Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her first day on the job, pledged to revitalize America's foreign service and push diplomacy and economic development as central tools to securing the U.S.'s global interests.The long-term objectives of the United States: what might those be, Madam Secretary? If Mrs. Clinton can say what they are, I'd be enchanted to know when, how, by whom, and by what authority they were established. If she can't (and I'm guessing that's the case), the question becomes: how can anyone possibly prescribe the "central tools" required for the achievement of undefined objectives?
Mrs. Clinton was greeted at the front entrance to the State Department by more than 1,000 employees, who raucously cheered her arrival and first words.
"I believe, with all my heart, that this is a new era for America," Mrs. Clinton said from a staircase that overlooked the State Department's front lobby. "Diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States."
Steve Kashkett, a leader of the State Department union, told Mrs. Clinton that the building was "thrilled to have you here."Ex-squeeze me? The State Department has a union? On second thought, that might explain more than a few things, I suppose.
"I'm going to be asking a lot of you. I want you to think outside the proverbial box," Mrs. Clinton said to applause. "I want you to understand there's nothing I welcome more than a good debate."I choose not to think that Mrs. Clinton is starting out her tour as Secretary of State with a whopping lie; instead, I choose to think that she's starting out laboring under the handicap of self-delusion. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that there are a great many things she welcomes more than a good debate ... unless we're dealing with an eccentric definition of "good debate," that is. Myself, I wouldn't mind seeing a "good" (meaning clear and logically-consistent) debate on what "long-term objectives" the Empire has, and what objectives it should have. I'm definitely not holding my breath, though. I'm pretty sure that would be way, way too far outside the box.