Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Obama & Honduran Coup: Democracy V. The Rich & Powerful Elites ???

UPDATE 12:35 AM & 1:59 PM July 15, 2009

No surprise as US media acts as defenders of the Honduran Coup. The media owned & run by Neocons & Neoliberals who distrust any real reform in the United States itself or elsewhere is of course against President Zelaya . Being part of America's elite of the rich & powerful & the well connected are by definition in favor of the Elites who engineered the Coup possibly with the knowledge of the US Embassy in Honduras.

US Mainstream Media Complicit in producing misinformation , lies & propaganda to show erroneously that the majority of Hondurans were in favor of the Coup.

US Press Falsely Claims Honduran Plurality for Coup by robert Naiman,, July 14, 2009

Did a CID-Gallup poll last week indicate that a plurality of Hondurans support the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya? Yes, according to The Washington Post [July 9], The Wall Street Journal [July 10], The Christian Science Monitor [July 11], and Reuters [July 9], which all reported that the poll showed 41 percent in favor of the coup, with only 28 percent opposed.

But in fact the poll showed that 46 percent - a plurality - were opposed to the coup, according to The New York Times [July 10], The Associated Press [July 11] - and the president of CID-Gallup, in an interview with Voice of America on July 9.

As of this writing - Sunday evening, 5:30 pm Eastern time - none of the outlets which reported the poll incorrectly had corrected their earlier, inaccurate, reports.

DN! Honduran Coup Regime Hires US Lobbyists with Clinton Ties-July 14, 2009

More on Lobbyist Lanny Davis from Daily Kos
President Zelaya of Honduras Gains more support
Did Selaya Suffer from Hyper-Presidentialism
US system of governance Exceptional ? answer: President Bush???
Democracy & the Will of the people v the Elites & Rich & Powerful
Coup Made In America?

The writers of the following article accuses President Zelaya of Honduras of the crime of what they call Hyper-presidentialism. Given the attitude and actions of the Bush/Cheney Regime during its eight years is this article a piece of satire, are we being punked ?

Is this just more knee-jerk anti-progressives anti-left paranoid mania. Are we to read between the lines and see this as an attack or warning for President Obama if he dares go too far with his reforms. Are they setting the stage for ousting President Obama. Or are they just victims of their own narrow Conservative or Neo-Liberal ideological point of view so that they are unable to accept that Zelaya may in fact be supported by a majority of Hondurans. But the writers care little about this support because is mainly from the lower classes of Honduras who have little power or clout in their own country and are just depicted by those in power as the "Unwashed Masses" whom those who actually rule Honduras are permitted to just ignore . If those who support Zelaya continue to protest then the American Conservatives & their Conservative counterparts including the Religious Right in Honduras made up of the Catholic hierarchy & Right Wing Evangelicals can just start killing & terrorizing the majority of citizens in Honduras. Like the Religious Right in the United States they preach an Americanized form of Christianity which promotes the Gospel of Prosperity & that the wealthy are the chosen of God & so have no interest in implementing programs to help the poor & the lower classes. In the past the US has often encouraged the use of military force, torture, disappearing people & death squads to keep a US friendly elite in power in various countries around the Globe and especially in Latin America.

Is the OAS Against Democracy? by Javier Corrales and Daniel Altschuler at Huffington Post July 7,2009

Hyper-presidentialism occurs when elected presidents try to take the law into their hands, ignore constitutional limits, supersede the Congress and the courts, and use every possible trick to prolong their stay in office. Hyper-presidentialism directs a grave assault on democracy, because it is a challenge to political institutions coming from none other than the commander and spender in chief.

Hyper-presidentialism has become a recurrent problem in many Latin American democracies since the 1990s, and it set the stage for the Honduras coup. The democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, tried to run roughshod over the judiciary and the legislature.

The trigger was Zelaya's desire to seek another term in office. The Honduran Constitution prohibits re-election and, remarkably, the mention of one's desire to end this prohibition. Under normal circumstances, calling to reform this excessive constitutional restriction would seem perfectly reasonable. But democratic presidents must convince people of the need to reform, not exacerbate citizens' insecurity. Zelaya failed in this task. Everything he did suggested that his ultimate goal was to empower the Executive to the detriment of the other branches of government, and this scared all democratic forces.

...The lesson for the inter-American community is clear. Unless it develops a more sophisticated mechanism for Latin American democracies to help themselves from hyper-presidentialism, the region will also fail to deal with the other ghosts of its authoritarian past.

The writers claim President Zelaya of Honduras was in fact ignoring the Honduran constitution & laws and was expanding the executive. Doesn't this sound familiar didn't the Bush/Cheney do the same things. They claimed that they were above the law especially since America was at war.

They used the Department of Justice in a partisan manner going against the original intent of the Department of Justice. They used the DOJ to justify their illegal unethical & unconstitutional actions. Bush & Cheney used the Intelligence community especially the CIA to back their agenda with skewed & cooked up & fabricated intelligence some of it based on the false confessions of detainees who were tortured.They ignored the advice of senior military personnel . They manipulated the Media and the American people with lies & propaganda so they could invade Iraq & to justify illegal warrantless wire taping & the abuse & torture of POWs. As for Bush being the democratically elected president there are still questions about whether or not he wan the presidency. It was decided by a member of the Supreme Court who was a conservative Republican. In the 2000 & 2004 election there questions raised about vote rigging & such. So are these writers suggesting that the US congress & military would have been justified in removing Bush& Cheney & Rumsfeld etc. with the help of the US military rather than some other legal process.

The fear that Latin Americans have is that this will create a precedent and that other countries will undergo a coup d`etat using similar reasoning. The authors suggest that this form of Hyper-presidentialism is a problem possibly unique in Latin America and that other Presidents have over-reached in their use of power and should also be replaced such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

and they conclude with this patronizing statement:

"The lesson for the inter-American community is clear. Unless it develops a more sophisticated mechanism for Latin American democracies to help themselves from hyper-presidentialism, the region will also fail to deal with the other ghosts of its authoritarian past."

So we can ask what do they mean by using the words "sophisticated mechanism" which again sounds patronizing . It suggests that America has in fact such a "sophisticated mechanism' to counter-act an over-reaching president. Isn't this a bit far-fetched and a tad disingenuous If that is so why wasn't it used to replace the corrupt Bush/Cheney Regime. No instead it was used to rid the United States of President Clinton for what having an extra -marital affair or for lying about it. Yet the President lies takes the US to war costing the lives of over 4400 US personnel & destroying Iraq & murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis & yet Bush and Cheney et al get away with it and day in and day out they are still defended by the Neoconservative /Right-Wing Fox News Network while they attack President Obama like their counterparts have been doing in Honduras in their ongoing propaganda against President Zelaya.

This sounds at the very least as a typical American bit of patronizing towards Latin American countries as if they were children who were in need of guidance or adult supervision by the superior Americans who's system of governance is according to many Americans absolutely perfect. These writers I presume believe in American Exceptionalism which claims the American democracy is superior all other democracies or any other form of government. They seem to assume the poor and the lower classes in America are treated far better than any other industrialized nation which is far from the truth. America also does not have superior Helathcare or a superior public school system . See for instance Godfrey Hodgson's book ' The Myth of American Exceptionalism' pub. 2009.

Also see Karl Rove once again defending the Imperial Presidency or Hyperpresidentialism as a good thing in explaining that the executive branch should not share information with Congress because Congress has been infiltrated by "Leftists" who will leak the intel to the left-wing media. Also not Karl Rove claims those who leaked the information broke the law when did he or anyone in the Bush administration show any interests in the Rule of Law.

See: Karl Rove: It's Dangerous to Give Congress Information By Ben Armbruster at "Think Progress" via Information Clearing House, July 14, 2009-

ROVE: Well, because, look, it’s interesting. The CIA briefed Congress to this, I guess, in June. And the Congress immediately leaks it. That, itself is, a violation, I think, of several statutes and indicative of why it is so dangerous to give Congress information.

Remember, this is about according to The Wall Street Journal a program that was designed and for which people were trained, but a program which was never put into effect. And so Congress is saying we want you to — we want you to brief us. We, the left wing in Congress, want you to brief us on ideas you have. Not necessarily on programs that you executed.

O’REILLY: Right, so we can tell The New York Times what they are. That’s what they want.

So given America's deep flaws & its recent history of an Imperial Presidency under the Bush/Cheney Regime & its manipulation of the Inrtelligence Community, the Congress & Senate the Department of Justice & US media & its manipulation of the United Nations & its disregard for its own laws & Constitution & its disregard for International Laws & agreements it is rather disengenuous to attack President Zelaya.

The other issue which is considered the core of the issue in Honduras is that President Zelaya was not removed from power by the will of the majority of the Honduran people but by the elites of the wealthy & the well connected & the Privileged members of society who were fearful of reforms that might undermine their power & influence over the government in order to defend their interests at all cost.

And from the Daily Kos we get another indication of who the people in America and elsewhere who support the Coup & the removal of President Zelaya. The article points out the Honduran Coup has hired a notorious right wing Lobbyist Lanny Davis to lobby on their behalf in the US media & to members of Congress & Senate etc. But Lanny Davis was one the chief Lobbyist who ran an all out attack campaign against Barack Obama when he was running to lead the Democratic Party. Lanny Davis attack campaign use lies & misinformation & distortions to try to undermine Barack Obama's campagn. So the logic goes if Lanny Davis is backing the coup this means that coup was in fact illegal or unnecessary and was merely a means to kick out someone who leaned the wrong way politically.

Honduras Coup Daily Kos

Lobbyist Lanny Davis Seeks Rematch w. Obama over Honduras Coup by The Field at Daily Kos, July 13, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

Remember, during the 2008 presidential primaries, the constant screeching national media presence from lawyer-lobbyist Lanny Davis? Yeah, him. The guy who night after night went on every cable TV channel to scream that Obama wasn't electable, that Obama couldn't win swing states, that Obama couldn't win white voters, that Obama had to explain his position on race, that Obama couldn't answer the 3 a.m. phone call...

He's baaaack.

And now he's representing the Honduran coup d'etat...

Yup, one of those very same bottom-feeding lobbyists who you banned from your administration is now out to prove that you really are the "inexperienced" rube he said you were.

And (as your Spanish-speaking US citizen it is my duty to inform you) the way that much of Latin America sees it, your administration - and particularly your Secretary of State - are being successfully played by.. cough... cough... Lanny Davis!

...See what he's trying to do with the Honduras coup, Mr. President? Lanny Davis' Honduras gambit is an attempt to prove that he was right all along: that you are "indecisive," and that you'll "duck" your civic duty to put the hammer down on the coup through the tools at your immediate disposal: full-on economic sanctions and by unleashing your law enforcement agencies on the gang of money launderers, narco-traffickers, ex-Cuban terrorists and others that have conspired and acted to turn Honduras into the rebirth of the 1950s Batista project in Cuba: a veritable mobster-state and safe haven for all of them.

...Let me remind you of the most important thing to know about Lanny Davis: He's always wrong.

But now, in 2009, here he is, causing an international scandal: his sudden mercenary presence on the scene is viewed by many throughout Latin America as proof positive that the putsch in Tegucigalpa is "Obama's coup," or, at very least, "Secretary Clinton's coup." It's not, you say? I've said that, too. But Lanny Davis is trying his darnedest to make you own it, and make me eat those words.

Just like most US citizens have a hard time understanding different democratic systems of government in other countries, people abroad think Washington has pretty weird form of democracy, too, with its lobbyists like Lanny Davis pushing and pulling government around by the nose ring.

When they see someone like Lanny Davis, such a notorious cheerleader for the political ambitions of your Secretary of State, so closely allied with her over so many years, now lobbying for a military coup, her every move is scrutinized through that lens. She's taking an even bigger hit, so far, than you are over this. But in the end this will fall on you.
Obama must come out and boldly condemn the Coup & follow this with action

...Nobody's asking you to send in the Marines. All you need to do is to zealously enforce the laws of your own country, where the coup plotters deposit so many of the dollars that they've looted from the majority of Hondurans, and where they and their family members need visas to go shop in Miami with all that dirty money. Their bluff is in a Prada bag. You play poker. Call it.

And Zelaya is right. Playing along with such talks with an illegitimate coup regime any longer than they've gone on already would be folly. Diplomacy is for dealing with legitimate governments, not for criminals and terrorists.

And, Mr. President, even if that story blows over in the news media, because Honduras is a relatively small country, you just know that if the Honduras coup succeeds in remaining in power that other military generals in other Latin American countries are going to take it as a green light to do the same. And when that happens, the next coup - in Bolivia, perhaps? El Salvador? Nicaragua? Or completing the circle from 1955, Guatemala, Señor Presidente? - will be known far and wide as "Obama's coup," because your administration will then be accurately perceived as having not lowered the boom - in all the economic, political and judicial ways that everybody knows you can and must do - on its predecessor.

Worse, they'll say you got beat by Lanny Davis.

They'll even say that kooky Lanny fellow was right about you in 2008.

Those are his chips on the card table.

Now show us yours.

" US accused of backing Honduras coup " Agence France-Presse via The, July 14, 2009

Bolivian leader Evo Morales has accused the US military of being behind the coup in Honduras, saying the "imperial structure remains in force", despite President Barack Obama's inauguration.

"I have first-hand information that the empire, through the US Southern Command, made the coup d'etat in Honduras," President Morales said during a visit to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

The coup that saw Honduran President Manuel Zelaya swept up by the military on June 28 in his pajamas and expelled from the country "is an aggression, a provocation of the empire," he said.

"Maybe I do not know Obama, but the imperial structure remains in force."

Anyway given the treatment of the Honduran media & foreign media by the new government it has all the trappings of a coup. Shutting down any opposition media, the use of a curfew , a ban on public demonstrations, shutting down the University, arresting and or intimidating dissidents, a military presence across the nation- looks like a coup - was it engineered with outside help ie wealthy American conservatives & the angry anti-communist extremists & the American Religious Right who believe taxing the rich or providing adequate funding for public education or Health Care is downright evil and anti-Christian & anti-American (as Pastor Hagee would argue- if the poor are hungry Jesus said let them starve!!!)- was the campaign to oust Zelaya a rogue operation of the CIA or the US military or the Embassy in Honduras. As I have said before the Bush regime had authorized several campaigns in Latin America in Venezuela against Hugo Chavez so was this a continuation & expansion of that program and did it operate without Obama's knowledge ???

"Chavez-funded Telesur flourishes in Honduras coup " By Frank Jack Daniel,CARACAS, July 14 (Reuters)

It was a dramatic scoop, a live conversation with a coup-ousted president broadcast from the cockpit of his jet as it swooped over clashes between soldiers and his supporters in the capital below.

That nail-biting drama is one of a clutch of exclusives that made Latin America's left-wing news network Telesur vital viewing as a coup against President Manuel Zelaya unfolded in Honduras, from the first interview with the deposed leader to rolling coverage of the protests that followed.

Founded four years ago and funded by President Hugo Chavez in oil-rich Venezuela, Telesur was created as an alternative to U.S.-based networks, partly to further Chavez's goal of uniting Latin America under his vision of "21st Century Socialism."

It has been criticized as a propaganda tool for the anti-U.S leader, and its impartiality was questioned over its coverage of hostage releases by Colombian guerrillas.

During the crisis in Honduras, a Central American nation of 7 million people, Caracas-based Telesur has unequivocally favored Chavez ally Zelaya and his supporters, although it has also covered rallies by Hondurans who back his ouster.

The channel has come into its own by providing a podium for Zelaya loyalists and allies when the coup leaders censored the national press, and it has given established competitors like CNN a run for their money with up-to-the-minute reports.

"I congratulate Telesur, its journalists, its cameramen. If Telesur did not exist a good part of the world would not know the real truth of what is happening, the real truth of what is happening in Honduras," Chavez said last week.

Most of the channel's $45 million annual budget is financed by Chavez's government, partly to weaken Latin America's private media, which Chavez has not forgiven for helping a brief 2002 coup that ousted him for two days.

Honduras Coup Expels Venezuela TV By Redaction AHORA / July 13, 2009

A team of reporters arrived in Venezuela after aggressions and threats from the Honduras de facto government of Roberti Micheletti, reported VTV Monday.

According to this TV News the journalists arrived Sunday night at the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar International Airport.

Journalist Eduardo Silvera considered Saturday night, when they were kidnapped by Coupists, the most difficult in Honduras.

Silvera said the TeleSur group of journalists, also expelled by coup forces had to leave Honduras through the frontier with Nicaragua and were escorted by a delegation from the Organization of American States.

He also declared there is still much to report about Honduras and the Honduran people and world must be aware of that.

In addition VTV editor Alexander Salas denounced that since they arrived in Honduras the coup forces of Micheletti's de facto government were always harassing and pursuing them.

This Sunday the Chairwoman of the Inter American Human Rights Commission Luz Patricia Mejia denounced arrest and subsequent release of Tele Sur and Venezuelan TV staff.

TeleSur and Venezuelan TV were the only channels broadcasting in details the coup against Constitutional president Manuel Zelaya who was taken away from his country by military forces last June 28./PL

Honduras Coup Enters Third Week by Redaction AHORA, July 13, 2009

Honduran popular organizations enter Monday the third week of protests to the June 28 military coup, demanding the restitution of constitutional order. Juan Barahona, one of the leaders of the National Front against the Coup, stated that rallies will continue today, after a meeting of the leadership.

"We will continue protests until the de facto government abandons the power it has usurped," stressed the president of the United Federation of Honduran Workers during an act held in the capital's central park on Sunday.

The leadership of teachers' union, on strike for an indefinite period in rejection of the coup, will also analyze peaceful resistance's strategies for the return of the democratic legality to the country, Barahona stressed.

The Front convened a plenary meeting for Tuesday with the groups that comprise trade, rural, student, human rights, environmental and teachers unions.

Singers and songwriters like Karla Lara, Duet Cafe Guancasco and Griton group, among others, have confirmed their willingness to support people's democratic struggles./PL

Honduras Bans Freedom of Expression by Redaction AHORA, July 13, 2009

Freedom of expression was eliminated in Honduras and many journalists have been threatened, arrested and expelled from the country since the coup was perpetrated, denounced CIAP-FELAP Monday.

According to a report of the Investigating Commission of Attacks against Journalists (CIAP attached to the Latin American Federation of Journalists (FELAP) arrest and removal of Tele Sur and Venezuelan TV (VTV) reporters are important episodes.

After denouncing arrest and expulsion of Eduardo Silvera, VTV special correspondent, and Madeleine Garcia from TeleSur, the situation was considered a clear violation of human rights.

The action took place this Sunday on the date political leader Rager Bados was murdered in San Pedro Sula.

After summarizing other incidents against Honduran and foreign journalists the CIAP and FELAP, throughout their President Hernan Uribe and executive secretary Ernesto Carmona, both from Chile, urged journalist organizations to denounce and show themselves in solidarity with the Honduras case./PL

and more support for President Zelaya:

NAM countries condemn Honduras coup July 12, 2009 SHARM EL-SHEIKH, July 12 (Xinhua)

-- The countries of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) condemned coup d'etat in Honduras, saying they support the immediate restoration of the ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, said a statement issued by NAM summit secretariat on Sunday.

The overthrowing of Zelaya constitutes a flagrant violation of the constitutional and democratic order of that country, affecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the statement said.

The heads of state and government of NAM countries supported the demands made by the international community on the immediate and unconditional restoration of the legitimate and constitutional government of Zelaya in Honduras, it added.

They welcomed the call to recognize no government than that of the constitutional President Zelaya, and called on the continuation of all regional and multilateral efforts aimed at the restoration of the democratically elected government of Honduras, in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution.

and so it goes ,

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