DipNote: The Week in Review

August 29, 2011
Libyans Hold a Huge Flag As They Celebrate

On August 22, 2011, President Barack Obama delivered remarks on the situation in Libya. In a statement, the President said, “…The momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point." The President continued, "... The Qaddafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement on the situation in Libya. The Secretary addressed her conversation with the Chair of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil, and the release of $1.5 billion in Libyan assets that had been frozen in the United States. Secretary Clinton said, "The events in Libya this week have heartened the world. The situation remains fluid, but it is clear that the Qadhafi era is coming to an end, opening the way for a new era in Libya -- one of liberty, justice, and peace."

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns led the U.S. delegation to the August 25 Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul, where representatives from 28 countries, the UN, EU, NATO, AU, OIC, Arab League and GCC came together to demonstrate the international community's commitment to supporting the Libyan people at this truly historic time.

The Human Rights Council held a Special Session on the Situation in the Syria on August 22. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe delivered remarks before the Special Session in Geneva, where she said, "…We condemn in the strongest terms, the ongoing slaughter and callous brutality unleashed by the Asad regime against the Syrian people." On August 23, Secretary Clinton released a statement, saying, "I congratulate the Human Rights Council for its work to create an international independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and to make clear the world's concern for the Syrian people. Today, the international community joined together to denounce the Syrian regime's horrific violence. The United States worked closely with countries from every part of the world -- more than 30 members of the Human Rights Council, including key Arab members -- to establish this mandate."

On Friday, August 26, President Obama and Secretary Clinton condemned the attack on the United Nations' offices in Abuja, Nigeria. President Obama said, “I strongly condemn today's horrific and cowardly attack on the United Nations headquarters building in Abuja, Nigeria, which killed and wounded many innocent civilians from Nigeria and around the world.... The UN has been working in partnership with the people of Nigeria for more than five decades. An attack on Nigerian and international public servants demonstrates the bankruptcy of the ideology that led to this heinous action." Secretary Clinton said, "There is no justification for this violence. These individuals were working to promote peace, expand opportunity and build a safer and more prosperous nation."

Meanwhile, the United States, Kenya, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continue to work together to assist refugees in the Horn of Africa. Ambassador Ertharin Cousin highlighted the United States' long-term commitment to relief and development work in Liberia. She said, “In Liberia, as in Somalia and throughout the region, we are combining immediate relief with longer term solutions.” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto shared about efforts being undertaken by the Somali-American diaspora to address the crisis in the Horn of Africa and the community's commitment to Somalia's future.

In Honduras, the World Summit of African Descendants spotlighted African descendants' positive contributions to Western Hemisphere countries and the world. For a broader discussion on diaspora issues, be sure to join a webchat hosted by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Office of Alumni Affairs on the "Role of the Diaspora in Fostering Friendship Between the Homeland and Hostland." The conversation will take place on August 30.

In other news, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced three USAID innovation grants to develop applications in this field and begin to create a mobile banking system that includes all Afghans. Also in Afghanistan, Assistant Information Officer Nicole Nucelli described U.S. Embassy Kabul's Iftar in honor of Ramadan. Meanwhile, U.S. Embassy Kathmandu Information Officer Heather Steil shared her experiences traveling far outside of the Kathmandu Valley to meet with members of the local press and strengthen relationships with the people of Nepal.

If you are living in an area affected by Hurricane Irene, we hope you stayed out of harm's way. Please be sure to review the potential dangers and inconveniences associated with traveling during hurricane and typhoon season.

In the meantime, I encourage all of our readers to take a look at Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nide's list of 10 things you should know about the State Department and USAID, and I'd like to thank all of you for your feedback and comments this past week. We look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead.



John C.
August 29, 2011

John H.C. in Canada writes:

Great work this week Thank You ALL

West Virginia, USA
August 29, 2011

Pam in West Virginia writes:

The situation in Libya is of great concern to the world and the faster Qadhafi realizes he needs to step down. We also feel for the Syrian people and hope they will soon yield to world pressure.

West Virginia, USA
August 29, 2011

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

I want to encore JohnHC's comment from Canada- great work.

Virginia, USA
August 29, 2011

Jen in Virginia writes:

Kudos to the State Department for a week of hard work. I especially like the list of '10 things you should know about State and USAID' - very enlightening!

New Mexico, USA
August 29, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Personally I appreciate the monitoring efforts to make sure the decared and cataloged chemical weapons materials in Libya won't fall into the wrong hands, but would suggest that we work with the TNC to ship all of the mustard to Anniston for disposal as soon as possible and get it out of country.

Regardless of anny assurances made by anyone, Ghaddafi in my opinion is not one to have handed over everything and in all probability has squirreled away something for a rainy day last hurrah since he's so intent on going out with a "jim jones" koolaid escapade and martyring himself.. taking along as many as possible both opposed and supporting him.

And really folks, this is why the TNC has delared him not only a danger to Libya, but to the world.

If there's a time to put boots on the ground...teams of security experts in the field....then now would be it I think to help collect this sorry specimin of humanity and to prevent any possibility of his being capable of unleashing such horror upon his people, in full coordination and partnership with the transitional government of Libya.

Get the IAEA to go in and securely remove all yellowcake and anything that hasn't already been removed when Ghaddafi gave up his nuclear weapons ambitions so the nation can truly be declared WMD-free, and let theier be no doubt about that when all is said and done for the sake of everyone's peace of mind.

Nothing Ghaddafi would do in his final desperat hours would suprise me and don't be suprised if he has VX and other stuff set with a load of explosives and a fuse ready to light it all up and release it when the rebels come calling.

Given all the atrocities he's responsible for, folks almost have to expect this from him and it would be really silly not to and be caught unprepared.

And hey, if he's found without WMD's then no one will fault this government for taking no chances.

Just as no one should fault this government or the previous admin. for taking no chances with Saddam in allowing him to remain in power.

The world just can't afford to remain passive in the face of dictators with ill intent towards the people as they are capable of anything if given the chance, or allowed to persist in their sordid activities.

Any notion of stability becomes a bad joke the longer a lack of political will exists among nations bound by their word and "the responsibility to protect".

While it may not be the people's desire to have third party nations "interfere" , the actions of their despotic leaders guarrantees that such outside intervention becomes a prerequisite to them achiving control over their own future when peaceful protest is met with the willingness to murder them along with killing their aspirations for freedom.

Whether that be Libya, Syria, or anywhere else. Each nation has its own unique inflection point when circumstance demands our concrete involvement in their affairs.

The narrow confines of "national interest" and "strategic interest" must be redefined as in the common "human interest" when such things are to be duly and fully considered.

The family of nations is just beginning to appreciate this fact and our own nation's role in achieving a more effective global mindset.


Jonny U.
Utah, USA
August 29, 2011

Jonny in Utah writes:

Great week in review. The 10 things to know about State and USAID were very interesting. Qadhafi needs to go already and let Libya move on with its future. I'm glad the U.S. is supporting them in their efforts.

Maryland, USA
August 30, 2011

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi Hillary & DipNote.

Have a great week my friends. See ya Hillary ! :) "Keep doing an awesome job"


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