Making peace with the MILF

November 13, 2009

Grappling with the alphabet stew of world insurgencies can have its pitfalls.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discovered as much Friday as she fielded questions about the Moro Islamic Liberation Front during a town hall-style gathering in Manila.
PHILIPPINES-USA/
MILF has the same acronym as an obscene phrase that gained currency in recent years. It was used in a Saturday Night Live political sketch last year in which characters playing Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton criticized sexism in the U.S. election campaign.

Questioned repeatedly about peace efforts with the MILF in the southern Philippines, Clinton struggled with how to speak the acronym.

“I’m encouraged by what I hear about the progress in the peace efforts that are going on between the government and MILF,” Clinton said, pronouncing it like a word — the same way as the acronym for the obscene phrase.

Then she switched and adopted the local usage — saying the letters individually.

Clinton said the time seemed ripe for a peace deal with the MILF, which has been fighting the Manila government for nearly 30 years.

She urged both sides to work to clinch an agreement while the timing is right, noting how Middle East peace efforts had been idle for years after her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, failed to secure a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians in the late 1990s.

“If people are in the mood and willing to make peace,” she said, “do not sleep, do not rest until you finally get there.”

Other tidbits from an hour of fielding questions at the town hall session at a Manila university:

Clinton had a crush on singer Fabian as a girl and headed a Fabian fan club.
PHILIPPINES-USA/
Hillary and Bill Clinton try to schedule time for themselves when not occupied with their busy schedules.

“We like to take long walks, we like to go to the movies, we like to go out to dinner, we like to catch up on our sleep,” she said.

And will daughter Chelsea follow her parents into politics?

“I don’t think so,” the secretary of state said. “I think she has really carved out her own life and her own privacy.”

“I think she respects and appreciates the political world but has no plans for being part of it at this time in her life.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo (Clinton arrives at a Manila university for a televised town hall-style meeting; Clinton fields questions at the session)

7 comments

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It’s nice to read something that makes me chuckle instead of doom and gloom every article!

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

The War Against Terror and Operation Iraqi Liberation – 2 more gems to add to the pile

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Nice story title. Sure to get lots of attention.

Posted by Nunya | Report as abusive

Not crazy about appealing to the base culture when talking about our female leaders. The repetition of this deplorable acronym in context with women leaders simply continues to objectify women and confirm to eastern world leaders that the U.S.A. is perverse, void of self-control and basic civilities.

How discouraging.

Posted by Holland | Report as abusive

The article states the acronym is obscene, so Reuters puts it in the headline. Way to go. That’s disgusting, especially with her.

Posted by DK | Report as abusive

“We like to take long walks, we like to go to the movies, we like to go out to dinner, we like to catch up on our sleep”

How about “we like to reminisce over how Bill raped Juanita, then I pressured her into keeping quiet about it, and I am still the face of America for the world, fighting for human rights. The rights of those not raped by the politically powerful, I mean. But that’s most people.”

Google “juanita raped by bill clinton”. Decide for yourself. The allegations look very credible to me.

Posted by msouth | Report as abusive

Well said msouth. I love the way the American legal system works. Guilty until proven innocent. Trial by public opinion, and allegations equal facts. A shining beacon of truth and democracy.

Posted by John schmitt | Report as abusive