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Israel, Honduras, and Obama By: David Solway
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It is no mystery that an American administration oriented far to the Left should side overtly with clearly autocratic regimes and political figures ranged against  two beleaguered democracies that are much in the news these days. Both Israel and Honduras have been put on notice by the United States: acknowledge the legitimacy of their adversaries’ claims, or else. Allowing for distinctive differences—and there are many—we might nonetheless suggest that Israel is the Honduras of the Middle East, Honduras is the Israel of Latin America.


We now know that deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deeply implicated in acts attempting to overturn the Constitution governing the civil society of Honduras and replace it with a left-wing populist dictatorship in all but name. On July 17, 2009, the Honduran daily La Tribuna revealed that government computers containing results for an illegal referendum yet to be held had been confiscated in a building adjacent to the Presidential palace (Pajamas Media, July 21, 2009). There can be no disputing that Zelaya was plotting a coup d’etat that would have brought Honduras into the socialist camp of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.


Similarly, it should be evident to anyone who has done a minimum of political homework that Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the so-called “moderate” Fatah party and President of the Palestinian National Authority, is no democrat but a corrupt and despotic leader intent on gradually dismantling the Jewish state and replacing it with a Palestinian entity stretching “from the river to the sea.” Speaking at a memorial rally in Ramallah in October 2008, Abbas was perfectly unambiguous, pledging that “The Palestinian leadership will continue to follow Yasser Arafat's path until a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is established…. The path of the shahids [martyrs]—Arafat, George Habash and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin—is the path that we cherish….” Negotiations are only a means to advance his purpose though he would now prefer to wait upon the consequences of the American diplomatic assault upon Israel (Washington Post, May 29, 2009).


Journalist David Adams, writing in the St. Petersburg Times for July 19, 2009, asserts that, although “many Hondurans may not like it, it’s in the West’s best interests to get Zelaya back ASAP.” Adams speaks from an Olympian perch, condescendingly indifferent to what these “many Hondurans” may want for their own country. Other commentators, too numerous to mention here, also believe it’s to the West’s advantage to further the cause of Abbas and the Palestinian campaign against Israel. Such counsels betray a profound misunderstanding of both geopolitical reality and moral principle, ultimately aligning their purveyors with unreconstructed autocrats who have no interest in promoting the welfare of their people or introducing democratic reforms. There is no recognition of the fact that Abbas and Zelaya are the same kinds of beast and that their designs are essentially identical, to subvert a democratic state which they believe they have the personal right to rule—in the name of that mythic but ever-convenient ectoplasm known as “the people” which has nothing to do with the people.


By their friends shall you know them. Zelaya buddies about with Daniel Ortega, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, vainglorious despots for whom “democracy” is the term of choice for stuffing ballot boxes, muzzling the press, arresting opponents and nationalizing industries. Abbas, for his part, supports the Iranian demagogues Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and justifies the Sudanese mass murderer Omar al-Bashir, regarding them as “brothers.” The company you keep is who you are.


But their most powerful and influential friend is none other than the President of the United States, one Barack Hussein Obama, who has brought destabilizing pressure to bear on democratic Israel and has threatened severe measures against democratic Honduras. Unless, of course, Israel accedes to many of its sworn antagonist’s insistent demands and disembowels itself in the process; and Honduras restores the reprehensible Zelaya to his former position of authority, thus surrendering its autonomy to a dictator’s aspirations.


This would gratify Obama who seems plainly determined to advance the Islamic agenda in the Middle East and the Leftist agenda in Latin America, and in so doing reinforce the totalitarian project in general. This should by now be obvious to anyone who has eyes to see. As Yogi Berra quipped, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”


I will say this bluntly and without equivocation. Obama is a disaster of the first magnitude, bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, smiling benignly on Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and cuddling up to Dimitry Medvedev—and by extension Vladimir Putin—of neo-Soviet Russia. He still maintains a flaccid negotiating stance toward an oppressive Iranian regime repudiated by its own people and rapidly closing in on nuclear capability. He would no doubt parley amiably with Hu Jintao of communist China should it launch an invasion of Taiwan, another small democratic nation in approximately the same “straits” as Israel and Honduras.


No less and perhaps even more frightening is Obama’s now undeniable intentions vis à vis his own country, imposing his own brand of demagogic politics upon the people he ostensibly represents. Unimaginable budgetary deficits, fiscally unsustainable policies, redistribution of honestly come by income, severe cutbacks in defence, bills hastily rammed through Congress affecting an entire population, soaring unemployment, opacity rather than transparency in the decision-making process, rule by charisma and fiat, the spectre of restrictions on freedom of expression—these are Obama’s gifts to his country. The new direction which American foreign policy has taken, alienating its democratic allies and mollifying tyrannical and illicit governments, renders the U.S. even more vulnerable to what we might call the expropriation of its destiny. Its enemies will not hesitate to seize the opportunity when it presents itself to undermine American interests and security.


“We are living at the edge of a catastrophe,” warned Newt Gingrich, addressing the Heritage Foundation on July 20, 2009. Whatever one may think of Gingrich, he is speaking truth to power, and truth to the powerless as well. Gingrich is concerned about the prospect of a massive terorist attack for which America is manifestly unprepared, but the attack of its own administration on the nation’s traditional liberties and endangered solvency is equally menacing. This is the calendar of events envisaged by the international Left whose program, however  improbably, has now taken root in the United States, the presumed bastion of freedom in the world. The enemy is within the gates and the outlook for the future is perturbing, to say the least. But there is a certain ironic justice at work. What Israel and Honduras are now discovering, America too will learn in the course of time.


I do not fear Abbas, Zelaya, Putin, Chavez or the rest of that disreputable bunch. I am alarmed when I consider Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. But I am scared to death of Obama.

David Solway is the award-winning author of over twenty-five books of poetry, criticism, educational theory, and travel. He is a contributor to magazines as varied as the Atlantic, the Sewanee Review, Books in Canada, and the Partisan Review. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity. A new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, will be released by CanadianValuesPress this fall.

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