June 30th, 2009

Obamaspeak on Honduras

I was curious to learn exactly and precisely what Obama said on Honduras. So here it is, for your perusal:


Note, despite the length of Obama’s statement, his omission of the most salient facts leading to what he refers to as a “coup” that “was not legal”—facts that would, if told, bolster the argument that it was neither a coup nor illegal. Zelaya’s removal was a response to his planned unconstitutional overreach in order to grab more power, and the actions by the other branches of the Honduran government (legislative and judiciary, with the army merely enforcing their rulings when Zelaya defied them) were designed to remove him before he accomplished his goal and it was too late to stop him.

In other words, Obama left out all the reasons why the so-called “coup” was engineered, and the ways in which it differed from the classic “coup” where the military is trying to gain power, and was actually more “legal” than Zelaya’s actions prior to it.

If I were a news reporter, I would ask Obama the following questions: if an executive is determined to grab power illegally, and it will be happening soon (the illegal referendum was to start in a few hours), and he has shown that he will not abide by the rulings of the Supreme Court of his own country and is ordering the military to do his bidding and defy the court, how else could the rule of law be enforced? Must there not be some sort of body to enforce the constitutional requirements of the government, and wouldn’t that have to be some military or police acting at the behest of the court?

Note also, Mr. Obama, that every other aspect of the Honduran government has remained in place—and the legislature itself, in accordance with the Honduran constitution, has chosen Zelaya’s successor. What say you? Why have you supported Zelaya, and why did you leave out those facts when you spoke? Why not stop meddling and let matters take their course, and allow Honduras to decide these things for itself?

Well, I don’t get to ask the question, so we won’t hear Obama’s answer. My hunch is that he’d obfuscate and end up not answering the questions anyway.

So I’ll try to do so for him. There are only two possible explanations for Obama’s omissions: he is utterly ignorant of events in Honduras, or he is distorting them for his own purposes and hoping the American people will remain ignorant of the truth. I think the latter explanation is by far the more likely, although neither explanation is very reassuring.

Assuming Obama is not merely ignorant, here are his possible motivations (which are not mutually exclusive):

(1) He is determined to do whatever Bush would not have done. Therefore, for example, since Bush supported a movement against Chavez, he wil do the opposite for Zelaya.

(2) Although Obama is certainly unafraid of taking drastic action in the domestic and economic spheres, he is generally afraid to act in the international sphere, so he tends to support the status quo. Zelaya would be the status quo.

(3) He wants the US to do whatever the consensus is and show support for “international” solutions, and therefore his position is in line with that of the OAS (he mentions the OAS position a few times in his statement).

(4) He is against any use of the military, including (or perhaps especially?) to remove a person who would be dictator.

(5) He supports Leftist governments around the world and especially in Latin America, and does not want them to topple.

(6) He supports the concept of pure democracy with a powerful executive rather than a separation of powers and checks and balances, or following the constitution. If an executive wishes to go straight to the people to enhance his power, then “power to the people”—or, rather, from the people—it is.

(6) He is planning a similar power grab here and wants to go on record as being against any forces that would oppose it.

That’s about covers it for me at the moment, but I’m sure you can think of a few more.

[ADDENDUM: There's much, much more of interest on the Honduran situation at Fausta's, as well as here.]

[ADDENDUM II: Think Acorn. Think Alice Palmer.]

38 Responses to “Obamaspeak on Honduras”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    I hate to think it, much less say it, but the parallels to the Spanish Civil War are there.

  2. Stark Says:

    Castro, Chavez, Obama, and Ortega are all in agreement that the constitution of Honduras should not be upheld by their Congress and Supreme Court. That about says it all.

  3. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Maybe it’s just the inconvenience of it all.

    He believes that in being diplomatic and in welcoming dialogue with the Ahmadinejad’s, Zelaya’s and Chavez’s of the world, that he is moving beyond the old ways and is already making meaningful progress with our former antagonists. Must be a real bummer for him to consider having to start all over again with new leadership in some of these countries. Of course, the thought that these international thugs may be getting the best of him would never occur to The One.

    How long until the White House slant suddenly changes, and we hear that his words at Cairo or one of his many other stops on the “apology tour” were somehow pivotal in inspiring the takeover in Honduras?

  4. Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Honduras: What was on the referendum ballots printed in Venezuela Says:

    [...] writes on the Very Constitutional Coup. More commentary and analysis at Mcauley’s world (via Neo-neocon and [...]

  5. Promethea Says:

    I especially liked how Obama slipped in the “bad old U.S. policies” of not recognizing countries that we didn’t approve of. So now the U.S. policy, according to Obama, is to recognize every caudillo who can take over his country, never mind the country’s legal system.

    I immediately thought of Acorn too. I believe that Obama is planning some kind of massive vote fraud, using the taxpayers’ money to finance it. We already saw how he operated in the 2008 election.

    Zelaya is definitely Obama’s kind of guy, a man on horseback.

  6. Baklava Says:

    I don’t believe Obama is able except for the enabling by legacy journalists…

  7. Maurice Says:

    Obama is a Marxist, what else is there to say? He almost orgasmed in glee when he met Chavez, but treats our allies like cow manure in the living room.

    The man is a traitor to every American ideal, cares not one whit for the Hondurans’ freedom, the Iranian people or OUR freedom.

    I’m giving him credit for not being the most incompetent President in modern history including the execrable Jimmy Carter; he’s doing all this ON PURPOSE. It’s consistent with his history, it’s consistent with his mentors and it’s consistent with his ideology.

    Heaven help us.

    He can’t go on the Internet like the rest of us and get some information that rebuts the Leftist meme of an illegal coup? He’s not getting any other information?

    I don’t believe it! He’s a pathologic liar.

  8. TmjUtah Says:

    I must say that’s the most animated I’ve seen the The Won since inaugeration.

    Hmmm. He gets pretty wound up about government agencies taking their constitutional obligations seriously, doesn’t he?

    He’s got congress in his pocket – even more so, now that the least funny comedian in SNL history is coming aboard the senate – and looks like having the USSC in his grasp, too.

    He should fear the military.

    Any communist would.

  9. jon baker Says:

    “(6) He is planning a similar power grab here and wants to go on record as being against any forces that would oppose it.”

    Rush today was mocking those who say it “Can’t Happen here” then mentioning some of the governmental overreach that has already gone on.

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    he is scared because thats the one thing that he thought would not happen to change the outcome.

    that is… there is now world precident for another countries military to legally remove a leader who has overstepped their boundaries and return it back to the people.

    well… imagine if that happened in germany…

    the point is that this was the one and only thing that he thought could not happen if he usurped.

    if this becomes a trend… then you may see militaries backing capitalism and freedom… because that pays even better than despots (which until now was not as clear as in the past)

    its things like this that prevent me from saying what will happen in terms other than generalities…

  11. Martin Says:

    How is a non-binding referendum asking the Honduran people if they think that in the future there should be a vote on term limits power grabbing. Are opinion polls dictatorial now? Also of course what Zelaya did was illegal, but it is a ridiculous that the constitution makes it illegal to suggest amending it, and suggesting a change to the constitution shouldn’t be grounds for military removal.

  12. Occam's Beard Says:

    Behold the liberal mind at work.

    Zelaya was just kind of curious, you know, he was hanging around the Presidential Palace hoisting a few cervezas with his homies when they started arguing about how many people would like Zelaya to remain President.

    So Zelaya had some ballots …er…survey forms printed up in Venezuela (he got a real good deal on the printing there, and besides, it wasn’t illegal to print up in Venezuela, unlike Honduras) and wanted to hand them out like All-Star ballots, you know, just to settle a bet, that’s all. Inquiring minds want to know such things.

    Of course he was going to leave office, as the Honduran constitution specified. It’s not as if he would rig the vote …er…”opinion poll” in his favor and then claim a mandate to stay in office. No. Of course not. That would be wrong.

    Sheesh.

  13. Jamie Says:

    Martin,

    Because it was forbidden by their constitution.

  14. betsybounds Says:

    Neo,

    I’m most taken with your #6: “He is planning a similar power grab here and wants to go on record as being against any forces that would oppose it.”

    Indeed. He is already implementing the power grab; it is well under way. And his record is becoming quite clear.

    TmjUtah,

    The alternative to his fearing the military is, of course, his co-opting it.

    Obama is, in fact, the Commander-in-Chief, with all the history, custom, and requirement that entails. We must not forget that. There is also a large cohort in this country who will not, recent events to the contrary notwithstanding, acquiesce to his rule. My husband has placed what I think will become a very pertinent question: Will the American military obey orders to fire upon the American people?

    I don’t know the answer. But I fear we may learn it–it could come to that. The alternative may just be unacceptable to free-born American citizens. It would not be the first time we have had to fight for our freedom, but it may be the first time we’ve had to undertake the fight inside our own borders, not even considering the Civil War.

    There are many people who think that our federal government, under Obama, is leading us to a European-style social democracy. I think otherwise. I think, and have been saying so for months now, that by the time these guys are finished, we are going to wish we could GET a European-style social democracy.

  15. D B Light Says:

    Your reasons, 5, 6, and 6, are terrifying for any classic liberal like myself. I think that what motivates Obama is more than anything a strong identification with anti-bourgeois movements in societies around the world. Ahmadinejad came to power claiming to represent the urban poor and rural masses who were not participating fully in Iran’s economic development. He promised to redistribute wealth downward. The protesters, by contrast, were overwhelmingly middle-class, relatively well educated people. In Honduras Obama is again siding with the faction that claims to represent the poor and dispossessed and promises a radical redistribution of wealth. Traditionally in Latin America the military has acted as defender not just of the nation but also of the middle-class [from which the officer corps are recruited] and of constitutional order against those who would effect fundamental and radical change. The Honduran military seems to fit well within that tradition. Couple these with Obama’s campaign rhetoric promising to spread the wealth around and you can see a consistent pattern of siding with any faction [Marxist, Islamist, whatever] that promises to bring about fundamental redistribution of wealth in their societies. He sees himself as the champion of “the dispossessed” and that makes him the enemy of the bourgeoisie. Typical Columbia rot! [I'm referring to the university, not the country].

  16. Artfldgr Says:

    Occam,
    you realize that he was also getting plaid stamps with the purchases in venezuela that he could redeem in the future? :)

  17. TmjUtah Says:

    I believe the President to be a true Marxist – as true as one can be that got their chops in the U.S. academic system, at least. Learning how to play the machine political game in Chicago intersected with an election cycle presenting no real conservative option worked pretty well for him

    I also believe him to be the least – prepared successful revolutionary in history.

    I don’t see a dastardly master plan and a table run by a diabolical genius. I see a campus commie being run by a bunch of hacks who think they are going to benefit personally from the scam… and the whole shebang being coddled by what we used to call “journalists” and an electorate that has suffered from willful dumbing down for the last four decades.

    Obama is in it to destroy. I think he recognizes his limitations fairly well, as well as an entitlement junkie and victim pimp ever should be expected to understand such things. He got the organization he needed to get to the office. The only more transparently crooked outfit in DC is the Congress, and they have sold themselves the fiction that it is all just business as usual; they’ve played this game without consequences for so long that their biggest challenge has been getting used to saying “trillion” with a straight face where they used to say “billion”.

    Something’s gotta give.

    I don’t think that Obama’s dream of an ACORN style organization with police powers and firepower rivaling the military will get very far. That kind of stuff is not the threat – cap and trade, TARP, endless stimulus, socialized health care, spending, spending, taxes, regulation, yet more regulation – these are the threat, and these are what will be used to destroy our democracy.

    If we let it happen.

    2010. It may be the last chance we have.

  18. betsybounds Says:

    TmjUtah,

    I, too, think both that he is in it to destroy, and that he recognizes his limitations fairly well–and is prepared to operate within them, all the while prodding his boundaries to see what might yield (and something will–something always does). In fact, I think he would be less dangerous if he didn’t recognize them. I agree with you re: the Congress being the only more transparently crooked outfit in DC. I, for one, remember Everitt Dirkson saying, “A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well, we’re talking about realer money now–to say no more.

    He is also, however, an opportunist, ever alert to the main chance. Should he find that inevitable weakness in his boundaries–well, hang on. “It’s goon to be a boompy ride.”

    I’m concerned that we are looking at a somewhat accidental–dare I say chaotic?–convergence where timing is the great imponderable–and the great decider.

    The thing about 2010 possibly being our last chance that worries me is that it may, instead, have been 2008.

    Well, we shall see, shall we not.

  19. Darrell Says:

    Betsy, we shall see, IRT to your earlier question:
    “Will the American military obey orders to fire upon the American people?”
    I say, absolutely not, remember the only time you are allowed to disobey an order in the military is when it is illegal. I just cant see it happening. The one exception would be if attacked directly. I cant see offensive combat operations against the American people. Too many people would question it. The recent budget cuts we have experienced are making it very clear that this administration and congress are no friend of the military.
    I agree that Obamas reaction is related to seeing himself in the same situation, besides being a Marxist at heart. The mask is off, although for our small group, we never saw the mask everyone else did.

  20. Gray Says:

    “Will the American military obey orders to fire upon the American people?”

    Not the military, never. I have 18 years in a variety of units–this will never happen.

    Your local SWAT teams? State SWAT teams? Federal wannabe ninjas from ATF? IRS? INS? FBI? Forest Service?

    All bets are off….

  21. Sloan Says:

    Betsybounds, et al.

    I remember the military firing on protesting students at Kent State. It took 20 years for the military to recover from the horror Americans felt after that tragedy. Of course then, as now, the willing media spread that photo of the kneeling woman weeping, arms outstretched all over the place. Those National Guardsmen were just kids, too.

    Could it happen again? Sure. It wouldn’t be pretty.

  22. peterike Says:

    Of course the military will not fire on US citizens. Which is precisely why Obama wants to create a civilian national security force. His own words from the campaign:

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    “The national security objectives that WE’VE set”??? That WHO has set, exactly?

    And just as strong? Does the civilian security force need, say, aircraft carriers and nukes?

    Nothing about Obama has ever been a secret to anyone who wanted to look.

  23. Stan Says:

    I remember a tank assault by the army on the home of some American citizens. But I also remember that the news media and the ACLU loved it and the cheers for the Attorney General who ordered it amounted to a journalistic standing ovation.

  24. Artfldgr Says:

    on another note, they have started cleaning up in iran and are hanging the loose ends.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    Honduras’ interim leader warned that the only way his predecessor will return to office is through a foreign invasion, setting up a dramatic showdown with the ousted president who is preparing to come home accompanied by world leaders.

    A defiant Roberto Micheletti said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday that “no one can make me resign,” defying the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Obama administration and other leaders that have condemned the military coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

    Micheletti vowed Zelaya would be arrested if he followed through with plans to return to Honduras on Thursday, even though the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador have signed on to accompany him along with the heads of the Organization of American States and the U.N. General Assembly.

    i wonder if russia or china will loan obama an army if similar happens?

  26. Count to 10 Says:

    Stan, that wasn’t the Army.

  27. Darrell Says:

    It is also an unfair comparison to compare today’s military with what happened at Kent state.

  28. rickl Says:

    I read that the National Guardsmen at Kent State were soldiers, and did not have any training or equipment for crowd control. They were put in an untenable position that they were not equipped to handle properly.

    Come to think of it, I may even have read it here.

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    at that time they were weekend warriors..

    and thats a major difference you point out in training… military WAS not trained for social control, theirs was always about a different goal than capture.

    and when you read details, you can tell they obviously didnt get a briefing and knew the lay out of the property and such like that.

    they were weekenders who were ordered to appear since the military cant under posse comitatus. and the forces that called them expected that all they would need was their presence.

    well, that was true as what happened was they were receeding and trying to move… when they walked into a dead end and did not know how far the communists would take it. (remember many of them had already burned down buildings, had riots, planted bombs and stuff… all things we forget about when we look at the event).

    one shot. thats all it takes to start everyone shooting in panic.

    for all we know it was a student with a starter pistol.. we dont know whether the first bang was the guard, or something else.

    just remember that in communist protests there is a cadre of people in them that tend to try to get the police to be violent to control the image of the event… you can see them in todays events, though no one realizes they are different and fomenting and not just younger people with a bigger desire to do something

    by the way.. crowd control then was mostly billy clubs, riding horses into the crowd (why do you think ny has mounted police?), and fire hoses.

  30. Darrell Says:

    Yes, Neo has written extensively on the subject, if we contrast the comparison, almost all of our National Guard have made combat tours, that experience as people move up the ranks leads to some pretty solid experienced leadership that those branches of the military never had in the past. Absolutely don’t want to disparage any veterans from back then but the training, tactics and focus on core values, are far different today.

  31. Gray Says:

    appropo of nothing:

    Weekend Warriors…. What a 10 September notion that turned out to be.

  32. Artfldgr Says:

    I guess Obama just gave chavez the go ahead

    US suspends military relations with Honduras
    apnews.myway.com/article/20090702/D996022O0.html

  33. Pragmatist Says:

    If Obambi is complicit even by inaction and no condemnation in a foreign invasion of Honduras will the left wing moonbats in the USA then wake up and see him for what he really is. Unfortunately I think not they are too deeply up his ars* to see the light of day and the general population is too stupid witness the orgasmic grief over a black pop singer turned ugly white woman who BOUGHT white children as his paedophilic playthings.

  34. Pragmatist Says:

    The USA does not occupy any moral high ground in the world any longer your Saudi BOWING. South American Dictators, Iranian Theocratic Dictators cow towing BOGUS POTUS who also sees fit to insult America’s allies. This is how the world views America for who has hypocrisy writ large. A black singer/songwriter dies during his life he morphed form a good looking black man in to an ugly middle aged white woman hooked on drugs and plastic surgery he had morbid interest in very young children mainly boys and was caught many times abusing them but either bought off his accusers or was aquitted OJ style by a hilariously equally BIASED jury. But the worst thing about this drug addicted pervert is that he BOUGHT three white children as playthings. I say BOUGHT because that is exactly what he did neither he nor the rented womb Debbie Rowe that he used to created the first two children have any biological connection to them he bought the sperm and bought the eggs she was just a well PAID living incubator. Nothing is know about the third child but as it also has no negroid characteristics at all the logical assumption is that he just BOUGHT him too.
    So what do we get in the MSM outrage , disgust, condemnation no we get fawning orgasmic worship of this drug addicted pervert. Michael Jackson BUYS three WHITE children as paedophic SLAVES and playthings and the MSM and the stupid American people do nothing except praise the pervert. USA you have no morals any more and you are not fit to lead the free world you have gone too far down the road of liberal, moral equivalent, multi culti, affirmative action depravity that you just can’t even recognise what morality is.

  35. Artfldgr Says:

    “Zelaya,” he declared, “has already committed crimes against the constitution and the law. He can no longer return to the presidency of the republic unless a president from another Latin American country comes and imposes him using guns. Seven and a half million Hondurans will be ready to defend our territory against a foreign invasion.”

  36. Orange Says:

    Vijay Prashad writes on Iran and Honduras:

    “Iran’s social contradictions have once more erupted into conflict. It does not help for us to wave the flag of intervention, or even to throw our support between one or the other camp in this current situation. Mass action within Iran is now a well-developed institution. In 1953, the U. S. could conduct a coup in the country. In 1979, mass action made it impossible. It remains the basic instinct of the population. The best solidarity from afar is to be analytical, not emotional about what is occurring. Sober analysis of the situation might help us appreciate the fluidity of the politics, the difficulty of finding in this crisis an easy way forward for the left. Things are easier in the case of the Honduras, where the Generals are not only trained by the U. S. at Fort Benning but where it seems plain that the U. S. State Department might bank on this coup to send a message against Bolivarianism across Central and South America. Here we have a clear role, to demand an end to interference in Central America.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad07012009.html

  37. Occam's Beard Says:

    “Mass action”

    “solidarity”

    “end to interference” aka “Hands off”

    Thanks for updating us on the Party line, comrade Orange. Or should be that be “Red?”

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    i wonder if pragmatist realizes how much he sounds like ayn rand?

    ‘Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. You are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will now take the blame. It is your moral code that’s through, this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality . . . but to discover it.”

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