Clinton to Middle East: Get Your Act Together

Clinton delivers harsh critique of Arab leaders
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2011 10:53 AM CST
Clinton to Middle East: Get Your Act Together
Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she talks during the Forum for the Future conference in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Jan.13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Hillary Clinton delivered a blunt, scorching speech at a conference of Arab leaders in Qatar today, warning countries that if they didn’t reform their economic and political systems, they left themselves open to terrorism. “The region’s foundations are sinking into the sand,” Clinton declared. Her complaints—corruption, civil liberties, the rights of women—were familiar, “but her remarks were notable for their vehemence,” according to the New York Times.

“If leaders don’t offer a positive vision and give young people meaningful ways to contribute,” terrorists and extremists will “fill the vacuum,” she said. She also lamented how many people prospective business owners had to bribe to start their work. “By the time you pay everybody off, it’s not a very profitable venture.” Some leaders defended themselves, while others changed the subject to complain about Israel's West Bank settlements. Clinton countered that Israel had, like lots of nations, simply ignored America's wishes. (More Hillary Clinton stories.)

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