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Heard Around the Hillary-Sphere and other News

May 13, 2011

I’ve got a few minutes to toss up a short post, so here are a few links about our Secretary of State and a few general foreign policy links:

~Here’s a photo of Secretary Clinton enjoying a boat trip on Godhaab’s Inlet, during their Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk, Greenland:

























~It turns out there is more than one doctored Situation Room photo where Secretary Clinton has been erased from history.

~Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has harshly condemned the worsening violence in Syria.

~China, not surprisingly, has downplayed Secretary Clinton’s remarks condemning China’s pathetic human rights abuses.

~A host of human rights groups have sent a letter to Secretary Clinton urging her to support efforts to convene a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in order to address the deplorable human rights abuses taking place in Bahrain.

~Tension between Israelis and Palestinians are boiling over as Nakba Day approaches. In 2009 the Israeli Kennesset made it illegal to commemorate Nakba Day.

~On a similar topic, here’s a realistic take on Palestinian unity (minus the fear-mongering).

~And just to get an idea of the kinds of crowds that surround Secretary Clinton wherever she goes- this is a video someone obviously took on a cell phone when she made an unannounced visit to a shopping district in Italy. The video quality is no good and you can’t really see her because there are so many people trying to get a glimpse of her!

I don’t think there is any other person in this country, as Secretary of State, that would generate that kind of interest just walking down the street.

Are there any Hillary news stories that have caught your eye? Or any news stories on any subject, foreign or domestic? Feel free to put them in the comment section.

Ok, back to work for me! I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday afternoon!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Thain permalink
    May 13, 2011 2:16 pm

    Glad she got some time to chill out in Greenland! I don’t know much about Greenland but I googled some photos and it looks really beautiful. I guess a lot of the land mass is totally uninhabited, is that right? I just remember hearing Greenland is icy and Iceland is green.

  2. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    May 13, 2011 9:57 pm

    Syria – can anyone explain to me why we aren’t asking Assad to leave? I gather Russia — they abstained on the Libya vote — blocked the UN resolution (backed by the UK and US) to condemn Syria which is their main allyin the MiddleEast. Is this a kind of diplomatic tit-for-tat? In other words, Russia gave us what we wanted on the Libya vote, so we’ll only go just
    so far in condemning Syria? Otherwise, it justs makes no sense to me why we’re doing so little — Hillary’s strong statement notwithstanding.

    • stacyx permalink*
      May 14, 2011 12:22 pm

      @Carolyn- My guess is that we aren’t asking Assad to leave because a) he won’t and we can’t use military intervention to get rid of him, b) we are worried about what might take his place and c) Israel has warned us against doing anything that results in the fall of Assad. If Israel were smart (!) they’d keep their mouths shut when it comes to supporting every damn dictator in the region (except, of course, in Iran)- it’s not exactly endearing them to the next generation of democratic leadership.

      I’m not saying any of those reasons above are good or justified, but that’s generally what I am hearing. I think you are also right about Russia and some of our other erstwhile allies- they have their own reasons for not wanting Assad gone. Also, Libya has become a bit more complicated than people thought- we now seem somewhat mired in a civil war, with no clear end-game in sight, other than Gadhaffi being killed- something which goes beyond Resolution 1973.

      Of course, then you have Bahrain. Bahrain has gotten much worse, thanks in part to the US-approved Saudi military intervention there and our hypocritical willingness to help Bahrain propagandize that the pro-democracy protesters are a result of Iranian influence. Bahrain isn’t as bad as Syria of course, but our refusal to really put the screws to Bahrain isn’t winning us many friends on the Arab street.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        May 14, 2011 3:12 pm

        Our relative inaction in Bahr makes some sense (even if I don’tagree with it) since we have an important base there. And Yemen supposedly helps us root out Al Qaeda there. But Syria? I don’t see our national interest in propping him up, unless it was a kind of quid-pro-quo dealwith Russia. Even if Assad ignored our call for him to step down — which he’d be likely to do — I think it’s the right thing to do and the right message to send to young Arabs across North Africa and the Middle East. If this is all about
        what Israel wants — versus what is truly in OUR national intetest — that’s sickening. How far are we going to let them drag us into that quagmire they call “defending Israel’s security”?

        • stacyx permalink*
          May 14, 2011 5:40 pm

          I think we have a national interest in winning the hearts and minds of Arabs in the region who are struggling for democracy. This is just unacceptable:

          http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/as-bahrains-abuses-grow-united-states-on-sidelines

          http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/05/13/bahrain_human_rights_state_department/index.html

          As these articles point out, because of our security relationship with Bahrain, we actually have some leverage- they need us and we need them- that’s not really the case with countries like Syria and Iran where we have virtually no diplomatic dialogue- or anything else for that matter.

          Things are changing in the middle east and there may be a heavy price to pay for decades of propping up dictatorships because of our very narrow definition of what is in our security interests. Supporting democracy, putting pressure on Israel and the Palestinians- real pressure- to resolve that crisis- those are things that will put us in a better position moving forward, not this false choice between democracy and stability. If and when some of these democracies sprout up and elections are held, do you really think these people are going to forget how we supported the corrupt, abusive leaders who oppressed them? Hamas and Fatah have become much more emboldened and united in part because of the change taking place in the region- if that’s not a sign of things to come I don’t know what is.

          Ironically, our actions in the region just seem to create more enemies and serves as a recruiting tool for extremists.

          I know I am oversimplifying this and all of the above is easy for me to say because I’m not part of an administration that has to deal with these difficult issues and balance all these competing interests but it just seems like the U.S. is resistant to changing how we approach what’s going on in the Middle East- instead we dig in our heels. No where is that more apparent than in our approach to I-P peace.

  3. January 25, 2013 8:13 pm

    She gets to go on boat rides. I don’t get to go to boat rides.

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