The Supreme Court and the Congress of Honduras accused President Zelaya of violating the constitution Honduras by trying to illegally extend presidential term limits, and ordered him removed from the country. Apparently Zelaya was working closely with Venezuelan dictator Chavez to duplicate Chavez’s takeover of Venezuela. The Army removed Mr. Zelaya from the country.
President Obama has seen fit to intrude into Honduran affairs, at the behest of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, to demand that Zelaya be returned, apparently confusing the American Constitution with that of another country.
According to the Montreal Gazette the Obama administration “has condemned the coup, cut $16.5 million in military aid and threatened to slash economic aid. The U.S. State Department said it remained focused on mediation, and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had made clear to the interim government there would be consequences if it failed to reach a deal.”
That President Obama would choose to align himself with the biggest thugs in Latin America is surprising. That he would so intrude into the business of another country, an ally, passes understanding.
Zelaya returned to the country, but authorities didn’t bother to arrest him because he barely entered the country, staying in the no-man’s land near the border. The Los Angeles Times said:
It was a day of high theatrics staged, apparently, for multiple audiences, including the media abroad and Zelaya’s increasingly dispirited followers at home. He executed a symbolic gesture to make good on his promise to return.
Latin American countries have had long, unpleasant experience with caudillos — dictators — and it is hardly surprising that Honduras has put a law in its constitution forbidding presidents from extending their terms illegally. It is usual to respect the laws of other countries.
(h/t Gateway Pundit)
Filed under: Music
Yes, yes, it’s long before my time too, but I like the oldies.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, History, Military | Tags: Afghanistan, Japanese Surrender, Obama, Understanding History
President Obama has long seemed to believe that the only reason for our presence in the Middle East was to get revenge on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for the attack on 9/11. He has put Afghanistan high on his foreign policy list, and he even stated in the past, that invading Pakistan might be necessary.
On Thursday, in a TV interview with ABC News, President Obama said that “victory” in Afghanistan is not necessarily the United States goal.
I’m always worried about using the word “victory” because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.
The enemy facing U.S and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined, he said. “We’re not dealing with nation states at this point. We’re concerned with al Qaeda and the Taliban, al Qaeda’s allies,” he said. “So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can’t attack the United States. So that is defined by what, precisely? Seems like a shadowy goal for our troops who are fighting in Afghanistan. It’s a very odd statement from a president when we are in the middle of a war.
Mr. Obama’s historical gaffes are numerous. He thought the Berlin Airlift was a collective European effort; seems to think that Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East is somehow responsible for the backwardness of it’s neighbors; and when he was in Moscow, he received a lengthy lecture on the Cold War from Vladimir Putin. The Russian version, that is.
The Emperor Hirohito, of course, did not come down to the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies. To misunderstand that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Pacific War and the relationship of the Emperor to the Japanese people. In their 2000 year history, the Japanese had never surrendered to anyone. Japan was determined to fight on, even after Okinawa was lost. The Japanese navy had effectively ceased to exist, but an all-out defense of the homeland beachhead was planned. Rebellious army officers planned a palace coup which was put down. On August 14, 1945, the Emperor recorded a speech which was broadcast to the nation at noon on the following day, August 15.
The Japanese people were stunned. They had never before heard the Emperor’s voice. The formal surrender ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The Japanese representatives on board the Missouri were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff. Behind them are three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Navy.
Worth noting is an article from The New York Times that quoted Toshikazu Kase, a 100-year-old veteran of the Imperial Japanese government. (Second from right in middle row in the top hat). He would write in his memoirs about the surrender to MacArthur on the deck of the Missouri:
Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy. He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires. And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice. For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise. I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.
Understanding the history of our relations with Japan is crucial to understanding our relationship and friendship with Japan today. Understanding the history of Israel and Palestine helps to keep from making mistakes about who our friends are and why. Understanding the history of Latin America keeps a president from siding with some of the region’s worst dictators, and confusing our Constitution and laws with the constitution and laws of Honduras.
These things matter, and if the President does not have the background, it should be included in briefings. If his speechwriters don’t have the background, they should look it up. And if the State Department doesn’t have the background, God help us .(the headline comes from a quotation from Ralph Peters)