Monday, 30 November 2009

OBAMA: HOW TO FIGHT A "WAR OF NECESSITY"

Ken Berwitz

If you wondered how the inexperienced, but hard-left, Barack Obama would fight what he himself considers to be a "war of necessity", please read the following excerpt from today's article in the New York Times:

Obamas Speech on Afghanistan to Envision Exit

 

By PETER BAKER, ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER

Published: November 29, 2009

 

WASHINGTON President Obama plans to lay out a time frame for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan when he announces his decision this week to send more forces, senior administration officials said Sunday.

 

Although the speech was still in draft form, the officials said the president wanted to use the address at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday night not only to announce the immediate order to deploy roughly 30,000 more troops, but also to convey how he intends to turn the fight over to the Kabul government.

 

Its accurate to say that he will be more explicit about both goals and time frame than has been the case before and than has been part of the public discussion, said a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the speech before it is delivered. He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.

 

The officials would not disclose the time frame. But they said it would not be tied to particular conditions on the ground nor would it be as firm as the current schedule for withdrawing troops in Iraq, where Mr. Obama has committed to withdrawing most combat units by August and all forces by the end of 2011.

Translation:

My fellow Americans.  Way back in August, the commanding General my administration put in charge of Afghanistan told us we needed 40,000 more troops.  He told us that, without them, the troops in their current numbers were too endangered and that we could  lose this war.

I sat on that recommendation for three months. 

But now, after occupying myself with unsuccessful trips to Copenhagen and Denmark, a great state dinner (yummy) and lots of golf, I have made a decision.  I have decided that he'll just have to get along with 30,000.  We can't all have what we want, can we?

And while I'm at it, here is the general framework for our exit strategy.  I make this public as a kindness to the taliban, which will then have a pretty good idea of how long it has to hold out before retaking the country.

For those of you asking how come a specific timetable is a good idea for Iraq and not for Afghanistan ..... can I have another three months?

Finally, you may remember all those attacks I made on former President Bush for not catching osama bin laden.  Well, the fact that we still haven't caught him since I've been President, and that my estimated timetable for withdrawal doesn't mention any requirement that he be caught?  That's Bush's fault too.

Any questions?


THE GLOBAL WARMING SCAM: UN DIVISION

Ken Berwitz

This excerpt of a truly remarkable commentary by Rajendra Pachauri is from an article published in London's Guardian:

Leaked emails won't harm UN climate body, says chairman

Rajendra Pachauri says there is 'virtually no possibility' of a few scientists biasing IPCC's advice, after UAE hacking breach

James Randerson

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 November 2009 17.03 GMT

There is "virtually no possibility" of a few scientists biasing the advice given to governments by the UN's top global warming body, its chair said today.

Rajendra Pachauri defended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the wake of apparent suggestions in emails between climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that they had prevented work they did not agree with from being included in the panel's fourth assessment report, which was published in 2007.

The emails were made public this month after a hacker illegally obtained them from servers at the university.

Pachauri said the large number of contributors and rigorous peer review mechanism adopted by the IPCC meant that any bias would be rapidly uncovered.

"The processes in the IPCC are so robust, so inclusive, that even if an author or two has a particular bias it is completely unlikely that bias will find its way into the IPCC report," he said.

Yeah, ok.  Right.  Great argument, Rajendra

The processes are "so robust, so inclusive", that these so-called scientists have been lying to our faces for years, and covering their tracks by dumping the raw data which someone with even the slightest interest in facts and truth might use to debunk their claims. 

And it all happened right under your nose, Rajendra. 

One of two things is true:  you either didn't know about it, or, much worse, you did  know about it and hushed it up just like they did.  Which of these two possibilities makes anything you say about the global warming scam worth a damn?

One of the best comments about this article was made by a reader from the US:

In the United States we have this little thing called reasonable doubt. It should be clear to any sane person with a little common sense that perhaps the climate change hysteria needs to be examined truthfully and NOT by those who have the most to gain by convincing the world that we're facing armageddon. It's merely a scare tactic aimed at generating billions of dollars in taxes for governments worldwide. In turn, institutions whose "scientists" came up with this "global warming" scam to begin with are rewarded with fat annual grants. It's about money!! Get that through your heads, people of the world! It's ONLY about money!

Does he/she have a point?  You better believe it.

One other thing:  readers may have noticed that the newspapers I am quoting from in this and the previous global-warming-scam post are from London.  That is because while this is major, lead-story material there, it is largely being buried in the United States by our wonderful "neutral" media.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.

Zeke ... No Need to Worry about Global Warming ! ... ... We need to spend Trillions (maybe even Quadrillions) to defend the Earth against being hit by a stray COMET. Or maybe a wandering ASTEROID. Or, most likely, Large Masses of Bull #&%&. (11/30/09)


THE GLOBAL WARMING SCAM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

If you like blatant fraud, you'll love these two little tidbits.

The first is excerpted from an article in the Times of London:

Climate change data dumped

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEAs Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The second comes to us from London's Daily Telegraph:

Climategate: University of East Anglia U-turn in climate change row

Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.

 By Robert Mendick
Published: 8:55PM GMT 28 Nov 2009

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, "stolen" by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.

Isn't this just great?  They dump the data which created their "findings" (if you can call their BS findings), and now they're willing to make all the information they have (which is to say, minus what they have dumped) public.

What honest folks.  What princes on earth.

Anyone who believes a thing from this bunch needs to see a doctor about reversing that lobotomy.

Zeke ... ... But .. when they went to get the original data ... ... ... why, it wasn't there ! ! ! For Real ! "It was thrown out to save storage space" ... and the dog ate my homework. ... ... Not to worry. This does not affect the validity of Global Warming. No need to doubt, just because there is no original data to base the hypothesis on. ... ... All we need to do is collect another 150 years of data and then distort it to prove some nonsense. (11/30/09)


THE VALUE OF HOLDING TALKS WITH IRAN

Ken Berwitz

John Hinderaker, of www.powerline.blog, shows us how Iran values the input of other countries:

Iran to World: Drop Dead!

 

November 29, 2009 Posted by John at 1:54 PM

 

All those harsh measures that the "international community" has been threatening have really taught Iran's mullahs a lesson:

 

Iran's Government today announced plans to build ten new uranium enrichment plants and said work would start within two months.

 

Each site will be the size of the existing Natanz plant with the aim of producing between 250-300 tonnes of uranium a year.

 

IRNA, Iran's state news agency, says the Government ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin construction of five uranium enrichment sites that have already been studied and propose five other sites for future construction. ...

 

The move comes just two days after world powers united in condemnation of Iran's nuclear activities in a rare show of international consensus on the threat posed by Tehran's continued nuclear defiance.

Your move, world.

This is the same government that Barack Obama has aided and abetted by ignoring the massive street protests in June.  It is the same government that Mr. Obama will not and cannot prevent from acquiring the means to vaporize Israel - which Iran has told the world it wants to do. 

But let's give credit where credit is due:  Mr. Obama certainly has found the intestinal fortitude to warn Israel about its actions - not just regarding Iran, but even down to whether it can build apartment houses in its capital city.

According to the exit polling, 78% of US Jews voted for Barack Obama last year.  Most of them, presumably, support Israel.

I hope they're happy with what they got.  Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.


OBAMA'S 7 STORIES

Ken Berwitz

John F. Harris of www.politico.com has written a genuinely excellent article, titled "7 stories Obama doesn't want told".  It is too long to put up here, so I am culling out what I consider the key excerpts.  But I strongly urge you to read it all:.

7 stories Obama doesn't want told
By: John F. Harris
November 30, 2009 05:45 AM EST

Presidential politics is about storytelling. Presented with a vivid storyline, voters naturally tend to fit every new event or piece of information into a picture that is already neatly framed in their minds.

No one understands this better than Barack Obama and his team, who won the 2008 election in part because they were better storytellers than the opposition. The pro-Obama narrative featured an almost mystically talented young idealist who stood for change in a disciplined and thoughtful way. This easily outpowered the anti-Obama narrative, featuring an opportunistic Chicago pol with dubious relationships who was more liberal than he was letting on.

A year into his presidency, however, Obamas gift for controlling his image shows signs of faltering. As Washington returns to work from the Thanksgiving holiday, there are several anti-Obama storylines gaining momentum.

Here are seven storylines Obama needs to worry about:

He thinks hes playing with Monopoly money

Economists and business leaders from across the ideological spectrum were urging the new president on last winter when he signed onto more than a trillion in stimulus spending and bank and auto bailouts during his first weeks in office. Many, though far from all, of these same people now agree that these actions helped avert an even worse financial catastrophe.

Along the way, however, it is clear Obama underestimated the political consequences that flow from the perception that he is a profligate spender. He also misjudged the anger in middle America about bailouts with weak and sporadic public explanations of why he believed they were necessary.

The flight of independents away from Democrats last summer the trend that recently hammered Democrats in off-year elections in Virginia coincided with what polls show was alarm among these voters about undisciplined big government and runaway spending. The likely passage of a health care reform package criticized as weak on cost-control will compound the problem.

Too much Leonard Nimoy

Obama, a legislator and law professor, is fluent in describing the nuances of problems. But his intellectuality has contributed to a growing critique that decisions are detached from rock-bottom principles.

Both Maureen Dowd in The New York Times and Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post have likened him to Star Treks Mr. Spock. 

Thats the Chicago Way

This is a storyline thats likely taken root more firmly in Washington than around the country. The rap is that his West Wing is dominated by brass-knuckled pols.

It does not help that many West Wing aides seem to relish an image of themselves as shrewd, brass-knuckled political types. In a Washington Post story this month, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, referring to most of Obamas team, said, We are all campaign hacks.

The examples of Chicago-style politics include their delight in public battles with Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (There was also a semi-public campaign of leaks aimed at Greg Craig, the White House counsel who fell out of favor.) In private, the Obama team cut an early deal to the distaste of many congressional Democrats that gave favorable terms to the pharmaceutical lobby in exchange for their backing his health care plans.

The lesson that many Washington insiders have drawn is that Obama wants to buy off the people he can and bowl over those he cant. If that perception spreads beyond Washington this will scuff Obamas brand as a new style of political leader.

Hes a pushover

If you are going to be known as a fighter, you might as well reap the benefits. But some of the same insider circles that are starting to view Obama as a bully are also starting to whisper that hes a patsy.

It seems a bit contradictory, to be sure. But its a perception that began when Obama several times laid down lines then let people cross them with seeming impunity. Last summer he told Democrats they better not go home for recess until a critical health care vote but they blew him off. He told the Israeli government he wanted a freeze in settlements but no one took him seriously. Even Fox News which his aides prominently said should not be treated like a real news organization then got interview time for its White House correspondent.

He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe

That line belonged to George H.W. Bush, excoriating Democrat Michael Dukakis in 1988. But it highlights a continuing reality: In presidential politics the safe ground has always been to be an American exceptionalist.

Politicians of both parties have embraced the idea that this country because of its power and/or the hand of Providence should be a singular force in the world. It would be hugely unwelcome for Obama if the perception took root that he is comfortable with a relative decline in U.S. influence or position in the world.

On this score, the reviews of Obamas recent Asia trip were harsh.

His peculiar bow to the emperor of Japan was symbolic. But his lots-of-velvet, not-much-iron approach to China had substantive implications.

On the left, the budding storyline is that Obama has retreated from human rights in the name of cynical realism. On the right, it is that he is more interested in being President of the World than President of the United States, a critique that will be heard more in December as he stops in Oslo to pick up his Nobel Prize and then in Copenhagen for an international summit on curbing greenhouse gases.

President Pelosi

No figure in Barack Obamas Washington, including Obama, has had more success in advancing his will than the speaker of the House, despite public approval ratings that hover in the range of Dick Cheneys. With a mix of tough party discipline and shrewd vote-counting, she passed a version of the stimulus bill largely written by congressional Democrats, passed climate legislation, and passed her chambers version of health care reform. She and anti-war liberals in her caucus are clearly affecting the White Houses Afghanistan calculations.

The great hazard for Obama is if Republicans or journalists conclude as some already have that Pelosis achievements are more impressive than Obamas or come at his expense.

Hes in love with the man in the mirror

No one becomes president without a fair share of what the French call amour propre. Does Obama have more than his share of self-regard?

Its a common theme of Washington buzz that Obama is over-exposed. He gives interviews on his sports obsessions to ESPN, cracks wise with Leno and Letterman, discusses his fitness with Mens Health, discusses his marriage in a joint interview with first lady Michelle Obama for The New York Times. A photo the other day caught him leaving the White House clutching a copy of GQ featuring himself.

Harris just plain nails it, doesn't he?  Every one of the seven points significantly contributes to Mr. Obama's fall from the stratospheric level of popularity he initially enjoyed to his much-diminished status of today.  Excellent.  Just excellent.

My only problem with this is -- where have our wonderful "neutral" media been until now?  These story lines didn't magically materialize over Thanksgiving.

But at least they're starting to emerge now.  Finally.

===========================================================================

NOTE:  My pal Bob sent me this article before I posted it.  So even though I put it up before reading what Bob's sent, I will give him attribution for it on the grounds that, if I had not seen it previously, I would have done so after reading his email.

Zeke ... ... "Obama wants to buy off the people he can and bowl over those he can’t." ... ... What a great campaign theme for Repubicans with Moxie (11/30/09)


OLBERMANNIACAL SPECIAL COMMENT

Ken Berwitz

Just a quick blog entry here.  I heard keith olbermann's "special comment" this evening.  It's overall theme was that President Obama has to get out of Afghanistan -- i.e. no additional troops, not even the ones we have.  Just bug out.

This, in and of itself, is no surprise.  Nor is it outrageous.  An argument (not a compelling one in my opinion, but a valid argument nonetheless) can be made for summarily leaving Afghanistan. 

What was surprising, however, was the stridency with which he attacked the probability that President Obama will order additional forces there.  Based on the way olbermann made his case, I do not know how he can continue to support Mr. Obama if there is any appreciable troop surge.

But the real reason I'm blogging about this "special comment" is its overall tone.  For the entire time - I didn't clock it but it had to be at least 6-7 minutes - olbermann was so insulting to so many people, so completely hate-filled, abusive and venomous, that he made me wonder if he is in the process of having a nervous breakdown of some kind.

I've been around a long time  a lot longer than keith olbermann (I was a Bar-Mitzvah one month after he was born).  And in all that time, I can honestly say I have never heard so much bilious vituperation from one person in so short a time before.  Never.

I assume there are videos or transcripts of olbermann's "special comments" available.  If so, I will find and post this one tomorrow.  You won't believe your ears.


THE STATE DINNER CRASHERS: SOMETHING SMELLS

Ken Berwitz

Something smells about this story.  Badly

I was driving home last night and tuned in to John Batchelor's radio show (the first time I ever did).  He was interviewing Aaron Klein of www.worldnetdaily.com

Klein was talking about the fact that state-dinner-crasher Tariq Salahi, was a close confidante of the virulently anti-Israel Khalid Rashidi - a close friend of President Obama's.  And that Salahi had been Vice President of  a virulently anti-Israel group called the Task Force on Palestine, but his involvement was scrubbed from the group's web site the day before.

FYI, the Task Force on Palestine is one of these phony "we want a two-state solution" groups which, in reality, will accept Israel only if it allows the "right of return" for all Arabs who claim descendency from those who left the land that is now Israel in 1948 (even if they never lived in Israel a day of their lives).  If that were to happen, Israel would immediately cease to be a Jewish state, and the Arab majority (those millions, plus the 1.4 or so million Arabs already living in Israel) would presumably turn Jews into what they are in every other Arab land - refugees or corpses.

Not surprisingly, this group was a valued participant in the J Street conference last month. 

But there's even more.  Today I read this, from the Washington Post:

A top Defense Department official corresponded with Tareq and Michaele Salahi in an effort to get them into last week's White House state dinner, according to sources familiar with an investigation into the security breach. On Friday the couple turned over copies of the email exchange to the Secret Service investigators.

 

Sources said the e-mails were sent from Michele S. Jones, the special assistant to the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon-based liaison to the White House, who lists the Salahis' lawyer, Paul W. Gardner, as one of her 50 friends on the Facebook social networking site.

 

Several people familiar with the Jones-Salahi correspondence argued the e-mails support the Salahis' case that they were cleared to attend Tuesday night's gala.

Bottom line:  The claim that Tariq and Michaele Sahalhi just pranced into the White House without some kind of invitation does not - repeat, does not - hold water.

There is more to this story than a couple of publicity hounds who got lucky.  The smell of it is that these two - especially him - were people who were invited, but someone (maybe Mr. Obama himself) belatedly realized what a disaster it would be, especially among Jewish supporters, if it got out that they were welcome guests.

Stay tuned. 

=============================================================================

UPDATE:  The Salahis were on the Today Show this morning, and stated unequivocally that they were invited guests.  But Baghdad Bob Gibbons, President Obama's stumbling, bumbling press secretary (who reminds me a lot of the characters Grady Sutton used to play many years ago) states unequivocally that they were not invited at all.

The plot sickens.  And there is bound to be more coming.

WisOldMan Interesting point about offending Jews, given the fellow in question...I'd never thought of it, actually...and I believe they were indeed, invited...as to why I never considered your point Ken, is that I don't believe it would matter. Why American Jews still support this man...in fact, that they ever supported him, is a mystery. One couple, at one event, would somehow be a final straw ? I'd like to think so...in fact, I'd love to think so...but there is no basis for such optimism, I'm sorry to report. (12/01/09)

Ken Berwitz Wis - I wish your point weren't so well taken. But, as we both know (I'm sure you've read my recurring blog-ending about the 78% who voted for Barack Obama) there is a lot to it. There is a segment of the Jewish population (albeit not as many as in January, I suspect) who will figure out a rationale for anything that he does, no matter how damaging it is to Israel. (12/01/09)


THE CHICKEN LITTLE CZAR

Ken Berwitz

Remember that lineup of  "czars" we were talking about a couple of months ago?  The lineup that interspersed people most of us would consider acceptable with hard leftists and chicken littles? The lineup that our media wrote about for a couple of days and then promptly buried (with more than a little thanks from President Obama, I'm sure)?

Well, here's one of them - Science & Technology "czar" John Holdren - who was talked about and then forgotten about like the rest.  But he is now being talked about again - at least by Peter Hannaford, writing for www.humanevents.com.

Read Mr. Hannaford's piece and see how you feel about him:.

Meet the White Houses Alarmist in Chief

by  Peter Hannaford

11/30/2009

 

If you had devoted your entire scientific career to predicting the end of the world, what do you think would be the symbol of success with which to crown that career?  Why, to be President Obamas choice as White House Director of Science and Technology. Thats his formal title, but what John Holdren is, in fact, is the nations Alarmist in Chief.

Al Gore thinks he invented global alarmism, but hes a Johnny-come-lately compared with Mr. Holdren who, back in 1971 edited (with population alarmist Paul Ehrlich) a book titled Global Ecology. Also, he supplied one of its essays, Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide in which he predicted that such human-caused phenomena as agricultural dust, jet exhaust and smog would cause a new ice age. Thus, he wrote, ...a sudden slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history. Nowadays, of course, the giant tidal wave will be caused by melting ice caps, not growing ones. One must move with the times.

Holdren has been selling doom for years through academic papers, books and conferences. He has gone from overpopulation to global cooling, nuclear holocaust and global warming. The alarm level never wavers; only the vehicle changes as one disaster fad segues into a new one.

Now his name surfaces as being involved in the e-mail exchanges dubbed Climategate in which Climate Research Unit scientists at the U.K.s University of East Anglia discussed amongst themselves and with others ways and means of suppressing climate data that refuted global warming ideology. Holdren joined in the e-mail exchanges early this year.

That a trove of these e-mails was recently hacked and made public in several online journals and blogs has caused acute embarrassment to the global warming fraternity now that its Copenhagen conference is but a few days away.

Holdren sought to undermine the professional credibility of physicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon for papers they published in which they concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the now-orthodox view that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a fact today. AGW is a linchpin of global warming proponents argument that human activity causes climate change.  

Another who attacked Baliunas and Soon was Michael Mann (inventor of the Hockey Stick Theory of climate which many of his fellow-zealots used to buttress their global warming arguments).  Manns e-mails were in the purloined batch, as were Holdrens defending him.

President Obamas Climate Czarina, Carol Browner, leapt into the fray the other day, saying she considered the science of the matter settled and that she would stick with the consensus of the 2,500 scientists on the International Panel on Climate Change (the Copenhagen conference group). Alas, the IPCCs turgid tomes on global warming are written not by scientists, but by bureaucrats of various governments and the United Nations.  

Late last week Dr. Eduardo Zorita, a UN IPCC contributing editor, declared flatly that three high priests of the global warming movement Hockey Stick Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process. The reason? Scientists who disagreed with global warming orthodoxy had been bullied and subtly blackmailed.  Climategate wont go away.

As for Alarmist-in-Chief Holdren, now that his public profile has been raised as much as it has, the public may also take note of his anti-democratic, anti-freedom views, expounded in his screeds about population. At one point he argued for forced abortion and for putting chemicals in drinking water that would sterilize all in the population but those deemed by the elite to be worthy of  exemption.

One of his most recent notions is to blend two of his favorite doomsday concepts by injecting pollutants into the upper atmosphere. The global cooling effect of this would be to sink down to smother the global warming effects of pollution here on earth.

Where are the men in the white smocks with the big nets when we need them?

It figures that Barack Obama, whose presidential qualifications are at the elementary-school level but whose ideological qualifications are doctorate-quality, would pick someone like this.

How Mr. Holdren's decades-long history of scare scenarios must have impressed Mr. Obama!  But what about you?  Are you impressed?

This is our fault, folks.  This is what we get for electing a Chicago machine politician to the White House, whose only credentials appear to be that he looks good in a suit and has an excellent style of reading off a teleprompter.

Will we make this mistake again?  Or, more to the point, since we are three years away from finding out, will it even matter by then?

Zeke ... Global Warming ! ! ! ! ! Temps this August were 50 F higher than in February ! ! ! ... ... At that rate, the world will be 1,000 F hotter in just 10 years ... ... ... OMG ! (Oh, My Gore ! ) (11/30/09)


HONDURAN DEMOCRACY, AND US INDIFFERENCE

Ken Berwitz

So they held an election in Honduras this weekend.  A democratic election.  Over 60% of the voters cast ballots.  There was a winner and a loser.  There appears to be no question of voter fraud. 

So what's the problem?

Ed Morrissey of www.hotair.com explains:

Honduras elects conservative rancher as new president

posted at 10:55 am on November 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

By all accounts, the national election in Honduras was a rousing success.  Despite a call to boycott by the small band of remaining supporters of Manuel Zelaya, turnout exceeded 60%.  It produced a clear winner, conservative rancher Porfirio Lobo Sosa, sweeping out the liberal government of both Zelaya and interim caretaker president Roberto Micheletti.  Honduras expects the international community to honor its results, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, that may depend on Barack Obama:

A conservative rancher named Porfirio Pepe Lobo took the Honduran presidency in elections Sunday, five months after the countrys last elected president was forced out of the country at gunpoint. Now Hondurans must wait to see if the international community, which has been divided over the crisis, accepts the winner as legitimate.

The results gave Mr. Lobo 56% of the vote, well ahead of Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos at 38%, confirming voters expected punishment of the Liberals party of both the deposed president and the interim government that ousted him.

While the small Central American nation is expected to get crucial support from the U.S., it will likely continue to face opposition from regional heavyweights such as Brazil and Argentina. The U.S., in agreeing to accept the winner, is now in a delicate position with Brazil, for example, which is housing exiled leader Manuel Zelaya in its Honduran embassy and recognizes him as president.

The US only agreed to accept the results of the election after pressure from within Congress over Obamas policy towards Honduras.  Senator Jim DeMint had stopped Obama appointees from getting confirmation votes in protest over Obamas decision to sanction Honduras for the so-called coup, even after the Law Library of Congress confirmed the legality of Zelayas removal from office (although not his subsequent forced exile).   At first, Obama and his State Department objected to holding the elections at all while Zelaya remained locked out of his offices, but eventually and reluctantly accepted the use of democracy to resolve the status of government.

The big question remains whether the US will honor that commitment now that Lobo, an opponent of Zelaya and his party, has won such a clear mandate from Hondurans.  The WSJ assumes that the White House will honor it, and that others will follow suit:

Only the U.S., Costa Rica and Panama have said they will accept the winner, though other countries, including Mexico and Canada, appear to be leaning that way as well. The government is betting that U.S. recognition will lead other nations to back down from earlier positions. They may not recognize the elections Sunday itself, but I believe they will at some point in the future, Mr. Lobo said Saturday.

But Brazil, which currently hosts Zelaya in its Tegulcigapa embassy, may lead an effort to disregard the elections:

Honduras disputed presidential election is likely to set Washington against emerging Latin American power Brazil over whether to recognize the winner of a vote promoted by the leaders of a June coup.

Conservative opposition leader Porfirio Lobo easily won the election on Sunday, but he will struggle to get recognition in Latin America where many leftist governments see the election as a nail in the coffin of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

The State Department called the vote a necessary and important step forward after results came in on Sunday but did not say whether Washington would explicitly recognize Lobos victory over ruling party candidate Elvin Santos.

Brazil, which is increasingly flexing its muscles as its economy becomes more powerful, refuses to recognize the vote.

Brazil will maintain its position because its not possible to accept a coup, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Sunday.

And so we come to the ultimate irony of the entire sordid mess that Obama himself largely created.  Obama refused to accept the legality of Zelayas removal because Obama considered it an affront to democracy, even though Zelaya violated the Honduran constitution and the Honduran parliament and Supreme Court followed the law in having him removed from office.  Thanks to that self-defeating and intellectually vapid policy, Obama has undermined actual democracy in Honduras by giving Brazil, Venezuela, and Nicaragua an opening to ignore the results of a regularly scheduled and honest election and to force Honduras to put a lawbreaker back into office against the will of its people.

If Obama had deliberately strategized a way to undermine democracy in Latin America, he could not have done any better than this.

If Barack Obama were specifically trying to make a mess of this situation, he couldn't have done a better job.

zelaya, an unstable left-wing dictator wannabe, was removed as President of Honduras because he overtly ignored its constitution.  His personal removal was determined by a unanimous decision of the Honduran supreme court, backed up by its congress. 

I call it zelaya's personal removal because the same party remained in power.  zelaya's replacement, Roberto Micheletti, was the next in line of succession.  

But President Obama, inexplicably, sided with zelaya and acted as if this removal was some kind of military coup, which it absolutely, unequivocally was not. 

Now there has been a democratic election (that's some helluva "coup", which keeps the same party in power and then allows an election a couple of months later).  The people have spoken. They ousted zelaya's party and elected its opposition in a landslide.

How troubled were they by the fact that zelaya remained out of power until the election?  Well, the zelaya people called for a boycott, and turnout was over 60%.  In 2005, when zelaya was elected, turnout was 46%.  I don't know how it would be possible for Hondurans to have made their position any clearer.

This being the case, can someone explain to me why Honduras should be sweating out whether or not Barack Obama accepts their decisive democratic vote?

This is what happens when we elect a hard-left ideologue, a Chicago machine politician with no qualifications for the presidency.  We deserve this governance because we chose it.

But why should Honduras be punished for our mistake?

Ken Berwitz A few points in answer: 1) Maybe theyre lying about the turnout and maybe theyre telling the truth. Neither of us knows that for sure (nor do we know it about any other election). 2) The lack of observers was by choice according to the New York Times account, the OAS, Carter Center and European union did not sent observers. There was no indication that they couldnt have, only that they didnt. 3) Given their support of zelaya, maybe you should consider the possibility that the OAS didnt send observers because they didnt want to have to admit the election WAS legitimate. 4) Regarding gun rights, I thought they were taken away for about a week's time and then reinstated. But either way Im not sure what this has to do with how the vote came out. Do you get extra votes if youre packing? And, finally, 5) you can call it a coup all you want, but it wasnt. A coup is when the government is taken over illegally. This was 100% legal and constitutional a fact that zelaya apologists somehow overlook every time. (11/30/09)

Ken Berwitz zeke - Don't forget Barack Obama (11/30/09)

Zeke ... ... The Honduran Election Commission is separate from the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive (Presidential). ... This is to insure its independence ... All candidates and all members of the Election Commission were chosen well before Zelaya was tossed out. ... ... Supporters of Zelaya include Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Lulu of Brazil, the Castro Boys, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua. Tyrants and meglomaniacs. (11/30/09)

anti-objectivist The election was held during a State of Emergency and naturally if they were going to lie about something it would be about turnout (though 60% in most of the world isn't all that great... they are claiming that it's similar to turnouts in other Honduran elections, and considering the paucity of choice offered here and in the other elections under the Negroponte Constitution, it's no shock) Turnout is the key and there were no observers to the elections other than the Latin American ultra-right. By the way, Hondurans' gun rights are being taken away during this state of siege, thought you might like to know... so much for the pro-freedom credentials of the coup regime. (11/30/09)


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