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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:40 PM
Original message
Sen. Kerry frets over Obama letter to GOP
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Kerry frets over Obama letter to GOP
Ginger Thompson, New York Times

Saturday, August 8, 2009

(08-08) 04:00 PDT Washington - --

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is concerned that the Obama administration's efforts to placate Republican critics of its policy in Honduras were giving the impression that U.S. support for the restoration of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya, had begun to weaken.

Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the committee chairman, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Friday that the senator was worried that a State Department letter to Republican legislators "risks sending a confusing signal" about the United States' support for negotiations aimed at restoring Zelaya to power.

The State Department sent a letter this week to Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. In the letter to Lugar on Wednesday, the State Department seemed to distance itself from Zelaya, criticizing his "insistence on taking provocative actions" that contributed to the crisis and saying that the administration's policy "is not based on supporting any politician or individual."






Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/0...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. A Cold War Ghost Reappears in Honduras
A Cold War Ghost Reappears in Honduras Billy Joya in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
By GINGER THOMPSON
Published: August 7, 2009



Edgard Garrido for The New York Times

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras

THE coup here has brought back a lot of Central Americas cold war ghosts, but few as polarizing as Billy Joya, a former police captain accused of being the former leader of a death squad.

He didnt sneak quietly back into national politics. He made his reappearance on a popular evening talk show just hours after troops had rousted President Manuel Zelaya out of bed and loaded him onto a plane leaving the country.

Mr. Joyas purpose, he said, was to defend the ouster and help calm a public that freed itself from military rule less than three decades ago. Instead, he set off alarms among human rights activists around the world who worried that the worst elements of the Honduran military were taking control.

The name Billy Joya reverberated much more than Micheletti, Mr. Joya protested, perhaps a little too strenuously, referring to the head of the de facto government, Roberto Micheletti, installed by the military. Instantly, my image was everywhere.

Mr. Joyas conflicting images a vilified figure who portrays himself as a victim are as hard to reconcile as his life story. Human rights groups consider him one of the most ruthless former operatives of an American-backed military unit, known as Battalion 316, responsible for kidnapping, torturing and murdering hundreds of people suspected of being leftists during the 1980s.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/world/americas/08joya...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. An Ouster Highlights a Yawning Divide in Honduran Society
August 9, 2009
An Ouster Highlights a Yawning Divide in Honduran Society
By GINGER THOMPSON

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras One woman started a kind of kaffeeklatsch with her high-powered friends that grew into the driving force behind a movement that toppled the Honduran president. The other preferred to stay out of politics until the presidents ouster compelled her to protest.

Armida Villela de Lpez Contreras, a lawyer and former vice president, has become one of the most visible critics of the ousted Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya. And Hedme Castro is one of the thousands of teachers who have banded together to demand Mr. Zelayas return.

Between them is a yawning political and socioeconomic divide that still threatens the stability of what was once one of the United States principal staging grounds in Latin America during the cold war. And what they have to say about how this countrys political crisis began and about the sacrifices they are willing to make to defend their views leaves little hope that it will end any time soon.

To Ms. Lpez Contreras, a prominent member of this countrys small upper class, Mr. Zelaya was ousted because his blossoming leftist alliance with President Hugo Chvez of Venezuela had become a threat to Honduran democracy.

She is a founding member of a coalition representing some of the most powerful business and political forces in the country. And she says the coalition members are willing to do, or spend, whatever it takes to keep their country afloat in the face of mounting economic pressure resulting from the rest of the worlds condemnation of the coup.

Zelaya was suffocating all other powers of government, Ms. Lpez Contreras said. Now that hes gone we are breathing the air of freedom. This is a conquest we are not willing to surrender.

To Ms. Castro, who lives a solidly working-class existence, Mr. Zelaya was ousted because people like Ms. Lpez Contreras felt threatened by his efforts to lift up the poor most notably with a 60 percent increase in the minimum wage to about $9.60 a day from about $6 a day. An estimated 60 percent of Hondurans live in poverty.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/world/americas/09hond...
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sicksicksick_N_tired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. My hope is that they are playing a solid hand of spades against the opposition.
"Politics" has become such a freakin' nasty game. Before the whorin' corporacrats and their eager profiteers seized power, "politics" meant negotiating a means to serve the best interests of ALL THE PEOPLE. Nowadays,...the greediest, most self-serving mongers control the "VIEWS NOT NEWS" media and they do NOT give a shit how malignantly negligent their influence upon others. Talk about completely LOSING any moral compass: the worst of the offenders against democracy make millions dividing this nation (I need not bother to name them).

However, usually, bullies play only one game: the "no rules apply to me" one. It catches up with them.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. So the death squad leader comes to the U.S. for asylum. Graduate of the School of the
Americas, I'm sure he was welcomed with open arms by the fascists.

This is starting to remind me of the early 80's when Reagan came into power and the death squads began to sprout like poison ivy all over the Latin American and South American landscape.

I guess the Obama administration has so many other irons in the fire that it can't deal with a piddly little coup in Honduras.

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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. IT REALLY MAKES YOU WONDER
if a real class war is the only way to balance things out. I
had high hopes for Obama but so far he still stands with the
monied few...
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. Very interesting. Kick.
:kick:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Interesting - either a poorly written letter by the state department,
a split in the administration or Senator Kerry is trying to keep the Obama against the coup.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yeah, I wonder who thought to do this. The WH or inside State (with approval by the WH)?
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Aren't Clintonites advising the coup leaders? The letter was likely written poorly on purpose so
it would give mixed signals.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Lanny Davis is definately involved
That does not mean that he has any current connection to Hillary Clinton, or Bill for that matter. Mark Penn is involved, I think with a different RW South American country.

It is very interesting to me to see how the US is handling this. The Clintons in the 1980s were in favor of helping the Contras and though they made some changes, Bill Clinton did not end the School of Americas and did nothing to fix the relationships. This is one area of the world where I was not impressed with his foreign policy.

I suspect that the reason our position has seemed murky is that Obama is being pulled in two different directions. John Kerry has been clear in all his statements. He has taken, what on the international stage is a very balanced position - which is against coups. That position here, if you look at the comments, places him to the left of every other politician speaking out. This is consistent with Kerry having the guts to call Reagan out on illegally funding the Contras in the 1980s. The Republicans still see Central America through Reagan's prism - they are for the new Contras, who came in, in the coup.

Hillary's comments are interesting as either she has moved towards the left, or many of her statements reflected Obama's position, rather than her own. It is also hard to know what Obama's position is here, as he has said little and to my knowledge there was little he ever said in the past on their history. This might mean he is really making a break from the policies of the past. I'm glad that Kerry is likely pulling him in that direction.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I heard Carville was advising the coup leaders, too.
.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Ugh, I thought he was working with one of Kharzi's opponents in Afghanistan
You would thing that if they looked at how these guys botched HRC's campaign when she started with advantages unheard of for a non-encumbent, they may realize they were over rated. (The fact that BC beat a President at 33% is not all that impressive, when you know that he is unusually charismatic and had the media behind him. )
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. BC beat a president that NEEDED to lose as he expected impeachment after release of BCCI report
in Dec 1992. No worries for Bush - His pal (and BCCI figure) Jackson Stephens had his boy in Arkansas bankrolled to win and continue to protect them both throughout the 90s.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. Curious.
And that's about all I've got.

?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Same here - looking at the comments, Kerry's position on this has been brave
Kerry has been one of the few prominent politicians on either side who has stood against supporting coups - especially in South America. It seems many have failed to see that our policy in the 1980s in supporting right wing thugs is what has led to the US not being seen in a good light there.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Is there nothing this administration won't try and placate the Republicans about?
n/t
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
9. It's great that Obama has Kerry as a right-hand man. With so much on his plate,
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 11:29 AM by Joe Chi Minh
Obama's task of keeping everything on an even keel, without fear or favour, must be very difficult and daunting. That tendency of a subtle power-player to proceed by indirections makes him vulnerable to excessive deference to the thugs - ostensibly in the short term for medium/long term gains, but nevertheless perilous.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Kerry is Obama's right hand man?
I was not aware of that. Can you explain?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Kerry was Obama's top surrogate in the primaries and general election,
Edited on Mon Aug-10-09 04:33 PM by karynnj
but I certainly would not say he is Obama's right hand man. That is not fair to either man.

Kerry is not in Obama's administration - so he can be far more independent. His job is to do what he thinks is right and to represent MA. He is the Chair of the SFRC and a 5 term Senator. But, if the President turns to him for advice on foreign policy, it would be out of respect for his knowledge and we likely would never know that it happened. However, the fact that he was an ally of the President likely helps him. In addition, Michelle Obama is said to get along well with Teresa Kerry and Michelle, in fact, will host the G20 spouses at the G20 meetings in Pittsburg at an event at THK's home.

I have no idea who Obama's "right hand man" is - candidates are people like Biden, Emannuel, or Axelrod. I'm not sure how the first person he turns to is --- but I would bet that it is someone in his administration.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thanks -
I've been sick and out of the loop. I thought something important had happened and I'd missed it!
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Hope you are feeling better now
I have a feeling that only after an administration is it usually known who really had influence on a President.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Perhaps, it's an exaggeration, but apparently Kerry was the only public figure,
Edited on Mon Aug-10-09 05:38 PM by Joe Chi Minh
apart from Bill Clinton, that the North Korean leader agreed to see and talk with.

I would expect Obama to have more in common with Kerry than with almost any other American politician. But I could be wrong, and I was, indeed, unsure of whether "right-hand man" was the right expression. Not really relevant to the question, but, imo, Obama should consult with Kerry for moral support, in that snake-pit.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I would definately agree with you on "Obama should consult with Kerry for moral support, in that
snake pit". I can't think of anyone with more integrity, trustworthiness, and genuine class. I would bet that Kerry would be one of the few he could speak to knowing that Kerry would maintain his confidence.
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. WHAT REALLY IRKED ME ABOUT KERRY
is that he conceded the Presidential election, no fight, even
before all votes were counted, to Bush. It was almost as if
he knew that the fix was in and he was going along with it.
After the votes were finally counted, Kerry won. Skull and
Bones brothers....
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Kerry conceded the next day - later than any modern day election
Edited on Wed Aug-12-09 04:47 PM by karynnj
other than Gore's. (The fact is that Gore himself conceded on election night 2000, until it became clear that Florida was in doubt). Kerry conceded when there were too few outstanding votes to change Ohio's designation. He said in his concession speech that the provisional ballots would be counted, but they were too few to make the difference. Now, had a miracle occurred and enough Kerry votes surfaced, Kerry, like Gore, would have unconceded. After all the votes were counted< Kerry still had less.

The fact is that no one has YET, even though Ohio has had a Democratic governor and Secretary of state - and we now have Democrats controlling all 3 branches of the federal government, proved that Kerry was the legitimate winner of Ohio. RFKjr proves Kerry would have won if voter suppression by not having enough machines was considered. That statistical analysis is convincing, but it would not be considered by a court.

It is intellectually lazy to ignore all the times in Kerry's life where he took enormous political and even physical risks to fight the right wing and focus instead on a college fraternity. (Vietnam clearly had far more impact on him than Yale did.)

Here's what you ignore:
- Kerry standing up to Nixon - an action that led to FBI surveillance, dirty tricks, and hatred shown by things like having a brick thrown through a house window that narrowly missed his infant daughter in a cradle.
- Kerry standing nearly alone to challenge the funding of the Contras. The right wing attempted to intimidate him and his staff with things like trying to frame them with crimes - and death threats.
- Kerry standing against BCCI. From a recent SFRC hearing where Morgenthau testified, the mutual respect and affection between these two men who actually helped close OBL's bank was obvious.

Now, you also ignore that Kerry were in on anything in 2004, there is no way there would have been the SBVT or any of the many attacks on the characters and careers of both Kerry and his wife Teresa. Nor would Kerry have worked 16 hour days fighting to win - even in the months following cancer treatments when he was visibly exhausted.



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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Great post, karynnj...
... on the facts. I would guess most people don't even know about this part:

"Nor would Kerry have worked 16 hour days fighting to win - even in the months following cancer treatments when he was visibly exhausted."


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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #17
26. More like, most trusted advisor on realities of foreign policy issues.
It was Kerry who also advised Obama on his VP pick, for that very same reason.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
24. I do not think our Government needs to concern itself with..
other countries issues. If they want to send a word of support to one or the other, fine, let that be the end of it. But the people have to learn to work this shit out on their own, with out any intervention from any foreign Government.

They are a sovereign nation, so just let them be.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. That most clearly should be recommended in Colombia's case. n/t
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