This fascinating article is from Canada Free Press, by Kelly O’Connell:
In Honduras, a novel undertaking has been constructed—private cities whose purpose is to maximize safety and happiness (also referred to as “Free Cities”, “Charter Cities”, “Model Cities”, or in Spanish, “RED—Regiones Especiales de Desarollo”, and “Ciudades Modelo”.). This idea is a capitalist’s dream, but a liberal’s nightmare. And in a most fascinating manner, the idea of a privately owned commons has brought to the surface the multifarious contradictions of the modern age—with our continual demand for “liberty” while the deified state grows into a malignant colossus. …
The full 18-member Honduran Supreme Court must still rule on President Lorbo’s agreement. But even if the idea does die in Honduras, private cities—like those modeled in early colonial America, Singapore and India’s old British empire, are still an option for virtuous, libertarian minded souls. …
The real questions raised by the rise of private cities is what is the nature of the city, man, law and moral authority. Specifically, what is the meaning of law and the state? Further, what gives a country moral authority in which to erect statutes, establish courts, prisons and pass and enforce sentences? …
The idea — a city built by private funds, with rules not derived from a state legislature, but the settlement’s founders. Add to that a private security force and strong walls. And so a libertarian entrepreneur answered the call for action:
Last Tuesday, the government signed an agreement with private investors led by Michael Strong—a libertarian entrepreneur and close associate of Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey—to construct a city-from-scratch in one of at least three special development regions (“las Regiones Especiales de Desarrollo” or “REDs”) scattered around the country. REDs possess the legal right to establish—or outsource to foreign governments and companies as necessary—their own hospitals [for profit], schools, judges, and even police, all independent of Honduran law. …
The REDs are the brainchild of Paul Romer, the New York University economist who has proposed building “charter cities” as a solution to endemic poverty. Romer believes that importing sound laws and policies into small corners of badly run countries will help leaders reform their governments from the inside-out. Honduras certainly qualifies—the original banana republic is still grappling with the political fallout of a 2009 coup while cocaine traffickers have pushed its murder rate to the highest in the world.
In early 2011, aides to Honduran president Porfirio Lobo invited Romer to the capital of Tegucigalpa to make his case to Congress. Within weeks, Congress passed a constitutional amendment granting Lobo’s government the power to create and administer the REDs.
Is it inherently immoral for private citizens to buy land, recruit residents, write their own laws, and then begin operating as a franchise community? If so, why? After all, what is it that makes a city, state or country legitimate? On the alternative, given the socialist direction many countries in the West are following, is it possible that only a self-derived city could chart a course against the political grain here? Or does mankind have to bow and scrape at the feet of the modern government colossus irrespective of whether it is just, moral, or effective—simply because it is called “government”? …
It’s certainly not “immoral” to establish a private city and “operate as a franchise community”. Morality doesn’t come into it.The first question is: will states, will governments – all to a greater or lesser extent in the hands of statists, liberals, collectivists – allow it? Will the Honduran Supreme Court allow it? We wait to see.
If private cities are inherently illegal, what about the foundations of America, which were done along these same lines? Interestingly enough, the debate in the American colonies was over whether an immoral government had the right to dictate to men how to act. The Founders decided it did not. So the question raised is whether immoral modern governments can derail moral private communities? After all, what is a government in the first place?
What would characterize a “moral government”? If by “moral” is meant “democratically elected and not oppressive”, aren’t all governments in actuality oppressive to some degree and so to some degree “immoral”? And if so, is it not because oppression is inherent in the nature of government and therefore inescapable?
We think that even if the answer to that question is yes, state government is nevertheless necessary – to uphold the rule of law and protect the nation from foreign invasion. Which is where we part company with libertarians (while remaining sympathetic to libertarianism) and anarchists.
Certain anarchists declare their position somewhat confusedly on this question:
A group of writers calling themselves Private-Property Anarchists have taken on [ie challenged] the theory that only the state possesses the inherent ability to organize a government or police its citizens. In a most obvious way this makes perfect sense since government will always be assembled from some group of residents who then decide upon rules, structure and powers of government. Why must we assume one group of freely assembled persons are more acceptable than another? Further, with the failure of much of modern government to address basic needs, how can anyone help but try to find a better way to manage the affairs of men? …
Several aspects of law should be mentioned on this issue. The first is that it is a fairly recent development for the state to own all official policing powers. According to Bruce Benson’s The Enterprise of Law, Justice Without the State, the Anglo-Saxon law was fixated on protecting property. Further, with the development of English lex mercatoria, ie mercantile law, much enforcement and many remedies to this day were created for enforcement by private parties.
In fact, even the criminal code was mainly enforced by private parties in the history of Anglo-Saxon law. … Englishmen also resisted public prosecution because “a private prosecutorial system was necessary to check the powers of the Crown. If not so limited the power of criminal prosecution could be used for politically oppressive purposes.”
The great fear in the liberal establishment is that a private system of government and law will be antinomian, that is—lawless and a mere tool for the use of greedy capitalists and megalomaniacs. Yet, the opposite is true. In fact, people allowed to build their own justice systems for their own small city-states are apt to be more motivated to create justice and order than those presiding over the legislatures of far-flung empires.
But to build a justice system, big or small, is to establish government.
American citizens are certainly not pleased with the state of our justice system. For example, Edward P. Stringham in Anarchy and the Law argues, if the American legal system and police powers are so successful, and in effect the only game in town, why do private police, i.e. security guards, outnumber official state police?
The debate over private cities begs the question of what is a government in the first place. Let’s remember Jefferson’s sublime words from the Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
If critics attack the lack of inherent authority of private communities, what is their basis? If a private city creates a better economy, a more just police and legal system, and a safer environment than public communities—is it not the latter which are truly the immoral and lawless frauds? We do well to ponder the foundation of legitimate, God-given government. This can only be established upon the rule of law, civil rights and respect by the leaders for the consent of the governed—or all we have left is an illegitimate tyranny.
While we cannot fathom what the meaning of “God-given” can be here (it makes no sense at all, even if everyone who founds a nation and everyone in power is a believer in “God”), we see the writer’s point. “Legitimacy” as commonly perceived on whatever grounds does not in itself make for good governance.
What we wonder is: How would the forum, whatever it is called, set up in a private city to “create a better economy” (ie let an economy run itself, we hope) and establish a police and legal system, be different from any other democratically elected government? If the people as a whole retain too much power over it, will it not soon fall apart under the pressures of conflicting expectations and demands? And if they retain too little, won’t it gather power, grow, and become the enemy of the people just as every government does, even those democratically elected?
We are all for private cities. We like the idea immensely. We would like to see them established. We would like to live in one. We don’t see why they shouldn’t be self-governing. We think the government that such property owners would elect stands a good chance of doing a better job of governing than existing governments do. But we do not think that, given the minimum power it would need to be effective, it would be immune from avarice for power, or resist the temptation to find a compelling necessity to expand and oppress. How to prevent that; how to limit the power of government, is the perpetual problem of all democracies, great and small.
For decades the World Council of Churches has been on the wrong side of the great political divide, consistently supporting collectivism and opposing freedom. Not a word of criticism of the Soviet terror came out of the WCC through all the years of the Cold War. Now, all too predictably, it wants the paranoid psychotic Manuel Zelaya back in power in Honduras, where he was deposed by constitutional means before he could entrench himself as dictator.
Mark D. Tooley writes:
An international church delegation recently visited Washington, D.C. to demand U.S. and global pressure on Honduras to restore Hugo Chavez wannabe Zelaya to the presidency.
Evidently uninterested in Zelaya’s unconstitutional attempts to gain an illegal second term, modeled on Venezuela’s populist dictatorship, the church officials insist that Honduras was “torn apart by a coup’etat.” Of course, Zelaya was removed by Honduras’ Supreme Court and Congress, and legally replaced by the second inline for the presidency, who was from Zelaya’s own party. But evidently any resistance to permanent left-wing rule is illegitimate, these religious voices of conscience seem to believe.
“The suffering and insecurity of the people of Honduras has reached crisis proportions, and long delays in resolving the situation following the coup are unacceptable,” a news release from the World Council of Churches (WCC) solemnly intoned. If there is a “crisis” in Honduras, it is mostly thanks to international sanctions imposed against Honduras, one of the hemisphere’s poorest nations, in solidarity with Zelaya. Pushing for “firmer and more decisive action to restore democracy and ensure full compliance with rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights in Honduras,” the delegation included officials from the U.S. National Council of Churches, the U.S. United Church of Christ, the Swiss-based WCC, an Argentine Methodist bishop and human rights activist, and an apparent Honduran seminary official.
Most of Honduras’ religious groups supported Zelaya’s constitutional ouster, including the Roman Catholic Church and many evangelicals. But the international Religious Left, as with Cuba for 50 years, and as with Sandinista Nicaragua in the 1980’s, claims a higher level of spiritual discernment that overrides local religious opinion when it resists Marxist or far-left rule. Sitting in ecclesial offices in New York on Geneva, left-wing church officials evidently can more impartially judge human rights situations than can the simple locals. …
The WCC’s UN representative … explained that “churches in Honduras feel called to accompany the people in creating dialogue and promoting a message of healing and reconciliation.” It’s not clear to which Honduran churches he referred. The WCC delegation seemed mostly to represent declining liberal denominations in wealthy, first world countries, not Honduras. “The repression and violations of human rights must stop and new bridges must be built to create a society which is based on justice and respect for all,” he still insisted.
Honduras’ resistance to permanent Chavez-style, leftist rule has so perturbed the WCC that in August it dispatched a special delegation of international church leftists, in tandem with the equally left-leaning Latin American Council of Churches, to that ostensibly troubled nation. The religious international busybodies wanted Honduran churches to “accompany the people in their search for peace with justice and the re-establishment of democracy.” But what if Honduran churches do not want Chavezism in Honduras? The delegation of course hoped Honduran churches would heed wiser outside voices.
This August delegation wanted “Christian voices [to] be heard […] in defense of human rights and in support of humanitarian actions” and alleged that “violence has intensified” since Zelaya’s removal. The church officials, apparently without the help of professional pollsters, mystically discerned that the Honduran people “do not accept the imposition of a de facto government.” So the church delegation urged “the re-establishment of the constitutional order as soon as possible,” which it equated with political restoration for the man legally removed for subverting the constitution.
A WCC news release described Zelaya’s having been exiled in a “coup” by the military and “civilian sectors,” in the “context of a power struggle” over Zelaya’s “plans for constitutional change, which had been rejected by the Supreme Court and the Congress.” That’s a polite way of describing how Zelaya organized a mob to seize ballots for an illegal referendum to keep him in power indefinitely.
This delegation sought “reconciliation” and to “heal wounds,” as it tried to stir up Honduras churches “not to resign themselves to accept the present situation” and to rise up and “to accompany all people who suffer and to practice solidarity with those in greatest need.” It incongruently claimed that “the response of the people in the face of the coup d’état was immediate and massive,” thanks to decades of work by and among popular movements.” In fact, it plainly was distressed by the lack of wider, pro-Zelaya resistance, and was acclaiming only “the people” who were Zelaya’s revolutionary activists.
Twenty-five years ago, church groups like the NCC and WCC similarly expected Nicaragua’s churches to support the Sandinista revolution. The majority of churches that declined, especially the Roman Catholics, were deemed counter revolutionary reactionaries. Undoubtedly, these international church leftists feel similarly contemptuous towards most Honduras Christians who don’t share their revolutionary fervor. …
While the WCC is pushing for MORE international pressure against struggling Honduras, it is urging removal of international sanctions against communist North Korea. Evidently, in the eccentric WCC mind, Honduras’ constitutional government, which will hold previously scheduled national elections in November, is worse than North Korea, where no free election has ever been held, and whose slave masters aspire for nuclear weapons. Wherever churches in the world are looking for political counsel, they do well to learn the WCC’s stance, and vigorously pursue the alternative.
One of our readers, Hawk2, has commented on our post below, Question, providing the sort of answer we are looking for.
We think his/her comments are so interesting that we are posting them in full here on our front page.
US foreign policy should be grounded in two essential considerations, and only these two:
1. Profitable trade
2. National security
With these in mind, the only recent war that must be seen to have had no justification whatsoever is President Clinton’s war in the Balkans. It did nothing for trade. It gained America nothing. It was not worth what it cost. What is worse, its rationale was the protection of Muslim rebels, at a time when Islam was fast becoming the major enemy of the Western world.
Oil is a very good reason to go to war. It satisfies both considerations. If the US had gone to war to seize the Saudi Arabian oilfields in 1974 when the price of oil was hyped as an attack on the US economy, it would have been right to do so.
If the wars against Saddam Hussein were waged for oil, they were necessary and worth what they cost. Also if they were waged to protect America from WMD, they were necessary and worth what they cost. If, on the other hand, they were waged to protect Kuwait from conquest, or Iraqis from tyranny, they were unnecessary and not worth what they cost.
The war against the Taliban/al-Qaeda was justified by 9/11. But having soundly beaten the Taliban, the US should have withdrawn, leaving a clear message that if the US were struck again the Taliban would be beaten again. Staying on to build schools and clinics which the Taliban will demolish is senseless, and not worth what it costs. There is no saving the Afghans from themselves: from corruption, the subjugation of women, the growing of opium.
As to the argument that it is always in the interests of the US to protect freedom in the wider world, that is true, but the threat to freedom must be a real one. It was why America was right to go to Europe’s aid in the in the First and Second World Wars. It may be a reason for America to go to war again. America’s own freedom was under threat then as it is now, this time by the creeping colonization of Europe by Islam. ‘Spreading democracy’ – another reason given for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – does not guarantee the spread of freedom. Germany was a democracy when Hitler came to power by being democratically elected. Zalaya was democratically elected in Honduras, and was deposed because he was trying to establish his dictatorship. But the State Department insists that he should be reinstated. This is staggeringly stupid if not treacherous. The preservation of freedom on the South American continent wherever it exists is plainly essential to US security. Hostile regimes in the hemisphere are a serious threat, as Hugo Chavez proves by his alliance with would-be-nuclear-armed Iran.
This reasoning would fully justify an immediate military attack on Iran and North Korea.
You are probably not surprised to find that Poland and the Czech Republic are not the only loyal and faithful American allies getting screwed by the Obama Administration these days. The ongoing drama in Honduras is an outrage and a disgrace, but not because the Hondurans have done anything wrong. It’s because the Obama administration is actively intervening on behalf of a thug would-be dictator whom the Hondurans properly and legally drove from power.
Shame on you, Barack.
Follow closely, because this is an extremely important and telling example of the kind of foreign policy we are getting from Barack Obama. Let’s review what’s been going on in Honduras this year, and how the Obama administration has come down completely on the side of tyrants, cheaters, and marxists They’ve done it deliberately, and in keeping with their overall global policy of rejecting freedom and snuggling up to the thugs and bandits of the world [remember Iranian protesters after the fraud election? remember soldiers shooting them? remember Obama's reaction?]…
Honduras is one of the most impoverished countries in central America, but it has been and remains a democratic republic in a region currently overshadowed by several evil dictators who are intent on spreading the evils of drug-money fueled marxism and tyranny to the entire region: Fidel & Raul Castro of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and most of all, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. [A cynic like me might add Daniel Ortega in neighboring Nicaragua to the list, as he's lobbying to change their constitution to allow him to run for president again.]
Morales, Correa, and Chavez were ALL elected in free elections, then seized power by one means or another, and turned republics into their personal tin-pot dictatorships. In the crisis currently underway, Zelaya tried to do the same thing…
Read the rest of it here.
Ralph Peters writes (read the whole article here):
In June, the elected legislators and the Honduran Supreme Court had enough. As Zelaya aligned with Chavez, the Castro regime, Nicaraguan caudillo Daniel Ortega and other extreme leftists, the Honduran government gave the would-be dictator the boot. Acting under legal orders, the army peacefully arrested Zelaya and shipped him out of the country. No murders, no Chavez-style imprisonments. It was not a military coup. An elected congress and interim president, not a general, run the country today.
But the Obama administration has decided that this “violation” is so dreadful that we won’t even recognize future free elections in Honduras.
Well, President Obama’s taste in elections is finicky:
* He’ll recognize the utterly bogus results of Afghanistan’s corrupt election.
* He initially blessed the results of Iran’s rigged election. (He was for it before he was against it.)
* He hasn’t spoken one word of criticism as Chavez continues to strangle Venezuelan democracy.
* He hasn’t questioned the divisive, racist politics of Presidente Evo Morales in Bolivia.
* He hasn’t demanded free elections in Cuba — instead, he’s easing up on the Castro regime.
But we’re going to show those wicked Hondurans, by George! They can’t boot out a crazy leftwing president just because he’s trying to subvert their Constitution.
Honduras is a small country. But the principle and precedent loom hugely. Have we abandoned democracy entirely? In favor of backing anti-American dictators?
When it is writ so large what Obama’s ideology is (Marxist), and where his sympathies lie (with collectivist regimes, Islam, the Greens), why is anyone surprised by each successive manifestation of his political convictions? (Though to be fair to clear-sighted Ralph Peters, I don’t think he’s really surprised at all.)
And by the way, what’s happened to Hillary Clinton? Wasn’t she made Secretary of State by Obama? Is she still in that position? Is she still alive? If so, has she been gagged?
David Solway writes:
I will say this bluntly and without equivocation. Obama is a disaster of the first magnitude, bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, smiling benignly on Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and cuddling up to Dimitry Medvedev—and by extension Vladimir Putin—of neo-Soviet Russia. He still maintains a flaccid negotiating stance toward an oppressive Iranian regime repudiated by its own people and rapidly closing in on nuclear capability. He would no doubt parley amiably with Hu Jintao of communist China should it launch an invasion of Taiwan, another small democratic nation in approximately the same “straits” as Israeland Honduras.
No less and perhaps even more frightening is Obama’s now undeniable intentions vis à vis his own country, imposing his own brand of demagogic politics upon the people he ostensibly represents. Unimaginable budgetary deficits, fiscally unsustainable policies, redistribution of honestly come by income, severe cutbacks in defence, bills hastily rammed through Congress affecting an entire population, soaring unemployment, opacity rather than transparency in the decision-making process, rule by charisma and fiat, the spectre of restrictions on freedom of expression—these are Obama’s gifts to his country. The new direction which American foreign policy has taken, alienating its democratic allies and mollifying tyrannical and illicit governments, renders the U.S. even more vulnerable to what we might call the expropriation of its destiny. Its enemies will not hesitate to seize the opportunity when it presents itself to undermine American interests and security.
“We are living at the edge of a catastrophe,” warned Newt Gingrich, addressing the Heritage Foundation onJuly 20, 2009. Whatever one may think of Gingrich, he is speaking truth to power, and truth to the powerless as well. Gingrich is concerned about the prospect of a massive terorist attack for which Americais manifestly unprepared, but the attack of its own administration on the nation’s traditional liberties and endangered solvency is equally menacing. This is the calendar of events envisaged by the international Left whose program, however improbably, has now taken root in the United States, the presumed bastion of freedom in the world. The enemy is within the gates and the outlook for the future is perturbing, to say the least. But there is a certain ironic justice at work. What Israel and Honduras are now discovering, America too will learn in the course of time.
I do not fear Abbas, Zelaya, Putin, Chavez or the rest of that disreputable bunch. I am alarmed when I consider Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. But I am scared to death of Obama.
How was it possible that some of us could see clearly that the election of Obama would be disastrous, yet a majority of voters could not see it at all?
We said below (President versus constitution) that it will be interesting to see which way the Obama administration jumps in response to the recent events in Honduras, where President Mel Zalaya tried to undermine the constitution and was consequently exiled by court order. We didn’t really have much doubt, but this, from Power Line, confirms that Obama himself instinctively jumps the wrong way – to defend the would-be dictator:
Obama’s position on Honduras is part of an emerging, and very sad, pattern. His bogus catch-phrases may vary (“meddling,” “illegal,” or whatever), but the result always seems to be the same. Whether the venue is Honduras, Russia, or Iran, Obama instinctively sides, in the first instance, with the enemies of freedom and the rule of law. And it doesn’t hurt at all if that party is also hostile towards the U.S.
Dennis Prager writes in Front Page Magazine:
Even if you know little or nothing about the crisis in Honduras, nearly all you need to know in order to ascertain which side is morally right is this: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Cuba’s Castro brothers, the United Nations, and the Organization of American States are all lined up against Honduras…
They claim that there was a military coup in Honduras that renders the present government illegal.
Here, in brief, are the facts. You decide.
The president of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya, a protege of Hugo Chavez, decided that he wanted to be able to be president for more than his one term that ends this coming January — perhaps for life. However, because the histories of Honduras and Latin America are replete with authoritarians and dictators, Honduras’s constitution absolutely forbids anyone from governing that country for more than one term.
So, Zelaya decided to follow Chavez’s example and find a way to change his country’s constitution. He decided to do this on his own through a referendum, without the congressional authorization demanded by Honduras’s constitution. He even had the ballots printed in Venezuela…
The Honduras Supreme Court ruled Zelaya’s non-binding referendum unconstitutional, and then instructed the military not to implement the vote as it normally does. When the head of the armed forces obeyed the legal authority, the Honduran Supreme Court, rather than President Zelaya, the president fired him and personally led a mob to storm the military base where the Venezuela-made ballots were being safeguarded.
As Jorge Hernandez Alcerro, former Honduran ambassador to the United States, wrote, “Mr. Zelaya and small segments of the population tried to write a new constitution, change the democratic system and seek his re-election, which is prohibited by the constitution.”
In order to stop this attempt to subvert the Honduran constitution, while keeping Honduras under the rule of law and preventing a Chavez-like dictatorship from developing in its country, the Honduran Supreme Court ordered the military to arrest Zelaya. They did so and expelled him to neighboring Costa Rica to prevent certain violence.
Was this a “military coup” as we understand the term? Columnist Mona Charen answered this best: “There was an attempted coup in Honduras, but it was Zelaya who initiated it, not his opponents.”
Or, to put in another way: When did a military coup ever take place that was ordered by that country’s supreme court, that was supported by the political party of the president who was overthrown, in which not one person was injured, let alone killed, and which replaced the ousted the president with the president of the country’s congress, a member of the same party as the ousted president?
But none of this matters to the United Nations, which never met a left-wing tyrant it didn’t find appealing. That is why the president of the UN General Assembly, a former Sandinista foreign minister, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, accompanied Zelaya in the airplane on Zelaya’s first attempt to return to Honduras on July 5. (Brockmann, among his other radical moral positions, is so virulently anti-Israel that the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations threatened not to attend the UN Holocaust Memorial Day event if Brockmann showed up.)
And none of this matters to the OAS, which just lifted its ban on Cuba’s membership and which says nothing about Chavez’s shutting down of Venezuela’s opposition radio and television stations.
And none of this matters to the world’s left-wing media. Thus, on July 1, a writer for the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian penned this insight: “There is no excuse for this coup…The battle between Zelaya and his opponents pits a reform president who is supported by labor unions and social organizations against a Mafia-like, drug-ridden, corrupt political elite.” To the Guardian writer, Zelaya was a “reform president.” Lenin’s useful idiots never die out.
And the Los Angeles Times editorial page wrote: “Even though the Honduran Congress and military may believe they are defending the country against a would-be dictator, the ends don’t justify the means.”
Quite a great deal of foolishness in one sentence. That the Los Angeles Times does not believe that Zelaya is a would-be dictator is mind-numbing. As for the cliche that “the ends don’t justify the means,” in fact they quite often do. That is one of the ways in which we measure means. One assumes that while the Los Angeles Times believes that Americans should be law-abiding, it agrees with Rosa Parks having broken the law. The ends (fighting segregation) justified the means (breaking the law).
If Honduras is hung out to dry, if America suspends trade and economic aid, the forces arrayed against liberty in Latin America will have won a major victory. On the other hand, if Honduras is not abandoned now, those Iran-supporting, America-hating, liberty-loathing forces will have suffered a major defeat.
It will be interesting to see which way the Obama administration jumps.
Honduran soldiers have arrested the President
The arrest comes after President Zelaya defied a court order that he should re-instate the chief of the army, Gen Romeo Vasquez.
The president sacked Gen Vasquez late on Wednesday for refusing to help him organise a referendum.
Mr Zelaya, who under current regulations leaves office next January, also accepted the resignation of the defence minister.
The referendum was to ask the population if they approved of a formal vote next November on whether to rewrite the Honduran constitution.