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About Paul R. Hollrah, O.E.
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Past Articles
Obama's Honduras Blunder
Obama-Soros Hyperinflation
The Mark Sanford Affair
GM's 330-Page Death Warrant
History Repeats Itself
Obama the Cyber Snowman
The Sotomayor Nomination
A 100-Day Report Card
Corrupting the 2010 Census
Our Presidential Dilemma
The Drug War is Lost
The Icarus Factor
The Four Horsemen of the (American) Apocalypse
Bernie & Ruth & Chuck & Hillary
Obama is Dancing, But Who Calls the Tune?
Well...Is He, or Isn’t He?
A Tale of Two Impeachments
The Road to Fascism
Mad Max Threatens California
The Opaque Presidency
Goodbye, George Bush
The Supreme Court’s Hottest Potato
Rich White Trash
Amazing Grace: The American Sequel
Electoral Reform: The Multiple Vote
The Electoral College Has Failed
Real Electoral Reform
Something is Rotten...in the US Senate
Obama’s "Butt Boys”
Off with Their Heads
Our Sacred Cows are Coming Home to Roost
Russian Democracy: A Missed Opportunity
The Impatient Mr. Fitzgerald
Buying Soiled Underwear
Martin Luther King’s Nightmare
Slackers & Useful Idiots
The End of the Culture War
Who Killed the Automobile Industry?
Another Elephant in the Living Room
From Little ACORNS
Israel Dodges a Bullet
Just Because He’s Black
Loose Lips

Paul R. Hollrah, O.E.

Obama's Honduras Blunder
July 15, 2009

Once again, as he has in every available opportunity since he usurped the presidency, Barack Obama has sided with dictators, would-be dictators, and despots, to the detriment of those who love freedom and justice. His latest western hemisphere foreign policy blunder...as opposed to his more recent blunders in Italy, Russia, and Ghana...involved his unqualified support for the ousted would-be socialist dictator of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

 

Zelaya was elected to a four year term as president of Honduras in November 2005 and, under the one-term limit imposed by the Honduran Constitution, was scheduled to leave office in January 2010. However, having grown accustomed to the perquisites of office, and being the newest member of a small but determined club of Latin American socialist dictators...led by Raul Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua...Zelaya decided to impose upon the people of Honduras for an additional term of office, or more.

 

It was almost as if a young Marxist of unknown citizenship suddenly decided he’d like to be President of the United States. It was a preposterous notion.

 

Unfortunately, it appears that Zelaya, himself, was about the only person in Honduras who hungered for four more years of his leadership. When his proposal to remove the one-term limit was presented to the Congress and to the Honduran Supreme Court, it was roundly rejected. But Zelaya was undeterred. He simply ignored the constitutional amendment process and, instead, launched a campaign for reelection by national referendum, an effort that was strongly opposed by every branch of the Honduran government, including the national Congress, the Supreme Court, and the military...even members of his own party.

 

Nevertheless, Zelaya stubbornly proceeded with the illegal referendum, and just hours before he was to cast a vote for himself he was taken into custody at his home and flown to exile in Costa Rica by members of the Honduran military, acting under orders of the Congress and the Supreme Court. Immediately after his departure, congressional leader Roberto Micheletti, a reliable democrat and a friend of the United States, was sworn in as interim president.

 

Speaking from exile in Costa Rica, Zelaya told China Economic net that he was "kidnapped with force, violence, and brutality.” He said that "between eight and ten hooded and heavily armed soldiers had entered his home and forced him to board a plane without telling him the destination.” He should have known that this was not unusual. Throughout history, when it has become necessary for the people to remove a despotic leader by force, they rarely provide a travel itinerary or a choice of destinations.

 

Zelaya complained, "I was in my pajamas and did not even have socks on…” He apparently failed to consider that, on his way to exile in Costa Rica, his plane would fly over some 200 miles of dense jungle and 200 miles of shark-infested Pacific waters. The Castro/Chavez wannabe should have been happy to arrive in Costa Rica alive...socks or no socks.

 

Speaking to reporters in Costa Rica, Zelaya insisted that he would return to Honduras on Sunday, July 5, accompanied by Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador, and the head of the U.N. General Assembly to seek a return to power. In response, interim president Micheletti warned that, if Zelaya attempted to return he would be arrested and imprisoned. When Zelaya’s plane attempted to land at the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, it was intercepted by Honduran Air Force planes and turned away.

 

The first hemispheric leaders to speak out against Zelaya’s ouster were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Chavez threatened that, if a new Honduran government was sworn in he would "bring them down.” He went on to say that, if the Venezuelan ambassador in Tegucigalpa was harmed in any way, or if the Venezuelan embassy was entered, his country would attack Honduras militarily.

 

The OAS, in a sharply-worded ultimatum, "vehemently condemned” the coup and Zelaya’s "arbitrary detention and expulsion.” The OAS warned that the Honduran leaders had three days in which to restore Zelaya to power or face expulsion from the OAS. This was followed by a U.N. resolution calling on all 192 U.N. member nations not to recognize any government in Honduras other than Zelaya’s.

 

All of the "usual suspects” were present and accounted for.

 

Finally, after waiting to take his cues from the communist dictators of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, Obama issued a brief statement. He said, "I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of President Mel Zelaya. As the OAS did on Friday, I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”

 

According to an Associated Press report, "Obama declared that the United States still considers Manuel Zelaya to be the president of Honduras and assailed the coup that forced him into exile as ‘not legal,’ ”

 

So the question arises, why would Obama refer to Zelaya’s ouster as an "illegal coup?” As the AP reports, "The term ‘coup’ is defined as ‘a sudden, decisive exercise of power whereby the existing government is subverted without the consent of the people.’ When a country’s legally and democratically elected government ‘removes’ an individual, using the processes outlined under it’s Constitution, it is not a ‘coup,’ but a legally authorized act of State…” similar to removal via impeachment and subsequent trial.

 

As a Harvard Law School graduate, as a former Editor of the Harvard Law Review, as a professor of constitutional law, and as a practicing lawyer, should we not expect that Obama would understand the difference? What happened in Honduras was not a coup; it was a constitutionally authorized preservation of Honduran democracy, undertaken by the Congress and the Supreme Court, with the cooperation of the US-trained Honduran military.

 

In a nutshell, President Manual Zelaya attempted to subvert the Honduran Constitution in order to maintain himself in power, and when the Congress and the Supreme Court declared that his reelection was prohibited under Honduran law it became necessary to remove him by force. The decision was made by the Congress and the Supreme Court; the military was simply the tool employed by the people to secure their freedom.

 

As the AP explains, the Honduran situation would be analogous to an American president attempting to serve a 3rd term over the objections of Congress and the Supreme Court and in direct violation of our 22nd Amendment. The AP story conjectures that "an American President attempting to do such a thing would be impeached and jailed, and that if necessary, the U.S. military would be used by the Congress and the Supreme Court to "protect and defend” the Constitution.

 

The report goes on to ask, "But what about Obama? Why does he relate to these megalomaniacs (Castro, Chavez, Ortega, and Zelaya) who believe they are omnipotent? Why does he side with the "repressors” rather than those who stand for freedom? If Obama can’t distinguish which of the parties in Honduras acted legally and (which) did not, he doesn’t deserve to hold his office.” Was this an overt attempt by Obama to legitimize yet another Latin American socialist dictatorship?

 

Seeing Obama come away empty-handed from the G-8 summit in Italy; suffering the embarrassment of his patronizing audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome; and watching him get mugged by the former KGB Colonel, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow; one can only wonder why we have sent a boy to do a man’s job. However, none of these embarrassments should come as a surprise when we recall that Obama recently made a speech before an Arab audience in Egypt in which he hailed Islam for its many contributions to the development of American culture.

 

His performance of the last week on the foreign stage is just one more reason why we cannot afford to have this fool living in the White House.

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