Monday, July 27, 2009

Who cares what happens in Honduras?

I do.

Never been to Honduras. Probably never will go there. Don’t know anyone there. So why should I care? Why should you? Quite frankly, we should all care because these events in this little country can have repercussions that will impact America and the world as a whole. In addition, the way this has been handled by the “mainstream” media is ridiculous. I am surprised that they didn’t label the arrest of the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey last week as a military coup in New Jersey.

The whole Honduras event may seem like small change, I mean who cares about the machinations of Latin American countries where the government seems to change on an annual basis? What is instructive about this is that we have two major factors at work here:

The first is the Obama administration. The reaction to the events in Honduras smacks of being knee-jerk. When segments of the press that probably couldn’t find Honduras on a map with both hands characterized these events as a military coup, the Obama administration responded to the alleged coup as you would expect. The problem of course is that this was not a coup. Virtually the entire legal system and the government are in total agreement that the deposed President had acted illegally and was deposed legally. In an effort to “do something”, the administration did exactly the wrong thing and took the side of the legally deposed former president Manuel Zelaya. In doing so, America found itself opposing the people and the legitimate government of Honduras and standing alongside a litany of thugs in South and Central America.

The other issue is our nemesis in the Southern Hemisphere, Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez has been emboldened no doubt by the Obama administration policy of “grip and grin” diplomacy. How much more must he be chuckling at the way he has played the U.S. when it comes to Honduras. Mr. Chavez has been interfering in Honduras for some time apparently and has made thinly veiled threats of military action against the legitimate government of Honduras. Instead of facing American opposition, he has gotten tacit approval of his thuggish tactics by our silence. Mr. Chavez is seeking to dominate the Americas south of the U.S. and thus far is moving that way unopposed by the United States.

The current, legal president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, is from the same political party as Mr. Zelaya. He wrote an excellent editorial for the Wall Street Journal today that everyone should read. The duly elected congress and the legally appointed court system all agree with the legality of what has taken place. Thankfully, the Obama administration seems to be tempering it’s response somewhat and I am confident that everything will be legally settled before these events led to mass bloodshed and instability. However, I am concerned that this event exposes the general lack of depth and maturity in the Obama administration. If faced with a real crisis, I have no confidence that this administration can be trusted to support American interests, to stand up to dictators or to be firmly on the side of liberty. Predators watch prey for signs of weakness. The events in Honduras, coupled with the “American Apology Tour 2009” has exposed the weakness inherent in the Obama administration’s foreign policy. If Israel strikes Iranian nuclear facilities, which is likely, will the administration stand with our democratic ally or will they falter? If China makes aggressive moves toward Taiwan, will we stand with the Taiwanese people and their freedom or will we take the safe and economically beneficial route? Being President of the United States is not a job for playing it safe and timidity is not a virtue of the Presidency.

All of the complaints that liberals made about Sarah Palin during the election regarding her inexperience and naïveté in matters of foreign policy apply equally to President Obama. Unfortunately he is President and his inexperience and naïveté are showing and continuing on this path might someday soon lead to another misstep in a more serious situation. Honduras is pretty small potatoes. A shooting war between Israel and Iran is not. The Presidency, as someone remarked during the election, is not the place for on-the-job training. Let’s hope that President Obama gets up to speed and gets America solidly on the side of liberty and freedom before something really bad happens.
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