DipNote: The Week in Review

May 9, 2011
President Obama Observes a Moment of Silence at WTC Site

On Sunday, May 1, President Barack Obama addressed the nation and said, "Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton underscored the President's message and said, “[T]his a day, not only for Americans, but also for people all over the world who look to a more peaceful and secure future -- yes, with continued vigilance, but more so with growing hope and renewed faith in what is possible.”

From May 4 to 6, Secretary Clinton traveled to Italy to participate in a meeting of the Libya Contact Group and address food security at the UN Agencies in Rome. Speaking before the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Secretary Clinton highlighted the U.S. commitment to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity around the world. Secretary Clinton said, “Let's move relentlessly ahead in advancing food security not only for more of the world's people, but a goal of all of the world's people."

The Secretary also met with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in Rome, where they discussed the situations in Libya and Syria, as well as our efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Meanwhile, Ambassador Mark Grossman, U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, Ambassador Grossman met with senior Afghan government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives from civil society and the local media. In Pakistan, he joined Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jaweed Ludin, and other officials for a trilateral meeting in Islamabad.

Ambassador Eric Goosby provided updates on our collaboration to further our vision of partnership, efficiency, and innovation for sustained impact through PEPFAR at the annual meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting focused on identifying opportunities to build on the impressive achievements the program has made so far, and establishing a "continuum of response."

USAID's Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg explored the hopes and challenges for south Sudan, while Under Secretary of State Judith McHale addressed new ways the United States can help support and strengthen our partnership with the next generation of African leaders. U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray described how the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HFA) allowed us to "reach out to hundreds of young people who, despite their economically-deprived circumstances, still represent Zimbabwe's future."

Assistant Secretary Ann Stock highlighted a Professional Fellows Program that promotes strong relationships between Americans and global partners, while our dedicated Foreign Service Liaison Officer Tom Weinz highlighted how Pacific Partnership 2011 is fostering networks to strengthen civil society.

In Dubai, Donna Hopkins, the Coordinator for Counter-Piracy and Maritime Security, attended a conference to strengthen the counter-piracy partnership between governments and industry. In other economic news, Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats brought to our attention the importance of competitive neutrality to ensure a sound basis for global competition. Sara Mangiaracina, a Conflict Prevention Officer, discussed a U.S. Embassy Asuncion program dedicated to preventing conflict by bolstering economic security in the at-risk northern region of Paraguay.

In Washington, Secretary Clinton addressed the recent violence in Syria. She said, "I am deeply troubled that the Syrian Government chooses to continue to use force and intimidation against the Syrian people. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Syrian Government's actions over the past five weeks and calls on it to immediately cease the killing, arrest, and harassment of protestors, activists, and journalists."

Journalists from around the world gathered in Washington to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on May 3. Secretary Clinton congratulated UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Laureate Ahmad Zeidabadi and honored journalists. She said, “Today, we remember that journalism is a calling of everyday heroes. We must continue to stand up for those who speak out in perilous circumstances as they pursue, record, and report the truth.”

Secretary Clinton also held a bilateral meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd at the Department of State in Washington. The Secretary and Foreign Minister Rudd discussed how our two countries are fostering security through the Australia-U.S. Ministerial, working together on fighting al-Qaeda and its allies, and ending violence against women and girls.

The Secretary highlighted two unique partnerships that seek to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. First, Secretary Clinton unveiled the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, a public-private partnership to improve maternal and child health. This partnership harnesses the power of technology to improve the health of women and newborns by reaching them with quality health information.

Second, the Secretary spoke with actress Julia Roberts about Ms. Robert's new role as Global Ambassador for the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Ms. Roberts said, “Nearly 2 million people around the world -- mostly women and children -- die each year from an activity that many of us take for granted: cooking for our families…I am proud to stand with Secretary Clinton to work to reduce the senseless and preventable deaths from unsafe cooking conditions in the developing world and I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves."Ms. Roberts, alongside Secretary Clinton, the United Nations Foundation, and other Alliance partners, will support the Alliance's goal of 100 million homes' adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. These efforts seem particularly relevant today as we celebrate Mother's Day in the United States, and I'd like to take a moment to thank my own mother for all she has done for me.

I'd also like to thank all of our readers for their feedback and comments from this last week, and I encourage all of you to join us online for the third joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will be joined by Chinese Co-Chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, in Washington, D.C., May 9-10. You can watch the livestream of the opening remarks Monday, May 9 at 9:15 a.m. (EDT), here on DipNote and www.state.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead.

Comments

Comments

palgye
|
South Korea
May 9, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

yes, i see.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 9, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Salute to all the men and women of our armed forces and the brave New York people for confronting terorist. Excelllent job by the President of United States, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense, Mr. Robert Gates, Admiral in Charge, Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Department of the US Navy, "US Navy Seals "Team 6" and all those who supported the mission to take Osama bin laden out. We morn our losses, but our Nation stands strong and able to defend Freedom against terrorist thugs.

Well done and 21 Gun Salute!!!!

Jen
|
Virginia, USA
May 9, 2011

Jen in Virginia writes:

Wow, it's been a busy week at the State Department! I'm glad to see Secretary Clinton's involvement in the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

DrG
|
West Virginia, USA
May 9, 2011

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

Great week synopsis. An incredible week, a great week with Osama's demise. MaMa is a great program, too. MaMa was on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday which also highlighted Huntington, WV, as the unhappiest city in the USA.

John
|
United States
May 9, 2011

John writes:

The size and scope of the work ahead is enormous – it is difficult to retain hope when we have so much division, ignorance, paranoia and fear –monetary, food, education, security - how exactly does peace fit in, when so much about our structures – destroy or inhibit peace? I applaud those that work at what at this moment seems to me a mythic goal. Good luck to all of you moving forward – all the best. Good bye.

Pam
|
West Virginia, USA
May 9, 2011

Pam in West Virginia writes:

This week has been an intense week of diplomacy and I think Secretary Clinton and Obama did an incredible job of keeping the death of Osama in perspective and kept it in perspective.

ill49
May 9, 2011

W.W. writes:

Pakistan will contribute in arresting current #OBL followers protesting. They are stading for Violent Islamic Theocracy

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
May 9, 2011

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Wonderful photo. New York City is my city. It was always "the city"...the one and only city for those of us who grew up in it's shadow. And although I live in Florida now, I will always be a Jersey girl who loves NYC. What a week this has been. Thank you President Obama for keeping your promise. It means a great deal to all who watched that September day.

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 9, 2011

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

I love this quote from Secretary Clinton.

"This is a day, not only for Americans, but also for people all over the world who look to a more peaceful and secure future -- yes, with continued vigilance, but more so with growing hope and renewed faith in what is possible."

It describes how many of us felt on May 1.

Thank you Secretary Clinton and President Obama! And thank you to our Navy Seals!

Juan j.
|
Mexico
May 10, 2011

Juan M.M.J. in Mexico writes:

USA destroys the leader of Al Quaeda.All world is grateful with USA.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 11, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Folks often talk of "unintended concequences" in 20/20 hindsight, so I suppose it's probably worthy of mention in a "week in review" that thanks to the demise of bin laden, Donald Trump hasn't got media airtime all week...

Ain't life grand?

Silenced two fools with one go at it.

I forgot to mention that the donald issued a stuffed-shirt-foreign-policy tirade that was worthy of Hugo Chavez, and made just about as much sense the other day on C-span, but where ego's dare I cannot begin to speculate as they are often proven self-fulfilling accidents waiting to happen.

And as regards John's question all I can say is if it don't seem a peaceful, harmonious humanity is lookin' likely, blame it on Spasticus Autisticus, the alter ego within the human condition's duality.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 13, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

The biggest fool is our US Congress for giving the country of Pakistan 20 Billion US dollars and they double crossed our intelligence community. I keep hearing there are more billions Congress wants to give Pakistan, maybe Congress should stop sending them money when Pakistan cannot be upfront about intelligence, to have Osama bin laden for years on its soil and deny his location. Who is the true Fool them or us for passing bills allowing them to breed more terrorists. Cutoff the aid to Pakistan.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 15, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald,

Knowing that bin laden was a master manipulator who would play a situation for all it's worth, and knowing one of his main goals was to drive a wedge between the US and Pakistan to end cooperation and joint military actions on al-quaida and the taliban; it is important to factor in the reality that bin laden made a concious choice to be where he was found. Because reportedly he had no escape plan, thus one must conclude he was content to be eventually discovered and if martyred, he'd have his last hurrah by pitting Pakistan and the US against each other over him.

I agree with you in part that all this reflects really badly on the Pak gov. and ISI, but I don't believe as a government they had a clue where he was. However it is probable that individuals acting outside the knowledge of their government may have played a part in hiding him out there in order to discredit the current civilian led government of Pakistan if he was discovered.

It is unfortunate that the Pakistani Parliment and leadership is reacting badly and adding to folk's mistrust here.

When al-quaida and the taliban are obviously violating Pak soveregnity every day of the week they continue to have the ability to blow people up as they did the other day.

I think the President should make it a point to say to the Pakistani gov. "Look here, we did what we did to rid your nation of a terrorist who was leading a terrorist org. that was violating your sovereignity, and that action was taken not just to protect our own sovereignity from terrorist intent, but your's as well, even though we had to "violate" your sovereignity to do so."

Or words to that effect.

It's important that this gov. doesn't simply respond in knee-jerk response to what I believe to be an intentional plan by bin laden as his "going away party" for the international community if it ever came to that.

I'm not saying he wanted to be found, simply that he placed himself in exactly the right place to do as much political damage as possible if he was.

If he could convince the US that Pakistan was aiding and abbeting him, that would serve the interests of al-quaida and the taliban as we cut off funding and mistrust runs rampant in both governments.

That's my take on all this, and I trust that eventually the truth will out, and cooler heads will prevail.

Best regards,

EJ

L.S. W.
|
Nigeria
May 19, 2011

Wadahi in Nigeria writes:

We celebrate with the United State for this great victory. The world is now a safer place for all lovers of peace. The U.S. should not stop this operation until all the enemies of peace and development are brought to justice. Kudos to U.S.A.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 20, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Hey Eric,

I can agree with some of your points, but when Pakistan purchases new fighters from China and ofcourse takes the United States hand out of over 20 billion dollars, while they manufacture and produce more terrorist that end up fighting our forces in Afghanistan, something is wrong with this picture. The Pakistan Government knew all too well the location of Osama bin laden. If they didn't know, then they were living under a rock. The point is Pakistan released information about an agent living in Pakistan so quickly but for all those years, they forgot to mention the worlds mastermind terrorist was living in a fortress compound that nobody noticed? I find it hard to believe. They used the United States, took our money and most likely bought weapons and trained the Taliban. Just like when they attacked India. The United States should of went with India to start with, instead your dealing with a crooked Government of Pakistan who has been greedy. We have said it all along. Pakistan is a breeding ground for terrorists. I am waiting to see if those new Chinese fighters they purchase, get sights on our drones or aircraft in the area. This would be quite interesting to see what happens.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald,

Well, since there is no evidence the Pak gov. knew where he was according to Sec. Gates and Sec. Clinton, and Gates has "seen some evidence that they didn't" ( see latest DOD briefing with Mullen and Gates on C-span) one has to ask what kind of rock were they living under?

The blindness of national pride being the most likely cause of their "failure of imagination" that prevented them from looking in their own backyard, being one rock they haven't yet crawled out from underneath of yet.

But I detect movement.

Ahh so, when India goes with the Russian bid for fighter aircraft rather than the US offer, this then becomes a matter of economics? Or percieved as some kind of alliance against us?

If you picked the former you would be correct, and since the US isn't going to sell F-16's to Pakistan, they went with an inferior substitute to counter India's purchase in a really dysafunctional parody of the old cold-war mentality that the US and Russia are still struggling to overcome.

Both know they cannot win a nuclear war with the other nor even survive a limited exchange given the nuclear power plants growin like daisies in both countries, so why do they build more at great fiscal expense, and at the expense of their people?

Yeah Donald, you hit the nail on the head bro...they're both living under a rock prepping to live in the Stone Age.

Go figure.

Logic has nothing to do with any of this.

Just ask Jim Jones the former national security advisor, who pretty well explained that in logical terms to the Senate Foreign Relations committee the other day.

And now you know why for the last ten years I've been writing a book called "the Cure for Political Stupidity, and/or how Not to go to war with America"

Curious minds have a "need to know"...,

along with ethical infants. But I don't expect the latter to grasp the cure, let alone cure themselves of terminal stupidity.

I can only try and point them in the right direction at the expense of their pride...(chuckle).

Looks like I have a lot of help doing just that, officially.

Best,

EJ

Neda
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 21, 2011

Neda in Washington, DC writes:

Thanks to secretary Clinton for video broadcast “US support for Iranian people”. But I think we need to more support the people in Iran particularly the young people. Now time has come for a free Iran.

.

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