Friday, July 3, 2009

Meanwhile, South of the Border

To compensate for picking on Canada and near-Canadians yesterday, a question about Honduras.  Despite all the attention on entities that are potential nuclear threats like North Korea, Iran, and al Qaeda/Taliban, and on Iraq (all of which some far-seeing president focused on the world’s real problems should have rhetorically lumped together with some catchphrase, maybe involving a word like “axis,” years ago), might Obama’s reaction to Honduras be the most erroneous foreign-policy thing he’s done so far?

I mean, I’m fairly agnostic about foreign policy and will remain so — you just can’t say with much reliability how things will play out in these complex international struggles and should thus be cautious, meaning a president should probably lean non-interventionist, by which measure Obama could prove better than Bush in many ways (I don’t know).

And Honduras is hardly something I expected to be worrying about six months ago, but had I been worried, it would have been about Zelaya trying to seize additional, Chavez-like powers with illegal referenda repeatedly rejected by other branches of his government — something the military there is now trying to prevent in a fairly orderly fashion.  I could understand Obama — or the U.N. — warning the Honduran military that they’ll be closely watched, but did they have to go the extra mile and call Zelaya the rightful president and make him sound like an embodiment of democracy?  Are they trying to encourage future Chavezes and the like?  Shouldn’t we be troubled by the sight of our own president effectively endorsing the illegal actions of another?

I’m not saying anything Obama says about Zelaya is likely to be as damaging as missteps in Pakistan or elsewhere (and as a utilitarian I must weigh actual consequences heavily — but more about that later today), just more blatantly “on the wrong side.”

(And to compensate for linking to Weird Al’s “Canadian Idiot” above, here’s his Avril Lavigne-mocking “Constipated.”  The great thing about this song is that it keeps getting stupider as it goes along.)

1 comment:

Gerard said...

I don’t know if you’ve read Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s op-ed about this subject, but it’s worth checking out.

The Winner In Honduras: Chavez

I think he nails it.