Is this Carter or what?

Is there an Obamaite out there that will defend this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_honduras_coup

What the hell is going on here? Zelaya launched an attempt to get himself on the ballot for an unconstitutional second term. The Honduran legislature, judiciary and military agreed and enforced their Constitution. So what fucking coup? He was the one attempting the coup.

Before I knew the details on this but had heard that Obama was agreeing with Chavez, I all but knew where the truth lay.

MFG, the inmates are running the asylum. Carter cum Chavez. Omama cum Zelaya?

I must admit, I don’t get this one. It seems that every country that cares is supporting Zelaya. I see no reason why they should.

K: If you actually read the article, you see why the governments in question feel he is still
in charge. Here is the paragraph in question from the Yahoo article you posted:

The new government, however, was defiant. Roberto Micheletti, named by Congress to serve out the final seven months of Zelaya’s term, vowed to ignore foreign pressure.

“We respect everybody and we ask only that they respect us and leave us in peace because the country is headed toward free and transparent general elections in November,” Micheletti told HRN radio."

K: Now even the article admits he still has 7 months left in office thus he is still legally president unless there is a official impeachment
process that was followed which clearly was not, sooooo, by all rights he is still president.

Kropotkin

Yeah, but the Supreme Court ordered his arrest. In this country, a president can be impeached before his term is up. Should other countries continue to support such a president after he is convicted?

Even if the supreme court ordered his arrest, there still needs to be some legal process to remove him from
office, the legal process here seems to be missing. It be like a coup to remove Clinton after the impeachment
was voted on without waiting for the actually trial itself. You have to respect the rule of law even if the person that
has been charged did not respect the legal process.

Kropotkin

But you don’t have to respect US law in another country. And countries with history of coups ay have a different take on these things than do countries without that history.

You can have several different ways to remove someone from office.
you can have a coup, an rebellion, insurrection, an assassination, now
none of these are “legal” which means done by the rule of law.
You can have legal ways to remove someone from office.
In honduras, this is from the constitution:

The Chamber of Deputies establishes whether there are grounds for impeachment of the president or cabinet ministers (205:15). No extraordinary majority is stipulated.

But if you go look at the constitution as it apparently now stands, you see, in Article 205:

  1. Derogado por Decreto 157/2003

So I can’t say what the procedure might be now, or what it might have been before the decree (about which see below). Perhaps after the president is impeached, he is tried by the Supreme Court. This is a procedure found in many Latin American constitutions.*

And then there is the question as to why, once the president was removed by the military, congress elected its own president to replace the President of the republic, when the constitution says:

ARTICULO 242.- En las ausencias temporales del Presidente de la República lo sustituirá en sus funciones el Vicepresidente. Si la falta del Presidente fuera absoluta, el Vicepresidente ejercerá la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo por el tiempo que le falte para terminar el período constitucional. Pero si también faltare de modo absoluto el Vicepresidente de la República, el Poder Ejecutivo será ejercido por el Presidente del Congreso Nacional y, a falta de éste, por el Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, por el tiempo que faltare para terminar el período constitucional.

Unless the Vice Presidency was vacant the congress would appear to have committed an unconstitutional act by the way in which it has sought to fill the vacated presidential office–even leaving aside the constitutional status of the vacancy itself.

K: Now I don’t know spanish at all, so what article 242 says is beyond me but according to this analysis, the congress did not follow the law.

Kropotkin

Sort of like when a US president fights an undeclared war? Or kidnaps the president of Panama?

Technical issues aside, I think that the question remains whether the Congress and the SC did the right thing by the people of Honduras, and not by US standards.

If Obama declared (after being elected to 2 terms) that he was going to serve a third term without an election and in total disregard for the Constitutional limit to 2 presidential terms, and the Supreme Court and Congress disagreed, would the military not be in the right to make sure he didn’t succeed himself for that 3rd term? What if the SC and Cong agreed!(which they didn’t)? Would the military not be in the right to step in?

Our military, congress and supreme court are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. So if the President, who swears the same, breaks his oath…what…appease him???

Yeah, I think someone would arrest the guy. DoJ/FBI maybe. I don’t think a military coup is our style, but any such president would be arrested, I’d bet.

But anyone who had the power to attempt an overthrow would probably have those organizations in his pocket. It would be harder for the military to organize in such a circumstance and someone in the chain of command would have to assume leadership quickly. The problem with someone subverting the Constitution would leave the possibility/necessity of declaring martial law on both sides.

That’d be pretty cool though, the FBI vs the Marines with fighter cover and bunker busters. Hmmm, be a good movie. CWII

Well, yeah, and you bring up a good point. Such a thing might not be a very neat and tidy affair. As it is not a neat and tidy affair in the present case.

It can’t happen. He would automatically stop being the President on Inauguration Day as soon as the new President was sworn in, he doesn’t even technically have to be there for the process.

To answer the hypothetical, though, as long as he was recognized as President, the Military would have no other choice but to answer to him. It would be the Weekend Warriors vs. Delta Force in the end, or something like that as the National Guard is the only Armed Forces branch technically not under his direct authority. The National Guard is only under his authority when called into Federal service, an act that can only be done with Congressional say-so.

Referendum on constitution for higher term limit = coup.
Military coup = good.

Do you have a thought in your head?

What referendum?

The one he was putting his weight behind that would have allowed him to run for reelection. The impetus behind the coup.

Honduras was a flawed Democracy to begin with, but flawed democracies offer rallying points for popular activism and the distinct ability for a populace to fight for more rights and a better system, in a flawed democracy it is usually just a matter of time until improvements are made. Military dictatorships offer no such natural progression, and it is universally recognized as a massive step backwards.

There is a disgusting amount of literature on how the progression from flawed democracy to full democracy occurs. It inevitably begins with the “democratically” elected leader taking some step to consolidate power. I.e. he offers up a referendum rather than just running and declaring his 3rd term. If the referendum goes through it is seen as an abuse of power, if the referendum fails and he still runs then it’s an even bigger abuse of power. What matters here is that he is seen as abusing his power even though the Democracy is a sham to begin with and he always abuses his power. The law becomes a rallying point in conjunction with opposition parties for the populace to protest and effect change. There will be violence, but the likelihood of civil war or largescale military action is minimal.

Or consider an example you know of where this actually happened. In Iran the president has little to no power and is controlled by a ruler for life and his guardian council. You would then think that the ability of a populace to elect the president isn’t that important since it really doesn’t do anything in terms of the power structure. Yet, when the election of a sham president turned out itself to be a sham the population used this relatively benign abuse as a major rallying point for change, and guess what, it used Mousavi as the figurehead. Even though Mousavi was never for change and was part of the oppressive power structure before the election. They had no intent of putting him in office, but since he was already seen as Amedinijad’s opposition it was convenient to use him as a spokesperson to get national attention. In addition to this, even though the international community knows the president is a puppet, it took the opportunity to pressure Iran to change when it rigged the election.

Flawed Democracies are flawed my friend, but they are infinitely better than military dictatorships. They offer the population national rallying points that allow them to organize and mobilize at a national scale. They further offer the international community the ability to pressure less-than-democratic leaders about democratic rights. Military dictatorships offer no such rallying points or places of international pressure.