Dems backing away from Zelaya?

posted at 5:00 pm on July 11, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration jumped quickly into the fray over the removal and expulsion of president Manuel Zelaya from Honduras, calling the action a “coup” and demanding his reinstatement.  Fellow Democrats in Congress followed suit, but The Hill reports that they may be changing their minds.  Suddenly, they have begun acknowledging the crimes Zelaya committed and stopped calling for his return to office:

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of a key House subcommittee with jurisdiction over Honduras, roundly criticized both factions at a Friday hearing. But he also stopped short of calling for Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement, which he’d done in previous statements.

While Engel said the United States and its allies in the Western Hemisphere could not tolerate what appeared to be a military coup, he said Zelaya had ignored his country’s own Supreme Court, legislature and even members of his political party when he sought to change the constitution by seeking a second term as president.

“When the entire political establishment speaks and expresses dire concerns, the President needed to listen. From everything I can see, he did not,” Engel said during the hearing of his House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

In a statement on June 29, a day after Zelaya was removed, Engel called for Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement.

“I strongly condemn the removal of President Zelaya and believe that he should be reinstated without delay,” Engel said in the statement.

Maybe the national media can finally follow suit and report the entire story on the Honduran crisis.  While the Hondurans made a big mistake in forcibly exiling Zelaya, they had ample reason to arrest him and try him for several violations of their constitution.  It’s entirely possible to criticize the manner of Zelaya’s removal while still recognizing the necessity of protecting the nation from a dictatorship in its nascent stages.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t bother to get the facts before racing to the conclusion that Zelaya was a victimized democrat, whose main political allies in the region include such luminary defenders of liberty and democracy as Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the Castro brothers.  They ignored the lawful promulgation of the arrest warrant and the legitimate defense of the rule of law undertaken almost unanimously by the legislature and the Supreme Court.  Obama helped Chavez and Raul Castro isolate the poverty-stricken nation of Honduras for defending its own constitution.

Engel has belatedly awoken to the news that the Hondurans have a case.  For that, we can thank Republicans in Congress who have insisted on explaining that case, working around the White House and the State Department to do so.  Let’s hope that the rest of the Democrats back off of Honduras and convince the Obama administration to end its partnership with Cuba and Venezuela in isolating Honduras.


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Unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t bother to get the facts before racing to the conclusion that Zelaya was a victimized democrat

This statement implies that the administration is acting the way it is out of a misunderstanding of the situation, and not because it is what they want to do. I think the administration had the facts and understood just fine. And their actions since then are consistent with what they want in regards to Honduras.

Tonus on July 11, 2009 at 10:11 PM

This statement implies that the administration is acting the way it is out of a misunderstanding of the situation, and not because it is what they want to do. I think the administration had the facts and understood just fine. And their actions since then are consistent with what they want in regards to Honduras.

So basically you are making a case for malice or ideology.

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:12 PM

I don’t think the Obama administration failed to get the facts. Obama supports dictators, period.

Alana on July 11, 2009 at 10:14 PM

JiangxiDad on July 11, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Hey JD there are other Congress critters from the right (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz Balart, Lincoln Diaz Balart and others) also calling for the DEA to release any info they have regarding investigations into Zelaya’s links to drug trafficking.

I have heard rumors that there were 3 – 4 flights a week by Venezuelan planes laden with drugs.

Other two sensational rumors I heard in the past 48 hours were that when the military came calling on Zelaya he was not with his wife but a mistress and he had a total of 60 million lempira in cash (about 3.1 million dollars) sitting in trash bags.

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:18 PM

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:18 PM

Where the hell is the Magnificent Seven when you need them?

Limerick on July 11, 2009 at 10:19 PM

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Cool blog by the way.
http://www.therightscoop.com/

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:20 PM

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Cool blog by the way.
http://www.therightscoop.com/

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Thanks. I’ve had an influx of honduras come to my blog who think that I’m Charles Krauthammer. I’ll take them any way I can get them. :)

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Where the hell is the Magnificent Seven when you need them?

Limerick on July 11, 2009 at 10:19 PM

LOL! Not a bad idea actually maybe they can hire Black water for a little leftist skull bashing. You know there is a long and colorful tradition of foreign mercenaries being used in Latin America…American cowboys too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Walker_(filibuster)#Conquest_of_Nicaragua

He appointed himself president of the Republic of Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled from that year to 1857. He was executed by the government of Honduras in 1860.

LOL!

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:25 PM

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Well keep up the great work.

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:29 PM

this link works…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Walker_(soldier)

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 10:32 PM

LOL…naive or cunning? Does it matter the rattlesnake’s intent?
Limerick on July 11, 2009 at 9:39 PM

http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=54955

logis on July 11, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t bother to get the facts before racing to the conclusion that Zelaya was a victimized democrat

Pshaw! In all, and I do mean all, likelihood they knew the facts damn well enough.

KentAllard on July 11, 2009 at 10:36 PM

I smell an RNC ad: a picture of Obama’s soul shake with Chavez; Obama’s infamous quote drawing moral equivalence between the Iranian protestors and the mullahs; Obama backing a hack lefty in Honduras; Obama chuckling about what a good deal we got from the Ruskies in Alaska, etc., etc., etc.

That should be worth another coupla points in the passion index!

This is all good news, but we need to get our friggin act togther and incubate a new professional class of leadership. We have too many cartoon characters to be taken seriously at the moment.

johnboy on July 11, 2009 at 10:47 PM

I’m not sure what is going to happen. But you’re completely right, if they elect Santos and he turns into a Zelaya clone they deserve what they get and its back to the drawing board. Santos is up against Porfirio Lobo Sosa who may capitalize on Santos cozy relationship with Zelaya but who knows…

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM

.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I have been off the HA reservation catching up on my NRO reading. Anyway, your right it is up to the people of Honduras to live with their mistakes if made or to make an informed educated choice if that’s available to them. Talk to you later.

Americannodash on July 11, 2009 at 11:12 PM

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Been reading all of your posts in this thread.

Thanks for the added info.

Well done.

Knucklehead on July 11, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Obama and the Dems go off half-cocked.

To match their wits.

profitsbeard on July 11, 2009 at 11:27 PM

Unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t bother to get the facts before racing to the conclusion that Zelaya was a victimized democrat…

Oh, Ed! Stop being to utterly naive! Get your head out of the sand when it comes to Obama — he’s a socialist/Marxist/Commie who loves dictators… duh! It is willful ignorance on your part to pretend otehrwise.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 11, 2009 at 11:30 PM

Solution:

Sure, Zelaya, want your presidency back? Land your plane and take it. We’ve changed our mind.

Uh oh … it seems an assassin has infiltrated the President’s security detail and has murdered President Zelaya! How unfortunate…

Libertarian Joseph on July 11, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Americannodash on July 11, 2009 at 11:12 PM

No problem. Good night.

Knucklehead on July 11, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Thank you. Just trying to get the word out. Good night.

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 11:45 PM

defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies …. domestic

bill30097 on July 11, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Slightly off topic, but if Conservatives abandon the R party, are they in effect assuring the Liberals and Obama stay in power for many more years to come?

Red State State of Mind on July 11, 2009 at 9:57 PM

That’s what happened with McCain and – with the Republican Party being as bungling, directionless, and disdainful of its own membership as it is – I’m afraid it’ll happen again in 2010.

Django on July 12, 2009 at 12:04 AM

Perhaps Obama supports Zelaya because he fears the same thing happening here as he tries his own methods of ignoring a Constitution.

hadsil on July 12, 2009 at 12:08 AM

That’s what happened with McCain and – with the Republican Party being as bungling, directionless, and disdainful of its own membership as it is – I’m afraid it’ll happen again in 2010.

Django on July 12, 2009 at 12:04 AM

The people get the government they deserve

Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 12:20 AM

I had a nightmare that a bunch of idiots voted a total dictator loving socialist into the whitehouse and he had a majority in the senate and house. Man that was a scary dream…

It was a dream… right?

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lanesmerge on July 12, 2009 at 12:37 AM

The people get the government they deserve

Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 12:20 AM

…And the choices in 2008 resulted from years of voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Before long the only choices that remained were two degrees of evil.

Political natural-selection on display; only the evil survived.

It’s time that cycle is broken.

Vote only for good conservative candidates in ’10 and ’12. The rest can go to hell.

FloatingRock on July 12, 2009 at 12:39 AM

I am starting to get the feeling that Team Chicago Jesus is going to keep making these knee jerk reactions and people are going to get hurt badly.

Dire Straits on July 12, 2009 at 12:47 AM

It was a dream… right?

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lanesmerge on July 12, 2009 at 12:37 AM

Think of it this way: In the future our progeny may look back upon this period of our nations history as the dark days when America was nearly lost to tyranny.

A cautionary example never to be repeated, (though it probably will.)

On the other hand, it’s also possible that our progeny will have little interest in, or capacity to understand, outmoded concepts such as “history” as they slave away their lives in whatever Obama’s version of rice patties may be.

FloatingRock on July 12, 2009 at 12:52 AM

On the other hand, it’s also possible that our progeny will have little interest in, or capacity to understand, outmoded concepts such as “history” as they slave away their lives in whatever Obama’s version of rice patties may be.

…And when they die, they won’t be cremated, they’ll be buried in mass graves as a means to sequester their carbon.

FloatingRock on July 12, 2009 at 1:05 AM

I have heard from folks in Honduras via email that Zelaya’s ouster was legitimate and constitutional and that CNN International was not telling the whole or true story.

Herb on July 12, 2009 at 1:29 AM

Lord knows that Obama felt we should not meddle in Iran’s business while they were shooting innocent women in the street. But let’s just dive in head first in a situation involving a man trying to become a full-fledged tinhorn dictator. Obama is the biggest freaking putz I have ever seen. I cannot figure out if he is stupid or evil or both.

TXMomof3 on July 12, 2009 at 1:37 AM

This case proves that Obama is either an idiot or evil.

Take your pick… it’s probably both.

scotash on July 12, 2009 at 2:44 AM

I am starting to get the feeling that Team Chicago Jesus is going to keep making these knee jerk reactions and people are going to get hurt badly.

Dire Straits on July 12, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Suffice to say, DS, that people are already getting hurt and killed due to President Zero’s fecklessness, such as innocent Iranian women and Chinese Uighurs. The people that are calling this fool the Friend of Dictators and Enemy of the Common People have him pegged totally correct. Nothing knee jerk about it, either.

dmh0667 on July 12, 2009 at 7:39 AM

The people get the government they deserve
Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 12:20 AM

It is my belief that there is a majority of us Libertarians / Federalist out there that are not organized in our real party of beliefs. The Republicans have abandoned us as they have pandered for votes. I give Republicans one more chance then I predict that a new party will arise. Pro-Life, strong Conservative Foreign policy, Limited Domestic federal government, States Rights. The Constitution Party. This is where most american are in thought or can be brought to agree with. It was founding fathers ideas. We need to take back America and put it right.

Ed Laskie on July 12, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Ed Laskie on July 12, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Did you know that the Constitution Party believes in protectionism? Jus’ sayin. It’s not a bad party, I’d much prefer it than the democrats, but there is a lot of protectionist support in there. The CP was formed by former GOP, the old protectionist wing of the GOP.

Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Ed, why just stick to one party? Move around. There’s no law against supporting multiple parties and multiple candidates. If I like what the LP puts to the table, I go with them. If I like what the GOP has, I go with them.

What America needs is a runoff style election simple. This way no one would be afraid to vote for who they really want as opposed to who they think might have a chance.

Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 9:22 AM

simple system

Libertarian Joseph on July 12, 2009 at 9:23 AM

So basically you are making a case for malice or ideology.

therightscoop on July 11, 2009 at 10:12 PM

What do you mean, “or”? It’s got to be both.

rmgraha on July 12, 2009 at 9:46 AM

the theme of this administration:
shoot first, ask questions later….

cmsinaz on July 12, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Senator Mel Martinez on Honduras
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7z3IWco1Us&feature=channel

Senator Coburn Defends Rule of Law in Honduras
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRGCkac8FlU&feature=channel

Senator DeMint on Honduras
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjiKvUJXpm8&feature=channel

elduende on July 11, 2009 at 9:04 PM

Martinez is being too soft here — he’s still looking at the current government as being unacceptable.

Count to 10 on July 12, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Martinez is being too soft here — he’s still looking at the current government as being unacceptable.

Count to 10 on July 12, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Meh. Baby steps. Martinez is a Rino. Applaud him for at least spelling out the truth of what went down.

elduende on July 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Martinez is being too soft here — he’s still looking at the current government as being unacceptable.

Count to 10 on July 12, 2009 at 10:03 AM

I thought it seemed extremely strange that Martinez would be opposed to Zelaya. As RNC Chairman, he actually blamed Republicans’ standing in the way of communist expansion in the lower Americas for why Latinos don’t vote for Republicans in the US. He said it on a radio show during a visit in some Central American country while he was RNC Chairman. I can’t find a thing about that incident on the internet today, even searching for my own comments about it at the time.

Anyhow, Martinez didn’t sign the DeMint letter to Clinton that 17 Republicans signed.

Buddahpundit on July 12, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Others have noted – today and previously – Ed’s tenacious clinging to his initial unsupportable comment that Honduras had “botched” the Zelaya removal. One amusing note here is that when a mistaken assertion is made, it is sometimes “walked back” by re-phrasing. Thus, the flippant “botched” has become, in today’s post, “big mistake”. Perhaps just a tone change, but perceptible.

Ed and AP have good instincts, but the particulars of foreign policy issues trip them up fairly regularly (AP much more than Ed). And to his credit Ed will sometimes dip into the comments and respond substantively, whereas my limited knowledge of AP’s responses are that he mostly just says the equivalent of “well then don’t come here and read my stuff”, or, IOW, “shut up, he explained”.

This whole Honduran affair nicely illustrates the key elements in our ongoing national train-wreck. Sad to say I see no signs of hope for improvement on any front – whatever the thrill some may derive from the astonishing phenomenon of actual negative press or GOP comments re Bambi and his latest embarrassing stumbles.

IceCold on July 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Conveniently left out of this LATIMES article was Zaleya’a June 24 firing of Gen. Romeo Vasquez, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Vasquez’s reinstatement by the Honduran Supreme Court on June 25.

As the Times puts it:

Ignoring an appeals court ruling that again declared the June 28 vote illegal, Zelaya announced that the army would help with the election by distributing and collecting ballot boxes.

This threw the army command into turmoil: It was being tasked to carry out an operation that had been judged illegal.

On Thursday, June 25, troops deployed throughout the capital as Congress met to depose Zelaya. Politicians, including Micheletti, worked to put together the legal and constitutional cover to remove a president who was breaking the law.

unclesmrgol on July 12, 2009 at 1:42 PM

IceCold on July 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Ed is right. It’s one thing to remove the President from power, and another to exile him without him having had his day in court.

unclesmrgol on July 12, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Ed is right. It’s one thing to remove the President from power, and another to exile him without him having had his day in court.

unclesmrgol on July 12, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Do they have a prison capable of holding him in the face of mob riots? Would it have been better if the military had been forced to either retreat and let the mob overrun the prison or else be faced with countless deaths as they fired on the mob? Would it have been preferable for Honduras if there had been headlines about the hundreds dead or Zelaya having been freed by and in charge of a mob inside of Honduras’ borders during the most tumultuous period right after his arrest?

Would bumper stickers and t-shirts in western nations declaring, “FREE ZELAYA!”, have been preferable to a powerless roving ex-dictator wannabe?

No, Ed was wrong.

FloatingRock on July 12, 2009 at 2:25 PM

According to the Honduran constitution, a person who advocates for the removal of the single term limit for president, loses their citizenship.

Don’t most countries (US excepted) expell non-citizens when they are caught?

MarkTheGreat on July 12, 2009 at 2:31 PM

It’s one thing to remove the President from power, and another to exile him without him having had his day in court.

unclesmrgol on July 12, 2009 at 1:44 PM

What is that, some galactic law that all nations must subscribe to? Do you have a pamphlet with the rest of galactic law that all nations must abide by? I seem to have lost my old copy.

Not much for national sovereignty, are you? When the galaxy dictates .. all must follow.

progressoverpeace on July 12, 2009 at 2:35 PM

According to the Honduran constitution, a person who advocates for the removal of the single term limit for president, loses their citizenship.
MarkTheGreat on July 12, 2009 at 2:31 PM

This is a part of the world where dictatorship is the norm, rather than the exception.

Barak Hussein Obama just whitewashed the most blatantly non-democratic act in recent history in Iran. And now he’s attempting to overturn the constitution of a country in the western hemisphere, and install a dictator.

The possibility that this ever-growing string of “coincidences” could simply be a case of innocent (albeit massive) incompetence no longer exists. Something will have to be done. And I don’t know if the Republic can survive four more years of this.

logis on July 12, 2009 at 4:09 PM

02:11pm
Declaraciones. El presidente depuesto, Manuel Zelaya, aseguró a un medio venezolano que volverá a Honduras “en cualquier momento” porque las autoridades “no pueden impedirlo”.

TRANSLATION:

4:11pm EST
Declarations. Deposed President, Manuel Zelaya, has assured Venezuelan media that he will be back in Honduras “at any moment” because the authorities “cannot stop him”.

12:52pm
Amenazas. Chávez amenazó nuevamente a las autoridades y jefes militares. “A estos generales golpistas les queda poco tiempo”, dijo desde Venezuela.

TRANSLATION:
2:52pm EST

Threats. Chavez again threatened the Honduran Government and military leadership. “These coup plotting generals have very little time left” he said from Venezuela.

11:07am
Sin apoyo. El gobierno de Estados Unidos no apoyaría la reelección de José Miguel Insulza como secretario general de la OEA por su postura sobre la reincorporación de Cuba al organismo, según un diario chileno.
TRANSLATION:
1:07pm EST
No support. The U.S. Government will not support the reelection of Jose Miguel Insulza to be secretary general of the OAS because of his support for Cuban reintgration into the organization, according to a chilean newspaper.

http://www.elheraldo.hn/

Chavez is calling on Obama to show his support for Zelaya by removing U.S. troops from Palmerola Soto Cano Airbase in Honduras. “Only by showing his solidarity in this way can Obama prove he is seeking better relations with Latin America…”

http://www.elheraldo.hn/Especiales/Honduras%20en%20contra%20de%20la%20ilegalidad%20del%2024%20de%20junio%20de%202009/Ediciones/2009/07/12/Noticias/Chavez-pide-sacar-tropas-de-Palmerola

elduende on July 12, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t bother to get the facts

Still operating under the misguided concept that this administration actually cares about the facts.

chemman on July 12, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Here is a good synopsis of the events leading up to June 28.

Bill Blizzard on July 13, 2009 at 12:12 AM

Considering that you’re the only Zelaya supporter here, (if anybody is still on this thread), why don’t you tell us what’s so good about it?

FloatingRock on July 13, 2009 at 12:33 AM

…In other words, unless you’ve changed your position, how has the author of the article attempted to nuance or alter the previously established facts that we’ve all been discussing for the past two weeks?

FloatingRock on July 13, 2009 at 12:48 AM

Zelaya and Obama are Chavez proteges and they all pay homage to uncle Fidel Castro. They all believe in the absolute power of the state (which Honduras undermined) and it also explains why Obama has not criticized the Supreme Leader of Iran because he wants to claim that title too someday in the US.

virgo on July 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM

If Obama-nation was rushing to judgment without getting the facts first, he would have to come down on the correct side occasionally.

He just likes dictators, and aspires to join their ranks as one himself.

darktood on July 13, 2009 at 10:19 AM

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