Secretary Clinton Addresses International Conference on Afghanistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 31, 2009

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryToday, Secretary Clinton is in the Netherlands to attend the International Conference on Afghanistan. At the conference, Secretary Clinton said:"We are here to help the people of Afghanistan prevail against a ruthless enemy who poses a common threat to us all. Afghanistan has always been a crossroads of civilization, and today we find our fate converging in those plains and mountains that are so far and yet so near in this interconnected world to all of us.

Thanks to the efforts of the international community, the perpetrators of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 - attacks which killed citizens from more than 90 countries - were driven from Afghanistan, and the Afghan people made a promising start toward a more secure future. But since those first hopeful moments, our collective inability to implement a clear and sustained strategy has allowed violent extremists to regain a foothold in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, and to make the area a nerve center for efforts to spread violence from London to Mumbai.

The range of countries and institutions represented here is a universal recognition that what happens in Afghanistan matters to us all. Our failure to bring peace and progress would be a setback not only to the people of Afghanistan, but to the entire enterprise of collective action in the interest of collective security. Our success, on the other hand, will not only benefit Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region, but also the blueprint for a new diplomacy powered by partnership and premised on shared interests.

So as we recommit ourselves to meet our common challenge with a new strategy, new energy, and new resources, let us be guided by an ancient Afghan proverb, 'patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.'

The plan I outline today is the product of intensive consultations with nations that have donated troops and support; Afghanistan’s neighbors and international institutions that play a vital role in Afghanistan’s future. The results of these consultations are clear: Our strategy must address the challenge in Afghanistan and Pakistan; it must integrate military and civilian activities and support them with vigorous international diplomacy; and it must rest on the simple premise that while we can and will help, Afghanistan’s future ultimately rests with the Afghan people and their elected government."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.



Patricia S.
New York, USA
March 31, 2009

Patricia S. in New York writes:

It used to be said, "what happens in California first, will eventually happen to the rest of us" -- now we can only hope that the measures taken to bring peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, will bring a lasting peace to the rest of the world.

Florida, USA
March 31, 2009

Mary in Florida writes:

I'm not sure if this issue was addressed at the conference, but if there's anyone to voice opposition and be heard, it would be you, Secretary Clinton:

Please stand up for women's rights in Afghanistan.

Florida, USA
March 31, 2009

Mickey in Florida writes:

Thank you Secretary Clinton. The United States of America has helped bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries are a better place today thanks to our intervention. It's time to end the war and return all our troops home.

Tennessee, USA
March 31, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

After an expenditure of over 100 billion, not much progress has been made with allied support. What do you plan on changing? How do you overcome all the mistakes we made thus far?

One small example: We took a Miami Afghani Laundromat owner and made him head of Defense there? How was that even conceivable? We made so many mistakes the people have very little trust in us, let alone the leadership there.

I suggest you talk to people like Jack Idema and get some boots to the ground idea of the actual Governmental inconsistencies? Like him or not, he knows the people and won't lie to you about what actually goes on. You need to go outside the circle of authority In House to get an honest view.

If the methods and personal leadership gets its information has not proven correct, why continue using the same sources?

It is all about taking proper direction from proper intel..

California, USA
March 31, 2009

Brian in California writes:

Honorable Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Your speech was well versed and I can only assume it was well received by other influential leaders abroad. I take comfort with your leadership and I fully support your mission; SMART POWER FOR AMERICA!

Be safe on your trip.

California, USA
April 5, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

First, my devotion to the remarkable efforts of State must be undoubted. Second, I'm not picking on dear Ambassador Holbrooke nor unmindful of the crazy jetlag all these DiploFolk are liable to.

I'm using this tape to make a point which could be made almost 98% of the time in appearances by all our United States representatives whether they speak at home or abroad.

It's time for a memo. It's time for us in the Video Age to actually learn *how* to act on TV. Video Etiquette.

The person or people who are Not Speaking must learn that for the Entire Time of the speech they only seem to have a passive role. The audience can not listen more keenly than the folks behind or next to the speaker appear to be listening. It is a deliberate and acquired and awkward skill at first, but the Listener must gaze earnestly and nod sagely when the Speaker speaks -- the whole time. That is their supporting-role-Job.

It *is* an odd feeling as Listener. You must gaze earnestly at the back or side of the Speaker's head or shoulder with as much attention as if you were listening to them directly in a conversation one-on-one from the front. Only then can the non-professional general audience be convinced of the importance of the Speaker's words.

AND you have to do it even if you have heard the same speech 94 times. *You* dear Listener stand in for the attention of this new audience.

The best at this Listening as if it were text being spoke forth from Stone-Tablets was Nancy Reagan with whom I had almost zero agreement on any other issue. She sure knew how to both Listen tho, and, as important in our Video Age, how to Look like she was listening.

Please send a memo. I saw the excellent Messrs. Emmanuel and Gibbs chatting like schoolboys in multiple cutaways during a sober press conference with President Obama and I thought, "Do these folks never study the video tape to see what we out here are seeing and how daggone distracting their not-listening is?"

Please circulate a Memo. The impact of our diplomacy could be significantly amped up by quick training in this small crucial set of Listening Skills: Do Listen and Do Look like you're Listening. Study the tape.


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