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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:23 PM

Obama and Clinton Ignore Democrats' Pleas to Stop the Killing In Honduras

Mark Weisbrot
The Guardian Unlimited, March 22, 2012

See article on original website

Hondurans are still suffering from the effects of the June 2009 military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Mel Zelaya. The coup has unleashed a wave of violence against political opposition, journalists, small farmers and others, with impunity for the security forces that have been implicated in these murders. This is exactly what those who opposed the coup regime – and its consolidation of power with marred “elections” in November 2009 - were worried about.

On the wrong side of this fight was the Obama Administration, which – after some hesitation – made some statements against the coup but went on do quite a bit to help the coup government succeed. Nearly three years and hundreds of political killings later, it seems that this administration is still on the side of repression and denial of Hondurans’ basic human rights.

Nothing has made this clearer than the attempts of Democratic members of the U.S. Congress to pressure the administration to change course. On March 9, 94 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her “to suspend U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police given the credible allegations of widespread, serious violations of human rights attributed to the security forces.”

The Members of Congress note a “pattern of human rights violations in which human rights defenders, journalists, community leaders and opposition activists are the subject of death threats, attacks and extrajudicial executions.” They call particular attention to the situation in the Bajo Aguan region, about 350 miles northeast of the capital, where “Forty-five people associated with peasant organizations have been killed.” This violence, which is committed by landowners’ gunmen and security forces against peasants struggling for land rights, is a direct result of the coup; under the Zelaya administration there were negotiations taking place to resolve the disputes peacefully.


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Reply Obama and Clinton Ignore Democrats' Pleas to Stop the Killing In Honduras (Original post)
EFerrari Mar 2012 OP
Peace Patriot Mar 2012 #1
bvar22 Mar 2012 #2
EFerrari Mar 2012 #3

Response to EFerrari (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:33 PM

1. We have got to understand that killings of trade unionists, peasant activists...

...and other advocates of the poor is necessary prep for "free trade for the rich."

Witness Colombia: Thousands of such murders, committed by the U.S. trained and funded Colombia military and its closely tied death squads, and the brutal displacement of FIVE MILLION peasants from their farms, by state terror...and now, we have a U.S./Colombia "free trade for the rich" agreement signed by Obama!

And, speaking of the military: Honduras' military and associated security forces, like Colombia's, are U.S. trained and funded. The Pentagon has many military bases in Honduras, as in Colombia, and is expanding or seeking to expand its presence even more in these countries. So, when the members of Congress who object to the murders of trade unionists, peasants and others, ask the State Department to "suspend U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police," they are treading on yet another powerful interest group that controls our government (in addition to transglobal corporations and banksters), that is, WAR PROFITEERS: those who make the weapons and the armored vehicles and all the other products of death that trade hands fueled by billions and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Chiquita, Drummond Coal, Exxon Mobil and other U.S.-based or U.S.-allied transglobal corporations REQUIRE that the peasants be cleared from the land and that unions be decapitated. This is the all-powerful, monopolistic position they want to be in, as they profit from slave labor and vacuum up local resources. Chiquita and Drummond Coal were paying for the murders of trade unionists in Colombia, until George Bush came along and larded $7 BILLION of our tax dollars on the Colombian military, to do it FOR them. He had other motives (consolidation of the cocaine trade into fewer hands and direction of its trillion+ dollar revenue stream to certain beneficiaries) but murder and mayhem in the interest of transglobal corporations was at least one of the top ones.

This is what is happening in Honduras. It is being prepped as a slave labor camp and also as a footstool for U.S. aggression and interference in the region (and has a notorious history as such a footstool). (The newly consolidated and directed cocaine trade is also now transhipping through Honduras as well, adding to the murder, mayhem and chaos that prep countries for looting and profiteering of every kind.)

So, it is no surprise that Obama and Clinton can ignore 94 Democratic members of Congress in their pleas to them to put morality and good government first and transglobal/war profiteer interests second (or nowhere). Obama and Clinton serve those transglobal/war profiteer interests, are beholden to those interests, have made deals with those interests. And I really don't know which is worse--the murder, mayhem and crime of the Bushwhacks or the Democratic Party leadership's hypocrisy and deception.

To be fair, I really don't think that the Obama administration designed the Honduran coup. It occurred only six months into the Obama administration amidst considerable disarray (or lack of firm footing) in their Latin American policy. The Bush Junta had handed them two failing wars and a Great Depression brought on by mind-boggling looting of the government and the economy. They had a lot on their minds. But it was their reaction to the Honduran coup that I condemn. They not only let freshman Senator Jim DeMint (SC-Diebold) blackmail them on their LatAm appointments, they insulted all of Latin America with the U.S. State Department's rigging of the Honduran election. And they have persisted in this insulting, hypocritical and, ultimately, murderous policy.

Why? See the above. It serves the interests that they serve to keep Honduras subjugated. The murders, torture, rape and repression in Honduras are part of the transglobal corporate/war profiteer program. Obama and perhaps Clinton may have wanted to go about things differently. There is some evidence that they did. But they immediately yielded to far right (i.e., fascist) operatives--and did so quite elaborately and with calculated purpose.

The plane carrying the kidnapped president of Honduras out of the country stopped for re-fueling at the U.S. military base in Honduras. Obama was commander-in-chief of the U.S. military at that time and either agreed to this kidnapping and coup, or was commander-in-chief in name only--at least in Honduras (if not in other parts of LatAm and the world). I favor the latter. It is my thesis that Obama didn't gain control of Bushwhack operatives in the military until Bush-SENIOR-connected Leon Panetta became CIA Director (after the Honduran coup) and began cleaning up after Junior in Colombia (what Jim DeMint & co. needed to keep Bushwhack operatives in the embassies in place for), and then went over to the Pentagon to heal the war between the CIA and the Pentagon that Rumsfeld and Cheney had started.

NOW we are beginning to see Obama policy (which he stated, early on, as "peace, cooperation and respect" in Latin America), in events in Colombia, which I won't go into here. Upshot: Obama/Clinton would prefer to serve their transglobal corporate/war profiteer masters with less bloodshed and less overt harm but they also are willing to (or obliged to) capitalize on fascist bloodshed and great harm for the profit of the few. This does not make them "good"; it just makes them slightly "less bad" compared to Bushwhacks, as to the methods of imperialism. When they repeated their rigged elections bullshit in Haiti, it became even clearer what their methods are--placing a cosmetic veneer of 'democracy' over corporate/fascist exploitation.

The problem is that the far right, the fascists and the Bushwhacks in this country, and Democratic leaders (those who are allowed any power) have the same GOALS. These goals have nothing to do with our welfare or that of other peoples of the world. They are the goals of transglobal corporations (countries unto themselves, with no loyalty to any people) and the war profiteers who are sucking off our government and us. These Democratic leaders (with Obama as their president) likely would NOT have invaded Iraq--or instigated a rightwing/military coup in Honduras, but they are willing to (or obliged to) cover up for those who do these excessively horrible things and to permit profiteering from the horrible situations that have been created. They can ignore the gross violations of human rights in Honduras because they agree with the GOALS of such acts.

It is a common fault of leftist analysts to equate a leader like Obama with Bush--but I don't think that is accurate and I don't think it helps us understand our country or the world. The U.S. Empire is bad--murderous, corrupt, lawless and very aggressive--that is true. And that it is now an "empire" is bad. Imperialism is the opposite of democracy. But to really understand the workings of this Empire-if, for no other reason, than to oppose it effectively--you've got to dig deeper. Obama is NOT the same as Bush in many significant ways. And how he is different from Bush, and why he is in power and not Bush, are very important questions. I think that my distinction between goals and methods helps a bit, on a number of issues including Honduras. Despite how that coup came down (and when), Obama had different and more peaceful methods in mind, and why he and his team have behaved so badly, re Honduras, is that they share the same goals as the architects of the coup (which was designed in Washington DC during the Bush Junta).

These 94 Congresspeople think that they can influence the methods, when they should be addressing the goals.

What is the purpose, for instance, of the U.S. having military bases in Honduras? Whose interests are they protecting and who is profiting? Whose goal is it to brutalize and suppress unions? Who benefits? Who is the U.S. government serving? I think they need to penetrate U.S. hypocrisy about "human rights" as having anything to do with U.S. policy--it really doesn't--and get at, and expose, the goals of U.S. policy--the heart of the issue. Obama/Clinton are ignoring human rights violations because ignoring them serves certain goals and it is the goals that need to be brought to light.

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Response to EFerrari (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:48 AM

2. It isn't about "Human Rights".

It IS about More Money for RICH People.

Colombia has an awful record on Human Rights,
but the Right Wing government is Colombia is the 3rd LARGEST recipient of US Foreign Aid,
and was recently rewarded with a Brand new Free Trade deal by the Obama Administration,
while the emerging Populist Democracies that are actually reducing poverty and improving the Standard of Living in Latin America are demonized in the US Media, and by the leadership of BOTH Political parties.

Yes, Virginia,
Crimes against Humanity DO pay,
if you are in the 1%.

[font size=5 color=green]Solidarity99![/font][font size=2 color=green]

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:08 PM

3. LookIt: it's NOT THE ONION.

@TransparencyUSA honors #SecClinton. Watch her remarks:


(The other honoree this year was - THE COCA COLA COMPANY.)

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