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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid