I mean small "d" democrats when I say that.
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya continues to attempt to return to power despite widespread support for his ouster within that country. An old college friend of mine returned to the U.S. last weekend from doing missionary work in Honduras and his first Facebook comment was that the media wasn't reporting the truth.
The majority of Hondurans want Mel out as he is going the way or Chavez and Ortega. Maybe the [sic] should have used the more "official" channels, but things they witnessed him getting crazier by the minute. He broke the law in many ways and was looking to change the constitution to allow him to serve beyond his term.
Which is what small "d" democrats have been saying for two weeks. Unfortunately, capital "D" Democrats continue to prefer the shallow perception of democracy over the reality of it.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with ousted Honduran President Miguel Zelaya in Washington Tuesday, signaling unequivocal US support for Mr. Zelaya's return to office.
The insanity of this policy by the Obama administration cannot be understated. It used to be the GOP that was (oftentimes rightly) criticized for propping up tyrants and despots because they were "our" tyrants and despots. At the height of the Cold War, a valid defense for that realpolitik position could be made. But where is the greater evil on the horizon that we are willing to sacrifice the Honduran people for? It is no longer the Soviet Union and worldwide communism.
In fact, the main evil we face in much of the world today is the thugocratic regimes like Iran and Venezuela, wacko nut-jobs like North Korea, and communist China. Yet, in this situation, we've actually allied ourselves with Venezuela's Chavez!
The Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady has a great backgrounder on how Chavez came to accumulate power in Venezuela, and how Honduras narrowly avoided a similar fate.
Hundreds of emails from Hondurans flooded my in-box last week after I reported on the military's arrest of President Manuel Zelaya, as ordered by the Supreme Court, and his subsequent banishment from the country.
Mr. Zelaya's violations of the rule of law in recent months were numerous. But the tipping point came 10 days ago, when he led a violent mob that stormed a military base to seize and distribute Venezuelan-printed ballots for an illegal referendum.
All but a handful of my letters pleaded for international understanding of the threat to the constitutional democracy that Mr. Zelaya presented. One phrase occurred again and again: "Please pray for us."
Hondurans have good cause for calling on divine intervention: Reason has gone AWOL in places like Turtle Bay and Foggy Bottom. Ruling the debate on Mr. Zelaya's behavior is Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez, who is now the reigning international authority on "democracy."
Mr. Chávez is demanding that Mr. Zelaya be reinstated and is even threatening to overthrow the new Honduran president, Roberto Micheletti. He's leading the charge from the Organization of American States (OAS). The United Nations and the Obama administration are falling in line.
Is this insane? You bet. We have fallen through the looking glass and it's time to review how hemispheric relations came to such a sad state.
Emphasizing that Zelaya is out because he violated the law, is this Bloomberg report from last week quoting a wise Latina woman:
Honduras’s military acted under judicial orders in deposing President Manuel Zelaya, Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz said, rejecting the view of President Barack Obama and other leaders that he was toppled in a coup.
“The only thing the armed forces did was carry out an arrest order,” Cruz, 55, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Tegucigalpa. “There’s no doubt he was preparing his own coup by conspiring to shut down the congress and courts.”
Cruz said the court issued a sealed arrest order for Zelaya on June 26, charging him with treason and abuse of power, among other offenses.
What this all comes down to is that small "d" democrats don't do coups right. If you look back at the coup that briefly removed Venezuela's Chavez, it becomes apparent that it was an effort to save democracy, but Chavez was back in office less than two days later. Honduras' removal of Zelaya is obviously also an effort to keep democracy alive in that nation (with no help from Obama), yet he may too return.
My advice to democracy lovers everywhere: If you're going to overthrow a strongman, kill him.
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