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Old 06-29-2009, 05:47 PM   #1
Drysdale
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Default Does this surprise anyone?

Obama siding with the Communists... Chavez has been made a happy happy man today.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNe...090629?sp=true
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was illegal and would set a "terrible precedent" of transition by military force unless it was reversed.

"We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there," Obama told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Zelaya, in office since 2006, was overthrown in a dawn coup on Sunday after he angered the judiciary, Congress and the army by seeking constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election beyond a four-year term.

The Honduran Congress named an interim president, Roberto Micheletti, and the country's Supreme Court said it had ordered the army to remove Zelaya.

The European Union and a string of foreign governments have voiced support for Zelaya, who was snatched by troops from his residence and whisked away by plane to Costa Rica in his pajamas.

Obama said he would work with the Organization of American States and other international institutions to restore Zelaya to power and "see if we can resolve this in a peaceful way."

"TERRIBLE PRECEDENT"

"It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition, rather than democratic elections," Obama said, noting the region's progress in establishing democratic traditions in the past 20 years.

Despite Obama's comments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration was not formally designating the ouster as a military coup for now, a step that would force a cut-off of most U.S. aid to Honduras.

Under U.S. law, no aid -- other than for the promotion of democracy -- may be provided to a country whose elected head of government has been toppled in a military coup.

"We do think that this has evolved into a coup," Clinton told reporters, adding the administration was withholding that determination for now.

Asked if the United States was currently considering cutting off aid, Clinton shook her head no.

The State Department said it was unable to immediately say how much assistance the United States gives Honduras.

The State Department has requested $68.2 million in aid for fiscal year 2010, which begins on October 1, up from $43.2 million. This covers funds for development, Honduran purchases of U.S. arms, military training, counter-narcotics and health care but does not include Defense Department aid, a U.S. official said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he did not believe Obama had spoken to Zelaya since the ouster.

He said the administration had worked in recent days to try to prevent the coup from happening, and "our goal now is on restoring democratic order in Honduras."

OBAMA CRITICISM

Analysts said quick criticism of the coup by Obama and Clinton on Sunday pleased Latin American countries bitter about the long history of U.S. intervention in the region.

The Obama administration's stance contrasted with the equivocal position taken in 2002 by former President George W. Bush's administration, which was seen as tacitly accepting a coup against Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez.

A senior U.S. official who spoke on condition he not be named said that by holding off on a legal determination that a coup has taken place, Washington was trying to provide space for a negotiated settlement.

"If we were able to get to a ... status quo that returned to the rule of law and constitutional order within a relatively short period of time, I think that would be a good outcome," Clinton said.
Can't wait to see Bubbles swoop in here and try to defend his master.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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Wait, so you wanted him to support a military coup of an elected leader? If Chavez says 2+2=4 and you agree, does that mean you're "siding with the communists?"

This is spintarded, even for you, hack.

With all the real issues with this administration, why do you continue to jump on absolutely ridiculous angles like this?
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
Wait, so you wanted him to support a military coup of an elected leader? If Chavez says 2+2=4 and you agree, does that mean you're "siding with the communists?"

This is spintarded, even for you, hack.

With all the real issues with this administration, why do you continue to jump on absolutely ridiculous angles like this?
Not sure its completely ridiculous.

Granted I dont know enough about honduras law to judge, but if the congress and the courts ordered it then its a heck of allot more legal than a President clinging to power after term limit up. Its a VERY different thing than a "military coup"

Military coup implies a coupleof generals with some cash overthrowing the law. This is more like the law stepping up against a man who is trying to get rid of law itself.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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This isn't someone refusing to vacate the office. It's someone seeking a change in term limits that angered some people who then sponsored/ordered a forceful coup. The military seizing a sitting president at his home in the morning sounds a lot like a coup to me. Maybe I'm missing details?
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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Edit: Ok, that was harsh, so I'll post a little clarification I read on Boortz today.

You see, Horm, not even a president is above the law.

http://boortz.com/nealz_nuze/2009/06...concerned.html
To change the constitution in Honduras you have to convene a constituent assembly. The president cannot do that. The Honduran congress must approve a national referendum calling for the constituent assembly to consider changes to the constitution. Zelaya didn't like the part about the constitution requiring approval of the congress before a national referendum could be called. So ... he decided to call one on his own.

OK .. so here we have President Zelaya calling for a national referendum when he doesn't have the power to do so. The next problem is obtaining ballots! Since the Honduran congress had not called for the referendum, as required by the constitution, the government certainly wasn't going to print the ballots! After all, how smart would it be to print ballots for an illegal referendum? So ... Zelaya had to get the ballots printed elsewhere. Here's an idea! Get his pall Hugo Chavez to print them! Yes! That will work!

So Chaves prints Zelaya's ballots and they're shipped to Honduras. Enter the Honduran Supreme Court. The court considers Zelaya's election in light of the requirements of the Honduran constitution, and rules the referendum illegal and unconstitutional. The court then issues an order to the Honduran military telling them not to do the logistical work associated with Zelaya's phony referendum. Remember, now ... all of this has one primary goal. To get rid of the term limits limiting Zelaya's rule in Honduras.

After the supreme court's decision, General Romeo Velasquez tells President Zelaya that he is subject to a proper order from the Supreme Court and will not be able to carry out Zelaya's referendum. So ... Zelaya fires him. The Supreme Court orders Zelaya to reinstate Velasquez, and Zelaya refuses to do so.

At this point Zelaya's ego is getting the better of him. If the military won't run his illegal referendum, he'll just do it himself. He gins up a mob and leads them to the military compound where Hugo's ballots are stored and then has his supporters begin distributing the ballots to the masses.

Based on the Supreme Court's ruling the Honduran attorney general said that the proposed referendum was illegal and said that he would arrest anyone attempting to carry out the election. Zelaya was arrested by the military and was escorted out of the country.
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Last edited by Drysdale; 06-30-2009 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:36 AM   #6
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WSJ had some good info on this yesterday. They had it as a "Supreme Court + Congress + Military Coup", whereas a lot of other new sources are just reporting it as the usual "General seizes power, blocks democracy, etc". Going to be interesting to see what happens in the next few days, but I suspect Hondoras is one of those countries that the rest of the world is more interested in the status quo than rule of law, so they're probably screwed. Remember, it's only bad when Republicans support dictators.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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I'm too lazy to research Honduran law...

I would think that they should have had a trial perhaps, maybe convicted him of something. Perhaps impeached him? Instead, the military removed him from office and exiled him. Not saying what he was doing was right, and I think he should have been impeached, but, doesn't sound like it ever went there.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Actually he shipped in a bunch of voting forms from Chavez and decided to hold his own election. The judges said not gonna happen and directed the military not to hold the election (apparently they are in charge of that in Hondura). Arresting him didnt happen until he got a bunch of his thugs together and broke in to the storage facility and stole the ballots to hold the election anyways. Bad move on his part, since his team didnt have the guns.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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To my original point: how is Obama wrong in how he's reacted to this? Hell, they haven't even made the step of calling it a military coup officially according to your linked article DD.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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Obama said it was illegal, completely ignoring their Constitution.

But I guess he's had a lot of practice with that here.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:44 PM   #11
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Is it illegal based on their constitution? I understand that what the president did was illegal, that's not the question though.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:00 PM   #12
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Well, from Washington Post:
Leaders around the hemisphere, including President Obama, quickly condemned the removal of Zelaya and called it a coup. But Honduran leaders insist that the world does not understand what happened here. They say that Zelaya was found guilty by a Supreme Court tribunal, that his arrest by the military was legal and that Zelaya was attempting to circumvent the Congress and the courts by staging a referendum vote on Sunday. The referendum, they say, could have led to a change in the constitution that would have allowed Zelaya to run for the top office again after his term ended in January 2010.



Now, was Zelaya found guilty in absense, or did this occur prior to the coup? From numerous articles I've seen, they all mention that Supreme Court had ruled against the referendum prior to the coup, but was Zelaya found guilty of anything? (and if so, what? - was there some sort of "Not only is the referedum illegal, but if you try it we're sentancing you in advance"). And if he was found guilty, why exile instead of prison?

Now, from AP

Attorney General Luis Alberto Rubi said Zelaya would be arrested "as soon as he sets foot on Honduran soil" and faces at least 20 years in prison for treason, abuse of authority and other charges.


At least from what's been seen so far, however, Congress & the Supreme Court (not to mention the military) seem united. I suppose if Zelaya was a rational person (rather than a politician), he'd be saying "Hey, I can see how this 4-more-years bit really pissed everyone off - how about I ditch that idea, finish up my term, and we can all leave each other alone." But no one seems to be suggesting that.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GraemeFaelban View Post
Is it illegal based on their constitution?
From what I've read, yes. I'm not a Hondurean Constitutional Scholar though.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
From what I've read, yes. I'm not a Hondurean Constitutional Scholar though.
Let me rephrase just to be clear here. Was his removal from office legal under the Honduran constitution? I know that he was acting in an unconstitutional manner.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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That's actually a very good question. I'll get back to you when I've mustered enough energy to do some research

But that being said, if Congress, the military, AND the Supreme Courts all say you gotta go, then I'd guess they have SOME backing when you're leading people to try and break into the place (by force) where the ballots were being held.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
To my original point: how is Obama wrong in how he's reacted to this? Hell, they haven't even made the step of calling it a military coup officially according to your linked article DD.
US backed UN resolution condemning the coup and demanding his reinstatement as leader passed today.

Following that plans are now afoot for him to meet with Obama as Chavez advised him to do, to solidify more support for his return and attempt to regain control of Honduras.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
how is Obama wrong in how he's reacted to this?
Because it's none of his fucking business perhaps?
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wildane View Post
Because it's none of his fucking business perhaps?
Wait a minute? The President of the United States isn't supposed to react to a militarily-enforced change of government in Latin America? Really? Leaving aside the "how" he reacted to it, you're really proposing he not react at all?
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:13 PM   #19
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How about this: WTF does the UN think they're doing trying to override the Supreme court and the Congress of a nation? WTF does Obama think He's doing? Does this make him nervous, because he's afraid the same will happen to him if HE steps out of line?
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #20
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Are you honestly expecting the UN to respect the sovereignty of a nation? I know we don't see eye to eye on the Honduras issue (though I haven't read much since it first happened tbh), but the UN thing shouldn't surprise you. As for Obama, you're reaching with the fear angle.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
Are you honestly expecting the UN to respect the sovereignty of a nation? I know we don't see eye to eye on the Honduras issue (though I haven't read much since it first happened tbh), but the UN thing shouldn't surprise you. As for Obama, you're reaching with the fear angle.
You've been reaching since you started typing in this thread.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
You've been reaching since you started typing in this thread.
Because I'm the one that played the "Obama=communist lol" angle to lead off? Get bent, hack.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:13 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
Wait a minute? The President of the United States isn't supposed to react to a militarily-enforced change of government in Latin America?
Bingo! Why does that seem like such an outlandish idea? If you decide you don't want your kid to watch Barney, are you really going to give a shit if your neighbor challenges that policy?
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Wildane View Post
Bingo! Why does that seem like such an outlandish idea? If you decide you don't want your kid to watch Barney, are you really going to give a shit if your neighbor challenges that policy?
Hey, as the parent of 3 toddlers, any neighbor who challenges my & my wife's strict "No Barney" policy is in for a world of hurt, especially if they set up a giant screen/speechers outside and start showing Barney videos. This being Texas, I'm pretty sure I'm within my rights to respond with deadly force (assuming the other folks in the neighborhood don't kill them first).
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:30 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Wildane View Post
Bingo! Why does that seem like such an outlandish idea? If you decide you don't want your kid to watch Barney, are you really going to give a shit if your neighbor challenges that policy?
So then you expect US foreign policy to be purely isolationist? What century are you living in again?

Shit happens in this world- shit, whether we want to or not, we need to be concerned about. The Ostrich Doctrine is just not going to play.
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