lead to suspension of millions in U.S. development aid, a senior State Department official said Thursday.

Her staff has recommended that she sign a determination that the ouster and forced exile of President Manuel Zelaya on June 28 meets the legal definition of a coup d’etat, the official said. That would trigger suspension of $215 million in U.S. aid under an anti-poverty program run by the Millennium Challenge Corp.

The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because a decision on the recommended action is still pending.

The presidential crisis in Honduras has put the Obama administration in a tricky position as it works with regional leaders to reinstate Zelaya, who is opposed by all branches of the Honduran government as well as the military, which removed him and flew him out of the country.

The Organization of American States sent a high-level delegation to Honduras this week to try to arrange the reinstatement of Zelaya but failed. U.S. officials have grown frustrated with the de facto Honduran government’s refusal thus far to accept a compromise solution proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who has acted as a mediator in the dispute.

Zelaya was deposed amid suspicions among his opponents that he wanted to overturn the constitutional provision limiting Honduran presidents to a single term. He denies that was his intention.
The Obama administration initially suspended military relations with Honduras and suspended some aid, but it has withheld legal judgment that would determine the fate of the Millennium Challenge assistance…

There has been some diplomatic fall-out from the Afghan election, which has yet to declare a winner:

Richard Holbrooke raised concerns about ballot-stuffing and fraud, by a number of candidates’ teams, sources say.

The US envoy also said a second-round run-off could make the election process more credible, the sources said.

Concerns have already been raised about Afghanistan’s election, although final results are not due until September.
A number of senior sources have confirmed the details of a meeting between Mr Holbrooke and Mr Karzai held on 21 August, one day after the election.

The meeting was described as “explosive” and “a dramatic bust-up”.
Mr Holbrooke is said to have twice raised the idea of holding a second round run-off because of concerns about the voting process.

He is believed to have complained about the use of fraud and ballot stuffing by some members of the president’s campaign team, as well as other candidates.

Mr Karzai reacted very angrily and the meeting ended shortly afterward, the sources said.
However, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Kabul denied there had been any shouting or that Mr Holbrooke had stormed out…

On China, India and climate change:

Noting that India and China need to be part of the solution on climate change, the United States has said that it would like the two Asian giants to make significant investment in the success of a summit on climate change to be held in Copenhagen in December.

“What we want to see from India and China is a significant investment in the Copenhagen process,” the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, told reporters on Thursday at the daily State Department press briefing.

“They have to be part of the solution if we are going to make progress in dealing with greenhouse gases,” Crowley said. He was responding to a question based on an interview given by the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to an Indian newspaper in which he said that India and China have agreed to work together on the issue of climate change to withstand the pressure from the west.

Crowley said the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during her trip to India and China earlier, had discussions with both the countries on this critical issue of climate change…

This next article involves President Clinton’s trip to N. Korea and I don’t want to miss any opportunity to remind people that Bush apologist and neocon, John Bolton, is always wrong. Here is an excerpt:

…That’s where former President Bill Clinton came in. The Obama administration was in a tough bind. Of course, it wanted to secure the release of American citizens. But with the North Koreans conducting missile tests and refusing to curb their nuclear ambitions, it was not the time for the president or another top administration official to visit Pyongyang to beg for mercy. On the other hand, it was imperative that the U.S. send someone who would be received personally by Kim Jong Il, because he was the only person who could grant the journalists’ release.

We all know what happened next. Clinton arrived in Pyongyang, he met with Kim Jong Il, the women were released, and a day later they were reunited with their anxious families in Los Angeles. That alone would have been a huge victory.

But the importance of Clinton’s trip goes far beyond the release of the two Americans. U.S. relations with North Korea were at an impasse when he embarked on his mission. Constructive diplomacy had all but ceased as the Obama administration, reacting to what it saw as defiance from North Korea, began talking of additional sanctions and punishments. And based on the last two decades of U.S-North Korea relations, we had little reason to believe such punitive actions would lead to improvements. Although North Korea probably would have become more impoverished, it certainly also would have become more defiant. There would have been no solution to such a political impasse…

Just so you know, being wrong never stops John Bolton from a) having his faulty opinions given premium real estate on the editorial pages of our nations largest, most respected [*cough*] newspapers and/or b) applying his same flawed thinking to other foreign policy issues. In fact, as we speak, Bolton is probably drawing up a declaration of war against Iran. You heard it here first.

Fox News is doing it’s usual creative editorializing on the issue of the current status of Mid-East talks and specifically, whether or not the US is going to soften it’s position on Israeli settlements:

The Obama administration appears to be backing down on its insistence that Israel halt all settlement activity as a condition for restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.
While U.S. officials insist their position on the matter has not changed, they are now hinting that a less blanket moratorium would be acceptable provided the Palestinians and Arab states agree.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday that the U.S. “position in these discussions remains unchanged,” but he added that the U.S. would be flexible on pre-negotiation conditions for all the parties involved.

[snip]

But they also acknowledged that a compromise from the previous hard stance on settlements laid out by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton may be necessary due to the equally firm line taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent talks with Mitchell.

Clinton said in May that Israel needed to apply a freeze on all new settlement construction, including so-called “natural growth” in existing projects in the West Bank. It would also apply to activity in east Jerusalem, notably the eviction of Palestinian families and demolition of Palestinian homes.

Mitchell met Netanyahu in London on Wednesday for talks that both sides said made unspecified “good progress” but did not produce an agreement on a freeze. Mitchell will hold follow-up talks next week with an Israeli delegation in the United States, although officials downplayed chances for a breakthrough.

Crowley and other U.S. officials denied Israeli media reports that Mitchell had agreed to leave East Jerusalem out of the agreement and settle for a nine- to 12-month freeze in the West Bank only that would also allow the completion of projects already under construction…

Contrast that with CNN:


“The State Department is sticking with a strict no-new-settlements policy toward Israel, its spokesman said Thursday, but he held out the possibility that Israelis and Palestinians might eventually take a different path.

“The position that the secretary has stated remains our position,” spokesman P.J. Crowley said at his daily briefing. “And we continue to discuss with Israel and with the other parties what they have to do on the settlement issue.”


Heh.

And finally, it looks like Secretary Clinton and President Clinton will be attending Ted Kennedy’s funeral here in Boston tomorrow:

Nearly 100 current and former Senators were preparing to make their way to Boston on Friday and Saturday for the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as part of a Congressional delegation led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

As of early Friday afternoon, some 92 past and present Senators had indicated they would attend the funeral, as well as scores of House Members.

In addition to Reid, current Senators planning to attend the funeral include Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

Thirty-two current Members of the Senate are scheduled to take a plane from Andrews Air Force Base, just outside of Washington, to Boston on Saturday morning for the funeral, while dozens more were making their own travel arrangements.

At least 18 former Senators were expected to join current Members in travelling by plane from Washington, including former Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) and former Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Wyche Fowler (D-Ga.), Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.), Bill Brock (R-Tenn.) and Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.).
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and all four living former presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — were scheduled to attend the funeral, while international dignitaries at the services will include Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

The other day I highlighted an article about the collective outrage of people in response to Libyan President Col. Gadhafi’s plan to stay in Eglewood, NJ prior to the UN General Assembly which starts next month and the Department of Homegirl security wrote about the escalating rhetoric from all sides, here. Well, the citizens of Englewood (and the victim’s families of Pan Am 103) can rest easier tonight as it looks like the mounting pressure paid off:

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is back to looking for room and board when he makes a visit to the United Nations General Assembly next month. Officials confirmed Friday that Gadhafi will not be staying in an Englewood mansion under construction after the town’s mayor and residents protested his arrival.

Washington, D.C.-based representatives of Gadhafi told New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman the leader decided against coming to Englewood…

[snip]

“I want to thank President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the literally dozens of their appointees I have had the pleasure to work so closely with over the past seven days in achieving this result. I also want to thank the Libyan government for their hard work and consideration in resolving this matter in such a positive fashion,” he added.

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes had threatened to go to court to prevent Gadhafi from staying in the recently renovated mansion.

“If the U.S. State Department won’t shut this down, we will,” Englewood Wildes said. “New Jersey’s governor, its two U.S. senators and its U.S. congressmen are all on board on this.”

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Ikasu permalink
    August 28, 2009 10:27 pm

    Settlements. The word alone should tell a lot about the political nature of the Israel/Palestine conflict, but for some reason people think settlements (modern day colonies) are acceptable.

  2. August 29, 2009 12:57 am

    I read in AP that Bush Sr. and Barbara would not attend the Kennedy funeral because W was going. What’s up with that?

  3. pcfs permalink
    August 29, 2009 8:48 am

    Maggie,
    I heard he is not feeling well. Both have had problems with their health this past year.

  4. August 29, 2009 9:32 am

    That’s right, the senior Bushes have had some health issues of late.

    Ikasu- I agree- our thinking on this has been so skewed

  5. tomH permalink
    August 29, 2009 11:13 am

    I’m glad to see this round-up- I get news of Hillary and a brush-up about what is going on with the world!

  6. ladyinblue permalink
    August 29, 2009 11:47 am

    THE DROUGHT IS OVER!

  7. ladyinblue permalink
    August 29, 2009 11:48 am

  8. August 23, 2013 6:58 pm

    great

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