Renewing America's Global Leadership

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 30, 2011
Secretary Clinton Remarks at Kumpuris Lecture Series

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks today for the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series in Little Rock, Arkansas. During her remarks, Secretary Clinton said:

"...Before I begin, I want to say a few serious words about events because we had a very significant event in Yemen earlier today, when we learned of the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader and chief propagandist of al-Qaida's most active and dangerous affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. This is the terrorist group that tried to blow up an airplane filled with innocent people on Christmas Day in 2009, that attempted to bring down U.S. cargo planes in 2010. Awlaki took a leading role in those plots and in spreading an ideology of hate and violence. But today, like Usama bin Ladin and so many other terrorist leaders who have been killed or captured in recent years, he can no longer threaten America, our allies, or peace loving people anywhere in the world.

"Today we are all safer, but we recognize that the threat remains, that al-Qaida does maintain the ability to plan and carry out attacks, and that our vigilance is required. So we will, along with our partners and allies, continue to ratchet up the pressure, continue pursuing a comprehensive strategic approach to counterterrorism, and work to deny al-Qaida and its affiliates safe haven anywhere in the world."

Secretary Clinton also spoke about how it is essential that Americans remain engaged in the world. The Secretary said, "...There are some -- and I hear their voices -- who argue that the United States can no longer afford to be a global leader, that we should pull back from the world and lower our ambitions. But I am here today to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

"The fact is...number one, we have no choice; the world is on our doorsteps whether we invite it or not. And number two, we cannot afford not to be engaging. Whether it's opening new markets for American businesses or breaking up terrorist plots and bringing the wars of the last decade to a successful close, our work around the world holds the key to our prosperity and security right here at home.

"Now, there are many examples of this, and some of them are controversial. But take, for example, the pending free trade agreement with South Korea. It is expected to create 70,000 American jobs if Congress approves it, including thousands right here in Arkansas because tariffs on most agricultural exports are phased out. That will make a real difference in people's lives."

The Secretary then said, "From the first days of the Obama Administration, we have worked to renew America's global leadership because we want it to deliver more for the American people. And for the last decade our foreign policy has been focused on places where we faced the greatest dangers. And responding to threats will always be central to our foreign policy; but it cannot be our foreign policy. If all we do is focus on the threats and the dangers, we will miss the opportunities. And in the decade ahead we need to focus just as intensely on the places where we have the greatest opportunities as on those places where we have faced the greatest dangers.

"Now, what that means for me every day is looking for ways to support the so-called Arab Awakening, the transitions sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa, they are some of the most consequential, historic changes of the last many decades, certainly since the fall of the Soviet Union.

"It also means renewing America's preeminent role in the Asia Pacific. That is, for our future, the most consequential region of the world. It means elevating the role of economics in foreign policy, the most vibrant source of our power and a vital part of driving our economic recovery right here at home.

"It means working to empower women and girls around the world, a piece of unfinished business of humanity. It means changing the way we do foreign policy, so we are using 21st century tools and harnessing what I call smart power to produce results.

"So we are working on all of these fronts and more. But I deeply understand why so many Americans today are worried about what lies ahead for them, for their families, and for our country. Some even wonder, looking at the landscape of problems here at home and abroad, whether America is still up to the job."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...In the last decade, we've lived through terrorist attacks, two long wars, and a global financial crisis. Through it all, America remains an exceptional country. And the sources of America's greatness are more durable than perhaps many realize. Yes, our military is by far the strongest, our economy is by far the largest in the world, but our workers are still the most productive, and our universities are the gold standard. Our core values of equality, tolerance, opportunity, are an inspiration to people everywhere. So yes, we do have real challenges, but there's no doubt we have the capacity to meet them."

Secretary Clinton concluded, "...Everything I know tells me that we have the talent and the ingenuity and the work ethic to come through these current difficulties. But nothing is preordained. No outcome is inevitable. Leading the world in the years ahead will take the same hard work, clear-eyed choices, and commitment to shared sacrifice and service that built our country's greatness in the first place.

"And ultimately, that responsibility doesn't rest on the shoulders of a president or a secretary of state or a governor or a senator or a mayor. It's really an obligation that belongs to all Americans. We have to step up. We have to improve our own efforts. We have to find both the common ground and the common good that has united us in the past.

"Now, late last year, I held a town hall meeting in Pristina, Kosovo. This is a place where America made all the difference to the future of those people who survived a brutal effort at ethnic cleansing. ...At the town hall meeting, a man stood up and thanked me for everything America had done for his country. And like in so many places in the world, he and his neighbors continued to see American leadership as a linchpin to their own future success. And he asked me, 'Will you help us so we could finally see the biggest and the brightest and the most beautiful parts of democracy and a new economy? Can the great American nation assist us in our struggle to restore our hope?' Just as in times past, that is what America still means to countless people around the world: opportunity, responsibility, community. And today, it is our chance and our great privilege to live up to that well-earned reputation of the past, to make the hard choices here at home and abroad that keep the promise of America alive and well. Yes, we have to keep putting people first and keep building those bridges, and don't stop thinking about tomorrow. Thank you all."

You can read the Secretary's full remarks here.

Comments

Comments

without52
October 1, 2011

W.W. writes:

what a great speech what great thoughts

countless people all together to make the difference not to count but to change and serve our common future

SaveMe

and it is always like this
and back we can 't go
and it is always like this
that nobody ever listen
it is always like this
that you want to change but it won't work
and it ll stay just a promise

But SaveMe just throw your hands toward me
take me and don't let me sink
Saveme and teach me to love the way you do
teach me to be a better one

Ashim C.
|
India
October 1, 2011

Ashim C. in India writes:

One does not doubt that USA indeed has a global role to play. But there is indeed a need to develop a set of principles that will guide USA in playing that role and even more importantly communicating those principles to effectively the world accept that role. There are too many conflicts in which USA has been engaged in directly and indirectly but those conflicts remain and continue to bleed people affected by them. Kashmir is one. The new silk route proposal to integrate Central Asia with South Asia seems to be a brilliant initiative and can contribute significantly towards realisation of that objective. But how this inititative shall work out ultimately without for example Kashmir problem resolving is inconcievable. Even if the economic revival of Afpak region becomes possible due to successful implementation of this initiative, one's hunch is that stability of the region shall remain temporary at best.

Yet, USA, given it's influence on Pakistan and an overwhelming unexpressed opinion in India that India must somehow resolve the kashmir issue on the basis of give and take, is ideally positioned to help the situation. Emotions of two nations are attached and therefore dangerous to be touched. One wonders if there is any alternative to rationally explaining in measurable terms to two nations how their scarece resources have been diverted to defence at the cost of sacrificing their civil needs, how a peaceful South Asia, with it's identity insitutionised in a virtual economic confederation of SAARC, shall catapulate South Asia to greater heights of all round glory. USA can possibly do some plain speaking rather than guarded diplomatic talks on these issues and seek economic and commercial integration based opening up of whole of South Asia based on inclusive economic growth and religious tolerance to lend permanence to USA's achievements against terrorism and fundamentalism Afpak region.

One is sure that such plain speaking shall first raise a storm of opposition from fundamentalists in Afpak region and Hindu rightists and leftists ( which is fortunately an irretrievably spent force by now )in India. However, subject to ruling elites willing to persist on selling the idea to the people and persuading middle class through well designed communication campaign, the nations of South Asia through a joint and collective mechanism should go forward and share US commitments against terrorism and fundamentalism. US in turn can accelerate the process of turning the whole South Asia into a manufacturing hub, based on clean and safe technology, modernisation of agriculture, development of infrastructure on easy terms. This will create many more than 70000 thousand jobs in Asia. USA must take advantage of the fact that South Asia is not economically saturated nor has much export dependance.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"And ultimately, that responsibility doesn't rest on the shoulders of a president or a secretary of state or a governor or a senator or a mayor. It's really an obligation that belongs to all Americans. We have to step up. We have to improve our own efforts. We have to find both the common ground and the common good that has united us in the past." -Sec. Clinton

Ok, Madam Secretary and Dipnote bloggers, I'll buy that, and here's my official contribution to diplomacy for today..., a public response to the Pakistani President's Op-ed in the Washington Post;

"http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/talk-to-not-at-pakistan/2011/09/3..."

Dear President Zardari,

This sounds all fine and reasonable were our nations fully confronting the terrorists as partners in the same foxholes on the battlefield, but we are not to that point yet, and won't until you can accept the fact that it will probably require ISAF forces on the ground in Pakistan to help you root out your problem. Your problem sir....an internal one....of which you speak nothing of here....is in fact the "fifth collum" of traitors within your government's structure (ISI and other institutions) that absolutely does not share your stated goals and intent you seek to move Pakistan towards.

If you fail to recognize you have a problem sir, it is typical of one who is blind to it to accuse those of trying to help you see the truth as being insulting, or other wise manifesting a "verbal assault", when your pride has been hurt....and the truth is your pride's been hurt because you've been blind to the truth for a long time.

That the taliban and Haqquani, and LTE and others have been used to settle Pakistan's own internal political scores as well as to achieve regional political objectives by members of the Pakistani mil./intel establishment who object to Pakistan having a civilian led government in the first place, and a rabidly anti-western sentiment in the second , which has become our problem given the support they have rendered to these groups at the cost of American lives.

These same elements within have destabilized your nation for their own political objectives to cast doubt upon any civilian government's capacity to deal with terrorism effectively and affect your external relations with regional governments and international partners.

Your reaction sir, only adds to those concerns that your government is not only unprepared to meet the threat, it becomes as proof that you don't even know where to start to look for the source of it.

The honorable Admiral Mike Mullen is not given to making idle accusations based upon conjecture sir, and if he says you have a problem, you can count on that being the unadulterated truth, whether you appreciate it or not as being the truth, or appreciate this government's willingness to be up front and honest with you about the threats you face, as well as the repurcussions of not dealing with them as they may effect bi-lateral relations with us.

This little dance you are doing, posturing in op-ed to save face for your nation is not going to help you solve your own internal problems, rather your failure to admit you have an internal problem will only exaccerbate the loss of face Pakistan will suffer in the future when the chickens come home to roost and your civilian dreams of prosperity and peace come crashing down because you haven't done what was politically neccessary to purge your government of its individual sponsors of terrorism.

You have recieved fair warning is all, not a "verbal assault",....that comes next if you don't deal with with this problem, however.

Best,

EJ
Today 10/1/2011 10:58:41 AM MDT

---end dipnote---

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 2, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Secretary Clinton/ Global Leadership:

Because you never quit Secretary...
I am free to participate knowing that some cannot.
Knowing that poverty and all the “unfinished business of humanity”calls and pulls at our hearts and minds.
Knowing that we have the freedom to ignore and look the other way.
Knowing that our country asks us to step up despite our personal struggles because it is all that we have and we owe it to the past and the future.
Knowing that allies may not always agree and enemies may never.
Knowing that religion remains an obstacle for peace between nations.
Knowing that water and food are used as weapons.

Knowing what it is like to be thanked in French by an elderly man , my neighbor and farmer because, “your soldiers freed my country” (WWII).
Knowing his gratitude and how that made me feel.
Knowing that at the same time down the street the graffiti on the wall read, “Americans go home”. Knowing how that made me feel- as I passed by everyday.
Knowing the burden I felt for my country and the need to defend what was just and right in the faces and chorus of negativity... and not knowing quite why. But knowing...

Knowing that changing mindsets may not come but respect through efforts in multilateral diplomacy just may.
Knowing that we can be cynics because that is so much easier than the truth-that we must do more.

So I will always remain humble knowing that our leadership role is one hundred percent work and dependent on the resolve of our citizens who realize that it is not good enough to walk the bridge, we need to build it.

And rigid in its determination,
Did move, however slightly, however infinitesimally,
It did move – Dr. Maya Angelou Abundant Hope (full text poem @whitehouse.gov)

John P.
|
Greece
October 2, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Mr. Zardari

With the entire respect sir, how didn’t you know that the No1 terrorist in the world was in your “house”?

This is dangerous!

Probably there are plenty of others too.

Please, Sir, do your best to stop terrorism and violence.

Apostle O.
|
Nigeria
October 12, 2011

Perez O. in Nigeria writes:

America's great and enviable dream of liberty and democracy in resonant tune with the creeds of her founding fathers is second to none on the planet. These have been inspirations to several nations on earth. In this stance, I don't believe that America is a linchpin to the future success of any nation, group or individual. But her further aspiration for Renewed Global Leadership is to entrench and institutionalize Democracy as against and to rule out Tyranny in nations of the earth; and Liberty as against and to rule out Oppression; and Rule of Law as against the hideous decree of Totalitarianity. Mrs Hillary Clinton says that "....ultimately the responsibility of Renewing America's Global Leadership does not rest on the shoulder of a president, secretary of state or a governor or mayor. It is really an obligation that belongs to all Americans......." I greatly believe that the Americans alone can not successly and creditable achieve this laudable mission on the earth without the support of other stable, sane and sound minds around the globe who believe in the same creeds of the America's founding fathers promoting and supporting these in nations far and near. These include human rights activists, promoters of rule of law and genuine democracy and so on through vast peaceful means .......Because of this I have several papers presentations to make to the state departments to help further and faster achieve this mission if welcome or allowed......

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