News / Africa

Clinton: Libya Attack Does Not Weaken US Commitment to New Democracies

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States must continue sending diplomats and aid workers to the Arab world's emerging democracies, despite last month's deadly attack in Libya, Oct. 12, 2012.Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States must continue sending diplomats and aid workers to the Arab world's emerging democracies, despite last month's deadly attack in Libya, Oct. 12, 2012.
x
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States must continue sending diplomats and aid workers to the Arab world's emerging democracies, despite last month's deadly attack in Libya, Oct. 12, 2012.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States must continue sending diplomats and aid workers to the Arab world's emerging democracies, despite last month's deadly attack in Libya, Oct. 12, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration will not shrink from its commitment to new democracies in North Africa following last month's killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Secretary Clinton says supporting democratic transitions is not a matter of idealism for the United States.  It is a strategic necessity.

"We will not return to the false choice between freedom and stability.  And we will not pull back our support for emerging democracies when the going gets rough.  That would be a costly strategic mistake that would, I believe, undermine both our interests and our values," said Clinton.

She says the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya has led many Americans to ask what is happening to the promise of the Arab Spring.  Clinton says the violent acts of a small number of extremists must be weighed against the broader aspirations and actions of the people and governments of North Africa.

"Instead of letting mobs and extremists speak for entire countries, we should listen to what the elected governments and free citizens are saying.  They want more freedom, more justice, more opportunity - not more violence.  And they want better relations with the United States and the world, not worse," she said.

Clinton says a year of democratic transition was never going to drain away what she calls "reservoirs of radicalism built up through decades of dictatorship" as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups try to expand their reach from bases in northern Mali.

She says a Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership is providing training and support to tighten border security and disrupt terrorist networks.  Across the Maghreb (northwest Africa), Clinton says the United States is expanding its work with civil society organizations in prisons and schools to deny terrorists recruits.

Because economic and social challenges helped fuel revolutions in the Maghreb, Clinton says emerging democratic governments need to show that they are delivering concrete results.  So the United States is working with small- and medium-sized enterprises, bringing women and young people into the formal economy, and providing capital for entrepreneurs.

She says it is a question of dignity.  While that means different things to different people and cultures, it speaks to something more universal.

"Dignity does not come from avenging perceived insults, especially with violence that can never be justified.  It comes from taking responsibility for one’s self and one’s community.  And if you look around the world today, countries that are focused on fostering growth rather than fomenting grievance are pulling ahead - building schools instead of burning them; investing in their people’s creativity, not encouraging their rage," said Clinton.

In remarks at a Washington research institution, Clinton again paid tribute to Ambassador Stevens, saying he understood that diplomats often operate in places where soldiers do not, "where there are no other boots on the ground and security is far from guaranteed."

She says the United States will not retreat from dangerous places and remains engaged in the Maghreb and other parts of the world "where America's interests and values are at stake," because she says that is the best way to ensure continued global leadership.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More