Saturday, September 05, 2009

Carrot and Stick Confusion

Obama promised to use diplomacy to fight our enemies instead of warmongering, using the old carrot and stick approach to get things done. In regards to Honduras the stick looks pretty big:
The Obama administration on Thursday cut all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras over the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, making permanent a temporary suspension of U.S. aid imposed after he was deposed in June.
This quote from the State Department stands out:
Kelly said "restoration of the terminated assistance will be predicated upon a return to democratic, constitutional governance in Honduras." He said the United States would not recognize the results of the election under current conditions and stressed it was imperative that the vote meet international standards.

"That election must be undertaken in a free, fair and transparent manner," he said. "It must also be free of taint and open to all Hondurans to exercise their democratic franchise. At this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections."
Regardless of whether their Supreme Court was 100 percent correct in throwing out a Chavez clone trying to subvert their constitution the Obama administration is taking a position of demanding a court reversal before they recognize the new leadership. Bizarrely, this stance puts them on the side of the Chavez-lite president, since it's clear to anyone paying attention that the term limit provisions in their constitution were designed to stop the very type of leader they stopped in Zelaya.

The bigger question is how this position squares with our foreign policy towards established thugocracies such as Cuba and Iran. As Meteoric Rhetoric points out--we now allow US citizens unlimited visits to Cuba with no noticeable sticks being waved at Castro. Additionally, the United States recognizes the recently elected government of Iran, saying the problems with their elections was an Iranian thing dealt with by Iranians. Why not say the same about Tegucigalpa?

Granted, this may be some clever subterfuge employed by a bunch of forty-pound brains in the White House and State Dept who have a means to an end that has sailed right over my mobster head. But when does the next shoe drop? How is this strategy supposed to thwart thugs and promote democracies? And if it doesn't, when does the kickass kick in?

I'm also curious as to when the international media will start referring to our government as the "leftist government in Washington" as they sometimes do in stories about third world countries? In addition to our curious stance on the above, we've got admitted communists and avowed socialists serving as advisors and cabinet ministers and a president with connections to communists and socialists in his past. Seems somewhat fitting.

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