Like Wieseltier said, “He is determined to be the un-ugly American,” whether that means agonizing silence while Iranians fight street battles with the Basij or noisy outrage when the Honduran government ejects a would-be Chavez in its midst. It sure does make The One popular internationally, as PIPA’s new world poll confirms, but whether it advances America’s interests is a separate (and more important) question.
In fact, we’re well past the “noisy outrage” stage on this one. We’re actually intervening now on Zelaya’s behalf:
The U.S. co-sponsored a successful U.N. resolution supporting Honduras’ ousted leader Tuesday as Republicans began to speak out against the Obama administration’s condemnation of the overthrow…
“The resolution that the United Nations has just adopted unanmiously … expresses the indignation of the people of Honduras and the people worldwide,” said Zelaya, who began his speech by thanking Venezuela and Ecuador…
“I believe, if he — if he does come [to Washington] either today or tomorrow, that he will likely meet with officials from the State Department, some of whom, as I said, have been in contact,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in Tuesday’s briefing, repeating this when pressed by a reporter about whether Zelaya would meet with Obama.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged Zelaya to try to speak with Obama while in D.C., saying the American president’s support would “deliver a major blow” to Honduras’ interim government.
So not only will this turd get a legitimizing photo op with the State Department, he might get one with The One himself. No wonder he feels emboldened enough to try to fly back to Honduras on Thursday and force a confrontation with the new president and the military. Presumably he’ll be arrested — and Obama will once again be forced to declare the action illegal, notwithstanding the minor point that the Honduran supreme court disagrees. The one piece you should really read on this is Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s op-ed in today’s NYT about how shrewdly Chavez gamed out Zelaya’s bogus-referendum maneuver, knowing that if the Honduran government moved to stop it, it would let him and Zelaya play the role of the poor misunderstood democratic populists who are just trying to let the people’s voice be heard. He counted on the fact that Obama, ever eager to prove his un-ugly American-ness, wouldn’t oppose him, especially now that relations between Washington and Caracas have been restored. And sure enough, Obama didn’t. Good work, Barry. You got played. Click the image to watch.