Thursday, February 11, 2010

Faleomavaega Continues Assault on Clinton

Despite the backlash caused by his intemperate public attack on President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Clinton ignoring the small Pacific Islands in her first visit to the region, which was truncated by the Haiti earthquake, Faleomavaega appears intent on continuing the assault, regardless of the consequences.

At a recent appearance before Pacific Island students at the University of Utah, according to a story in the Utah Daily Chronicle, he "expressed discontent with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent trip to Asia, during which she passed over a visit to the islands, which he referred to as “fly-by diplomacy.”

The Chronicle quoted the delegate as saying “We have developed a new policy for the Pacific,” referring to a lack of interaction between American Samoa and the United States. “This is sad, but true.”

The Chronicle did not report if he reminded students that as chairman of the House subcommittee on Asia, Pacific and the Global Environment, he shares in the responsibility for developing American policy to the region. In a recent story in Samoa News, the local Republican Party of American Samoa pointed out that American involvement in the Pacific Islands has declined in direction proportion to the rise of Faleomavaega's seniority and supposed influence in Congress.

Has anyone in the media asked the delegate when the last time Clinton has had a private meeting with him to discuss U.S. policy in the region and issues over which his subcommittee has jurisdiction. Not Samoa News, where his sister-in-law is one of the editors. But apparently not the Utah Chronicle either. They headlined their story "Delegate stresses ties to culture for Pacific Islanders." The issue of U.S. involvement in the Pacific was buried in the story's 10th paragraph, right at the end.

As yet, no one seems to have connected the dots. Lisa Williams and the rest of his press staff back in Washington can give themselves another High Five.

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