Clinton Global Initiative

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He's not done making change! Good for him!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/18/AR2005091800441.html [Broken]


In his closing remarks Saturday the first annual Clinton Global Initiative, the former president promised progress reports on the more than 190 initiatives.

Clinton told participants _ including heads of state and business leaders _ to remember the impact their work can have on future generations, saying "we are so arrogant because we are obsessed with the present."

The three-day event, which coincided with a world summit at the United Nations, included a series of workshops on topics including religious conflict, poverty and the environment.

 
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  • #2
kyleb
I'm actually rather disgruntled with one of Clinton's efforts to effect change. Some of his comments at the seminar in question are rather strong on opinion. yet it seems he failed to present any real argument or evidence to back his position:
Mr Clinton said he had seen the [BBC] report Mr Blair was referring to, and there was "nothing factually inaccurate" in it.

But he said it was designed "almost exclusively" to criticise the Bush administration's response to the crisis.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4257190.stm

Is anyone aware of how Clinton might back that claim?
 
  • #3
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I visited your link. The exchanges (Blair, Murdoch, Clinton) sound conversational. They also give with what I was hearing on the BBC boards in the past weeks - much Bush bashing, little understanding that there is state responsibility as well as federal responsibility, etc.

If Clinton said there was nothing factually inaccurate, I would tend to agree with that - I am aware of very few factual inaccuracies. How would you like him to "back that up?" I would rather expect that Bush (or whoever has an interest in the opposing view) would say "X, Y, and Z are innaccurate."

The problem is the spin on the issue, and selective reporting.

In Houston, for example, there was (1) expectation of increased crime when all those New Orleans folks came over and (2) a headline expressing surprise when crime was unaffected. There is some "hate" there. There is certainly selective reporting! But it is also probably factually accurate - crime has probably remained constant.

Bottom line, I don't really understand your position. Clinton could easily make a list of factual accuracies. If someone thinks there are inaccuracies, they should point them out, and no doubt these exist somewhere.
 
  • #4
SOS2008
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Some excerpts from CNN LARRY KING LIVE - Interview With Bill Clinton - Aired September 16, 2005

KING: How did the idea for a global initiative begin?

CLINTON: ...I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I am in New York, the U.N. is here. These world leaders come in. And my sense from just the work I do with AIDS and anti-poverty work around the world that more people than ever before who have made some money are willing to give it away if they think it is funding constructive action.

And so I thought, well, why don't we just see? Why don't we see if you could hold a meeting and say, "You can't come to our meeting and talk." You've got to come to our meeting and literally fill out a card and say, "This is what I'm going to do in the next year."

KING: Now, you have people coming here. Attendees include Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, Condoleezza Rice, Shimon Peres, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner. You're going to have them in the same room?

CLINTON: We are. I hope.

KING: King Abdullah and Queen Rania and they're all pledging something.

CLINTON: Well, a lot of the world leaders are already doing things. You know, Blair has been way out there on aid to Africa and other things but all the -- the private sector people who are coming are pledging things.

For example, the -- Tony Blair's principle private sector supporter for this whole aid to Africa initiative is a Scottish multimillionaire, maybe billionaire, named Kyle Hunter (ph), self-made man, started out selling sports shoes. You'd be interested to know.

KING: But you -- in order to be a participant, you must be doing something constructive, right? You're not just attending and listening?

CLINTON: No. Well, in order -- when you attend, you can be a listener now but when you leave, you have to have made a commitment and if you don't, we won't ask you back next year.

KING: Do it as a pledge?

CLINTON: Yes, you know, so we don't know. The thing that's astonished me is that -- that people have come to us in advance of this conference and made these commitments, over $300 million worth.

But a lot of the commitments which will be made are by the conference participants are commitments that will be made as people listen during the course of the conference to the people talk about these four areas we're dealing with. Then at the end, we'll ask the people who haven't yet made a commitment to make one.

KING: And the four areas are poverty, enhancing governance, climate change and religion conflict and reconciliation. Is climate change an addition since Katrina?

(GLOBAL WARMING)

CLINTON: No. It was always going to be there. I've been worried about it for years. I gave some very important -- I thought important speeches about it when I was president but nobody was interested in it back then. Now, you know, a lot of people understand global warming is related to the increase in the number and the severity of weather events.

No one can say for sure that Katrina was caused by global warming but we know that the climate is warming up. We know that 12 big chunks of ice the size of the state of Rhode Island have broken off of the South Pole in the last decade.

We know if something doesn't happen to slow this warming down, whole island nations in the Pacific will be flooded. We'll lose 50 feet of Manhattan Island in New York within the next 50 years if we don't do something to turn this around.

(ENERGY)

CLINTON: ...We've got -- in other words, economic deprivation and economic uncertainty and national security issues with our dependence on foreign oil, and we know that the climate is warming at an unsustainable rate, in part because we're putting -- we're burning too much oil.

So we know also that we can now economically produce bio-fuels from farm waste and sugar principally, the most efficient ways. We know we can dramatically increase energy conservation. Sixty percent of all power put into electric generating facilities is wasted.

We know that we can generate tons of energy through solar and wind and other things that we've only scratched the surface of. The price of solar energy is going down 15 percent a year. The price of wind energy going down 15 percent a year and we've just barely touched it.

(POVERTY)

KING: We're back with President Clinton, the Global Initiative all this weekend. We've discussed climate change. Poverty, now there is the old-fashioned statement, there'll always be poverty. That's kind of a give up kind of thing.

CLINTON: So the question is, can something be done to help those people who are willing to help themselves? And the answer to that is a resounding yes. I mean, let me just give you an example.

Back in 2000, my last year as president, we had the first big round of debt relief. And we said sort of what President Bush has tried to say with his program of foreign aid. You can have this debt relief, but you have to observe human rights and be honest about accounting for the money, and you've got to put it into education, health care or economic development.

The results were stunning. They had this huge debt relief initiative and you had over two dozen countries doing things like -- Uganda has now tripled its primarily school enrollment by making sure the money not only went to education but the money actually got to education.

We know how to do this. We know how to do -- provide the credit, micro credit loans and financing for entrepreneurs in poor areas. We know what a difference these kinds of things can make. If we know how to do this and we know these people are smart, they work hard and they can make a difference.

(TRADE)

When we adopted the Africa Trade Bill in 2000, we went from having 10 times, 20 times the amount of exports, didn't hurt our economy. Let's take tiny Lesotho, a country surrounded by South Africa, third highest AIDS rates in the world. They went from 2,000 to 50,000 jobs in textiles because of that trade bill. Tanzania, 4,000 to 50,000.

That's good for us. These people can do business with us now. They don't become terrorists. They don't fight in tribal wars. Adults get jobs. Kids go to school. We have partners for the future.

KING: It pays for us.

CLINTON: Yes. It's in our interest to do it. It's not -- it's not only morally right, it's in our interest to do it. Look, we've got four percent of the world's people and 20 percent of the world's wealth. Obviously, to sustain that, with competitors coming on from China, competitors coming on from India, where more than half the computer software in the world is made now, we've got to find more customers. We have to have more partners.

(KATRINA)

KING: Have to move the topography a little?

CLINTON: Yes, I think, you know, I think first of all, we ought to try to have mixed neighborhoods, not isolate the poor. I really believe in that. I worked hard on that when I was president, trying to get people with -- move people from welfare to work and at the same time move them into middle class neighborhoods and kind of break this kind of culture of grinding poverty.

Mixed neighborhoods do that, they help kids to get in better schools. They help people to model different behaviors and they help people to have a sense of hope. So I'd like to see that done.

And I think that we may want to build some of those areas further away from both the Lake Pontchartrain and the river and maybe even bring in fill. You can -- even if these places are elevated two, three, four feet, it could make a difference in the next situation.

So they've got time now to think through it and goodness knows they're going to have lots of money, lots of federal money. I would like to see some significant thought given to the rebuilding process, making the whole neighborhoods, all these areas, a little more protected from the next natural disaster.

(IRAQ)

KING: I want to get back to the Global Initiative, but one question on Iraq how does it end? What's at the end of the tunnel?

CLINTON: Nobody knows yet. You know, 58 percent of the people voted in the election. They're having trouble getting a functioning constitution, and a lot of people are still getting killed.

KING: Every day.

CLINTON: Every day, all of which was, I think, quite predictable, given the history of Iraq and the animosity between the various groups. But I think that we're doing about all we can, which is to try to as quickly as we can develop police and security services capable of defending themselves and holding their country together, and at least giving them a chance to have a constitution that they can work on and a government that they can live under. At some point, if the security services become self-sustaining, they'll want us to go.

KING: How far away is that?

CLINTON: And we should go. Well, nobody knows. If we leave before that time, it will be because either our leaders have concluded that we can't make it work or the American people have just said, enough, you know, enough money, enough drain on the military, enough dying, and enough wounding -- enough.

But I think that for now even though, as you know, I thought we should have let the U.N. inspectors finish before we went in there. I think we showed way too much hurry going in there the first place. We are where we are.

And we had a lot of good people sacrifice and serve there. There's still a chance it will work. And so, we ought to just keep training and we ought to keep working for the constitution to be completed, accepted and then implemented.

(TERRORISM)

KING: And religion, conflict and reconciliation those three go hand-in-hand?

CLINTON: Well, I think so. We all know what the religious roots of conflicts today are in the Middle East. We all know about the Islamic militants who believe in terror, whether it's in London or New York or in the Middle East.

But the truth is that most religious leaders and most religious texts offer the promise of reconciliation based on our common humanity and our common imperfection and our common need for a god in this life and the next.

So, what I tried to do here was to say religion doesn't have to be a source of discord and can be a source of harmony. And the king of Jordan, King Abdullah had the heads of all the major sects in Islam to Jordan several months ago and they talked about that and they all agreed that there's no reasonable reason where the Koran would support terrorism and the killing of innocents.

The IRA recently agreed to get rid of all their weapons and to validate it to the Irish people they asked that the destruction be viewed and approved by the heads of both the Protestant and the Catholic Church in Ireland, which is really good.

I was just in Tanzania and we announced a new AIDS program and, you know, there's a lot of controversy about whether the Catholic Church or other religious organizations have policies that undermine the AIDS effort.

But in Tanzania, we had the heads of every major religious group, Christian, Muslim, and even local, the traditional African religions, all there together, all supporting the same policy. So religion can bring people together. It doesn't just have to be a source of division and I wanted it to be seen in the positive as well as the negative light.

...So, religion can be a force of reconciliation. That's the point I want to make. It doesn't have to be, even Islam, which many people in the West are afraid of now, I think it's wrong to see that religion -- to say religion's at the root of all this killing, I just don't believe it.
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0509/16/lkl.01.html

Here is a little comment that caught my eye:

CLINTON: "...if two smart people are thinking, they're never going to agree all the time."

Some good advice, and I suspect lack of this contributes to problems with the current administration.
 
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  • #5
kyleb
pattylou said:
I visited your link. The exchanges (Blair, Murdoch, Clinton) sound conversational. They also give with what I was hearing on the BBC boards in the past weeks - much Bush bashing, little understanding that there is state responsibility as well as federal responsibility, etc.

If Clinton said there was nothing factually inaccurate, I would tend to agree with that - I am aware of very few factual inaccuracies. How would you like him to "back that up?" I would rather expect that Bush (or whoever has an interest in the opposing view) would say "X, Y, and Z are innaccurate."

The problem is the spin on the issue, and selective reporting.

In Houston, for example, there was (1) expectation of increased crime when all those New Orleans folks came over and (2) a headline expressing surprise when crime was unaffected. There is some "hate" there. There is certainly selective reporting! But it is also probably factually accurate - crime has probably remained constant.

Bottom line, I don't really understand your position. Clinton could easily make a list of factual accuracies. If someone thinks there are inaccuracies, they should point them out, and no doubt these exist somewhere.
I'm at a loss to understand your postilion. How do you feel that "Clinton could easily make a list of factual accuracies" when in fact he claimed there were none?

My trouble is with his accusation that the BBC reporting was designed "almost exclusively" to criticize the Administration's response. Best I can tell he failed to substantiate the claim with any evidence and his I question the accuracy of the claim as well as his motivations for making it.
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Clinton's Global Initative Website -

http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/home.nsf/pt_home [Broken]

It will take some time to study it, but it seems there are/have been already such initiatives.

At $15,000 admission to his meeting, that certainly excludes a lot of people.
 
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  • #7
SOS2008
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Astronuc said:
Clinton's Global Initative Website -

http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/home.nsf/pt_home [Broken]

It will take some time to study it, but it seems there are/have been already such initiatives.

At $15,000 admission to his meeting, that certainly excludes a lot of people.
I'm sure it's not a completely novel idea. And personally I believe he shows that a Democrat can and does take action and doesn't just whimper in the background. In the interview, a lot of the views he expresses are in line with the Dems platform, and no doubt assisting Hillary in getting the message out.

As for the price of admission, I say targeting the top 5-1% of the wealth is great--and both sides of the aisle. Others are included, per the interview:

CLINTON: "...And then, we charge a membership fee to the people who can afford to pay it. And with people who shouldn't have paid, we let a lot of people in, you know, gratis, the advocates and the people that are out there trying to change the world. So that's how we funded it."
 
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  • #8
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Why did Clinton deside to have his "Global Initiative" the exact same time as the UN was meeting ? ? ? ?

I hope the democrats (ex or present) have more regard for the UN than Bush did, or it doesnt bode well for its (and our) Future..
 
  • #9
SOS2008
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Anttech said:
Why did Clinton deside to have his "Global Initiative" the exact same time as the UN was meeting ? ? ? ?

I hope the democrats (ex or present) have more regard for the UN than Bush did, or it doesnt bode well for its (and our) Future..
I see your point. In the interview Clinton said the UN meeting was a great time to have additional meetings because members are already in NY at that time. He made it clear he supports the UN (actually he used the word "loves" the UN). However, I also suspect it is another avenue for international cooperation. Neocons want the UN dismantled--In the meantime, Bush and Bolton are trying to subvert any power the UN has had. IMO Clinton and others want to maintain international relations until Bush can be replaced.
 
  • #10
selfAdjoint
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Anttech said:
Why did Clinton deside to have his "Global Initiative" the exact same time as the UN was meeting ? ? ? ?

I hope the democrats (ex or present) have more regard for the UN than Bush did, or it doesnt bode well for its (and our) Future..

I don't understand your position. Clinton's project is not at all in competition with the UN. And one good reason to have his meeting when the UN was in opening session was that he would have all of those heads of state in NYC where they could come to it.
 
  • #11
Skyhunter
kyleb said:
I'm at a loss to understand your postilion. How do you feel that "Clinton could easily make a list of factual accuracies" when in fact he claimed there were none?
:uhh: Read what Clinton said again.

Mr Clinton said he had seen the report Mr Blair was referring to, and there was "nothing factually inaccurate" in it.
 
  • #12
kyleb
You might try reading that in the context of the article; the report Blair was referring to, and Clinton respectively, is the BBC report in question.
 
  • #13
Skyhunter
kyleb said:
You might try reading that in the context of the article; the report Blair was referring to, and Clinton respectively, is the BBC report in question.
OK well what are the inaccuracies?
 
  • #14
kyleb
n/m :blushing:
 
  • #15
288
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kyleb said:
I'm at a loss to understand your postilion. How do you feel that "Clinton could easily make a list of factual accuracies" when in fact he claimed there were none?
He claimed there were no inaccuracies. Thus he could easily make a list of accuracies.
 
  • #16
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SOS2008 said:
I see your point. In the interview Clinton said the UN meeting was a great time to have additional meetings because members are already in NY at that time. He made it clear he supports the UN (actually he used the word "loves" the UN). However, I also suspect it is another avenue for international cooperation. Neocons want the UN dismantled--In the meantime, Bush and Bolton are trying to subvert any power the UN has had. IMO Clinton and others want to maintain international relations until Bush can be replaced.
Yep. I think you hit the nail on the head.
 
  • #17
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SOS2008 said:
I'm sure it's not a completely novel idea.
Carter used his presidency in a similar fashion to promote democratic values. He continues to do this. Habitat for Humanity is his baby, isn't it?
 
  • #18
kyleb
pattylou said:
He claimed there were no inaccuracies. Thus he could easily make a list of accuracies.
Doh, it seems I mentally I added an "in" to "accuracies" in your statement which I c/p'ed. I apologize for the creating that confusion. :blushing:
Regardless, my point remains:

kyleb said:
My trouble is with his accusation that the BBC reporting was designed "almost exclusively" to criticize the Administration's response. Best I can tell he failed to substantiate the claim with any evidence and his I question the accuracy of the claim as well as his motivations for making it.
 
  • #19
Skyhunter
pattylou said:
Carter used his presidency in a similar fashion to promote democratic values. He continues to do this. Habitat for Humanity is his baby, isn't it?
Carter has used his status as ex-president to promote humanitarian causes more than any other president in history to my knowledge. Clinton could do a lot worse than to follow in his footsteps.
 
  • #20
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Skyhunter said:
Carter has used his status as ex-president to promote humanitarian causes more than any other president in history to my knowledge. Clinton could do a lot worse than to follow in his footsteps.
I agree 100%. I expect he realizes this - and I think SOS 2008 makes an excellent point that he may be trying to offset damage of the current president.

What other living democratic ex-presidents are there? I don't think there are any others....
 
  • #21
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Originally Posted by kyleb
My trouble is with his accusation that the BBC reporting was designed "almost exclusively" to criticize the Administration's response. Best I can tell he failed to substantiate the claim with any evidence and his I question the accuracy of the claim as well as his motivations for making it.
I didn't get that from my reading of the link. If I get a chance in a bit I'll re-read it and see if it seems that way with your interpretation in mind. It sounded to me like a conversational tone between Clinton and Murdoch in which Clinton said "There were no innaccuracies in the reports" .... not a statement that the BBC was out to get Bush. I can imagine conversations where such a statement would seem more like the former, and conversations where such statements would seem more like the latter.
 
  • #22
kyleb
It is acutally right there in the second line of what I orignally quoted. Here is another report with more quoting from Clinton which should clarify his postion:
...Clinton said that there was nothing factually inaccurate but reports were “stacked up” against the government. “It was designed to be almost exclusively a hit on the federal response without showing what anybody at any level was doing,” it quoted Clinton as saying.
http://www.newkerala.com/newsdaily.php?action=fullnews&id=23685

Edit: I realize how I quoted an article that was quoting an article that was quoting Clinton, so I figure it would be best to add a link to the original article:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-09-17-bbccoverageblair_x.htm
 
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  • #23
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OK -- THanks -- I am still unclear with what your concern is. Are you saying that Clinton should have spent more time pointing out the state-level failures or the city-level failures, and how the BBC didn't report those?

Maybe you are of the opinion that the BBC reporting was fair and balanced?

As an American who converses with brits fairly regularly on the BBC forums, I will definitely say that my impression is that brits think Bush failed the country big time. This does not represent my opinion. As an American and having some understanding of the idea of "United States," I think Bush failed and louisiana failed and New Orleans failed. My British friends were sending me emails about how much Bush had failed in this disaster - and I kept thinking "Yeah, but so did other people."

I guess since Clinton's comments reflect my own opinion (to the extent that I understand his comments) , and having seen ZERO criticism in the BBC reporting against ANYONE except Bush, --- I guess because of that I don't understand your concern. What sort of back up would you like Clinton to provide?
 
  • #24
Astronuc
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pattylou said:
What other living democratic ex-presidents are there? I don't think there are any others....
Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are the only two living Democratic ex-presidents (US).
 
  • #25
kyleb
PattyLou, I didn't follow the BBC reporting of the situation, but when someone makes a claim I generally like to see empirical evidence to back it. Without that, I cannot help but be left questioning both the validity of the claim and motivations behind it.
 

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