The political philosophy of the kick-back 1

Hillary Clinton will not release the texts of the speeches she made to Wall Street institutions, for fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars, while she was secretary of state.

However, an article of hers, published on November 1, 2010, in Foreign Affairs, provides a sample of what she had to say at the time.

We quote from Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Today’s world is a crucible of challenges …

She is – or her ghost writers are – not good with metaphors. They obviously didn’t think about what a crucible is or how it can contain challenges, or if it could what it might do with them. The style of the whole article is pompous, dull, full of over-used and ill-thought-out phrases – not the writing of a thinker. It is the writing of a deceiver, trying to pull the wool over her reader’s eyes.

But those faults are small compared to the message she is trying to convey and its implications for US policy and action.

 … testing American leadership. Global problems, from violent extremism to worldwide recession to climate change to poverty, demand collective solutions, even as power in the world becomes more diffuse. They require effective international cooperation, even as that becomes harder to achieve. And they cannot be solved unless a nation is willing to accept the responsibility of mobilizing action. The United States is that nation.

Translation: The world must sing in perfect harmony – under the baton of the US administration, specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I began my tenure as U.S. Secretary of State by stressing the need to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense – a “smart power” approach to solving global problems. To make that approach succeed, however, U.S. civilian power must be strengthened and amplified. It must, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has argued in these pages, be brought into better balance with U.S. military power. In a speech last August, Gates said, “There has to be a change in attitude in the recognition of the critical role that agencies like [the] State [Department] and AID [the U.S. Agency for International Development] play . . . for them to play the leading role that I think they need to play.”

The State Department (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and USAID must play a leading role. And because President Obama is against a strong military and very much against military intervention in foreign affairs, the military must step aside and let Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID act for America to deal with violent extremism, as well as recession, climate change, and poverty. And if you think it’s just her saying so, and you still feel the military may be best at dealing with violent extremism abroad, she has some words from the secretary of defense to back her up.

This effort is under way. Congress has already appropriated funds for 1,108 new Foreign Service and Civil Service officers to strengthen the State Department’s capacity to pursue American interests and advance American values. USAID is in the process of doubling its development staff, hiring 1,200 new Foreign Service officers with the specific skills and experience required for evolving development challenges, and is making better use of local hires at our overseas missions, who have deep knowledge of their countries. The Obama administration has begun rebuilding USAID to make it the world’s premier development organization, one that fosters long-term growth and democratic governance, includes its own research arm, shapes policy and innovation, and uses metrics to ensure that our investments are cost-effective and sound.

But we must do more. We must not only rebuild – but also rethink, reform, and recalibrate. During my years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I saw how the Department of Defense used its Quadrennial Defense Review to align its resources, policies, and strategies for the present – and the future. No similar mechanism existed for modernizing the State Department or USAID. In July 2009, I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a wholesale review of the State Department and USAID to recommend how to better equip, fund, train, and organize ourselves to meet current diplomatic and development priorities and how to begin building the people, structures, processes, and resources today to address the world’s challenges in the years ahead.

The QDDR is not simply a review. It defines how to make diplomacy and development coordinated, complementary, and mutually reinforcing. It assesses what has worked in the past and what has not. And it forecasts future strategic choices and resource needs.

Although the State Department and USAID have distinct roles and missions, diplomacy and development often overlap and must work in tandem. Increasingly, global challenges call for a mix of both, requiring a more holistic approach to civilian power. …

Now recall, as an example of her “diplomacy and development overlap”, what she did in Haiti as explained in the film Hillary’s America posted immediately below. The cell-phone racket she worked in Haiti has been exposed as one where the Clinton Foundation was the link between “civilian” interests and state-provided “development aid”. The provider of the cell-phones was a crony of the Clintons. One can see how this “diplomacy and civilian development” linkage is community organizing for power and perks globally. It is an enormous over-reach of government function for the benefit of officials. It is the linking together of two activities that should be kept apart. The diplomacy is the activity of the US government, with control of tax-payers’ money; the “civilian development” is private commercial activity. If the private commerce is assisted by an “investment” of US tax-payers’ funds, for the enrichment of the CEOs of the companies involved and of the broker – who is also the secretary of state – there is a clear case of corruption. A clear case of theft from the tax-payers. “Diplomacy and development” is, in this context, a kind of oxymoron. And it encapsulates the self-contradiction of the Left: claim to be doing good using your office to dispense state aid – but profit personally from it.

Diplomacy has long been the backbone of U.S. foreign policy. It remains so today. The vast majority of my work at the State Department consists of engaging in diplomacy to address major global and regional challenges, such as confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, facilitating negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, enhancing stability on the Korean Peninsula, and working with other governments to bring emergency relief to Haiti. And President Barack Obama and I certainly relied on old-fashioned diplomatic elbow grease to hammer out a last-minute accord at the Copenhagen conference on climate change last December.

In annual strategic dialogues with a range of key partners – including China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa – the United States aims to deepen and broaden its relationships and to establish a stronger foundation for addressing shared problems, advancing shared interests, and managing differences. The United States is investing in strengthening global structures such as the G-20 and regional institutions such as the Organization of American States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is part of a commitment to building a new global architecture of cooperation that includes not only the East and the West but also the North and the South.

To call Hillary Rodham Clinton ambitious is to understate the reach of her desires and designs. Ambition aims for the high, the distant, but the attainable. It is her ambition to become president of the United States; and – appallingly – that is a possibility. But to desire to rule the world? That is the urge of a fevered brain.

Although traditional diplomacy will always be critical to advancing the United States’ agenda, it is not enough. The State Department must expand its engagement to reach and influence wider and more diverse groups using new skills, strategies, and tools. To that end, the department is broadening the way it conceives of diplomacy as well as the roles and responsibilities of its practitioners.

Of its chief practitioner she means. Herself.

The original Foreign Service, as its name implies, consisted of people trained to manage U.S. relations with foreign states, principally through consultations with their counterparts in government. This has been the main function of U.S. ambassadors and embassies, as well as the staff at the State Department. But increasing global interconnectedness now necessitates reaching beyond governments to citizens directly …

By “citizens” she means her brother and her friends in manufacturing and mining businesses. Grateful tycoons who repay her patronage with donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. In other words, kick-backs. 

The wool-pulling continues. Now you see the cronies, now you don’t, as the noble ends are spread before you. Don’t look at the provenance of the cell-phones; look at how this state-citizen partnership will improve the world economy, cool the earth and make the seas recede, stop drug trafficking, cure disease, reduce crime, and feed the hungry:

… and broadening the U.S. foreign policy portfolio to include issues once confined to the domestic sphere, such as economic and environmental regulation, drugs and disease, organized crime, and world hunger. As those issues spill across borders, the domestic agencies addressing them must now do more of their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. A U.S. ambassador in 2010 is thus responsible not only for managing civilians from the State Department and USAID but also for operating as the CEO of a multiagency mission. And he or she must also be adept at connecting with audiences outside of government, such as the private sector and civil society. …

Consider the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.

Yes. Consider it in the light of the film.

The mission includes 800 staff members; about 450 are diplomats and civil servants from the State Department, and 100 are from USAID. A large portion of the work there consists of traditional diplomacy – Foreign Service officers helping Americans traveling or doing business in the region, issuing visas, and engaging with their Pakistani civilian and military counterparts. But the U.S. ambassador there also leads civilians from 11 other federal agencies, including disaster relief and reconstruction experts helping to rebuild after last summer’s historic floods; specialists in health, energy, communications, finance, agriculture, and justice; and military personnel working with the Pakistani military to bolster Pakistani capacities and to help in the fight against violent extremists.

We do not know if any of her friends and relations made money out of last summer’s floods in Pakistan, but we have ample to reason to suspect that some did. And if so, more tokens of gratitude will have been dropped into the Clinton receptacles.

Back in Washington, my responsibility as secretary is to ensure that the Foreign Service and Civil Service personnel within the State Department and USAID are working together and with their colleagues across the federal government. The United States’ strategic dialogue with Pakistan involves ten separate working groups that bring together cabinet secretaries and experts from a range of agencies in both governments. The U.S. dialogue with India engages 22 different agencies …

See the section on India in the film below. (It starts at 44.33 minutes.) It does not support Hillary Rodham Clinton’s preferred self-image (at the time this article was written) as one who dislikes military strength. It reveals how she helped India become a nuclear power. And how she and Bill Clinton profited by it.

… and when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I traveled to Beijing in May for the second round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, our delegation included civilians from over 30 agencies.

Foreign Service officers, Civil Service personnel, and local staff at the State Department and USAID form the backbone of our global engagement. By drawing on the pool of talent that already exists in U.S. federal agencies and at overseas posts, the United States can build a global civilian service of the same caliber and flexibility as the U.S. military.

So you see? She can conquer without firing a shot.

With staff members and experts from a variety of institutions – including the State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Peace Corps, and many others – the U.S. foreign policy apparatus must reward teamwork, promote collaboration, and support interagency rotations.

She goes on to tell a story  of Hillary the Woman of the People. As if the “civilians” she is concerned with are really the locals in dear little villages.

Engagement must go far beyond government-to-government interactions. In this information age, public opinion takes on added importance even in authoritarian states and as nonstate actors are more able to influence current events. Today, a U.S. ambassador creates ties not only with the host nation’s government but also with its people. The QDDR endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat’s duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and is as likely to wear cargo pants as a pinstriped suit. …

But he or she will meet with business people too, of course. And philanthropists. She says as much – and without missing a beat, keeping a straight face as it were, she comes directly to the cell-phones in Haiti:

We can also leverage civilian power by connecting businesses, philanthropists, and citizens’ groups with partner governments to perform tasks that governments alone cannot. Technology, in particular, provides new tools of engagement. One great success this year was a partnership forged almost overnight among U.S. and Haitian cell-phone companies, the Red Cross, social entrepreneurs, the U.S. Coast Guard, and, eventually, the U.S. Marines to create a platform that used text messaging to broadcast the locations of earthquake victims in need of rescue. The State Department also launched a program to facilitate the texting of $10 donations to the Red Cross for Haiti, which drew contributions from 31 million Americans. At the State Department and USAID, we continue to develop new ways to use the world’s 4.6 billion cell phones to improve the lives of people living in remote areas and arduous circumstances.

More profit, more and more and more, for her Irish friend who supplies the cell phones. A very grateful friend.

The article goes on (and on), but what we have quoted is all that’s needed to show what it’s about: a justification of the sort of deals described in the film. It is a long ponderous self-vaunting screed intended to make Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal corruption look like a marvelous new way of using American power to benefit the world in a charming spirit of co-operation with ordinary people. All and only for the benefit of the people. So much nicer than an America that presides over a world order maintained by the fact of  its military might!

But what it actually displays is the deception, the venality, the corruption, the hypocrisy of the Obama administration, of Hillary Rodham Clinton personally, and of the Left in general.

Posted under Africa, corruption, Diplomacy, Haiti, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 28, 2016

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A powerful lunch 0

Here’s Hillary Clinton’s cunning plan for saving the world from a nuclear-armed Iran:

First, convince the Saudis that the Revolutionary Guards are effectively taking over the government of Iran and so turning the country into a military dictatorship.

Next, persuade the duly frightened Saudis, who’ll want urgently to stop this development, to threaten China over oil supplies.

Then, a thoroughly cowed China will agree to support sanctions against Iran.

Finally, sanctions supported by China will stop Iran becoming a nuclear-armed power.

Yeah, sure, that will do it. No ordinary diplomacy this; this is smart power.

Yet the Saudis, it seems, are not keen to play their part in the brilliant scheme.

The Washington Post reports:

Iran is increasingly acquiring the attributes of a “military dictatorship,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted repeatedly Monday, pointing to how the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has grabbed ever-larger chunks of the country’s economic, military and political life.

Clinton’s statements … were clearly a calculated effort to stir the waters in the administration’s stalled effort to win support for new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

Clinton appeared to be trying both to sound the alarm within Iran about the Guard’s increased influence — perhaps hoping to drive a wedge between the Guard and the rest of the political elite — and to sow doubts about the nature of Iran in nations that are wary of additional sanctions, such as China and Brazil. …

U.S. officials have said they plan to target the sanctions at the Guard, which is heavily involved in Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs, because such tactics would damage the nation’s power structure while in theory not affecting many ordinary Iranians. Clinton suggested that the sanctions being contemplated are also designed to thwart the growth of the Guard’s role in Iran’s internal political dynamics.

“That is how we see it,” Clinton [said]. “We see that the government of Iran, the Supreme leader, the president, the parliament is being supplanted and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.” …

Although the Obama administration has repeatedly said it does not seek to meddle in Iranian politics, Clinton suggested that Iran’s elected leaders — long at odds with the United States — needed to take action. She said the current political climate is “a far cry from the Islamic republic that had elections and different points of view within the leadership circle.”

At a news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, she said she hoped “that this is not a permanent change but that the religious and political leaders of Iran act to take back the authority which they should be exercising on behalf of the people.”

Similarly, she told reporters that “the civilian leadership is either preoccupied with its internal political situation or is ceding ground to the Revolutionary Guard” as it tries to contend with opposition protests. She said that whether the country changes course “depends on whether the clerical and political leadership begin to reassert themselves.”

And if they did, everything would be different? They’d give up the nuclear program? Stop threatening the destruction of Israel? Become firm allies of the United States? They’ve given clear evidence, have they, that this is how they’re thinking, these clerical and political leaders, the mullahs and Ahmadinejad? They’ve shown themselves to be trustworthy authorities exercising power ‘on behalf of the people’?

Anyway, King Abdullah gave Hillary a jolly good lunch.

Clinton spent 5 1/2 hours at Abdullah’s desert compound, about 60 miles northeast of the capital, Riyadh. After an opulent lunch, they spoke for nearly four hours on a range of issues, including Afghanistan, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Iran dominated the discussion.

A key roadblock to robust sanctions is China, which has deep economic and energy ties to Iran. The Obama administration has pressed Saudi Arabia, China’s top oil supplier, to put pressure on Beijing. Iran is China’s No. 3 supplier of oil.

After the talks, Saud [al-Faisal] appeared lukewarm about the effectiveness of sanctions. “They may work” in the long term, but the Saudis are anxious in the short term because they “are closer to threat,” he said…. [H]e was sure that China took its role as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council “very seriously” and that “they need no suggestion from Saudi Arabia to do what they ought to do.”

So perhaps the plan won’t work after all.

To sum up, Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are achieving nothing, getting nowhere with Iran.

In fact, so feeble are the efforts they’re making, observers might wonder if Obama really wants to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power.