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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:15 AM

Would you rank Hillary Clinton as one of the best Secretaries of State of all time?

I'd rank her as the best since George Marshall.
47 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
Yes
35 (74%)
No
12 (26%)
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38 replies, 2649 views

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Reply Would you rank Hillary Clinton as one of the best Secretaries of State of all time? (Original post)
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 OP
applegrove Jan 2013 #1
Lugnut Jan 2013 #2
leveymg Jan 2013 #3
secondwind Jan 2013 #4
leveymg Jan 2013 #5
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #6
joshcryer Jan 2013 #24
leveymg Jan 2013 #27
joshcryer Jan 2013 #28
leveymg Jan 2013 #29
Socal31 Jan 2013 #26
lunatica Jan 2013 #9
leveymg Jan 2013 #11
Beacool Jan 2013 #23
leveymg Jan 2013 #30
Beacool Jan 2013 #31
leveymg Jan 2013 #33
leveymg Jan 2013 #34
Beacool Jan 2013 #37
leveymg Jan 2013 #38
Beacool Jan 2013 #14
leveymg Jan 2013 #17
Beacool Jan 2013 #22
Whisp Jan 2013 #21
joshcryer Jan 2013 #20
UCmeNdc Jan 2013 #7
malthaussen Jan 2013 #8
Beacool Jan 2013 #15
malthaussen Jan 2013 #16
HappyMe Jan 2013 #10
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #12
craigmatic Jan 2013 #13
mainer Jan 2013 #18
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #19
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #25
Evergreen Emerald Jan 2013 #32
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #35
zipplewrath Jan 2013 #36

Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:25 AM

1. Yes she has been a truly gifted sos.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:26 AM

2. Yep.

I knew she would be. She's done a remarkable job.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:38 AM

3. Tell that to Libya's neighbors and the Syrians.

The regime change agenda she pursued in MENA has turned out to be a disaster that has spread heavy weapons and funding to militant Sunni groups and terrorists across the region. If you count that as "success", you are either willfully blind, a neocon, or Saudi.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:40 AM

4. The U.S. cannot stand by and watch people rise up and get crushed time after time. Whether it was

the right thing to do or not, it was the American thing to do.

This is who we are.

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Response to secondwind (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:56 AM

5. The US, France, UK and KSA trained, armed, and funded exile groups that "rose up" simultaneously

in Libya and Syria. It wasn't so much a spontaneous political awakening as a set of coordinated coup attempts that played on ethnic and religious tensions directed by western governments and the Saudi/GCC states.

The "Arab Spring" in Libya and Syria wasn't any more spontaneous than the Bay of Pigs.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:08 AM

6. You win some. You lose some. But at least we tried. nt

 

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Response to leveymg (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:12 PM

24. That is patently absurd.

Libya and Syria did have popular uprisings, with popular protest that was squashed by their respective governments. Anyone saying otherwise is just deluded. Syria's popular protest was not nearly as cohesive as Libya's, but Libya's arms flow was inevitable with half the country in the hands of protesters. As it stands now most of the arms being used in MENA conflicts are not from Libya, they're from the regimes themselves.

No doubt you'll be claiming the regimes being armed to the teeth with Western and Russian made weapons is fine.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 06:47 AM

27. Josh, I've been through this with you. Amb. Stevens coordinated the opposition in Libya - that's

on the public record. So is the role of US, French and UK funded exile groups and media operating primarily from London in simultaneously declaring "days of rage" in Libya and Syria, which were at first widely ignored until triggering events happened on the ground, again within days of each other.

In early April, Chris Stevens arrived in Benghazi to coordinate the militias in Benghazi. The State Dept facility Stevens used in Benghazi was set up near the CIA compound in January according to the papers found in the wreckage of the mission published in The Washington Post. The State Dept part of the operation was in play from before the outbreak of any of the "Arab Spring" events across MENA. That suggests preplanning and an active US role in setting these events into motion.

For years prior to that, the US, UK and France were funding, training, and advising the very same leading exile groups that called for the uprisings beginning with the Feb 2 "Day of Rage" in Syria and similiar, simultaneous calls to arms in Libya that eminated from opposition internet sites in London and Paris.

Yes, we were involved in arranging the Arab Spring for many years before it 'happened' in early 2011.

That much is simply self-evident. One has to look back at the timelines and see the striking pattern of parallel events that unfolded in the two countries leading up to the civil wars in March.

It's a self-evident fiction that Syria regime change hasn't been US policy for a long time. The only question is what role the US took directly in the initial stages preceding the armed uprising. The timeline tells us that occurred in Daraa. The peaceful protests lasted for less than two months before the battle for Daraa started on 04/08/11 with killings on both sides. That was the key day of the triggering event for the armed uprising in Syria, on which more police were killed by snipers than demonstrators died.

Same chain of events happened, virtually simultaneously in Benghazi. The pattern in both countries, focused on these two cities, was broadly as follows:

Month One: The Twitter Factor - exile groups promote “Days of Rage.” Largely ignored.
Month Two: Demonstrations grow, calls for overthrow of regime. A few serious casualties.
Five-Six weeks: Militants shoot at police and demonstrators during riots, Police/Army overrreact, massacres.
Seventh week, and thereafter: Mob Anger, Storming of Gov't buildings, arsenals looted, troops attacked, foreign fighters and al Qaeda carry out bombings, civil war.
Coverage of events by “liberal” western media fixates on Month Two phase of the opposition, armed mobs and killings of police not covered; coverage of the regime focuses almost exclusively military response; PR for Islamic Revolution and "humanitarian intervention."

Here are more specific parallel events in Libya

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

A "Day of Rage" in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for 17 February. The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition asked that all groups opposed to the Gaddafi government protest on 17 February in memory of demonstrations in Benghazi five years earlier. The plans to protest were inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution. Protests took place in Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Derna, Zintan, and Bayda. Libyan security forces fired live ammunition into the armed protests. Protesters torched a number of government buildings, including a police station. In Tripoli, television and public radio stations had been sacked, and protesters set fire to security buildings, Revolutionary Committee offices, the interior ministry building, and the People's Hall. According to a report from the International Crisis Group, "much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the government's security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge".

On 18 February, police and army personnel later withdrew from Benghazi after being overwhelmed by protesters. Some army personnel also joined the protesters; they then seized the local radio station. In Bayda, unconfirmed reports indicated that the local police force and riot-control units had joined the protesters. On 19 February, witnesses in Libya reported helicopters firing into crowds of anti-government protesters. The army withdrew from the city of Bayda.



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Response to leveymg (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:37 AM

28. So you deny the very essence of the Arab Spring.

Fair enough.

Deluded nonsense, but fair enough. I can't get through anyone who denies the Arab Spring. Full stop. If they believe unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, I have nothing to prove. I followed Libya. I know the truth. Any denials are insane nonsense.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:48 AM

29. If you deny it is was without outside guidance and assistance, you deny history.

You are the one who is misled or deluded if you think there was no outside role played in coordinating the Libyan and Syrian parts of the Arab Spring. Why should these events be different from large-scale political events in parts of the world where western countries and the Saudis have gained influence and believe they have a stake in the outcomes?

If you followed events as closely as you claim, and want to make your case, you should be able to easily refute this timeline and analysis. You can show how this is factually incorrect and offer an interpretative framework that more clearly conforms with the facts. But, you must argue from the facts. Otherwise, you are just being emotional and insulting.

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Response to secondwind (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:51 AM

26. By what standards is it the "American" thing to do?

People are "getting crushed" all the time. Why is it our responsibility to devote our children and borrowed treasure, just to arm people who later turn those weapons and training on us or our allies (See: Mali)?

I don't know how many times "regime change" needs to bite us in the ass before someone decides it is not a good idea.

And I am not blaming this on Hillary, BTW. She is but a figure-head in a old-boys club, who belongs in a position to bring real change.


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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:17 AM

9. The Secretary of State's only agenda is to speak for the President

It wasn't her agenda. She did her job exceptionally well in a very dangerous world.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:20 AM

11. She was appointed 1-term SoS as a deal made at the Convention in Aug '08. She had her own agenda

and was allowed job security to pursue it with unusual autonomy. Regime change in MENA was part of her agenda. Obama would not fire her unless there was some sort of crisis. In the end, there was, and she wasn't reappointed, per the agreement.

Her agenda, shared with other neocons and interventionists in Washington, resulted in massive destabilization and proliferation of weapons to Sunni Jihadis across the Middle East and North Africa. We are only now beginning to see the blowback from that enormously bad judgement.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:26 PM

23. You are making things up.

Hillary did not want the job of SOS. You probably haven't even met her and are assuming that there was some kind of deal at the convention.

Please...............

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Response to Beacool (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:12 AM

30. She wanted to be President, but settled for SoS on certain terms.

I'm not assuming there was a deal made between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It was widely reported they met in Hillary's townhouse in Georgetown just before she announced on June 6, 2008 that she was suspending her campaign. That led to her appointment as SoS. See, http://plainsmanpolitico.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/breaking-obama-to-meet-with-clinton-tonight/

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Response to leveymg (Reply #30)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:14 AM

31. Yes, they met, but not at her home.

Dianne Feinstein lent them her living room and let them talk in private (neutral territory), but there was no quid pro quo deal or agreement to make her SOS. Hillary initially did not want the job. It took a lot of convincing for her to take it. She already had a statement prepared and was ready to decline the job, but the night before, Biden and a few others convinced her to take it. They appealed to her sense of duty and patriotism.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #31)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:38 AM

33. What's the source for that? Thnks

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Response to leveymg (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:57 AM

34. Here's a NYT report - they were alone, nobody else knew contents of the discussion at Feinstein's

How do you know what was said that night and that Hillary didn't want to be SoS?

Mrs. Feinstein had made the offer before and it was still good. And so a few hours later, at just about 9 p.m., Mrs. Clinton and Senator Barack Obama arrived for a face to face chat. No staff. No spouses. Just the two of them in Mrs. Feinstein’s living room.

The California senator had set up two chairs facing each other. She served them water. Nothing else. Two aides were sent to Mrs. Feinstein’s study. And Secret Service agents stayed outside.

And so it happened, The Meeting, that Democrats knew was inevitable, but for a long while thought would never come. It lasted about an hour.

And Mrs. Feinstein said she did not ask what was said. But in an interview outside the Senate chamber she said she hoped the two candidates had gotten some time to decompress and discuss the road ahead. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/the-obama-clinton-meeting/

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Response to leveymg (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:59 PM

37. How did I know?

From Hillary herself, her aides, even Biden talked about it. Philippe Reines recently mentioned it during a NYT's interview. It's common knowledge by now that initially Hillary didn't want the job. She enjoyed being a senator.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:20 PM

38. Hillary told you, herself? Interesting. Anyway, the issue is her independence as SoS.

Last edited Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:43 PM - Edit history (1)

If she had to be persuaded to serve in that post, it indicates she was able to extract an even better deal from the President in terms of her degree of independence.

Whatever the accomplishments and failures of US policy in Libya and Syria and across MENA, they are to a large degree hers and not just the President's. That's my point.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:28 PM

14. Yeah, we and the Europeans should have let Gaddafi do to the Libyans

what Assad is doing to the Syrians. Also, please remember that a SOS carries out the policies set by the president.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:59 PM

17. So, the US is in the business of coups and taking sides in civil wars?

Of course we are. It's what we do. Please remember that she was not an ordinary pick for SoS but was instead a political deal that gave Hillary Clinton unusual (if not unprecedented) latitude and job security. But, that deal was for a limited tenure - one term.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:24 PM

22. Hillary left on her own. She has wanted to leave for months now.

Yes, she got a lot of latitude or she wouldn't have taken the job.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:21 PM

21. What a safe job then. She can do nothing wrong, it's all on the President

 



so if this is the case, how can she be the greatest SoS?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:13 PM

20. Erm, that would've happened with or without Libyan intervention.

I know you like to think otherwise, but the whole region blew up thanks to the Arab Spring, and opportunistic groups took advantage of it.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:38 AM

7. Yes, if not the best, then definitely one of the best!

Outstanding!

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:13 AM

8. I'd like to see some reasons.

It seems every person who thinks Mrs Clinton was an "outstanding" SoS confines themselves to the bare assertion. What makes her so fantastic? What has she done, as SoS, to promote US goals, make new friends, ameliorate old tensions, or improve US standing in the world? What, exactly, has she accomplished that makes her worthy of such distinction?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:37 PM

15. Do your own research.

There is article after article about her outreach to other nations and how in most cases they have a better opinion of the US now than when Bush was president. In her trips she has gone out of her way to speak to regular people, particularly the young, and not just to government officials. She has also established many innovations at the State Dept. She is well liked by her counterparts around the world and by the staff at State. Her tenure has been a successful one. There is still plenty to do, but that will never change.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:41 PM

16. As a minor point of order...

... the burden of proof in an argument lies with the person making the assertion, not the person to whom the assertion is made.

-- Mal

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:49 AM

10. She's very good.

I don't know that she's the best of all time.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:58 AM

12. One quote might shed light on my "no" vote

"I consider the Mubareks to be personal friends of mine."

See also her handling of the coup in Nicaragua. Not, overall, a bad Sec'y of State, just not a particularly good one.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:04 AM

13. She's definately one of the better once since they downsized the office.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:28 PM

18. Madeline Albright deserves to be recognized

I thought she was superb.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:06 PM

19. I love Hillary... but it's not a real notable term

She didn't purchase Alaska or rebuild the European economy... the kind of signature accomplishments one expects on such a list

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:38 AM

25. unquestionably one of the best

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:31 AM

32. Accomplished:

http://www.policymic.com/articles/7045/hillary-clinton-for-2016-look-to-her-legacy-as-secretary-of-state

Upon starting at State, Clinton emphasized the use of what she deemed “smart power,” or the use of “diplomacy and development alongside defense.” Getting off on the right foot, Clinton chose to emphasize a pragmatic and more diplomatic handling in all her efforts at State.

snip

Coupled with boosted efforts at diplomacy, Clinton has been an advocate for developing relations with nongovernmental organizations to act as local advocates for development, to ensure that changes are long lasting and that American support yields positive results. Whereas in the past, efforts had primarily been conducted on a government-to-government basis, Clinton has stressed the importance to all at the Department of State of engaging civil society and making sure that the voices of the people are heard.

snip

“A lot of the work I do here in the State Department on women’s or human-rights issues is not just because I care passionately — which I do — but because I see it as to increase security to fulfill American interests. These are foreign-policy and national-security priorities for me.”

----She has done an outstanding job...and certainly is one of the best SOC of all time.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:36 AM

35. I wouldn't be in the right shoes to make that judgement.

I would need to do a detail analysis of past SoS and what they accomplished and the circumstances involved. Our world today is not the same as in the past.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:39 PM

36. "one of"??

As you say, Marshall will be hard to ever beat. Adams might get a nod in here too, although he predates the constitution (but not the country). And some might suggest Seward too. How far down the list do you have to go before you no longer are "one of"?

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