Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for December 6th, 2015

USG brings down only pro-democracy Honduran oligarch

Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2015

Among the Honduran media, only Tiempo, run by Jaime Rosenthal Oliva, reported any truth about the coup against Zelaya. So of course the U.S. government has accused a number of members of the family of laundering drug money.

Meanwhile, the Honduran government is closing down a major opposition radio station, Cholusatsur, which dared to report that “that the Banco Ficohsa and more importantly, its Honduran owner, Camilo Atala, have been charged in Panama with money laundering.”

Together, these acts represent a silencing of opposition media.

IMO, dark night is descending on Honduras.


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The limited hangout: Clinton admits Honduras coup role

Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2015

This actually came out a couple of months ago, but as part of keeping the record on the Honduran coup, I thought it was worth posting.

Mark Weisbrot, Al Jazeera:

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order,” to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.” In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir “Hard Choices” and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama’s administration now faces.

The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government “rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries,” opening the door for further “violence and anarchy.”

Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton writes. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

Clinton’s false testimony is even more revealing. She reports that Zelaya was arrested amid “fears that he was preparing to circumvent the constitution and extend his term in office.” This is simply not true. As Clinton must know, when Zelaya was kidnapped by the military and flown out of the country in his pajamas on June 28, 2009, he was trying to put a consultative, nonbinding poll on the ballot to ask voters whether they wanted to have a real referendum on reforming the constitution during the scheduled election in November. It is important to note that Zelaya was not eligible to run in that election. Even if he had gotten everything he wanted, it was impossible for Zelaya to extend his term in office. But this did not stop the extreme right in Honduras and the United States from using false charges of tampering with the constitution to justify the coup.

I would say even more damning is Clinton’s characterization of Kissinger as “a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. ” Kissinger is a war criminal, and a promoter of Operation Condor, including a direct role in fomenting the massacre in Chile.

If Hillary Clinton is a friend of Henry Kissinger, she is no friend to liberty and the rule of law.

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Turks and Kurds, best friends forever?

Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2015

The war in Syria is now beyond parody. Reuters:

Iraq summons Turkish ambassador to demand withdrawal of troops

Iraq’s foreign ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to demand that Turkey immediately withdraw hundreds of troops deployed to northern Iraq, near the Islamic State controlled city of Mosul.

The ministry said on Saturday that the Turkish forces had entered Iraqi territory without the knowledge of the central government in Baghdad, and that Iraq considered such presence “a hostile act”.

…Turkish forces had set up a camp near Mosul…

A senior Kurdish military officer based north of Mosul said additional Turkish trainers had arrived at a camp in the area overnight on Thursday, escorted by a Turkish protection force.

A small number of Turkish trainers was already at the camp to train the Hashid Watani [national mobilisation], a force made up of mainly Sunni Arab Iraqi former police and volunteers from Mosul.

The Kurds say that Turkish forces are there to train them, the peshmerga. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Turks are planning to stay.

And in the NYT, we get this. Tim Arango:

The heads of powerful Iranian-backed militias have said they are willing to fight any new American troops in Iraq, as they did during the long American occupation after 2003.

Rather than the United States’ and Iran’s becoming partners in the fight against the Islamic State, Iran’s presence in Iraq is seen as a constraint on the American military’s role there.

Kirk H. Sowell, an analyst based in Amman, Jordan, and editor of the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics, wrote in an email, “The sending of ground forces to Iraq in any appreciable numbers would almost certainly open a new front in the war, with U.S. troops fighting Shia militias instead of Islamic State.”

Who’s on first?

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