Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama, Honduras, Iran: The Contrast

With considerable alacrity, the Obama White House has declared a military coup in Honduras to be illegal. This is despite the fact that both the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress had weighed in against former Honduran President who was ousted in the recent coup. USA Today reports President Obama's response as follows.

"President Obama says that the coup in Honduras was "not legal" and that Manuel Zelaya remains the president.

Obama said the United States would "stand on the side of democracy" and work with the international community to restore Zelaya peacefully. He made his comments after meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in Washington."

This stands in marked contrast to Obama's initial standoffish attitude in the aftermath of Iran's June 12 electoral debacle, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won an electoral landslide among all Iranians, living and dead. Within hours, all ballots were counted fromn across the country, despite the remoteness of some locations and the universal prevalence of paper ballots. It took several days of widespread criticism for the Obama administration to voice any concern. In the intervening days, Ahmadinejad's thugs have unleashed a reign of terror against the people of Iran, kicking down doors on streets reputed to be populated with opponents of Ahmadinejad.

Perhaps it took a while for Obama to realise that there was no magic tailwinds of his Cairo speech which was meant as an olive branch to a fractious Muslim world. He may have been stunned at the ingratitude of the ham fisted regime he had been courting with such sweet eloquence.

One thing that was established in the Honduran coup. When there is a "progressive" consensus, Obama will quickly find his voice. Since Islamic radicals are the fascists that liberals love, a blind eye will be turned to their sins.

Iran could be tied in knots by a refusal to sell them gasoline. In their race to go nuclear, they have totally neglected to build their own refineries. When Iranian demonstrators wave signs in English, they are calling to the world to respond. So far, they have gotten tea and sympathy. What a pity. Obama stands shoulder to shoulder with Hugo Chavez in opposing the Honduran coup. Too bad his back is turned to Iran.

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