Distorting Honduran History at the New York Times

posted at 2:00 pm on November 29, 2009 by Jimmie Bise, Jr

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this article in the New York Times is dishonest or just biased toward the Obama Administration’s point of view. The author purports to be critical of the administrations vacillations toward the situation in Honduras, but clearly she’s in the tank on the administration’s approved explanation about what happened there. Here is the offensive paragraph.

Mr. Zelaya, once a darling of the Honduran upper classes, fell from favor when he began increasing the minimum wage, reducing the price of fuel and allying himself with President Chávez. His critics say he crossed a line when he defied the Supreme Court and pushed a referendum to change the Constitution so that he could run for another term. The court called in the military

That poor Zelaya, hero of the working class and foe of the rich, huh? Except you and I both know that’s now what really happened. In this case, “his critics” included the entire government of Honduras. Zelaya did not merely defy the Supreme Court; he openly violated the Honduran constitution which is crystal clear on the matter of Presidents serving more than one term and on the penalty for anyone who even attempts to change that provision. Both the Supreme Court (which unanimous decision included members of Zelaya’s own party) and the Honduran legislature decided to remove Zelaya, even though they did not need to do so. Their actions were found appropriate by the Law Library of Congress. I suppose you could call all those people “his critics” but that does cover them under an umbrella of understatement that’s so obscure as to be misleading.

Which does seem to be the point.

It’s also worth noting that “his critics” also included every printing business in Honduras (none of which would print his illegal ballot, which is why he had them printed in Venezuela) and the head of the armed forces, General Romeo Vasquez, who refused to comply with his illegal order.

In other words, “his critics” include the whole of the Honduran government, the head of the Honduran armed forces, all the printers in Honduras, and the Law Library of the Congress of the United States. Biased or dishonest; you tell me.

There is a truth in that paragraph, though, but it is also understated to the point of deception as well. The court did indeed call in the military to enact its will, bit it did so because the military was the appropriate authority to use in that situation according to the constitution. If the court has used any other law enforcement authority, it would have been guilty of violating the constitution just as surely as Zelaya is. The way that little fact reads, though, you’d think that the court brought in the military just like the military came in on every other coup in Central America.

Honduras has worked very hard over the years to pull itself out of decades of being an unstable banana republic where various “Presidents for Life” were toppled by any general with enough soldiers. The country has a constitution that works and a government that is respectful of the rule of law and good order. The Obama administration has discredited itself badly and shown a staggering amount of ignorance by treating Honduras like it was just another banana republic when it clearly is not. I’m sorry the New York Times had to resort to rhetorical chicanery to help prop up the administration’s ignorant and callous treatment of a would-be ally.

The only consolation is that the author has billed her piece as “news analysis”. Hopefully she never gets the chance to flex her puny analytical muscles again.

(cross-posted at The Sundries Shack)

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Constitution, nothing but a piece of paper, meaningless, just like the U.S. Constitution is being treated.

Wade on November 29, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Zero and his crew, stupid or willfully destructive? You decide, like it has been said, do not examine a folly. examine what it accomplishes.

bbz123 on November 29, 2009 at 2:09 PM

They have an election coming up to replace Ze Lyar. Will Jimmy Carter be on hand to monitor the election, just in case they elect an opponent of Ze Lyar? Because that would have to be illegitimate.

iurockhead on November 29, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Just more of the same from the NYT’s, which is why I canceled my subscription over a year ago. Despite my cancelation, the rag dutifully lands upon my doorstep every morning anyways.

Exit question: Is the continued delivery after cancellation a vehicle the NYT’s uses to inflate/disguise their plummeting circulation?

Archimedes on November 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM

The Honduran election is taking place today

ya2daup on November 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this article in the New York Times is dishonest or just biased toward the Obama Administration’s point of view. The author purports to be critical of the administrations vacillations toward the situation in Honduras, but clearly she’s in the tank on the administration’s approved explanation about what happened there.

I say she is both biased and dishonest.

I would also say she had access to all the info you had and didn’t avail herself of it.

So, she’s also LAZY!

donh525 on November 29, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Newsreader on NPR this morning said that the position of the US government on the legitimacy of the Honduran elections has “softened” and it now is supportive of the elections being held.

I think it’s the head of the Secretary of State which has “softened”. How long before someone (besides us) utters the immortal question posed by Yogi Berra to the Mets lineup: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” If I had to think of even a modest Obama foreign policy success, I don’t think I could.

ps. I have not seen it reported that the “illegitimate” current President is NOT running!

drunyan8315 on November 29, 2009 at 3:02 PM

A leftist reporter, at a leftist paper, supporting a wannabe leftist dictator, or two.

Did anyone really expect the story to be anything but lies and distortions?

Slowburn on November 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

ps. I have not seen it reported that the “illegitimate” current President is NOT running!

drunyan8315 on November 29, 2009 at 3:02 PM

I have seen it written in a couple of places that he is not running but they all neglect to mention that he is not eligible to run. They also state that he tried to change the constitution but fail to mention that he tried to change it so that he could run again. Very biased reporting.

Bill R. on November 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Who expects any better from them? They lost all credibility years ago.

Vashta.Nerada on November 29, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Their actions were found appropriate by the Law Library of Congress.

The paper written by the Law Library of Congress was shown to be a piece of crap.

dave742 on November 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Glad to see Jimmie is keeping an eye on this. It’s important.

see-dubya on November 29, 2009 at 3:41 PM

I was wondering which troll would show up to defend Zelaya. My money was on Norman Blitzer with his links to anti-Semitic and pro-Pol Pot leftist hate sites like Counterpunch, but it looks like our resident Chavista took time off from raping goats at the behest of his BFF Ahmad-i-nejad to impugn the Honduran people and government.

Gonzalez is a paid stooge of Chavez, of course he would have problems with the incisive analysis by the Law Library of Congress.

PimFortuynsGhost on November 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Obama said he knew about 15 words in Spanish, I guess constitución was not one of them.

Rambotito on November 29, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Polls opened at 7am

Heavy turnout is being reported across Honduras as Hondurans ignore Chavez and Zelaya’s calls for a boycott.

There are conflicting reports that Zelaya is reportedly asking for political asylum in either Nicaragua or Brazil.

The Honduran electoral commission is reporting that turnout has been so heavy that polling places will be kept open an extra hour until 5 pm

Israel and Japan are the latest nations to declare that they will ignore the global Marxists and recognize the election results.

Looks like Zelaya, Chavez, Castro, and Obama have failed to topple Honduran democracy.

elduende on November 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM

The Obama administration has discredited itself badly and shown a staggering amount of ignorance by treating Honduras like it was just another banana republic when it clearly is not. I’m sorry the New York Times had to resort to rhetorical chicanery to help prop up the administration’s ignorant and callous treatment of a would-be ally.

There is a larger lesson to draw here. I do not know the history of Honduran governance, but I can only assume that at times in the past–from independence from Spain till sometime in the latter part of the 20th Century–it was probably reflective of the moires of the typical Latin American ruling class. And at some point, if this is true, there was a conscience effort to change, presumably some time in the 70s or 80s.

And the larger point to draw from this, pertinent domestically, especially for the South and America’s WASPs, is that there is apparently no way to ever gain the forgiveness of the liberal elites, so don’t even bother trying. They–ignoring their own fellow traveling with Communism, the greatest killer of man ever besides disease–will remember with advantages every misdeed of the past, even as they help perpetrate injustice in the present.

They will never forgive nor forget, desiring instead that they alone be allowed to determine the issues of the day–once again forgetting their own complicities in evils–and so do not ever tailor your policies based upon a desire to get their goodwill–you simply will never get it. You will be but a tool to them, useful as long as damaging to that which they do not like.

Instead, do right because it is right, not because it will make you appear sophisticated to the cocktail party set. If injustice has been done in the past, admit it and continue forward, righting the wrong where one can, being vigilant against its return, and determined in clear conscience that the human failings of one side in the past will not be used to absolve the human failings of another in the present.

For the struggle to build the shining city upon a hill is the work of centuries, the work of an entire nation’s history, an entire race’s history–the human race. The work of history.

Much work of which has been done before we here today arrived, and work of which will need to be done after we leave, and if we have but recently come aware of yet another way we as humanity fall short, then let us resolve to correct the wrong and move forward–and to recognize the change in men when they change, for the change surely did not come without struggle and it is not right to condemn the victors with the oppressors.

The New York Times would do well to remember this, for the victims that Walter Duranty helped keep hidden from the world still cry out, and a portion of their true justice has still not been delivered. And those who were mired in despair in the late 70s, seemingly never to be free of the yoke of Communism, would perhaps have a different view of those the NYT likes than the NYT does. Or of the NYT itself.

The Honduran government appears to be one that is needed in the world–one of rule of law, mindful of the problems of the past yet determined not to have its destiny determined by them as it moves forward t a more prosperous future. It is by walking in the path of these men, and not in the way of a Zelaya, that true increased happiness shall come to those in the world who formerly lived under regimes of little repute. The rulers must be governed by the law as well as the ruled, and true prosperity for all will only arrive when we admit that it cannot arrive for all at the same time.

Horatius on November 29, 2009 at 4:15 PM

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Good’ol boy Chavez down in Venezuela had TWO failed coup attempts in the early 1990′s. The MSM never brings that up but will always talk about how he was democratically elected. But, you know, the end justifies the means and all…

yubley on November 29, 2009 at 4:21 PM

The Obama administration has discredited itself badly and shown a staggering amount of ignorance by treating Honduras like it was just another banana republic when it clearly is not. I’m sorry the New York Times had to resort to rhetorical chicanery to help prop up the administration’s ignorant and callous treatment of a would-be ally.

This administration has poor geography and world history skills. This is displayed time and again whenever the President takes to the international stage.

Dr Evil on November 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Obama is not a smart man, contrary to the belief of some.

He was a druggie that got into Harvard via Affirmative Action.

The content of this whole article is way over his head.

scotash on November 29, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Just more of the same from the NYT’s, which is why I canceled my subscription over a year ago. Despite my cancelation, the rag dutifully lands upon my doorstep every morning anyways.

Exit question: Is the continued delivery after cancellation a vehicle the NYT’s uses to inflate/disguise their plummeting circulation?

Archimedes

Don’t know about that, but I think you consider it assault.

BD57 on November 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Looks like Zelaya, Chavez, Castro, and Obama have failed to topple Honduran democracy.

elduende on November 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM

This is one time I’m happy to see a foreign policy failure.

Though in the larger sense, the policy was a failure the moment Obama took Zelaya’s side

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 29, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Just another reason why the Old Grey Whore has dwindling readership.

GarandFan on November 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

We understand that we have to build consensus and that we have to work multilaterally, but we can’t sacrifice a country to do that,” said a senior administration official, who like others interviewed for this article asked not to be identified because he or she were discussing diplomatic deliberations. “Not recognizing the elections unless President Zelaya is restored to power doesn’t get us anywhere.”

When Zelaya was first booted from office this administration went bonkers in support of the wannabe dictator, this article and quote shows our administration wants to switch sides and this writer is just doing her duty by enabling the wannabe constitutional monarch in chief.

Speakup on November 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this article in the New York Times is dishonest or just biased toward the Obama Administration’s point of view.

What do you mean, “or“?

rmgraha on November 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Goes to show you, no matter who’s in our whitehouse these people hate us. enemies to be feared indeed.

johnnyU on November 29, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Horatius on November 29, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Awesome post.

Industrial strength and weapons grade.

1921 C DRUM on November 29, 2009 at 6:02 PM

The paper written by the Law Library of Congress was shown to be a piece of crap.

dave742 on November 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

The paper that you cite was written by José María Rodríguez González, who goes by several titles: “US Foreign Policy Researcher” “Political analyst, devoted to U.S. foreign policy”, and “U.S. Foreign Policy International Analyst”. Depends on who’s hiring him, I suppose.

His papers show quite a visceral hatred for President Uribe of Columbia. Rather a soul-mate of Hugo Chavez in that respect, isn’t he? Small wonder, then, that he wrote a paper contrived against the US Library of Congress. Of course he will align himself with the prevailing thugocracy.

I am unimpressed, Mr. Dave742.

ss396 on November 29, 2009 at 9:57 PM

NYT = PRAVDA

Only not nearly as persuasive or convincing.

DUMMIES!

bannedbyhuffpo on November 29, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Except you and I both know that’s now what really happened.

I think Jimmie means “not what happened”.

Jaibones on November 29, 2009 at 11:16 PM

Question: So…what would happen if the voters elected an unusually slick but otherwise very average guy to be President? Say, for example, a pot-smoking, coke-snorting, C student Marxist from Columbia who got into Harvard Law School on an affirmative-action application because he was the son of a single mother and his long-departed father was African?

Answer:
This.

Jaibones on November 29, 2009 at 11:22 PM

I wonder if they have a “cinco de cuatro” in Honduras? It’s the little known Mexican holiday that Obama made reference to in a speech given in May.

Mojave Mark on November 30, 2009 at 12:41 AM

The MSM has been on the “other side” of this one from day one.

It’s tradition to say “I wonder why” at this point, but I really don’t.

Merovign on November 30, 2009 at 1:12 AM

Kudos, Hondurans! Bravo!

maverick muse on November 30, 2009 at 6:49 AM

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this article in the New York Times is dishonest or just biased toward the Obama Administration’s point of view.

Um, Yes.

Just like the AGW crowd, they are both biased and dishonest. I just hope this is the high water mark for the Left.

rbj on November 30, 2009 at 8:25 AM

Bill Blizzard on November 29, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Counterpunch, again?

Seriously, you are one f#cked up human being. So tell me, what part of Cockburn’s schtick is so appealing to filth like you? Is it his support of pedophilia? Maybe it is his Holocaust denial? Or maybe, it was his claiming that Pol Pot and the Killing Fields of Cambodia were a myth?

I’m curious, because no one with a soul reads that sh!t with a straight face.

PimFortuynsGhost on November 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Pro coup plotters always leave the 800 pound gorilla out of the conversation to make their nonsensical points appear valid.

President Zelaya intended to perform a non-binding public consultation, about the conformation of an elected National Constituent Assembly. To do this, he invoked article 5 of the Honduran “Civil Participation Act” of 2006. According to this act, all public functionaries can perform non-binding public consultations to inquire what the population thinks about policy measures. This act was approved by the National Congress and it was not contested by the Supreme Court of Justice, when it was published in the Official Paper of 2006. That is, until the president of the republic employed it in a manner that was not amicable to the interests of the members of these institutions.

A few more articles that explain why that gorilla is minus the debate.

Bill Blizzard on November 29, 2009 at 9:56 PM

//

So we are to believe that some obscure law trumps the Honduran Constitution?

Oh wait, ObamaReidPelosiCare trumps the US Constitution.

Nevermind.

uknowmorethanme on November 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

PimFortuynsGhost on November 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM

The authors of the articles I linked to. >>

Why Zelaya’s Actions Were Legal
Alberto Valiente Thoresen was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He currently resides in Norway where he serves on the board of the Norwegian Solidarity Committee with Latin America.

Hypocrisy and the Honduran Coup
Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow
Nelson Valdés is Emeritus Professor, Sociology, University of New Mexico.

The Coup and the U.S. Airbase in Honduras
Nikolas Kozloff

Chiquita in Latin America
Nikolas Kozloff

Should I dismiss these stories because they were published at CP within the last week? >>
Obama as the Manchurian Candidate
Blame Larry Summers
Obama as LBJ
Get Ready for the Obama / GOP Alliance
(Obama)Weak-Kneed in China
The Placeholder Presidency of Obama

Please provide the links for your accusations about which Cockburn you are referring to, Patrick or Alexander.

Should Rush fans dismiss him because he is/was(?) a narcotics abuser?

Bill Blizzard on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM