Secretary Clinton on the Situation in the Middle East: "The Status Quo is Simply Not Sustainable"

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 5, 2011

While attending the Munich Security Conference, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke about recent events in the Middle East and implications for the region.

Secretary Clinton said, "...the region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends. A growing majority of its people are under the age of thirty. Many of these young people, even the most educated among them, cannot find work. At the same time, however, they are more connected with each other and with events occurring around them because of technology. And this generation is rightly demanding that their governments become more effective, more responsive, and more open. Now, some leaders may honestly believe that their country is an exception, that their people will not demand greater political or economic opportunities or that they can be placated with half measures. Again, in the short term that may be true, but in the long term it is untenable. And in today's world where people are communicating every second of every day, it is unbelievable. Other leader raise fears that allowing too much freedom will jeopardize security, that giving a voice to the people, especially certain elements within in their countries will lead to chaos and calamity. So the transition to democracy will only work if it is deliberate, inclusive, and transparent. Those who want to participate in the political system must commit to basic principles such as renouncing violence as a tool of political coercion, respecting the rights of minorities -- ethnic and religious minorities -- participating in a spirit of tolerance and compromise. Those who refuse to make those commitments do not deserve a seat at the table."

The Secretary continued, "...That has been the story of the last weeks. It is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the area. The status quo is simply not sustainable. So, for all our friends, for all the friends in the region, including governments and people, the challenge is to help our partners take systematic steps to usher in a better future, where people's voices are heard, their rights respected, and their aspirations met...."

Read more about the Secretary's travel to Munich, Germany here.

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 6, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

A New Generation.....

Reminds me of Robert Kennedy's focus on the global youth unrest of the 60's. The values of respect, openness, peace, tolerance, mutual support, cooperation...it is like looking at a dawning future from the past.

palgye
|
South Korea
February 6, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Egypt - democracy and capitalism require substantial forces can be divided into two categories, moderate forces inside the Egyptian forces in the weak, the Islamic nationalist forces of the strong possibility that more thought is going to grow. Around the principles of the Islamic countries that support them headed in the direction they want to prepare for the possibility - Everyone knows the story, but in this democratic society to maintain order by the top military in the transition to the civil power is expected. Extremist forces of civil power as a check on some of the breakwater? Have a think.

I recently about the Iranian issue - the city of Changwon in South Korea because of sanctions against Iran because exports have that difficult, but, sorry ... Studied alone, but requires the democratization of Egyptian forces along the direction of radical Islamic movements in the direction and size is thought to be determined. An approach to Iran, Egypt to decide the situation is thought to watch. The world's poor, then I'm the president of Iran,

I think. The following is a China and Russia? However, a completely different direction, and how to think. Absolutely .... By means of American democracy and capitalism, rather than tailored to the way they are understood to be running the way think. The occurrence of noise can not accept the way they are forced to be due.

palgye
|
South Korea
February 6, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Sorry story, but it inflamed the hearts of young Egyptian men to think the president. Have told them to think the message of hope. Perhaps, women from the confines of her past to be offered the opportunity to escape may have been thinking that maybe I think. The protest is still low participation of women in Egypt did not respect the rights of women is, I think there will be many changes. Even now, a little better if women would participate? I'm sorry.

The Korea Society to attend the meeting of their members to e-mail sent, received, I wanted to go ... I think a neutral place, when I go to places.

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
February 6, 2011

Joseph M. in Oregon writes:

Let the transitional period begin, with a temporary, provisional government, backed by the Egyptian army, "now, means now". Let's not create a similar paradigm as in what the outcome meant for the U.S. and the West, by our instance in backing the Shah, during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

I am absolutely astonished in hearing a "resurgence of Islamophobia" by all those who incite fear-mongering of the Muslim Brotherhood, due to inaccurate information being disseminated and out of sheer ignorance, overshadow the principle theme of the Egyptian uprising, "democracy". There is a lot of mis-information being disseminated as to what the ideological dynamics and historical origins in which the Brotherhood represents. The Muslim Brotherhood, began as a grass-roots political movement, inspired by a late eighteenth century Islamic intellectual, inspiring a movement in the early 19th century focused on eliminating British Colonialism, and seeking Egypt's independence from British ruling.

President Obama's statement Friday night, by moving past the rhetoric and is pressuring the Mubarak "Czarist regime" in supporting democratic change in Egypt is incredibly welcoming news. There is a lot of uncertainty as to what a post Mubarak Egyptian society will look like politically in the near future, let that not be a basis for impeding democratic change! But, we must support the democratic process, the Egyptians have a right to engage in choosing their next political leaders and future government. There is too much at stake here for U.S. strategic and foreign policy interests, which will undoubtedly impact the EU member states, the international community and the entire Arab world.

Mubarak, in my view, is using the vilification of the Muslim Brotherhood, in presenting their ideological-structure as a radical Islamist group, and this analogy is simply unfounded, this is a misrepresentation of the Muslim Brotherhood and this is a "regime sponsored" adapted strategy, out of sheer desperation for inciting fear, allowing the continuance of U.S. foreign aid and for justifying in allowing the West to support his stay indefinitely.

I look forward in seeing Madam Secretary Hillary, engaging with the Egyptian transitory government and with her counterpart in Cairo next?

I'm very proud of the U.S. Department of State, with their insightfulness and engagement with the current geo-political changes taking place in the Arab world. All the best,

Karen H.
|
Oregon, USA
February 6, 2011

Karen H. in Oregon writes:

The Iraq War created, or exacerbated, a schism between the peoples and their governments. The peoples want to be able to express their cultures and religions as they choose, and the governments are attempting to create an international presence.

The power games the governments play to make a presence are oppressive to the people. The games must end, and something that enables everyone to function on a higher level must take their place. The games never had the capacity to work; there is always a backlash to the games. The grab for power always results in a loss of power.

The power games have reached their ultimate conclusion, and the pendulum is swinging back, but the games based on weaving an illusion are still being played. This is a major threat to the security of the United States. We are not very good about knowing who to trust.

The issue of no WMD is a very important one because Saddam Hussein was attempting to comply with the UN sanctions. The United States went to war against a sovereign nation, against the intent of the UN Charter.

Ripple after ripple have gone out as a result of the games, until it will eventually draw in every person on the planet. The first to be drawn in were those who stood on the principles. The next have been those who are financially affected. Next will come those whose lives are affected. The financial crisis will cause the social programs to be cut, and it will cause much greater hardship on everyone. It is collapsing the old structure, and as it collapses, something that allows everyone to function on a higher level has to be rising.

The solution is a plan for world peace that is being introduced. People in 43 countries, including Muslim countries, already support the plan. It is a plan for an international government based on the U.S. Constitution and the cooperation of nature. It guarantees to every person on the planet the inalienable rights granted to us by our Creator.

The first step is two-fold. It is an exit strategy for pulling the United States out of Iraq, which is actually an economic stimulus plan for the United States, combined with a grassroots movement within the United States, calling for an Article V constitutional amendment convention to create the international government.

Disputes between nations will be settled in a court system rather than the battlefield, and it will save the US billions and trillions of dollars. We can get what we need, such as oil, by making win-win agreements, and the proposed international government will make the trade agreements.

The United States has the capacity to start the process to bring world peace. We still wield a great deal of power, and we can regain what we have lost only by offering to the rest of the world the rights we have under the U.S. Constitution. The right to be treated fairly and equally, to be able to create your life without interference, and to have a voice in your government. It will work. It is the solution everyone is looking for.

President Obama called for the United States to compete in entreprenuerism, in innovation. The World Peace Plan includes fifty innovative projects that have the capacity to revolutionize the entire planet, and they will continue to spin off.

To learn more about it, go to "www.oneworldgov.org".

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 6, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

So....(which seems to be the new way to establish expertise when speaking...) Mr. Wizner has dialed back the progress-now dial on Egypt-Transformation....was this planned?....or are we still split-brained on our foreign policy thinking? Isn't it crystal-clear that we should not be looking at a short-term breather by leaving Mubrak & Co. creating sink-holes on the road to long-term freedom? So....why do we always go for the "I'll be good", when we know this regime is bad by definition? Please don't allow the next ten years to be defined by the cause of the problem.

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 6, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

Anyone recall the 8 Ball?

CNN: Are detaining Journalists and Human Rights workers?

Prime Minister: Not right now...What?

CNN: Did you lift the 1981 State of Emergency?

Prime Minister: Can you repeat the question,Dear? Ask again later.

CNN: Are you holding Journalists?...detaining Human Rights workers?

PM: I can't hear you....perhaps

CNN: Will Mubarak step down?

PM: we are breaking up....seems cloudy

CNN: Did....you....arrest....journaists?

PM: what was your first question?

CNN: Please call me back.

PM: I cannot hear you......what are the words?

Jean
|
Arizona, USA
February 7, 2011

Jean in Arizona writes:

Sec. Clinton and Mr. Crowley, I just cannot reconcile this statement from Omar Suleiman. Can you please make a statement about it or perhaps link to one?

His statement in no way sounds like a "transitional" leader that the pro-democracy movement can trust. He praises them in one voice and sounds to blame them for "the crisis" in another.

He but sounds like the typical politician, though with great powers of "security" matters, that I, for one, cannot see how he can really lead in a transition to an election of a government that the pro-democracy protesters have worked so hard for.

Statement please? It is starting to concern me greatly that the US government seems set on Suleiman leading the transition. Guess that I will just have to trust the protesters that they know a two-faced statement as well. I really don't see them returning to their houses with this kind of statement:

"All participants of the dialogue arrived at a consensus to express their appreciation and respect for the 25 January movement and on the need to deal seriously, expeditiously and honestly with the current crisis that the nation is facing, the legitimate demands of the youth of 25 January and society’s political forces, with full consideration and a commitment to constitutional legitimacy in confronting the challenges and dangers faced by Egypt as result of this crisis, including: The lack of security for the populace; disturbances to daily life; the paralysis of by public services; the suspension of education at universities and schools; the logistical delays in the delivery of essential goods to the population; the damages to and losses of the Egyptian economy; the attempts at foreign intervention into purely Egyptian affairs and breaches of security by foreign elements working to undermine stability in implementation of their plots, while recognizing that the 25 January movement is a honorable and patriotic movement."

Jean
|
Arizona, USA
February 13, 2011

Jean in Arizona writes:

Just because the mainstream press does not show the women in the streets fighting for their and their brother's and mother's continued rights does not mean they are not there.

Other women noticed the same, that the number of women protesting are not being discussed, and put together this empowering Facebook page. The images can make every woman around the world proud.

Seeing the various generations together in these images have given me cause to shed a couple of tears of pride. Though I do not agree in full with our foreign policy and all our "American Interest" issues, I do wholeheartedly trust that Sec. Clinton will never give into the voices that suppress women, here in the states, and around the world.

(Sec. Clinton is so right. Social networks can and have helped lead the way on a few fronts.)

"http://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-Of-Egypt/188702194487956?v=photos"

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
February 7, 2011

Joseph M. in Oregon writes:

@ Ron in New York, I wholeheartedly agree with your analogy on Egypt and on what the U.S. position should be, that said, Mr. Wisner's comment on insisting that Mubarak remain for the the duration of the transitory period, is a contradiction in U.S. policy and generates a lot of ambiguity throughout the international community as to what Obama and the administration's intended position is. Mr. Wisner's comment, aired in the media, couldn't have come at a worst time, just when everyone was begining to gain some clarity with the U.S. position. I like what President Obama said last Friday and I like even more, what Secretary Hillary said today (aired on NPR Radio this morning), from Munich:

Secretary Hillary, made the U.S. position on the turmoil in Egypt crystal clear, conveying the message that we support democratic change and that it is not dependent on Mubarak staying for a prolonged period, to facilitate the process in transition. That the political process for reforms should begin immediately. Secretary Hillary gets an "A+", for explaining the U.S. position today and by illustrating where we would like to see this entire process go, in the future. Thank-you Madam Secretary.

That said, I'd like to see "Monday nominated as Mr. Wisner's day of departure (from Egypt)" and I would suggest appointing, President Bill Clinton as the U.S. Special Envoy to Egypt and the Middle-East, this would undoubtedly send a strong message to the entire international community, "that the U.S. stands firmly behind democratic change and principles".

Thank-you,

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 7, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

Here's what is happening......

1- USG has backed-off the quick Mubarak exit

2- Mubarak has begun setting up the new Egyptian government

3- Repression is on increase

4- attacks against protesters and journalists intensifies

5- Prime Minister denies human rights violations

6- USG providing cover and time (it is early in the process).

7- Military and Police are encouraged by Mubarak's refusals to step down and out.

8- A negative loop is taking shape...spiraling down to anarchy.

What do you think is happening?

OP
|
United States
February 9, 2011

O.P. in the U.S.A. writes:

One must confront two issues. One is the presumption that the land of Israel is being 'occupied' by the Jews when it really 'belongs' to the 'Palestinians'. I would point to the thousands of years of Jewish hi...story in the land of Israel on that point, and to the UN mandate that gave Israel to the Jews and Jordan to the Arabs. The second issue involves the 'abuse' being meted out by the 'terrible occupiers'. Look at Israel today. It is a pinnacle of technology, a democracy who treats resident Arabs and Christians with respect and who has transformed a barren landscape into a green paradise with plenty of food and a vibrant economy. Is that bad? The vast majority of land in the region remains Arab and Islamic and barren.

.

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