Hillary Clinton changes her mind

It wasn't so very long ago that Sara Medi asked Hillary Clinton, as the American Secretary of State, for her views on increasing autonomy and eventual independence for countries like Wales, Scotland and Catalunya.


Clinton said she wasn't going to interfere in the internal affairs of any European country. However her attempts to influence the Scottish Government's decision to release Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds show that she was hardly being straightforward.

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Well, since when have the Americans ever restrained themselves from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries? And indeed we should expect governments to speak out about what happens elsewhere in the world and, if necessary, take steps to address issues of concern. The question is how to do it wisely, and what those steps should be.

Of course what she said in March was only an evasive answer to a question that she'd obviously never given any real thought to. But her recent efforts in "piling more pressure" on the Scottish Government must surely have meant that she has given the matter a good deal more thought in the last few weeks.

So it's high time to ask the question again.

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Anonymous said...

the message is that the USA, like Brit nats don't like little countries standing on their own two feet and taking a different line. 'Cos, you know, little countries should know their place and they're lucky that the big boys are willing to suffer them, and well, they're small and small is crap.

This was a difficult but brave decision by the Scots. I have great sympathy with the relatives who lost loved ones but I presume the decision goes as much on legal president as anything. Should one make an exception to this Libyan or not?

Difficult. Clinton's right to voice her view but there has been a slightly patronising tone in the voices of many spokespeople from the US as there was in Hilary's answer to Rhian Medi:

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

"Well, since when have the Americans ever restrained themselves from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries?"

"A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America is still saving countries and peoples from one danger or another. The scorecard reads as follows: From 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign govemments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life ~f agony and despair."

William Blum - Rogue state

Welsh Connection said...

I don't think its that clear cut, on the subject of whether small countries become more autonomous I imagine the USA government is genuinely nuetral - after all what interest is it to them either way.

The release of Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi is a specific decision upon which the US government has an opinion, and it tried to influence the decision by talking to the people who were making it (the Scottish government) If there were no devolution they would have made exactly the same arguments to the UK government.

The US government has made not argument along the lines of 'The Scottish government should not exist because it made a 'wrong' decision' (unlike certain home grown anti-devolutionists).

The difference between the 2 positions is that the US has an interest in the out come of one and not the other, I doubt theres anything more to it than that.

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