Friday, November 6, 2009

The fraud of the Obama Administration's policies revealed (yet again) in Honduras

Negotiate with coup leaders, and well, obviously you won't get justice. The same goes for Empire. The deal Obama/Clinton negotiated via Sub-Secretary of State Thomas Shannon last week in Honduras has just gone sour. No surprise. Like I wrote earlier in a prior article, "Honduras: A Victory for Smart Power", there is no dialogue with a criminal coup regime that stole power illegally by force. Washington's "Smart Power" strategy tried to fool the world into believing otherwise. Many bought it. Thankfully, the people of Honduras in the resistance movement didn't, and they remain strong with their fight for justice, refusing to recognize the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for November 29th. In fact, the only government so far that has outwardly stated it will now recognize those elections as legitimate, despite the fact that President Manuel Zelaya has not been restored to power - I repeat, Zelaya has not been restored to power - is the United States. The Department of State made that clear in several statements over the past couple of days. For Washington, the "end of the crisis" in Honduras was the forced signing of that bogus "agreement" on October 30th.

The only point of contention and actually the only important point at all is the restoration of Zelaya to the presidency. Washington wiggled out an agreement - via Smart Power tactics - that would not require Zelaya's restoration to power, but merely a congressional debate on the issue. Right, again, the same Congress that forged his resignation letter to justify the coup and the same Congress that illegally installed dictator Roberto Micheletti to power.

Now, the coup regime has decided that it will create a "government of unity and reconciliation" led by none other than....Roberto Micheletti!!! And Washington will accept it as a "proud day for Honduras"!

Incredible. Anyway, just wanted to write a quick note on this particularly considering many so-called leftists and progressives have celebrated the "agreement" negotiated by Washington last week and those same folks actually criticized my prior article on Washington's "smart power" victory as "trying to blame the US for everything". Look at the facts. We don't even have to mention Washington's role in the coup, just look at the "negotiation" process. Which government imposed the mediation, the mediator, legitimized the coup regime by doing so, later imposed the "agreement" and applauded it before it was implemented? Only one: the United States of America.

The facts speak for themselves.

Viva la resistencia hondureña!!!

25 comments:

Jesus Reyes said...

"so-called leftists and progressives"...

You are really getting it done lately.

"I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." - Truman

Keep telling the truth.

Ryan said...

Ugh, watching today's State Department press briefing with Ian Kelly was nauseating. One reporter after another tried to pin Kelly down on whether or not the US would endorse the elections regardless of whether Zelaya is returned to power or not. Jim DeMint says that he received assurances from State that they would support the elections regardless of what happened.

Of course, half of the frustration comes from the reporters who have access to Ian Kelly, who ask one line of questioning over and over again and pretend to be all frustrated but are obviously not trying to wring an answer out of him.

The point is -- the accord that Kelly keeps talking about has been violated by the deadline for a Unity Government has come and gone and apparently nothing has changed: Micheletti is head of the Unity Government and they have "new people" to fill the resignations but they won't say who they are. So, today, a day after the deadline, the coup regime is still in power with nothing changed except it is calling itself the Unity Government.

If State isn't calling foul now, then when will they? At this point, I'm not even sure how much "smart power" is being exercised here -- it's just the same old Democrat Administration approach to imperialism that we've seen throughout history.

Roger Milbrandt said...

Eva,

I just re-read your 2 November piece on "Smart Power" and the "resolution" of the Honduran coup and it strikes me that you are one of the few people who will be able to look back on your initial reaction to the 30 October accord without wanting to change your name. This is the reward, I think, for devoting patient attention to the facts.

Diana Barahona said...

Ryan doesn't understand what has happened, as shown by his wondering when State will cry foul. The whole thing was orchestrated by the State Department. Why would Shannon or Clinton "cry foul" about their own underhanded tricks to keep the Honduran people (not Zelaya) out of power? The State Department is the enemy. The Obama administration is the enemy. For a transcript of Shannon on CNN check my blog dianabarahona.blogspot.com

SimonAmor said...

Keep up the great work, Eva! : )

Arnold August said...

You are right Eva. The biggest danger, it seems to me, is to carry illusions about Washington, and when I say Washington, I mean President Obama, the State Department and the whole system. No one there is innocent or a victim. They are all guilty. The people of Honduras can only count on themselves and their new organization, the Frente Nacional, as well as on the peoples and governments in South America who are willing to take a stand with very concrete measures to assist the Honduran people in overthrowing the "golpistas".

I would eliminate the OAS as a source of solution because it includes the USA and Canada. They are part of the problem. At the same time, Zelaya, despite all his self-admitted flexibility and tolerance, is still sticking to his position and that of the people for his restitution as President. I think that this is positive. The most important issue now in my view is the common stand by the Frente, the pro-resistance presidential candidates and Zelaya to not participate in, nor recognize, the November 29 fraudulent elections, to disrupt them.

In the course of this active non-recognition of the elections, the Constituent Assembly is daily and increasingly coming to the forefront as the main demand of the people.
Best regards,
Arnold August

Ryan said...

Diana: Now, now.. my "wondering" was a way of demonstrating the lack of logic in the charade and, also, what I wish the reporters who had access to Ian Kelly would have pressed him on ... which, they did in some ways.

The simplicity I see in my comment is talking about the 'pretend frustration' of the reporters. They may have been legitimately frustrated and just unable to articulate a question that wouldn't allow Kelly to weasel out of admitting the inconsistency of the Administration's position.

In the same way, your analysis is also simplistic and doesn't help us understand what is really happening. It's obviously not true that the "whole thing was orchestrated by the State Department" ... a colonial-minded analysis, if I ever saw one.

You don't think that the Honduran and Central American elite ever act autonomously from the US State Department? That's absurd. These are ultimately all still individuals acting within a system / framework of international power.

I don't disagree that the Obama Administration intends to see through the same objectives as the coup plotters but they are also forced into doing it in their own way, distinguishing themselves from the Republican way of administering US hegemony. If there was a Republican in the White House, the strategy would be different and would offer different openings of counter-attack to us.

With this Administration, it is exactly their strategy of using "multilateralism" to achieve unilateral hegemonic objectives that should be used against them. It's apparent that the last thing the Obama Administration wants is to be viewed as the only country in the world that supports the coup, especially after they've painted themselves in the corner of staunchly opposing it.

So, at this critical time, political actors with some influence (in the case I'm talking about, the media) should pin them on that inconsistency. And, the reporters who showed up for yesterday's State Department briefing did try to do that but it's embarrassing to again see these journalists out-smarted by an idiot like Ian Kelly.

Felipe Stuart said...

Your piercing analysis of Washington's real role in the Honduran coup and its defence has helped decode Obama's smartpower signals.

Smartpower is not a new approach for imperial powers. It is related to the strategy of "confuse, divide, and conquer" brought to perfection by Roman imperial power, and refined ever more by modern imperialist powers, especially Britain and the USA. Scamming is its main tool, a la white man's burden.

Whatever happens with President Zelaya Rosales, I think the oligarchy and Washington will come out of this struggle with major problems and high costs. They now face a much more united, sophisticated, and steeled popular resistance in Honduras. And in Latin America and the Caribbean we have before us a strong lesson, that the imperialist nature of the Obama presidency is in full continuity with previous US regimes, even if silkgloved. The bases in Colombia, just as Obama's war in Afghanistan, indicate that the gloves are coming off. Likewise the continuity of Obama's attempts to uphold the blockade of Cuba unmasks his claim to want a new start in US-Cuban relations.

The pattern is striking and instuctive.

Forewarned, forearmed.

Felipe Stuart
Nicaragua siempre Sandinista!

Diana Barahona said...

Ryan,
Thanks for a thoughtful reply. Our differences are minor ones. Where we seem to agree is that there is a system/framework of "international power." I only put international in quotes because the trend among global capitalism theorists (or global system theory of Leslie Sklair) is to classify the hegemonic global ruling class as transnational. This is because global capitalism has gone a long way in eroding national sovereignty, so that the correct unit of analysis of the enemy is no longer national capitalist classes but a transnational capitalist class.

I absolutely believe the coup was instigated by the Honduran fraction of the transnational capitalist class, which sought and received support even in the act of kidnapping the president from the hegemonic fraction in the United States. So it was the same class operating first in the peripheral state of Honduras and receiving support from the leaders of the TCC gang in Washington.

When I said the whole thing was orchestrated by the Obama administration, I refer to the underhanded Tegucigalpa accord, a real bait-and-switch if there ever was one. This does not exonerate Zelaya, who has proven over and over that he is ingenuous and even egocentric, putting his restoration before the just demands of the people. But thankfully the Honduran people have developed their own organic leadership that is going to lead the war for a new constitution and a new country "with or without Zelaya."

Regarding the illusion of differences between the Obama government and previous ones, if you go back to his May 23, 2008 speech to the Miami terrorists (CANF) you will see that it is the same shit in a different package. Even Bush didn't try to put seven U.S. bases in Colombia, although the plans probably originated under his government. Obama is the perfect tool of the TCC: he can get away with a lot and the liberals will always make excuses for him.

By the way, the transnational capitalist media would never allow anyone intelligent to be a White House reporter.

Diana

El Ch� said...

How it is that so much of what passes for a Left falls for these obvious stalling tactics of the Imperium is simply astounding -- but it has everything to do with atrocious leadership, for starters. And starting here with Mel Zelaya, the bourgeois president so clearly thrust out of his depth.

The imperialists have infinite experience with running out the clock in all sorts of 'negotiations' -- labor, legislative, international, etc.; and any Left leadership must itself be expert at dealing with such obvious cynical and duplicitous attempts to create these faits accomplis: their main weapon being an even faster-running clock which chimes "we're breaking this off permanently" at the appointed hour. Problem is, stalwart leadership of this type in the working-class tends to get murdered by the Imperialists thru their stooges... and opportunists from inside the workers' camp are right there too to quickly step in to 'cut a deal' -- and cut the workers' movement off at the knees, solely for whatever mess of pottage these crooks can get for themselves and their cronies up front. Not to mention the likely complicity of these same opportunists in the murder of their far more principled colleagues...

The bottom line here is that there should never have been any negotiations over normalizing the coup. Period. The only negotiations should have been the terms of surrender of the coupsters -- and the unconditional reinstatement of the president and the resumption of the process of the calling of the constitutional Constituent Assembly -- or take whatever was going to come out of the fascists' refusal of all that. But who here has had the brass balls to lead hondurans over that Rubicon..?

All in all, this whole process has been a sham and an utter failure of liberalism to lead honduran society out of its constitutional impasse. This month's "elections" are (and from the beginning of the coup have been) illegitimate -- and the honduran Resistance should now forget its lame duck bourgeois-presidential mis-leader -- and get on with the process of convening its Constituent Assembly. Even if this means under the protection of force of arms of the armed people.

And Arnold August: I have your book.
;)

Roger Milbrandt said...

Eva deserves applause not only for her clear and principled analysis of the on-going drama of Honduras, but also for providing a space in which an intelligent and informed discussion proceeds (which discussion includes the interesting and illuminating disagreement between Diana Barahona and Ryan.)
I hope I will not be depressing the level of the discussion by articulating a suspicion that I am finding it increasingly difficult to suppress: this is the suspicion that Zelaya has betrayed the Resistance Movement; that the betrayal began when he accepted the Arias mediation; and that the betrayal culminated when he signed an accord which renounces the Constituent Assembly and offers to bestow legitimacy upon the elections of 29 November in return for an empty promise.
Maybe I am wrong; maybe "Mel" is behaving with a strategic shrewdness that escapes my comprehension. But if we agree with Eva that in arranging for the Arias mediation Hilary Clinton was half-endorsing Micheletti by given him and his group a legitimacy coup-orchestrators don't deserve how can we exempt Zelaya from blame? After all, he lurched at the crumb as soon as Clinton flicked it on the floor.

NuestraAmericaNews said...

http://www.cfr.org/publication/20583/honduran_politics_and_the_chavez_factor.html?breadcrumb=%2F

Here is a link on the Honduras situation Eva. This is an analyises of the situation by the Foreign Council Committe, this is the reason why the people who are resisting should just overthrown the whole system in tact. There needs to be radical change in Honduras and the international community most continue to denounce the coup and the up coming elections. The upcoming elections have two individuals that don't represent the interest of a Unified Latin America. They need to shift the old oligarchy aside.

Diana Barahona said...

Roger Milbrandt and El Che are not alone in their assessment of Zelaya--I have read commentaries by Hondurans themselves that point out his considerable failings as a leader. I have translated one by Cesar Aznares and posted it to my blog, dianabarahona.blogspot.com
As I commented earlier, though, it is unusual to find such a well developed working class with its own organic generals. Apparently the unification of the Honduran people happened very fast, although they had the intelligence to raise up the right leadership.

Pro.Democratic Workers said...

EVA - I am writing a story about the US Army-Air Force Bases in Colombia.
I will be flying to Caracas in December or January.
?Would it be possible to INTERVIEW YOU in Caracas?
William Floyd
Writers Guild Member
SMPeaceClub@Riseup.net

uh-huh said...

very glad to see more people taking an interest in your site -- keep it up!

Ryan said...

Diana:

I think the differences are found in the certainty that we connect to different ideas about what is "really" going on.

First, I'm approaching it from the point-of-view of someone who intends to actively play some sort of role in what is going on. From that point-of-view, we need to take a gambler's approach to what is "really" going on -- that is, we have to do something so we act with the best information we have, with a strategy that has the best odds of achieving our goals.

I think that both you and "El Che"'s analysis would be greatly improved by incorporating an analysis of the odds involved with achieving anything after the actual coup itself took place, which is almost nothing -- if, after the first 72 hours, the coup plotters' plans were executed, then that is pretty much game over. Inertia is everything; possession is 9/10ths of the law; etc.

As soon as the military demonstrated a united front with the Supreme Court and the other coup plotters in taking Zelaya out of power and out of the country, they had won.

Zelaya's attempt to fly into Tegucigalpa, his attempt to cross the border by land from Nicaragua and his eventual re-surfacing in the Brazilian Embassy are all solid attempts at pressuring the coup government but that's about it. There was never much more the Resistance Front or Zelaya could have done.

The point in explaining all this is to show why "El Che"'s suggestion that the strategy should have been a "no negotiation" approach doesn't make much sense. An approach like that would have had 0 probability of achieving anything besides more Honduran people killed, more people detained and a strengthening of the coup regime's position. It would have made everything much easier for the coup regime, who would have preferred to not bother with negotiations or publicly speaking about the coup or giving the media a reason to report on the situation there.

Where things stand now, the resistance has a much stronger case for boycotting the elections. The stalling tactics are out in the open and have been reported on by the corporate media. The coup regime was forced to form a "unity government" in an illegitimate way, in that they were forced to announce at 3AM that they had formed the Unity Government without anyone from Zelaya's camp, without naming who was in the unity government and proclaiming that Micheletti would run it. If the resistance had taken "El Che"'s approach, none of this would have happened.

In the same way, it does no good to publicly state that the US is the enemy, that they've been coup collaborators since Day #1 and that there's no difference between Micheletti and Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, the best form of attack against the elections are the previous stances that the US has had to take during negotiations compared to their stance now.

In the meantime, keep in mind that Zelaya's regional support (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, etc) have all consistently demanded an unconditional return of Zelaya to power.

So, where we're at now ... the most effective strategy moving forward is for Zelaya's camp, the Resistance Front and for international solidarity to all call the elections illegitimate (which IS what's happening). There is a 4-month history of failed negotiations and stalling tactics and martial law to back up a case for the illegitimacy of the elections. This is something that wouldn't exist with a single-minded "no negotiation" approach to the coup. Instead, there would have just been a steady, on-going building of inertia for the coup regime.

This is what I think is gained by recognizing the complexity of the coup situation and engaging it, sometimes using their own terms against them and sometimes standing firm on our own terms. But -only- putting forward our terms wouldn't have achieved much of anything and I don't agree with "El Che" that this would have been "strong leadership"; it would have been unsophisticated leadership and I imagine it's why both the Resistance Front and Zelaya's camp haven't opted for "El Che"'s strategy.

Eva Golinger said...

Yet their strategy hasn't worked either. And the US has been behind the coup since Day One and must be denounced as such. Anything else cedes power and space to Washington.

Eva Golinger said...

Yes, William, you can interview me, obviously it depends on the dates of your stay in Caracas. Email me at evagolinger@gmail.com to make arrangements...

Diana Barahona said...

Dear Ryan,
Again, I thank you for taking the effort to craft a detailed reply. I address your points below and hope you take my observations in the spirit in which they were made, comradely and respectful.

1. "There was never much more the Resistance Front or Zelaya could have done."

I disagree. Zelaya ignored Hugo Chavez's good advice to sneak into the country. He first took a PDVSA plane in but never tried to land at the U.S. military base in order not to embarass Obama. When a youth was murdered at the airport he expressed little concern for him and instead lamented the fact that the people weren't able to break through and remove the jeep. The second attempt from Nicaragua was a clown act in which he called the media, took 10 steps in and turned around. He urged people to risk life and limb to reach the border but was not willing to risk his own arrest. When he finally snuck in three months later he again ignored Chavez's advice, which was to lead a march and, presumably force the military to arrest him. Instead he hides like a coward in an embassy.

2. "There is a 4-month history of failed negotiations and stalling tactics and martial law to back up a case for the illegitimacy of the elections. This is something that wouldn't exist with a single-minded 'no negotiation' approach to the coup. Instead, there would have just been a steady, on-going building of inertia for the coup regime."

I feel you mischaracterize the situation pre-Tegucigalpa accord. Before the accord, the regime was internationally isolated and nobody was going to recognize the elections. Now the US and possibly the OAS are going to recognize them and the US has been able to resume aid and trade. The situation post-accord is worse.

3. "But -only- putting forward our terms wouldn't have achieved much of anything and I don't agree with El Che that this would have been 'strong leadership'; it would have been unsophisticated leadership and I imagine it's why both the Resistance Front and Zelaya's camp haven't opted for El Che's strategy."

The reason Hugo Chavez is the greatest leader since Fidel Castro is that he, like Fidel, understands that the classes are always engaged in struggle, often in war with each other. Sometimes it's a war of position and sometimes it's a war of maneuver, but it is still war. When people understand this, their goal ceases to be the maintenance of peace and stability and becomes focused on defeating the enemy. As Trotsky stated, "The revolution kills individuals and intimidates thousands. ... At the appropriate time, the terrorist offers, and the victim accepts, a Faustian bargain. To obtain relief from the tension of daily life in an atmosphere of constant and apparently random violence, the victim surrenders his birthright of freedom in exchange for peace—literally at any price. And the strategist who makes stability his goal hands a perfect methodology to his tormentor, who merely has to disturb stability. Each bombing, assassination, or kidnapping throws the stability seeker off balance/ Two steps forward one step back-and the stability-seeker plays the tune for this deadly dance."

Regarding the question of leadership, an army needs generals. As Gramsci said, it is better to have generals without an army than an army without generals. Zelaya is not that general, since he cares more about remaining in the enemy's good stead than delivering a clear message to the people and providing a dignified example to them. So the people have no choice but to follow the Resistance, which has distanced itself from the president, stating that its goal is the constitutional assembly with Zelaya or without him. Zelaya was ready to cede this to the enemy from day one, for a few impotent days in the presidential palace, but the people have opted to follow the advice of Che Guevara instead: "Seamos Realistas—soñemos lo imposible."

Best,
Diana

Diana Barahona said...

Not to belabor the point, but I have posted two press releases from Honduran popular organizations that reject the whole negotiation process as a trap. dianabarahona.blogspot.com

NuestraAmericaNews said...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/nov2009/hond-n09.shtml
Seems like the Republicans are content with Barack Obama policy shift. New Update


I agree with Eva and El Che Manuel Zeyala should show the true colors of the coup. Like Assata Shakur once said never let your enemies tell you who your enemies are. So basically don't let Washington write a scipt for you and tell you what measures need to be taken. Simple as that..
Zeyala has the support of the whole community and the coup will fall. The economic grip is important for it to fall. Boycotting and bringin pressure to washington is another end game. If the coup wants to stall than let them stall on Manuel Zeyala Terms. Period.

Stu Piddy said...

I was banned (yet again) for saying on the allegedly liberal Narco News (funded by suspicious organizations with CIA connections) for saying Zelaya would never return to power and this was a classic CIA coup.

Whether Obama knows what the CIA is doing is irrelevant. Irrelevant in the sense that he has not earnestly tried to do anything about the coup, which is to say he was complicit. Put that together with troops being sent to Colombia (To fight Venezuela) and you can see, he may be the most warlike president ever.

Americans are the dumbest people on the planet.

"The leftists"are pawns.

Most "leftist" organanizations are funded by right wing interests who control the content.

Al Giordano of Narco News is pathetic. He claimed that the US had stopped aid to Honduras.

Which you can read here.

http://bushplanet.blogspot.com/2009/09/al-giordano-is-not-journalist.html

Narco News rarely reports anything at all of any substance about Colombia.

I find that very interesting, because some of the funders of Narco News have been involved in "training" dissenters of Hugo Chavez in resistance.

And Colombia is the center of the alleged drug war.

Çolombia and Venezuela are linked

Diana Barahona said...

For Stu Piddy,
Here is what I know about Narco News:
The blogs are unreadable. For a site that aims to be effective in reaching a large audience, that makes no sense.
Giordano's position defending the Obama government is absurd and indefensible.
A Honduran activist on the ground (Al would know who he is) claims Giordano went to Olancho to train peasants in "nonviolent resistance," telling them that that was the strategy he and others had used successfully in Serbia. What was he doing in Serbia, and why did he suddenly quit Olancho?

Julie said...

Here are some links to a few articles this week on this -
one satirical:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0911/S00248.htm
one serious:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0911/S00312.htm

also interviews and talks by Hondurenos in resistance:
http://vensol.blogspot.com/

I am in Tegucigalpa, and the people in resistance will be in the streets for as long as it takes.

Viva la resistencia!!!

Diana Barahona said...

Eva,
I reposted part of your IRI article on my blog and got this response:

IRI said...
Ms. Golinger's claim that IRI's programming somehow has a connection to the Honduras coup is as malicious as it is knowingly false. Considering the sensitivity and the seriousness of the situation in Tegucigalpa, one would think Ms. Golinger would be more responsible in her coverage, not just of IRI but of all agencies and organizations that devote time and resources to Honduras.

The bulk of IRI's programming in Honduras is concentrated on helping city governments better serve their citizens. Our program and record is very clear and transparent there. We encourage those who are interested to learn more about our governance programming at: http://www.iri.org/lac/cen_good_gov.asp. The other aspect to our program in Honduras seeks to help encourage political parties and civil society focus on substantive issues such as healthcare, roads, education and economic development. IRI stands by that work as well.
November 25, 2009 7:21 AM