DipNote: The Week in Review

July 18, 2011
Secretary Clinton Greets Tourists at the Acropolis Museum

Today, we cheered alongside Dr. Jill Biden and the U.S. delegation as Team USA played an incredible match against Japan, who won in the finals of the 20th year of the history of the Women's World Cup.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wished the team luck before the start of the match, met with Greek officials, including Greek Foreign Minister Lambrinidis, to discuss ongoing efforts in the NATO coalition operations in Libya, the situation in Syria, and shared challenges in Athens. The Secretary and her counterpart also signed an agreement to protect Greek cultural heritage at the Acropolis Museum.

On Friday and Saturday, Secretary Clinton visited Istanbul, Turkey, where she participated in the fourth meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, met with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, and co-chaired an Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Conference meeting to advance the goal of promoting religious tolerance and freedom of expression across the globe. The Secretary will be traveling to India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong in the week ahead.

In Washington, Secretary Clinton held bilateral meetings with EU High Representative Ashton and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov. The Secretary and Foreign Minister signed an agreement regarding cooperation in adoption of children.

During her joint press conference with the Russian Foreign Minister, Secretary Clinton echoed President Obama's statement concerning the attacks in Mumbai. She said, “We condemn these despicable acts of violence designed to provoke fear and division. Those who perpetrated them must know they cannot succeed. The Indian people have suffered from acts of terrorism before, and we have seen them respond with courage and resilience.”

On July 12, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) 2011 Conference. She also hosted a day-long high-level meeting to announce the Open Government Partnership. Under Secretary of State Maria Otero said, “Democracy is rooted in open government -- government that is transparent, accountable and responsive to the voices of its citizens.”

The United States welcomed the Republic of South Sudan as the newest member of the United Nations earlier this week. Ambassador Rice said, “This historic and hopeful day was reached only after great suffering and almost unimaginable loss. The independence of the world's newest country is a testament to the people of South Sudan.” Also at the UN, Assistant Secretary Shapiro joined representatives from more than 70 nations, international organizations, and maritime trade organizations to participate in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

Ambassador Goosby shared his experiences at the International AIDS Society's Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention in Rome, and provided an update on the U.S. partnership with Haiti on health. Similarly, Nicaraguan dental faculty participated in a U.S. exchange program.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Brigety shared his observations from his trip to Dolo Ado, where the United States is assisting refugees in the Horn of Africa.

In Pakistan, USAID launched the "Women in Trade Initiative" to increase the participation of Pakistani women in the international trade sector; and Embassy Port of Spain participated in the "Women Leaders as Agents of Change -- Caribbean Regional Colloquium,” which brought female political leaders, parliamentarians, and civil society representatives from around the region to address issues related to women's political participation in the region.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva organized a series of cultural programs to discuss ways in which governments can protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

Assistant Secretary Valenzeula held a conversation with Dr. Cynthia Arnson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on "Opportunities and Challenges in the Western Hemisphere."

In other news, USAID Administrator Shah spoke with American youth from the White House about the importance of getting involved in international development. One way to do that is by becoming involved in the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS), which is part of the State Department's efforts to harness technology and facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement.

Also this week, the United States joined international efforts to diminish greenhouse gas emissions by joining 34 countries in signing the Charter for the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

In case you're already missing the World Cup, you can find out more about sports diplomacy programs in Zimbabwe and Mongolia.

I'd like to thank all of our readers for their feedback and comments from this last week, and we look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead.



West Virginia, USA
July 19, 2011

D.G. in West Virginia writes:

I was surprised to hear USA wants to help preserve Greek antiquities. Since there's no war in Greece we'll probably be able to save more ancient artifacts in Greece than we did in Iraq.

Alabama, USA
July 19, 2011

Randman in Alabama writes:

What is the Secretary's position on the democratic movement taking place in Egypt. What is being done to foster it?

Virginia, USA
July 19, 2011

Jen in Virginia writes:

Kudos to the State Department and White House for their great support of the USA women's soccer team!

New Mexico, USA
July 21, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I know folks take their jobs as seriously as we the public take the issues, but in all seriousness;

My feeling is that folks being able to laugh at themselves would solve a lot of problems in the world, but no, I dare not project anticipation even; let alone any expectation it could become contagious.

So I've sort of lowered my level of anticipated mirth a bit, and pose a hypothetical scenario.

(knowing how much State Dept officials love these things-[winky winky;)

What if...(being the opperative condition)...in daily briefing, DoS spokesperson get's asked,

"How would you describe your policy?"

Dos SP; "Oh, that's a "whatchamaycallit".

Suddenly there comes this great clearing of throat and a voice from on high the mount. of AP comes forth....,

"I'm sorry, exactly how do you spell that?""And a follow-up if you please-little more housekeeping-is anyone intending to do a tour to promote that...whateverit-is?"

DoS SP; "It's w-h-a-t-c-h-a-m-a-y-c-a-l-l-i-t and no I don't have anything to announce at this time ...next?""Explain this policy to me." Will it lead to Mideast negotiations?"

It's "whatchamaycallit", I can't explain it any better than that without further confusing you. And you best put the question to the parties themselves.. I can't answer that either. Next? Different subject? No? Still on "Whatchamaycallit"...hold your ears folks... I detect a screech in protest from CNN landing on my podium...""You got that right, whadayameanyoucangetawaywiththis in telling us to descibe this as "whatchamacallit"???Who's callin' the shots on this policy""whatchamacallit doesn't call for congressional approval, it's a collective decision among nations to protect populations like you belong to."


"Oh, I get it, it's an us-and-them thing right? Zero-sum game and all that? A quagmire?"

DoS SP "Yes, it's whachamaycallit.""But...but..but..but,...THAT"S A CHANGE IN POLICY!"

DoS SP "No, no no...it's whatchamaycallit."

(confusion reigns, pandemonium ensues, lights flicker, fade to black---)

Meanwhile back at Camp David; principals gather round the monitor and discuss the dilema unfolding before their very eyes.

"What about press freedoms do they not understand can't be hacked into?""Whatchamacallit sir.""Aye this' got me Irish up alright, they seem so content with the status quo.""They don't know whattheymaycallit, sir.""I know, I know, we haven't rolled that one out yet, and we may never at this rate until we get concurance on whatchamaycallit.""That could take awhile, sir."

(to be continued in someother Week in Review brought to you in total parody)


New Mexico, USA
July 21, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Oh golly gee Ollie, I've gone and done it again! I never imagined the unintended concequences of rolling out "whatchamaycallit" as a policy excercise in having a little giggle time. Man, that was fast work!

Thank's be I think to Rupert M. for this little gem of a news item. Folks are obviously having way too much fun with press freedoms...(chuckle)....What a master hack! Mind like a steel trap, that one...! Coordinated with "No such news" agency, without a doubt;

News Item;

Two Taliban spokesmen have said their phones had been hacked and messages sent out that their leader Mullah Omar was dead, media reports say.

One of the spokesmen Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the "Americans have hacked our cellphones with advanced technology and sent the messages".

The death was reported in May by media including an Afghan TV channel.

A US official told the BBC: "A lot of people - in a lot of places - don't like the Taliban."

---end excerpt---

Ok folks! What we have here as well in this unnamed US official's "statement of undeniable truth" represents no less than the leading candidate quotation for the "Understatement of the Year Award- 2011".

Will the afore-mentioned unnamed one please step forward and state your name and position held for the record please? I don't do anon. awards ceremonies or nominations, unless you want to share it with an imaginary friend...(chuckle).

My recent comments regarding the conditions of the vast lack of self depreciating humor globally were (as one DoS SP put it in resigning over a similar issue regarding official reactions to the truth), "intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. ... The exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values..."
-PJ Crowley

Well that's whatchamaycallit for ya!

See you'all on the flip side...,


Lagu T.
July 24, 2011

Lagu T. in Indonesia writes:

thanks ... very useful info really well for me in particular .... add more and new knowledge that I can take .. always successful and warm greetings from a newbie blogger


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