Coups, interference, and the shifting standards of Obama; Update: Coup or ‘military impeachment’?

posted at 11:28 am on June 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It’s difficult to make sense out of the foreign policy coming out of the White House under Barack Obama.  On the one hand, Obama insisted that he could not interfere with the internal politics of the “sovereign government of Iran,” refusing for days to even condemn Iran for its flagrantly violent repression of dissent.  When Honduras’ military staged a coup, though, Obama apparently had no such reticence in involving the US on behalf of deposed President Manuel Zelaya — a close ally of Hugo Chavez:

In an unusual concurrence of views, the Obama administration and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said they still recognized Mr. Zelaya as Honduras’ president. The State Department called the events an “attempted coup” and urged Mr. Zelaya’s “return and restoration of democratic order.”

U.S. officials said they were engaged in multinational efforts to resolve the crisis, through the Organization of American States and European allies. At the same time, Washington wants a resolution “free from external influence and interference,” a senior official told reporters during a conference call organized by the State Department.

The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named, said the U.S. Embassy in Honduras was “consistently and almost constantly engaged in the last several weeks working with partners” and that U.S. officials were “in contact with all Honduran institutions, including the military.” However, the military stopped taking the embassy’s calls since the coup attempt, the official said.

The Wall Street Journal also reports Obama’s eagerness to “interfere”:

The Obama administration and members of the Organization of American States had worked for weeks to try to avert any moves to overthrow President Zelaya, said senior U.S. officials. Washington’s ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, sought to facilitate a dialogue between the president’s office, the Honduran parliament and the military.

The efforts accelerated over the weekend, as Washington grew increasingly alarmed. “The players decided, in the end, not to listen to our message,” said one U.S. official involved in the diplomacy. On Sunday, the U.S. embassy here tried repeatedly to contact the Honduran military directly, but was rebuffed. Washington called the removal of President Zelaya a coup and said it wouldn’t recognize any other leader.

The U.S. stand was unpopular with Honduran deputies. One congressman, Toribio Aguilera, got prolonged applause from his colleagues when he urged the U.S. ambassador to reconsider. Mr. Aguilera said the U.S. didn’t understand the danger that Mr. Zelaya and his friendships with Mr. Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro posed.

Zelaya was violating his country’s constitution with his referendum that would have, Chavez-style, repealed term limits on the presidency.  The Honduras Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal, and the military refused to distribute the ballots.  Instead of backing down, Zelaya fired the head of the military, which precipitated the ouster.

Clearly, democracies cannot abide armed overthrow of elected governments, but that presumes that the government acts within the rule of law.  Zelaya had no intention of doing so, and his flagrant violations and attempt to accrue personal power made that crystal clear. Zelaya had begun seizing dictatorial powers, and the military responded by arresting him.  The military then handed power back to the legislature rather than keeping it for themselves, which makes this less of a coup and more of a military impeachment.

Why did Obama decide to intervene on behalf of a “president” obviously abusing his power and to prevent the military from removing him once he started acting like a dictator?  He didn’t put nearly that much effort into assisting Iranians who have gone into the streets and died to protest the mullahcracy that oppresses them.  Rick Moran thinks that’s a pretty good question as well:

Further, the military was acting under the orders of the Honduran Supreme Court although they apparently exceeded their authority by whisking him away to Venezuela. And finally, it was Zelaya’s actions in violating the constitution, ignoring a ruling by the Supreme Court that any referendum be put on would be illegal, and the universal belief in Congress, the military, and much of the populace that eventually, he would little more than a stand in for Chavez if he was allowed to carry out his illegal referendum that sealed Zelaya’s fate.

And yet our president, acting contrary to American interests, chose the route of least resistance and condemned what many Hondurans believe was a restoration of constitutional order. The president will find himself in familiar territory with this condemnation – Castro, Ortega, and other Latin American leftist thugs also condemned the coup. Maybe someone could look it up but when was the last time we were on the same side with Cuba on any international issue?

Way to go Barry. Like, we should listen to the Castros when they complain about democratic procedure not being followed? …

In fact, after swearing off “interferring” in Iran where demonstrators were getting shot, beaten, and axed to death, our clueless Chief Hypocrite worked frantically behind the scenes to save Honduran President Zelaya’s job, thus [interfering] on the wrong side while making himself out a liar on Iran.

We’re getting a close look at Obama’s priorities, and they’re hideously out of step with democracy and the rule of law.

Update: The controversy now is whether this is a coup or a lawful action on behalf of the Honduras legislature and courts.  Fausta has gone on record saying it’s not a coup, as the military responded to a request from the legislature and courts to remove Zelaya.  I tend to agree with Larisa Alexandrovna on this point, though:

As noted here (in Spanish), the Honduran Congress cited repeated violations of the Honduran Constitution by President Manuel Zelaya and voted for his removal. That said, as I noted earlier, he is both a bad guy and a good guy. This is a complex political environment in a very unstable part of the world.

The right sees this as a simple restoration of democracy. Yet the use of military personnel to detain, arrest, and transport a sitting president to another country against his will is not part of any democratic process that I am aware of. They do have courts in Honduras and a legal system. This is a coup, despite the passions of the right-wing. They also have law enforcement. Anytime the military becomes involved, it is not as simple as impeachment by Congressional edict through military force. Shorter=coup.

Had the military arrested and detained Zelaya in advance of an impeachment action and/or criminal prosecution, then I could go with the not-a-coup argument.  Dumping him outside of the country is not exactly a due-process removal — and I think that falls into the yes-it’s-a-coup territory.  Perhaps necessary, perhaps very supportable, but it’s obviously an extralegal removal, which is the very definition of a coup.


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Jeeze, sorry for the multi-posts. HotAir was hanging…

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Sorry for the double post…

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Only 2? I win!!!

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Please try and stop abusing the term, “Democracy” as that is what allows treasonous morons, like The Precedent, to make idiotic comments such as this. You are enabling the Traitor-in-Chief by using loose, and incorrect, language in describing governing structures – whether it is inadvertent on your part, or not.

The US is not about Democracy and never has been. Our federal government was only built with democratic processes being used to fill 1/2 of 1/3 of it (the House of Representatives).

Please try and get this straight. I’m sure your readers would appreciate it.

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 5:23 PM

+100

Not that I advocate everyone reading The Republic… but I’m pretty sure that most college educated people have… including Obama. To embrace democracy is to forget History of Western Civ.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

The whole media treatment of this thing has me weirded out. Even FoxNews is calling it a coup.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2009 at 2:45 PM

It’s surreal.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Jeeze, sorry for the multi-posts. HotAir was hanging…

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:24 PM

MegMac signed on…

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:27 PM

It’s surreal.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

When the Freak show (MJ) is in town, Fox has to get Jerry out there… Heck, all of them (except Beck), have been having little sleepovers on their shows.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:29 PM

To embrace democracy is to forget History of Western Civ.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Or not… depends on which side is doing the embracing.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Update: Coup or ‘military impeachment’?

Considering that the military was under orders of the Supreme Court with the backing of the legislature and Zelaya’s own party, I would just call it a coup. The military was just an instrument.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:30 PM

I would just call it a coup impeachment.

(blush)

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Speaking after a meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Mr Obama said Mr Zelaya remained the democratically-elected leader of Honduras.

And he said a “terrible precedent” would be set if the coup were not reversed.

Barry’s been reading HA?

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:32 PM

The whole media treatment of this thing has me weirded out. Even FoxNews is calling it a coup.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Has Fox News done any original reporting on this yet? The articles on their web sites, (that I’ve seen), have all been Associated Press.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Coup vs. not a coup: I don’t know what the legal mechanism is in Honduras to remove their president and appoint a successor. But I do know that both the Honduran Supreme Court and the National legislature stated that the president was violating the constitution and should be removed from office. So, maybe this is a like a civil war within the Honduran government.

What I am most disturbed by is the bias reporting I’ve been reading that spikes, buries or obfuscates the actions of all involved that resulted in this action. By declaring this a coup and failing to report on the president’s illegal acts, and the judiciary and legislative response, is very misleading. How obaMSM.

And the inconsistency Obama shows toward Iran and Honduras is even more disturbing.

Loxodonta on June 29, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Maybe we should have a constitutional amendment that says that if the court determines that the president has violated the constitution, he’s out. No debate, no impeachment, just boot the sucker.

Daggett on June 29, 2009 at 5:34 PM

To embrace democracy is to forget History of Western Civ.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

And, for many on the left, to actively try to kill Western Civilization!

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

US President Barack Obama has described the removal of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya as illegal.

If Barry says so…

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Yeah, Obama is such a strict “rule of law” guy. Like when he violated the constitution on seizing property without due process. And like when he broke bankruptcy law. And there’s plenty I’m sure we haven’t even heard about yet (see: ACORN and contributor lists).

Daggett on June 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Be happy that that post didn’t go in 4 times :)

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 5:38 PM

And, for many on the left, to actively try to kill Western Civilization!

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Yeah… I caught myself later. They are the party of Jackson, though, right?

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Progress and I were casually talking last night. I really want to see what the reaction is from the Progressive Republicans like McCain and Graham. I also want to see what say Darth Cheney (and daughter) have to say. I would also go for Palin, but honestly I don’t know if she’s ready to comment on this…

Oh, and Gingrich too.

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Military coups are and democracy don’t usually go together, but there’s little doubt this Zelaya guy was looking to overturn democracy. Imagine if George W. Bush tried the same thing in 2008!

Jim-Rose on June 29, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Military coups are and democracy don’t usually go together, but there’s little doubt this Zelaya guy was looking to overturn democracy. Imagine if George W. Bush tried the same thing in 2008!

Jim-Rose on June 29, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Well maybe eventually he was going to overturn democracy… Initially he was going to milk it for what it was worth (and probably stuff ballots).

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:43 PM

How could Obama possibly fail to support someone who was violating their country’s constitution in order to stay in power? Think about it . . .

califcon on June 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Spengler’s latest:

Obama’s foreign policy creating power vacuum

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KF30Ak02.html

blue13326 on June 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Be happy that that post didn’t go in 4 times :)

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 5:38 PM

LOL! If it had, with my luck the Internet would have crashed and I wouldn’t have been able to correct it for hours.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

We’re getting a close look at Obama’s priorities, and they’re hideously out of in step with democracy and the rule of law his Marxist worldview.

peski on June 29, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I especially hope Liz Cheney comments on this and covers a lot of the ground we’ve discussed here these past couple days.

FloatingRock on June 29, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Upstater85 on June 29, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Bozo and his marxist pals are quaking in their jackboots over this and the situation in Iran. Apparently, Ed you missed the elephant in the room. If the Honduran supreme court and the legislature ordered the military to perform this thankless service, they had a REASON.

The Honduran parliament unanimously elected a temporary replacement.

It most definitely is NOT a coup. A democratically elected government legally removed a corrupt marxist puppet and Bozo’s pals are all in a snit.

dogsoldier on June 29, 2009 at 5:51 PM

This Zelaya business is psychological projection for Obama. He was raised on stories of how Fidel almost lost it all in the Bay of Pigs, how Che met his end, how Chile’s Allende had the country stolen from him, how Ortega lost in nicaragua, the Grenada invasion, and now Honduras, and the loss of the legislature in Argentina today.

These are all traumatic events for Obama. He is probably truly concerned, and maybe fearful. It’s no wonder he spoke quickly and forcefully.

JiangxiDad on June 29, 2009 at 5:52 PM

We’re getting a close look at Obama’s priorities, and they’re hideously out of step with democracy and the rule of law.

Voters were warned, and it seems as if they still don’t care. guess Rev Wright was correct when he screamed “Chickens coming home to roost”

Wade on June 29, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Tactically, a coup d’état involves control, by an active, minority of military usurpers, who block the remaining (non-participant) military’s possible defence of the attacked government, by either capturing or expelling the politico-military leaders, and seizing physical control of the country’s key government offices, communications media, and infrastructure. (from Wiki)

Not a coup IMO. Zelaya’s removal was supported by their Supreme Court, their Congress, heck his own party, the people of Honduras and then the military. And, the military after his removal did not block them from swearing in a new president following their Constitutions directions, or put one of their own in charge.

Obama and Hillary are in the wrong. Fox would do justice to the people of Honduras by investigating and reporting this story on their own. I can’t believe we have turned our backs on the people of Iran and the people of Honduras in the span of 2 weeks. It sickens me.

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 29, 2009 at 5:54 PM

“Coup or Military Impeachment”

Machismo at its finest.

No wonder Hillary wasted no time repudiating the downfall of the corrupt authoritarian president who was making himself a dictator for life.

maverick muse on June 29, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Weird. I spent the weekend studying Costa Rica. No army. FOR HOW LONG now that Zeleja was sent there? Bad news.

maverick muse on June 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM

I thought the “forced exile” by the military was the only thing that made this look fishy, but then I heard about the letter of resignation. Looks to me that Zalaya either volunteered, or was volunteered, to resign, in order to not be arrested, instead to be taken to a neutral country. (“They made him an offer he could not refuse”) After arriving in Costa Rica, Zalaya starts saying “Leter…what letter?”

Whats with the Clinton calling it a coup, Obama saying it was not legal, the Clinton saying “we’re not calling it a coup.”

Like I said in the other thread, CNN “en Español” (in Spanish) changed its headline from “Golpe en Honduras” (Coup in Honduras) to “Succesion Forzada” (Forced Succession). CNN US is still calling it a military coup.

AverageJoe on June 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM

No inconsistency from BHO – he’s in favor of leftist / fascist dictators.

Here’s the solution for Honduras: Let Zelaya know there’s an outstanding “no bail” arrest warrant awaiting him if he tries to enter Honduras before the next election in Jan. 2010, but that he’s more than welcome to come back before then to stand trial.

ex Dem from Miami on June 29, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Let’s look at the scorecard thus far:

Iranian Islamists engineer election fraud and beat and shoot their citizens and PBObama has trouble condemning them.

Leftist leader stomps on his countries constitution in order to accumulate more power, and PBObama supports him.

Islamists/Leftists 2, Supporters of Democracy 0.

Mallard T. Drake on June 29, 2009 at 6:02 PM

So let me get this straight:

Zelaya tries to force a vote on a referendum to add 4 years to his constitutionally mandated 4 year term, which is set to expire.

The Supreme court in Honduras says, talk to the hand. You can’t do that, it’s against the constitution.

Zelaya says, FU, I am doing it anyway and tries to break into a place holding these ballots and distribute them himself – trying to force the vote.

The Military, at the behest of Supreme court, tries to arrest Zelaya for trying to usurp the constitution. He flees to Costa Rica and whines to Barry.

Second in command takes charge, says this years elections will still be held as planned; he will not try to stay in office beyond Zelaya’s original term.

Honduran congress applauds.

Obama says it’s a coup and illegal.

Pesky constitutions. Pesky Supreme Courts.

That about it?

And yet, Obambi and Hillarrious are on the wrong side, yet again?

Thunderstorm129 on June 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM

And yet, Obambi and Hillarrious are on the wrong side, yet again?

Thunderstorm129 on June 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM

They’re trying to set up precedents for when they do it themselves. The worst is yet to come with the fascist fraud at 1600.

califcon on June 29, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Hmmmmm….

So… their President was not following their Constitution, so the Army followed their oaths to defend their Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic…

Yep, thats the LAST thing Obama wants to see.

Romeo13 on June 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Also, note that Obama has yet to say anything to Chavez who is threatening the new Honduran Pres. with military action to restore his toy ex-pres. All the leftist tyrant presidents are meeting now in Nicaragua to decide how to do it (poor Obama did not get an invitation.)

AverageJoe on June 29, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Perhaps necessary, perhaps very supportable, but it’s obviously an extralegal removal, which is the very definition of a coup.

Thing is, ed, it isn’t extralegal. Can you have a court ordered coup? Yes. A coup is not necessarily a bad thing, and this one appears to have taken place with full respect given to the Honduran constitution.

Yet the use of military personnel to detain, arrest, and transport a sitting president to another country against his will is not part of any democratic process that I am aware of.

See Honduras, Larisa.

They do have courts in Honduras and a legal system.

Yes, and they just used them.

Pablo on June 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Not to be crazy but when I heard about this “leadership change” I kind of wished that our SCOTUS and military would take a page from the Hondurians…

unrealcitizen on June 29, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Q: what will be the process in 2012 / 16 when Barry refuses to relinquish power…

would the Congress and SCOTUS just allow Barry to run for a third term, would they trust DOJ and the FBI carry out the orders, or would they find a General who is sworn to uphold the Constitution to utilize the overwhelming firepower under his command to remove the president from the White House

phreshone on June 29, 2009 at 6:33 PM

I’ll wager that the military takes some kind of oath to the country and not the President. For it to act otherwise would therefore have been a violation of their oath, which they are probably required to take. If they’re required to take an oath, but forbidden to act on that oath, wouldn’t that make their oath meaningless?

JohnJ on June 29, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Rush say’s Obama’s acting like an African colonial. I guess it depends where we meddle. He sure does like to meddle in the affairs of what other businesses want to do.

V15J on June 29, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Pablo on June 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

I agree with the point you’re making, but a legal arrest is not an overthrow by force, as in the definition of a coup. If our own Supreme Court found their guts and their brains, heard a case on The Precedent’s eligibility and ruled him Consitutionally ineligible to serve as President (which is the truth, as our Founders would have rather died than have dual citizens eligible to run our Executive branch), thereby warranting his arrest by force, that would not be a coup, but the reversal of a coup.

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 6:51 PM

You think the Obama administration just makes it up day by day.

So now meddling in tinpot dictators countries is OK, but in the name of the cause of freedom it’s verboten.

I wonder, has Obama ever publicly spoke the word freedom. Don’t anyone find that odd for an allegedly American president?

tarpon on June 29, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I’ll wager that the military takes some kind of oath to the country and not the President. For it to act otherwise would therefore have been a violation of their oath, which they are probably required to take. If they’re required to take an oath, but forbidden to act on that oath, wouldn’t that make their oath meaningless?

JohnJ on June 29, 2009 at 6:34 PM

From what I read about their constitution, it looks like they set it up to improve on the limits of government the US constitution has. I’m guessing they take an oath to the constitution.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Not to be crazy but when I heard about this “leadership change” I kind of wished that our SCOTUS and military would take a page from the Hondurians…

unrealcitizen on June 29, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Visions of sugarplums danced through their heads . . . Yup!

califcon on June 29, 2009 at 6:56 PM

I thought the “forced exile” by the military was the only thing that made this look fishy, but then I heard about the letter of resignation. Looks to me that Zalaya either volunteered, or was volunteered, to resign, in order to not be arrested, instead to be taken to a neutral country. (”They made him an offer he could not refuse”) After arriving in Costa Rica, Zalaya starts saying “Leter…what letter?”

Whats with the Clinton calling it a coup, Obama saying it was not legal, the Clinton saying “we’re not calling it a coup.”

Like I said in the other thread, CNN “en Español” (in Spanish) changed its headline from “Golpe en Honduras” (Coup in Honduras) to “Succesion Forzada” (Forced Succession). CNN US is still calling it a military coup.

AverageJoe on June 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM

I think you are on to something there. If Zalaya wrote a resignation in exchange for an unofficial exile rather than impeachment, that would explain a lot.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM

The Hammer tonight on Fox says President Light Bulb is a moron. He said it much better than that, but in short, Charles said this is a dangerous game we are now playing. His take, Chavez has said he might invade Honduras, and Charles says he can if he wishes. Supporting dictators is now an official trend.

Do yal know Zelaya is going to be at the U.N. tomorrow?

+1,000 on the Western Civ and Republic take!

freeus on June 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

He didn’t put nearly that much effort into assisting Iranians who have gone into the streets and died to protest the mullahcracy that oppresses them.

It was the Iranian’s bad luck to protest on the weekend Obama set aside to showcase that he was the father of the year by ice cream trips, prayer breakfast for “good fathers,” an article in Parade magazine and (of course) golfing with Joe Biden at Fort Belvior. If the Iranians had wanted the “O time” the Honduran’s got they should have called ahead and been a little more accomodating with their schedule.

highhopes on June 29, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I watch these TV programs about people buying vacation homes in Central America and just laugh.

PattyJ on June 29, 2009 at 7:10 PM

The Honduran impeachment technique. Like many other posters here, I think B.O.’s thinking uh oh. Viva la military

aceinstall on June 29, 2009 at 7:14 PM

And what did Lincoln do to preserve the union?

Hint: it wasn’t paddycakes.

Sapwolf on June 29, 2009 at 7:31 PM

They had to move quickly. They couldnt allow Zelaya to move ahead with this. Remember, in that part of the world influence comes in many forms and they had to squash this before some outside help would allow Zelaya to illegally proceed.

jspsax1 on June 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

They should have just court marshaled & put him to the wall. Iran style. Obama agrees with it, no?

Aristotle on June 29, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Three days ago, this little item appeared out of Honduras.

To include this little gem:

Zelaya lashed out at Congress early Friday for considering his ouster.

“Congress cannot investigate me, much less remove me or stage a technical coup against me because I am honest, I’m a free president and nobody scares me,” Zelaya said in his two-hour speech, at one point bursting — Chavez-like — into song.

“But we have to forgive them. Glory to God! We have to forgive, and I know who to forgive because the people are my support and my best ally in this political process,” he said.

He referred to Congressional President Roberto Micheletti — a member of his own party — as “a pathetic, second-class congressman who got that job because of me.”

And this:

“Government supporters began distributing ballots at 15,000 voting stations across the country, defying a Supreme Court ruling declaring Sunday’s referendum illegal and ordering all election material confiscated. President Manuel Zelaya had led thousands of supporters to recover the material from an air force warehouse before it could be confiscated.

Under Honduran law, soldiers are normally responsible for distributing ballots ahead of elections, but the military leadership has opposed the vote. Zelaya has fired the military chief for refusing to support the referendum and vows to ignore a Supreme Court ruling ordering him reinstated.”

Of course, the MSM and the White House and the wonks at Foggy Bottom, are ignoring all of this…acting as if Zelaya just woke up one morning and suddenly the military just decided to take over the country for no reason at all.

And:

“Zelaya, whose four-year term ends in January, has seen his approval ratings fall over the past year as the country grapples with soaring food prices and a spike in drug violence that has saddled Honduras with one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America.

“His campaign for changing the constitution has energized his support base of labor groups, farmers and civil organizations who have long felt marginalized in a country where a wealthy elite controls the media and much of politics, said Manuel Orozco, a political analyst with the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.”

Guess Zelaya double-dog dared the Honduran military, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran Congress to just try to stop him.

They did.

But, Obama says Zelaya is the victim here?

Victimology…alive and well and being promoted by the White House.

coldwarrior on June 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Damn..blew the link…

OK…try this one.

coldwarrior on June 29, 2009 at 8:01 PM

zero wants to be pres for ever also so of course this is a threat to his plans,
DAMN PESANT’S.

Col.John Wm. Reed on June 29, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Victimology…alive and well and being promoted by the White House.

coldwarrior on June 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Its what P.BO lives for.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2009 at 8:20 PM

coldwarrior on June 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Thanks for the info, coldwarrior. Excellent job.

progressoverpeace on June 29, 2009 at 8:40 PM

If the Honduran military isn’t too busy after they get done with Zelaya can I request they come over and have a few words with Mayor Bloomberg?

Sharke on June 29, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Is it me or does the photo make Zelaya look like he just won a Central American song contest?

Little Boomer on June 29, 2009 at 9:40 PM

..meddling….meddling….he’s meddling again…..I thought there was no meddling allowed..I’m confused, is it falling apart?

Reality Check on June 29, 2009 at 9:42 PM

Update: Coup or ‘military impeachment’?

I don’t care, you pick. Just as long as it gets Obama out of the White House.

Oh, what? You’re not talking about Obama? Dang.

Daggett on June 29, 2009 at 9:48 PM

There’s no mystery about Obama’s foreign policy. He favors whatever line will result in a hard socialist running a country. The reasons he articulates are arbitrary — he’ll say whatever works for the moment. This is typical Marxist behavior. We used to see the same from the Soviets.

philwynk on June 29, 2009 at 9:54 PM

***Cross posted on the Chavez accuses Obama post.

From the Constitution:

If you can read Spanish go for it: http://www.honduras.net/honduras_constitution.html

Part 1, Chapter 1, Article 4
1. The government is a republic, democratic, and representative

2. Presidents must alternate

Violation of this rule is TREASON

Part 7, Chapter 1, Article 373
3. Only the Congress can call for a consitutional convention

Part 5, Chapter 10, Article 279
4. Only the Congress can fire the Chief of the Military

Part 5, Chapter 6, Article 237
5. The President serves for four years

*I did not see where it states only one term, I guess it is implied*

Part 2, Chapter 4, Article 48
6. Prohibits parties from attacking the republic, democratic, representative form of government

This man violated this and maybe more parts of the constitution.

sjramos on June 29, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Ed is as full of crap as Obama & his butties Chavez & Castro

This was not a coup

This was an object lesson for the US Military

bill30097 on June 29, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Update: Coup or ‘military impeachment’?
I don’t care, you pick. Just as long as it gets Obama out of the White House.

Oh, what? You’re not talking about Obama? Dang.

Daggett on June 29, 2009 at 9:48 PM

+1000

bill30097 on June 29, 2009 at 10:28 PM

I haven’t read the thread yet, so sorry if this has been discussed, but how independent is the law enforcement there? Could the president just get rid of any law enforcement which would arrest him? Sort of like here?

justincase on June 29, 2009 at 10:35 PM

How could Obama possibly fail to support someone who was violating their country’s constitution in order to stay in power? Think about it . . .

- califcon on June 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Isn’t the answer obvious? Obama is a friend of Chavez, who’s an ally of deposed Zelaya, so the American president denounced the coup.

B. Hussein O. is also a pal of Ahmadinejad, hence, Obama took a loooooooong time to speak out against the protests.

Obama’s a very good friend, you see. He is very supportive of those leaders who hate democracry.

mz.josephine on June 29, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Gee, I wonder if Zelaya had used the military to get rid of the legislature and the Supreme Court if Obama would have complained? I doubt it. When those who support real rather than fraudulent democracy are shafted, Obama does not care. When those who support capitalism are shafted Obama does not care; but let some leftist be inconvenienced and listen to him howl.

KW64 on June 29, 2009 at 10:42 PM

“Coup” or not wannabe dictators need to be ousted.

farright on June 29, 2009 at 10:58 PM

“Coup” or not wannabe dictators need to be ousted.

farright on June 29, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Possible campaign slogan for 2012? /s

coldwarrior on June 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM

The NEW Global warming.

C2O2

Chevaz, Castro, Ortega, Obama

Or if you prefer, C squared O squared.

MikeA on June 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM

I tend to agree with Larisa Alexandrovna on this point, though:

She is a very good journalist. Her blog, home page here, should be mandatory reading for those that want good investigative/analytical reporting.

Bill Blizzard on June 29, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Is it legal? There would appear to be only one arena in which to determine that question. The Supreme Court of Honduras. Not Obama. Not Ed. Not anyone who is not charged by the people of Honduras with upholding the law of Honduras. I think if that court and the legislative body of Honduras say it is legal, it is legal. They literly make the laws there and rule on what is and is not legal there. The President of Honduras, sitting or deposed, does not.

MikeA on June 29, 2009 at 11:32 PM

I’m not buying it Ed…I think it was legal. They don’t have the same constitution as us…legal means rule of law…checks and balances…this guy was clearly breaking the law…2/3 of the government determined that to be the case. He was warned and decided to go ahead with his ‘president for life’ referendum anyway. Sorry, but Larisa Alexandrovna’s argument doesn’t convince me of anything, except that she’s a ‘independent’ the same way that Ron Paul is ‘independent’.

AUINSC on June 29, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Bill Blizzard on June 29, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Don’t read her, but Alexandrovna’s wrong on this one. If the Captain agrees with her, then he’s wrong also.

Pablo on June 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Agreed. The Honduran military’s action does not appear “extralegal.” Sorry, Captain.

“Coup” or not wannabe dictators need to be ousted.

farright on June 29, 2009 at 10:58 PM

There. You can call it a coup if you want – coup of the Chief Executive. It was not a coup d’etat – constitution is still in place and was adhered to by all else, apparently. Unless everyone in Honduran government but Zelaya is an outlaw.

ConScribe on June 30, 2009 at 12:07 AM

She is a very good journalist. Her blog, home page here, should be mandatory reading for those that want good investigative/analytical reporting.

Bill Blizzard on June 29, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Yeah, here’s the title of one of her ‘great’ articles:

Right-Wing Extremism: hoping our military overthrows Obama…

Yep, what a hard-hitting journalist she is…working for that MSNBC gig, no doubt….you’ve got to be kidding.

AUINSC on June 30, 2009 at 12:13 AM

ConScribe on June 30, 2009 at 12:07 AM

If you followed the link Ed provided and read the whole article, I think you missed this.>

Think on this…
As much as I disliked George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both, I would have screamed bloody hell if Congress – led by the Democrats – ordered the military to swoop down and remove both from office, dropping them off in Mexico against their will and named Nancy Pelosi the POTUS in a 24 hour period.

I would have been absolutely pleased if Congress had impeached both Dick Cheney and George Bush and a trial had taken place. That would actually be proof of a strong and vibrant democracy. Yet regardless of how corrupt both Bush and Cheney were/are and regardless of their abuses of power and the Constitution, I would still be against the use of military force to remove them from office and out of the country. I can only imagine how the right-wing would have reacted if a Democratic-led Congress enacted this in the US. They would be outraged and I would be standing with them. Would the right-wing, however, be outraged if Obama was removed by military force on the orders of a Republican-led Congress? Somehow I don’t think so.
Regardless of how corrupt Zelaya was or was perceived to be as the leader of Honduras, an arrest and trial would be the proper method for his removal. The public would see the crimes and hear the testimony and justice would be served. Dropping Zelaya off in Costa Rica and not hold him accountable is not justice for his alleged crimes. It is simply a coup. By the way, I go to Costa Rica often. Being dropped off in any part of the valley, IMHO, would not be punishment. It is a lovely country with the cleanest air and water supply I have ever encountered. The Ticos are also extraordinary people. Seems like Zelaya got a vacation, not a punishment of any sort.
UPDATE I
Not only are some of the more extreme elements of the far right claiming this coup to be a victory for the Honduran people, they are also now claiming that the Obama administration is trying to undermine democracy by condemning the coup. Wow. How does one even begin a conversation with a person who cannot grasp basic principles of democracy? Just because someone (in this case, the people who ousted Zelaya) claims that there actions are legal, does not make it so. In fact, in every bloodless coup (and even most of the bloody ones), the people enacting the coup claim to represent the will of the nation and proclaim their actions entirely legal.
Again, use this example to better understand the absurdity of the “not coup” crowd:
Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership order the arrest and rendition of President Bush to Mexico using loyalists to the Dem leadership in the US military to accomplish this process. Pelosi and the Dems then quickly assemble enough of a majority to vote on a hastily written bill of sorts. The vote declares that Bush is no longer president and that Nancy Pelosi is now the POTUS.
A resignation letter alleged to have been written by Bush is provided to the compliant media. Yet Bush, who is by now in Mexico, denies ever having written a resignation letter or resigning. Pelosi, Justice Stevens, and SecDef Robert Gates all tell you this is legal.
What would you call this situation if you were a Republican sitting at home watching Fox News? Hell, I am an independent and I would call it a coup. How difficult is it to understand why this coup is exactly that, a coup? Why would anyone claim this was the workings of a functional democracy?

How would you feel about that scenario?

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:33 AM

I read the article. Great point…except that the Honduras doesn’t have the US constitution…it has the Honduran Constitution…too bad, eh?

AUINSC on June 30, 2009 at 12:35 AM

It looks to me like the Hondurans had the will to cast out their demon, but we continue to set on our hands here in the U.S. while Obama castrates the Republic. So far in America violating the Constitution brings nil consequences to the offender in chief.

T J Green on June 30, 2009 at 12:37 AM

AUINSC on June 30, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Did you read the article that appears to have upset you? Or did you just stop after the headline? If you read the whole article then evidently you don’t read many comments here at HA. In the article you take exception to there are comments referenced there that mirror some here at HA.

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:45 AM

How would you feel about that scenario?

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:33 AM

She leaves out that the Supreme Court ruled Zelaya outside the constitution. Had our supreme court ruled that Bush broke the law and Constitution, and Pelosi’s party impeached him and the Senate convicted him, there would be no constitutional problem at all. However, that is not what Alexandrovna’s article does. It posits action by the House alone without the supreme court ruling of legal violation by president Bush or Senate conviction. The Honduran legislature followed the rules her scenario did not; thus her analogy is not analygous at all.

KW64 on June 30, 2009 at 12:45 AM

AUINSC on June 30, 2009 at 12:35 AM

So you are saying their constitution has no “do process” provision. Give me a break!

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:49 AM

KW64 on June 30, 2009 at 12:45 AM

The military exceeded their authority by whisking him away to Venezuela in the middle of the night in his pajamas.

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:54 AM

Did you read the article that appears to have upset you? Or did you just stop after the headline? If you read the whole article then evidently you don’t read many comments here at HA. In the article you take exception to there are comments referenced there that mirror some here at HA.

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Uh, yes, I read the whole article. You printed it, I suppose, because you think nobody here reads the articles that Ed and Allah posts.

Yes, I’ve read a couple of comments at HA that talk about civil force if Obama explicitly violates the Constitution…but I can’t think of a one that has advocated the military overthrow the President.

The most ‘extreme’ would be that if the President violates the Constitution and tries to run for more that 2 terms…there would be some form of rebellion…nothing new in that threat in American history…well, if he does that, then yes, there probably would be a rebellion.

Most of that is just frustrated bluster, but very American.

Given that lefties see the right as America’s worst enemy…in need of preemtive law enforcement monitoring, I’d say your point is well taken..from a more left point of view.

No, there are no explicit threats made against the President or Government here at HA. Only citizen concerned about explicit Socialist Government control…and explicit violation of the Constitution.

If you find commnents along those lines frightening or alarming then you should read Thomas Jefferson some time to get some perspective.

AUINSC on June 30, 2009 at 12:59 AM

How would you feel about that scenario?

Bill Blizzard on June 30, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Your exceedingly lengthy, supposedly comparable, “scenario”, among other things, seems to have left out the most important part – Zelaya’s blatant attempt to violate, and in the extreme, his own country’s constitution. Why do you think that part was left out?

MB4 on June 30, 2009 at 1:01 AM

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