Janet Albrechtsen has denounced the coup in Honduras as an assault on democracy, and praised the brave protestors putting their bodies on the line to preserve the rule of law; in the UK Mad Melanie Phillips has denounced those on the right who would quibble about abstruse constitutional law in the face of a military takeover; while in the US, the National Review‘s “corner” blog has been running hot with praise for the brave Honduran protestors.
Oh, sorry. I was in UpsideDownAbsurdistan for a moment. In fact the Honduran coup has been greeted with near silence from the right, which was waxing lyrical about the brave youth of Iran — whom they would cheerfully see bombed to crap if Israel asked them to — despite the fact that the military has now closed down all anti-coup TV and radio stations, including CNN Espanol, and the Latin America wide Telesur network.
Despite the fact that the protests in Honduras look much more like a full pro-democracy uprising than Iran — the Hondurans are less enamoured with Twitter than with building barricades and fighting back on the street — the coverage has not taken on the holy narrative of the advancing western enlightenment that Iran has been constructed as.
Of course not. As numerous commentators and irritants have pointed out, the Honduran top brass were all trained at the CIA’s coup finishing school, the School of the Americas (now renamed as Central Queensland University), and the whole thing is as traditionally choreographed as a provincial tour of Swan Lake.
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Planet Janet can’t muse as to whether George Dubya Bush has perhaps inspired those brave kids in Tecuig… Tegucli… in Honduras City, because they would all to a woman and man, string Dubya from the nearest lamp-post if they got a chance — for, among other things, supporting the failed anti-Chavez coup of 2002. David Burnout Burchell won’t have much of a platform to denounce everyone on the left except him, because the whole thing is reminiscent of the sort of the thing that went on in the years when he carried a party card.
Indeed some have gone further. The National Review in the US is supporting the coup — with a single article — while largely ignoring the democracy pushback altogether. The dodge is that Zelaya is allegedly breaching the constitution — a document drafted in 1982 when Honduras was a cold-war fiefdom and which, very democratically, prohibits referenda altogether.
Nevertheless, charges by some on the left that the US has a role in the coup seem based on pretty thin evidence. Z Mag notes that former Dubya South America wrangler Otto Reich’s NGO Grupo Paz Y Democracia (!) has supported the coup calling the kidnapping and exile of the President a process of “democratic transition”. Paz y Democracia they note, receives USAID money.
Well yeah, but so do half a million other groups and it is hard to see what upside the US could possibly get from this coup — Zelaya is in the Chavez camp, or close to it, but the US has recently restored ambassadors to Venezuela. The best that anti-US conspiracy theorists can come up with is that it “looks like” the 2002 Venezuelan coup. Well, how different can coups be?
Of course it may turn out that there are lower-level machinations that created the coup, but the idea that it is coming from anywhere higher seems to be a US left default setting. One hopes.
Meanwhile as an actual full-bore fight for democracy goes on, the right will continue to march past, eyes firmly to the right.