Day By Day

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blind, stupid and just plain wrong

I blogged before about Honduras. Our government continues, seemingly mindlessly, to support Zelaya at the expense of rule of law. Honduras is a rarity, a case where democracy appears to be functioning and fully able to defend itself. Inexplicably the Obama administration has decided to side against a friendly democracy and with the likes of Castro, Chavez and Ortega. This type of myopic stupidity undermines the very values I believe this country needs to be promoting, especially in the Americas; Democracies make good neighbors.

Senator Jim DeMint visited Honduras and wrote about it in last weekend's Wall Street Journal. His article is an exceptional read that contrasts to the obstinance of the Obama administration. Here's a sample:
As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on.
The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras's one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya's removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya's former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.
Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. Almost.
In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya's ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.
When I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a "coup," he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department's top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh's report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denied.
On the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya's ouster. (It's on the Internet here .)
Unlike the Obama administration's snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic's James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama's hastily decided Honduras policy is now "a mistake in search of a rationale."
Missteps, mistakes, misspeaking, misunderstandings, missed opportunities, arrogance, tone deafness, above all an inability to recognize error without a sacrificial lamb to throw under the bus seem to quantify the amateur in the Whitehouse.  Nothing good will come of this, the American people deserve better.

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