Saturday, October 31, 2009

HONDURAS - U.S. Pressure Stopping Coup d'État

Ousted President Zelaya might now officially return to his country and share power with his rival Micheletti who incited a coup d'état against him with the help of Hondura's army.

It needed nothing more but some pressure from the U.S. to enable a return to constitutional peace in one of Latin America's poorest countries. Or at least that is what it seems to be. In July, Zelaya had been ousted because of his intention to push ahead a referendum on changes to the constitution, seen to be vital to improve the lives of Honduras' poor.

Zelaya had to flee from his country to Nicaragua whose left-wing orientated president Ortega granted him political asylum. Though his return to Honduras had been hindered more than once by the military, he finally managed to get into the Brazilian embassy to Honduras where he stayed up to now.

Yesterday, a deal has been reached that includes the formation of a unity government supported by both rivals.

As political pressure has been rising from other left-wing orientated governments in Latin America, including Venezuela, and after the President of the United Nations' General Assembly having condemned that coup d'état, the Obama administration finally decided to interfere.


I remember that it was at the very beginning of the affair when an expert expressed the opinion that only two or three armoured vehicles from the nearby U.S. garrison in Honduras might restore constitutional peace at once. Now, its not the armoured vehicles but a U.S. envoy who seems to have reached an agreement of peace. At the beginning, as well, another expert on constitutional law in Latin America made it clear that most constitutions in that area include the predominance of the military when "a civil government has become unable to guarantee internal stability". Seen from such point of view, that expert even came to the estimation that President Zelaya's "forced resignation" might be "a lawful act". If that's true, it would imply an urgent necessity to exclude such military predominance from any constitution of that area as soon as possible, even though Latin America is still holding the armies of Simon Bolivar and General Sucre in high esteem as the liberators from colonialism and the guarantors of constitutional peace in the newly founded republics.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

U.S. Official Resigns over Afghanistan Strategy

Matthew Hoh, a high-ranking U.S. diplomate and involved in the Afghanistan conflict, recently resigned from his post in protest of the government's strategy. Here's what he said:
"I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end. To put simply: I fail to see the value or worth in continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war."

This message comes together with the bloodiest day the U.S. ever lived in Afghanistan when bomb blasts killed eight of their soldiers on Tuesday, October 27. And it comes shortly before U.S. President Obama's announcement of his future Afghanistan strategy.

There are currently about 68.000 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan while further 40.000 troops have been recently requested by top U.S. General Stanley Mcchrystal. As to the interior situation of Afghanistan, election fraud in favor of President Karzai is still moving the people while another scandal has just appeared at the surface. According to the New York Times, president Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been on the CIA payroll for eight years. Furthermore, he is now suspected to be involved in illegal opium trade.

[Source: Al-Jazeera, English service, October 28, 2009]

To illuminate the volatile situation in Kabul: An explosion and gunfire could be heard from some 200 meters away when an Al-Jazeera expert gave his live comment on recent development in Afghanistan. A plume of smoke from that blast can still be seen in the following picture:

Al-Jazeera, evening news of October 29:
In an assault on a United Nations guesthouse, 5 UN staff members have been killed today.