I was very slow to draw judgment against Obama regarding his reaction to the Iran controversy of past weeks. Now, judging from his statements and understanding the situation more clearly, I disagree with the manner in which he hesitated and with, frankly, his tone when answering questions about it. I was slow to draw judgment because I am no Chris Jones when it comes to foreign affairs (his biting commentary regarding Honduras can be read HERE). Therefore, when I learned about Obama’s outright repudiation of the current happenings in Honduras I was also very slow to understand what was going on, and reserved judgment. And, frankly I don’t like to add to the pile-on of the plethora of conservative websites spouting like talking points because I think it makes us look predictable and dependent. But, now it is getting down right weird.
The White House has condemned the Honduras Supreme Court’s decision to oust former president Manuel Zelaya. Obama said the following about it: “We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the democratically elected president there.” The US also co-sponsored a U.N. resolution that supported Zelaya with Bolivia, Mexico, and Venezuela. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also come out with statements, going so far as to say that it was a “coup.” What is confusing to me regarding the issue is the fact that as far as I can tell, the “coup” was legal.
Apparently Zelaya (who may visit the U.S. soon) wanted to change the constitution of his country (reports indicate that he ultimately wanted to eliminate term-limits as Hugo Chavez has done) through an illegal referendum. The Supreme Court explained that he could not. But, Zelaya got Chavez to ship some ballots from Venezuela anyway and had the blame thing. The Supreme Court and the attorney general called his referendum illegal. Nonetheless, Miguel “never give up” Zelaya fired the guy that told him “no,” gathered a mob, broke into the building that had the ballots, and tried to do it all over again. Following constitutional procedure, the military was ordered by the Supreme Court to arrest him.
All of this is a bit eerie, the military ousting a president, but if anyone was the aggressor or attempting a “coup,” it would be the former president. Following the constitution, again, the Honduran congress has elected an interim president until the previously scheduled November elections. The new president chosen to serve out Zelaya’s term recently stated, “We have established a democratic government, and we will not cede to pressure from anyone. We are a sovereign country.”
So, my question that will sound old-hat to the political talk-show junkies like me is, whatever happened to the no meddling theme that we heard so much about during the Iran crisis? I don’t get it. Perhaps someone with a different perspective can fill me in.