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Not So Fast, Amigas y Amigos

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Not So Fast, Amigas y Amigos


by Colonel Robert Killebrew, Small Wars Journal

Not So Fast, Amigas y Amigos (Full PDF Article)

The United States has always had mixed feelings about our relationship with Central America, so when the Honduran Army sent President Manuel Zelaya packing last week, we joined with a chorus of regional leaders, including Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, in condemning the soldier's putsch.

But now that we've exercised our moral indignation, we ought to step back and take a deep breath. As reports continue to come in, it appears that it was Zelaya, not the army, that was most egregiously breaking the law. The president was apparently involved in his own takeover, against the courts and Honduran Congress, and was about to stage a Chavez-style referendum" on ballots printed in Venezuela and looted from an army warehouse where they were being safeguarded. The army's move was legitimized by the Honduran Supreme Court and applauded by the Congress, which has appointed a stand-in president until regular elections this November.

Certainly we deplore military coups, just as we deplore sin. But in the tangled web of Central American politics, Honduras has long been the U.S.' most staunch ally. Among the four states from Nicaragua north, it has tried hardest to convert from a military-run banana republic to a constitutional democracy and, until just the other day, with some success. It supported U.S. trainers in the Salvadoran civil war. It houses an American military joint task force. At our request, Honduran soldiers fought in Iraq. So while the verdict must be that military takeovers are bad, surely in this case there are extenuating circumstances for a faithful ally, particularly since the bottom-line issue seems to have been the survival of its constitutional form of government.

Not So Fast, Amigas y Amigos (Full PDF Article)

Categories: El Centro

About the Author(s)


OldSpook (not verified)

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 7:05pm

One further point - article 313 gives the power to the Supreme Court to command the Armed Forces to carry out its rulings. It ruled under 239 that Zelaya had breached that article of the constitution, therefore he had IMMEDIATELY ceased to be president, in the legal sense. All the Army did was its duty as ordered by the Supreme Court to remove a former president who had violated the law and was stripped of his presidency automatically by his actions.

This crap about a "military coup" is just that - a load of horsecrap.

I am an old intel analyst, and I was able to figure this one out in just a day using the internet and a bit of reason (and a doublecheck on the translation).

My question: Why do President Obama and his advisers continue to lie about the nature of things in Honduras, and continue to misrepresent the truth in the press, and press for the illegal restoration of a criminal to the presidency in Honduras, violating the Honduran constitution in the process?

Is Obama simply that stupid?

Or is it vanity and fear of admitting a mistake?

Or is it something more nefarious and evil, such as selling out Honduras to get something from Chavez quid-pro-quo?

This is a very very bad corner the current administration has painted itself into with their ignorant knee-jerk "military=bad" reaction, instead of finding out the facts and legality, which paint quite a different picture.

Personal Disclaimer: I was stationed in Honduras in the 80s, and thus have a personal interest in that I favor freedom over the coddling of yet another dictatorship by US Government, this time under the leadership of the ignorant narcissistic rookie President Obama and his merry band of idiots.

"Many in Honduras, even though obviously closer to the issue, do not seem to be quite as sure as you appear that Zelaya would not have run again"

Anyone that says that, and others like that who make presumptions in ignorance are dead wrong -- and are damaging Honduras.

Try reading the Honduran constitution. Below I have posted the relevant part. Note that re-election is expressly forbidden. Further, look at the second clause -- it is in there specifically as an self-defense mechanism for the Constitution to prevent a "Hugo Chavez" style turn from constitutional republic to dictatorship.


Article 239 -- No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.

Whoever violates this law or <em>proposes its reform</em>, as well as those that <em>support such violation directly or indirectly</em>, will <strong>immediately cease in their functions</strong> and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.


NOTICE: It does not say anything about impeachment, etc - its AUTOMATIC, and IMMEDIATE.

The Honduran Supreme court ruled that Zelaya had violated the second clause (see my emphasis), and was therefore removed from office BY HIS OWN ACTIONS - the only issue was a formal physical removal by the Army, as ordered by the Honduran Supreme court and Congress.

People need to learn -- and admit they are wrong - and so is Obama, et al, who are on the side of forcing the restoration of the criminal Zelaya to office.

Sean (not verified)

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 4:52am

Sorry for the typos above, not sure how they escaped my spell check. It's late and I am operating on a caffeine deficiency...

Sean (not verified)

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 4:49am

If someone subverts government and seeks to take freedom and liberty from the people, I would welcome the military removing him from office and giving him a plane ride back to Kenya or Indonesia, sure--but it wouldn't be a coup if the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, Congress, the people, all major political parties including his own said it was not only legal but required and Obama was importing ballots from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to conduct a written poll in order to justify a referendum on allowing him to be elected to a third term and subvert the Constution.

And if in any case you wanted to call it a coup, then so what? Bring it on. Impeachment and making use of a so-called legal/justice system that is little more than a prote4ction racket for lawyers, judges, politicians and corporations is not the only recourse of the people. Government isn't about documents, nor about processes, it's about providing for the common good--and if someone seeks to abuse the common good, they are no longer deserving of or entitled to the processes they have cast aside for self-serving gain at the expense of those whose lives they are partially responsible for in what is a sacred trust.

Really, America has too many cultural, regional, and ideological differences to make a coup practical. I'd rather see a peaceful secession where those who constitute different social and cultural groups could have their own sovereign nation. It took one war to prevent it against the will of half the country once before, and it will probably at some point take another war to try and prevent it when it happens again, which is inevitable. So no, I think a coup is pointless. Secession is the way to go. How would USA justify using force against those wanting to secede now after having helped wrest Kosovo away from Servia? If a couple million Kosovars are deserving of a separate nation, surely 10, 20, or 50 million Americans who have nothing in common with socialists and the gay marriage lobby or that don't want to send illegal aliens to college at taxpayer expense deserve to live separate and as they see fit, rather than have a government taking away liberties, rights and freedoms and forcing alien ideology onto them?

I think America's usefulness in its current form is past. It isn't a nation about freedom, liberties, opportunities any longer. It's now a nation with no official language, invasion by illegal aliens, trigger happy jack booted thugs tasering and shooting unarmed elderly and blind people, unchecked narcotics, outrageous taxes, 37 million in poverty, giving foreign aid to nations who despise us and support terrorism, discrimination and racism, few if any common values from community to community, activist judges, for-profit prisons that have given us a larger incarcerated population than a dozen countries have populations combined, and crooked politicians bent on throwing away our sovereignty.

Coups are no less legitimate than elections or legal judgments. It's only the UN and globalists that want to pretend/imagine international law is supreme and the pinnacle of human achievement. Such a notion of democracy is nothing more than simple tyranny of the masses. If simply allowing the direction of your civilization to be dictated by the fastest breeding or immigrating demographic is all a nation intends to do, while not even summoning up the spine to decree an official language or instill any sense of national culture in its immigrants, that nation will not survive in its present form. History bears this out over and over again.

To reiterate, if Obama tries to subvert the government, the Constitution, or the principles that the Declaration of Independence and Western civilization are built upon, then yes, I would love to see a coup.

tequila (not verified)

Fri, 07/03/2009 - 11:43pm

Right, so you would like to see a military coup in the United States because Obama is a fascist socialist.

Sean (not verified)

Fri, 07/03/2009 - 6:15pm

The Honduran government's various branches pursued a long line of legal options before the Supreme Court ordered Zelaya's removal. His own government and members of his own party have have accused him of violating the law, attempting to rig a poll, and in aiding the drug cartels in trafficking cocaine and other narcotics into the USA via Venezuela and Columbia. As a vet who comes from a long line of vets back to the Revolutionary War, I support Honduras in ousting a would-be tyrant and socialist from the position of leadership when he tried to subvert the government.

The indignation coming from world leaders is the result of one thing and one thing only--fear that people around he globe are getting fed up with corrupt governments masquerading as legitimate government and will overthrow them as well. If the Honduran Attorney General (appointed by Zelaya himself if I am not mistaken), their Congress, their Supreme Court, and their military all agreed he was breaking the law, I think that removing him is more than justified. The DEA refuses to confirm or deny Zelaya's involvement in enabling/facilitating drug trafficking, which logic suggests is confirmation that he is--else they would deny it for a variety of political reasons. Wouldn't surprise me if the DEA, CIA or other US govt. agencies are not only knowledgeable, but involved.

Impeachment is not the only solution to removing would-be dictators. Political processes are not the only legitimate means of securing democracy. Americans have grown complacent, allowing morally decrepit politicians, the military-industrial complex, popular media and corporations fool them into thinking there's only one way to do things, and only one legitimate form of government.

The notion that it is somehow wrong or illegal to remove those seeking to subvert freedom is absurd. Western civilization did not survive 2000+ years of struggle by adhering to such foolishness.

Obama is siding with dictators, drug cartels and tyrants, bowing to Saudi Kings, seeking to undermine a sovereign nation--a democratic nation. Force is perfectly justified, the USA uses it all the time. The globalists, Obama, the UN, OSA, EU and their ilk are upset that the Honduran people aren't allowing politicians to hide behind semantics, procedures and manipulate the system to personal advantage in order to subvert government and enslave the masses. I have no illusions about the state of Honduran society and the difficulties it faces, but they have made considerable progress--while America heads in the opposite direction, towards tyranny and the removal of more and more liberties while implementing increasingly draconian laws, taxes and invasions of privacy.

If the USA, OSA, UN, EU, Chavez, Castro, Morales, or any other dictator attacks Honduras, I feel I would be remiss in not going to their aid to fight for liberty, freedom, democracy--where at least the people appreciate it. Obama and his administration are siding with communists, socialists, drug cartels and globalists against the very founding principles of Western civilization. I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies--foreign and domestic.

It's becoming apparent to everyone that there are as many domestic enemies dwelling in our government who continue to remove liberties, freedoms and tax the American people into poverty, ruin our economy, provide foreign aid to our enemies, neglect more than 37 million Americans living below the poverty line, has both failed and refused to secure our borders nearly 8 years after going to war, supports dictators and tyrants, has been found to traffick in illegal arms and drugs, and seeks to undermine sovereign and free people protecting their democratic government.

The reason Obama is condemning it is because he's afraid it's going to happen to him. Millions of Americans have nothing in common with the leftists and socialists like Obama, the Clinton (not even eligible for the office of Secretary of State according to the Constitution, which nowhere says Congress can simply vote a pay decrease to the office and make it legal once a Senator has voted for emoluments or pay raises for an office) and Pelosi and the rest of their ilk. We deserve and have as much right to live separate and apart as Kosovo--which the US, EU and UN supported. Far more Americans believe something different than in supporting dictators and drug cartels and paying for illegal aliens to go to college at American taxpayer expense.

This Independence Day, nothing would make me happier than another declaration of the same by millions of Americans. I'm proud of the Honduran people, and they can count on myself and a few others I have spoken to should it come time to make war on the enemies of freedom and democracy--no matter who they are, where they seek to hide, or how they choose to disguise themselves. I fought for my country, but the Declaration of Independence came before the Constitution, and the principles that Western civilization is founded upon are even more important than any document espousing them.

Hondurans realize this and are having none of Zelaya's attempt to destroy the principle of democracy while hiding behind semantics and propaganda. It is exactly the thing that globalists and those who want to eliminate sovereignty in pursuit of some Orwellian nightmare realize is happening, and they are rightfully worried.

Maybe tomorrow will be the most dramatic Independence Day since 1776--it wouldn't surprise me one bit. Tomorrow is a day to remind all who would seek to destroy freedoms and liberties that they should respect the people and fear them, and that all people have a right to institute governments as they see fit amongst themselves to provide governance as they see fit. We fought a Civil War over it once, and may again. An attack on Honduras or seeking to overthrow a legitimate democracy may be the spark in the pan that sets it off.

Wouldn't bother me one bit.

My great uncle, six places removed was with Washington at Valley Forge as an officer and chaplain, tutored Robert E. Lee's grandfather, and married James and Dolly Madison. My ancestors on my Native American side were here long before even that; men of my family have been fighting for this nation since its founding. I and many others who feel the same will not sit by and watch the country fall prey to socialism, communism, global subjugation to the UN or OSA or to see weak-willed politicians seeking votes to enable invasion by illegal immigration. Invasion is invasion whether armed, unarmed and whether or not your leaders allow it or are simply incompetent.

Before long, you may not have to look so far for topics to blog about. I hope our nation's politicians change their ways before they leave We the People with only one final option, whether or not any state legislature or politician supports it.

Tomorrow, may all Americans remember that we celebrate our Independence Day, not Constitution Day, not Political Process & Procedure Day, and certainly not Global Government Day! INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Ken White

Thu, 07/02/2009 - 10:46pm

Bones, you apparently know this:<blockquote>"Zelaya would not have been able to run in the upcoming November elections."</blockquote>Many in Honduras, even though obviously closer to the issue, do not seem to be quite as sure as you appear that Zelaya would not have run again or that he might not have 'won' had he done so.

I agree even though the Supreme Court ordered the Army to arrest Zelaya, that probably was not the ideal way to achieve a resolution of sorts. As it was desired by what thus far seem to be four of the five arms of Honduran government and a majority though not all of the Honduran people it, in my opinion, certainly should garner more credibility than it has. Others may differ. What any not Honduran and resident in that country thinks should be largely irrelevant to the solution at which they eventually arrive.

I further agree that we, the US, need to be very measured in what we do -- however, to criticize the removal of Zelaya without also calling attention to the meddling of both Chavez and Ortega in Honduras and in large measure encouraging Zelaya and thus precipitating the action is not wise.

We will pay for that later; you can rest assured that Chavez will tout it as a capitulation to the inevitability of socialism and the Bolivarian Revolution...


Thu, 07/02/2009 - 8:22pm

If we're to look at Honduras through some sort of zero sum 'Chavez vs United States' lens, shouldn't we deplore a military coup precisely because it plays right into the hands of leftist ideologues like Hugo Chavez?

Due to the policies of his administration, Manuel Zelaya was becoming increasingly unpopular and isolated within his own country. He was nearing the end of his term, and despite his planned plebiscite, Zelaya would not have been able to run in the upcoming November elections.

Now what? He's an international cause célèbre.
Remember the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez? The one that failed, and created the strongman's 'profoundly anti-US policies' because of tacit US acceptance for the coup makers? I imagine the Obama administration wants to avoid that mistake. Don't give Chavez more meat for his 'North American Empire' rhetoric, legitimating his Bolivarian Alternative to the OAS.

If one really believes this crisis is a conflict over the sanctity of the Honduran constitution, then they should be profoundly dismayed by the route chosen to protect said constitution. Ordering the army to remove a sitting president and following with an Iranian style crackdown are not the actions taken by responsible custodians of a constitutional government.

Ken White

Thu, 07/02/2009 - 3:41pm

We do seem about to make a major mistake that will cost us later.

Well written, well said. Red Devils do that ;) ...