Can you ask a camel to sing one of Noor Jehan's heart-throbbing melodies? Obviously that is certainly an impossibility. Though one is at liberty to ask, but camels simply do not sing. Period. Similarly, the expectation that Hillary Clinton, the American Secretary of State in Obama's administration, can suddenly dispel her "chiaroscuro" mindset on US foreign policy global objectives and re-educate herself to a new emerging socio-political consciousness of a fast-changing world is a far-fetched hope beyond immediate or even remote realisation. We are talking about a new world in which public opinion and the masses' overall awareness of issues confronting humanity are seeking to alter the rules of political conduct all over the planet. This worldwide evolving "consciousness" of change does not sit very well with the intransigent views of American leadership in the context of its role in world affairs. The Italian word "chiaroscuro" in common usage means the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. In literature, the word is used to show contrast. In the metaphorical sense, the word refers to "half-revealed" notions. It is in this sense that I have used this word with respect to Secretary Clinton's views on global affairs and American perspectives and self-proclaimed moral and political leadership of the world. "It is not the fault of the mirror," wrote Niall Ferguson, a Harvard University professor, "if it reflects our blemishes as clearly as our beauty." Indeed, every one of us should look carefully in the mirror to find out who we are. More importantly, those among us who carry a "big stick" that make or break nations and lives and that determine the course of war and peace should take a closer look. Consequently, it is imperative that the new US secretary of state look into the mirror in a reflective mindset and gain self-awareness of "who" she is, "what" it is that she stands for, and "how" she relates to the entirety of the world in which she now lives and breathes...and has been given the opportunity to serve humanity. Most explicitly, Secretary Clinton needs to go through a rigorous self-probe, intellectual as well as emotional, to ascertain what "serving humanity" means to her. As of now, Clinton's "half-revealed" notions of American power and responsibilities to global humanity are extremely dangerous and highly disappointing. One cannot be overly optimistic about Clinton's role as a global peace-maker when insightful analysis of the rhetoric coming out of the new US administration seems to indicate merely "window dressing" and all that is new is the language being used rather than any fundamental change in American intentions. Ahmed Mustafa, a London-based Arab writer, commenting on Obama's interview on Al-Arabiya, has stated: "Despite the rhetoric and change of language, no real change is expected." For example, take Secretary Clinton's statement at the time of George Mitchell's appointment as Special Middle East Envoy: "We are looking to work with all of the parties to try to help them make progress towards a negotiated agreement that would end the conflict between Israel and Palestinians." And yet, when asked about Hamas's role in this negotiated settlement, Clinton refused to acknowledge Hamas as included in "all of the parties," denying this democratically-elected party a legitimate position in negotiating a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, Clinton repeated a line right out of the Bush administration era: "We have a very clear policy towards Hamas, and Hamas knows the conditions that have been set forth...Our conditions with respect to Hamas have not and will not change." The statement precisely indicates the same irrational and illogical "mantra" of the Bush years to sideline an important and legitimate democratically representative political organisation of the Palestinian people. In addition, look at the audacity of the intellectual and moral failure of the American foreign policy establishment, including Secretary Clinton and President Obama, to continue to blame Hamas for the recent Israeli "Gaza holocaust" through their spokespersons and the media. How inhumane and absurd can it get? How can you trust the rhetoric of "change" when there is no change? How can you be optimistic about world peace? Consider another example of Pakistan's relationship as a US ally in the so-called War On Terror. "America's seven-year foray into unilaterally-led military solutions for the world's problems has failed," wrote Francis Matthew of Gulf News recently. And yet, the new US administration's insistence on a largely military solution (by greatly implicating Pakistan's Army) in Afghanistan and North Pakistan continues unabated (against the wishes of the Pakistani people, I might add). More troops in Afghanistan, more fighting, more fire-power, more loss of life...US unilateralism and greater emphasis on projecting American military and political power. So what has exactly changed? Substantively, it seems, nothing. Iran still continues to complain about the US government's political propensity to inflict "humiliation" and its inability to treat other nations as "equal" and with "mutual respect." South and Central America are in an open revolt against America's historical excesses, and yet Obama's administration is unwilling to offer an apology to a world to which the US has caused untold harm and devastation. America is at odds with respect to Chinese-Russian willingness to create a multilateral global political system engaging nations at a level of equality and mutuality. It is still early, but the signs are that Obama's administration seems to desire to keep the American "empire" intact. I am afraid that America as a nation and its political establishment, seeking global political and moral leadership, has failed to understand that the contemporary world is undergoing a radical transformation in inter-states relations and demands an altogether new set of rules in the conduct of the global political system. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the emergence of the US as a superpower, America had the privilege to set its own norms of political conduct over several decades. Now that equation is changing. Bush's era of excessive unilateralism provided an impetus to the world community, especially to the 1 billion Muslim population of the world (mostly at the receiving end of American atrocities), to express and exert itself politically at home and impact their nations' relationships globally. The US is in the way of this emerging new consciousness and the process of intellectual political democratic progress everywhere around the world. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and nearly everywhere else, US policies are encouraging respective governments to go against the wishes and political sentiments of their own people. The fact is that, in many countries, American economic and political objectives clash with, and in many cases are completely contradictory to, the native people's interests. No wonder that in public opinion polls around the world, the US is the most unpopular country. The fact of the matter is that, at the present time, the world political leaders (such as Obama, Clinton, Putin, etc) by the dynamics of their very role, require a global education and a global citizenship. It is precisely for this reason that the general public in this contemporary world of diversity demands that the leaders of the epicentres of power, political control and management go beyond the confines of their national perceptions, self-interests, prejudices, and clichs and look at the wider world beyond their exclusive prerogative of survival, prosperity and powerful existence of their own nations. Indeed, Bush, Rice and the entire Western leadership denied themselves a global perspective of world citizenship and remained blindly committed to the narrow interests of their nations (and special interest groups). Their refusal to be re-educated as global citizens resulted in the horrifying undermining of peace and the creation of an anguished world - the wars that they imposed on Islamic people in several countries on irrational and fabricated pretexts. Obama and Clinton must not allow themselves to make the same mistakes. They must emerge as global leaders and global citizens of the world, rather than the rhetorical spokespersons of an out-dated American-Western ideology of world domination. As Harvard University professor Joseph S Nye stated in a recent article, "The US may be the only superpower, but preponderance is not empire. America can influence but not control other parts of the world...He (Obama) will have to chart a new course ...and make difficult decisions while creating a larger sense of meaning in which America once again exports hope rather than fear." As Secretary of State, Clinton must liberate herself from her own nationalistic prejudices and formulate a "new course" in global leadership and global citizenship with Obama (and other Western leaders). It is high time that humanitarian and moral principles become the guiding force and strategic doctrine of global politics. Failing to do so will plunge the world into yet another era of war and destruction. Hillary Clinton, as the main architect of American foreign policy, must come to grips with the fact that the US cannot claim global leadership without understanding, endorsing and promoting universal equality and morality - and that this should be different from the specific US-brand of moral-political double-talk that has prevailed but which is incompatible with today's diversity of human civilisations. Will the camel sing a melody? Of course not But human beings have the potentials to make remarkable self-discoveries, undergo miraculous transformations and create revolutions But the key to this intellectual process is "understanding"... Will Hillary Clinton go through this transformation and emerge as a world citizen? Your guess is as good as mine...but I would not bet my dollars on it... The writer is a professor, political analyst and conflict-resolution specialist