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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Hosts Lunch for Chancellor Merkel

June 7, 2011

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. Please be seated and welcome to the State Department, to the Benjamin Franklin Room. Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden and I are delighted to be hosting this luncheon for a very special guest.

Chancellor Merkel is someone who has proven to be an extraordinary leader, not only on behalf of her country but on the world stage on so many issues that matter greatly to the United States and all those who love and cherish freedom and peace and opportunity for all.

She is receiving, as you may have heard, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama today, and that is a recognition as our nation’s highest civilian honor. She has ensured during her time in public life on behalf of Germany that her country is a force for all of the values that we hold so dear together, and our alliance is extraordinary shape. And as we live through these very quickly changing times, it is very good to have a partner at the helm of Germany who is working with us to resolve a lot of the issues and solve the problems that we face together.

I first met the Chancellor a long time ago, back in the 1990s. She was not yet Chancellor, I was not yet Secretary, and we actually were on a television show, an interview show, together in Berlin. And she was introduced to me as a young woman who will go far. (Laughter.) And that certainly proved to be true.

When she was addressing, two years ago, the joint session of Congress, she made such an indelible point of talking about the transition she had lived through and exemplified in her own country – tearing down a wall made of barbed wire and concrete, and now in the 21st century having to tear down the walls in our minds, walls of short-sighted self-interest and walls between the present and the future.

Well, we have a leader for both the present and the future with us today. And it is my pleasure to introduce another leader who I’ve known even longer than I’ve known the Chancellor, and that is our wonderful Vice President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

Some photos:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel laugh during a State Luncheon in honor of the German chancellor, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Thain permalink
    June 8, 2011 6:54 am

    Why did Hillary nix the idea of a French-sponsored Mideast peace conference/negotiations? Because we have to be in charge and no one else? Or because the Palestinians said they would go negotiate and the Israelis said no? In other words, once again, making the phrase “honest broker” a joke:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/france-to-pursue-mideast-conference-despite-u-s-reservations-1.366613

    I’ve read the Palestinians said they would negotiate with the Israelis at a French-sponsored conf. So the US says no and Hillary said there’s no point because neither side is willing to negotiate? Doesn’t she really mean “Israel isn’t willing to negotiate but I have to cover for them so this is what I’ll say….”?

    • June 8, 2011 7:04 am

      Yup, I think that’s about right Thain. We’re not in this to be an honest broker and we’re afraid if any other country takes the lead, they will be. Also, because the Palestinians support negotiations under the auspice of the French, it ruins the Israeli talking point that the Palestinians are an unwilling partner- so once again we have to protect Israel from being perceived as being the real obstacle to peace. Also, with 2012 elections coming up the admin. can’t/won’t deal with the Hamas issue, but Europe will. As I’ve said 100 times, our own domestic politics is as big an obstacle as anything else.

  2. Thain permalink
    June 8, 2011 7:32 am

    Oh, and then there’s this- Israel arresting members of the nonviolent resistance. They obtain information to arrest them by kidnapping Palestinian kids, taking them somewhere without their parents, threatening them and getting coerced confessions about the protest leaders.

    So much for being the Middle East’s only democracy in a sea of hostile Arab terribleness:

    http://972mag.com/our-demonstrations-are-in-protest-of-injustice-west-bank-protest-leader-tells-an-israeli-military-court/

  3. Steve permalink
    June 8, 2011 8:32 am

    Another media hack carries Bibi’s water:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/the-palestinians-trick-answer-to-obama/2011/04/19/AGbpwMLH_blog.html?hpid=z3

    This is what this administration is up against- a Congress, media and Lobby that have no interest in mideast peace so long as Israel isn’t held accountable for their land grabs. If Israel were held responsible, then of course they’d have to choice but to support meaningful efforts to get negotiations going.

    • Tovah permalink
      June 8, 2011 9:24 am

      Diehl is really unbelievable. He has a long history of slamming everything the Palestinians do. He used to live in Jerusalem btw.

      I saw Stacy tweet the most unbelievable article by Ed Koch in JPost- I need to find the link. He basically says that anyone who supports the upcoming Gaza Flotilla is an extremist and criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism and synonymous to what the Nazis did. Koch needs to not only come out of the closet but he needs to chill out. The sad thing is my parents hold the exact same view on this as Koch- yup, that’s what I grew up with and was taught- haven’t I come a long way?😉

  4. Thain permalink
    June 8, 2011 9:27 am

    Hey, where is my girlfriend/wife/internet paramour Carolyn? Did she defect to the Dark Side? Or does she have an actual life where she does actual real life things with actual real life people?🙂 It’s no excuse!

    Hey Carolyn, I guess a Twitter romance is out of the question, huh? Tee hee🙂

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      June 8, 2011 1:20 pm

      Aw, missed me, did you?😉
      I’ve been lurking, making sure stacy doesn’t abandon her position as our conscience on the Middke East.
      And no, I absolutely haven’t gone over to the Dark Side. Never looking back.

      This is the story that caught my eye:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/world-middle-east-13673299

      Gee, guess they neglected to take a political history before applying the tourniquet..

      • stacyx permalink*
        June 8, 2011 1:39 pm

        Right now I am so disgusted with this administration’s foreign policy re: Bahrain, Palestine, Israel etc. that I have been avoiding posting about anything regarding the Mideast because I’m just tempted to go off on both the WH AND the State Dept. Just when I think the pandering to dictators and the I-Lobby can’t get any worse, it gets worse.

        The presser with Hillary and the FM of France regarding the French peace summit proposal has me so disgusted…all this admin. does is give nice-sounding speeches with zero follow up. Obama brings up 1967 lines as a basis for talks, the french follow up and offer just that and the State Dept says “nah, there’s no point to negotiations” despite the Palestinians, who have been blamed for the failure of negotiations, saying “yes, we’d LOVE to go to the French summit!” WTF? What she really means is “no, Israel doesn’t want to so we don’t either!” At this point all the WH and State Dept. are doing is basically serving as Bibi’s rubber stamp. He’s killing the peace process and they are actually helping him. So long as they do that he will continue to not only stall, but continue to undermine their efforts.

        And apparently the admin., via the State Dept., has been threatening the Palestinians with economic sanctions if they go to the UN. in September. Yeah, God forbid the Palestinians did THAT. I mean, why would they do THAT when they have such an honest broker like the United States looking out for them? I mean, why would they take “unilateral” action when Israel has been unilaterally grabbing land for decades with no end in sight? How silly of them! After Bibi’s speech to Congress and Obama’s slobbering at AIPAC, why in the world would the Palestinians turn to the international community for help?

  5. NYMinute permalink
    June 8, 2011 10:40 am

    For Anthony Weiner what goes around comes around:

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/06/07/anthony_weiner_1991/index.html

    Good riddance

  6. stacyx permalink*
    June 8, 2011 1:54 pm

    See what you’ve started Carolyn, this is all your fault!!! Heh. I was being so good for the last few days, well, sort of… But someone says the word “Mideast” to me and it’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull😉

    Bahrain:

    http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/obama-admin-makes-nice-with-bahrain-as-detentions-and-prosecutions-continue

    Bibi & Obama:

    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/08/what_have_obama_and_netanyahu_wrought

    • Thain permalink
      June 8, 2011 2:41 pm

      No, no, no. No being quiet you have to keep updating on the Mideast stuff here.

      It’s o to be critical of US policy on the Mideast- these policies have been bad for years. Everyone knows it’s not all this admins fault but Obama has to do more than give speeches if he wants to stay ahead of the Arab Spring. He’s made it clear what his priorities are- re-election and not pissing off the anti-peace, pro status quo lobby. His policies really aren’t that much different than Bush’s despite GOP claims to the contrary.

      The whole thing with the StateDept turning down the French summit is really annoying but totally predictable. The State dept knows it can beat up on the Palestinians and sell them down river and there will be no political price to pay but if they so much as hint at a criticism of Israel then we have to hear the Zionbots whine and threaten and pound their chests.

      Lets face it, when Congress gave Bibi like 35 standing ovations they were basically saying “we don’t believe in two states, Occupation Forever!”

      Until the I-Lobby and the J Community says otherwise, that’s how it’s gonna be…it will be a Jewish state that is democratic for Jewish people only and an Apartheid bantustan for the Arabs. Why on earth anyone would applaud for that eventuality, which even Israeli leaders have admitted its what will happen, is beyond me. And they call themselves pro-Israel?!?

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      June 9, 2011 12:41 am

      Now that’s more like it! 

    • elhrac permalink
      June 10, 2011 12:03 am

      but apparently you don’t care about the innocent people in Syria who are getting killed by the Assad regime, or the innocent people in Libya who are getting bombed by the US and Britain.

      • June 10, 2011 7:10 am

        Apparently you are making some sweeping assumptions.

        Who the heck said we didn’t care about the people in Syria or Libya? Just because someone is talking about one nation doesn’t mean it’s at the exclusion of others.

        Any suggestions for what should be done? How ’bout in Bahrain? Or China? Or Saudi Arabia? Or Yemen? Or DRC?Afghanistan, Iran? There’s no shortage of people to care about. The question is what to do. It’s easy to sit back and criticize but much harder to come up with some ideas for what should be done. I have ideas for what should be done with Israel-Palestine but a lot of people don’t like those ideas.

        The problem with Libya- well, one of the problems- is that the Libyan opposition wants us to engage in MORE airstrikes, not less. And yes, those will probably kill some civilians, just as they do in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And if we did anything in Syria, lots of innocent people would die there too, even if we just tried to target the regime. Same thing with Iran.

        It’s like people have this romantic notion or unrealistic idea about what US intervention entails. People love to run around screaming “this administration has done nothing in Iran, Syria, etc.!” but when you ask these folks exactly what the consequences would be if we engaged in military strikes, or a ground assault, they just blow it off like it’s not important.

  7. June 8, 2011 7:08 pm

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/08/240415/herman-cain-require-muslim-appointees-loyalty-oath/

    Loyalty oaths for Muslims here in the U.S.? Lovely. Hey, what other country requires loyalty oaths for Arabs? One gues….Ding, ding, ding…Israel!

  8. January 14, 2013 11:23 am

    She deserves the award she really does.

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