Friday Misc. Roundup

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My temporary full-time teaching position ended in May so I am on the hunt for another f/t gig. I am teaching a political science class this summer and that is going well and I landed something p/t for the fall but would prefer something more meaningful lucrative.

Besides that, I am enjoying spending time with my son and my wife who is off work until the end of the summer on maternity leave. Bro-in-law is coming to meet his nephew next month. Last time we went to Keens Steakhouse in celebration of his passing his architect exam. We will not do anything so extravagant this visit but we always have a nice time.

There are a lot of interesting (and disturbing) events happening right now, but I have not had the time to write about them on my blog. So why don’t you have a read of these bloggers who have:

Max Boot and Ted Bromund at Contentious on Honduras

The ever prolific Bob from Brockley on Green Thursday

The Contentious Centrist has a post on Iranian blogger Selma

Roland Dodds (But, I am a Liberal!) on the Iraq War and Interventionism

Elder of Ziyon on U.N. hack Richard Falk’s support of terrorism

Flesh is Grass on Honduras

Ganselmi explains what the Iranian uprising has accomplished so far

Kellie (Airforce Amazons):  Imprisonment, Torture, Death and Life

Marko Attila Hoare (Greater Surbiton) on Harry’s place and anti-Muslim bigotry

Martin in the Margins continues with his series of excellent posts on Iran

Modernity blog nails The Guardian on antisemitism

Bill Roggio (Long War Journal) reports on the Iranian Quods forces released by the U.S. military

Sultan Knish asks “What is the Two-State Solution Supposed to Solve Anyway?”

ZWord’s Ben Cohen: Lies, Damn Lies, and the Apartheid Analogy

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8 responses »

  1. Thanks for that.

    I do find dealing with the Guardian and CiF to be very tiring, unnecessarily so. They are clearly in the wrong but won’t admit it.

  2. Have now gone through all these great links. My good luck too for your job hunt. I’m kind of job hunting myself at the moment, so I know how you feel. Everything I hear makes it sounds like our sector is even worse on your side of the Atlantic than here!

    I think we are on different pages on Honduras. I can see that Zelaya is unsavoury. I can see that he might have had a tendency towards Chavez-esque authoritarianism. But the response of the oligarchy and military is utterly 100% un-democratic and to be condemned. Boot and (in a more sophisticated way) Bromund, it seems to me, are making a mistake that mirrors that of the reactionary left on Iran: my enemy’s enemy is my friend. That is, they seem to think that because Chavez condemns something it must be bad. Boot also loses credibility, to me, with his low comments on Aristide, who is no Chavez.

    Kellie, the Szyk is great.

  3. “Boot and (in a more sophisticated way) Bromund, it seems to me, are making a mistake that mirrors that of the reactionary left on Iran: my enemy’s enemy is my friend. That is, they seem to think that because Chavez condemns something it must be bad.”

    It isn’t just because Chavez condemns it that it is bad. If that were all there was to it, I would agree with you.

    But, in this case, Chavez was actively supporting Zelaya’s power grab. It was Chavez who had the ballots for the referendum printed in Venezuela and than had them flown in to Honduras. It was Chavez who was seeking to interfere in the Honduran political process, undermine the rule of law, and increase his influence in Central America.

    Setting aside Chavez, Zelaya’s power grab was not even supported by those within his own party. They supported the actions by the legislative branch, the judiciary and the military. Christian Leuth, Project Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, writes:

    “The media’s portrayals of Zeleya as a victim contrast with the views of the Hondurans themselves. As Hondurans see it, parliament and the judiciary acted constitutionally. The military did not get involved in political decisions, but rather was following orders given by the Attorney General and the Supreme Court. After doing so the army retreated into the barracks. No general is in power, quite to the contrary: the majority of the newly sworn-in cabinet members already were members of Zelaya’s government. No sign of a military junta.

    Zelaya aimed for endless government. In reality Zelaya was able to get out of his self-made tight spot in the last minute in which he had put himself by repeatedly breaking the law. This is the key to understanding the parliament’s decision and the actions of the military. Zeleya has been attempting to circumvent provisions in Honduras’ constitution that prevent him from staying in office.

    The current situation escalated when Zelaya ordered the armed forces to support him logistically in his attempt to conduct the unconstitutional referendum, and the armed forces’ leadership – backed by a decision of the Attorney General – denied this request. Zelaya consequently deposed of the military leadership. Disempowerment occurred so as to protect the constitution. If one follows the chain of events, the deposition of Zelaya looks quite different. One cannot speak of a “military junta” currently holding power in Honduras. Rather the speaker of the parliament took control of the government in the name of the parliament. This is exactly what the constitution calls for in such situations: a speaker who sticks to the parliamentary elections in November and assumes responsibility for the country during this interim period. The Parliament’s vice-president, Mary Elizabeth Flores, adds: “The world should know that CNN has informed it wrongly. It is necessary for the international community to be informed correctly and to know who the real enemy of the constitution is.””

  4. I think Leuth’s phrases “the views of the Hondurans themselves” and “As Hondurans see it” are somewhat hyperbolic. Looking at the coverage, it is very clear that large numbers of people are turning out, and not in a coerced way, in solidarity with Zelaya. I have not seen coverage of large numbers of people turning out in support of the regime change. The fact that the regime change has been accompanied by brutal suppression of the media and by suspensions of the constitution far more serious than any proposed by Zelaya also, it seems to me, undermines any pro-democracy case for the regime change.

    By saying this, I am not arguing that we should be supporting Zelaya fulsomely. I also perhaps overstated my case on the enemy’s-enemy issue. Clearly, taking an anti-Chavez line is not all Boot & Bromund are doing. But, I think the Chavez angle is over-exaggerated in the case they and Leuth make. Of course, Chavez wants allies and greater influence. Of course he is interfering. But his interfering has been at a pretty low level. It seems to me fairly comparable to the sort of thing the US, as well as pro-democracy and pro-enterprise NGOs etc do in many Latin American countries: putting resources into those whose worldview is closest to his own.

    Finally, I am not sure how significant the lack of support Zelaya has in his party is. I believe the president is directly elected, as in the US, and Zelaya has a mandate from that, not via his party.

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