Saturday, September 20, 2014

Clinton Global Initiative 2014 ... Be There!

Additional speakers have been announced, and now you really do have to wonder which draws more world leaders to New York - UNGA or CGI

Watch on livestream!

CGI 2014 - Designing Ideas

Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; José María Figueres Olsen, Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica and President, Carbon War Room; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, The White House; Ashley Judd, Actor, Author; Nnamdi Asomugha, Former All-Pro NFL Player/Chairman & Co-Founder, The Asomugha Foundation; David Leonhardt, The New York Times; Shimon Peres, The Ninth President of the State of Israel; Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce; Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland; Anders F. Rasmussen, Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Gesare Chife, Executive Director, Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation; Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme; Andre J. Gudger, Director, Office of Small Business Programs, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, U.S. Department of Defense; Agnes Kalibata, President, AGRA; Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO, Center for Youth Wellness; Afsaneh Beschloss, CEO, Rock Creek Group; Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone; Cady Coleman, Astronaut, NASA; Lisa Jackson, Vice President Environmental Initiatives, Apple; Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm Incorporated; Alisa Miller, President and CEO, Public Radio International; Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Carter Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund; Bunker Roy, Founder, The Barefoot College; Zainab Salbi, Founder, Women for Women International and Executive Producer and Co-Creator, The Trials of Spring
  • The 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting will convene more than 1,000 global leaders in business, government, and civil society on September 21-24 in New York City
  • Media accreditation is now open. To apply, please register online at   
  • More information about the Annual Meeting is available here:
  • Daily schedules and a complete breakdown of activities available for credentialed press can be found here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
New York, NY – The 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting will convene more than 1,000 global leaders in business, government, and civil society on September 21-24 in New York City. A schedule of activities open to the press and press logistics are available here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Hosted by Seth Meyers, of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” the 8th annual Clinton Global Citizen AwardsTM will open CGI on Sunday, September 21, honoring outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service, and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership, and impact in addressing global challenges. The event will feature musical performances by Aloe Blacc, Harlem Samba, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz with special guests Raining Jane, and The Roots and appearances by Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria, and Randy Jackson who serves as music director for the event.

Previously announced participants include: President Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States; His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Lubna b. K. Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, United Arab Emirates; Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile; Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company; Deborah Birx, Ambassador-at-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Lauren Bush, Founder and CEO, FEED; John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco; David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.; Matt Damon, Co-founder,; Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, The Western Union Company; Melinda French Gates, Co-chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Hugh Grant, Chairman and CEO, Monsanto Company; Tony James, President and COO, Blackstone; Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive Officer, Barclays; Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group; Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group; Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, Labor, U.S. Department of State; Cindy Hensley McCain, Founding Member, Eastern Congo Initiative; Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman, The Paulson Institute, Former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States; Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President & CEO, IBM; Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation; Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Social Business; and Fareed Zakaria, Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN.

On another very important note, this came in for immediate release.
CGI Members Airlift 100 Tons of Medical Supplies to Fight Ebola from JFK to West Africa
Direct Relief, Last Mile Health Join Clinton Health Access Initiative and Other Groups to Distribute Medical Supplies and Protective Equipment
NEW YORK – Ahead of the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, Direct Relief and several U.S. aid organizations have made a Commitment to Action to airlift 100 tons of medical supplies to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak in the region. The airlift, the largest single emergency shipment from the U.S. to West Africa to date, contains personal protective equipment and medical supplies valued at $6 million wholesale.
The charter left for Sierra Leone and Liberia on Saturday afternoon. Representatives from CGI and Direct  Relief were joined by philanthropists and representatives from the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“This airlift, organized by several CGI members and led by Direct Relief, truly exemplifies the spirit of the Clinton Global Initiative – to see a pressing issue in the world, and work together to commit to bringing their specific resources and specialties to bear on the problem,” said Bob Harrison, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. “I also want to recognize the work of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Partners in Health in coordinating our response on the ground in Africa. I’m looking forward to seeing the additional work and commitments at our 10th CGI Annual Meeting this week, that will provide immediate and long-term assistance on the ground in West Africa to fight the Ebola Outbreak.”
The airlift contains 100 tons of medical supplies and equipment, including:
  • 2.8 million surgical and exam gloves
  • 170,000 coverall gowns
  • 120,000 masks
  • 40,000 liters of pre-mixed oral rehydration solution
  • 9.8 million defined daily doses of essential medications
Through CGI, Direct Health organized this airlift with several partners, including Last Mile Health, Wellbody Alliance, and Africare. Partners on the ground, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) will team up with the respective Ministries of Health to deploy an effective distribution channel to get supplies to clinics, health facilities, and hospitals in regions heavily affected by the outbreak.
In addition, more supplies will be secured in other locations as precautionary and emergency preparedness measures. Beyond the chartered airlift, Direct Relief will continue to mobilize medical resources into West Africa to combat the spread of Ebola.
“We must do all we can to reduce further the human tragedy caused by this deadly outbreak and help communities avoid an even deeper setback than has occurred already,” said Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief.  “Direct Relief mobilized this airlift in recognition that the failure to act now will make the crisis all the more severe.”
Liberia and Sierra Leone are currently facing the worst Ebola outbreak in history and the first outbreak of its kind in West Africa. As of September 6, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 4,293 confirmed cases and 2,296 deaths throughout West Africa. WHO also stated that the outbreak could infect more than 20,000 people.
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From Hillary Clinton's Too Small to Fail: Love, Play, Read


Developing Young Readers

Have you ever noticed how some children (and adults!) can get so absorbed in a book that the rest of the world seems to disappear around them? A love for reading can be both fun and educational, and it can start early in a child’s life.
According to the National Institute for Literacy, one out of every five children in the United States will experience a reading or writing problem in school. But children who are read to on a regular basis from infancy are better prepared to learn in school and beyond. In fact, the more words that an adult speaks, reads or sings to a child from birth the better the child’s grasp of language.
Parents and caregivers can help create a love for reading in their children by reading a wide variety of books, stories and other materials with their children every day. For parents who find reading books difficult, there are many other opportunities to help build a child’s reading and vocabulary skills. Reading signs out loud while walking through the grocery store, pointing out words on bus ads, or even flipping through a book and talking about the pictures can also help build a child’s understanding of reading. And singing, rhyming and conversation are great ways to stimulate babies’ brains and expand their grasp of language.
Research also shows that when parents or caregivers use “big” words with their children—even if the child seems too young to understand—they are helping their children learn how to communicate more effectively.

Resources for Sharing:

  • These articles from PBS Parents offer tips for how to incorporate reading into other daily activities, like riding in the car or taking a bath.
  • Additional fun ways for parents and caregivers to build their children’s literacy skills from Get Ready to Read.
  • This article from the American Academy of Pediatrics explains why vocabulary is important to early brain development.
  • This op-ed by Cindy McCain and Roberto Llamas explains the word gap and how parents and caregivers can help close it.


Check out this video produced by the staff of Next Generation and Too Small to Fail about favorite children’s books—we dare you not to get a little teary! >>

Sensory Play Encourages Thinking—and Fun!

Have you noticed how babies try to put everything in their mouths, no matter the yuck factor? It is one of the many reasons we must remain vigilant around young children, but it’s also a fascinating peek inside their active brains. By using their senses—sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste—young children explore and learn about their world. And this curiosity offers a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to help their children learn.
Even from before birth, children are gathering information about the world around them. Researchers now know that infants in utero can recognize their mother’s voice, and many recognize commonly heard sounds and speech patterns. From birth on, babies use all their senses to catalog what they learn and to develop their thinking skills. It is during this time that “sensory play” (play activities that encourage the use of all five senses) becomes important for later learning.
For example, babies learn to recognize songs they hear from parents and caregivers and eventually learn to sing along. And when a parent or caregiver describes the different textures they encounter—like coarse sand or smooth glass—young children begin to expand their vocabulary to better describe what they feel.
Parents and caregivers can encourage sensory play by offering safe, fun activities inside and outside the home that stimulate baby’s senses. Baskets filled with scarves or plastic kitchen utensils offer safe, fun ways for a baby to use sensory play. Also, parents can use everyday moments—like splashing water during bath time—to encourage exploration of the world around them.

Resources for Sharing:

  • This article from NAEYC explains why “babies like boxes best”, and how parents can encourage sensory play in their young children.
  • This article from Kids Health describes how children learn from play and the safe exploration of their environment.
  • Toddlers learn from “experiments”, says this article from ZERO TO THREE.


Kayden became a social media sensation thanks to her excitement at running in the rain. Check it out, here. >>

All We Need Is A Little Love (Mostly)

A cuddle. A warm smile. Softly spoken words. All of these things help babies feel comfortable and secure, and help them learn that they can trust the adults around them. The more safe and secure babies and young children feel, the more easily they form healthy relationships with others, and can turn their attention to learning.
Early brain development researchers have found that the emotional and social development of children is as important—if not more important—than their cognitive development. This is because when children form secure attachments (close emotional bonds built on love and trust) with parents and caregivers, they more easily explore the world around them, regulate their own emotions, and can comfort themselves when needed. If a young child has formed insecure attachments (emotional bonds characterized by unpredictability and fear), they may not know how to safely and appropriately interact with other people and their environment.
The bottom line? Secure attachments help a child build the skills they will need to succeed in school and in their adult lives.
Parents and caregivers can help build their child’s social and emotional development in a few simple ways. Even if the reason for crying is unclear, it is important that a parent or caregiver respond calmly and affectionately to reassure the child. Established routines are also important in helping babies feel secure, even if the routines are adapted from time to time to accommodate a child’s needs. And small actions—like looking into a baby’s eyes when talking, or gently stroking their forehead at bedtime—can help increase the sense of bonding for both parents and child.

Resources for Sharing:

  • PBS’s special feature “This Emotional Life” explains why emotional bonding is so important for children’s health and well-being.
  • Our blog post on the special role of parents in young children’s lives offers ideas for ways to improve bonding.
  • Bonding with fathers is the focus of this article from Kids Health, which offers ways that fathers can build strong emotional bonds with young children, too.
We're honoring all of the teachers who have made a difference in our lives—parents and caregivers, too—for World Teacher’s Day on October 5th. Starting Monday, September 29, use #MyFirstTeacher on Twitter to share your best early teacher and what they taught you. We’ll retweet our favorites, so include a photo if you can!


Parents from the land “Down Under” explain how they bonded—or didn’t—with their young children (including thoughts from actor Russell Crowe!). >>

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hillary Clinton at the DNC Women's Leadership Forum

Here is the link to the C-SPAN video of Hillary's speech at the Women's Leadership Forum >>>>


Hillary Clinton in Dolce Vita

Too good not to share!  This is a particularly lovely interview.

“On the heels of her second memoir, the former first lady and U.S. secretary of state delves into her career, family life, and the hard choices that pushed her to the top”

Hillary Clinton

September 18, 2014 by Dolce Magazine

It has been said many times that Hillary Clinton’s lack of warmth and empathy cost her the 2008 Democratic candidacy. A friend of mine who is a respected editor in Australia told me she finds her smug and cold.
Before I was to meet her I watched her appearance on The One Show, which has been described as “Einstein doing Play School.” I’d go one step further: it was Einstein loving every second of being on Play School — laughing at the frivolity and making everyone else laugh too. Everything she was asked she responded to with firecracker wit and political diplomacy that was charming and at the same time revelatory.
When asked if she prefers the dress sense of Dolly Parton or Angela Merkel, she replied, “Dolly for nighttime, Angela for day.” And when asked who was her favourite president, Bill Clinton or Barak Obama, she said that she was glad to serve Obama, who had taken the worst global recession since the Depression and turned it around and created health care for everyone in the U.S., and glad to be married to Bill, who rebooted the economy and created 23 million jobs.
When Rylan Clark greeted her on This Morning referring to her as “babe” she beamed with delight. She can take anything in her stride. But strength doesn’t mean forbidder
in her case.
I wait for her in her empty suite at Claridges. There’s none of the rude, pushy, sullen security that has been described in the press and on Twitter.
She arrives with her aide, smiling. She is wearing black trousers and a jacket that is white, patterned with tiny black and yellow flowers, and pointed flats. She is so much smaller than you expect. Her presence is so big you expect her to be.

Read more >>>>

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heads Up, South Florida! Hillary Clinton is Coming!



Hillary Rodham Clinton To Visit South Florida For Book Signing

CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Possible candidate for President and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will be in South Florida for a book signing October 2, 2014.
Clinton, will autograph copies of her new book HARD CHOICES at Books & Books in Coral Gables at 265 Aragon Avenue.
Those wanting to attend and have their book signed must purchase a copy from Books & Books or if a copy has already been purchased, a receipt showing the book was purchased at Books & Books must be brought to the signing.
For more information, click here.
Read more >>>>

Hillary Clinton to Keynote Hispanic Caucus Event

Hillary will speak st the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2014 Public Policy Conference later this month.


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Address CHCI Public Policy Conference

By PR Newswire
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, as part of its 2014 Public Policy Conference, will welcome former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to provide a keynote address at its Leadership Luncheon on Tue., Sept. 30, 12:30 – 2:15 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Atrium Hall.
Read more >>>>

Hillary Clinton on the Stump for Women's Equity

Hillary participated in a forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress
today.  She told participants that pay equity and women's economic security should be campaign issues for November.

7 Actions that Could Shrink the Gender Wage Gap

By Sarah Jane Glynn, Milia Fisher, and Emily Baxter | September 18, 2014
The Census Bureau reported this week that the gender wage gap between full-time, year-round working men and women in 2013 remained virtually unchanged, with women earning 78 percent of what men earn. The 1 percent increase from 2012 is not statistically significant, and there has been no real movement in the gender wage gap since 2007. While working women have made great strides since 1967, when they earned only 58 percent of what men earned for full-time, year-round work, there is still a long way to go before true pay equity is achieved.
This means that, although women are the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families, dollar for dollar they continue to earn, on average, 22 percent less than their male counterparts, with Latinas and African American women experiencing the sharpest pay disparities compared to white men. There are a number of factors that contribute to the pay gap, including where women work, differences in hours worked, and education differences. But there is also a portion of the pay gap that is unexplained; researchers have estimated that as much as 10 percent to 40 percent of the gender wage gap cannot be explained even when taking into account gendered differences between the occupations, educations, and work histories of men and women.
Read more >>>>

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective Part Five Chapter 19 Syria: A Wicked Problem

Hillary introduces this chapter with a June 2012 meeting called by Special Envoy Kofi Annan to try to recruit international political backing for his plan for peaceful transition in Syria.  Protests had been going on for a year-and-a-half and had been met with brutal assaults by government forces.

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

Hillary Clinton: Interviews from Geneva


The Syrian revolution had begun in early 2011 as peaceful protests inspired by those in Tunisia and Egypt and had evolved into a civil war as rebel groups first took up arms to defend themselves and then resolved to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

Hillary explains that she recommended Robert Ford to serve as ambassador to Syria and that he was just settled in when the protests escalated in March.

She provides some background as to who Assad is, how he came to power and why Russia stalwartly backed up Assad's regime.  She delves into the sects in this very diverse country.  Sunnis were overwhelmingly (about 70%) the majority population.  Assad's Alawites, the ruling class and a small minority (about 12%) , are a Shite sect.  About 10% were Druze - a Christian branch with Shite, and other, roots.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Meet The Press

QUESTION: First, as we look at the Broader Middle East, we look at Syria – deadly protests because of a government crackdown that have been occurring over the past few days. Is it the position of the government that we would like to see the Asad regime fall?
SECRETARY CLINTON: What we have said is what we’ve said throughout this extraordinary period of transformation in North Africa and the Middle East. We want to see no violence, we want to see peaceful protest that enables people to express their universal human rights, and we want to see economic and political reform. That’s what we’ve called on in Syria, that’s what we’ve called on other governments across the region to do.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Face The Nation

QUESTION: Good morning again. And we are joined in the studio by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.
Madam Secretary, let me start with you. Tens of thousands of people have turned out protesting in Syria, which has been under the iron grip of the Asad for so many years now, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, I suppose. And when the demonstrators turned out, the regime opened fire and killed a number of civilians. Can we expect the United States to enter the conflict in the way we have entered the conflict in Libya?
SECRETARY CLINTON: No. Each of these situations is unique, Bob. Certainly, we deplore the violence in Syria. We call, as we have on all of these governments during this period of the Arab Awakening, as some have called it, to be responding to their people’s needs, not to engage in violence, permit peaceful protests, and begin a process of economic and political reform.
The situation in Libya, which engendered so much concern from around the international community, had a leader who used military force against the protestors from one end of his country to the other, who publically said things like, “We’ll show no mercy. We’ll go house to house.” And the international community moved with great speed, in part because there’s a history here. This is someone who has behaved in a way that caused grave concern in the past 40 plus years in the Arab world, the African world, Europe, and the United States.
QUESTION: But, I mean, how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Asad’s father killed 25,000 people at a lick? I mean, they open fire with live ammunition on these civilians. Why is that different from Libya?
QUESTION: This is a friend of Iran, an enemy of Israel.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal – but that is not going to happen, because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold.
There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is deeply concerning, but there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities and then police actions, which, frankly, have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum

And as President Obama has said, we strongly condemn the violence committed against peaceful protesters by the Syrian Government over the past few weeks. President Asad and the Syrian Government must respect the rights of the Syrian people, who are demanding the freedoms that they have long been denied.

Hillary Clinton to Human Rights Council: Reject Syria’s Candidacy

Today the UN Human Rights Council took urgent action to shine a light on the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and condemn the continued human rights abuses by the Syrian government. Today’s resolution – passed with an overwhelming majority by members from all regions of the globe – unequivocally indicates that the use of force by the Syrian government to quell peaceful political demonstrators is unacceptable. The international community has spoken and expressed its outrage at the violence used by the Syrian government to deny its population their universal human rights, including the freedoms of expression and assembly...
The findings of this Special Session further reinforce the crucial need for Council members to reject Syria’s hypocritical candidacy for membership on the Human Rights Council. No country engaged in such horrific and ongoing human rights abuses should be considered for membership on this important body.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Violence in Syria

The Syrian people, like people everywhere, have the inherent right to exercise their universal freedoms, including peaceful assembly, expression, and speech. The Syrian Government must respond to the Syrian people’s call for change. It must realize that violence and intimidation will not answer their call.
The Syrian Government’s actions are neither those of a responsible government nor a credible member of the international community. We will continue to hold to account senior Syrian officials and others responsible for the reprehensible human rights abuses against the Syrian people. We welcome the European Union’s decision to join us in these efforts with similar steps. We will also continue to work both unilaterally and with our international partners to determine the most effective next steps if the Syrian Government chooses not to abandon its current path.

Hillary Clinton on the Shutdown of the Internet in Syria

Two weeks ago, the White House released the International Strategy for Cyberspace, which noted that “States should not arbitrarily deprive or disrupt individuals’ access to the Internet or other networked technologies.” We condemn such shutdowns in the strongest terms.
The Syrian government has a history of restricting the Internet in an attempt to prevent the Syrian people from accessing and sharing information. The Syrian government must understand that attempting to silence its population cannot prevent the transition currently taking place.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: IAEA Resolution on Syria

Today in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by fourteen nations, finding Syria in noncompliance with its international nuclear obligations. This is an important step given the troubling findings in the IAEA’s latest report — including Syria’s demonstrated refusal to cooperate with the IAEA investigation and its attempts to construct a secret nuclear reactor with the assistance of North Korea. We fully welcome the IAEA’s actions today to address this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement: Repression in Iran and Syria

... today in Syria, Iran is supporting the Asad regime’s vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities. The world was shocked by images of a 13-year-old Syrian boy, tortured and mutilated by Syrian security forces. It reminded us of a young Iranian woman, killed in the street two years ago for all to see.

Secretary Clinton Supports Syrian People in Op-Ed

In an op-ed in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemns the violent crackdown in Syria and calls for a transition to democracy. The full text of the Secretary’s op-ed follows.
“There Is No Going Back in Syria”
By Hillary Clinton
As the violent crackdown in Syria continues, President Assad has shown that he is more interested in his own power than his people.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Continuing Violence in Syria

The Syrian regime’s violent assault on civilians continued today, even as Ramadan began, highlighting again the brutality and viciousness of the Assad regime. Yesterday, President Obama said that President Assad has shown that he is incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. Today, as the campaign of violence continues, President Assad is further ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the Syrian people themselves will be the ones to determine its future.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Meeting With Syrian Activists

Our view remains that strong action by the Security Council on the targeting of innocent civilians in Syria is long overdue. Some members of the Security Council continue to oppose any action that would call on President Assad to stop the killing, and we urge them to reconsider their positions.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Syria

We are heartened that, later today, the UN Security Council will meet again to discuss this ongoing threat to international peace and stability. We are also working to schedule a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that will examine the regime’s widespread abuses. Earlier this week, I explained how the United States has been engaged in a relentless and systematic effort with the international community, pursuing a set of actions and statements that make crystal clear where we all stand, and generating broader and deeper pressure on the Asad regime.

Hillary Clinton’s Statement on The Human Rights Council’s Special Session on Syria & State Department Update on Libya

I congratulate the Human Rights Council for its work to create an international independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and to make clear the world’s concern for the Syrian people.
In October 2011, the Russian-Chinese coalition in the Security Council first exerted veto power against what Hillary terms a modest resolution condemning Assad's human rights abuses and supporting peaceful protests.

The Arab League demanded a cease-fire.  When the attacks on rebels continued, Syria was suspended from the league.

Hillary Clinton: Arab League Suspends Syria

In December, the Arab League sent monitors in.

Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Syrian National Council

... let me begin by saying that it’s an honor to meet with all of you, the president and senior members of the Syrian National Council. I look forward to our discussion and hearing from each of you. I am particularly interested in the work you are doing about how a democratic transition would proceed. Fred Hof, my special coordinator, has told me that you’ve put a lot of work into that paper, and there are many very constructive ideas in it, because obviously, a democratic transition includes more than removing the Asad regime. It means setting Syria on the path of the rule of law and protecting the universal rights of all citizens regardless of sect or ethnicity or gender.
Second, we will discuss the work that the Council is doing to ensure that their plan is to reach out to all minorities, to counter the regime’s divide-and-conquer approach, which pits ethnic and religious groups against one another. The Syrian opposition, as represented here, recognizes that Syria’s minorities have legitimate questions and concerns about their future, and that they need to be assured that Syria will be better off under a regime of tolerance and freedom that provides opportunity and respect and dignity on the basis of the consent rather than on the whims of a dictator.
Frustrated, in late January the Arab League withdrew the monitors and asked the Security Council to step in.

Secretary Clinton: Escalation of Regime Violence in Syria

Hillary attended a special session of the Security Council.

Secretary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council

So why is the Arab League here before this Security Council?  Because they are seeking the support of the international community for a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis and a responsible, democratic transition in Syria.  And we all have a choice:  Stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there...
Now, I know that some members here may be concerned that the Security Council could be headed toward another Libya.  That is a false analogy.  Syria is a unique situation that requires its own approach, tailored to the specific circumstances occurring there.

Hillary Clinton: Remarks to the Press at the U.N.

While this Munich Conference was going on there was a surge in violence in Syria as regime forces attacked the city of Homs.  While Hillary was in Europe, the Security Council voted and Russia and China blocked the resolution.

Secretary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference

Robert Ford was an intrepid ambassador amid chaos and routinely faced down danger in order to maintain friendly ties with the Syrian people.

Ambassador Ford Carries Forth In Absentia

Hillary Clinton: Press Availability After G-20 Los Cabos

I think, like the UN General Assembly resolution that passed overwhelmingly last week, the upcoming meeting will demonstrate that Assad’s regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity. Their suffering has to be addressed, so we have to focus on humanitarian issues and think of the best ways to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid. We have to work toward an inclusive, democratic process to lead a transition. Every group of Syrians needs to feel that they are represented, that their interests will be respected. We have to prepare for the likelihood that the Syrian regime is going to be under increasing pressure, which will create perhaps more space for all of us to push hard on a transition. And we will intensify our diplomatic outreach to those countries that are still supporting the Assad regime.
This is a challenging process, but mostly for the people of Syria, who every day are living with the results of this brutal crackdown that they are suffering under. So I don’t want to get ahead of the meeting that will be a very large gathering that will demonstrate, once again, the international unity in the face of the Assad regime. We’ll send a clear message to Russia, China, and others, who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence, but are, up until now, unfortunately, making the wrong choices. And I think we’ll have more to say as we go through this week and after the meeting.

Hillary Clinton at Friends of Syria in Tunisia

... we are firmly committed to the sovereignty, independence, national unity, and territorial integrity of Syria.
In support of these principles, this group should take concrete action along three lines: provide emergency humanitarian relief, ratchet up pressure on the regime, and prepare for a democratic transition.

Hillary Clinton’s Press Availability on Friends of Syria

Hillary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council

Five weeks ago, this council was unable to stand united against the horrific campaign of violence that has shocked the conscience of the world, one that continues unabated as we meet. We were blocked from even condemning the violence and endorsing a peaceful plan developed by Syria’s own neighbors.
Now the United States believes firmly in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states, but we do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people, threatening regional peace and security in the process. And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense. How cynical that even as Assad was receiving former Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Syrian army was conducting a fresh assault on Idlib and continuing its aggression in Hama, Homs, and Rastan.

Hillary Clinton’s Presser at the U.N.

Now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League. We should say with one voice as an international community that the killing of innocent Syrians must stop, and a political transition begin.

Secretary Clinton: Intervention to the Friends of the Syrian People

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Meeting with Syrian National Council

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Ad Hoc Ministerial on Syria

  I think we are all here out of a sense of great frustration and outrage over what we see occurring in Syria. We also are hopeful that, despite the evidence thus far, the mission of Kofi Annan can begin to take root, starting with monitors being sent, but remembering that it’s a six-point plan and that it’s not a menu of options. It has to be a complete acceptance by the Syrian government of all six points.

Clinton Condemns Haoula Massacre in Strongest Possible Terms

We stand in solidarity with the Syrian people and the peaceful marchers in cities across Syria who have taken to the streets to denounce the massacre in Haoula.

Syria Violence Could Have Domino Effect In Lebanon, Clinton Warns

Video: Secretary Clinton Remarks on Syria

Hillary Clinton: Friends of the Syrian People

Sanctions are having an impact: businesses and organizations are cutting their ties with the regime, senior officials responsible for human rights violations have had their funds frozen and their travel curtailed, and we are disrupting the ability of the regime to receive weapons and other supplies. These sanctions are specifically pointed at members of the regime and its war machine; they do not target the Syrian people and do not apply to supplies of critical goods. It is the regime that is causing Syrians to suffer from economic hardship, to deprive them of fuel, cooking oil, and other essentials.

Hillary Clinton Condemns Syrian Downing of Turkish F-4 in the Strongest Possible Terms

I spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu yesterday to convey our grave concern about the downing of a Turkish F-4 fighter jet by Syrian forces on June 22. I also told him that our thoughts and prayers are with the missing pilots and their loved ones...  The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security.
We did not receive any transcripts of the public portion of this summit nor any video.  Hillary notes that the public portion is scripted and can be boring.  The action starts when the cameras leave.  That is what happened at this summit.  They left the ceremonial hall for a conference chamber  - each party plus a single aide with Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan heading a long rectangular table.  Hillary reports high emotions and even table-pounding (!) that eventually settled into a face-off between her and Lavrov which, she says, was where it was always headed.  Finally it all boiled down to wordsmithing.  (Doesn't everything?)

An agreement was crafted and everyone signed.  Then it was time to face the press who picked up the wrong message.

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

Kofi Annan called this meeting to mobilize the political will needed to implement his six-point plan. And after a long day of intense discussions, the next steps are clear...
No one has any illusions about the difficulties ahead. We are dealing with not only a murderous regime in a combustible region, but the potential for that region to be gravely affected by the continuance of this violence. But the stakes of inaction by the international community are just too high...
Kofi Annan has offered a plan to avoid that path, and we should spare no effort to support him....
QUESTION: Madam Secretary – I don’t know – I’ll just speak really loudly. Oh, it’s working? Okay. Listen, for all intents and purposes, it looks like the Russians have won here. There is no exclusionary language in the document that has been agreed to, whereas the draft contained language that would exclude people deemed to be bad for the transition. This speaks only of mutual consent, which would seem to give both sides – the Assad government and the opposition – veto power, which seems to be a recipe for continued stalemate.
Can you address why you think this calls for – in your own words, what you said, lays the way – paves the way for a post-Assad future, when in fact, it doesn’t require him to leave and leaves open – and it leaves the open – it leaves open the – leaves the question open entirely? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I disagree with your premise, obviously, because as I’ve made clear all week, we supported the Joint Special Envoy’s original text, but we agreed to some changes that we did not believe affected the substance, because frankly, we read the results to be the same. Assad will still have to go. He will never pass the mutual consent test, given the blood on his hands. I think you already heard Kofi Annan basically say the very same thing. The text also makes clear that the power to govern is vested fully in the transitional governing body, which strips him and his regime of all authority if he and they refuse to step down and leave.
Now, every day that has gone by without unity on the Security Council and among the states gathered here has been a day that has given comfort to Assad and his cronies and supporters. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power. The plan calls for the Assad regime to give way to a new transitional governing body that will have full governance powers.

Hillary Clinton: Saddened and Outraged by Massacre in Traymseh

I was deeply saddened and outraged to learn of reports of yet another massacre committed by the Syrian regime that has claimed the lives of over 200 men, women, and children in the village of Traymseh...
As long as the Assad regime continues to wage war against the Syrian people, the international community must keep increasing the pressure on the regime to halt the violence and allow for a political solution to go forward. The Security Council should put its full weight behind the Annan plan for an immediate ceasefire and a political transition and make clear to the Syrian regime that there will be consequences for non-compliance. History will judge this Council.

Hillary Clinton at the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Meeting

What was accomplished in Geneva by the action group was, for the very first time, to enlist not only all five permanent members of the Security Council including Russia and China, but also important leaders in the region and in the Arab League in support of such a transition. The issue now is to determine how best to put into action what was accomplished there and is continuing here...
Under the Geneva communique, the opposition is for the first time put on an even basis with the government. They are given equal power in constituting the transition governing entity that will have, as we just heard, full executive authority. That could not have been imagined three months ago, let alone a year ago.
So although none of us here is satisfied or comfortable with what is still going on inside of Syria, because it is against every norm of international law and human decency for a government to be murdering its own people, there has been in the last several months, starting in Tunisia, a steady, inexorable march toward ending this regime. What we need to do is to follow through on what each of us can contribute to the end of the Assad regime and the beginning of a new day for Syria.

Hillary Clinton’s Press Conference Following the Friends of the Syrian People Meeting

Then, of course, sadly, came this.  Poor Kofi Annan was like Sysphus pushing that infernal rock uphill.  Hillary assured him that he had done his best.

Hillary Clinton on the Resignation of Kofi Annan as Joint Special Envoy for Syria

He worked tirelessly to try to build consensus in the international community, end the bloodshed, and usher in a government that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. Unfortunately, the Security Council was blocked from giving him key tools to advance his efforts.

In Turkey Hillary Clinton Talks No Fly Zones Over Syria

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks On Syria With Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu

Hillary and David Petraeus worked on a plan to arm a very small very well-vetted segment of the rebel population with very specific goals on paper.  The president rejected the plan that Hillary called the least bad option among many even worse alternatives.  (Reminding me of Ben Affleck in 'Argo" saying his bad movie was the best bad idea that they had.)  Hillary did not like losing the debate but felt she had been given a fair hearing.

Hillary Clinton on the Appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi to Replace Kofi Annan

Brahimi resigned the post in May of this year.  Staffan de Mistura replaced him.

Hillary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council Session On Peace And Security in the Middle East

Unfortunately, in Syria, Bashar al-Assad clings to power, and his campaign of brutality has sparked a humanitarian crisis. The United States has committed more than $100 million to help the Syrian people. And we continue to insist that the violence must end and a political transition without Assad must move forward.
The Arab League suspended Syria from its activities and has strongly condemned the Assad regime’s brutal violence against its own people. And the Arab League created a plan for peaceful political transition that was endorsed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly resolution that launched Arab League-UN mediation efforts, led first by Kofi Annan and now by Lakhdar Brahimi.
Yet the atrocities mount while the Security Council remains paralyzed.

Hillary Clinton at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial

Now, it is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the UN Security Council have been blocked repeatedly. On Tuesday, I met with Joint Special Representative Brahimi to discuss alternative strategies, and I look forward to hearing all of your views today. But the United States is not waiting. We are taking new steps to meet the growing humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, to support the opposition as it moves toward an inclusive, democratic transition, and to further pressure and isolate the regime.

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Syria

Hillary Clinton’s Last Press Availability From NATO HQ As SOS

American Leadership: Hillary Clinton’s Final Address as Secretary of State

In Syria, the Assad regime continues to slaughter its people and incite intercommunal conflict. Iran is pursuing its nuclear ambitions and sponsoring violent extremists across the globe. And we continue to face real terrorist threats from Yemen and North Africa.
So I will not stand here and pretend that the United States has all the solutions to these problems. We do not. But we are clear about the future we seek for the region and its peoples. We want to see a region at peace with itself and the world – where people live in dignity, not dictatorships, where entrepreneurship thrives, not extremism. And there is no doubt that getting to that future will be difficult and will require every single tool in our toolkit.
As Hillary is closing out this chapter you get the impression you are seeing Yogi Berra's "deja vue all over again."  A year ago, she relates, in August 2013 we were all horrified to see evidence of Assad having used chemical weapons on civilian populations and air strikes were an option President Obama was strongly considering but wanted Congressional approval.

Congress was in recess (like now) and Hillary figured out a clever way to get a vote of approval. Since that idea worked so well, POTUS wanted Hillary's input going forward as she is immensely creative (my words).

As it happened she was due at the White House shortly and did lend her unfailingly wise advice.  Although the event was about wildlife trafficking, Hillary spoke about Syria as well. Unlike the State Department, the White House was not so generous in sharing transcripts so I never did find one from this event, but the video is here.

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the White House on Syria and the Security Dangers of Wildlife Trafficking


Chemical weapons destruction did commence and has been successful. But by February of this year, Hillary reports, CIA Director Brennan warned about Al Qaeda's ability to recruit and to use Syria as a launching pad for attacks  - perhaps even on the homeland - on us.

Hillary's prediction at the point when she was writing this was that the danger would only grow (obviously it has).

What more can any of us say?


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction