DipNote: The Week in Review

Posted by Luke Forgerson
November 14, 2011

The United States hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in Hawaii November 8-13, 2011. APEC comprises 21 member economies, accounting for 43 percent of world trade and 55 percent of global GDP.

In remarks at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton underscored the significance of the Asia-Pacific region. The Secretary said, "...Just as the United States played a central role in shaping the architecture across the Atlantic -- to ensure that it worked, for us and for everyone else -- we are now doing the same across the Pacific. The 21st century will be America's Pacific century, a period of unprecedented outreach and partnership in this dynamic, complex, and consequential region."

During APEC, President Barack Obama met with Trans-Pacific Partnership leaders and held a series of bilateral meetings. Secretary Clinton met with foreign and economic ministers, participated in a press conference, and delivered remarks on women and the economy. Following APEC, Secretary Clinton will travel to the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Earlier in the week, Secretary Clinton outlined a vision for an AIDS-free generation. The Secretary said, "From its earliest days, the fight against HIV/AIDS has been a global effort. But in the story of this fight, America's name comes up time and again. In the past few weeks, I've spoken about various aspects of American leadership, from creating economic opportunity to preserving peace and standing up for democracy and freedom. Well, our efforts in global health are another strong pillar in our leadership. Our efforts advance our national interests. They help make other countries more stable and the United States more secure. And they are an expression of our values -- of who we are as a people."

In other global health news, Dr. Mary Jean Brown of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) participated in a series of briefings to raise awareness of lead poisoning in Nigeria, while Julia Roberts, representing the Global Ambassador for the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, called attention to World Pneumonia Day. Roberts said, "Of the two million people killed each year from diseases caused by toxic smoke from dirty stoves and open cooking fires, about half are young children who die from acute lower respiratory infections, most commonly pneumonia. The deployment of clean cookstoves and fuels can significantly reduce worldwide childhood death from pneumonia."

Cookstoves technology was one of the innovations on display during the LAUNCH: Energy Forum, a conference to examine provisions for more sustainable energy sources and improved access to energy. The LAUNCH forum, convened at Kennedy Space Center, represented a public-private partnership among the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, NASA, and Nike, Inc.

Collaboration between governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a component of many international efforts, from humanitarian demining in Azerbaijan and Mozambique to advancing labor rights and fighting anti-Semitism.

Secretary Clinton spotlighted the importance of NGOs in remarks at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). In her remarks at NDI, the Secretary also addressed recent events in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, at the Brookings Institution, Ambassador Eileen Donahue outlined how the UN Human Rights Council has responded to the Arab Awakening. In a historic stance aimed at protecting Syrian civilians, the Arab League suspended Syria on November 12.

In other news, Ambassador Ivo Daalder accompanied his fellow NATO permanent representatives on a visit to Georgia, while U.S. civilian and military officials joined their Filipino and Japanese counterparts to prepare for humanitarian mission Pacific Partnership 2012.

This weekend, Americans observe Veterans Day, an opportunity to salute all who serve, have served, and their families. Here at the Department, we pay special tribute to the more than 1,300 officers and enlisted Marines who help protect our diplomatic facilities abroad.

In the week ahead, we will mark International Education Week, an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchanges worldwide. You can find out how you can become involved by visiting iew.state.gov.

On behalf of everyone here at DipNote, I thank our readers for their time and participation on the blog, and we look forward to continuing to hear from you.



adri d.
November 15, 2011

Adri D. in Indonesia writes:

When is the Date Ma'am ?
yea Aids
I'd love to be a voice for it
and Cookstoves ? okay
Yea I can help out
And our veteran God Bless them
Can never thank them enough
And thank you so Much Ma'am
God bless you

New Mexico, USA
November 16, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Hi Luke,

This past week has been quite revealing to the public at large internationally, tidbits of gossip overheard between presidents, Russia thinks Iran sanctions have "reached their limit" of usefulness, and I wonder what they think will be an effective replacement; and then there's PJ Crowley's 10 questions for the GOP presidential candidates they'll need to be able to answer at 3 am upon getting a phone call in office.

Gone but not forgotten from this blog, I suppose he fielded so many "got yah" questions in his time as Assist Sec. that I'm sure he enjoyed putting those questions out there for public understanding and to challenge the mettle of candidates' foreign policy knowledge and intent.

I was just thinking that a few if not all those candidates might want to review Dipnote on a daily basis so they don't embarras themselves before the American public and world leaders start to get the opinion that if one somehow wins the election, we'll (and the world) will be at the mercy of one idiot or another.

I looked at PJ's questions, and I'm thinking about posting them here along with my answers bein' that I know where UZ-bekka-bekka-stan might be found on a map, and I have no intentions of invading Mexico unless they request our help and boots on the ground to help that government deal with narco-terrorists.

If these candidates insist on embarrasing themselves in front of the whole world, I might as well toss my hat into the ring as an independant just to offer the President some enlightened competition in debate and a friendly challenge for him to resolve a few intractable problems in the world before he gets re-elected...at this rate it's going to be a no contest blow-out before half-time, leaving folks shaking their heads in wonder at the wanna-be's.

And if 6 was 9...???

I think the GOP will have to draft Colin Powell for Pres. if this farce is going to continue...at least he knows what's up in the world...LOL!

Speaking of the honorable former Sec. of State, I understand Mr. Ross has resigned as the President's Mideast special envoy and I can't think of anyone better suited to take on that thankless task at this point in time, when the need is so great to bring the parties to the table.

And Luke, if I win the Powerball this week, I'll have all the financial supoport I need to toss my hat into the ring...officially!


I'd just do it to inspire folks to think.



John P.
November 17, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

If 6 was 9, it shouldn't have an _


You indeed inspire us to think...

Best e-regards!

New Mexico, USA
November 18, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John P. in Greece,

The "..." is actually the prelude to ,---,... ok?

So put them together like this; ...,---,... and take out your handy morse code book for decription (chuckle).

Yeah well anyway I can't spell my way out of a paper bag, but I bet you I can run this country better than some people think they can, but folks might freek when I tap some poor fellow from Greece as my economic advisor (winky-wink).

"..." can also mean your guess is as good as mine where my thought process are going with this...

...or to be continued... in an altered state of the staus quo.

A lot of folks think American politics (and by inference US foreign policy as well) need a makover and a new "do".

We seem to be in this really "stuck" place, where on a domestic level nothin's movin', either in Congress or in job creation.

You can't balance the budget on the backs of the State dept. and USAID, but no one as yet has found merit in billing Iran 32 trillion for all the years the grand ayatollah has been chanting "death to America" and I agree with the Russians that sanctions arn't going to stop Iran from getting the bomb...

...if they don't already have a few.

So if folks don't want the current problems and the potential problems created by such ill intent, then it follows logicly if such a government wasn't in power, it wouldn't be able to be a problem to anyone, including its own people.

So the question is then; "how?"

and then; "what will replace it?".

So bein that they don't want to talk about it and avoid severe concequences in keeping keeping on the path their on, I think it's high time to flat bankrupt the regime and remove it as an effective government that way before removing it kineticly.

Though I would suggest the President get all the Congressional authorization he needs to support a "regime replacement therapy" policy.

And with what?

Well, with the exception of having the right to insist that any government replacing the Islamic Republic of Iran be in compliance with every aspect of the UN charter and associated documents determining the norms of civilized behavior among nations I don't really care what kind of democracy they form in the aftermath, it would be very hard for the Iranian people to do worse than they have so I'm reasonably optimistic they will make good governance happen if given the chance.

See, the trends are pointing to a kinetic solution barring a freekin' diplomatic miracle, and we might as well bill them now and at least balance our budget on paper, so if we have to play "repo-man" and then give Iran back to its people, we can at least know how we're going to pay for that in advance.

War doesn't have to be inevitable, and if they pay up and change their ways for good and all, then I guess they're better off for having payed the price for peace.

Inducing "behavior change" in a radical theocracy is a fool's errand and not a sound strategy to prevent war.

And in this case in order to prevent war, one is going to have to cause the regime to collapse under a failed economy and bankrupt them with that intent in mind.

If it hurts the people, this government will siomply have to remind the Iranian people that bombs hurt worse, and that they are welcome to remove their government and replace it anytime per the above general specs.

Now see? I've just answered a couple of PJ's questions, found a cure for the deficit and a plan that hold the government of Iran accountable for its malevolence.

All in 5000 characters or less.

Beats "999" anytime...(chuckle).




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