'Conversations on Diplomacy' Moderated by Charlie Rose

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 24, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Former Secretary of State James A Baker III With Charlie Rose

On June 20, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III participated in the second of a series called "Conversations on Diplomacy," moderated by Charlie Rose. The Secretaries discussed the issues of the day and reflected on their experiences as America's top diplomat. You can watch a video of the event here or read the transcript here.



New Mexico, USA
June 25, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ To those concerned,


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think both Russia and China have a very strong aversion to interference in internal affairs.

MR. ROSE: Sovereignty issue.



SECRETARY CLINTON: And so for the Russians, we – I was with President Obama in Mexico two days ago. We had a two-hour meeting with President Putin. They’re just – they don’t want anything to do with it. They find it quite threatening, and basically they reject it out of hand. So anything that smacks of interference for the Russians and for the Chinese, they presume against. There are other reasons, but that’s the principal objection that they make.


I got two words that will put both the Russian's and the Chinese logic of their adamant objections to interference in the sovereign internal stability of nations into question, and those words are "Georgia" and "Tibet".

The fact is they couldn't give a damn about sovereignity, or about the territorial integrity of other nations.

But just try to remove a pustulant dictator threatening the stability and territorial integrity of the nations in the region while slaughtering his own nation's people, then they pull the "sovreignity card" and try to wipe the dictator's butt with that argument and convince folks his backside is clean legally to do whatever he wants to inside his borders.

And here we have the current and a former Sec. of State basicly accepting that untennable and hypocritical position held by both these nations without so much as a rebuttle offered as to the flawed logic involved in taking such a stance when thousands are dying weekly in Syria.

As well, I must suggest to both the honorable secretaries that since they are engaging in some lofty hypothetical realms thinking out loud that were Assad to be included in a new Syrian election, that Russia might be ok with the results...and that Assad would gracefully step down if he lost.

Well, seems to me the Syrian people tried to have a re-call election, but there were no institutions of democracy to support the protests for one, and the regime's violent reaction for another guranteed that folks would eventually take up arms against that government. As well as about 15,000 dead trying to make their voices count, and a vote be held.

It shoulb be the stated public policy of the US that the soveregnity of any nation is held in trust and preserved by its people, wherby any government is simply the temporary steward of their sovereign rights as a people.

One any government has abused the people's rights to excercise sovereign control over its government institutions and leadership, such "stewardship" as that government may have excercised is thus rendered illegitimate and revokable at any time, by both the people and any nation willing to stand with the people to protect and restore their soverign duty to preserve their nation.

And this is the rebuttle that the Russians must be made to understand, because until they do, they don't have a clue how to create a true democracy in Russia.

That's just a "given" realization that must take place in order to create one.

Why "protect populations" if that intevention does not also protect their sovereign unity as a people, as well as their territorial integrity while a nation be in political transition?

And if this is the true basis for legitimate concern, then the international community is beholden to make proper arrangements to help a people transition through crisis, rather that abdicate one's responsibility by stating "they want nothing to do with it."

So I hope my logic here will help folks turn the corner on this argument, and move beyond its intransigence to find a working solution.


United States
June 25, 2012

Mari in the U.S.A. writes:

I have always respected Secretary Clinton. I know that she does not personally agree with some of the appallingly bellicose things which Obama is instructing her to say.

New Mexico, USA
June 25, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Mari,

You got me confused. Which pricipalled policy were you refering to by way of "things", did you mean?

United Kingdom
June 29, 2012

Bill in the United Kingdom writes:

What is everyones take on Rio 20?

According to a lot of people Rio 20 did not achieve anything except political grandstanding. No agreements, no way forward, and some key nations did not even turn up. Sure it creates a focal point for issues and gets awareness out there, and nations will proceed as they are, some championing these causes, some not. As far as I am aware a global consensus is non-existant. Can't wait until the next one when they all sit down to talk about what needs to happen, and the next, and the next. I think the whole approach may be wrong. A and B should simply be combined to say a 'Sustainable Global Economy' and definitions around it should include a 'transition' to a renewable energy global economy and maintenence of ecosystem function at a level to sustain human survial and wellbeing. Maybe it would make us look after it better (ecosystems), and we then accept significant loss of biodiversity in the interim, which will happen, as will the consequences of climate change play out..Accept and adapt as I challenge anyone to honestly say we can now do anything on a global scale about stopping what is going to happen. If you are looking for careers in renewable energy or indeed the environment sector then visit www.envirocruit.com a truly great resource for jobs around the globe which is regularly updated with new jobs on a daily basis from leading employers in renewable energy.


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