Saturday, July 25, 2009

On the need to oppose Obama's support for the Honduran coup

The blogger American Leftist has a good recent post assessing Obama's position on the Honduran coup. He mentions that Hillary Clinton's last statement critical of the ousted Zelaya - that Zelaya's symbolic return to Honduras was reckless - is more proof that the Obama Administration is providing support to the military coup there.

Actually, there is great deal of evidence amounting that the Obama Administration supports the Honduran military coup, which in my opinion, was entirely predictable from the very beginning.

From the outset, the Obama Administration refused to call what happened in Honduras a coup. They won't call a spade a spade because to do so would mean that the U.S. is obligated under law to stop economic and military aid, and bringing an end to that aid would likely stop the coup in its tracks. All of this is perfectly in line with Obama being a conservative establishment figure, who in perfect alignment with the Clintonites, prefers a reactionary coup leadership against a leader like Zelaya. While Zelaya is no radical, his call for reform, such as an increased minimum wage and agrarian reform, might inspire the Honduran people to further confront the wealthy oligarchy traditionally aligned with U.S. imperial interests.

Obama's support of the coup is very subtle yet effective. He supports negotiation, but negotiation of terms implies that there is something to negotiate, people with whom it is worthwhile negotiating, when again, the military leaders would probably fold with strong opposition from the U.S. Also, the fact that old-time Clinton lawyers and associates are actually running the PR game for the coup leaders shows that more is afoot than what is being said.

In the days following the coup, I listened to some of the views of my Democratic Party friends, such as "Obama did the right thing by denouncing the Honduran coup," or "the Administration had no hand in what occurred." These assumptions fly in the face of the historical, and reactionary, military relationship between the two countries, and Obama's belated announcement condemning the coup should have been a further tip-off. I wouldn't mention this error in judgment if I didn't think it had no negative consequences. We can't build movements to force the government to do the right thing, against its own very entrenched interests, if we assume that we have a friend in the White House. The biggest obstacle to change now, in this assessment, is the faith that liberals have in their president.

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