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Clinton: We’re ‘Not Getting Through’ to Pakistanis

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Posted on Oct 30, 2009
Clinton in Lahore
Still: AP via

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses a crowd of Pakistanis in Lahore on Friday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced the unenviable task of trying to change U.S.-Pakistani relations for the better during her three-day diplomacy spree in the South Asian nation. However, it was unclear as her visit drew to a close whether she’d made any headway, as she herself acknowledged on Friday.  —KA

AP via The Miami Herald:

Clinton put her case directly to the public Friday in televised appearances in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, fielding angry questions about the alleged activities of U.S. contractor Blackwater in Pakistan, the tough conditions that came with a $1.5 billion-a-year American aid package and alleged U.S. favoritism toward Pakistan’s archenemy, India.

One tribesman bluntly told her: “Your presence in the region is not good for peace.”

“We are fighting a war that is imposed on us. It’s not our war. It is your war,” journalist Asma Shirazi told Clinton during the women’s meeting. “You had one 9-11. We are having daily 9-11s in Pakistan.”

Clinton later told CNN that she was well aware of the “pretty negative situation” in Pakistan before she got here. “I wanted to have these interactions. ... I don’t think the way you deal with negative feelings is to pretend they’re not there ... or just come with happy talk.”

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Watch Clinton describe the U.S. position in Pakistan in Lahore on Friday in this AP clip:

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, November 2, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

I am curious Virginia777, when you say “Obama is a great chance for the left”, what exactly are you referring to, other than the “awesome” hate crimes legislation?
Is it myopic to point out that President Obama signed a military spending bill that at $680.2 billion, is the highest in the history of the world? And who exactly is being cynical, when President Obama speaks of the grave threat of Iran, when the United States outspends that country 72 times to one?
Facing reality is not cynicism. If you supported Barack Obama for President, you have the right to ask that he stop slipping you soap.

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By jack, November 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a GREAT chance for the Left to set this country on its feet again.

it’s disappointing to those still invested in the L/R polemic - every revelation that leads to the
conclusion: the POTUS is the Left-cover puppet counterpart to the Right-cover puppet - the more
one rails at media demagogues the less one focuses on our common enemy: The Global Finance
Oligarchy - those whose agendas are fulfilled by state intelligence agencies, who orchestrate the
provocations, which serve to justify the wars

that this (fielding angry questions about the alleged activities of U.S. contractor Blackwater in
makes it to the MSM says a lot - Blackwater, under its cover of “security contractor” is
essentially the CIA’s biggest black-ops contractor after Mossad - the mission has never been “nation
building” - a notion frequently argued in geopolitical forums - no way - the mission is failing states,
by sowing chaos and provoking war

the Blackwater bomers of the Pesawar Market is all over the Middle East and it’s not going away -
what is most essential of all is that these wars be shut down before the world is irreversibly poisoned
by depleted uranium - no “wild conspiracy theory” - it’s empirically measurable - the proven cause of
Gulf War Syndrome and the nano-dust is blowing world wide

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By Folktruther, November 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

I guess, Virgina, there IS a Santa Claus.  But only in fantasyland.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, November 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

its dangerous because Obama is a GREAT chance for the Left to set this country on its feet again. Building up cynicism against him, does nothing productive, far from it.

Criticism, yes. Cynicism, no.

I forgot to mention before, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act…

awesome, Obama

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By gerard, November 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Hi, again.  Nobody said that older is wiser, or vice versa.  It is evident that none of us knows quite what we are doing, and it is well to bear that in mind.  That’s where tolerance and understanding come in.
  I have a particular beef with “American exceptionalism” becase it is so easily manipulated by government and business to get us into wars of empire and domination.  Seven hundred military bases.
30,000 nuclear bombs on the mat.  Strong-arming smaller countries.  Politicians travelling abroad saying: “This is what you have to do or we will cut back on selling you weapons.” Newspaper headlines CLINTON TELLS PAKISTAN, or OBAMA WARNS ...., or U.S. DEMANDS etc.  Problem is, we’ve lived with the idea of “American exceptionalism” since the beginning of the country (1620 or before) and are habituated to the idea, false though it is.

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By Folktruther, November 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

It is quite true, Virgina, that Obama has reconciled with Europe and has abandoned Bush’s unilateral policy, for which Europe gave him a Nobel Peace Prize, according to Naomi Klein.  So now Obama is conducting his wars with European allies, to the extent he can.

How are these wars any better than Bush’s?  I will accept that I am too myoptic to see the difference.  But why is it dangerous to criticize Obama for escalating these wars?  What is there to be afraid of in criticizing Obama?  Was it also dangerous to criticize Johnson when he escalated the Vietnam war?

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, November 1, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Well, gerard, you may well be correct - “These older cultures are trapped in history at the same time the U.S. completely ignores history” - although I don’t think the US so much ignores the past as it considers the exercise of trying to go forward while looking the rear view mirror counterproductive. What in their histories would you consider helpful in solving the present “difficulties?”

Also, I might be wrong, but I thought both the Palestinians and the Israelis INVITED the US to intervene/mediate in their dispute.

If true, that the “older cultures” have their noses out of joint because of the brashness of the “newbie,” I submit that fact as evidence to support my view that “older” is not always wiser. A wiser culture would ignore the US’s brashness and stay focussed on finding a solution to their own problems rather than pouting like a child about being scolded for their immaturity.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, November 1, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

and to Folktruther:

I don’t like Obama’s war policies any better than you do. But I also take note of the effort he has made toward reconciliation AND his other important work domestically (like taking on Fox News for one and braving the health care issue).

You, on the other hand, merely hurl insults at him day and night here on TD for his war policies - comparing him to Bush etc. etc.

I find your vision myopic. (and dangerous)

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By gerard, November 1, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

The parental tone U.S. so often takes (“many attempts to facilitate/mediate peaceful coexistence” and “when you grow up enough”) is part of the problem. These older cultures are trapped in history at the same time the U.S. completely ignores history. Neither is willing to admit its own blind spot.  The condescending tone is particularly infuriating when it comes from a country still so young and brash, yet claiming to be “exceptional, unique, the only, the biggest, the strongest, the richest etc. etc. in your face, ad nauseum.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, November 1, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

We are creating terrorists by the truckloads, Hillary, by our insane, vicious, aggressive war-mongering.

(and this is NOT getting through to you)

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, November 1, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

There’s part of me that thinks that the US government’s many attempts to facilitate/mediate some sort of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East were laudable and morally just investments on the part of humanity.

Another part of my thinking goes like this: ‘We’ve tried on a dozen occasions to get you guys to smarten up and settle your differences. Each time you’ve found a way to screw thing up. We’ve now come to the conclusion that YOU DON’T WANT PEACE badly enough yet. The reasons are buried somewhere so deep in your psyches that we wonder if you even realize the self-inflicted damage you do to yourselves. Nevertheless, we’re handing the ball over to you. When you grow up enough to realize that the lose-lose struggle you’ve carried on for decades is ridiculous and that perhaps it’s time to try another way, give us a call. Until then… adios.’

PS: All foreign aid except for needed supplies/resources to ease medical or other humanitarian crises will immediately cease and will not even be considered to be reinstated until you both provide solid evidence you’re ready to seriously negotiate a PERMANENT peace among you. Also, we will attempt to blockade all shipments of armaments of any kind as well as the materials to build them.

Do keep in mind that trying to settle the situation by conquering/invading the other will NEVER work. You will NEVER achieve the cooperation required to succeed in building a liveable society by force.

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By bogi666, November 1, 2009 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges, you summed it up very concisely, that the AfPaki’s hate the USG more than they dislike the Taliban and al Qaeda less than they hate the USG. Being bombed by Terminator drones, I mean just why they don’t know that we are bombing them to save them. It was Union General Phil Sheridan who first came up with the idea to war against the civilians in order to win the war against the South. How’s that working out for the world with civilians now accounting for 90% of war casualties. Finally, just how does it feel Americans to be more despised than the Taliban and/or Al Qaeda?

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By gerard, October 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

I thought I posted this once before, but here’s my take on bombing from drones.  Any kind of bombing is hideous enough, but sitting at a station in Florida or Nebraska and pushing a button that devastates a village market, with absolutely no risk to the person firing the missile is the height (or depth) of cowardice.  I hate it and I’m not even beinb bombed!
Let’s put a stop to this craziness—shoot, shoot, kill, kill, leaving trails of blood and ruin and driving our own soldiers crazy.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, October 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Americans do not want to hear the truth: that the people of Afghanistan and
Pakistan hate being bombed and occupied by the US more than they dislike the
Taliban or Al-Qaeda.

And this hatred of being bombed and occupied by the US has quickly become
hatred of Americans per se, especially after our supposedly dramatic
elections last fall produced only more bombing and occupation.

They don’t like us. And could it be, just possibly, that they’re right to hate us?
Could it be that, after the world has given us all this time, and this sort of thing
goes on and on, one must conclude that, on the whole, Americans, with many
exceptions of course, are a wicked people?

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 11:10 am Link to this comment


Nailed it….

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By Orley Allen, October 31, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Third world civilian casualties are the bread and butter of the United State’s
rapacious war machine. To fuel its greed, this corrupt monstrosity requires human
targets and it will have them, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or somewhere else. The
nation-states our military is endlessly “building” are the graveyards we leave
behind everywhere we go.

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By Folktruther, October 31, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Virgina, I am not attacking you, I really want to know.  You consider Clinton to be warmongering.  But Clinton is merely carrying out US policy approved by Obama.  It is Obama that initiated the policies that Clinton is carrying out.

How can you conceive Clinton warmongering and not conceive Obama warmongering?

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, October 31, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

American exceptionalism is clearly revealed by the U.S. ability to bomb people using robots.

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By jackpine savage, October 31, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Jeez, those Pakistanis must be pretty thick of skull for the message to have not gotten through. They apparently don’t understand that it is not contradictory to talk peace and prosperity while practicing death and destruction.

The problem is that American leadership thinks the rest of the world to be as ignorant as the average American…

Or maybe our leadership is as ignorant as the average American; it is, after all, a representative government.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, October 31, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Hillary, we’re not getting through to you.

We want you to stop your warmongering.

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, October 31, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Commune said it as well as I could.

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By bogi666, October 31, 2009 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Some excellent comments. As for calling the bribe money, being described as U.S. aid to Pakistan, and publicly admitting the bribe, well only HillBillary and Bush have the Chutzpah to do so. The Paki’s only want the “aid”,bribery. Just as in Vietnam where the so called “south” Vietnamese collaborated with the other Vietnamese, the Paki’s collaborate with al queda and the Taliban against the USG for the purpose of bilking the American taxpayers for their tax monies. A Proverb, ” A fool and his money are soon parted”, something I know from experience to be true. Having experienced being the “fool” I decided never to pay Federal taxes,legally, and haven’t since the day Ronald Reagoon was 1st inaugurated.

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

One tribesman bluntly told her: “Your presence in the region is not good for peace.”

“We are fighting a war that is imposed on us. It’s not our war. It is your war,” journalist Asma Shirazi told Clinton during the women’s meeting. “You had one 9-11. We are having daily 9-11s in Pakistan.”

Nothing more needs to be said, this tribesman nailed it.

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By montanawildhack, October 31, 2009 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

This woman is an evil witch…  And I’m not talken’ bout her halloween costume my friends….  She’s an evil witch 365…...  Remember her response to what she would do to Iran if they attacked Israel my friends????  She said she would “obliterate” them….  According to our good friends at Webster that means “to blot out,, efface entirely.”  That’s what is called “sucking up to the boss” my friends….  Her masters in Israel gave her an extra gold star and happy face on her report card for that one…..  And now she is off to give the bosses in Israel a report on how their plan for Greater Israel is going….  Splendidly my friends, that’s how it’s going… War in Iraq.. (US never leaving) War in Afghanistan. (US never leaving) War in Iran on the back burner….  Oh yes, everything is going according to plan….

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, October 31, 2009 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

Naked aggression of Hillary Clinton on Pakistan

Although Hillary Clinton has shown some strong diplomacy of US while she was here in Pakistan but where ever she had gone one finds it was her naked aggression on Pakistan. The lady has been sounding a big bugle horn of 7.5 Billions aid to Pakistan and she has not been challenged any where and no one could tell her squarely that Madam; US is doing No favor to Pakistan by giving this money. You are just paying your bill of cost of war on terror.

It is estimated that as a front state and an ally of US in the war against terror, Pakistan has suffered an enormous losses amounting to some 80 Billions. Not to include the instability of its state that Pakistan has got as a result; the destruction of weaves of its society and its infra structures; the ever growing subversive activities of terrorist and prevalent state of anarchy are much bigger scars that Pakistan will keep on wearing for decades to come.

Pakistanis are of the opinion that every country in the US war against terror (NATO and others) that their armies are participating in this war; they are adequately been compensated or paid by US toward their cost affects (including India). Here in Pakistan; although this is a matter between two allies (US- Pakistan). Pakistan is fighting as front state in the war and consequently this country has suffered a lot. A Lollypop of 7.5 billions being offered by K-L bill or now being trumpeted by Hillary on this occasion as some compensation which she prefers to call it an aid by US—- is just a peanut.

Although she has been successful to con us that our war bill claim has cleverly been converted into a aid cum alms bill. In such circumstances US must be condemned for preemptive use of a charming woman like Hillary Clinton against Pakistan that it is against human dignity for unleashing a woman on Pakistan. But US is likely to come out with the statement that US reserve the right to use a softening tool like Hillary Clinton in such a situation where all the option have failed. But under no circumstance is there ever a justification for the preemptive deployment of such softening tool that under the spell of it where audience and addressee are overwhelmed by her charm and they fell flat——any where by any country.

What is the out come of this visit? Net results can be said as——Zero Sum with a Peshawar bomb blast. People Market razed to ground, hundred lives perished and some 250 maimed. Our misery is that it———-goes on.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, October 31, 2009 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Military Imperialism always comes disguised as an altruistic gesture,

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By lita, October 31, 2009 at 1:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And, yet they want the billions of dollars unreservedly which they use for their own purposes, be it lining of leaders pockets or armaments against India. On he noe of terrorism…who exactly started the conflict of Kashmir? Pakistan with a British Battalion, whereupon the leader of then independent Kashmir turned to India who true the commitment given by India (and Pakistan) declined to assist, when till continued attach by Pakistan and the British Battalion, the Kashmiri ruler agreed to join India so she could be assisted. The Kashmiri problem was not started by India but by Pakistan with the help of mother who gave birth to her, England.
Given the giving of nuclear technology by Pakistan (gotten from China), aiding of the Taliban by Pakistan, military and leaders included, she still wants money from her banker without strings attached…can you and I get money without conditions???

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By Commune115, October 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment


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