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 II: Think Acorn. Think Alice Palmer.]