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Clinton declares an 'American Moment' in foreign policy

By Glenn Kessler

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Wednesday that "a new American moment" had arrived in international relations--"a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways."

In a wide-ranging speech at the Council on Foreign Relations defending the Obama administration's foreign policy approach, Clinton said, "This is a moment that must be seized - through hard work and bold decisions - to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come," according to remarks prepared for delivery.

Critics have said that the administration's diplomacy has yielded little on such difficult issues as Israeli-Palestinian peace and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, but Clinton argued the opposite, saying substantial progress had been made on those fronts through patient and painstaking "shoe-leather" diplomacy. She urged patience, saying the fruits of the administration's labors will not be apparent for some time.

In many ways, the speech marks Clinton's emergence as a foreign-policy leader in the administration at a time when the president is consumed with the lagging domestic economy and the upcoming midterm elections. Next week she departs for the Middle East to foster direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and in Wednesday's speech she spoke confidently and in broad strokes about the administration's agenda and the U.S. role in the world.

After more than 18 months on the job, Clinton appears to have gained a renewed appreciation for the role the United States plays in the world. More than a year ago, in the same venue, Clinton spoke of "tilting the balance away from a multi-polar world and toward a multi-partner world" and emphasizing the administration's willingness to engage with its adversaries. In Wednesday's speech, the tone was subtly different, focused much more on the importance of the U.S. role in managing difficult problems.

"This is no argument for America to go it alone," Clinton said. "Far from it. The world looks to us because America has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale - in defense of our own interests, but also as a force for progress. In this we have no rival."

Clinton added: "For the United States, global leadership is both a responsibility and an unparalleled opportunity."

Clinton said the administration has put into practice the ideas she laid out a year ago and has begun to build what she called "a new global architecture" of alliances and interests.

Though last year she emphasized an interest in dialogue with Syria, her prepared text made no mention of the Israeli neighbor. The administration's efforts to name an ambassador to Damascus have stalled in the Senate.

The prepared text of the speech is below:


Thank you, Richard. It is wonderful to see so many old friends and colleagues. And it's a real pleasure to be back at CFR with two working arms this time.

Although many in Washington and around the country are just coming off their summer vacations, events of the past few weeks have kept us busy. We are working to support direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, and next week I will travel to Egypt and Jerusalem for the second round of negotiations. In Iraq, where our combat mission has ended, we are transitioning to a civilian-led partnership. We are stepping up international pressure on Iran to negotiate seriously on its nuclear program. We are working with Pakistan as it recovers from devastating floods and combats violent extremism. And of course the war in Afghanistan is always at the top of the agenda.

None of these challenges exist in isolation. Consider the Middle East peace talks. At one level, they are bilateral negotiations involving two peoples and a relatively small strip of land. But step back and it becomes clear how important the regional dimensions of the peace process are, what a significant role institutions like the Quartet and the Arab League are playing, and how vital American participation really is.

Solving foreign policy problems today requires us to think regionally and globally, to see the intersections and connections linking nations and regions and interests, and to bring people together as only America can.

The world is counting on us. When old adversaries need an honest broker or fundamental freedoms need a champion, people turn to us. When the earth shakes or rivers overflow their banks, when pandemics rage or simmering tensions burst into violence, the world looks to us. I see it on the faces of the people I meet as I travel... not just the young people who dream about America's promise of opportunity and equality, but also seasoned diplomats and political leaders. They see the principled commitment and can-do spirit that comes with American engagement. And they look to America not just to engage, but to lead.

Nothing makes me prouder than to represent this great nation in the far corners of the world. I am the daughter of a man who grew up in the Depression and trained young sailors to fight in the Pacific. I am the mother of a young woman who is part of a generation of Americans who are engaging the world in new and exciting ways. I have seen the promise and progress of America with my own eyes, and today my faith in our people has never been stronger.

I know these are difficult days for many Americans, but difficulty and adversity have never defeated or deflated our country. Throughout our history, Americans have always risen to the challenges we have faced. That's who we are. It's what we do.

Now, after years of war and uncertainty, people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad.

So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.

Indeed, the complexities and connections of today's world have yielded a new American Moment. A moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways. A moment when those things that make us who we are as a nation - our openness and innovation, our determination, and devotion to core values - have never been needed more.

This is a moment that must be seized - through hard work and bold decisions - to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come.

Now, this is no argument for America to go it alone. Far from it. The world looks to us because America has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale - in defense of our own interests, but also as a force for progress. In this we have no rival.

For the United States, global leadership is both a responsibility and an unparalleled opportunity.

A New Global Architecture

When I came to the Council on Foreign Relations a little over a year ago to discuss the Obama Administration's vision of American leadership in a changing world, I called for a new global architecture that could help nations come together as partners to solve shared problems. Today I'd like to expand on this idea, but especially to explain how we are putting it into practice.

Architecture is the art and science of designing structures that serve our common purposes, built to last and withstand stress. That's what we seek to build - a network of alliances and partnerships, regional organizations and global institutions, that is durable and dynamic enough to help us meet today's challenges and adapt to threats that we cannot even conceive of, just as our parents never dreamt of melting glaciers or dirty bombs.

We know this can be done, because President Obama's predecessors in the White House and mine in the State Department did it before. After the Second World War, the nation that had built the transcontinental railroad, the assembly line and the skyscraper turned its attention to constructing the pillars of global cooperation. The third World War that so many feared never came. And many millions of people were lifted out of poverty and exercised their human rights for the first time. Those were the benefits of a global architecture forged over many years by American leaders from both political parties.

But this architecture served a different time and a different world. As President Obama has said, today it "is buckling under the weight of new threats." The major powers are at peace, but new actors - good and bad -- are increasingly shaping international affairs. The challenges we face are more complex than ever, and so are the responses needed to meet them.

That is why we are building a global architecture that reflects - and harnesses - the realities of the 21st century.

We know that alliances, partnerships and institutions cannot solve problems by themselves. People and nations solve problems. But an architecture can make it easier to act effectively by supporting the coalition-forging and compromise-building that is the daily fare of diplomacy. It can make it easier to identify common interests and convert them to common action. And it can help integrate emerging powers into an international community with clear obligations and expectations.

We have no illusions that our goals can be achieved overnight, or that countries will suddenly cease to have divergent interests. We know that the test of our leadership is how we manage those differences - and how we galvanize nations and peoples around their commonalities even when they have diverse histories, unequal resources, and competing world-views. And we know that our approach to solving problems must vary from issue to issue and partner to partner. American leadership must be as dynamic as the challenges we face.

But there are two constants of our leadership, which lie at the heart of the President's National Security Strategy released in May, and run through everything we do:

First, national renewal aimed at strengthening the sources of American power, especially our economic might and moral authority. This is about more than ensuring we have the resources we need to conduct foreign policy, although that is important. When I was a young girl, I was stirred by President Eisenhower's assertion that education would help us win the Cold War. That we needed to invest in our people and their talents. He was right. America's greatness has always flowed in large part from the dynamism of our economy and the creativity of our country. Today, more than ever, our ability to exercise global leadership depends on building a strong foundation at home. That's why rising debt and crumbling infrastructure pose very real long-term national security threats. President Obama understands this - you can see it in the new economic initiatives he announced this week and in his relentless focus on turning our economy around.

The second constant is international diplomacy aimed at rallying nations to solve common problems and achieve shared aspirations. As Dean Acheson put it in 1951, "the ability to evoke support from others" is "quite as important as the capacity to compel." To this end we have repaired old alliances and forged new partnerships. We have strengthened institutions that provide incentives for cooperation, disincentives for sitting on the sidelines, and defenses against those who would undermine global progress. And we have championed the values that are at the core of the American character.

Now there should be no mistake: This Administration is also committed to maintaining the greatest military in the history of the world and, if needed, to vigorously defending our friends and ourselves.

After more than a year and a half, we have begun to see the dividends of our strategy. We are advancing America's interests and making progress on some of our most pressing challenges. Today we can say with confidence that this model of American leadership works, and that it offers our best hope in a dangerous world.

I'd like to outline several steps we are taking to implement this strategy.

Our Closest Allies

First, we have turned to our closest allies, the nations that share our most fundamental values and interests -- and our commitment to solving common problems. From Europe and North America to East Asia and the Pacific, we are renewing and deepening the alliances that are the cornerstone of global security and prosperity.

Let me say a few words about Europe in particular. In November, I was privileged to help mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which closed the door on Europe's broken past. And this summer in Poland, we marked the 10th anniversary of the Community of Democracies, which looked ahead to a bright future. At both events, I was reminded how far we have come together. What strength we draw from the common wellspring of our values and aspirations. The bonds between Europe and America were forged through war and watchful peace, but they are rooted in our shared commitment to freedom, democracy and human dignity.

Today we are working with our allies there on nearly every global challenge. President Obama and I have reached out to strengthen both our bilateral and multilateral ties in Europe.

The post-Lisbon EU is developing an expanded global role, and our relationship is growing and changing as a result. There will be complications as we adjust to influential new players such as the EU Parliament, but these are debates among friends that will always be secondary to the fundamental interests and values we share. And there is no doubt that a stronger EU is good for America and good for the world.

NATO remains the world's most successful alliance. And together with our allies, including new NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe, we are crafting a new Strategic Concept that will help it meet not only traditional threats but also emerging challenges such as cyber security and nuclear proliferation. Just yesterday, President Obama and I discussed these issues with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen. After the United States was attacked on 9/11, our allies invoked Article V of the NATO charter for the first time. They joined us in the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban. And after President Obama refocused the mission in Afghanistan, they contributed thousands of new troops and significant technical assistance. We honor the sacrifices our allies continue to make, and recognize that we are always strongest when we work together.

A core principle of all our alliances is shared responsibility - each nation stepping up to do its part. American leadership does not mean we do everything ourselves. We contribute our share, often the largest share, but we also have high expectations of the governments and peoples we work with.

Investing in Developing Partners

Helping other nations develop the capacity to solve their own problems - and participate in solving shared problems - has long been a hallmark of American leadership. Our contributions to the reconstruction of Europe, to the transformation of Japan and Germany from aggressors into allies, to the growth of South Korea into a vibrant democracy contributing to global progress, these are some of our proudest achievements.

In this interconnected age, America's security and prosperity depends more than ever on the ability of others around the world to take responsibility for defusing threats and meeting challenges within their own countries and regions.

That is why the second step in our strategy for global leadership is to help build the capacity of developing partners. To help countries obtain the tools and support they need to solve their own problems and help solve our common problems. To help people lift themselves, their families, and their societies out of poverty, away from extremism, and toward sustainable progress. The Obama Administration views development as a strategic, economic, and moral imperative - as central to advancing American interests as diplomacy and defense.

Our approach is not development for development's sake; it is an integrated strategy for solving problems. Look at the work to build institutions and spur economic development in the Palestinian territories. The United States invests hundreds of millions of dollars to build Palestinian capacity because we know that progress on the ground will improve security, help lay the foundation for a future Palestinian state, and create more favorable conditions for negotiations. Think about our efforts to empower women and girls around the world. This is the right thing to do, of course, but it is also rooted in the understanding that when women are accorded rights and afforded opportunities, they drive social and economic progress that benefits us all. Similarly, our investments in places such as Bangladesh and Ghana are bets on a future where more and more countries will be capable of contributing to solving problems in their regions and beyond.

Engaging Emerging Centers of Influence

We must also take into account those countries that are growing rapidly and already playing more influential roles in their regions and in global affairs, such as China and India, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, as well as Russia, as it redefines its own role in the world.

Our third major step has been to deepen engagement with these emerging centers of influence. We and our allies - indeed people everywhere -- have a stake in their playing constructive regional and global roles. Being a 21st century power means accepting a share of the burden of solving common problems. It also means abiding by a set of rules of the road, everything from intellectual property rights to fundamental freedoms. So through expanded bilateral consultation and within the context of regional and global institutions, we look to these nations to assume greater responsibility.

The emerging powers represent a spectrum of interests and values. India, for instance, is the world's largest democracy, a country with which the United States shares fundamental values and a broad range of national interests. That convergence of values and interests has helped us to lay the foundation of an indispensable partnership. President Obama will use his visit in November to take our relationship to the next level.

With Russia, we took office amid talk of cooling relations and a return to Cold War suspicion. This invigorated spy novelists and arm chair strategists. But anyone serious about solving global problems such as nuclear proliferation knew that without Russia and the United States working together, little would be achieved. So we refocused the relationship on mutual respect, interest and responsibility. The results speak for themselves: a historic new arms reduction treaty, which the Senate must pass this fall; cooperation along with China in the UN Security Council on tough new sanctions against Iran and North Korea; a transit agreement to support our effort in Afghanistan; a new Bilateral Presidential Commission and civil society exchange that are forging closer people-to-people ties. And, as we were reminded this summer, the spy novelists still have plenty to write about.

Working with these emerging powers is not always smooth or easy. Disagreements over policies and priorities are inevitable. On certain issues, such as human rights with China or Russian occupation of Georgia, we simply do not see eye to eye - and the United States will not hesitate to speak out and stand our ground. When these nations do not accept the responsibility that accrues with their expanding influence, we will use all the tools at our disposal to encourage them to change course while we will press ahead with other partners.

But we know that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to solve many of the world's biggest problems without the cooperation of these nations. So our goal is to establish long-lasting positive and productive relationships that can survive the times when we do not agree and enable us to continue working together on shared challenges.

A central element of our approach is to engage directly with the people of these nations - and indeed with foreign publics around the world. Technology and the spread of democracy have empowered people around the world to speak up and demand a say in their own future. Public opinions and passions matter, even in authoritarian states. So in nearly every country I visit, I don't just meet with government officials. In Russia, I did an interview on one of the few independent radio stations. In Saudi Arabia, I held a town hall at a women's college. And in Pakistan, I answered questions from every journalist, student and business leader we could find.

Strengthening Regional Architecture

While we expand our relations with emerging centers of influence and developing nations, we are also working to engage them in effective regional frameworks and global institutions that encourage constructive contributions.

Few, if any, of today's challenges can be understood or solved without working through a regional context. Think about the complex regional dynamics surrounding the fight against violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan or the process of reintegrating Iraq into its neighborhood.

Nor can we expect regional dynamics to remain static. Countries like China and Brazil have their own notions about what regional institutions should look like, and they are busy pursuing those ideas. Our friends and allies depend on us to remain robustly engaged and to help chart the way forward.

So the fourth key step in our strategy has been to reinvigorate America's commitment to be an active transatlantic, Pacific and hemispheric leader. In a series of speeches and through ongoing consultations and discussions with partners from Europe to the Americas to the Asia-Pacific, we have laid out core principles for regional cooperation and worked to strengthen institutions that can adapt to new circumstances.

Let's examine the Asia-Pacific region. When we took office, there was a perception - fair or not - that America was absent. So the Obama Administration made it clear from the beginning that the United States was back. We reaffirmed our bonds with close allies like South Korea, Japan and Australia. We also deepened our regional engagement with China, and with India, which we see as a vital Asian democracy.

The Asia-Pacific has few robust institutions to foster effective cooperation, build trust, and reduce the friction of competition. So with our partners, we began working to build a more coherent regional architecture that will strengthen both economic and political ties.

On the economic front, we have expanded our relationship with APEC, which includes four of America's top trading partners and receives 60 percent of our exports. As President Obama has said, to realize the benefits from greater economic integration, we must implement policies that promote balanced and sustainable growth. To this end, we are working to ratify a free trade agreement with South Korea and pursuing a regional agreement with the nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, efforts that will create new opportunities for American companies and support new jobs at home.

On the political front, we are engaging with the East Asia Summit, encouraging its development into a foundational security and political institution for the region, capable of resolving disputes and preventing them before they arise. I will be representing the United States at this year's EAS in Hanoi, leading up to presidential participation in 2011.

In Southeast Asia, ASEAN is home to nearly 600 million people and more U.S. business investment than China. We have bolstered our relationship by signing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, announcing our intention to open a mission and name an ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta, and holding annual U.S.-ASEAN Summits.

As the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow in importance and influence, developing these regional institutions and establishing new habits of cooperation will be vital to stability and prosperity.

Global Institutions for the 21st Century

Effective institutions are just as crucial at a global level, where the challenges are even more complex and the partners even more diverse.

So our fifth step has been to reengage with global institutions and begin modernizing them to meet the evolving challenges of the 21st century. We need institutions that are flexible, inclusive, and complementary, instead of competing with one another for jurisdiction. Institutions that encourage nations to play productive roles, that marshal common efforts, and enforce the system of rights and responsibilities that binds us all.

The United Nations remains the single most important global institution and we are constantly reminded of its value: The Security Council enacting sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Peacekeepers patrolling the streets of Monrovia and Port-au-Prince. Aid workers assisting flood victims in Pakistan and displaced people in Darfur. And, most recently, the UN General Assembly establishing a new entity --UN Women--which will promote gender equality, expand opportunity for women and girls, and tackle the violence and discrimination they face.

But we are also constantly reminded of its limitations. It is difficult for the UN's 192 Member States, with their diverse perspectives and interests, to achieve consensus on institutional reform, especially reforming the Security Council itself. The United States believes that the Council must be able to react to and reflect today's world. We favor Security Council reform that enhances the UN's overall performance, effectiveness and efficiency to meet the challenges of the new century. We equally and strongly support operational reforms that enable UN field missions to deploy more rapidly, with adequate numbers of well-equipped and well-trained troops and police they often lack, and with the quality of leadership and civilian expertise they require. And we will continue to embrace and advocate management reforms that lead to efficiencies and savings and that prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

The UN was never intended to tackle every challenge, nor should it. So when appropriate, we are working with our partners to establish new venues and organizations to focus on specific problems. To respond to the global financial crisis, we elevated the G-20. We also convened the first-ever Nuclear Security Summit. New or old, the effectiveness of institutions depends on the commitment of their members. President Obama has reaffirmed our commitment and we have encouraged other nations to do the same.

Our efforts on climate change offer a good example of how we are working through multiple venues and mechanisms to advance our goals. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process allows all of us - developed and developing, north and south, east and west - to work within a single venue to meet this shared challenge. But we also launched the Major Economies Forum to focus on the biggest emitters. And when negotiations in Copenhagen reached an impasse, President Obama led our team into a meeting of key leaders that included China, India, South Africa, and Brazil - working with them and our colleagues from Europe and elsewhere to fashion a deal that, while far from perfect, saved the summit from failure and represents progress we can build on in the future. For the first time, all major economies made national commitments to curb carbon emissions and report with transparency on their mitigation efforts.

An Architecture of Values

As we strengthen and modernize regional and global institutions, the United States is also working to cement democracy, human rights, and the rule of law into their foundations. To construct an architecture of values that spans the globe and includes every man, woman and child. An architecture that can not only counter repression and resist pressure on human rights, but also extend those fundamental freedoms to places where they have been too long denied.

This is our sixth major step. We are upholding and defending the universal values that are enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today these principles are under threat. In too many places, new democracies are struggling to grow strong roots. Authoritarian regimes are cracking down on civil society and pluralism. Some leaders see democracy as an inconvenience that gets in the way of the efficient exercise of national power.

This world-view must be confronted and challenged. Democracy needs defending. The struggle to make human rights a human reality needs champions.

This work starts at home, where we have rejected the false choice between our security and our ideals. It continues around the world, where human rights are always on our diplomatic and development agendas, even with nations on whose cooperation we depend for a wide range of issues, such as Egypt, China and Russia. We are also committed to defending these values on the digital frontiers of the 21st century. And in Krakow this summer, I announced the creation of a new fund to support civil society and embattled NGOs around the world. This will continue to be a focus of U.S. foreign policy going forward.

Iran Sanctions: Our Strategy in Action

Now, how do all of these steps - deepening relations with allies and emerging powers, strengthening institutions and shared values - how do they work together to advance our interests? One need only look at our diplomatic effort to stop Iran's provocative nuclear activities and its serial non-compliance with all of its international obligations. There is a still a lot of work to be done, but how we are approaching the Iranian challenge is an example of American leadership in action.

First, we began by making the United States a full partner and active participant in international diplomatic efforts regarding Iran. Through our continued willingness to engage Iran directly, we have re-energized the conversation with our allies and are removing easy excuses for lack of progress.

Second, we have sought to frame this issue within the global non-proliferation regime in which the rules of the road are clearly defined for all parties. To lead by example, we have renewed our own disarmament efforts. Our deepened support for global institutions such as the IAEA underscores the authority of the international system of rights and responsibilities. Iran, on the other hand, continues to single itself out through its own actions. Its intransigence represents a challenge to the rules to which all countries must adhere.

Third, we continue to strengthen relationships with those countries whose help we need if diplomacy is to be successful. Through classic shoe-leather diplomacy, we have built a broad consensus that will welcome Iran back into the community of nations if it meets its obligations and likewise will hold Iran accountable to its obligations if it continues its defiance.

This spring, the UN Security Council passed the strongest and most comprehensive set of sanctions ever on Iran. The European Union has followed up with robust implementation of that resolution. Many other nations are implementing their own additional measures, including Australia, Canada, Norway and most recently Japan. We believe Iran is only just beginning to feel the full impact of sanctions. Beyond what governments are doing, the international financial and commercial sectors are also starting to recognize the risks of doing business with Iran.

Sanctions and pressure are not ends in themselves. They are the building blocks of leverage for a negotiated solution, to which we and our partners remain committed. The choice for Iran's leaders is clear, even if they attempt to obfuscate and avoid it: Meet the responsibilities incumbent upon all nations and enjoy the benefits of integration into the international community, or continue to flout your obligations and accept increasing isolation and costs. Iran now must decide for itself.


Our task going forward is to take all that I have discussed today and make it lasting.

To help achieve this goal, America needs the tools and capacity to do the work I've described. So we are strengthening every aspect of our civilian power. Congress already has appropriated funds for more than 1,100 new Foreign and Civil service officers. USAID has begun a series of reforms that will reestablish it as the world's premier development agency. Across the board, we need to rethink, reform, and recalibrate. And in a time of tight budgets, we must ensure our resources are spent wisely. That is why I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, or QDDR, a wholesale review of State and USAID to recommend how we can better equip, fund, and organize ourselves to meet the world's challenges in the years ahead. I will be talking much more about this in the coming weeks and months as this review is completed.

We recognize the scope of the efforts we have undertaken. And looking at our agenda, reasonable observers may question how we can handle so many problems at once. The first answer is that, as I've described today, we are not trying to do it alone. One of the central purposes of the strategy we're pursuing is to build relationships and institutions that encourage others to step up.

But I would also ask: Which of our great challenges today can be placed on the back burner? Are we going to tell our grandchildren that we failed to stop climate change because our plate was just too full? Or nuclear proliferation? That we gave up on democracy and human rights? That is not what Americans do.

Now, all of this requires what we call strategic patience. Long after our troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, our diplomatic and development assistance and support for the Afghan security forces will continue. Ridding the world of nuclear dangers, turning back climate change, ending poverty, hunger and disease - this is the work not of a year, or a presidency, or even a lifetime. This is the work of generations.

America is up to the job. We will seize this new moment of opportunity - this new American Moment. We are a nation that has always believed we have the power to shape our own destiny, to cut a new and better path. This administration will do everything we can to exercise the best traditions of American leadership at home and abroad to build a more peaceful and prosperous future for our children and children everywhere.

Thank you.

By Glenn Kessler  | September 8, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
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Hillary Clinton touts American Exceptionalism, and defends America's interests in foreign lnads and the resources found in those lands.

Posted by: etronsen | September 8, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

America is controlled by apartheid israel. The israel lobby hijacked american foreign policy, that is why the US relationship will all arab countries will be constant war. China get ready to become the new SUPERPOWER

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 8, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

now how do you expect us to believe all these acheivable goals when the president spends more time on vacation then being on the job !

Posted by: corp21 | September 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse


Once we stop the apartheid, and the Palestinians start smashing Jewish coochie, we'll naturally swallow them... before you know, everyone will be Arab.

Posted by: peaceandprotest | September 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

So... just rhetoric. Why the priority placement on the front page?

Posted by: primegrop | September 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The moment Hillary Clinton re-enters the domestic political scene, here approval ratings will drop as low as our Socialist President's.

All achievements are fictional. There will not be peace between Israel and the Arabs. Whether brokered by us, or anyone else.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

When Obama took office the UN was ready to unanimously approve tough sanctions with teeth to control Iran's nuclear ambitions. Clinton and Obama trashed those sanctions and nine months later passed exceedingly weak sanctions that were supported by only 2/3 of the UN. When Iran gets its nuclear bomb, it will be the result of the work of Obama and Clinton.

Additionally, there will be no peace deal between Israel and Palestine, because both Clinton and Obama strongly favor Palestine and the Arabs and want a deal that will squash Israel.

Posted by: mike85 | September 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

If the United States really wanted peace, it would have a good chance of succeeding. However, its fealty to American corporate and military interests have led to a long history of fomenting discontent, stomping on tentative agreements, and using catspaws (e.g. Israel, who reciprocates often) to meet its real foreign policy goal, which is global domination in economic and military matters. Nothing else really matters.

Posted by: beefchop423 | September 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

and....if the Republicans gain power ..we can look forward to an American... SETBACK

Posted by: sabrina2 | September 8, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

All achievements are fictional. There will not be peace between Israel and the Arabs. Whether brokered by us, or anyone else.

Maybe your right.

That does not mean we should give up though.

The Middle East still is a strategic entity, for lack of a better word.

Meaning the US still has to defend against those who would use its chaos against us, internationally and domestically.

It's be truly great if we did not have enemies.

We do, though.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | September 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

More mindless rhetoric from Clinton, another of Odumbo's incompetents who is also in way over her head.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

In this new Global Progressive World, led by Global Progressive Politicians, Bankers, Global Corporations and last, but not least, the GLOBAL AMERICAN MILITARY - it is crucial to focus on world peace. That is why we have the military... to crush any assult on the Global Progressive agenda of WORLD CONTROL. Control of goods and services, control of visa's, control of medicine, control of food and control of the average bloke like you and I.

Long live the UN, World Bank, IMF, and all the secret societies of trillionaires in the world.

Posted by: btrask3 | September 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This is pitiful. The US arms all the players in the Middle East, including, now, the Lebanese which means American arms are flowing to Hezbollah and they are the proxies of Iran, America's chief enemy in the region. This stupid administration has alienated our allies while gaining nothing with our enemies. The government thinks it can fight two wars without bankrupting the country. All the while, it spends money like a sailor on 24 hour leave in a foreign port.

Posted by: shel_zahav | September 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

is she suggesting that there were times in the past 60 years when american leadership wasnt necesarry? or, like michelle obama who is proud of her country only when her husband is winning an election, does she think america's leadership is needed when democrats are in power?

Posted by: dummypants | September 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It is a bold vision of what is doable for the USA. And what can be done soon is for the USA to initiate a second Marshall Plan for Haiti so that just as the first Marshall Plan helped Europe recover after the devastation of WW2, the same approach can be done in our hemisphere. We can cooperate with our French-speaking allies such as Canada, France and Belgium among others to help make Haiti whole again, but this time not as a source of cheap labor making baseballs, but as a meaningful member of the economic future of Caribbean.

Posted by: cqbrodie | September 8, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think she is delusional.

Posted by: djrhood | September 8, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Is she still around?

Posted by: slim2 | September 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"now how do you expect us to believe all these acheivable goals when the president spends more time on vacation then being on the job!

Posted by: corp21 | September 8, 2010 10:23 AM"

What an asinine comment! First of all, it is factually incorrect, as two minutes spent on Google would have shown you, Corps. Perhaps you were thinking of George W. Bush, who spent nearly 500 days of his presidency--the equivalent of a day a week!--clearing brush in Crawford. That includes the whole MONTH before 9/11, by the way.

Second, if you are really think Pres. Obama is the only person in his whole administration working on foreign policy, then you really are too stupid to be posting comments.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | September 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

" A New Global Architecture " is a very ambitious "diplomatic strategy". To succeed, US diplomacy must be free from foreign lobbyists. Case in point: Secretary Clinton mentioned the Israeli-Palestinian problem. She knows well that a major hurdle blocking the resolution of that problem is Aipac and its "supporters" in the Congress. Didn't the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, say that Israel "easily can move America" in any direction Israel wants? What did he mean by saying that? Did the US investigate Netanyahu's words? Relate Netanyahu's words with what American Generals said! Didn't American Generals, led by Gen.David Petraeus, say that Israeli politics are threatening American national security? What did they mean by saying that? Did the US investigate what are the Israeli policies which are threatening American lives and why and how??? Didn't Secretary Clinton herself say that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the American national interests? How and Why? Isn't the path to resolving the conflict is obvious: Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders in return for the Palestinians' giving up 78% of their homeland and a just resolution to the Palestinian refugees' problem? Who is preventing that from happening??
In light of the above, why "A New Global Architecture" is near impossible to achieve as long as the above questions are unanswered?
1. Terrorists use the Palestinian plight to recruit more terrorists.
2. 1.5 billion Muslims are strongly tied to the Palestinian cause--Al-Aqsa Mosque.
3. 2.5 billion Asian, African and Latin Americans strongly support the Palestinian cause.
4. 1 billion Europeans and others sympathize with the Palestinians.
What is left? The US and the Marshall Islands? And we still ask that silly question: Why they hate us?
Since Vietnam, American political, economic and military powers have been declining, and we never asked the tough questions! Resolving the Israeli/Palestinian question will not end US problems. Resolving the conflict, however, is likely to help in reversing American "decline", and that requires bold and courageous American leadership at home and abroad!

Posted by: editor4tonio | September 8, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Wednesday that she is having more "senior moments" in her pursuit of American foreign policy.

Hillary is the nation's top nag-hag, criticizing foreign nations for civil rights, when our own nation becomes more and more like a police state under Janet Napolitano and Obama.

She cozies up to Putin in Russia and keeps poking China in the eye with trade wars and military bravado. She is just another warmonger.

Posted by: alance | September 8, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Wait till 2012. She will have her claws out and scratching Obama's eyes out, trying to get herself to be Pres. Smary, lying, witch who rode into her current position on her husband's pant legs. She couldn't run a lemonade stand, unless there were crooked cheating going on.

Posted by: vickie1 | September 8, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey and don't forget that idiotic UN Resolution condemning AZ for abuses. What a joke she is. Comparing AZ to North Korea? That woman needs her head examined and should never be put in any powerful position. She is a left wing lunatic.

Posted by: vickie1 | September 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What self serving BS.

Posted by: jdonner2 | September 8, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

American foreign policy has adopted a hamster on a wheel approach for a long time. Like the Departments of Energy and Labor, the State Department focuses on form, while the substance becomes a more and more elusive concept.

Time for a major reset.

Posted by: bandcyuk | September 8, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Primegrop writes:

"So... just rhetoric. Why the priority placement on the front page?"

Absolutely correct.

Yesterday, Peter Beinart did a 180 on King Obama, declaring him a foreign policy failure (

But today Hillary the Good Witch waves her media-savvy wand and the WaPo writes a glowing headline about how SUCCESSFUL this admin's policy really is. Beinart down the memory hole?

Posted by: Clio1 | September 8, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Clinton began the free trade train wreck. He bought those "new friends" by outsourcing 45 million American jobs, by dismantling our factories and shipping them over to India and China, by giving our technology to them, by displacing more than 5 million US hi-tech workers with cheap Indian H1-B guest workers. What surprises me is, after all of the damage this self serving fraud perpetuated on this country, he has the gaul to sand up and pretend to be an elder statesman. One thing both Republicans and Democrats need to disabuse themselves of is the notion that most voters feel anything but contempt for Clinton's policies.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | September 8, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Bombast of the worst kind because there is absolutely no basis in fact.

Posted by: vismorge | September 8, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Where, how and with whom? Out of 192 member countries in the United Nations, l82 hate us and wish us ill. Yes, they do the "nice" dance and take our money, but their expectations of America are one of the child looking for the American teat to suckle. The ten remaining, are democracies....not one a republic, so it is difficult to see how they can understand us completely. But, again, they look to America's teat instead of standing 100% on their own two feet. And, America? Why our country files suits against its own states; prefers illegals to legal immigrants; never defines what "rich" is, who the rich are because, most of the congressional Democrats are rich; the President and his advisors are rich; his appointees are rich and his supporters in country and out are rich also. So, I ask, again, who, what, where and when???

Posted by: sharinlite | September 8, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Hillary should have been president. She would have made sure there was Universal Health Care -NOW. However, she has done a great job as Sec of State and has made her position for the future possible.
bill stay out of the way. We like you but you're too unpredictable if you know what I mean. Gess, I hope Obama steps aside and gives it (presidency) to Hillary.

Posted by: crrobin | September 8, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Holy hyperventilating hyperbole!

Posted by: phvr38 | September 8, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep, a new moment. Iran going nuclear, North Korea sinking ships, Afghanistan and Pakistan imploding, our allies scorned. Great job, Team Obama! Maybe some more bows in order?

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 8, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

what BS. this one has been in la la land for a long time. what say u scumbag?

Posted by: pofinpa | September 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

1. Clinton is another player in the expanding US empire. She is a neocon.

2) After the disaster of Bush and Rice of course the US' foreign relations had nowhere to go but up unless we invaded more countries.

3) Blah blah blah spin spin spin lie lie lie

Anyone who is taken in by any US politicians, "right" or "left," is blind or in denial. The US is scrambling not to disintegrate economically due to the policies of administrations since LBJ who sold us out to the MIC. So the strategy is militarize militarize militarize. Clinton is simply another player in this ongoing effort.

Posted by: greeenmtns | September 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a bunch of crap! They have accomplished nothing but a worldwide apology tour which has weakened this country. They haven't made progress anywhere. Their only job in Iraq was diplomacy as the warfighting was under control....they did nothing. Korea laughs at their approach. Iran undermines Obama daily. China and Russia do nothing to help. Europe is moving towards capitalism while we run from it. They have zero measurable achievements. It's much like "saved" jobs; a term you can't measure and never before used. Can you imagine the outrage if Bush comes out in his memoirs and says his tax cuts saved an additional 6 million jobs. Liberals would go nuts! This administration is all rhetoric - that's all they have. They couldn't be more phony.

Posted by: Tostitos | September 8, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Can't hardly tell the comics from the editorials anymore ! :-)

Posted by: thornegp2626 | September 8, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice speech. But you have to read thru the lines.

This week the US sent a group to Austria to set up a Global Tax and adopt a set of "ONE WORLD" laws to which the US is included.

Well there goes our Constitution. By the time Obama and his administration are done, it won't be worth the ink it was printed on.

And there goes America exceptionalism. Down the tubes.

Posted by: janet8 | September 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Jewish elites control the US policy because of their extreme wealth and media outlets. With their wealth they buy off all senators/congress.
Apartheid israel exposes the fake morality of the west.

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

But will that American Moment truly be a break with the past? Or a continuation into the future of alliances which should have never been.

Listening to America's Greatest Hits, I am reminded of Susan Ford, whose plan for her White House prom were disrupted when it was found that her favorite rock group, America, had a single, titled Horse with No Name, and the reference to the underworld of the Heroin industry was too much, as we were leaving Southeast Asia, leaving behind the Golden Triangle, leaving behind Burma as the world's leading producer of of opium.


So that today we could continue those old alliances, now in the Golden Crescent, now with Afghanistan as the world's leading producer of the poison, opium.

Oh America. And the plight of those who speak the unspoken.

Posted by: bhun2 | September 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

TOO MUCH TALK. She lost me when she started to talk about the Iraq war, which she voted for. She road on GWB coat tail for so long she has no identity. B. Obama made a big mistake to put Mrs Clinton, a well known Zionist in this position.

Which one of the subjects she spoke of was her idea or initiatives? For someone who wanted to start a war with Iran and promoted it by comments "we will annihilate Iran" and other war mongering votes she has made, speaking of making peace is totally out of place and uncharacteristic.

She needs to go.

Posted by: Esther_Haman | September 8, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh really! How about Iran, N Korea, China, Russia etc., all giving the US the middle finger solute!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I do think that she is delusional. This imposed USA leadership is, if nothing else, old fashion. Get a life Hilary and
learn a little more from other countries. Brazil, India, China, and others have a whole lot to teach US. We don't want your involvment in our business any longer. Why don't you try to learn a little before make such statements?

Posted by: bananal | September 8, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that placing this article front and center is meant to take readers' minds off of her sorry boss and the upcoming election.

Posted by: JAH3 | September 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | September 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Hillary must be getting read to run against Barry in 2012. There are still some Clinton toadies at WaPo.

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

While Hillary gets praise all over the world, the Texas Moron only got the boot....or the shoes. What a difference brains make!

Posted by: analyst72 | September 8, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Jewish elites control the US policy because of their extreme wealth
and media outlets. With their wealth they buy off all senators/congress.
Apartheid israel exposes the fake morality of the west. The result willb e china become superpower

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 8, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

****BIG QUESTION?????****


There are way too many democrats suffering BUYERS REMORSE from their 'lever pulling' in November 2008. Regardless of the final numbers in November 2010, it is going to be a major loss for the democrats.

Hillary will not be able to stand idly by and watch her chances slip by -- neither is she going to want to replace the Court Jester -- Joe "The Mouth" Biden!

Posted by: wheeljc | September 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Its Sooooo nice to hear from an Administration who's idea of diplomacy is not simply seeking out the most compliant allied nation (read: totalitarian and easily bought off) for rediction of "Suspected Terrorists".

Posted by: oregonbirddog | September 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This is the same nitwit who is paying for the 9/11 mosque imam to travel around representing the U.S., right?
What an incompetent, appeasing dunderhead.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. role in the Middle East is to make the Jew-hating, Muslim supremacist policies of Israel's neighbors appear sane and reasonable. That's nothing to boast about.

New York has room for a Muslim cultural center & mosque near Ground Zero, but within nearly 3 million square miles of land in the Arab & Muslim Middle East, there's no room for a Jewish state of less than 9,000 sq. miles.

Posted by: lizwagner | September 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

What's with the increased spin in The Washington Post? "Clinton defends Obama policy." "Defends"? Against whom or what? The predispositions of your Post staff on 15th Street, or wherever "content providers" are twittering?

Really, in what parallel universe would the current secretary of State be expected to stand up at the Council on Foreign Relations and espouse a completely different policy from the administration in which she holds a top Cabinet position?

Posted by: AnotherHagman | September 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The demagogic Clintons are so full of crap, I'm sick of them. Everything they say, I take as a lie or posturing for some selfish attempt at political gain.


Posted by: RealTexan1 | September 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

She has brilliant staff!

Posted by: shahjahanbhatti1 | September 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hilary should ask some journalists to be fired in middle east, that would make international relationships better. Saad Bin Tefla should'nt be allowed to write again in his country after what he wrote about Obama.

Posted by: patbetol | September 13, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

The S.Koreans actions are commendable. The sinking of a warship was bad news, but their handling of North Korea, a paper tiger, means that war in Korea is much less likely. That removal of tension reminds me of when JFK used restraint with the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It still doesn’t rule out armed conflict between the US and N.Korea though, and it’s important to determine the consequences. Here’s a good visual on the economic picture of such a scenario:

Posted by: prime99 | September 13, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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