DipNote: The Week in Review

Posted by Luke Forgerson
February 7, 2011
Egyptians Wave a Flag

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote's Managing Editor.

Last week, Americans watched as events unfolded in Egypt. President Barack Obama said, "...We've borne witness to the beginning of a new chapter in the history of a great country, and a long-time partner of the United States."

President Obama underscored that U.S. officials have been in close contact with their Egyptian counterparts, as well as a broad range of the Egyptian people and other leaders in the region. President Obama said, "...I have had two conversations with President Mubarak since this crisis in Egypt began, and each time I've emphasized the fact that the future of Egypt is going to be in the hands of Egyptians. It is not us who will determine that future. But I have also said that in light of what's happened over the last two weeks, going back to the old ways is not going to work. Suppression is not going to work. Engaging in violence is not going to work."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemned the attacks on peaceful protestors and journalists in Egypt, and spoke with both Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman and Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. In an interview with NPR, the Secretary said, "...I want to stress our basic point, that we have set forth our expectations: no violence; peaceful protest; orderly transition; process that is transparent, expeditious, leading to free and fair elections. And yet we know that, ultimately, these decisions lie in the hands of the people of Egypt, themselves."

Secretary Clinton also spoke more broadly about recent events in the Middle East and implications for the region. She said, "...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..."

The situation in Egypt reminds us of the importance of civilian leadership in America's engagement with a fast-changing world. Last week, Secretary Clinton convened the first-ever, all-hands-on-deck U.S. ambassadorial conference in Washington, DC. Admiral Mike Mullen and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah joined the Secretary to speak on civilian efforts in national security and to address the role of U.S. ambassadors in carrying out the goals of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

U.S. civilian leadership played a crucial role in helping U.S. citizens during recent events in Egypt. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs explained that the State Department and U.S. Embassy Cairo were working around-the-clock to ensure the safety of Americans. U.S. government-chartered flights began carrying U.S. citizens out of Egypt to safe havens in Europe on January 31, 2010. By February 1, more than 3,000 U.S. citizens had communicated a desire to be evacuated, and by February 2, more than 1,900 U.S. citizens had been evacuated. Spokesperson for Near East Affairs Erin Pelton shared with us photographs of American consular officers assisting U.S. citizens in Egypt, and U.S. Consular Officer Paul Mayer gave us his on-the-ground perspective of the evacuation efforts.

On the ground in Sudan, White House videographer Arun Chaudhary released behind-the-scenes video of polling stations in Juba, Khartoum,and other locations during the recent referendum. U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration underscored the critical role education will play in the future of Southern Sudan, particularly as the people move forward after the referendum. Special Envoy Gration also joined Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg on travel to Ethiopia, where Deputy Secretary Steinberg led the U.S. delegation to the African Union Summit.

Secretary Clinton began her week in Haiti, where she consulted with members of civil society, political leaders, Haiti's president, and international partners on the ongoing electoral situation and reconstruction efforts. Secretary Clinton concluded her week in Germany, where she delivered remarks at the Munich Security Conference. In Munich, the Secretary also exchanged the Instruments of Ratification for the New START, officially entering the treaty into force, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Earlier in the week at the White House, President Barack Obama ratified the New START. As President Obama said, the treaty is "a national security imperative," as well as "a cornerstone of our relations with Russia."

The United States and Russia enjoy a long tradition of educational and cultural exchange. Assistant Secretary Ann Stock reminded us people-to-people diplomacy can occur anywhere, whether on a basketball court in Colombia or a dance floor in India. Special Representative Reta Jo Lewis highlighted how U.S. state and local governments are engaging their counterparts on international issues, such as addressing climate change and advancing partnerships with China.

The United States advanced its partnership with Croatia last week when Secretary Clinton and Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic signed an Open Skies Air Services Agreement. Alternate Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome Chris Hegadorn described how a partnership among the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the United States, and others is advancing food security and nutrition in Cambodia.

Ambassador David Killion, the U.S. Permanent Representative to UNESCO, visited Auschwitz-Birkenau to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and to remind us that we shall "never forget."

Assistant Secretary P.J. Crowley announced efforts that the United States is taking in response to the crackdown on human rights in Belarus and echoed Secretary Clinton's statement, "The people of Belarus deserve better."

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6 and joined activists and survivors around the world in calling for an end to this horrific practice.

U.S. Cabinet-level officials gathered together at the State Department to address the horror of modern slavery during the annual meeting of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Stay tuned for a conversation between Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca and Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, on U.S. efforts to monitor and combat modern slavery. You can submit questions in advance of their discussion here, and we hope you join them for the live webcast on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Comments

Comments

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
February 8, 2011

Joseph M. in Oregon writes:

Let the transitional period begin, with a temporary, provisional government, backed by the Egyptian army and military, "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 astounded 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 as to what the ideological dynamics are and historical origins that the Brotherhood represents. The Muslim Brotherhood, began as a Islamic grass-roots political movement, inspired by a late nineteenth century Islamic intellectual, inspiring a movement in the early 20th century focused on eliminating British Colonialism, and seeking Egypt's independence from British ruling.

President Obama's statement last Friday night, suggested by moving past the rhetoric and in pressuring the Mubarak "Czarist regime" in supporting democratic change in Egypt, obviously is 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 transitory 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 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 negative stereotyping, 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. Let's move past this incitement of fear and let the democratic transition process move forward.

palgye
|
South Korea
February 8, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Industrial structure of agriculture as a chasaneopeseo activate the service industry, a lot of women require a delicate touch to the service industry in order to advance smoothly, specialized microfinance banks, microfinance industry in each country who are interested in One by one per specified? and, one way to activate I think. First, the conversion of an Islamic state is recognized, the role of the Internet and the media played a big role at first think is highly likely. And the Egyptian revolution of small somangin? This all means to activists in Iran, the Islamic principles in the hope it does not convey false hope, the president of Iran to continue with these reforms, Iranian women have more opportunities to be provided to the origin . If this situation continues, the Iranian president for his own safety, they'll also be working with conservatives to expect. Egypt and Iran, two countries in the Middle East accounted for a large increase.

Me every ten million people, South Korea and for Koreans, and hope to talk to. Sometimes the reality which, to do such a thing, might be difficult to hope for, and how many personnel and time and money needed? Now is not the direct or indirect way to induce hagekkeum, my interests? Or if you think the same philosophy, while sokneuncheok story. I'm ashamed, however, when I need something to them, coldly ignored. Recently, the Hanjin http://www.hanjin.co.kr/ tried to access, download website, Shiki told twice ... All of a similar example and think.

Once a mistake, but twice, I think that the intention. If you two do batdeut money, and effort should think about that for a small donation, but she keeps on tv or in a different way to push something I think.

PS: All prerequisites of this article, you assume they know me that story. Egypt needs a hero I think. Lead people to sponsor a new hero .... younguleul system while providing ... Initiative keeps flowing in the other direction .... I thought.

recreacion
|
Argentina
February 8, 2011

R. in Argentina writes:

Excellent blog, now, please visit mine :D

city38
February 9, 2011

W.W. writes:

Frattini-Clinton: America Must stay out from North African mid eastern and consquently Eurpean issues unless it demonstrate a serious effort in CHANGING what it is actually happening.

Changes always comes after or during a deep tribulation time and in this case America must Push his European collegues in creating Offices In Europe in order to fight corruption and illegal Immigration by forwarding spoken know-how.

Egypt: Berlusconi must speak to the region taking position for what millions of clandestine immigrants are seeking in Europe.

The Roman gov. Is proposing to create and build In north africa and mid east what clandestine are seeking in Europe exchanging tribute to Rome.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 9, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

The level of respect a government has for its people's will is comensurate with the level of freedoms they enjoy.

This is not to say that all civil rights movements obtain clarity and grace on their path to a changed circunstance, but it is in the instigation that promts lasting momentum for such change. Egypt as elswhere, desperation is surely the father of invention, if the mother's need is great enough to think it.

The "village square" test, seems to hold water in model respects.

Every admin. has it own words to describe the "process", but policy consistantly reflects the results.

Supporting freedom is a no-brainer, but when everyone looks to America to provide it, they complain about how we go about doing that.

If we simply ask logic to prevail among folks, then we're accused of not doing anything about providing it accross the board, wholesale.

The world needs to flat make up its mind, do you want America to take a hands-on or hands- off approach? Remember, there's no cookie- cutter approch to obtaqining freedom.

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 9, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

Egypt: Quo Vadis?

Dipnote has pushed Egypt way off the lead position...now it is folded into the week in review.....What could this mean?

A- US has realized it was all-Egypt too much of the time

B- Needed to back off so not to aggravate Mubarak regime

C- Looking to create new upbeat stories while Egypt solidifies martial-law.

Bottom-line is....Egypt will be Egypt and Mubarak will transfer $40 B to offshore accounts by end February. This is son of Oil-for-Food.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 10, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Mubarak now and Musharef then, pondering the choices in stepping away from power might gain from the relief of the burden, it is similar in totality in the finality of handing off the future...and hope folks remember you fondly.

Maybe the two should have a chat soon.

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