Self-determination

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Gadsden flag predates the Tea Parties. It was chosen as a symbol of the Yargbee's support of Western Values in the fight against Islamic Extremism. The Danish flag in the sidebar is of course from the aftermath of the Moslem rioting over the Mohammed cartoons.

Manuel Zelaya, the legally deposed ex-president of Honduras, returned to that country today in what can be called little more than a coup attempt. Sadly, from the start Obama's administration sided with Latin American dictators, Chavez, Castro, Ortega in opposing his ouster. The situation as summarized in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Zelaya was deposed and deported this summer after he agitated street protests to support a rewrite of the Honduran constitution so he could serve a second term. The constitution strictly prohibits a change in the term-limits provision. On multiple occasions he was warned to desist, and on June 28 the Supreme Court ordered his arrest. 

Every major Honduran institution supported the move, even members in Congress of his own political party, the Catholic Church and the country's human rights ombudsman. To avoid violence the Honduran military escorted Mr. Zelaya out of the country. In other words, his removal from office was legal and constitutional, though his ejection from the country gave the false appearance of an old-fashioned Latin American coup.

The U.S. has since come down solidly on the side of—Mr. Zelaya. While it has supported negotiations and called for calm, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both insisted that Honduras must ignore Mr. Zelaya's transgressions and their own legal processes and restore him as president. The U.S. has gone so far as to cut off aid, threaten Honduran assets in the U.S. and pull visas to enter the U.S. from the independent judiciary. The U.S. has even threatened not to recognize presidential elections previously scheduled for November unless Mr. Zelaya is first brought back to power—even though he couldn't run again.
To say the U.S. Government's actions surrounding the situation in Honduras is a travesty is an understatement. President Obama, in his slavish admiration for the world's dictators, has turned America's long held principal of support for self-determination on its head.

The Honduran flag in the sidebar is obviously a small gesture, but it is intended as support for not only the people of Honduras, but for the greater principal of self-determination. President Obama would be well advised to bear in mind, as he coddles dictators without regard to American public opinion and tries to ram through his paternalistic agenda, that Americans know full well the meaning of self-determination.

Don't tread on us, and don't tread on our friends and allies.

11 comments:

PatriotUSA said...

I find the Obama administration's support of Zelaya disgusting and reprehensible. Zelaya was tossed out for good reasons and it was a unanimous decison to remove Zelaya from office. Now he is back inside Honduras and I am sure O man and his friends just sat by, doing nothing to stop this thug from returning.Just because he got back in does not measn he will be included in the upcomimg elections.
Zelaya was and is a danger to the freedom of the Honduran people.
He represents all that is bad
and evil when we think about past Central, South American dictators and real coups.

Knucklehead said...

I keep reaching out to my Obama supporting buddies asking what they think about Obama and his love for dictators. No answer. Crickets chirping. They'll take on most any topic and fight to the death. On the dictator thing they are stubbornly silent.

Skookumchuk said...

I am certain that while fellow oligarchs tend to support Zelaya (the way African leaders support one another) the citizenry will simply see it as more American meddling. A tragedy.

Barry Dauphin said...

The behavior of the administration on this issue is not only infuriating but it is also strange to say the least. Putting American prestige behind someone who was removed from office legally. If Zeleya were a follower of Milton Friedman and this had happened, I think they administration would have acted differently. No matter that they have a soft spot for leftist thugs, I still believe there is some secret they are attempting to protect by supporting this guy or some kind of moneyed relationship, like George Soros' honeypot dries up unless Zeleya is returned (I know it's not that but it is something).

chuck said...

I wonder how the reponsibility for these decisions splits between Hilary and Obama? Do they work together, or does one of them make the big decisions? Obama isn't much of a doer, so I'm inclined to think Hilary is making the decisions and Obama is just signing off on them.

Skookumchuk said...

Barry:

The behavior of the administration on this issue is not only infuriating but it is also strange to say the least. Putting American prestige behind someone who was removed from office legally.

It is very odd. As if there was some sort of pre-agreed plan involving lefty heads of state throughout the hemisphere.

ambisinistral said...

Obama can't climb down from a mistake.

I think a fair amount of this is an outgrowth of his ill-advised remark in a debate that he would meet with Alma-what's-his-name without preconditions.

He was hoping the Iranian elections would allow him to move forward with that (a forlorn hope to be sure). When he got caught flat footed by the protests, his inaction to those protests blew up in his face.

I think that when he saw a Latin American military bundling their president out of their country that it was an out -- he could bluster about coups and defuse some of the reaction to his handling of the Iranian situation.

However, Obama can't climb down from a mistake. The Honduras coup isn't a coup, and the Iranian protests flare up again; meanwhile Obama keeps digging.

Skookumchuk said...

However, Obama can't climb down from a mistake.

That is certainly true.

Drewry Hanes said...

This was an interesting topic you touched on, and inspired me to read up on it.

From the information I've been able to obtain, it seems that the United Nations and many other countries have said that indeed there was a coup, and that Zelaya's removal was illegal. They allege that he was removed by the military and forced to leave the country, which made it illegal at that point, and that he is supposed to finish his term. Does anyone know the legalities of the situation?

I read more into the media in Honduras (as I think free media is one of America's most important qualities), and it seems that most media outlets in Honduras are controlled by a few powerful, rich families who can put what they like out in the media, regardless of accuracy. I read more about journalists who were independent and were either murdered or forced to leave. I wonder if anyone knows of any major news organizations independent of these families?

I also looked into what everyone was so upset about in the first place, and from what I've read it was a poll to find out whether the people were interested in the government ratifying the constitution, or whether the citizens thought it wasn't worth the time and effort. I was actually amazed that (though not legally binding), the president actually cared what issues were important to the people. Though I must admit (coming from a farming family background) the fact that the people he wanted to include were the poorer farmers may make me biased on the subject, it seemed good to try at least and find out what the people without all the fancy education and money thought/wanted.

The human rights guy seemed to say stay indoors during the poll so that you aren't hurt by mobs, not that people shouldn't support the president.

Does anyone have any good news sites or research articles talking about this? I want to be sure I am getting accurate information, as I know that on the internet you can never be totally sure of your sources:)

ambisinistral said...

Drewery,

First, thank you for taking the time to post your long and considered response.

Article 2, Paragraph 7 of the UN Charter states: "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll."

I'm sure the gesture felt good, particularily to the numerous undemocratic government who know doubt enthusiastically supported it, but by the words of their own charter, they should have refrained from interfering with the sovereignty of Honduras.

As I understand the issue in Honduras, their Constitution puts power to remove a President in the hands of their Congress. Further, their Constitution forbids a President to serve more than one term, or to even suggest such a possibility. Zelaya floated the notion of a referendum in contradiction to that principal, and was told it would not be allowed. He then printed his own ballots and attempted to hold his own referendum on the matter. For that unconstitutional act the Honduran Congress removed him, and the Honduran Supreme Court supported the action.

The only problem, as I understand it, is that the Honduran Constitution also forbids the expatriation of Honduran citizens, so that the action of the army, under the instructions of the congress, expelling him was illegal. That said, his return would properly be to a prison cell as he awaited his trial, not to the Presidential Palace.

As for families owning newspaper, I don't know of any newspapers not owned by somebody. I imagine reading the regional press would give you a better idea of the various sides and their positions. Certainly the Venezuelan press, or at least what's left of it, would give an anti-governmental version of the events in Honduras.

When possible I prefer to look for blogs from an area to get a feel for what is being debated. As you allude to with your mention of the monied families (and BTW, Zelaya is far from poor himself), the local politics of a place are largely opaque to outsiders. I wonder where the Church sits in this matter, and what influence the drug trade has had on events.

Regardless, the ambitions of my post were rather more limited. This was not a matter of a group of Air Force Lieutenants lining El Presidente' against the wall for a firing squad and outlawing his party. It was the duly recognized government of Honduras, via congressional debate that involved his own party, removing him from office because they judged him unfit. In my opinion, the U.S. administration has acted recklessly in lining up against their actions.

Drewry Hanes said...

Thank you very much for your response - I will definitely look into the issue further. Reading some blogs from citizens in the country is a great suggestion, as I think that unedited opinions from people who are actually on the ground constitute a great opportunity for a reality check.

I am always interested in the debate surrounding socialism vs. communism, and will keep up with the news about this particular issue in reference to Honduras. I also really enjoyed your previous comments dissecting the various objections to health care reform.

Thanks!