Ben Freeth is in America to ask Obama and the White House for help to stop Mugabe’s land grabs.
Christina Lamb writes that “In desperation he decided to take his case to Washington. He spent Friday on Capitol Hill telling his story to legislators and hopes to meet Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, this week.
“The United States is the biggest bilateral donor to Zimbabwe and it’s really important that they put pressure on the government to ensure the court judgment is respected,” he said.
The court judgment referred to is the SADC tribunal ruling last November that the farm seizures were illegal and ordered Zimbabwe’s government to pay costs.
Number one on this year’s list is Angela Merkel – that’s for the fourth consecutive year. South African former judge, Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations is 63rd on the list. And short-wearing Michelle Obama has made it for the first time at number 40. Hillary Clinton is 36th.
It’s Monday. I saw Clinton on Friday night. I apologise about the late posting but I’ve been away enjoying a weekend with my family. Here we go…
After a sick day away from my desk, I was out of the loop on Friday and got into a fret about the media events for Hillary Clinton’s visit to SA which I was missing. After a flurry of phone calls, I got accreditation for Friday night’s dinner at the Presidential Guest House. It was inconvenient, but I wanted to be there. So off I went. And how pleased I am that I made the effort to get there.
I arrived on time, which turned out to be at least an hour and a half early. I waited happily trying the Botox watch. It was difficult to tell in the low light who has dunnit and who hasn’t. Deputy minister of international relations, Sue van der Merwe has not. Neither has ABSA CEO Maria Ramos. I don’t think, I might be wrong. Ramos was wearing the highest of pretty heels, and looked gorgeously petite next to her very large husband (“He’s a giant”, my daughter would say.). Once Hillary Clinton and Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane arrived, the evening’s proceedings started off with Lebo Mashile reciting her poem “What kind of woman”. It was beautifully done, and I watched Clinton transfixed by the recital. She gave Mashile a hug and congratulated her on her poem afterward. Our lovely Minister of International Relations, wearing a beautiful shwe-shwe outfit, sang Clinton’s praises and spoke of what a good and constructive visit they had had.
They had, the these two powerful women, committed themselves to strengthening the good relations between our two countries. The partnership will enhance the efforts towards “fighting hunger, disease and ignorance, and to promote democracy and good governance, socio-economic development, peace and security as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development,” she said. No mention of a South African base for the US military. Read More…
Last night I received a text message from one of my best friends: “Hillary Clinton is speaking at NYU graudation ceremony today! Wonder who will speak at mine”. (She used all that dreadful text message language. I suppose the fact that she knows how to use it helped her win that Ford Foundation Scholarship).
I wrote back saying that Barack Obama will most likely speak at her graduation… considering how lucky she has been so far. It so happened that last night the man was at the Arizona State University graduation encouraging graduates to commit “to doing what is meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world.”
And he advised that in these difficult times “you’ll need to continuously adapt to a continuously changing economy: to have more than one job or career over the course of your life; to keep gaining new skills – possibly even new degrees; and to keep taking risks as new opportunities arise.”
Wise words. Here is his full speech – worth reading:
Thank you, President Crow, for that generous introduction, and for your inspired leadership here at ASU. And I want to thank the entire ASU community for the honor of attaching my name to a scholarship program that will help open the doors of higher education to students from every background. That is the core mission of this school; it is a core mission of my presidency; and I hope this program will serve as a model for universities across this country.
Now, before I begin, I’d like to clear the air about that little controversy everyone was talking about a few weeks back. I have to tell you, I really thought it was much ado about nothing, although I think we all learned an important lesson. I learned to never again pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket. And your university President and Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS. Read More…
Yesterday it was hard to leave the television. I watched the news channels as President Obama implemented change in the US. Change that will affect the world. The most significant changes were the closing down of Guantanamo Bay, and the new signals sent to the world about the war on terror, and how these signals were delivered. Did you notice how his first stop was the State Department and not the Department of Defense? Did you watch him and Hillary Clinton address the State Department?
Obama will address the economy today.It’s hard to imagine how they are going to solve this one. Will trillions and trillions of dollars save the US.? It’s going to be something like an $8.5 trillion bailout eventually. How many 0′s is that?
Here is the President’s schedule for today:
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will attend the presidential daily briefing tomorrow morning. The meeting is closed press. Read More…
The first few days of business in the White House have been eventful. President Barack Obama has without doubt implemented sweeping changes fast. As president-elect he was outspoken about economic plans but was quiet on foreign policy. But since his inauguration, he has signaled his commitment to ending the war in Iraq.
And just after 11 yesterday morning, Obama signed one of four orders involving Gitmo prison. The first of the four, closes the prison, “no later than one year from now,” the president said. He signed the document in a blue folder to applause, adding, “There we go.”
New rules have been imposed and executive orders to create a more ethical and transparent environment in Government. Salaries in the White House have been frozen. The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, were sworn-in and swiftly got to work. Read More…
Caroline Kennedy is apparently considering the job of senator of New York, to replace Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times said that “It is unclear, however, how badly Ms. Kennedy wants to be senator, or how much appetite she has for the unglamorous aspects of campaigning across New York’s 62 counties. Ms. Kennedy would have to run back-to-back races — in 2010, to serve out the remainder of Mrs. Clinton’s term, and again in 2012, for a full term of her own.”
KARL Rove, commonly known as Bush’s Brain, is not a nice man.
As President George Bush’s top aide, he ran Bush’s election campaigns using dirty tricks and disinformation. US liberals hate him.
This week, Rove said that Barack Obama’s national security team “represents, to a substantial degree, continuity”. He has also given Obama’s economic team the thumbs up. US liberals are incensed.
When one of the archetypal US neo-cons says that things will stay the same, it’s time to ask whether we can really believe in the president-elect’s campaign promise of change.
John Nichols asks, in the left wing publication, The Nation: “Is this ‘change we can believe in’?”
“Not by any reasonable measure of the word,” he says.
Liberals, or left-progressives, are uncomfortable and disappointed with the appointment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and Robert Gates as defence secretary. Obama is clearly not the radical John McCain warned he would be. Clinton, as a senator, voted to authorise the Iraq war. She has also said that the US should “obliterate” Iran if it uses nuclear weapons against Israel.
When Obama announced his appointment of Clinton he said: “We share a view that America has to be safe and secure, and in order to do that we have to combine military power with strength and diplomacy. Read More…