Archive for December 2, 2010

What ELSE Hillary Clinton said in Astana

I remember when I lived in Minneapolis close to Interstate Highway I-94 and 35W in the early 1990s, we had an important dignitary ride by in his black limo. We knew this was a VIP because all the freeways had been closed off that particular Sunday afternoon, we had been warned of this interruption. It was eerie to see what was a usually very busy freeway, was completely silent. But we weren’t as a neighborhood, we all excitedly stood by the fence to watch the black motorcade roll past with great anticipation. I don’t know what we expected to see, certainly with about 4-5 limos, you are NOT going to see the person of interest through dark paned glass.  It was like a parade of one float and when it was over we could say that we saw one of the CARS of the  leader of the former Soviet Union go past us. Yes, it was Gorbachev rolling through Minnesota on that cool day. I won’t ever forget that historic moment but I’m sure Gorbachev won’t remember simply because he had been driven through so many towns and in so many countries all his public life.

Well, the same thing happened here in Astana, Kazakhstan these past couple of days. Except no one was supposed to be out watching because this was actually like a parade of many motorcades with police cars flashing lights in front. Each delegation of the 55 plus countries were driven through the streets in Astana to discuss peace, security and human rights issues. Seems ironic that so much extra police were on hand to make sure that these talks would go without a hitch, meaning NO TERRORISTS allowed! I think it worked!

I’m most interested in what Hillary said especially after her very rigorous meetings with so many people yesterday. She ended up at the U.S. embassy in the evening and shook hands and talked with an American friend of mine. Of course, my friend said that Hillary looked tired but she has a job to do of diplomacy and showing the U.S. best face to this summit conference. I saw this quote about what ambassadors are supposed to do. I believe Hillary as Secretary of State has a different job description.

A 16th century English diplomat Henry Wotton said, ” An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country.”

The following is what Hillary said in answer to a journalist’s question.  I found it intriguing.  I got this from the same blog website I got other Hillary info from yesterday:

“And one more question to State Secretary Clinton. It is known that some amendments to the act on cyber space have been adopted in the United States that would entitle the U.S. President to regulate the exchange of information in the Internet. I would like to know more about this concerning the amendments to the act on cyber space. Thank you.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I would add…With regard to cyber security and cyber space, the United States is, like many nations, addressing the opportunities and the challenges and the threats that are posed in cyber space. We want the Internet to be a vehicle for the free exchange of information, yet we are well aware of the dangers that can be posed to the misuse of the Internet to all kinds of institutions and networks. And so this is not only a matter of concern for the United States; we think this deserves attention at the highest international levels, and that is beginning to occur.

The following thing that Hillary said is what REALLY surprised me.  That the Afghan students will come to Kazakhstan to study?  I will believe it when I see it!!! (yeah like THAT’s going to happen!)

“Last night, I met with many of the participants who took part in the independent conference of non-governmental organizations that ran parallel with the summit. I was impressed by their effort and energy on crucial challenges, including protecting fundamental freedoms. They know what we all know, that a thriving civil society is a vital building block of democracy, and that disparate, diverse voices must be heard and supported.

In the discussion that I had with both the president and the foreign minister, I thanked Kazakhstan for your support of the international mission in Afghanistan, and for all you are doing to help the Afghan people, particularly the very kind invitation for 1,000 students to continue their education here, in Kazakhstan. This will enable these young people to contribute to Afghanistan’s development. I also thanked Kazakhstan for the recently concluded air transit agreement that will help ensure the delivery of critical resources to Afghanistan, and I welcomed Kazakhstan as the newest member of the International Security Assistance Force, which now includes 49 countries.”

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