Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Coup Has Not Yet Been Tweeted

Iran recently became the cause celebre for keyboard warriors--such as this blog--and well-meaning internet people the world over. We had important work to do! There was retweeting, avatar-color turning (which I did and I'm not apologizing for--yes, it was purely symbolic, but probably better than nothing, if only in a small way), video sharing, location jamming...

The list goes on. For reasons that are not yet clear, the weekend coup in Honduras has not captured the imagination of the world in the same way. While the situations aren't identical, one would think that if Americans can get worked up over a fraudulent election in Iran, they can also get worked up over the military ousting of a democratically elected president of a country that the United States has had a military presence in since the 1980s.

Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at NYU and author of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism, spoke on Democracy Now yesterday and had this to say:

The Honduran military is effectively a subsidiary of the United States government.

Yikes! Yowza! Etc. Grandin continued:

Honduras, as a whole, if any Latin American country is fully owned by the United States, it’s Honduras. Its economy is wholly based on trade, foreign aid and remittances. So if the US is opposed to this coup going forward, it won’t go forward. Zelaya will return, if the United States—if Obama and Hillary Clinton are sincere in their statements about returning Zelaya to power.

In a show that Honduras really may be taking its cues from Washington, the NY Times reports today:

In the face of criticism from across the hemisphere, the new government hunkered down in Mr. Zelaya’s old office, ringed by soldiers and defending its actions as a bid to save the country’s democracy, not undermine it.

Acting outside the law to preserve it! I'm pretty sure that the Bush/Obama administrations have used that same rationale to justify suspension of habeus corpus rights. The world is finally looking back to the USA for moral guidance. Shining city on the hill!

No comments: