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Castro, Morales, Nyerere named official UN heroes:

Story here. More information in this story in Spanish. Morales is officially "the maximum exponent and paradigm of love for Mother Earth." Castro is "World Hero of Solidarity." The late Nyerere is "World Hero of Social Justice."

General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann said, "What we want to do is present these three people to the world and say that they embody virtues and values worth emulation by all of us." They indeed worthy of emulation by anyone who aspires to becoming a famous tyrant while crushing freedom and the rule of law--as does the Sandinista government of Nicargua, whom D'Escoto represents at the UN.

John Moore (www):
Is there anyone left in America that still believes that the UN is anything but a tool of tyrants?
9.2.2009 12:51am
BGates:
John - yes, the Left in America.
9.2.2009 1:08am
Frater Plotter:
The U.N. seems to be divided into two parts: the General Assembly, whose actions are those of scoundrels; and the Security Council, whose actions are those of fiends.
9.2.2009 1:22am
vidkunquisling:
This is an outrage. Where are Robert Mugabe and Yasser Arafat ?
9.2.2009 3:30am
Max M (mail):
No seriously, where is Kim Yong Il? Money says he'll be on the cut next year for "World Hero of People's Rights".
9.2.2009 3:58am
Brian Mac:
Morales is a famous tyrant? Exaggerate much?
9.2.2009 4:07am
supra shoes (mail) (www):
Thank you very much. I am wonderring if I can share your article in the bookmarks of society,Then more friends can talk about this problem.
9.2.2009 4:13am
martinned (mail) (www):
Wait? Are we still supposed to think the Sandinistas are evil? I thought that approach died with the Reagan era...
9.2.2009 7:21am
martinned (mail) (www):

The U.N. seems to be divided into two parts: the General Assembly, whose actions are those of scoundrels; and the Security Council, whose actions are those of fiends.

Pretty much. And under the UN charter, the GA can adopt resolutions 'till they're blue in the face, only UNSC resolutions have direct legal force.
9.2.2009 8:28am
Houston Lawyer:

Are we still supposed to think the Sandinistas are evil? I thought that approach died with the Reagan era...


If this wasn't sarcasm, it should be.
9.2.2009 9:50am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
And if Sequrity Councel resolutions only have meaning if someone is willing to enforce them. The SC certainly appears to take its share of symbolic action.
9.2.2009 9:51am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Houson Lawyer: AFAIK, the Sandinista party is one of the two main parties in democratic Nicaragua. Their leader is the democratically elected president. They may be left wing, but I see no reason to accuse them of "crushing freedom and the rule of law".
9.2.2009 10:03am
George Smith:
Jeepers!
9.2.2009 11:41am
Houston Lawyer:
So the Sandinistas are the reformed communists, like Pat Buchanon is a reformed fascist. I look forward to the day when lefties are required to put as much distance between themselves and communists as righties put between themselves and fascists, notwithstanding that fascism is also a lefty ideology.
9.2.2009 12:30pm
Vader:

Castro is "World Hero of Solidarity.


Well, he's dense as a brick, has a heart of stone, and is impervious to the cries of his own people. "Solidarity," if taken to mean "having the attributes of a solid", might not be terribly far off.
9.2.2009 12:36pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Houston Lawyer: Wait, what??? There are communist and socialist parties all over the world, who are perfectly entitled to participate in democratic elections, as is mr. Buchanan. Even Mussolini's granddaughter was perfectly entitled to stand for and be elected to the European Parliament and the Italian parliament.

Reasonably, they should be expected to distance themselves from the likes of Lenin and Stalin, the same way that fascists are expected to distance themselves from Hitler, in order to be salonfähig. (That's one of those awesome German words that are unfortunately untranslatable, but still fit too well not to use them.)

I wouldn't vote for any of them, but at the same time I don't see why one would want to hold them in particular hatred as long as they play by the rules of democracy, etc.
9.2.2009 12:41pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Saying that Castro is the "World Hero of Solidarity" is like saying Alvaro Uribe is the "World Hero of the Rule of Law, and most especially, of following term limits."
9.2.2009 1:30pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also, the situation with Morales is rather interesting and is easily oversimplified in the American media. While I am not a huge fan of Morales, this really is a case that is less a matter of foreign influence than some folks want to believe, so it is a matter for the Bolivian people to resolve.

(I AM a fan of Rafael Correa, but that is a different matter.)
9.2.2009 1:46pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
Maybe the John Birch Society, etc. are right - it's time to get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.
9.2.2009 1:54pm
sonicfrog (mail) (www):

Saying that Castro is the "World Hero of Solidarity" is like saying Alvaro Uribe is the "World Hero of the Rule of Law, and most especially, of following term limits."


It's a combination of saying Jimmy Carter was the Best President Ever, and that Robert Mugabe is the greatest fiscal genius in the world!...

And that I am the best bass player in the world.
9.2.2009 4:05pm
yankev (mail):

Pat Buchanon is a reformed fascist.
Fascism tends to be militaristic and to favor a planned economy. I haven't seen either trait in PB's foreign or domestic policy. Isn't he more of an isolationist and a nativist (e.g. at one campaign rally, he told Rabbi Avi Weiss and other Jewish voters that they were not Americans) with anti-Semitic attitudes (Jews are manupulating the US into war for their own aims and real Americans will pay the price) and a sympathy for Nazi leaders and war criminals? Still despicable, but not technically the same as fascist.
9.2.2009 5:26pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
(Alvaro Uribe is basically a right-wing and pro-US version of Chavez. Except that he was there first. So maybe Chavez is an anti-US and left-wing version of Uribe. Or maybe they both are copycats of Alberto Fujimori. I will admit to being happy though if Uribe's perpetual term limit extensions get struck down this time.)
9.2.2009 6:21pm
malclave (mail):
I assume that President Obama's omission is because "hero" just isn't a sufficient term?
9.2.2009 9:02pm
Jeffersonian22 (mail):
Drive your people into privation and your nation into international beggary...and you're a hero to the UN. Defend it against genocidal jihadists and you'll get a tsunami of resolutions denouncing it.

I think this shows the UN's priorities quite well.
9.2.2009 9:15pm
Jeffersonian22 (mail):

John Moore: 9.2.2009 12:51am
Is there anyone left in America that still believes that the UN is anything but a tool of tyrants?

BGates: 9.2.2009 1:08am
John - yes, the Left in America.


No, they know it's a tool for tyrants, but to them it's a feature, not a bug.
9.2.2009 9:33pm
RainerK:
salonfähig: Used to mean "acceptable in polite and educated company". Now, after the advent of nonjudgemental activism, meaning "acceptable to whoever is celebrating their own ignorance".
9.2.2009 9:56pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
The Cold War Sandanistas were tyrannical communists, but these days they seem to have normalized.

There's nothing reformed about Buchanan. If anything, he's gotten crankier in his old age. Hans Herman Hoppe (who is one to talk) has claimed paleoconservatism is fascism, which seems pretty weak to me. Of course, Orwell noted the over-use of the f-word way back in the day.
9.3.2009 12:21am
John Moore (www):
TGGP... the Sandinistas are still not nice guys, but Ortega (always a member of the economic elite) got what he wanted: power and fame.
9.3.2009 2:11am
martinned (mail) (www):

the Sandinistas are still not nice guys

I can see how you would come to that conclusion. Start from the reception Obama is getting, and then remember that the Sandinistas are several lightyears to his left...
9.3.2009 7:06am
Esteban:
he UN official who presented these medals is the very same man who has been instrumental in getting the Obama Administration to demand the return to power of Honduras's ex-president and would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya.

The Obama Administration absurdly claims that because soldiers carried out a court order for Zelaya's removal from the Honduras Supreme Court, his removal was a "military coup." That's its justification for not recognizing Zelaya's civilian successor as president, a former Congressman who was installed by the Honduran Congress.

The UN official who presented these medals attempted to fly into Honduras with Zelaya to force his return.

Yet the media claim that Zelaya's removal must have been a "coup," because the UN and the Obama Administration say so.

They are quite wrong.

Martinned, tell us why the EU and the Netherlands are stupidly following in the UN's lead in refusing to recognize Honduras's legitimate government, given that Honduras's ex-president was validly removed pursuant to articles 239 and 272 of the Honduras Constitution.
9.3.2009 1:09pm
Esteban:
The UN official who presented these medals is the very same man who has been instrumental in getting the Obama Administration to demand the return to power of Honduras's ex-president and would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya.

The Obama Administration absurdly claims that because soldiers carried out a court order for Zelaya's removal from the Honduras Supreme Court, his removal was a "military coup." That's its justification for not recognizing Zelaya's civilian successor as president, a former Congressman who was installed by the Honduran Congress.

The UN official who presented these medals attempted to fly into Honduras with Zelaya to force his return.

Yet the media claim that Zelaya's removal must have been a "coup," because the UN and the Obama Administration say so.

They are quite wrong.

Martinned, tell us why the EU and the Netherlands are stupidly following in the UN's lead in refusing to recognize Honduras's legitimate government, given that Honduras's ex-president was validly removed pursuant to articles 239 and 272 of the Honduras Constitution.
9.3.2009 1:10pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Martinned, tell us why the EU and the Netherlands are stupidly following in the UN's lead in refusing to recognize Honduras's legitimate government, given that Honduras's ex-president was validly removed pursuant to articles 239 and 272 of the Honduras Constitution.

Sovereign states are not generally in the habit of issuing statements about the correct interpretation of each other's constitutions. It is not for the UN or for the Dutch government to say whether what was lawful. All they can do is call on the parties to refrain from using violence, recognise the legally elected president (when in doubt, go with the guy who's actually elected) and call on all parties involved to resolve their differences.

When new elections are held, and those elections are free and fair, the international community will undoubtedly "recognise" the new president. (States recognise states, not governments, but that's a story for another time.) If, in the mean time, Zelaya and the new government reach some kind of accomodation, the international community will have no problem accepting such a result. If Zelaya unilaterally acknowledges that his removal was lawful, the international community will normally accept that, too. But as long as none of those things have happened, they can only apply the sniff rule, and say that there's something fishy going on.
9.3.2009 2:31pm
martinned (mail) (www):
...whether what happened was lawful.
9.3.2009 2:49pm
Joe Schmoe:
Martinned's suggestion of international neutrality in Honduras makes sense.

But the EU isn't neutral, nor is the "international community." It has jumped to conclusions, recognizes Zelaya as president, even though his own country's courts and legislature say he isn't president any longer, and that the so-called "interim" president, Micheletti, is actually the legitimate president, having been chosen by the country's Congress.

When Honduras's current government sent an explanation of its position, the relevant official, from Sweden, quite contemptuously dropped it on the ground rather than read it.

UN member countries have also said that they won't recognize any elections in Honduras, regardless of the results, unless Zelaya is allowed to return.

Honduras may have a strange constitution. But it is not for outsiders to override if, as appears to be the case, the removal of Zelaya from office was in accord with it. (Indeed, Zelaya himself seems to have been a very strange character, whose overreaching rule made some of the draconian provisions in the Honduras Constitution -- like ousting presidents who even propose an end to term limits -- make sense).

The EU and the UN should at least study Honduras's Constitution and laws before jumping to the conclusion that what happened there was a "coup."

They plainly never did that.
9.3.2009 2:50pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Joe Schmoe: And you would have been OK with, say, the EU refusing to recognise George W. Bush as president in 2000 on the grounds that the EU's interpretation of the US Constitution and other laws shows that Gore should be president?

International relations can't work that way. You go with the guy who's elected fair and square, you go with the guy who didn't use violence, you encourage them to sort it out between themselves. (Which is another reason to back Zelaya, at least for a while: how else are you going to get everyone to negotiate?) And then, over time, if nothing changes, you adapt your stance to the reality on the ground.
9.3.2009 3:15pm
Jack O'Donnell:
I don't understand Martinned's point. The position he attacks is precisely the one he himself is taking.

He says countries shouldn't impose their interpretations of the law on foreign countries, giving an an example "the EU refusing to recognise George W. Bush as president in 2000 on the grounds that the EU's interpretation of the US Constitution and other laws shows that Gore should be president."

But that is exactly what the EU is wrongly doing in Honduras, explicitly calling for the Honduras (including the Honduran courts) to rescind their ruling against the ex-president so that he can return to office. (The Honduran Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that the removal of the country's president was legal, and indeed, required, under Honduran law).

Nixon was "elected and fair and square," but it doesn't mean that America acted illegally in forcing him to resign under threat of impeachment.

Zelaya was by all accounts worse than Nixon, doing things like sending a mob to seize ballots impounded on orders of Honduras's courts, and refusing to submit a budget so that he could spend money at his whim in violation of Honduran law. He is not, as Martinned seems to think, the "guy who didn't use violence," but rather the guy who inspired it.
9.3.2009 4:18pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Jack O'Donnell: If the international community were to do differently than they did, they would have to form an opinion on Honduran constitutional law. What they are doing now does not require this. Similarly, if they had refused to recognise Bush, that would have required foreign states to form their own opinion on US constitutional law. That's the analogy.

Eventually, though, everyone will adjust to the reality on the ground. That is why Zelaya is trying like crazy to keep everybody interested in his case. I'm not sure why the US took further action this week. If I were them, I'd keep quiet and wait for the whole thing to calm down. Zelaya is clearly not getting anywhere, so the smart move would seem to be to back away from him and encourage free and fair elections, even if that means elections without Zelaya. (IIRC, he's not allowed to run again, anyway.)

Under traditional international relations, states don't interfere in each other's internal business. That is why, for example, there is no such thing as "recognising a government". In practice, though, states, particularly powerful ones like the US and the EU, do make statements about these things. But they still don't want to get caught arguing about the intricacies of other states' constitutions.
9.4.2009 9:29am
Hans Bader (mail):
The Obama Administration has now said that it may disregard even free and fair elections in Honduras, if they are not preceded by the return to power of Honduras' ex-president and would-be dictator, Mel Zelaya.

The Obama Administration formally cut off aid to the impoverished nation of Honduras today, and announced other impending sanctions, to pressure the country to accept the return of its ex-president and would-be dictator. The Administration did this even though its legal basis for doing so had been debunked and abandoned.

Earlier, the State Department planned to cut off aid to Honduras based on the false claim that its removal of ex-president Manuel Zelaya was a "military coup." But this claim was easily debunked, because Honduras replaced the ex-president with a civilian successor (a Congressman installed by Honduras's Congress), who is backed by a democratically-elected legislature and a unanimous vote by the country's supreme court. (Indeed, the Honduras Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for the former president's arrest, which soldiers duly carried out, and recently issued a ruling reaffirming that the ex-president's removal from office was valid. The Obama Administration retaliated against Honduras for this ruling by imposing travel sanctions against the Honduran people). Moreover, Honduras' removal of its ex-president was legal.

Now, the State Department more or less admits that admits that there was no military coup, citing "the participation of both the legislative and judicial branches of government" in the president's removal.

But while its original justification for cutting off the aid has disappeared, the Obama Administration was determined to cut off aid anyway, logic be damned. The Associated Press now reports that "the Obama administration on Thursday cut off all aid to the Honduran government over the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, making permanent a temporary suspension of U.S. assistance put in place after he was deposed in June."

U.S. sanctions are causing suffering, malnutrition, and widespread unemployment in Honduras, blocking needed projects such as the construction of orphanages.

Honduras removed ex-president Zelaya after he systematically abused his powers: he sought to circumvent constitutional term limits, used mobs to intimidate his critics, threatened public employees with termination if they refused to help him violate the Constitution, engaged in massive corruption, illegally cut off public funds to local governments whose leaders refused to back his quest for more power, denied basic government services to his critics, refused to enforce dozens of laws passed by Congress, and spent the country into virtual bankruptcy, refusing to submit a budget so that he could illegally spend public funds on his cronies.

Journalists nonsensically refer to Honduras's removal of its ex-president as a "coup" even while admitting that it was approved by the country's supreme court, and stating that it was ordered by the court. But if it was legal, by definition, it cannot be a coup, since a coup is defined as "the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group."

The ex-president's removal was perfectly constitutional, say many lawyers and foreign policy experts, including attorneys Octavio Sanchez, Miguel Estrada, and Dan Miller, former Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes, Stanford's William Ratliff, and the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady.

President Obama’s demand that Honduras reinstate its would-be dictator has emboldened other elected leaders in Latin America to try to make themselves dictators. (Even the liberal Washington Post, which has not endorsed a Republican for president since 1952, admitted that the Obama Administration has shown a “willful disregard of political oppression” by left-wing dictators in Latin America). Obama’s demand has been supported by the Cuban communist dictator Castro and the Venezuelan socialist dictator Chavez, who counted Honduras’s deposed president as an ally, despite his background as a wealthy and corrupt landowner.

Moreover, the ex-president's removal was not a "coup" because it was not committed by a "small group," as the definition of "coup" requires. The removal of Honduras’s president was supported by the entire Honduran Supreme Court, an almost unanimous Honduran Congress, and much of Honduran society. Honduras did not lose its government, but merely replaced one illegitimate part of it: its overbearing president. And his removal from office (as opposed to his subsequent exile) was clearly legally justified.

The fact that solders, not police, enforced the removal of Honduras's ex-president does not make it a coup. Because soldiers, "instead of the police," carried out the court's orders to remove the ex-president, the removal has been falsely called a "military coup" by liberal journalists, the Obama Administration, the Carter Center, and the leftist regimes that now prevail in much of Latin America. But soldiers' participation made sense. Only soldiers, not police, would have enough manpower to remove a would-be dictator who was the most powerful man in his country, with his own bodyguards. More importantly, the Honduran Constitution expressly vests the military -- not police -- with the power to enforce Constitutional guarantees like term limits, in Article 272. The president forfeited his right to rule by proposing an end to term limits (Honduras has had such a problem with elected presidents later becoming "presidents for life" through vote fraud and intimidation that Article 239 of the Honduras Constitution strips presidents of the presidency if they even "propose" an end to term limits). And soldiers have occasionally been used to enforce court orders, even in the U.S., such as in the 1957 Little Rock desegregation order.
9.4.2009 4:47pm
Carlos Aguilar (mail):
Just for the record, the Sandinistas stole the latest election in Nicaragua. It was all over the news in spanish. Nicaragua Fraud
9.5.2009 11:07am

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