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Ear to the Ground

Clinton: U.S. Must Use ‘Smart Power’

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Posted on Jan 13, 2009
Clinton and senators
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton stands with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, right, and the panel’s ranking Republican, Richard Lugar, in Washington on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton began the first phase of her official vetting session for the position of secretary of state Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill, where she made opening remarks and faced her peers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as they took a close look at her credentials—and her husband’s globe-trotting fundraising activities.

AP via Google News:

In remarks prepared for delivery at her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be secretary of state also promised to push for stronger U.S. partnerships around the globe.

“America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America,” she said. “I believe American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted.”

Borrowing a phrase meant to signal a move away from the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, Clinton said, “We must use what has been called `smart power,’ the full range of tools at our disposal. With `smart power,’ diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy.”

Clinton, with daughter Chelsea in attendance, appeared set to sail smoothly through her hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite concerns among some lawmakers that the global fundraising of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, could pose ethical conflicts for her as secretary of state.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the committee, said in opening the hearing that he welcomed Clinton’s nomination, calling her “extraordinarily capable and smart.”

In his opening remarks, Sen. Richard Lugar, the panel’s ranking Republican, praised Clinton, calling her “the epitome of a big leaguer” who is fully qualified for the job and whose presence at the State Department could open new opportunities for American diplomacy, including the possibility of improving the United States’ image in the world.

But Lugar also raised questions about the issue of Bill Clinton’s fundraising work and its relation to her wife’s new post. Lugar said that the only way for Clinton to avoid a potential conflict of interest due to her husband’s charity is to forswear any new foreign contributions. The Indiana senator said the situation poses a “unique complication” that requires “great care and transparency.”

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By Virginia from Virginia, January 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no hope for any peace in the Middle East with Hillary as our Secretary of State.  The Washington Post reported on January 13 that HRC selected Dennis Ross to work as her special Middle East envoy.  Ross co-founded the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-and AIPAC has sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy which Ross works for.  Washington Institute ... is another Zionist organization and Ross is a profound Zionist.

  Recall that Ross worked for George H.W.Bush and Bill Clinton on, ostensibly, the peace process in the Middle East.  What did Ross accomplish after all those years and all our taxpayer dollars?  A big, fat NOTHING!  Well not exactly nothing as Israel wants only delay on its fake pretension of seeking peace while all the while stealing more Palestinian land and killing more Palestinians.

  So now Hillary has selected Dennie Baby to once again be our representative while he will actually only work diligently on Israeli interests.  And doesn’t it seem outrageous to have a biased Zionist (It rhymes!) pretending to work for Middle East peace without ANY pro-Palestinian (or neutral) counterpart?

My profound apologies to and sorrow for the Palestinian people - and fellow Americans.

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By elizabethe, January 14, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

So, this is becoming more and more proving the media is censoring the public while pretending to tender truth.

Public opinion is not wanted nor the public’s obvious SMARTS against SLEEZE POLITICS forced in our faces.

Hillary would get straight F’s in any college course of ethics and arms control proper position and budget on course for the U.S. Constitution upheld.

She is not offering peace, agreed.

She is offering words intended to use lies as if truth.  “Smart” is not what I hope she ends up with as the proper label for what she has to say.

We need to give the best questions and provide the answers for the hearings when she gets her “review” and, my hope, is that she can end up right where truth results should put her—in JAIL for threatening policy and no change in current offensives tendered with gall and red ink beyond any sanity, against the common sense of the audience watching and the world at large.

Iran knows who she is.  A liar and hypocrit and due justice.

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By dihey, January 14, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

Could someone perhaps answer the following questions for me.

Based on Constitutional Law

1. Are cabinet members appointed by President Bush no longer “in government” the moment Mr. Obama is sworn in?
2. Is that also true for Mr. Gates, the current Secretary of Defense whom Mr. Obama wants to keep in that position?
3. If Mr. Gates is no longer the Secretary of Defense the moment when Mr. Obama becomes our next President does he need to be sworn in again?
4. If he needs to be sworn in again because he is, in essence, a new appointee is Senate confirmation needed?
5. If Senate confirmation is not needed for Mr. Gates is that a neat trick to avoid embarrassing questions during confirmation hearings?

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, January 14, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

This is the most outrageous nomination Obama has made. Not only because her husband has been ‘Palling Around with’ the Saudis and their other Oil minions, but because she dared parrot McCains ( and Hagees!) dreams of kicking off WW3 by attacking Iran!
Her mind works as well as W’s who was stup-id enough to utter the word ‘Crusade’ when discussing the War on Terror..What damn Century do they think we are living in? Do they Not comprehend global media?
How can we trust a woman who LIES about sniper fire. She never gave a revised story to explain this ‘incident’ so it must have been a delusion or just a line to get sympathy. She also laid claim to negotiations she never took part in..She is a Lying sack of shit! And this is who will be our International representative…Hell many Americans don’t trust her! She couldn’t even get her ‘18 million’ supporters to kick down a $1.25 each to pay off her debt!
Hindsight being 20/20 The Clintons are nothing more than Neo Cons in blue. I voted for that dumbass twice, and now I not only Loath them both, I don’t Trust them as far as I could throw their fat complict asses!

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By abdo, January 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

The US should use lawful power by abiding its own constitution , the UN charter and Geneva conventions.  It is not about being smart, gang leaders are smart, but rather being truly respectful leading nation.

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By eileen fleming, January 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Senator Clinton once said, “It is not enough for us to say the right things; we’ve got to be smart and tough enough to do the right things that will protect American and Israeli interests now and forever.”[1]

Tough and smart comprehends that Palestinian interests also matter and that the only way to security for Israelis is justice for Palestinians-and justice requires equal human rights.

Tough and smart would demand an immediate cease fire in Gaza, a free flow of humanitarian aid, and end to the Israeli occupation and ensure that all people do indeed have equal human rights.

No enduring peace, no security, and no reconciliation is even possible without the foundation of justice;

Which equates to equal human rights and international law.


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By Paulo, January 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The diference between the empires before and now is that they have more money and more poerfuel arms to reenforce the zionist agend

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By Shift, January 13, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Anything less than an end to the military industrialization of America and new and comprehensive foreign policy based upon mutual respect and cooperation among peoples will end in an American disaster.  A paradigm shift in thinking is necessary for America to cross the threshold from war to peace and survival.  The change we need is not the change we are getting, therefore, nothing is likely to change. The flawed thinking of the best and brightest will put an end to us.

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