About seven months ago SHE announced the implementation of a fund for women and some grants. In November SHE had a different tone, more force, HER speeches became more aggressive.
Or maybe it is just that I know things before they happen.
I got the chance to speak directly to the State Department in a survey. I poured out three years of pent up strategies: I advocated for the use of interactive website media, women's programs in Afghanistan, Condi Rice's programs and staff, newsletters, hook ups between western women and middle east women, battered woman's shelters, training woman as police and military, the passage of the IVAWA, teleconferences, and more.
Many other women said the same. SHE has been incredibly responsive. Since then SHE has done almost everything except the IVAWA passage. Things were looking way up.
Up, Up, and unfortunately, Away.
Yesterday SHE told him to take his job and shove it.
Obama' inaction in Libya while people died, his refusal to remove Qaddafi and teach secular democracy in Libya, his pandering to nuclear energy funders, his lack of backbone on women's reproductive rights and his reliance on male identified USAID appointees for policy decisions in Iraq and Afghanistan culminating in obvious resistance to HER moves to actually put women's interests first in foreign policy programs, may have finally convinced HER that SHE was only a front for a very bad game.
She was his front woman at State but his boys always seemed to trump her decisions. She takes the heat for Obama's mistakes but she does not have the power to avoid them.
The job at State was instructive but as a member of his team SHE was unable to be as effective as she knew she could be. Despite how hard she worked and her excellent performance, there was a lack of support, resistance, suspicion (sexism, male supremacist attitudes and chauvinism) from the boys. She finally decided SHE did not need his administration to do the things SHE wanted to do.
He dragged HER down. A lame radio show speech on gender equality was too little and too late. Obama is always too little, too late and arrogantly wrong.
SHE may just need to show him that he cannot hide behind HER skirts after he fails over and over the oppressed people SHE cares about. If he wants HER he will have to deal.
Two examples of why SHE is leaving:
Phyllis Chesler has written one of her best posts on how young girls, US citizens, are being force married to old men in Pakistan for about $3,000.00 a child. Read the entire expose here.
Here are the paragraphs relevant to this post.
While the American State Department occasionally rattles its rusty saber on behalf of Muslim women’s rights, if our government has, so far, refused to get involved in Libya, (even after the Arab League has asked for such involvement), and refused to get involved in Darfur—then I doubt our country will go to the mat for women in Muslim countries.
According to Newsweek, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton favors women’s rights everywhere. She is quoted as saying:
“I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century….We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.”
When challenged by Egyptians who argued that her many references to women’s rights in Egypt constitute meddling in Egyptian internal affairs, she responded: “If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible.”
However, on her watch, the American State Department is backing away from its verbal commitments to women in Afghanistan.
In 2010, when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sought bids for a land reform program in Afghanistan, it initially insisted that the winning contractor meet specific goals to promote women’s rights: “The number of deeds granting women title had to increase by 50 percent; there would have to be regular media coverage on women’s land rights;
and teaching materials for secondary schools and universities would have to include material on women’s rights.”[hardy radical demands]
Later, however, USAID backtracked and eliminated the requirements. According to J. Alexander Their, the director of USAID’s Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, “If you’re targeting an issue, you need to target it in a way you can achieve those objectives….The women’s issue is one where we need hardheaded realism…if we become unrealistic and overfocused . . . we get ourselves in trouble.”
Another “senior official” said: “Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities.”
This could never have happened if the IVAWA had passed as that bill mandates women's right be a priority in all USAID contracts.
From the Newsweek article again:
But some women’s-rights advocates who applaud Clinton’s leadership aren’t so sure. “When I go to Iraq or Afghanistan and I meet State Department officials, I don’t see women’s issues at the core of the discussion,” says Zainab Salbi, who heads Women for Women International. (See My Turn, page 40.)
Salbi notes that on a recent trip to the southern Iraqi province of Diwaniya, she had to fight to convince her State interlocutors that spending precious program dollars on women was a worthwhile investment.
“Their patriarchy and chauvinism,” she says, “was harder on Iraqi culture than Iraqis themselves.”
“There is a [male chauvinist sexist] culture at State, and you have to break through that culture,” admits one former ambassador. “The guys who work on country-to-country relationships don’t think these issues are central.”
Clinton’s efforts could easily stall or be reversed when she and Verveer leave, he adds, in part because each is so good at what she does. “I think the combination of those two personalities is crucial, and that’s why I can’t be at all sure it will last beyond this administration.”
There is another instance. The State Dept., at the request of Clinton for intervention on behalf of women, is bringing the World Bank into Papua New Guinea (PNG)*, allegedly to help women develop economic independence. (*Officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea).
I am sure that this started with the best of intentions. SHE meant to help the women and then the hardheaded Boys took over, pushing the usual which always sounds so good at first.
Both the World Bank and micro loans have developed bad reputations. The World Bank, once in, forces governments to privatize natural resources and utilities in order to get loans. The process often ends with the people not being able to afford water while their resources are shipped to China and other countries.(Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; World on Fire)
Papua New Guinea is the largest source of untapped natural resources left in the world. Scientists recently discovered islands there, with resources so rich they call it the Garden of Eden. US Corporations are eager to "help".
Hillary may have been betrayed by Obama operatives at State one too many times. Like US workers were with his South Korea trade treaty which was supposed to create US jobs. SHE may have been told again that "we need hardheaded realism…"
Let's see how realistic Obama's presidency becomes when SHE no longer is there to cover his butt. The boys at State, all of them Obama's mirrors, make all the WAR sacrifices good for nothing as usual because what sexist men value is cheap and of no real significance. Human rights, secular democracy, and gender equality would have been worth the war sacrifice. The rising of the women is the rising of the race.
SHE failed to realize SHE needed more feminists at State regardless of party, failed to insist that more feminists be appointed to run the USAID programs in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. SHE never replaced the "experienced" male ambassadors and USAID officials with feminists who shared her vision. Instead SHE is leaving. This is a lesson Hillary. Come in with your own team. Stop trying to play ball with his. You can't win with a losing hand.
Do not trust your Princes. Trust WikiLeaks.
In any case, SHE says SHE is done. Even if SHE stayed, she would need to replace sexists with feminists. Deal, Hillary, Deal.
I believe there are other reasons for her departure. She does not want to campaign for his re-election. She has worked her self from morning to night 24/7, anyone would be tired. SHE wants to work with Bill in his global pretensions. She feels she can do more good far away from Obama. SHE has hit the wall (ceiling) in his administration.
But deeper is the knowing that normal is ending. Earth Justice is coming.
SHE is a light worker so SHE knows it. The nuclear disaster in Japan is only a symptom. The world has suffered three tsunamis in 13 months. ( 2011-Japan; 2010-Chile and again in Sumatra; and also a fourth in 2004- Banda Aceh, Phuket, Sri Lanka, Africa )
Those who can see six feet in front of them realize we have passed the tipping point and are on the global warming path to extinction. The water at the pole is too warm to propel the great ocean conveyor belt current which is the source of life on earth.
It is not only climate - the warm current gathers oxygen as it travels from the equator to the pole where it sinks as it freezes and travels along the bottom of the ocean releasing oxygen gathering minerals and other nutrients until reaches the equator and warming delivers its riches to the surface.
Japan is the warning and the example of what life will be like. Great natural disasters are coming. Earth Justice is coming. We have about two years before it is obvious to everyone
The wise will Be Prepared. Hoard medications, animal and human meds. Buy can food and water. Install fire places and solar heaters. Buy solar devices to heat your food and water. Buy solar camping and cooking gear. Dig wells, build outhouses. Build greenhouses. Buy guns and ammunition. Prepare to live without utilities pumped into your homes. Buy generators. Learn how to live without fuel; off the grid. Buy a bike. Learn to compost because the garbage disposal won't work and no one will pick up your garbage. Buy those radiation sensors so you can see if your soil is safe to grow food--and your water is safe to wash your body. Plan for disaster with the aid of this website.
Government should prepare to defend the borders and keep what order it can. But it won't. They will be in their mountain palaces. You will eventually be on your own.
It is time to spend the next two years preparing to survive in the conditions Japan is experiencing now.
I think SHE knows this. After years of service, SHE deserves to be free to actualize in whatever way SHE chooses. I wish her every happiness and good health. And thank her for her service.