Video: Honduran resistance goes it alone

60 days of anti-coup protests show persistence in civil disobedience and little faith in int’l community

As protests against the coup government in Honduras enter their 60th day, the international community has largely turned their attention away from the streets of Tegucigalpa. This lack of awareness, combined with heightened state repression, has done little to deter the ongoing disobedience campaign inside Honduras. Al Giordano reports from rural Honduras on the determination of the resistance movement to achieve their goals, with or without help from abroad. Giordano also points out that, contrary to popular belief outside of Honduras, the end goal of the resistance is not the return to power of President Zelaya, but rather the transformation of the country through a constitutional referendum.

Al Giordano is an investigative journalist based in Chiapas, Mexico. He is originally from the Bronx, New York. Since 2000 he has been the publisher of Narco News, which reports mainly on the US War on Drugs effects on the people of Mexico and Central America. He is also the founder of the School for Authentic Journalism and writes a blog called The Field which focuses on US politics.

Joe Bageant: Obama’s Fight for Reform

26 August, 2009 — Joe Bageant

Lay off the footwork and throw a punch!

Almost a year after the Great Giddy Swarming of the Obamians last November, some of the revelers are waking up with one booger of a hangover. And they are asking themselves, ‘What were we thinking when we had that tenth drink of Democratic Party Kool-Aid?’ It was a clear cut case of seduction and date rape. The spike in the drink was, of course, hope. Poor pathetic American liberals. Forever doomed to be naive freshmen at the senior beer bash.

We try to take comfort in that we won’t have to listen to or look at John McCain or Sarah Palin for four years, except in the American Legion Magazine and in Palin’s case, as a centerfold in the next issue of Middle Aged Skin. OK, we really are grateful. But could the pathetic McCain-Palin clown act possibly have created much more havoc than what we are seeing?

Case in point: I got up this morning to the headline: ‘Social Security Checks to Shrink.’ Surely this makes a slew of Generation Xers cackle with glee. But some of us are trying to stay drunk on that check until our date with a heart attack or one of those death panels the Republicans are yammering about. Since January I’ve been telling my wife we could expect Social Security to start shrinking. Ever the concerned citizen, she replies ‘Can’t you find another jag to get on? Eight months for god sake!’

Continue reading

The Responsibility to Protect, the International Criminal Court, and Foreign Policy in Focus: Subverting the UN Charter in the Name of Human Rights By Edward S. Herman & David Peterson

24 August, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

It was just a matter of time before members of the collapsing left enlisted in the imperial attack on the most fundamental principles of the UN Charter, and added their voices to the growing chorus of support for Western power-projection under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).  But this has now been done in Foreign Policy in Focus by John Feffer, Ian Williams, and David Greenberg.1 That such a rightward turn could find a home at the Institute for Policy Studies, whose biweekly bulletins still arrive under the heading “Unconventional Wisdom,” and which connects the “research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner,” we find deeply troubling.

Chapter I of the UN Charter states: “To maintain international peace and security,” all member states shall respect the “principle of the sovereign equality” of their fellow members, “settle their international disputes by peaceful means,” and “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”2 These principles rest on the fact that at the end of World War II, in 1945, it was understood that the greatest threat to world order was posed, not by events occurring inside single countries, whether caused by natural or human agency, and no matter how catastrophic the loss of life, but by aggressive, cross-border wars waged by states — “not only an international crime,” in the Nuremberg Judgment‘s famous phrase, rendered 15 months after the UN’s founding conference in San Francisco, but the “supreme international crimediffering only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”3 Article 2(7) therefore wisely removes the temptation to intervene, with its unlimited potential for abuse by the greater powers, from even the United Nations itself: “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”  It is not by fetishizing “national sovereignty” over human rights (though this canard has spread like a weed the past 20 years4), but by raising a barrier to aggression and its threat to human rights that the Charter organizes its world order.  When purported “revolutions” in the advancement of human rights and international justice are purchased at the price of overturning this order, we ought to regard them with the utmost skepticism.  Particularly when the cases in hand reveal no real difference from the past.

Continue reading