A True Test for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

An outstanding question today was published by “Time” as it wrote “Can Clinton and Her Envoys Rebuild U.S. Diplomacy?”  Everyone knows the damage to the international community former President Bush’s Administration created and the hard feelings our neighbors have towards us, but few can venture to guess how deep these feelings are and how long it will take to repair the hurt feelings.

I published before, here, within this plot about my personal feelings regarding Secretary Clinton and can only hope there exists a feeling of “forgive and forget” among the countries we’ve upset over the past years of selfishness behavior, protectionism polices and discerning attitude we have engaged in.

Here are a few excerpts from the Time article, which bare a peek at:

Can Clinton and Her Envoys Rebuild U.S. Diplomacy?

By Massimo Calabresi / Washington Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

The euphoria that greeted Hillary Clinton’s arrival at the State Department on Thursday was not unfamiliar. Every few years, the usually reserved diplomats at Foggy Bottom drop their world-weariness and get all googly-eyed over a new leader: when Colin Powell took charge in January 2001, he was mobbed by star-struck Foreign Service Officers hoping he’d reverse the department’s diminishing stature under Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright.

In early 2005, their adulation was even more desperate as they greeted Condoleezza Rice following Powell’s four-year emasculation at the hands of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney.

What the downcast diplomats really seek is someone who will return the State Department to the central role it played in the days when American diplomacy shaped the most important world events.

There are reasons to be optimistic that Holbrooke and Mitchell, and Clinton herself for that matter, are part of a new beginning for American diplomacy. Obama had made rejuvenating diplomacy a centerpiece of his campaign, and he has named a serious and strong-willed team whose members, as much as anything, hate to fail. Both envoys are known to be energetic in the field and to have records of peace-making achievement, Holbrooke in brokering the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnia conflict, and Mitchell in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement that marked the beginning of the end of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

If the weary diplomats at the State department want nothing more than action on the diplomatic front, they’re certainly going to get it from Holbrooke and Mitchell. Whether the two men will actually succeed may depend on the policies that guide their efforts and on Hillary Clinton’s skills in managing them. She had a simple message for everyone at Foggy Bottom on her first day at work. “This is a team,” she told the gathered diplomats, and “We are not any longer going to tolerate the kind of divisiveness that has paralyzed and undermined our ability to get things done for America.” Says Levy of the New America Foundation: “I think you can make it work.”


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The Month in Review

January 2009
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