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Friday, March 6, 2009

Secretary Clinton’s Experience Invaluable in Her Current Duties

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband at the start of a NATO and EU dinner at Egmont Palace in Brussels, Wednesday March 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

*For an update and video on Secretary Clinton’s speech in Brussels posted at Seattlepi.com, go here.

The media in general has continued its good old boy best to find fault with Secretary Clinton regardless of where she has traveled lately or what she has achieved. For example, check out this malicious rant in Reuters by David Brunnstrom on her recent trip to Europe in which Brunnstrom only grudgingly reports the warm reception Clinton received.

Western Canada based Politonomist provides a more accurate account of the secretary’s achievements so far. Tom Prout reports:

Though her personal website is free of a list of her accomplishments in the role, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been exceptionally busy since her appointment as Secretary of State on January 21, 2009.

Mrs. Clinton’s appointment was much more than a show of good faith by her recent democratic rival Barack Obama; to her position at the head of the State Department she brings a wealth of international, diplomatic contacts acquired over her 8 years serving as First Lady. Traveling the world alongside former US President Bill Clinton involved much work pertinent to her current endeavors and is proving to be invaluable as her duties evolve.

In her trip to Japan (February 16-18), her first trip abroad since coming into office, Secretary Clinton discussed, with senior Japanese government officials in Japan, the strategic bilateral alliance and cooperation with Japan on regional and global issues. One such issue was, not surprisingly, the economy: Japan’s economy is the second largest in the world and parallels were drawn between the stimulus put forward by the US Government and potential solutions in Japan.

Secretary Clinton stressed in an interview with CBS, when talking about a possible solution between the US and Japan, “that we don’t build walls between us, that we don’t engage in activity that will worsen the financial situation”, adding that both countries were aware of that. As has been reiterated before on many an occasion, the current policy for handling the recent financial crisis is that once national affairs are in a comfortable state, international bonds will be forged to simultaneously bolster the markets. When questions about the ‘Buy American’ clause arose, Secretary Clinton articulated that no existing international agreements would be violated for the sake of self preservation.

Politonomics, unlike many of its American counterparts, stated Clinton’s position accurately on human rights during her visit to China:

In spite of setting aside differences for the duration of the trip, Mrs. Clinton did make clear in a report what she thought of China’s human rights record, proving that even in extenuating circumstances certain things are intolerable. Critics are interested to see the plans the Secretary of State has in store for resolving these differences, once the current financial crisis is resolved, whenever that may be.

Below is Politonomics summary of the secretary’s visit to the Middle-East and Europe:

Secretary Clinton is currently visiting the Middle East and Europe between March 1-7, a trip which began with participation in the donor’s conference for Gaza recovery held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchel was amongst the many high-level world representatives present when the US pledged $900 million to the cause of rebuilding Gaza strip. The strip has been destroyed by days of fighting between Fatah and Hamas caused by refusal to establish a Palestinian state. The money, as well as scheduled talks, are also put forward to find a possible solution to the issue; Clinton has vowed to strive towards peace in the Middle East.

The United States, Britain, the European Union, and the six member states of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) contributed combined sums far beyond the $2.8 billion initially hoped for by the Palestinian Authority. Following the conference, Clinton met with senior officials from Egypt, Israel, and Palestinian Territories for discussions.

Today, March 5th, Secretary Clinton attended a NATO meeting in Brussels with other foreign ministers as a preparatory discussion for the NATO summit scheduled to be held April 3-4th. In conjunction with this meeting, individual meetings were held during which transatlantic bonds, such as with Russia, were deliberated on. Tomorrow, the talks with Russia will continue in reference to the dire conditions in Afghanistan and how the two countries plan to work together to achieve common international goals.

The European visit will conclude on March 7th with a visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara, where key Turkish officials will engage in discussions with the Secretary similar to those held in other countries over the trip.

In its account of Secretary Clinton’s activities, Politonomics lives up to its goals:

Politonomist.com is an enterprising Western Canada-based social, economic and political news organization, providing a detailed, thorough and diverse range of news from a variety of perspectives and opinions. Unlike other major business and economic news organizations, we aim to include political scientists and economists from a range of different belief camps - aiming for a varied and fair look at different events, statistics and information.

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