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Thursday December 16th 2010 Public Schedule for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

December 16, 2010


9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.

10:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the annual Department of State Retirement Ceremony, at the Department of State.

11:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton attends President Obama’s statement to the press on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.

3:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with leaders from civil liberties organizations, at the Department of State.

5:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a farewell reception for OMB Director Jack Lew, at the Department of State.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Thain permalink
    December 16, 2010 9:53 am

    Where has stacy been? I miss her commentary- there is so much fopo stuff going on.

    You didn’t go start another website and not tell us did you? 😦

    I want to know what you think about the State Dept. totally punting on speaking out against Israel’s ongoing detention of the Palestinian Gandhi!

    • Steve permalink
      December 16, 2010 10:26 am

      Maybe Stacy is busy given it’s a busy time of year. It’s not like she’s not blogging Thain. I think if she were starting another blog she’d tell us. At least i hope so. 🙂

      Also Thain, I’ll wager an answer to your question about the Palestinian Gandhi, whose illegal detention the whole world, except the US, has condemned. It’s another concession to the Israel lobby. We’ve been calling on the Palestinians- and pretty much people throughout the world- to use nonviolence to make their political points but when they use nonviolence and they are oppressed and imprisoned we ignore that, except of course in places like Cuba, Venezuela and Iran.

      I’m very disappointed in Secretary Clinton on this. How can we encourage peaceful protests and peaceful resolution of conflict if we don’t speak out on something like this?

      If Gandhi really had been Palestinian he’d have been tossed in jail. The US talks the talk but sadly we don’t walk the walk.

      The good news is this guy has lots of support among progressives in Israel. They get it.

      In other news, more proof Bibi has no interest in peace but the media has ignored these particular wiki cables. I wonder why? Also notice that Congress seems to be propping up Bibi. Someone needs to tell Congress their President is not Netanyahu, but Obama.

      • Steve permalink
        December 16, 2010 10:31 am

        I want to add, that HuffPo article is older and doesn’t represent what is going on currently- after completing his imprisonment when it came time for him to be released, the IDF has refused so right now he’s in jail illegally.

        This is what he was originally charged with violating:

        “The attempt, verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order”

        Free speech much?

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        December 16, 2010 10:51 am

        What kind of a bogus, bat crap charge is that? He’s charged with being annoying?! With that law anyone who says anything outside of Netanyahu administration policy could be arrested and, it seems, jailed for as long as the IDF damn well pleases. That’s uncomfortably un-democratic.

      • December 16, 2010 10:54 am

        Thank you. I wasn’t even aware of this person, though I did know that Israel imprisons/kills peaceful Palestinian protesters. I agree that Gandhi, as great as he was, wouldn’t have had a chance in Palestine against Israel and the US. One factor in Gandhi’s favor was the huge size of the Indian population. Even the Israeli government could not possibly, even with US assistance of all kinds, silence hundreds of millions of people. The relatively small size of the Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations helps make Israel’s behavior viable.

        People who rely on US news outlets (including NPR) think they’re getting real global news and that the only issue is whether the news slants Right or Left.

  2. December 16, 2010 11:16 am

    Every day beginning last week one reporter at the State dept. daily press briefing has been asking for a comment from the State Dept. about Abu Rhahma’s continued detention given that most of the EU, members of the Quartet, former diplomats etc. have all spoken out. Every day the State Dept. said “we’ll get back to you” and then yesterday all Crowley said was “we’re monitoring it, check with the embassy in Tel Aviv.” I was really, really disgusted with that. The journalist was incredulous at the response and said something to the effect of “you’re monitoring it? You also monitor the weather in Beijing…”

    It’s because of stuff like this that every day, ordinary Palestinians are cynical about US-led efforts to negotiate peace. It’s things like this that help young Palestinians rationalize turning to violence since when they protest peacefully, they are treated like violent terrorists anyway. It’s things like this that bolster support for Hamas. We seem to be utterly indifferent to our own hypocrisy in calling for nonviolence and then labeling such nonviolence “delegitimization.” Quite frankly, it’s infuriating.

    The US seems unable to serve as an objective arbiter in the peace process because our hands are tied by domestic politics and a very twisted interpretation of “loyalty” and “staunch support” for Israel. How ironic given our own long-standing policies of never criticizing Israel and never holding them to any reasonable international standard of behavior- standards we demand others subscribe to, have, in effect, made it more difficult for us to help create a lasting peace.

  3. December 16, 2010 2:20 pm

    Well, this was a foregone conclusion:

    More war for the warmakers who never have to be inconvenienced by the wars they start- except in a business/politics sort of way. But that’s the way it’s always been since about the bronze age.

    I wonder how Obama’s anti-war base is feeling now? Really happy with their POTUS? Even better, I hope the Nobel Prize committee feels like the jerks they are for giving this guy an award he did not deserve. If he had the slightest bit of humility and respect for people who have ACTUALLY dedicated their lives to peace, he would give the prize back. It’s a disgrace. Targeted assassinations, spying, rendition, secrecy, tens of thousands of civilian deaths and Karzai is pocketing our money, doing drugs and refusing to take his bipolar meds., all the while the Taliban scurry like ants into Pakistan. Lovely. That’s my war assessment.

    I think we should have a draft. Lets see more lawmakers kids go to Afghanistan and Iraq or Iran (if that’s next) instead of, say, Yale or Princeton.

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      December 16, 2010 2:27 pm

      The lawmaker’s progeny would have the money to leavd the country. A draft would bring in young people who had no desire to be in the military, but who weren’t affluent enough to escape it.

      • December 16, 2010 2:36 pm

        They would have to craft it in a way to not allow the same sort of exemptions that plagued earlier drafts. Or maybe we need a war tax? Trillions for this war but we are talking about cutting basic social services, increasing the retirement age etc. Where is all this money going that we give to Pakistan and Afghanistan. There have been many reports that some is going to the Taliban, some is ending up in corrupt lawmakers private accounts. It’s outrageous. How can we fix Afghanistan if there is no functioning govt that has any legitimacy? Karzai lives in a little bubble in Kabul and controls virtually nothing outside of that area. And Pakistan has nukes? That’s what drives me crazy about all the Iran talk- we think they are a threat? How about focusing on the extremist state that already has nukes and which provides cover for the Taliban, AQ etc.

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        December 16, 2010 4:12 pm

        Pakistan’s singular, nearly obsessive focus on India has a lot to do with their embrace of islamic extremists. They took them in because they were against India while never stopping to think how harboring these people might effect their relationships with other countries. If India and Pakistan could stop antagonizing each other simply for the sake of doing so and allow things to stabilize a little between them, I think it would do a world of good. India would be safer and Pakistan could begin to move on the extremist elements within their country – the extremists themselves and the laws and cultural practices they champion.

    • December 16, 2010 3:19 pm

      The Nobel Committee really outdid themselves with giving him the award. I recall at the time the US media tried to excuse it by relating who the other candidate in contention was, and apparently that person wasn’t too popular. But there are at any time countless people actively engaged in nonviolent peace-making, making sacrifices, and risking their lives to make a difference in the lives of others. There were plenty of other people who could have received that award. Greg Mortenson, author of 3 cups of tea, was being considered. Imagine, someone who is educating children and winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan and Pakistan, rather than killing, flying drones, and playing war games…

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        December 16, 2010 4:00 pm

        I think they should’ve given Obama the Nobel Prize for literature. He’s great with fiction.

  4. December 16, 2010 6:04 pm

    Red Cross: Afghan Conditions at Worst Point in 30 Years

    As Obama prepares to claim progress in the war, the International Committee of the Red Cross is warning that the conditions it faces in Afghanistan are at their worst point in 30 years. In a rare public appeal, the Red Cross said the situation has worsened on each of the key measures of civilian casualties, internal displacement and access to medical care.

  5. GeorgeS permalink
    December 16, 2010 6:29 pm

    I watched the snippets of the press conference with Clinton, Gates etc. and quite frankly, Hillary sounds more like a Secretary of Defense. I’m just not buying her line that at this point we’re in Afghanistan so we all can be safe here at home. There’s an excellent argument that our actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan is actually making us less safe and serving as a recruiting tool for terrorism. If we take her argument further we might as well declare war on Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia….

    Face it, we ain’t never leaving Afghanistan or Iraq. We’ll eventually benefit from the oil in Iraq and the massive oil pipeline we got Karzai to approve in Afghanistan.

  6. December 17, 2010 2:18 am

    As Obama prepares to claim progress in the war, the International Committee of the Red Cross is warning that the conditions it faces in Afghanistan are at their worst point in 30 years. In a rare public appeal, the Red Cross said the situation has worsened on each of the key measures of civilian casualties, internal displacement and access to medical care.

  7. December 17, 2010 8:27 am

    I’ll admit I’m kind of bummed out about the direction of our foreign policy. I can be as pragmatic as the next person but in some key ways it doesn’t seem all that different than Bush’s. Yes, there are some key differences and it’s good we have reached out to some countries like Iran that Bush simply refused to talk to but our Cuba policy is still ridiculous, I can’t find consistency in our human rights approach to certain countries other than if we need the country or like the country (China, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and yes, Israel) we overlook their abuses, if we don’t like the country, we constantly point out their abuses (cuba, iran) for what seems like political reasons. And then there’s the mideast. Netanyahu is doing exactly what he did in the 90’s while the media ignores that inconvenient fact- and it’s all on video tape, as I’ve said about 20 times before- I posted the video here of Bibi saying he used the peace process under Bill Clinton to grab more land under the guise of security.

    Then there is Afghanistan. I guess we’re all republicans now- that’s the thought I had watching the White House remarks yesterday. The military seems to want to pretend the first 7 or so years of the war didn’t exist and now they want a do-over. We’ve become addicted to war without sacrifice, except for the military and their families who sacrifice greatly. For every civilian killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, how many radicals are created?

    My father is a combat veteran and he pointed out something very basic a long time ago- the military will NEVER admit its strategy isn’t working and tell the POTUS we should leave- they didn’t in Vietnam and they aren’t going to in Afghanistan. The military leaders will have to be forced to leave, like in Vietnam. There is always one more strategy they want to try, there is always the claim “if only we had more troops” and they will always say they are making progress but need more time.

  8. December 17, 2010 9:22 am

    This really isn’t good. In fact, it’s outright hypocrisy on the part of the State Dept. and more people are noticing. Why in the world can’t the State Dept. release a statement saying we support the free speech and nonviolent actions of ALL activists throughout the world? The statement doesn’t even have to “condemn” Israel. There is only one reason why we won’t make such a statement- we are willing to undermine the very pro-human rights, democratic, civil society ideals we proclaim to profess simply so we won’t hurt Israel’s feelings and the feelings of the pro-Israel lobby in the US:

    And this is a must-read about how the tide may be very, very, very slowly turning for the Israel Lobby and not in the best of ways and quite frankly, they have only themselves to blame. This resolution btw, was unnecessary and it’s sole purpose was to shamelessly pander to the Lobby, as AIPAC essentially co-wrote it (probably at the request of bibi) with Rep. Berman. Given the admin. has said REPEATEDLY that it opposes a unilateral declaration of statehood, this resolution was totally unnecessary:

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      December 17, 2010 12:30 pm

      In a country on every kind of person and which preachs tolerence and pluralism, we can’t admit that there are “good” Palestinians. Even a Palestinian who advocates nonviolent resistance is ignored because he’s a Palestinian and, to this country, Palestinians are “bad”.

      • December 17, 2010 1:46 pm

        Agree. Also, you see very little discussion of fact that not all Palestinians are Muslim. They are Christian, too…

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        December 17, 2010 2:06 pm

        Yes, you’re right. Many of the rules directed at Palestinians aren’t directed at “muslims” but at “non-Jews”. Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, whatever – if you aren’t Jewish, then, in theory, you are liable to come against this thinking at some point. I haven’t been to Israel, so I don’t know and can only speculate.

      • Steve permalink
        December 17, 2010 3:04 pm

        @discourse- racism has become entrenched in the Israeli system. Most people can’t comprehend it never having seen it first hand. Most Jewish friends that I know that have gone to Israel do the religious/historical tourism thing and only see the “good” side. I criticize Israel because I honestly do care about it’s future and I think it’s leaning towards ethnocracy.

        As a dual citizen I have an identity card that identifies me as Jewish- it’s considered my nationality and religion. I gained automatic citizenship under the Law of Return that says persons born to a Jewish mother are allowed to immigrate to Israel. If you are a non-Jew, you don’t have the same right to nor do you have the enhanced status that goes along with being a Jewish citizen. Non-Jews have a much, much harder time being granted citizenship. You will have freedom of movement, where Arabs will not. I only became a citizen because my wife was born in Israeli and I spent time there. Most people don’t realize there is no civil marriage in Israel and that causes a ton of problems. Interfaith marriages are not conducted in Israel but an interfaith marriage from abroad will be recognized by Israel. Of course, we went abroad to get married anyway because only the orthodox rabbinate could marry Jews in Israel and we aren’t orthodox. I’m not sure if that rule has changed- this was quite a while ago.

        All this is one of the reasons why demanding Arabs recognition of Israel as a “Jewish” state as opposed to just recognizing it as the State of Israel, is controversial. It’s not just semantics, it determines legal rights of Israeli citizens.

        There is a very troubling focus on “family purity” that to me sounds very fascist. It’s all very complicated and it’s been a long time since I lived in Israel- (the 80’s) so I actually forget some of the intricacies of these rules. There are conversion bills in the Knesset right now that are very controversial.

      • AsherLev permalink
        December 17, 2010 3:21 pm

        Steve- that’s about right. Some of what you describe has been liberalized a bit due to pressure from American Jewish groups because obviously there are interfaith marriages in the US and also conversions that wouldn’t have been recognized in Israel. It’s still very strict though. There have been lots of revisions to the conversion laws and Law of Return depending on the political winds but the ultimate goal here in Israel is an ethnically pure state. Judaism here is not just a religion it’s a nationality and ethnicity. This gets us into trouble in my opinion because many see it primarily as a religion.

        Despite what some think we are not a secular state. Far from it.

  9. December 18, 2010 12:27 pm

    This video is a must watch for anyone interested in encouraging the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, the State Dept. has not stepped up to the plate to do the right thing and condemn the imprisonment of nonviolent Palestinian activists. It pains me to say that, but I have been following this case very closely and the video speaks for itself.

    For years I have heard the US government almost beg Palestinians to use nonviolent means to express themselves. The use of violence was always a key reason why support for Palestinians remained so unbelievably low. Now that Palestinians are using nonviolence to oppose the occupation, the US has turned a blind eye. Perhaps the US only called for the use of nonviolence all those years ago (continuing into today) thinking thinking that the Palestinians could never live up to that. Now that many have turned to nonviolence (not all of course), we (the US and Israel) came up with a clever way to undermine the nonviolent movement- we came up with the word “delegitimize” to describe any attempts to oppose the occupation using nonviolent means. The word delegitimize has been used by the Israeli govt, the Israel lobby, the US media and unfortunately, the US government, to describe any words or action which could be construed as a criticism of Israel, whether said criticism is valid or not. This word is why President Obama can call on the Palestinians to lay down arms and then when they are imprisoned, ignore their plight. It is why we can be such hypocrites.

    What other lesson can young Palestinians take from this total hypocrisy than the only way to get the worlds attention is to use violence? Because when they use peaceful methods, we not only ignore them but we demonize them as having evil motives (delegitimizers).


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