Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama's Selective Diplomacy

Manuel Zelaya and Hosni Mubarak

This dictator must stay, that dictator must go. How does one sort through the confounding wishes of the current administration? Here, we'll examine the possible thought processes of Barack Hussein Obama in an attempt to figure out why Manuel Zelaya - in the mind of Obama - was wrongly removed from power while Hosni Mubarak must leave immediately.

Considering the current news emanating from Egypt, it is highly doubtful that anyone reading here will need an acquaintance with Mubarak. Manuel Zelaya, on the other hand, might understandably be a forgotten man, so it might be prudent to recap his influence on the news cycle and why I make the comparison I'm about to make.

In June of 2009, Manuel Zelaya, then president of Honduras, was removed from power at the hands of that countries military, and at the behest of the Honduran Congress, and rather unceremoniously to boot. On a Sunday morning, soldiers entered Zelaya's residence and brusquely escorted him - in his pajamas - out of the country. The reason was that Zelaya had sought to subvert the Honduran Constitution, and the Congress reacted.

Perhaps emboldened by the strides of his Venezuelan counterpart, Zelaya was, in effect, trying to become the Honduran version of Hugo Chavez, but the people's representatives would have none of it. The reactions from the region were predictable, with socialists from Venezuela and Nicaragua - Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega - demanding that the usurper be reinstated immediately. What was astounding was the fact that Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined in that chorus, refusing to acknowledge Speaker Roberto Micheletti as the interim leader of Honduras.

To be fair, Zelaya was not yet a dictator, but was positioning himself to become one, and a United States administration should have had as its policy nothing but solid support for the wishes of the people of Honduras as represented by its Constitution in correcting a wrong in progress. It didn't, instead demanding that Zelaya be reinstated. Why?

Perhaps because Zelaya shared the philosophy of our own current regime, one of Socialism and its alleged benefit to the common man. So the rules of Honduras were by default invalid in the judgement of our current administration. Socialism's advance would be protected as best it could.

So when the people of Egypt began protesting the Mubarak regime, one would have expected our own to back him, but that didn't happen. Again, we must ask why. Here's where things get dicey.

Mubarak is not what Americans would consider our type of leader; a dictator with a parliament, but no independent judiciary. It's antithetical to our system. But we made the relationship between our nations work because, under Mubarak, Egypt has ironically been an agent of Middle East peace for three decades, upholding the agreements of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat.

One of the primary reasons for this is that Mubarak's reign has been a secular one, a rule that has prevented the spread of radical Islam from infecting a fragile partnership with Israel and the West. The protests that began there were not even about religion, but were the manifestation of the peoples dissatisfaction with absolute power. But when the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to capitalize on the opportunity, it became complex. And that's when Obama became interested.

Suddenly, our long time ally became an impediment to "peace" in the eyes of Obama, who bluntly called
for Mubarak to step aside quickly, even foolishly and prematurely announcing that he would in mere hours yesterday. The announcement was made to Congress by CIA Director Leon Panetta, but it only exposes the lack of experience in leadership of this administration.

Muslim Brotherhood Founder
Hassan al-Banna and Nazi Troops
Another similar miscommunication came from National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who astonishingly claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was "in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam." Almost immediately, Clapper's PR person, Jamie Smith, was out trying to protect the boss, claiming that Clapper was merely misunderstood.

But I digress...the issue is the choices the president makes in taking sides in foreign disputes. In the case of Zelaya, he clearly favored a would-be dictator over the choice of the people. In the case of Mubarak - who has been in place for the first half of Obama's term with no incident - Obama suddenly declares a desire for the Egyptian people to be heeded. Curiously, this stance came only after the intrusion of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It strongly suggests a pattern by Obama. The real question remains, though, is it a pattern of incompetence or cunning?

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Edisto Joe said...

I have to vote for incompetence.
This whole thing has been a giant cluster ****! Obama, Clinton, Paneta, and Clapper should have had one big conference call to consider their facts and form a coherent, unified message. As with everything else Obama does, it did not happen and the message was confusing, even conflicting. That is just plain incompetence. As for the socialist thing and being cunning? Obama is the kind of guy that can succeed in spite of himself.

Edisto Joe said...

Your question on incompetence or cunning got me thinking and I incorporated it in my latest post, "Obama And America's Decline...Incompetence Or Cunning. I mentioned your Article and provided a link. Hope you don't mind.

Woody said...

I don't mind at all, EJ. Thank you.
It really is frightening to think of what is running our country. For all of the woories by the Left about Palin's qualifications, look what we got instead.

Panetta never worked in intelligence before. He was more involved with social endeavors and the environment. Now he's Director of the CIA?!?