The Weekly Standard calls it a "Coup for Democracy." The National Review, "A Counter-Coup." But Ciff Kincaid wins the award for most unhinged reaction to events in Honduras:
"The so-called 'military coup' in Honduras was a successful effort by Honduran patriots to preserve their constitutional system of government from an international alliance of communists and socialists backed by Iran," Kincaid wrote in a column published at aim.org.
Yes, Zelaya tried to subvert national institutions to his parochial advantage. But the military deposing a duly elected national president is inimical to the principals of democracy that the Honduran military is purporting to defend. I think Kevin Casas-Zamora said it best in a balanced piece for Brookings, "If Zelaya must be prosecuted for his hare-brained attempt to subvert the Honduran constitution, then let the courts proceed as rigorously as possible. And the same applies to the coup perpetrators. If Honduras is to have a decent future its politicians and soldiers, in equal measure, must learn that the road to democracy and development runs through the rule of law."
UPDATE: Republican members of Congress join the fray.
A Congressional Coup Caucus emerges
Support for the coup in Honduras extends beyond the pages of right wing political magazines to the United States Congress. Tomorrow, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will host a private meeting for her Republican colleagues with former Honduran President Ricardo Maduro and former Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S. Jaime Daremblum. According to the invitation, obtained by UN Dispatch, "President Maduro will help to outline the sequence of events leading to the shift in power in Honduras and removal of Manuel Zelaya; provide insight into Honduran constitutional authorities; and discuss how the U.S. can now work to support the democratic institutions and rule of law in Honduras." Ambassador Daremblum will discuss his Weekly Standard piece titled "A Coup for Democracy."
In related news, Florida Republican Connie Mack is circulating a congressional resolution that effectively supports the coup. So far, the Congressional Coup Caucus includes Dan Burton (Republican from Indiana), Jeff Fortenberry (Republican from Nebraska) and Dana Rohrabacher (Republican from California) who are co-sponsoring the resolution.
Here is a sample of what they are signing onto, passed onto UN Dispatch from a congress watcher who says Rep. Mack will likely "drop it in the hopper" tomorrrow.
Whereas several sectors of Honduras were opposed to this referendum, including the legislature, the judiciary, the Attorney General, the Human Rights Commission, the Catholic Church, evangelical groups, business associations, and four of the five political parties represented in the National Congress—including President Zelaya's own party.
Whereas on June 28, 2009, just hours before the polls were to open for the illegal referendum, the Honduran military arrested President Zelaya pursuant to a court order, and later exiled him from the country.
Whereas the Honduran Supreme Court has stated that the military acted on its orders, and the Honduran Congress passed a decree removing President Zelaya from office and replacing him with the President of Congress, Roberto Micheletti.
Whereas since his removal, Mr. Zelaya has been flown around the hemisphere by Hugo Chavez’s private jets.
Whereas since Mr. Zelaya’s inaugural, Honduras has been plagued by lowered living standards as poverty, violence, unemployment, and inflation have remained high.
Now, therefore be it:
Resolved, that the House of Representatives –
(1) expresses its strong support for the people of Honduras;
(2) condemns Mr. Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales for his unconstitutional and illegal attempts to alter the Constitution of Honduras; and
(3) calls on all parties to seek a peaceful resolution that is both legal and constitutional.