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NYT Defends Obama’s Love Of Despots

From those champions of the rule of law at the New York Times:

In a Coup in Honduras, Ghosts of Past U.S. Policies

By HELENE COOPER and MARC LACEY

June 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — … The crisis in Honduras, where members of the country’s military abruptly awakened President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday and forced him out of the country in his bedclothes, is pitting Mr. Obama against the ghosts of past American foreign policy in Latin America.

The United States has a history of backing rival political factions and instigating coups in the region, and administration officials have found themselves on the defensive in recent days, dismissing repeated allegations by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela that the C.I.A. may have had a hand in the president’s removal.

Obama administration officials said that they were surprised by the coup on Sunday. But they also said that they had been working for several weeks to try to head off a political crisis in Honduras as the confrontation between Mr. Zelaya and the military over his efforts to lift presidential term limits escalated.

The United States has long had strong ties to the Honduras military and helps train Honduran military forces. Those close ties have put the Obama administration in a difficult position, opening it up to accusations that it may have turned a blind eye to the pending coup. Administration officials strongly deny the charges, and Mr. Obama’s quick response to the Honduran president’s removal has differed sharply from the actions of the Bush administration, which in 2002 offered a rapid, tacit endorsement of a short-lived coup against Mr. Chávez.

On June 2, Obama administration officials got a firsthand look at the brewing political battle when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Honduras for an Organization of American States conference. Mrs. Clinton met with Mr. Zelaya, and he reportedly annoyed her when he summoned her to a private room late in the night after her arrival and had her shake hands with his extended family.

During a more formal meeting afterward, they discussed Mr. Zelaya’s plans for a referendum that would have laid the groundwork for an assembly to remake the Constitution, a senior administration official said.

But American officials did not believe that Mr. Zelaya’s plans for the referendum were in line with the Constitution, and were worried that it would further inflame tensions with the military and other political factions, administration officials said.

Even so, one administration official said that while the United States thought the referendum was a bad idea, it did not justify a coup.

“On the one instance, we’re talking about conducting a survey, a nonbinding survey; in the other instance, we’re talking about the forcible removal of a president from a country,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity during a teleconference call with reporters.

As the situation in Honduras worsened, Assistant Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon Jr., along with Hugo Llorens, the American ambassador to Honduras, spoke with Mr. Zelaya, military officials and opposition leaders, administration officials said. Then things reached a boil last Wednesday and Thursday, when Mr. Zelaya fired the leader of the armed forces and the Supreme Court followed up with a declaration that Mr. Zelaya’s planned referendum was illegal.

The White House and the State Department had Mr. Llorens “talk with the parties involved, to tell them, ‘You have to talk your way through this,’ ” a senior administration official said Monday. “ ‘You can’t do anything outside the bounds of your constitution.’ ”

Still, administration officials said that they did not expect that the military would go so far as to carry out a coup. “There was talk of how they might remove the president from office, how he could be arrested, on whose authority they could do that,” the administration official said. But the official said that the speculation had focused on legal maneuvers to remove the president, not a coup.

Whether Mr. Zelaya merited removal remains a strong point of debate in Honduras. Fierce clashes erupted Monday between thousands of soldiers and thousands of Mr. Zelaya’s backers. The protesters blocked streets, set fires and hurled stones at the soldiers, who fired tear gas in response. But opponents of Mr. Zelaya said they intended to rally Tuesday in support of his ouster.

On the diplomatic front, three of the country’s neighbors — Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua — said they would halt commerce along their borders for 48 hours. Beyond that, Venezuela and some of its allies, including Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, said they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Honduras in an effort to isolate the new government. Brazil also said it had ordered its ambassador to Honduras, who was out of the country at the time of the coup, not to return until further notice.

In the face of criticism from across the hemisphere, the new government hunkered down in Mr. Zelaya’s old office, ringed by soldiers and defending its actions as a bid to save the country’s democracy, not undermine it…

You see, the Obama administration were completely surprised by this illegal coup. A coup they had worked weeks to prevent.

After all, the referendum was not very important. It’s not like Mr. Zelaya would have used the illegal vote as an excuse to hold onto power.

That would never happen in South America.

Mrs. Clinton met with Mr. Zelaya, and he reportedly annoyed her when he summoned her to a private room late in the night after her arrival and had her shake hands with his extended family.

We’re surprised that they stopped at merely exiling him.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “NYT Defends Obama’s Love Of Despots”

  1. proreason says:

    In the Moron’s weak mind, any action to keep himself (and similar dictators) in power is legal. And anything to remove him from power is illegal.

    His actions are entirely consistent with everything we know about him.

    He is simple tilling the soil for his future plans.

  2. countrysquire says:

    Obama has had two opportunities to stand on the side of liberty in the last two weeks and passed both times. What more do we need to know?

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      And we need to make sure all of our acquaintences know that story (just in case they haven’t watched).

    • neocon mom says:

      Carter 2.0 bears no resemblance to the party of JFK either.

      (By the way, I wish Ford still made the Country Squire, complete with fake wood paneling.)

  3. countrysquire says:

    Oops, duplicate post.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    EEEEWWWwwwwww… Hildabeast late at night and being summoned like a pet gorilla? Ghastly and putrid!!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      “Mrs. Clinton met with Mr. Zelaya, and he reportedly annoyed her when he summoned her to a private room late in the night..”

      Really does make one feel very, very ill doesn’t it!?!?!

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    I dreamed General Petreaus was installed as US President Interim pending the reestablishment of free & open elections here in the US. Acorn members were seen heading for Mexico… Ahhhhh. I can dream can’t I?

  6. pdsand says:

    “But they also said that they had been working for several weeks to try to head off a political crisis in Honduras as the confrontation between Mr. Zelaya and the military over his efforts to lift presidential term limits escalated.”

    Sounds like yet another miserable failure of the Obama approach to foreign policy.

  7. JulieJ says:

    Oh, but I thought he did not “want to interfere or meddle”. However, he does like telling Israel and Colombia what to do. It is dangerous now to be a freedom loving ally of the USA while the Marxist is in power. Also depressing is the thought of “Senator Al Franken”. There is no doubt in my mind that he stole the election with his friends from ACORN. People, fight back before it is too late.

  8. VMAN says:

    And what will the idiot bastard son do when brother Hugo send troops into Honduras? Could this be the “test” that Joe Blow Biden was talking about?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Samey-same as he did with Iran, deny anything is happening and go about the business of destroying the U.S. Economy!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Likely, freedom loving people will have another opportunity to see this Trojan Horse, o-blah-blah’s, true colors.

      He’ll side (again) with the dictator and let hugo’s thugs try to massacre the Hondurans who followed their constitution and laws.

  9. beautyofreason says:

    Why would Obama stand against a Honduran dictator who does not respect the Constitution of his country? Seems like they have something in common. Don’t meddle in Iran, tick off the Brits and Israeli allies but hey – prevent the dictator from being ousted. Yeah, that makes sense. Don’t help our allies, but ignore (silently approve) or protect our foes. Yet again……..why?


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