Wednesday, July 01, 2009

 

Do they even teach Honduras law at Harvard?

I am well aware that our president is a Harvard Law graduate, our Secretary of State is a Yale Law graduate and that supposedly all of that is somehow significant when they opine on legal matters. But the Administration's knee-jerk reaction to the events in Honduras reflects little appreciation for the facts on the ground. President Obama needs to explain why his understanding of Honduran law runs counter to that of just about every significant institution in Honduras and why his is the wiser.

….however, in their defense, they could just be relying on bad analysis…

…which is just my cheap way to segue into a latest effort by Scott Wilson of the Washington Post:

Ousted Honduran President Plans Return But Future Is Unclear

“Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is preparing to return to his country, days after the military pushed him from office and into exile…For one, Honduras is scheduled to hold presidential elections in November, and Zelaya is prohibited from running again (a restriction he was trying to change before his ouster).

“Zelaya's popularity is well below that of Chávez and Aristide, who at the time of their ousters, both enjoyed enormous support from an ardent group of followers. But, given the military's intervention, it appears to be high enough among the poor to give him a chance of winning a referendum allowing for a second term. They stepped in on the day that a nonbinding resolution to begin that process was scheduled.”

Remarkably, Mr. Wilson’s “analysis” fails to mention a few key points that should alter anyone’s understanding of the Honduras situation:

1. Then-president Zelaya had been embarking on a series of deemed unconstitutional actions – from running a referendum to possibly allow for his re-election to firing the head of the military.

2. The military didn’t just decide to take out Mr. Zelaya on a whim. They were ordered to by the Honduras Supreme Court.

3. The “unelected successor” (as Mr. Wilson refers to him) is Roberto Micheletti. He is not a member of the military but is instead the president of their Congress and was unanimously chosen by their Congress to complete Mr. Zelaya’s term (and the two belong to the same political party).

But anyone relying on Scott Wilson for their understanding of what is going on down there remains decidedly ignorant of the situation. Please Mr. President, stop relying on the likes of Scott Wilson and instead adopt the sage advice of Charles Krauthammer:

“Look, a rule of thumb here is whenever you find yourself on the side of Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the Castro twins, you ought to reexamine your assumptions.”

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