The State of the Secretary of State

Monday, July 27, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a wide-ranging interview on Meet the Press yesterday. Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at New America Foundation and the man behind The Washington Note, discusses the first six months of her tenure and the latest in foreign policy.


Steve Clemons

Comments [12]

gaetano catelli from manhattan

my reaction when i first heard the name "New America Foundation" some months ago was that i'm not particularly dissatisfied with un-new America.

but, after listening to this segment for 20 minutes (up to the point when the guest's defeatist rhetoric went off the chart), my concerns have been confirmed: it's part of the wuss left.

it was refreshing, however, to be reminded of why i supported America's own Iron Lady for president (and still do).

Jul. 28 2009 12:45 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

What is the point of having treaties if everyone is going to weasel out of them after a few decades? Hitler tore up the Versailles treaty and that eventually led to WWII. Israel, India and Pakistan did not sign the NPT, and have no obligations to it. Iran, North Korea and 181 others signed it and hence must be held to account by the UN and the IAEA to adhere to what they signed. But no has the power of coercion other than the US. Russia could force Iran, but it is reluctant to give up lucrative nuclear business deals. The US too had undermined the NPT by violating it in its new civil nuclear agreement with India. if treaties become worthless, then we weill have 40 or more nuclear armed states soon. We must demand that treaties be honored and enforced, and we must cease breaking them ourselves, as we did with the native American "indians." We have to stand behind the treaties that we ourselves encouraged decades ago for our own purposes.

Jul. 27 2009 11:31 AM
the truth from bkny

What a ridiculous comparison! He is the President and she is the Secreatary of State! Overshadowing is not even relevant.

Jul. 27 2009 11:31 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Agreed that the Obama admin. is currently displaying mixed diplomatic skill, but at least they are using diplomacy in the first place. There have been some positives, too: Egypt speech, some of the Euro trip, etc.

Afghanistan is scary, though...

Jul. 27 2009 11:25 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Israel, Pakistan and India did NOT sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty, and hence none of them have any obligation to forswear nuclear weapons for their own defense. They are not under US nuclear umbrella by formal treaties. Iran, Iraq and and 181 other countries DID sign the treaty and hence FORESWORE their right to have them. No one was forced to sign that treaty, but not doing so meant they could not legally purchase reactors or nuclear knowhow in the legal nuclear marketplace. But Israel, India and I believe Pakistan already consdierable knowhow before the 1969 treaty was drafted. So Israel is not in violation of any treaties that it has signed. Unfortunately, we have weakened the NPT by making a civil nuclear agreement with India which undermines the NPT and does not augur well for the future of non-proliferation.

Jul. 27 2009 11:24 AM

I also think its ironic that if Israel attacks Iran, that you would have a non-NPT signatory attacking an NPT signatory.

I think you should have a show on Iranian nukes. I would recommend Gordon Prather.

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

What Hillary Missed at the NAM Summit
by Gordon Prather, July 25, 2009

Jul. 27 2009 11:24 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

Despite his apologizing here and there, Obama (and Clinton) sounds just as arrogant as Bush or any president for the past 60 years. I don't see any sign that we are giving other nations credit for their ability to distinguish between rhetoric and substance (that is, that the general public of many countries is vastly better informed than the American public is).

Biden seemed to green-light an Israeli attack on Iran. Biden had Russians fuming just a few days ago. Clinton proved we've made no progress with foreign languages since Kennedy's "I am a jelly donut" speech in Berlin. Obama showed the British and the Russians that he is incapable of even token acts of decorum.

What diplomacy? What foreign policy?

Jul. 27 2009 11:21 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

First of all, it should be a remembered that a FORMAL ratified treaty of alliance becomes part of the constitution of the United States, no less than the first and second amendments! If we have a treaty, we are constitutionally OBLIGATED to go the defense of the formal ally. WE have a treaty, NATO, with some 25 European countries, as well as one with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a few others. WE DO NOT have a formal treaty with Israel. We are NOT obligated to go to Israel's defense! We are with South Korea, I believe. In fact, the reason why Israel went nuclear was because Eisenhower refused to give Ben Gurion a treaty of alliance back in the early 1950s, and hence have no obligation to militarily defend Israel, even though Israel was attacked by the Arabs states in 1948 and many times since.

Jul. 27 2009 11:19 AM
RJ from brooklyn

Can the public postures of N. Korea and Iran be seen in the context of the US ID'ing them as part of an "axis of evil"? The US may have short memory spans, but these countries, with histories of militaristic US positions, do not.

This is not to justify the craziness and belligerence of their so-called leaders, but would be useful in looking at US policy, and I'd suggest that setting deadlines would be counterproductive. It takes a lot longer to develop some kind of semblance of trust.

Jul. 27 2009 11:19 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Even though I understand the gravity of the situation with N. Korea, there is a certain play of words that happens regarding that country.

They use bombastic language to go with their brinksmanship. While I agree that pure antagonistic or aggressive talk is counter- productive, there is a certain pattern of word play that N. Korea employs and responds to.

I don't think it's surprising that N. Korea has shown signals that it wants to start negotiating again after the words Clinton used last week.

Jul. 27 2009 11:16 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

Obama and Clinton are so good at foreign policy that Obama ticked off the Russians during his visit. Clinton stepped in it with her "relax" button (or whatever it was). And most recently, Biden put his foot in his mouth... again.

So much for Obama's diplomatic skills. Perhaps we could argue that foreign policy includes more than that.

Jul. 27 2009 11:08 AM

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran and north Korea about WMD this Sunday.
Gates reassured Israel in visit,and ruled out strike on Iran!
Question is who reassures the rest of the area about Israel's more than 200 Nuclear weapons.Not to mention Israel's massive Biological and Chemical WMD arsenal.
Israel is in violation of countless UN resoulutions,the Geneva convention and The US Arms Export act which stipulates, not targetting civillians with American Arms.
In the eighties US Navy analyst,Jonathan Pollard was caught passing a trove of classified US targetting information to Israeli intelligence.Most targets were in the former USSR,but others were in points in Europe and Mideast.
With Israel and it's supporters being one of the main forces that pushed for the Invasion of Iraq,could the Israel corner be setting the stage for another war against a third Islamic country?
It is also interesting to note that JFK before being assasinated in 1963,was seriously considering US sanctions against Israel to punish it for secretly seeking illegal WMD.
By 1967 Israel had 2 primitive atomic weapons as it launched it's premptive attack on it's neighbors.
The US Taxpayer is still footing the bill for Israel's 40 year occupation and wars.

According to the Christian Science Monitor,the cost of Israel to the American TAXpayer has been over $1.6 TRILLION since 1973.

Jul. 27 2009 10:01 AM

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