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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Paris *updated*

March 14, 2011

Here’s her travel schedule”

5:00 p.m. LOCAL (EDT + 5 hours) Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with French President Sarkozy, in Paris, France.

6:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, in Paris, France.

7:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto, in Paris, France.

8:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends the G8 Ministerial Dinner, in Paris, France.

Secretary Clinton has landed in Paris and will be meeting with members of the G8 and also Libyan rebel leaders:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to meet with Libyan rebel leaders in Paris today in her first overseas trip to address Arab world revolutions since the ousting of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Her visit comes as the Obama administration shows wariness about offering support to Libyan rebels and Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s forces make surprising gains.

In Paris, Clinton will meet with Libyan opposition figures and meet several European counterparts to discuss military intervention in Libya, the Associated Press reports. France has already recognized the Libyan opposition interim council and, together with Britain, is drafting a no-fly zone resolution to put forward at the United Nations Security Council. But the US has been more reticent to throw its full support behind the rebels

AP notes that the US regard for rebels “may well depend” on Clinton’s meetings today, since “the [rebel] council’s composition and aims largely remain a mystery to American officials.”

Clinton is due to visit Tunisia and Egypt after Paris to express support for the ousters of autocratic governments there. “We have an enormous stake in ensuring that Egypt and Tunisia provide models for the kind of democracy that we want to see,” Clinton told lawmakers last week, warning them about Iran’s attempts to gain influence across the region, according to the Agence France-Presse.

Even though the Arab League offered a strongly-worded statement of support this weekend for an internationally backed no-fly zone over Libya, saying that the Libyan government had “lost its sovereignty,” Obama on Sunday showed hesitation in committing the US to military action in Libya.

“Anytime I send United States forces into a potentially hostile situation, there are risks involved and there are consequences. And it is my job as president to make sure that we have considered all those risks,” he told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “It’s also important from a political perspective to, as much as possible, maintain the strong international coalition that we have right now.”

The Obama administration has expressed concern about a military that is already spread thin and about being perceived as meddling in another country’s affairs. It has insisted that any military intervention have UN approval and support from the Arab League.

Meanwhile, Qaddafi’s forces have made surprisingly strong gains against rebels, even advancing toward the opposition “capital” of Benghazi in eastern Libya…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stands on the tarmac after arriving, Monday, March 14, 2011 at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris.

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prior to a meeting of Group of Eight powers, on March 14, 2011 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    March 14, 2011 12:11 pm

    I’m confused. A month ago, as Mubarek’s regime was unravelling, “White House sources” (Samantha Power would be my guess) leaked a story to the New York Times that Obama was “furious” with Hillary for her cautious response to events in Egypt. The Times article depicted Obama as “navigating the counsel of a traditional foreign policy establishment led by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Biden and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, against that of a next-generation White House staff who worried that the American preoccupation with stability could put a historic president on the wrong side of history.” So the February Obama had no problem throwing an ally of 30 years under the bus (I agreed with his stance — though it took him over a week to decide what his stance would be — but that’s not the point I’m making). OK, now flash forward to the present. In Muammar Quaddafi, we have another ruthless, corrupt, not to mention totally psychotic dictator who has no problem slaughtering hundreds (or by now thousands) of his own people and who was removed from the US State Dept’s list of terrorism sponsors only 5 years ago — with this maniac, team Obama is now “concerned about… being perceived as meddling in another country’s affairs.” Huh? Hey Samantha, aren’t you concerned about putting an “historic” President on the wrong side of history?

    • PYW permalink
      March 14, 2011 4:46 pm

      Carolyn, Wasn’t it that right-wing site Newsmax that said Obama was “furious” with Hillary? The N.Y. Times article wasn’t quite that silly (the right is always grasping at “evidence” Hillary and Obama are at loggerheads), but it certainly looked like it was sourced by people in the WH (Powers is a real possibility, as you point out) trying to shift blame to Hillary. To Hillary’s credit, she doesn’t spend time worrying about petty leaks in the paper. She’d rather concentrate on actually working, lol.

      • Thain permalink
        March 14, 2011 6:36 pm

        @PYW- I thought it was in a major outlet like the Times or Post. Stacy would know because she covered it here and I don’t know if she’d highlight a story that just appears in Newsmax, which is sort of the Fox News of internet news sites.

        • stacyx permalink*
          March 14, 2011 7:02 pm

          Yes, I thought it was the NYT or Politico but I’d have to go back and check to be sure.

          OT: Another day in the life of a Palestinian woman:

          http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/11/the_forgotten_bedouin_in_israel

          Heartbreaking. The women always seem to get the worst of it.

          More and more the desire for a “Jewish majority” seems overtly racist when it involves running people off their land, destroying their property and pushing them farther and farther away from the cities and natural resources. Can you imagine the state of MA bulldozing my house and getting rid of people of a particular religion or race to make room for the privileged race/religion for security reasons? And if you do that on a very large scale, there’s another term for it “ethnic cleansing.”

          • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
            March 14, 2011 7:56 pm

            It may have been reported elsewhere, too, but the NY Times had a lengthy story about it on 2/13 [“In US Signals to Egypt, Obama Staddled a Rift”].

          • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
            March 15, 2011 3:37 pm

            Meanwhile, back in the West Bank, a family of five settlers is tragically murdered (there were three children among the dead). Before the IDF and Shin Bet have even investigated the murders, the Israeli govt sanctions the construction of 500 new units. Interior minister Eli Yishai, of the pro-settlement, rightwing Shas party, insists Israel should build “at least a thousand new homes for each person murdered”. As reported in the Guardian, ” The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had been expected to propose an interim Palestinian state on temporary borders, but analysts suggested that may now be shelved.”
            What a surprise…think they were waiting for an excuse, any excuse?

        • PYW permalink
          March 14, 2011 8:01 pm

          I just recall seeing the word “furious” in a headline from a Newsmax article that was linked on the right (not one stacy featured in a post) but maybe it was also in the Times. Regardless, the blame-Hillary angle made those WH sources look petty.

          • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
            March 17, 2011 12:29 am

            From the NY Times article published Feb 12th:

            WASHINGTON — Last Saturday afternoon, President Obama got a jarring update from his national security team: With restive crowds of young Egyptians demanding President Hosni Mubarak’s immediate resignation, Frank G. Wisner, Mr. Obama’s envoy to Cairo, had just told a Munich conference that Mr. Mubarak was indispensable to Egypt’s democratic transition.

            Mr. Obama was furious, and it did not help that his secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Wisner’s key backer, was publicly warning that any credible transition would take time — even as Mr. Obama was demanding that change in Egypt begin right away.”

            That was the second paragraph of the article.

    • Bea permalink
      March 15, 2011 9:55 am

      That’s called deflection, every WH does it. Do anything to divert attention from a president’s screw ups by finding a fall guy. But this is Hillary Clinton they are talking about and not some semi unkown flunky. They can try to bring her down, but we have her back and won’t let the weasels get away with it.

      Off topic, what’s up with the first pic where she is with Sarkozy? He appears to be pointing at her chest. LOL!!!

      • PYW permalink
        March 15, 2011 10:27 am

        Bea, I noticed that, too, about the Sarkozy pic, lol.

        • Bea permalink
          March 15, 2011 10:43 am

          Ahhhhh, once a ladies’ man, always a ladies’ man….

          LOL!!!

          • Terry permalink
            March 15, 2011 2:47 pm

            What I remember is the last time she met Sarkozy on these steps she slipped out of her shoe and he sort of caught her. I suspect they are revisiting that moment.

  2. Thain permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:33 pm

    OT: Hey, look, Mr. Self Righteous Evan Bayh has a new lobbying job AND he’s going to work for Fox News.

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/former-senator-evan-bayh-to-pair-lobbying-with-conservative-television-punditry/

    I think it’s a marriage made in heaven. This is standard for Fox- Bayh will be billed as the token Democrat and his job will be to bash liberals and dems (bc those two things are not always the same, as we know). I hope all Bayh’s democratic friends are happy that he’ll be bashing them and helping the GOP win in 2012. He should have just switched parties and spared us all the drama.

    ps. to my fellow Hillary fans- don’t take too much offense at my sarcasm. I know a lot of Hillary supporters like Bayh but I never did. I always thought he was an annoying DINO asshat. Sorry.🙂

  3. Thain permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:35 pm

    Sorry, one more thing about Bayh, this is funny.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/03/14/hoosier-daddy/

  4. March 15, 2011 8:36 pm

    @Carolyn:

    Bibi never misses an opportunity to find a reason not to advance peace. His supposed upcoming proposal was just smoke and mirrors anyway in an attempt to shift responsibility to the Palestinians. His idea of interim borders can’t be accepted by the PA and he knows that- it’s just more foot-dragging- but Bibi only puts forth ideas he knows ahead of time will be rejected.

    As tragic as the murder of the Israeli family was, it’s not a reason to kick the peace can down the road for another 5 years. If anything, it means they better put all put their own private agendas aside and get to the table. Problem is, Israel won’t go along with what the international community knows is a just solution to the conflict- (’67 borders with land swaps to keep some of the larger settlements in Israeli control, security guarantees for Israel, international presence in the Jordan Valley for a period of time, minimal to no right of return and E. Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state and normalization of relations with the member states of the Arab League). But now, Israel knows that Congress no longer really supports any of the above- Congress thinks Israel shouldn’t have to make any concessions with respect to land and in particular East Jerusalem, so basically, there is no peace process so long as the US refuses to be an honest broker.

    I also think Bibi would love any excuse to initiate a Cast Lead II. I think everyone over there is stuck in a very sick cycle of provocation, violence, retribution and more provocation. It never ends.

    Of course, when the only tool at your disposal is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

  5. March 15, 2011 8:37 pm

    Nope, nothin’ to see here, move along:

    Women and children- always the women and children

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      March 15, 2011 9:05 pm

      If the US media showed clips like this, it would begin to humanize Palestinians and generate sympathy. Which is why it’s censored.

      • March 16, 2011 10:52 am

        This is what happens to you if you try to tell the story of the Palestinians and challenge some of the entrenched biases about them- the ADL and anti-peace, pro status quo lobby goes after you:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/adl-suggests-that-u-n-sponsors-terrorism-the-film-miral.html

        The filmmakers and producers of the film are Jewish- kudos to them for putting this story out there even though they are being attacked by their own community. It’s disappointing to see so many prominent people in the Jewish community react so negatively and see as a threat any humane portrayal of Palestinians (ie. anything that portrays them as anything other than terrorists or terrorists-in-training). It’s like loyalty to Israel overrides any sense of ethics or universal human rights and instead, everything has to be dumbed down to black and white- Israel good/Palestinians bad. No gray areas. No room to even debate or discuss things. I’m getting more and more fed up with this.

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