Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 8, 2010

Today, Secretary Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. The Secretary said:

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

"I think the world is counting on us today as it has in the past. 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 still dream about America's promise of opportunity and equality, but also seasoned diplomats and political leaders, who, whether or not they admit it, see the principled commitment and can-do spirit that comes with American engagement. And they do look to America not just to engage, but to lead.

"And 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. And 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. And in both those stories, I see the promise and the progress of America, and I have the most profound faith in our people. It has never been stronger.

"Now, I know that these are difficult days for many Americans, but difficulties and adversities have never defeated or deflated this country. Throughout our history, through hot wars and cold, through economic struggles, and the long march to a more perfect union, Americans have always risen to the challenges we have faced. That is who we are. It is in our DNA. We do believe there are no limits on what is possible or what can be achieved.

"And 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 more needed.

"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.

"But 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.

"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.

"Now, architecture is the art and science of designing structures that serve our common purposes, built to last and to withstand stress. And that is 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, 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."

After the Secretary's remarks, Council President Richard N. Haass moderated a question-and-answer session with Council members. You can find a transcript of the Secretary's full remarks and the question-and-answer session here. You can also dowload a podcast of the event for free here on iTunes.



James S.
New Jersey, USA
September 8, 2010

James S. in New Jersey writes:

I like Hillary Clinton because she is pretty.

M S.
United States
September 8, 2010

M. Snyder in the U.S.A. writes:

I highly respect Hillary and her drive to defend human rights. Regarding Iran, first a comment: We have already seen the decision the regime has made. We have witnessed their character and determination to ignore & defy any rights of human beings. I think there is plenty of evidence now to bring them to the international court & charge them for crimes against humanity.


1) Why has the US not pushed to present that charge?

2) How can we recognize and allow Ahmadinejad to speak at the UN General Assembly when he is clearly not the true leader of Iran? He and his mafia do not represent the people! Why does the rest of the world recognize him when they don't?

Thank you.

September 8, 2010

Raghavan in India writes:

Madam Hilary Clinton- I am greatly perplexed at the stance of the Obama administration on India, Indian policy, actions towards Indian people. The case of Union Carbide, Nuclear liability, outsourcing. I am unable to see your better judgment.Economics is eroding Indian ecology. We are a harmonious nation put to imbalance by polluting external industry- quite against our wishes, and beliefs.We may be poor materially- not intellectually to suffer this neglect of judgement.

New Mexico, USA
September 9, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To, Sec of State Clinton,

Great speech with a caveat in my opinion.

Does anybody remember Jim Jones of "koolaid cult" fame? Hell of a party he put on for the press and Congress.

I honestly can't believe that the Dept of State will simply sit by and let as fellow by the name of Jones start a holy war with a billion Muslims.

I mean we have laws against committing suicide and a protective custody policy that one declaring themselves to be suicidal can get the "help" they given the fact that this little congregation of idiots makes "the danger of idiots gathered in large numbers" pale in comparison to the holy war called for by bin Laden, do we or don't we put a halt to it pre-emptiovely?...ain't about "freedom of expression" when such action flies in the face of "religious tolerance", and as PJ put it "You’ve got a clash of two principles here."

Well if law is logic, it would be illegal to proceed if in excercising one right in principal, you violated another principal by doing so.

This is why these values were placed in the context that they were as they were arranged and put to paper long ago.

Fact of the matter is simply that "the world", if it is to become a better place to live in... needs to do a much better job of dealing with "pissed-off preachers" and other fools on parade.

See because when these "scions" of stupidity go to climbing the "highest mountain" in their search for the meaning of life in "God's word", he's likely to kick their sorry butts down the mountain to learn that lesson during their long fall from humanity.

Need I say more? I haven't even got warmed up yet...

PJ had it right on the nose, "Un-American" in every sense of the word it is.

Did bin Laden have a right to declare "holy war" on us because we're "infidels"?

So now the US government, knowing the threat this poses to the citizens in general and the common good, bound by oath to protect the citizens of this nation.. will simply let this Koran burning transpire?

Look, this is about "who we are and what we do", and the Muslims of the world arn't going to take kindly to the fact that the American government won't even hold its "Ideals" in enough respect to put a stop to this, despite the percentage of people they represent in their official opinion.

I'm sorry, that argument won't buy you understanding from them as the actions of a sane and responsible government...period.

If you don't believe me, wait for it.

The other thing you can count on is that the members of that group will have a fatwa on thier heads, but also a whole lot of angry vets to be worried about, along with the rest of us.

This is what I mean by it being "suicidal".

It's against the law to try and commit "suicide by cop" and they must have a death wish "by fatwa",.. so isn't there a funny farm they can congregate in from now on that will assess the patriotic need to declare "insanity is preventable" and institutionalize the concept as well as these idiots?

I give even odds that some infidel American puts a load of buckshot in that preacher's britches before the week is out.

Just to save Muslims the trouble of cutting his fool head off.

It occured to me that we could treat this like a forest fire and dump a 20,000 gal. load of water on their little party. That should get "cool heads to prevail" if they don't drown in process.

Show the Muslims of the world, "You don't get to do that." in America.

You want to earn respect? It's real easy in this case, and doin' nothin will lose it.

It would demonstrate how washed up these ethical infants are when the American government "baptizes" them with contempt,
holds them in contempt, and charges them with "disturbing the peace".

I can think of so many legal precepts that are on the books in every court of this land to enable law enforcement agencies to arrest them all for simply declaring their intention.

You have a preventable "hate crime", so it's like preventing a nuke from going off in New York, are you going to wait to press charges until the deed is done?

Or are you going to save some lives by preventing it from happening?

Lives of both regular folks, as well as the lives of those too stupid to live that would become martyrs to prove a point.

Just like Jim Jones, he's willing to take everyone for that ride.


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