Coup are you? Part Three

President Obama has claimed that the removal of Honduran president Mel Zelaya is “illegal.” However, Hans Bader, senior counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demonstrates otherwise,

Bader points out that Zelaya flouted court rulings by using intimidation to try to get Hondurans to change their constitution to allow him to extend his tenure in office. In response, the country’s Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Zelaya, which the military enforced by seizing Zelaya and kicking him out of the country. The country’s legislature then voted almost unanimously to replace him with its legislative speaker, in accord with the country’s constitution.

According to Bader:

Obama is quite wrong to claim that the removal of Zelaya was “illegal.” The Honduran president forfeited his right to rule under Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, which bans presidents from holding office if they even propose to alter the constitutional term limits for presidents. And the Honduran military, which acted on orders of the Honduran supreme court, expressly had the right to remove the president for seeking to alter the constitutional term limit, under Article 272 of the Honduran Constitution. . . .The Honduran military’s role in enforcing the court order does not make it a “coup” anymore than federal troops’ role in enforcing the court-ordered integration of the Little Rock public schools in 1957 constituted a military occupation or takeover.

Bader bolsters his analysis by quoting from an op-ed by Octavio Sanchez, a Honduran lawyer and former Minister of Culture, in the Christian Science Monitor. Scott linked to Sanchez’s piece last week.

Obama’s position on Honduras is part of an emerging, and very sad, pattern. His bogus catchphrases may vary (“meddling,” “illegal,” or whatever), but the result always seems to be the same. Whether the venue is Honduras, Russia, or Iran, Obama instinctively sides, in the first instance, with the enemies of freedom and the rule of law. And it doesn’t hurt at all if that party is also hostile towards the U.S.,


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