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View Diary: Obama's foreign policy doctrine and why it makes sense (276 comments)

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  •  President Obama struck a perfect note post-Crimea (6+ / 0-)

    He rejected the silly impulse of the media and GOP to frame this as a pissing match between two men. Instead, Russia would face consequences from the community of nations, the G8, etc. It's exactly right.

    And I give him credit for Iran and Libya which he's handled quite well. I'll mark Syria as a success too, even though he and Kerry seemed hell-bent for intervention initially. They maneuvered(stumbled?) into a passable diplomatic solution. So credit for that.

    I disagree with Honduras, tho. I loved Obama's initial condemnation of the takeover, but there was no follow-up. The WH didn't even call for Zelaya's return.

    The Organisation of American States, the Rio Group (most of Latin America) and the UN general assembly have all called for the "immediate and unconditional return" of Zelaya.

    ....

    But at a press conference later that day, Clinton was asked whether "restoring the constitutional order" in Honduras meant returning Zelaya himself. She would not say yes.

    Why such reluctance to call openly for the immediate and unconditional return of an elected president, as the rest of the hemisphere and the UN has done? One obvious possibility is that Washington does not share these goals.

    Weisbrot

    .........................................................................

    •  I wasn't happy with the Honduras (6+ / 0-)

      position either.

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That move reeked of Reagan, frankly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dclawyer06, chuckvw

      In general, our evolution on matters of Central America has been extremely slow.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:52:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reagan would've knocked him off... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, poco, chuckvw, joe from Lowell

        I think Obama was generally angered by the coup---which is reflected by his strong statement. But the foreign policy establishment had it in for Zelaya. And they usually get what they want.

        •  I think that is an accurate assessment. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dclawyer06, chuckvw

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:08:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The right-wing, out-of-power FP establishment did. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dclawyer06

          As always happens in a Latin American coup, Otto Reich had all sorts of connections to what happened.

          But Otto Reich isn't in the State Department anymore. That particular "establishment" had to go free-booting this time, because they weren't getting any help from the administration or State Department.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:06:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They got their [relative] silence... (0+ / 0-)

            And that ain't nuthin...

            •  That word "relative" is doing an awful lot of work (0+ / 0-)

              You know, I've been paying attention to American politics for a long time. I've been paying attention to American foreign policy in Latin American for a long time.

              To refer to the Obama State Department's denunciations of the Honduran coup as "relative silence" is pretty implausible, if you know anything about that history.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:30:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I watched the situation in Honduras closely... (0+ / 0-)

                And I can tell you, when the US denounces a coup as unlawful but---pointedly and repeatedly---refuses to call for the return of those deposed we send a message. Loud and clear.

                I guarantee the usurpers heard it.
                I sure did.

                •  But we did call for his return. (0+ / 0-)

                  You're clearly wrong about following the situation in Honduras closely, if you don't know the information included in the very link I just gave you:

                  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.

                  ...
                  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."

                  Think about this: you think that you've been following the situation in Honduras closely, to the point where you can criticize the administration's response, and you don't even know what that response is.

                  What does "following closely" amount to, to you? Reading "Narco News?"

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:10:17 PM PDT

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                  •  Read your own fucking link... (0+ / 0-)

                    The WH did not characterize Zelaya's overthrow as a coup, not formally. They were busy sending mixed messages, which must've been a relief to the thugs who carried out the plot.

                    From your link:

                    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.

                    IOW, ignore the plain meaning of the speech Obama just gave. They get to cloak themselves in a noble aura while doing very little. The appearance of principle.

                    I wonder what message that sent to Micheletti and crew?
                    Don't answer, I've had enough of your bullshit.

                    •  Wrong again. They called it an illegal coup. (0+ / 0-)

                      What your quote says is that they didn't call it a military coup - which is exactly what I said. They called it an illegal coup.

                      Anyway, I see you're running away from your claim that they didn't call for Zelaya's return. What's the matter, that one didn't work out for you, so it goes down the memory hole?

                      I do love the way that what Obama said, or didn't say, was the  most important thing in the world when you wrote your last comment, but now, when you see him saying something you were too ignorant to bother knowing he said, it suddenly turns into empty symbolism.

                      Why should I pay the slightest attention to what messages they were sending, and what you assume anyone took from them? You don't even have your facts right, but that's clearly not something that's going to stop you.

                      You throw a little "I've had enough of your bullshit" tantrum over your shoulder, but you're still wrong, and anyone reading this thread knows it.

                      Art is the handmaid of human good.

                      by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:25:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Issue a demand, and then what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gurnt, zizi

      If the Honduran coup regime refused, then what would the Obama administration do?

      And remember, Zelaya was term-limited out of office (one of the reasons they arguments in favor of the coup were so weak), and the clock was ticking. We were going to demand the reinstallation of someone constitutionally forbidden from occupying that office?

      When the OAS issues a statement, it's a nice symbolic statement of principles. When the US does so, we're expected to actually back it up with action, and the US was (rightly) not going to take any action to impose our choice of President on Honduras.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:32:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Use the same tools we're using to punish... (0+ / 0-)

        Ecuador for allowing Julian Assange to live in their embassy?

        Or use basic diplomatic pressure like....

        Step 1: You describe the military action...
        as a 'coup.' Because....it's true and echoes the sentiments of every gov't in South America. Call a coup a coup.

        Step 2: When reporters ask you what should happen You say the 'coup' should be undone. And the people's elected leader ought to be returned to power.

        .........................................
        And the US has a ton of leverage over Honduras as well as the leaders of the coup, individually and collectively.
        -Describe the gov't as illegitimate
        -Refuse to recognize the usurpers
        -Withdraw our ambassador
        -Cut off aid
        -Freeze foreign accounts of individuals responsible; ban them and their families from travel to US

        That's just a start.
        We throw our weight around all the time. Why not in Honduras?

        •  Does that get Zelaya back in power in time... (0+ / 0-)

          before his term ends, and the Constitution renders him illegible to serve and President?

          Not particularly likely.

          Oh, btw, the administration did describe it as a coup, repeatedly, throughout the episode, as well as called for Zelaya's restoration.

          (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...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.

          I want you to think about this for a minute: the core factorial claim behind your angry, bitter denunciations has just been shown to be false. An honest person would respond to this situation by doing something other than doubling down, or finding some weasel words to explain why they aren't really wrong.

          Are you an honest person?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:24:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you had a shred of honesty... (0+ / 0-)

            You would've posted SoS Clinton's clarification---from your own fucking link--- that the administration was not, in fact, classifying Zelaya's ouster as a coup.

            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.
            The WH looked the other way and while running out the clock on Zelaya's term. While giving appearances that they were upset.

            That silence was deafening.
            And their protestations disingenuous.

            But you know that.

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