Monday, July 20, 2009

We Should Support Honduras, Liberty

by: R.J. Moeller

“This isn’t about the process, it’s about results.”
-David Axelrod

Even for all the “ends justify the means” proponents out there, that is some kind of daunting gauntlet for the president’s chief strategist and policy adviser to so publicly lie down. Of course Mr. Axelrod, a man who sharpened his political fangs in the most corrupt political system in the nation (Chicago), was in this quote specifically referring to the attitude the administration and congress have in regards to their bringing of Nanny-State socialized medicine to the Land of Liberty.

But if this really is the accepted mentality in the White House these days, one has to wonder why it is that Axelrod’s own boss is so disinterested in applying the same standard to situations that legitimately cry out for a “big picture” view?

I am speaking of the compelling plight of the people in the tiny Central American nation of Honduras.

A few weeks back here at A Voice in the Wilderness, I wrote about the misplaced moral priorities that result after years, perhaps a lifetime, of treating the “good bad and the bad good.” Specifically, I mentioned the disproportionate moral outrage shown to conservatives such as Sarah Palin, and the relatively non-existent moral outrage directed at the tyrannical theocratic regime in Iran who recently rigged their country’s presidential election. President Obama had none of the same dazzling rhetoric to offer in support of the courageous protesters who were defying a murderous oligarchy in the name of democracy and increase freedom.

Caution and discretion were required, or so we were told.

Yet it was only a matter of days after the protests broke out in Iran, as we were holding our national tongue in regards to other country’ affairs, that our president’s own vow-of-foreign-policy-silence was broken.

The Supreme Court of Honduras ordered the general of the military to forcibly remove the sitting president for attempting to forcibly bypass the national constitution and implement himself as a Castro-like ruler-for-life. Because of the not-too-distant horrors of a military dictatorship that existed for more than 20 years in the Western hemisphere’s 3rd poorest nation, the now-democratic nation has a constitutional condition that no leader is allowed to legally serve more than one term in office. Their ousted president had been trying to amend the Honduran constitution for months as his one-and-only term, which officially was supposed to end this fall, drew to a close.

The congress of Honduras opposed him. The Supreme Court opposed him. The military opposed him. And more importantly, the people (and the constitution) of Honduras overwhelmingly opposed him.

Guess who denounced the removal of the wannabe monarch, misleadingly calling what transpired a “military coup”? Hugo Chavez. The Castro brothers. The United Nations.

Oh, and Barack Obama.

The same day this story broke from Central America, our commander-in-chief publicly and roundly condemned the ousting. Never mind that it was a last resort for a nation desperate to avoid the tyranny from its own past. Never mind that it was completely legal under Honduran law. Never mind that a “coup” means that an independent and rouge militia takes over an entire government, which absolutely did not happen. Never mind that the president of Honduras’ own party, the same one which currently controls the congress, opposed his power-grab attempts and agreed with his forcible removal.

What is important is that “the world” now allegedly loves us more, right? Trading our support of liberty and freedom around the globe for the approval of the United Nations and Raul Castro is more important in the long run, don’t you think?

Folks, this is a travesty of epic proportions. If not reversed, our refusal to stand with Israel and Taiwan, the only two nations coming to Honduras’ defense on the world stage, will be a blight and shame on the history and honor of the United States of America.

It will rank up there with our abandoning of millions of allies in Southeast Asia after Vietnam who was subsequently massacred by the communists after our cowardly departure. It will rank up there with our abandoning of the Kurds in northern Iraq at the end of the first Gulf War, who were then systematically targeted and murdered on a mass scale by Saddam Hussein.

It will rank up there with the missed opportunity in Iran last month to side with people opposed to the people currently building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and hold the world hostage.

The frustration one feels as they begin to assess the situation in Honduras, a situation unmistakably clear as to what position one should take on it, is almost too much to bear. These are the times when I have to ask those committed to Obama's vision of change: how can we sit so idly by? The United States government has now cut off military aid to the impoverished nation. Further economic sanctions from countries like Venezuela, the main supplier of oil to Honduras, are already taking a heavy toll on the economy and lives of the Honduran people.

And for what? Because they followed their own laws and stopped a president form taking unprecedented and illegal powers?

What is happening here? How can we tolerate such morally confused behavior from our leaders? Fellow citizens, please for a moment put all partisan nonsense to the side and search your hearts and consciences: why in the world can we not speak for freedom’s sake in Iran, but then speak out against it in Honduras?

I realize the diplomatic and economic stakes are much higher when it comes to a near-nuclear, fanatical power like Iran, but our own nation was built on ideas and values and natural laws that are supposed to supercede both our leaders and electorate.

Can we not even offer up verbal or, if necessary, monetary support for people who yearn to be free from the same enemies we are threatened by ideologically and in some cases, militarily? Of course there are wonderful, concerned Americans who are voicing their support for Honduras, including radio talk show host Dennis Prager who actually traveled to Central America last week, broadcasting live from Honduras...but where our elected leaders and officials?

Make no mistake about it: the world is watching the United States. We know that many government heads hate us around the globe, but millions more of the actual citizens of those same countries love America and what we stand for. They immigrate here every day. They swim through shark-infested waters to arrive at our shores. Sure we have issues with illegal immigration, but the reason we have been blessed with greatness is first, our values (i.e. liberty, e pluribus unum, “In God We Trust”), and second, the great people who come assimilate here and take hold of their destiny in the “land of opportunity.”

Not everyone can come to the birthplace of freedom to live and work, and the people around the planet who choose to stay and adopt the values that America did not create, but uniquely identified and implemented, deserve our support. Obama said that part of his rationale in keeping silent in Iran was that we should not meddle in the affairs of other nations when it comes to their elections and political procedures.

Why then the turning of the proverbial back on Honduras, a nation who in following their laws, were forced to force their power-hungry, over-reaching leader out of office and the country? Why publicly side with the likes of Chavez and the Castro’s, especially when they are so clearly wrong and manipulating the rhetoric of democracy to condemn a people brave enough to stand up to their brand of political thuggery and strong-arming?

The process of removing threats to liberty is not always pleasant, and certainly offers no comfort to the weak-of-heart. But when has it ever been easy to maintain freedom even in a free country like our own? Who said it had to be “by the book” when bad people are opposed and prevented from dominating others? When we remain silent, evil triumphs. Hugo Chavez won’t stop trying to implement disciples of his socialist totalitarianism in countries in Central and South America. Consequently, we must never stop promoting and supporting those who oppose such soul-crushing authoritarianism, even if only with words. Just because we can’t send troops doesn’t mean we can’t help change the course of history for other freedom-loving people.

Let us pray that our leaders begin to put a higher premium on principles and values than on popularity and moral compromise. Let us pray that Obama and Axelrod begin to treat tyranny and oppression with even a fraction of the same cut-throat tenacity they do the uninhibited spending of our tax dollars.