July 13th, 2009

Why Honduras matters

The fate of Zeleya and Honduras has dropped off the radar screen for the moment, but on Saturday Fausta filled us in on the most recent developments. The summary version: the UN, which is now mostly a vehicle to promote tyranny, wants Zeleya back, whereas patriots in Honduras are working feverishly to prevent their country from becoming another Venezuela. Obama, of course, is on the side of the UN.

Why do I keep pursuing this topic? What do we care about little Honduras?

Well, call me a nefarious neocon if you must (wait a moment; I just had to answer my phone to take a message about my next cabal meeting)—but I happen to be in favor of not only democracy, but constitutional checks on the possible tyranny of the majority in a democracy. And I would like to preserve such things even for little countries like Honduras, whose government is trying mightily and heroically to maintain its sovereignty, and to stop those who would usurp its ability to protect itself from that tyranny.

Unfortunately, our very own President Obama is among those people.

Honduras is facing something that has happened before, in many times and many places. But to recognize what’s been occurring there and what it signifies, one must know something about history, most particularly about how such power grabs occur. Then the patterns become clear.

I’ve written about those patterns before, here and here. If you go back and read both of those pieces—the first is about Chavez and Venezuela, the second is more general—you’ll see how very relevant they are to what Zeleya has been trying to do in Honduras (and see this for the very best summary I’ve seen so far of that situation).

The way is clear: tyrants very often use “democracy” as an excuse to get the people to override a constitution and grant them what turns out to be dictatorial, or near-dictatorial, powers, as well as the ability to extend or abolish term limits and stay in power longer than the constitution says (and in many cases indefinitely). Once the rules are changed about term limits, and power is consolidated and the voting apparatus compromised, staying in power is a relatively easy matter, really a trifle.

Most dictators of recent history have gone this route; the path is well worn and the methods tried and true. Zeleya was attempting to follow in the footsteps of compadre Chavez, and the government and people of Honduras knew it.

Obama knows it too, or should know it. So we come down once again to the choice of whether Obama is a fool or a knave. I vote the latter, but the former doesn’t comfort me either.

[NOTE: I’ve linked to this before, but I’m doing it again because I feel it’s so important and so misunderstood. It’s about the methods Hitler used to gain control of Germany. No, Zeleya isn’t Hitler; but this is relevant because it’s about how to gain control of a democratic country and do away with its constitution. I mention Germany because so many people seem to be under the impression that a majority of Germans voted for Hitler; they did not. But it’s a cautionary tale of the patient and step-by-step strategies by which a tyrant can gain power even in a democracy, even when he does not have the backing of the majority of the population.]

43 Responses to “Why Honduras matters”

  1. nyomythus Says:

    We should care a lot about Honduras. We don’t need no more Chavez Venezuelas.

  2. Stark Says:

    It would appear that BHO’s support for Zelaya stems from Obama’s apparent belief that the end justifies the means.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama Rewrites the Cold War

    gives a bit of insight into why he may side the way he does. he has been raised (as i said) on the soviet side of history. so he is really just a homunculous that programatically responds the same as a soviet with ideology. however we would never recognize that since we dont even have movies that show this.

    Obama Rewrites the Cold War
    online.wsj.com/article/SB124744075427029805.html
    There are two different versions of the story of the end of the Cold War: the Russian version, and the truth. President Barack Obama endorsed the Russian version in Moscow last week.

    So in that version, how does cuba, chavez, and others appear?

    It is irresponsible for an American president to go to Moscow and tell a room full of young Russians less than the truth about how the Cold War ended. One wonders whether this was just an attempt to push “reset” — or maybe to curry favor. Perhaps, most concerning of all, Mr. Obama believes what he said.

    as i said, he does not have to be conciously working for them to be working for them. anyone who has had their education controlled will respond from the knowlege in that education. if you were taught that red means go and green means stop, you will not automatically fall in line with everyone else.

    however, it would be very easy to put you on the road and let your natural decisions become a disaster.

    [and insure to do it in a man of what the left sees as a disposable race since before Sanger]

    Mr. Obama’s method for pushing reset around the world is becoming clearer with each foreign trip. He proclaims moral equivalence between the U.S. and our adversaries, he readily accepts a false historical narrative, and he refuses to stand up against anti-American lies.

    its worse than that, he is lying to the public as to the situation in honduras. that is, if we the people can easily see that the situaion is not what he describes then either he is informed way out on a false limb, or he knows and is purposefully lying.

    either way, its very not good…

    The Obama administration does seem to believe in another kind of exceptionalism — Obama exceptionalism. “We have the best brand on Earth: the Obama brand,” one Obama handler has said. What they don’t seem to realize is that once you’re president, your brand is America, and the American people expect you to defend us against lies, not embrace or ignore them. We also expect you to know your history.

    but he does… he knows stalinist/revisoined history to a T. he thinks its the real history, and his followers are also fed on parts of that false history

    all they had to do was put him in a place where he could act naturally.

    the hard part was getting the turtle up on the post.

    and the rest, is going to be a bad history…

    Perhaps Mr. Obama thinks he is making America inoffensive to our enemies. In reality, he is emboldening them and weakening us. America can be disarmed literally — by cutting our weapons systems and our defensive capabilities — as Mr. Obama has agreed to do. We can also be disarmed morally by a president who spreads false narratives about our history or who accepts, even if by his silence, our enemies’ lies about us.

    he is as consistent as the reincarnation of stalin would be. he just doesnt have the power to act like stalin.

  4. huxley Says:

    neo: By all means keep pursuing this topic.

    I applaud the Hondurans who are fighting against the imposition of Zelaya.

    I note that if the Hondurans can fight off Zelaya, I believe that Americans will be more than adequate to the task, should it be necessary, in our own country.

  5. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Artfl – great link. That does sum it up.

  6. Perfected democrat Says:

    “I happen to be in favor of not only democracy, but constitutional checks on the possible tyranny of the majority in a democracy.”

    “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” It’s the inviolable “republic”, not “democracy” per se, which is sacred and to be defended. Dems and their bedfellows are simply too shallow, as well as too obstinate to care, to understand this nuance. Honduras today is one of the most profoundly important issues and focal points, because it’s a reflective microcosm of all that is at stake internationally. The Dems are demonstrating their serious cultural “character problem” by brazenly misrepresenting the real issues here. This is one of your most important posts ever, Neo.

  7. gcotharn Says:

    Yesterday, I rounded up data and blogged this: Evidence Mel Zelaya Wanted to Overthrow Honduras Democratic Republic.

    I didn’t think about your excellent point that one must know history in order to fully understand what is happening, and your point is excellent.

    I think Barack must be a fool to be such a knave. If he understood history, if he understood human nature, he would not be deceitfully instituting such harmful policies. He has to be a fool to embrace the leftist version of history, events, and causation which he accepts as truth.

    Samuel Clemens: It’s ain’t what he don’t know, but what he does know that ain’t so.

  8. Baklava Says:

    Obama would be wise to ignore the country/issue.

    Therefore he is a fool.

    I thought he knew foreign policy so much better than Sarah Palin… Nyom the wife beater?

  9. Tim P Says:

    Neo,

    While I do not put much faith in Obama’s character, I do have to wonder how much his decisions are being shaped by threats from Venezuela to cut-back or entirely stop oil exports to our country. Venezuela being the fourth largest exporter of oil to the US. Not that it is any excuse.

    Additionally, it’s not just Obama, but congressional democrats who have in colluded indirectly with Chavez in the past through FARC.

    The congressional democrats stalled the US-Columbia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until after the 2008 election due to the fact that US organized crime labor was strongly oppossed to it. Which just goes to show how utterly shallow, corrupt and short-sighted the democrats really are. They are willing to wink at dictators and spreading tyranny for short term partisan political advantage. The attitude of Obama and the democrats towards the freedom of others abroad reflects, I’m sorry to say, their real attitude towards freedom for us at home.

    Neo, good work, as Huxley says please help keep attention on this issue.

  10. Gringo Says:

    From the article that Neo linked to by Miguel Estrada, a native of Honduras and an example of an Hispanic judge the Democrats do NOT want to serve on the bench:

    What you’ll learn is that the Honduran Constitution may be amended in any way except three. No amendment can ever change (1) the country’s borders, (2) the rules that limit a president to a single four-year term and (3) the requirement that presidential administrations must “succeed one another” in a “republican form of government.”

    One point of interest is that the Castros, Chavistas and PSF claim that Zelaya had the right to attempt to change these irrevocable parts of the Honduran Constitution.

    I wonder if theCastros and friends are also of the opinion that the irrevocable parts of the Cuban Constitution may also be changed.

    Socialism, as well as the revolutionary political and social system established by this Constitution, has been forged during years of heroic resistance to the aggression of every kind and economic war waged by the governments of the most powerful imperialist state that has ever existed; it has demonstrated its ability to transform the nation and create an entirely new and just society, and is irrevocable: Cuba will never revert to capitalism.

    Just wondering.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-estrada10-2009jul10,0,4262300.story Miguel Estrada’s article: Neo’s link.
    http://www.walterlippmann.com/cubanconstitution.html

  11. Baklava Says:

    That was gold Gringo

  12. GeoPal Says:

    Obama, the neo-neophyte might be excused as a tyro (I’m more inclined to believe he’s a malevolent ideologue) but that the rest of the West falls lock step into the camp of the tyrants doesn’t bode well for the continuation of freedom – anywhere. Were all of this a manifestation of a stringent appeal to the legalities of the situation, that too could be understood. Except that these very same leaders have little or no use for the legalities when it comes to Geert Wilders and other like him and their respective parties. The knee-jerk support for Zelaya probably has more to do with a “there but for the apathy of the people go I”. My only complaint about the entire Zelaya affair is that the crytpo-tyrant was dumped onto Costa Rica. I’ve heard nice things about Costa Rica.

  13. Thomass Says:

    Tim P Says:

    “entirely stop oil exports to our country. Venezuela being the fourth largest exporter of oil to the US. Not that it is any excuse.”

    Then that again would point to fool. 🙂 Venezuela would go belly up in no time if they cut exports (even to just the US). They depend on the income. While oil is part of a global market and we could buy it from other sources (take some now going to other places by offering a bit more). Prices would rise but more in relation to Venezuela’s percentage of world output than its output / sales percentage to the US.

  14. Thomass Says:

    typo / point got left unfinished: if they cut to just the US it would have little to no effect on anyone.

  15. Gringo Says:

    href=”http://www.penultimosdias.com/2009/07/04/insulza-y-la-cita-del-dia”>Fidel Castro.

    One of the greatest sources of the legitimacy of the Cuban system is named Fidel Castro. And I say this with much respect and almost admiration for his character. …Our experience is that Fidel Castro is a person who has occupied half a century of life in the hemishpere, for good or for bad, like him or not, and that personality has ended up by imposing himself as legitimate within the hemisphere or within Latin America, a regime such as we have today. And it is strange, recognizing it amongst ourselves, myself, that we speak of democracy in Latin America but we don’t have today regimes that substantially question the Cuban regime, which is a sign that legitimacy exists. When that source of legitimacy is no longer there, I believe that the regime has to change….…..The Cuban system can evolve in the manner that Cubans want and second that we do not intend to impose solutions nor create conflict or unrest within Cuba.”

    (1) Note Insulza implied that Fidel made the Cuban regime legitimate, and that when Fidel was no longer on the scene, the regime was no longer legitimate.

    By contrast here are Insulza and the OAS on Honduras.

    “Members of the Organization of American States gave the interim government in Honduras 72 hours to reinstate democracy or face possible suspension in a resolution approved on Wednesday.”(2)

    Time and patience for a totalitarian regime that has lasted a half century, but ASAP for a government in which the legislature and the Supreme Court decided that the President had violated the Constitution and had to be removed.

    (1)My translation of text on link; I italicized part I first transcribed into Spanish.

    El systema Cubano puede evolucionar in la medida que los Cubanos quieren y segundo que no intentemos Imponer soluciones o crear una agitación o un proceso conflictivo dentro de Cuba.

    (2) http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN014833620090701

  16. dane Says:

    This may be one of the most important things going on in the world right now. Al Gore in London recently has gotten so bold as to mention a “world governance”. When aiming for that it is much easier to make deals with a dictator than a democratic people.

    Over twenty years ago my brother was going through air force pilot training in Oklahoma and there were some guys in his class from either Honduras or El Salvador. They were there over a national election and these guys were surprised (appalled?) at the less than 50% voter turnout. They told how in their country people would walk miles and risk beatings and possible death for an opportunity to cast a vote which probably was meaningless.

    The average American today
    “My iPhone is working my iPod is working – so don’t bother me just go do whatever you want.”

  17. Gringo Says:

    Repost, as I cut a sentence. Neo, please eliminate previous post.

    It is also interesting that OAS President Insulza has this to say about Fidel Castro.

    One of the greatest sources of the legitimacy of the Cuban system is named Fidel Castro. And I say this with much respect and almost admiration for his character. …Our experience is that Fidel Castro is a person who has occupied half a century of life in the hemishpere, for good or for bad, like him or not, and that personality has ended up by imposing himself as legitimate within the hemisphere or within Latin America, a regime such as we have today. And it is strange, recognizing it amongst ourselves, myself, that we speak of democracy in Latin America but we don’t have today regimes that substantially question the Cuban regime, which is a sign that legitimacy exists. When that source of legitimacy is no longer there, I believe that the regime has to change….…..The Cuban system can evolve in the manner that Cubans want and second that we do not intend to impose solutions nor create conflict or unrest within Cuba.”

    (1) Note Insulza implied that Fidel made the Cuban regime legitimate, and that when Fidel was no longer on the scene, the regime was no longer legitimate.

    By contrast here are Insulza and the OAS on Honduras.

    “Members of the Organization of American States gave the interim government in Honduras 72 hours to reinstate democracy or face possible suspension in a resolution approved on Wednesday.”(2)

    Time and patience for a totalitarian regime that has lasted a half century, but ASAP for a government in which the legislature and the Supreme Court decided that the President had violated the Constitution and had to be removed.

    (1)My translation of text on link; I italicized part I first transcribed into Spanish.

    El systema Cubano puede evolucionar in la medida que los Cubanos quieren y segundo que no intentemos Imponer soluciones o crear una agitación o un proceso conflictivo dentro de Cuba.

    (2) http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN014833620090701

  18. Tim P Says:

    Thomass,
    You have a good point. I wonder though, which would suffer the greater short term impact, them or us? But either way, I don’t think our politicians have the courage.

  19. dane Says:

    Per my statement above about the average American I will paraphrase Karl Marx

    “technology is the opiate of the people”

  20. Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Honduras: Curfew lifted Says:

    […] Why Honduras matters: Honduras is facing something that has happened before, in many times and many places. But to recognize what’s been occurring there and what it signifies, one must know something about history, most particularly about how such power grabs occur. Then the patterns become clear. […]

  21. Nolanimrod Says:

    I very strongly agree that the missing tarts are somewhere about the president’s person.

  22. Artfldgr Says:

    Nolanimrod,
    i can definitely say he didnt lose any tarts shaking hands with diplomats in russia.

    Video: Obama-Russian handshake snub
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1C_NWMRs8Q

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    Shorter Insulza: a tyrant becomes legitimate given enough time.

  24. nyomythus Says:

    Artfldgr — interesting video, wow.

  25. Perfected democrat Says:

    And with Obama, as with others thru history, familiarity (truly) breeds contempt…. the thing is it really isn’t Obama alone, it’s the entire leadership of the Democrat Party, enabled by their obstinately shallow grass roots peanut gallery, become a culture exuding the most sinister kind of character defect; Think Mao and Stalin and their various state planning adventures, where in the end, millions died of starvation, and that was only the half of it… Global warming? Wait till the temperature drops, and the poor, especially the elderly, can’t afford their utility bills…

  26. JohnC Says:

    Honduras has a long history of having a political veneer where democratic processes and institutions were pretty much in name only. The result has been a tragedy of serial military rule, namely presidential strongmen from the military. It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work for Hondurans to overcome that history and create (finally) a legitimate republican democracy that works. Obama’s disgraceful support of Zelaya’s of Chavez – Hitler type manipulations not only illustrates an ignorance of history and a lack of respect for Honduras’ particular political struggle, it is an unambiguous statement of disrespect for each and every decent Honduran; an intelligent people who want only to be free from their past and to join the family of mature democratic countries. In this way Obama’s behavior illustrates a profound deficit – a lack of respect for the personal integrity rights of others. I don’t know about Neo’s questions. Is he a fool? It should look that way to everyone. Is he a knave? That certainly fits with his recent behavior. Sociopathic comes to my mind.

  27. MikeLL Says:

    OMG. Art, that video is crazy. Obama must have been PISSED!

    LOL. Serves him right.

  28. MikeLL Says:

    Neo, you are a nefarious neocon. I am ashamed of you.

    LOL

  29. MikeLL Says:

    Art,

    Ok, I have watched the video over and over. I’m pretty sure now that he was introducing people and was not snubbed for a handshake.

    Funny dang video, though. Had me going!

  30. huxley Says:

    JohnC — Thanks for the run-down on Honduras. From my leftist days I knew Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, but not much about Honduras.

    There’s a great photo of a grinning Honduran protester with a hand-lettered sign in Spanish that reads “Honduras is an example for the world. We don’t have oil or dollars, but we have BALLS.”

    Yes, they are, and yes, they do. It’s a remarkable struggle. God bless ’em.

  31. huxley Says:

    Gringo — Thanks for your posts too. I really appreciate hearing the nitty-gritty from someone who knows the nitty and the gritty, and takes the care to communicate both.

  32. Vieux Charles Says:

    I also believe the Honduran situation is much bigger than reported. Not only is it very telling of our own President who declared the Honduran inactment of the provisions in their own Constitution “illegal”, but it also highlights the vulnerability of this flegling democracy at a time when our CIA is now unable to help them.

  33. Gringo Says:

    Baklava and Huxley, thank you for your kind comments, though any feedback, even negative, is appreciated.

    The Devil’s Excrement, an excellent English language Venezuelan oppo blog, has some excellent recent postings on double standards in Honduras and Venezuela.

    The issue of double standards has never existed for Thugo and his minions, because they have always framed the issue in terms of power, not ethics. What they can get away with and what they can prevent others from doing. Or as Lenin said, “Who—whom?” Thugo’s response to being called on double standards is, “So what? What are you going to do about it ? As for myself, I will denounce you to the heavens.” For people like Insulza, who perhaps still has some semblance of ethics when called on the issue, calling them on double standards may actually shame them. Thugo has no shame.

    In addition to Devil’s Excrement, the following English language Venezuelan oppo blogs have been giving extensive coverage to Honduras. After all, their own Thugo has his fingerprints all over Honduras. The ballots for the “referendum” that never occurred were printed in Venezuela. It wasn’t just the Venezuelan plane that tried to return Zelaya to Honduras. I of course recommend all three blogs for information on Thugoslavia, formerly known as Venezuela.

    http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/
    http://www.caracaschronicles.com/

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    MikeLL,
    I dont see that… what am i missing? if anything?

    he was snubbed… if you look at the G8 meeting with bush, bush knew enouhg not to even profer a hand to an avowed enemy (and they knew enough not to offer one).

    if there is something i am missing let me know…

    [like the look at the girls but-t. he didnt do it. if you saw a moving picture of the same scene, he had his head down as he turned to profer his hand behind him. so i am perfectly willing to accept that what i see isnt necessarily what i see, but an explanation would help]

  35. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama is Russia’s New Useful Idiot
    http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/obama_is_russias_new_useful_id.html

    the fact that he was snubbed (i still see snubbed) tells you that he is not in the same boat as chavez, castro, etc… he wants to be, but isnt..

    they have promised since day one that they will NEVER compromise on an end. so obama is completely out of his depth here, because all that he has learned is what people imagine from a white tower, not what really works.

    its kind of like a politician educated by advice columns.. and so he is acting as if some advice columnist told him how to handle bullies.

    well, he got walked all over on.

    people think that russia is not well armed. to quote a general on the issue of weapons in Georgia. The easiest way to get rid of old equipment is to use it.

    Obama wanted to ahve START II… (or whatever number), but russia is in violation of START I.

    The RS-24 is a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, which is equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead. The RS-24 ICBM, which will replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to greatly strengthen the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) strike capability, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century. The RS-24 missile will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms and together with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM will constitute the core of Russia’s SMF in the future.

    they havent even gotten rid of teh warheads they were supposed to when i was a kid!! (it is thought that they are stockpiling in yamentau or other similar places).

    in case no one has noticed, we have all been at a quie war… not a cold war, but a silent war of other means. from china shipping aldulterated products, new chinese sub bases… new russian missiles. cyber warfare from russa, china, and korea. runs of nuclear backfire bombers testing defenses. our president unilaterally reducing our ability to act. his defense of chavez, and siding with despots for honduras.

    [edited for length by neo-neocon]

  36. Artfldgr Says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2009/07/06/GA2009070602161.html

    picture 37 is the snubb from another angle in a still shot from below.

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    President Obama introduces President Medvedev, second from the right, to members of the U.S. delegation. Obama told Medvedev during their meetings that Russia needs to establish independent courts, a free press and fight political corruption.

    left this out..

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    thanks mike!

  39. kcom Says:

    I agree, Neo. Don’t let this one go. I’m cautiously optimistic that things will work out more to our liking than not but it’s hardly guaranteed. Still, it’s important that a model for nipping a Chavez-style dictatorship in the bud is available. Because once you start down the Chavez path it’s all downhill after that.

  40. Artfldgr Says:

    holdren isnt the only one..

    The administration’s “Green Jobs” czar, Van Jones, has a “very checkered past” deep-rooted in radical politics, including black nationalism, anarchism, and communism. The broadcast network newscasts have mostly failed to report on Mr. Jones’s past political affiliations which are lock-step with the network’s downplay of coverage regarding President Obama’s associations with the former radical and terrorist William Ayers during the election.

    an african nazi is a czar…

  41. Wandriaan Says:

    The situation becomes more worrisome by the day. Yesterday I listened to a broadcast of Dennis Prager who actually went to Honduras to support the people who fight against their descending into a Chavezlike dictatorship. His report was as clear as day to me. It is frightening that the OAS repelled Honduras from membership while at the same time
    welcoming totalitarian Cuba. And all this is supported by the US, by Clinton, by Obama, by the media…Just a few weeks Obama said and did nothing against the cruel repression in Iran. It’s becoming more and more a bizarro-world. And notice the bizarre dictatorlike way Obama spoke to the ‘naysayers’ against healthcare-reform after he came back from his week abroad. It really was Mussolini-like. I can tell you that when a ministerpresident in my country (Holland) spoke like that ONE TIME, all hell would brake lose…
    What has come over you America…

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    Yes, but holland remembers despotism, america had never really seen it at all in its whole history except a long distance (and experience doesnt count for anything, cant have equality if experience counts (or merit for that matter))

  43. Consul-At-Arms Says:

    I’ve quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms2.blogspot.com/2009/08/re-why-honduras-matters.html

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