Another Hoekstroika

Yeehaw:

“On what basis does the Administration demand Zelaya’s reinstatement?” DeMint asked. “His removal from office was no more a coup than was Gerald Ford’s ascendance to the Oval Office, or our newest colleague Al Franken’s election to the Senate.” – Jim DeMint, (Wingnut, SC)

Hoekstroika defined.






76 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’ll still feel better about the alleged coup in Honduras when the Department of Law makes it’s ruling.

  2. 2
    anonevent says:

    When are you going to make that a tag?

  3. 3
    Cat G says:

    Remember when people speculated that after Obama was elected Jon Stewart wasn’t going to have good material to work with. Boy, were we wrong! It makes you think that there was a lot of this nuttiness out there, but Bush was just busy pre-empting the spotlight.

  4. 4
    PaulW says:

    “His removal from office was no more a coup than was Gerald Ford’s ascendance to the Oval Office, or our newest colleague Al Franken’s election to the Senate.” – Jim DeMint, (Wingnut, SC)

    Um, let’s see:

    1) Grabbed before dawn by the Honduran military;
    2) Roughed up;
    3) Dropped without so much as a “by your leave” in a whole other country.

    Back in the day, when people weren’t batsh-t crazy, back when Republican leadership had some semblance of sanity, *that was called a coup*. We would watch that happen in another country, and Left or Right, Democrat or Republican, we called it a coup. For the love of God, Wikipedia is calling it a coup (God knows what Conservapedia is saying… is that site still in existence btw?).

  5. 5
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Back in the day, when people weren’t batsh-t crazy, back when Republican leadership had some semblance of sanity, that was called a coup. We would watch that happen in another country, and Left or Right, Democrat or Republican, we called it a coup. For the love of God, Wikipedia is calling it a coup (God knows what Conservapedia is saying… is that site still in existence btw?).

    Just ask Kissinger or Bush senior about how to take down a duly elected leader of another country.

  6. 6
    Comrade Stuck says:

    But how well was Zelaya fed during his coup de ta? A Hoekstroika can be mitigated with a good meal. Call it a Duncaninian Hoekstroika.

  7. 7
    Turgidson says:

    WTF IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE

    …that’s all I got. oh, and this. WTF?!?!?

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    Yeah, I’m shocked that the same Republican Party that had John Negroponte run death squad Honduras under Ronald Reagan / Bush Sr. as “the unsinkable aircraft carrier” during the 1980s and then chose Death Squad Negroponte to help us fuck up manage Iraq has members who once again support death squad militaries carrying out coups d’etat against elected liberal / left governments.

  9. 9
    tomjones says:

    Yea, but if I had Sen. Demint committed to the care of a state mental institution, I would be the bad guy.

  10. 10
    demkat620 says:

    I think DeMint is trying to win the title of world’s greatest wingnut.

    However, with Inhofe, Burr, Chambliss, King, and Pence he’s in a real tough fight to take Sarah’s crown.

  11. 11
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @demkat620:

    Michelle Bachmann just unleashed a string of gibberish that linguists believe is a protest at being left off the list.

  12. 12
    freelancer says:

    It’s too bad that Zelaya didn’t point out that the Military’s Countertops were Granite.

  13. 13
    Mike G says:

    I had to wait in line at the DMV today.
    It was like AUSCHWITZ!!
    — Jim DeMint

  14. 14
    RalphF says:

    I believe he is not saying Franken’s election was a coup but that it was not. It was a normal operation of democracy as was Zelaya’s loss of office, in his opinion.

  15. 15
    KCinDC says:

    There were plenty of examples of Hoekstroika during the Bush years, before Hoekstra even got into the act. I remember particularly Bush comparing a scratch he got while clearing brush to soldiers losing limbs and earlier comparing his “bad week” of political troubles to the troubles suffered by families who had lost loved ones in the war.

  16. 16
    donovong says:

    Lucky me. The world’s nuttiest remaining governor (in two weeks, anyway) and DeNut as one of our fucking senators.

    Thank jeebus for Lindsay Graham.

    What a fucking minute. What am I saying?!?

  17. 17
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @PaulW: God knows what Conservapedia is saying… is that site still in existence btw?).

    They’re probably blaming the unrest on Gay Bowel Syndrome.

  18. 18
    PaulW says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Just ask Kissinger or Bush senior about how to take down a duly elected leader of another country.

    If you’re talking aboot Chile and/or Argentina and 20 other nations south of the border… It still got called a coup. I don’t remember there being any politically correct term in the pro-dictator newspapers.

  19. 19
    PaulW says:

    @donovong:

    For once, I can’t believe Florida has saner politicians.

  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    I watched the video clip to see if there was any audible reaction to what this horse’s ass was saying. I didn’t hear anything. Too bad. I’d like to think that whoever was in the chamber at the time fell apart in uproarious laughter upon hearing his comments, and/or started yelling things like “What?!” and “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”

  21. 21

    I wish that both DeMented and Obama would shut the fuck up about what happened in Honduras. The Honduran Constitution says that you get one term in office as president and then you’re gone, Zelaya was trying to change that so he could run for office again and that’s why the Honduran military exiled his ass. Given the lamentable history of corrupt Latin American presidents staying in office forever and ever and ever and gaming the system so that they can’t be defeated, this provision in the Honduran constitution seems entirely reasonable to me, If Zelaya were truly a democrat he could have waited for his term to expire and then lobbied for the constitutional change rather than using the presidential office as a bully pulpit for it. Given the polarization in Honduras the best thing for every American politician to do, and yes, that includes Obama, would be to keep their fucking mouths shut and let the Hondurans work things out for themselves. The United States has fucked up enough shit in Latin America and let’s face it, our country isn’t doing all that well so our politicians should focus on fixing the US of A and stop worrying about other countries.

  22. 22

    My local grocery market was out of arugula and frozen custard, now I know how the Ethiopians felt.

  23. 23
    mcc says:

    God knows what Conservapedia is saying… is that site still in existence btw?

    Checking…

    Conservapedia’s article begins with a summary that reads in full:

    Honduras is a country in Central America. Its most recently elected leader was ousted in a coup. [1]

    Then later in the article, they dispute the position of those “leftists” who have been referring to the ousting of Zelaya as a coup.

    They also have a “featured article” on Sotomayor that I could not find it in me to read.

  24. 24
    Emma says:

    Wiley Coyote: Yes, except he was trying to do it legally, by referendum. And as a latin american, I can tell you, the moment the military gets involved — oops. There goes democracy. At either end of the spectrum.

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    I remember particularly Bush comparing a scratch he got while clearing brush to soldiers losing limbs and earlier comparing his “bad week” of political troubles to the troubles suffered by families who had lost loved ones in the war.

    Dubya made a big deal about how he gave up playing golf and eating desserts to show his solidarity with the sacrifices of the troops. What a dickhead.

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    For the United States to “shut the fuck up” about Honduras, it would first have to stop fucking supporting the god damned death squad military it created, trained, directed, and which helped it imprison ever god-damned fucking elected civilian government that Honduras claimed to have.

    The shitty, awful death squad militaries which control Honduras and Guatemala should be utterly dismantled and shipped off to hell, but this can’t happen until the U.S. stops backing and training them. Jesus.

  27. 27
    SGEW says:

    N.B., methinks:

    While the Honduran Constitution does, indeed, have provisions for impeachment, and Pres. Zelaya’s actions (re: avoiding the term limit) might have (probably?) been just cause to begin proceedings, the Honduran government did not follow any proper due process whatsoever for arresting, deporting, and unseating the duly elected chief executive. They physically exiled him without even filing any paperwork.

    Examine this timeline:

    – Zelaya does possibly unconstitutional stuff (the referendum, etc.).
    – The Legislative and Judicial branches overrule.
    – Zelaya tries to do stuff anyway.
    – Congress begins impeachment procedure, to determine whether or not to remove the president from office.
    – (???)
    – Zelaya arrested by the military and deported from the country.
    – Judiciary approves the action.
    – Congress installs new president.

    Notice how things seem a little . . . out of sequence? With a rather important step missing?

    There is a reason that not a single nation in the world has recognized the new president’s legal legitimacy. The UN (by acclamation), the OAS, and the EU have all unanimously declared that Zelaya is still the official president of Honduras.

    Notice that I am not saying that the current official position taken by the USA, the EU, and the OAS (i.e., Zelaya is to be returned to office immediately, or else, uh, um, something or other) is necessarily the wise (or even “correct”) one to take.

    [Not mentioned here: Class, ethnic tensions, regional trade rivalries, free speech, or any sort of historical context. (!)]

  28. 28
    Keith says:

    Short of right-wingers now wishing Obama would be replaced by a Petraeus or a Palin, can someone give me an explanation as to why so many of them are now supportive of Central American military coups? I wasn’t paying much attention to this whole Honduran thing (I figured the coverage had something to do with Sully going balls-deep on the democracy kick), so people supporting the coup caught me off guard once I started reading more of these items.

  29. 29
    KCinDC says:

    Keith, if Hugo Chávez, Obama, and the Europeans are opposed to something, then right-wingers don’t need to think at all to know they should support whatever it is.

  30. 30
    SGEW says:

    [deleted to escape moderation. Did I say “sh0e” or something?]

  31. 31
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @SGEW:

    You’re right SGEW. You can’t do something un constitutional and claim you are doing it to save the constitution. That’s the same garbage we got from the Bushies and it applies to all democracies.

    The courts and the military frog leaped the law and went Banana Republic with the arrest and exile, before going the prescribed legal processes to punish or remove Zelaya. So whatever Zelaya was doing illegally was trumped by the other institutions of democracy.

    The military controlled the ballots and were not going to distribute them despite Zelaya’s rantings. There was no need to do what they did, other than a power grab of their own. And as far as Obama, or anyone else speaking out, surely they should. It wasn’t Zelaya who conducted a undemocratic coup, and it should be called for what it was by the world./

  32. 32
    SGEW says:

    [more moderation! Damnation!]

  33. 33
    SGEW says:

    [Apologies for upthread moderation hiccups. Curse you filter!]

    @Keith:

    1) Whenever something happens, the right wing asks itself: “Can we attack Obama on this?” The two possible answers are: “Yes” or “Yes.”

    2) Zelaya is (was?) one of those “left-wing” populist Social ists they’ve heard so much about, like Chavez or Castro. Zelaya = Castro. Castro = super duper extra bad. Therefore, anything supporting Zelaya = OMGFASCISM.

    3) They’re pouting that Obama won’t actually go and topple democratically elected governments in Latin America like we used to (Bush did support the coup that tried to topple Chavez, one must remember), and they’re pining for the good old days.

    [edited for accuracy]

  34. 34
    someguy says:

    I think we ought to quit telling Central American nations what to do. Their Supreme Court issued an injunction, near as I can tell, to their Executive’s promise to overturn their constitution by plebiscite, a process their constitution doesn’t provide for. They ordered the Army to jack the guy out of office, which it did, then their Congress approved it 108-3, and they followed their order of succession, and they’re having the regularly scheduled election in a couple months, which makes it sound a little bit kosher in my book. If Bush had promised he was chucking out the 22nd Amendment and running again, I’d damn well expect our courts and Congress and the military (which swears an oath to uphold the Constitution) to take action if the guy persisted. What makes you think a guy who says he’s going to throw the Constitution in a trash can, is going to obey a court order to cease and desist, or a Congressional order to leave?

    Seriously. I know that makes me a right wing goddamned freak for suggesting this during a Democratic administration, but if it was evil and wrong and horrible for Negroponte and Bush I & II and Reagan and Eisenhower to fuck around in Central American politics, why is it right when Kennedy and Johnson and Carter and Clinton and Obama do it?

    Oh, I get it. We agree with Zelaya’s politics, extralegal or not. So that makes it okay.

    As opposed to Reagan agreeing with Mesoamerican right wingers’ extralegal politics, which made Reagan’s subsequent fucking around in the region just plain wrong and evil…

    Please, could somebody give me a good principled guide to which kinds of strong arm hegemony are good? The guide I got in the mail only says “whatever hegemony the guy I voted for approves of, is A-O.K. with me,” and I know that can’t possibly be the right answer…

  35. 35
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @someguy:

    They ordered the Army to jack the guy out of office, which it did, then their Congress approved it 108-3, and they followed their order of succession,

    A little ass backwards don’t ya think. Don’t know what the Honduran constitution specifies, but I’m pretty sure it’s not do a coup/exile and vote later when the world cries fowl. I would think the prescribed process is not unlike ours, where a trial is conducted before removal of a sitting president. And the president is not sent to another country unable to defend himself.

  36. 36
    Singularity says:

    Remember when the military came to Norm Coleman’s house and deported him to Wisconsin? And they stood on the tarmac at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to prevent his plane from returning him to serve the good people of Minnesota?

    And when the military stormed the White House in ’74 and dragged Nixon out by his heels? Will the Canadians ever forgive us for saddling them with Tricky Dick during his exile?

  37. 37
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Singularity:

    And when the military stormed the White House in ‘74 and dragged Nixon out by his heels? Will the Canadians ever forgive us for saddling them with Tricky Dick during his exile?

    I know you’re making a funny, but in the days before Nixon resigned, there was a lot of speculation as to whether Nixon would refuse to go if removed from office. Or whether he would circle the WH with tanks and a battalion 82nd Airborne troops. Those were some crazy ass days and nobody knew what would happen next.

  38. 38
    Singularity says:

    No Someguy. What made Reagan’s fucking around in the region evil was when he actively armed, trained and supported the cocksuckers who murdered 900+ women, children and old people at El Mozote, El Salvador; and then tried to ruin the reputation of journalists who uncovered and reported on it. Among other things.

    On the other hand, Obama’s “meddling” in Honduras has primarily consisted of refusing to recognize an extraconstitutional coup as legitimate. So, yeah. I can see the moral equivalence.

  39. 39
    inkadu says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Thank you! Finally someone grounded in history understands that the true guardian of democracy in Latin America is the military.

    Don’t cry for me, Honduras…

  40. 40
    SGEW says:

    Not just quibbles:

    They ordered the Army to jack the guy out of office, which it did . . .

    The “order” (if there was one: there is no evidence that there was anything more than a back room nod) was not supported by any legal rationale: removal from office (not to mention physical arrest, confiscation of property, and deportation from your own country) requires a legal process that is constitutional. In Honduras, in accordance to its domestic law and international treaty obligations, this process is handled by their own impeachment procedure – a procedure that was not followed. E.g.,

    . . . then their Congress approved it 108-3 . . .

    (emphasis added)
    Ex post facto law is illegitimate, even in Honduras. Timing, in some cases, is everything.

    . . . and they’re having the regularly scheduled election in a couple months, which makes it sound a little bit kosher in my book.

    It might sound better [and the closeness of the upcoming election (in which Zelaya cannot run, despite what he might say) will probably be the determinative factor in how this thing will ultimately go down (i.e., stallstallstall oh we’ve had an election now hooray for the new guy let’s never talk about this again kthx)], but it’s still a violation of the rule of law and is not a peaceful, lawful succession of power.

    Oh, I get it. We agree with Zelaya’s politics, extralegal or not. So that makes it okay.

    Do you really think that every single nation in the entire world except for Honduras also “agrees” with Zelaya’s politics?

    And, finally:

    . . . if it was evil and wrong and horrible for Negroponte [et. al., etc.] to fuck around in Central American politics . . . why is it right when [ ] Obama do[es] it?

    Fucking around (in a bad way) in Central American politics: Supporting, training, and supplying death squads; backing military coup d’etats; physically invading countries with armies and stuff.

    Not fucking around (in a bad way) in Central American politics: Supporting international law, and criticizing violations of the global consensus on how peaceful transfers of power should operate.

    See how that works?

  41. 41
    someguy says:

    Cool, I see the principled rule I was looking for here.

    If it’s hegemony for left causes, it’s good.

    Thanks for setting me straight. I won’t question U.S. efforts to tell other countries in our own hemisphere how to run their affairs from now on. Just slap me if I get out of line.

  42. 42

    Purple finger-waving hypocrite.

  43. 43
    SGEW says:

    @someguy: Dispute a single substantive point, guy. Try.

  44. 44
    someguy says:

    BTW, what’s the global consensus on how power transfers should operate? I look at China, many Asian / Oceana dictatorships, Southwest Asia and Africa… are they all part of this global consensus you speak of? I was under the impression that most countries/regions I just mentioned are pretty arbitrary when it comes to the whole power transfer thing. Perhaps I’m mistaken and I just missed the Chinese elections or the election of the new Saudi president…

    Or is this just a do-as-we-say kind of consensus that we’re supposed to be enforcing?

  45. 45
    inkadu says:

    @someguy: The global consensus is among democracies. That includes almost the entirety of the Americas, all of Europe, Russia, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Tawain, South Africa…

    Democracy is very well represented around the globe. I don’t know that they represent the majority of the countries. However, most non-democratic countries are struggling to rob food from UN convoys, they aren’t very involved with world politics, so we can have a global consensus without them.

    Also, we are not enforcing anything. The only thing that the United States has enforced in the past 40 years is sycophantic corporate- and US-friendly dictatorships. Thank Henry Killinger and his magic murder bag.

  46. 46

    If Zelaya were truly a democrat he could have waited for his term to expire and then lobbied for the constitutional change rather than using the presidential office as a bully pulpit for it.

    Um…Zelaya proposal to hold a new constitutional convention would have been voted on in the same election that was choosing Zelaya’s successor. Even if it had been approved, that would have meant that, several weeks or months after Zelaya had retired, there would have been a constitutional assembly that might or might not have voted to eliminate the ban on running for a second term.

    Here is the language of the question Zelaya proposed, in its entirety:

    “Do you agree with the installation of a fourth ballot box during the 2009 general elections so that the people can decide on the calling of a national constituent assembly? Yes or no.”

    There’s nothing about term limits in that question.

  47. 47
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @someguy:

    Cool, I see the principled rule I was looking for here. If it’s hegemony for left causes, it’s good.

    You completely miss the point. It’s not that Zelaya wasn’t way out bounds. It was how the government dealt with it which was by a thuggish and illegal reversion to old ways. I don’t have a problem supporting democracies as long as it’s by moral support and not on the ground meddling. So far, I don’t see us doing that, but instead we are setting up an outside arbritration in Costa Rica. Hillary set this up and the current Honduran govment has accepted. to me, this is positive involvement and above board.

  48. 48

    . . . if it was evil and wrong and horrible for Negroponte [et. al., etc.] to fuck around in Central American politics . . . why is it right when [ ] Obama do[es] it?

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s the hundreds of thousands of tortured and murdered people Negroponte left behind, and the complete absence of violence from Obama.

    No, wait, maybe it’s the fact that Obama’s “hegemony” means adhering to democratic succession of power and the subordination of the military to legitimate democratic forces, while Negroponte supported military coups d’etat.

    Oh, I get it. We agree with Zelaya’s politics, extralegal or not. So that makes it okay.

    I defy you to quote a single person who’s written anything about Zelaya’s politics. Nice projection, hypocrite: you’ve made up your mind on whether of not to support a coup d’etat against an elected civilian leader based on what you think about his politics, so you’re going to accuse everyone else of doing so, too.

    their Executive’s promise to overturn their constitution by plebiscite, a process their constitution doesn’t provide for.

    You’re an ignorant dupe. A propaganda victim. And that’s being generous.

  49. 49
    SGEW says:

    @someguy: Good question. Let me give this a shot:

    First of all, if a nation signs a legally binding international agreement, the international community tries to hold them to it (especially when they too are signatories to the regional Charter).

    Secondly, a “peaceful transfer of power” does not mean “an election”: it means the new leader was installed through some codified, previously agreed upon mechanism. In other words, without having to declare martial law, dig?

    Third, authoritarian, dictatorial, or otherwise non-democratic states have a vested interest in preventing non-codified transfers of power from becoming internationally acceptable. For (hopefully) obvious reasons. Note well that China has had more peaceful transfers of executive power in the last fifty years than pretty much any Central American nation.

    Finally, Honduras is nominally a democracy, and other democracies are particularly sensitive about this kind of thing.

    Yes, there is a rhetorical disconnect between members of the U.N. who are democracies and those who are not. Where have you been for the last century or so? However, when everyone agrees on something, chances are that whatever it was that that nation did, it’s not “kosher.”

    [n.b. IANAEOIR (I am not an expert on international relations)]

  50. 50

    but instead we are setting up an outside arbritration in Costa Rica. Hillary set this up and the current Honduran govment has accepted.

    That is exactly like the Reagan administration funding terrorist death squads to overthrow elected governments. Exactly.

    Christ almighty. How much do you want to bet that “someguy” was waving around a purple finger four and a half years ago?

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    A bit of perspective from a guy who has held senior Honduran positions for the last several decades, including under Zelaya.

    This bullshit about how this was some legal order by the courts against some horrid anti-Constitutional action by Zelaya which just happened to be carried out by the Honduran death squad military — a military which has controlled the existence and direction of civilian front governments since the awful Reagan death squad constitution of 1982 — needs to just be dropped.

    This is exactly what it looked like — a military coup backed by a friendly court and Congress. There’s a reason that’s what it looked like, and there’s a reason that every other fucking country in Latin America including right wing Chavez-hating Mexico and Colombia don’t want a precedent set with the military overthrowing elected leaders on some flimsy bullshit pretense presented after the fact that ‘but the Court asked us to’ or ‘but the Congress voted after our violent coup d’etat to support us.

    If you want to encourage some leftist military officer to rise up and overthrow the government, tell him that if Honduras goes through with this, all he’s got to do is get a court to issue, beforehand or afterwards, an order that the President has acted un-Constitutionally, and then after your overthrow, make sure and tell the Congress / Parliament it needs to rubber stamp your overthrow, because, hey, you have the guns.

    Fucking Alvaro Uribe of Colombia got his Congress in 2006 to vote to change their 1-term-limit law so he could run for re-election, and now Colombia’s courts are trying to nail down exactly how many congresspersons were BRIBED to do it, and then later his fucking 2006 re-election campaign manager and then head of the state intelligence agency was arrested for COLLABORATING WITH RIGHT WING DEATH SQUADS and in particular TO HAVE THEM ASSASSINATE A PROFESSOR AND TWO UNION ORGANIZERS.

    Tell me when’s the last time you saw much of anyone spending time on how that is a crisis of democratic Constitutionalism..

    Shit, Zelaya, even in full “I don’t give a shit about the consequences” mode was 100 times more democratic and constitutional than the death-squad-collaborating, illegal-spying-with-US-provided-equipment Uribe regime of Colombia, except that since Uribe’s real popular with the city populations — but perhaps not the rural countryside running from the civil war and paramilitary murderers and narco-guerrillas and the 3 million internal refugees — and because he’s a right wing conservative who is very well educated and well spoken, all is okay.

    ‘Cause, hey, try to have a non-binding referendum, and fuck, we better let you be overthrown, but, god, have 1/3 of your Congress and the last 4 heads of the state intelligence agency obviously doing your bidding by working with death squad right wing paramilitaries? Hey, you’re a god-damned SAVIOR OF DEMOCRACY IN TOUGH TIMES — we better get you a free trade agreement, STAT!!!

    Honduras has been run by the military government, whether directly or behind the scenes, for the last few generations. And every time an elected government gets a little too uppity for the oligarchy, bang, the military overthrows them, and we get to hear from concerned U.S. establishmentarians that now is no time to halt our collaboration with, training of, and funding for Honduras’ military-constrained governments and the army itself.

    My translation of former Defense Minister Edmundo Orellana Mercado on the “Constitutional” nature of the Coup d’Etat:

    *********************************

    Edmundo Orellana: Congress Perpetrated a Coup

    Tiempo | 03 July 2009

    The liberal representative and ex national prosecutor, Edmundo Orellana Mercado, stated in a letter released yesterday that the removal [from power] of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya Rosales constituted a coup d’etat, and the same terms were echoed by the parliamentarians Carolina Echeverria and Elvia Argentina Valle.

    In a letter to Congress, Orellana Mercado — whom the legislators consider a hero because he resigned his position as Defense Minister in order to not participate in the Fourth Urn [the poll / referendum] — assured that the removal of Zelaya had violated the Constitution of the Repulic and perpetrated a coup d’etat.

    He explained that he resigned so as to not disobey the judicial order that, in an absurd ruling [presumably Edmundo Orellana’s view, I’m guessing] ordered that the poll / referendum known as the Fourth Urn not be carried out even though the practice in general was not declared illegal, but instead they declared the suspension of the balloting in an incidental ruling and in a clarification, that outrageously resulted in a new ruling, that included all future ballots similar to the poll / referendum.

    A doctorate in Administrative Law and practitioner in this branch of the law, Orellana added that since communications were released between the Defense Ministry which recommended not doing the poll / referendum and that this brought about his resignation, he however insisted that none of this authorized the Congress to destitute a President of the Republic.

    Orellana says that the actions of the Congress dramatically contradicted the Constitution of the Republic because in the first place they read a resignation [an alleged letter from Zelaya widely denounced as fraudulent], when it’s utterly obvious that Zelaya Rosales was violently removed from his home and expelled involuntarily to Costa Rica.

    In the second place, [the Congress] adopted a legislative degree by which they destituted the President of the Republic [of his position & authority], alleging supposed criminal acts that, if accurate, should be qualified and judged by the competent courts [Tribunals], not by the Legislative Branch, in respect to basic principles of the division of powers.

    The destitution of the President was adopted without the Constitution of the Republic recognizing the National Congress as having any such authority to take a decision of this nature,” which is to say that “my position is that they violated the Constitution of the Republic and perpetrated a Coup d’Etat.”

    He finished by recalling that he resigned the Defense Ministry because he would have intended to disobey a court order and thus endanger the Rule of Law, which was a simple threat, but the acts of the Legislators described [above] constituted the execution of a violation of the Constitution of the Republic that “entered into an unarguable Coup d’Etat, which is to say, we now confront a fait accompli.”

  52. 52
    someguy says:

    Sorry, still smells like bullshit to me – I guess we think their constitution actually is a suicide pact.

    Maybe these other nations that are so busy concern trolling a little Central American country ought to spend a bit more time raking us over the coals for our fraudulent presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 with massive Republican vote suppression efforts, or our racist penal system, rather than punking a country that at least is trying to avoid a strongman dictatorship. And yeah, I’m going to be bitter as shit if Zelaya gets reinstalled and chucks their constitution and does the usual President for Life bullshit. I’ll be real proud of our fidelity to procedural due process then.

    Process is a lovely thing but sometimes you have to wonder if process isn’t just handy cover used to legitimize elitist powergrabs. See, e.g. Bush v. Gore.

  53. 53
    SGEW says:

    Thank Henry Killinger and his magic murder bag.

    Magic Murder Bag! That’s awesome.

  54. 54
    Llelldorin says:

    It’s amazing how many people are quietly eliding the difference between lodging a diplomatic protest and having the CIA foment and arm an insurrection or death squads.

    Clearly, if Truman and Eisenhower had simply lodged diplomatic protests with the Arbenz government in Guatamala, that would have been every bit as bad as arming a dictatorial takeover.

  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    @someguy: Excuse me — can you name any Latin American leader outside Cuba who’s got a “President for Life” gig? Even Chavez has to run for re-election, and if the Venezuelan opposition weren’t every bit as retarded and arrogant and ignorant and lazy as the U.S. GOP is right now, they might provide some competition.

  56. 56
    inkadu says:

    Nuns are like freebies. You can kill as many as you want without it counting as interfering.

    El Cid: Thanks for the information. I have some Columbian friends, and they all swear by the conservative gov’t. Ditto for my Venezuelan friends. I just figure it’s because their families have money and want to keep it, so I’m probably not getting a representative sample.

    Also, I would like to point out that Colombians who live in the city and support Uribe are not real Colombians.

    @SGEW: Henry Killinger and his Magic Murder Bag is from the excellent comedy/adventure series, Venture Bros. You can see a little clip of Dr. Henry Killinger here.

  57. 57
    Cat G says:

    @someguy: It appears that you’re an expert on bullsh1t. And repeating that tired, dumb right wing slogan about the “constitution not being a suicide pact” looks like you haven’t updated your schtick since about 2002. That’s precisely the attitude of folks who don’t give a @%&@@ about the Constitution and see it as an impediment to their political goals. Maybe you’d be more comfortable at Ace of Spades.

  58. 58
    SGEW says:

    @someguy:

    Ok. Here goes.

    To summarize: You consider Zelaya’s potentiality of becoming a dictatorial president for life to be of greater potential harm to the Honduran people than the political coalition that unseated him, and believe that (all) other nations are making a terrible mistake, so-called “laws” be damned. Additionally, the U.S. has no moral right (or, indeed, any obligation whatsoever) to involve itself in another nation’s internal affairs, especially when fair elections (or, I imagine, wars of choice, torture, etc.) are concerned. Is this a fair statement?

    [I am eliding the relevant arguments about whether Zelaya is actually “undemocratic,” the nature of the political forces that unseated him, or really any debate on the history, motivations, or goals of any of the players. Just playing just the facts, ma’am, as is my wont.]

    If so, I sympathize, in a way (if you are being sincere, of course). The world sucks, and international law is kind of a joke (see, e.g., the Bush administration, Tibet, Darfur, etc.), and the U.S. is a gigantic hypocrite and should never be trusted. Sure. I can dig it.

    However, the law is the law, guy. Protecting Zelaya’s allegedly strong-arming ass from a transparently illegal removal one day might help shoring up East Timor’s political stability the next. Indeed, one would think that the international community unanimously agreeing that the rule of law qua rule of law should be upheld is a positive sign, rather than a discouraging one.

    Additionally, saying that U.S. election fraud (even if widespread) or the American penal system (which is barbaric and a crime against humanity I grant you – don’t get me started) automatically negates any authority or obligation we might have is silly. An extreme analogy: China systematically tortures people. China tells us: “don’t torture people.” Hypocritical? Yup. Incredible (as in not credible)? Sure. But they are still correct for saying it, and if their statement helps to cause us to stop torturing people, then it is a net positive. No?

    And whenever you play “the constitution is not a suicide pact” argument like that you make yourself look like an asshole. Don’t do that.

    [Also, thank you, El Cid, for the translation (trying to google translate Honduran legal commentary the other day made me want to eat my own eyes out). However, your link is bad.]

  59. 59
    El Cid says:

    Also, I would like to point out that Colombians who live in the city and support Uribe are not real Colombians.

    It’s complex. One can’t blame urban Colombians for appreciating the greater security they received; however, the attitude is pretty much ‘fuck the rural population’.

    I guess it’s okay to just care about your little corner and not care as much how the big picture ends up; after all, those 3 million displaced people will find something to do and somewhere to go, right?

  60. 60
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    when the world cries fowl.

    See, even the birds are unhappy.

  61. 61
    SGEW says:

    @inkadu: Oooh, Venture Brothers! I’ve seen a few episodes and loved em. And not just because I love James Urbaniak.

  62. 62
    Mumphrey says:

    I want to thank El Cid for chiming in here.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard in the last week that Zelaya was trying to stay in office beyond his term.
    Now, as I’ve said here before, the press in this country is woeful on this, and I don’t trust the Honduran press on this, so it’s hard to know what’s going on down there. All the same, the claim that this was anything other than what Zelaya said it was–a non-binding referendum–just smells to me.

    The oligarchs in Honduras were happy enough with Zelaya, who ran on a slightly right of center platform until something happened to him and he began trying to do something for Honduras’s poorest people. I don’t know what kind of epiphany it was, but it was about time somebody in power in Honduras began to try to make things better.

    I don’t know how many people have lived in Honduras, but I have. I didn’t know what real poverty was until I went there, and I respectfully say that most likely few people on this thread have seen anything like the way what many Hondurans live even today in 2009.

    In the town I lived in there’s a big trainyard; it’s a mile or two long and about 300 feet wide. Most of the tracks are gone, so it’s mostly just grass now, and it backs up against people’s houses on the north side of the yard, and it gets overgrown.

    One morning, I saw a guy out there with a machete, cutting the grass. I don’t know if the municipality hired him to cut it or the railroad company or who, but he was out there at 6:30, hacking away at the grass by hand. I was going away for the day, and I didn’t get back until late afternoon, and when I did, at least a quarter mile of the yard had been cut, 300 feet across, and as far as I know, by that one guy. And I remember thinking at the time, that guy worked his ass off doing that, and most likely, he did that knd of thing every day; and no matter how hard a worker he was or how many years he worked at jobs like that, he was never going to get ahead in life. Things were just too badly stacked against him.

    There are a lot of people like that in Honduras. So at last, somebody in a position to help gets religion or something and tries to do something to help the poor. Zelaya pissed a whole lot of people off when he raised the minimum wage to $290 a month. That’s when the comparisons to Chávez and Castro began, and all the howls about how he was turning the country into a socialist dictatorship. I’m sad to say that a lot of middle class Hondurans, many of whom are friends of mine, bought into this. And I’m sure the richest Hondurans, who live behind 15 foot high walls and have private armed guards watching over their houses, were seething. So they found something they could use to run him out, and they used it.

    I’m glad we’re raising hell about this, and it in no way compares to Chile in 1973 or Guatemala in 1954 or Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980’s. It’s just nuts to say that protesting a golpe is the same as overthrowing a government.

  63. 63
    El Cid says:

    By the way — think it’s just me complaining about the systematic corruption in Colombia? You know, just us left-wing non-Colombian loonies?

    How about this HEY MAYBE IT’S NOT JUST THE DIRTY OUTSIDER U.S. FRINGE HIPPIES WHINING news from Colombia:

    *****************************

    Court annuls 2006 election of Senators

    Tuesday, 07 July 2009 15:18 Adriaan Alsema | Colombia Reports

    Because of electoral fraud in the 2006 Senate elections, Colombia’s State council ruled that there needed to be a recount of 34,000 votes. Several lawmakers may lose their seat after the recount, local media reported Tuesday.

    Former Inspector General Edgardo Jose Maya Villazon had denounced the irregularities in a number of polling stations. The State Council established there had been fraud in several regions like the Atlantic coast, Santander, Chocó and Valle del Cauca.

    According to newspaper El Tiempo, the former IG had denounced that right wing paramilitary groups had intervened in a correct vote.

    The President of the Electoral Council, Rafael Ostau de Lafont, confirmed to Spanish press agency Efe that 34,000 votes needed to be recounted.

    One of the Senators whose election definitely was annulled is Martha Lucia Ramirez, former Finance Minister, who resigned from the Senate to run for the 2010 Presidency. She was still working for the State six months before the election, which according to Colombian electoral law, is not allowed.

  64. 64
    El Cid says:

    @SGEW: My link isn’t bad — Tiempo was shut down for ‘maintenance’ the past couple of days, and somehow the article came up missing now.

  65. 65
    inkadu says:

    @El Cid: Actually, I can blame them for pursuing their own security at the expense of the well-being of fellow citizens. It’s the same attitude of “fuck the negroes,” and “fuck the poor,” and “fuck the unemployed,” and “fuck the abused children,” attitude I find so depressingly familiar.

    Maybe it’s a bit of geography-is-destiny. In a small country like Honduras, there just isn’t enough space for rural population densities to balance out the urban population; the rural population, who have a completing setting of needs, will always get screwed. But I am talking out of my hat.

    @SGEW: James Urbaniak? I’m not sure I know who he is, outside of the voice actor… hmm…

  66. 66
    SGEW says:

    @El Cid: Gotcha. Weird. Just thought I’d give you a courtesy heads up ’bout it – lord knows I’ve linked to a few 404s and didn’t realize it.

    [eta: @inkadu: This is why I love James Urbaniak.]

  67. 67
    jerry 101 says:

    @PaulW:

    Shockingly enough, even conservopedia is calling it a coup. For now. They must have missed the memo. I’m sure it’ll be corrected within 24 hours to say “Its most recently elected leader was ousted in a coup peaceful transition of power.”

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Honduras

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    @SGEW: I didn’t know that the link was gone, either, until you mentioned it.

    But as I said here over a week ago, I knew it was a military coup when I tuned in to the online Honduran radio station and in their news segment, while international sources spoke of the President being overthrown by the army, the Honduran capital radio station was talking about traffic and soccer team picks. I half expected them to start playing classical music and discussing later on how the President had had a cold.

    If it works, HERE is the Google cache of Tiempo‘s article.

    Here is a reproduction of the original, hand-signed letter by Edmundo Orellana Mercado to the Congress denouncing their illegal support of a coup d’etat.

  69. 69
    SGEW says:

    @El Cid: To tell the truth, I have no idea why I even clicked on your link, seeing as how I can’t even read any of it (cuz I iz a unilingual parochial american, to my shame – my Dominican neighbors all treat me like I’m mentally disabled, which I deserve, I guess). But good stuff!

    Get a blog! And, uh, translate everything for us lazy bums!

  70. 70
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I wish that both DeMented and Obama would shut the fuck up about what happened in Honduras. The Honduran Constitution says that you get one term in office as president and then you’re gone, Zelaya was trying to change that so he could run for office again and that’s why the Honduran military exiled his ass.

    I call Bullshit. Zelaya was trying to make some changes to the Constitution that would NOT have affected his term limit at all. If term limits were changed, it would affect the NEXT elected leader, not Zelaya.

  71. 71
    someguy says:

    So SGEW, perhaps I’m just looking at it wrong. If Zelaya manages to pull off his plans, gets restored and illegally chucks the Honduran constitution and goes all president for life, the right approach for me is to point out, with great pride, that we forced Honduras to follow procedural due process to the letter.

    Yeah, I guess that’ll be a win of sorts.

  72. 72
    El Cid says:

    @SGEW: Even if you can’t read it, you should click on it just in case I was making it all up.

  73. 73
    SGEW says:

    @someguy: If that happens, you can have “I told you so” bragging rights, and I will eat crow.

    But, ya know, let me just tell you: when the only people who are saying that a transfer of power is kosher are Charles “You Say ‘Warmonger’ Like It’s a Bad Thing” Krauthammer, Bill “I’m Never Right!” Kristol, and the very people who have gained said power . . . I’m gonna bet the other way. It’s simply a good rule of thumb.

    Also: @El Cid: That’s actually why I did click on it in the first place, but I thought it would be rude to say so. ;|

  74. 74
    El Cid says:

    @someguy: Let’s get something straight: there’s no a priori reason to respect or enshrine or deify the Honduran Constitution.

    Zelaya or not, the Honduran Constitution should in my view (and why not, I get to have a view on anything I want, and a lot of Hondurans agree and disagree with me) be completely revised to get rid of the power of the military.

    I’m completely, 100% in support of the notion of a Constitutional Assembly or whatever to give Honduras a better Constitution, and, by the way, since the existing Constitution laughably gives the military the authority to get involved to keep people from changing it, why not just replace it entirely?

    Military rule, formal or informal, is a cancer on the body politic of Latin America — and the notion that this time the Honduran army threw out the elected leader because it was deeply, deeply troubled about the violation of the 1982 Constitution and, also, a court asked them pretty please, is pretty silly.

    I’m still asking who it is in Latin America outside Cuba who has achieved this “President for Life” thing — I mean, is there something inherently wrong with being able to run for re-election repeatedly? I’m pretty glad FDR did, for example.

    But, again, if you want to thrill any military officer out there in Latin America, leftist or rightist, who wants to overthrow the government but have it look like it was requested by the courts or the legislature, then by all means, back the Honduran coup.

    I’m sure there are a few narco-connected Mexican generals who might like to have a legislative move to overthrow President Calderon, or who could somehow (guns) convince a high court judge to ask them to.

  75. 75
    SixStringFanatic says:

    For anyone who, unlike someguy, hasn’t already made up their minds about what happened in a country they’ve never visited, Al Giordano’s reporting on the events in Honduras has been outstanding.
    He’s been following this story since it began, so you may want to block out an hour or two of your time to catch up. Absolutely worth the time spent, though.

  76. 76
    bloodstar says:

    A few points, The decision to make the referendum ‘non-binding’ didn’t come until *after the Supreme Court and Congress ruled the referendum Illegal. The effort to make it non-binding was an effort to circumvent the order of the Congress, who is the only entity authorized to add any referendums on a constitutional convention.

    Having another country print up the ballots for you because your congress and supreme court ruled it illegal to print the ballots, then have them shipped in, and then have your supporters break into the army base and take the ballots because your congress and Supreme Court instructed the military (who is the one responsible for distributing ballots) NOT to participate in a referendum it’d ruled illegal, be it binding or not, is not exactly showing respect for the other two branches of government.

    Sure, the Supreme Court jumped the gun by ordering his removal, But I’m not about to call this a Coup. Finding dozens of Nicaraguans who were armed traveling with the protesters makes me wonder just how far Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba will go to destabilize things further and force Honduras to collapse.

    Personally I think Zelaya should be tried for treason, but chances are he’ll get away with it like he did the torture interrogation murder of Father Michael Jerome Zypher and a dozen others in 1975 on his family ranch.

    I also think the Supreme Court should be Censured for ordering Zelaya’s removal without going through the proper legal route.

    Both sides screwed up, but I suspect the Supreme Court felt they were trapped into moving too fast, while Zelaya was working to completely destroy the authority of the other two branches.

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