The Honduran legislature, judiciary and military, acting in support of the rule of law, have removed President Manuel Zelaya from office, and US President Obama wants none of it. Obama and the media have mischaracterized the events as a “coup d’etat” when they were really a last-ditch attempt by the Honduran political establishment to block Zelaya — who is being aided by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez — from holding an illegal referendum in an attempt to circumvent term limits on his office. The Obama administration is siding with Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Chavez against the democratic Honduran government in an attempt to get Zelaya reinstated. (Mary O’Grady’s excellent column is a good summary of the events and issues. Fausta and Gateway Pundit have much additional information and links.)
The best that can be said about our president’s involvement in this issue is that it risks transforming a difficult situation into a disaster. Absent US pressure (never mind US support) the Honduran political scene would likely return to something like normal, with popular and media focus shifting from the deposed Zelaya to the coming elections. By getting involved in support of Zelaya we probably make a drawn-out crisis inevitable, and we green light further subversion of Honduran democracy by Chavez and Ortega. In the worst case a military insurgency or civil war supported by the dictators is conceivable. That would be a catastrophe.
Honduras is small, poor, weak, generally pro-USA and depends heavily on our trade and goodwill. The Obama administration may figure that it can push the Honduran government around, and that may be true. But why should we get involved at all? Obama could say that he supports Hondurans’ right to representative government, and that we will help if asked, and leave it at that. That would be prudent. Why does he instead prefer to step into mud of unknown depth?
I think the likely answer to this question is either that the Obama people don’t know what they are doing or that they are acting out of ideological bias. Ordinarily I would assume incompetence, and I think that Obama is indeed incompetent. But as with Obama’s hostile treatment of Israel — another small, pro-American country — the Obama administration’s incompetence in Central America follows a clear ideological pattern. Anyone who does not see by now that Obama is a determined leftist radical with a transformative national agenda that most Americans don’t want is either blind or not paying attention.
Seablogger puts it well WRT Honduras:
The terrible precedent will in fact be set if this would-be dictator and ally of Hugo Chavez is returned to power through US meddling, just days after Obama spurned any meddling with Iran.
Obama’s true affinities are now exposed for all to see. Take a look, Obama voters. Do you really want the US aligned with Castro and Chavez — actually doing their bidding? Do you want the US siding with the blood-stained regime in Teheran, for the sake of imaginary future diplomacy?
(See the Seablogger post for full context of the above quote.)
We are on course for disaster, all because so many American voters have had it so good for so long that they thought it would always be so, and that they could afford to throw away their votes on an attractive cipher.
UPDATE 2: Caroline Glick reaches similar conclusions:
The only reasonable answer to all of these questions is that far from being nonideological, Obama’s foreign policy is the most ideologically driven since Carter’s tenure in office. If when Obama came into office there was a question about whether he was a foreign policy pragmatist or an ideologue, his behavior in his first six months in office has dispelled all doubt. Obama is moved by a radical, anti-American ideology that motivates him to dismiss the importance of democracy and side with anti-American dictators against US allies.
UPDATE 3: Andy McCarthy on Obama and Iran:
The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and resentment over what he chooses to see in America’s history, but a “pragmatist” in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as they are apt to do when your ideology becomes less popular the more people understand it), Obama will always give ground on ideology (as little as circumstances allow) in order to maintain his grip on power.
It’s a mistake to perceive this as “weakness” in Obama. It would have been weakness for him to flit over to the freedom fighters’ side the minute it seemed politically expedient. He hasn’t done that, and he won’t. Obama has a preferred outcome here, one that is more in line with his worldview, and it is not victory for the freedom fighters. He is hanging as tough as political pragmatism allows, and by doing so he is making his preferred outcome more likely. That’s not weakness, it’s strength — and strength of the sort that ought to frighten us.