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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Upcoming Travel: Europe and the Middle East and Meet with Libyan Rebels *updated*

March 10, 2011


FYI:

Secretary Clinton’s Travel to Europe and the Middle East

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Paris from March 14 – 15 to participate in the G8 meetings and meet with foreign government counterparts.

The Secretary also will visit Egypt and Tunisia from March 15 – 17. At each stop, she will consult with government officials and elements of civil society on recent events and the full range of regional and bilateral issues.

I just saw this on Politico:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to the Middle East next week to promote democracy and meet with Libyan rebels, she said Thursday, as she announced that the United States has suspended relations with with the Libyan embassy in Washington.

As tensions boil over in the region, Clinton will be the first cabinet-level member of the Obama administration to visit Egypt and Tunisia since popular protest toppled their longtime leaders.

“I intend to convey strong support of the Obama administration and the American people that we wish to be a partner in the important work that lies ahead as they embark on a transition to a genuine democracy,” she said in morning testimony before a House subcommittee.

Clinton also said that the United States is “suspending our relationship with the existing Libyan embassy” in Washington.

“We expect them to end operating as the embassy of Libya. While in Egypt and Tunisia — both of which border Libya — she plans to meet with Libyans who have organized against Col. Muammar Qadhafi’s regime. The State Department, she said, has been “reaching out to the opposition inside and outside of Libya.” “

“We are standing with the Libyan people as they brave bombs and bullets to demand that Qadhafi must go now,” Clinton said.

[snip]

While House Republicans are not cutting Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security funding as they tackle federal debt, they didn’t make any special exceptions for the State Department. That leaves funding for civilian agents who support military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan on the chopping block. Clinton insists that those civilians are crucial to America’s success in the two wars, but faces skepticism from Republicans who question why the agency is asking for $11 billion more in 2012 than it spent in 2010.

“There have always been moments of temptation in our country to resist obligations beyond our borders,” she said. “But each time we have shrunk from global leadership, events summoned us back to reality.”

It is an absolute disgrace that the GOP wants to drastically cut State/USAID budgets while not cutting one dime from the massive defense/national security/intelligence infrastructure which is known to be a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy prone to fraud, abuse (hello, private contractors?) and duplication of effort. The contention that there is not one single area where the defense budget can be trimmed is just ludicrous and demonstrates how unwieldy, powerful and out of control the military-industrial-complex has become.

If you haven’t seen this PBS Frontline Documentary “Are We Safer” go watch it here. It talks about the expansion of the national security state after 9/11 and the economic and legal implications of so much secrecy, private contracting and an exponentially bloated bureaucracy. National security is big business. It’s almost like a secret government within a government with minimal to no oversight and apparently few, if any, budgetary constraints.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Tovah permalink
    March 10, 2011 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the head’s up Stacy, you’re the best!

  2. Bea permalink
    March 10, 2011 2:46 pm

    Why did they announce the trip? Things are still not very stable in either country. I hope that she is safe.

    • March 10, 2011 2:51 pm

      Bea- It is strange because often they wait but they may have had a reason for letting people know she was traveling to the region precisely because of what is going on.

      I wouldn’t have posted it if it wasn’t already reported in the media, like here:

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4040597,00.html

      I don’t like to post any info. on her upcoming travel unless the State Dept. says it can be posted and unless it’s clear the media is already reporting it.

      • Bea permalink
        March 11, 2011 12:54 am

        Oh, this wasn’t directed at you. It was the State Dept. that announced the trip. I just worry about her when she goes to countries that are pretty unstable. When she went to Yemen they didn’t announce it ahead of time for safety reasons..

  3. Terry permalink
    March 10, 2011 2:59 pm

    Hillary is a brave woman. The NYTimes says she is planning on meeting with the Libyan “rebels” (can we find another term to use for them?).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/world/africa/11clinton.html?_r=1&hp

    Her presence in the area has gotta add courage to their struggle. I suppose the state department is feverishly trying to sort out who the leaders are. If you know Hillary, particularly of late, she will meet with some women’s groups and do some townhalls. Has any SOS every gotten down and talked with the people like Hillary does? I think this is the hallmark of her style.

  4. Terry permalink
    March 10, 2011 3:45 pm

    Off subject but I just heard they are casting a movie version of “Game Change”. Julianne Moore is playing Palin. Wondering who they will get for Hillary or Obama?

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      March 11, 2011 9:52 am

      Hillary – Helen Mirren? Glenn Close? Blythe Danner?
      Obama – Don Cheadle?

      But what good actress in her right mind would want to play Hillary in a movie about Palin? Plus Moore seems totally miscast. She could never come across as an airhead.

      • March 11, 2011 10:09 am

        The only reason they are turning that crappy book (which i read) into a movie is because it’s filled with gossip, high drama, innuendo etc. The whole book was created using anonymous sources who clearly used that as an opportunity to exact revenge against people with whom they had an axe to grind. That’s not to say there was nothing true in the book, we already know there was (Harry Reid calling Obama a “negro”) but my point is, there is a reason they chose THIS particular book to make into a movie as opposed to the more journalistically honest books about the 2008 campaign (one of which I read but the title escapes me).

        I won’t be seeing this movie.

        As for actors- as far as I’m concerned Helen Mirren should be in every movie made. I’m a Mirren fan.

  5. Hatem permalink
    March 12, 2011 3:19 am

    Be welcome in tunisia beautiful lady.

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