Obama’s non-non-interference pledge

Spanish translation by Atenea Acevedo available here.


Obama’s Non-non Interference Pledge

With apologies to Gertrude Stein.

Oh, the irony.

Today, at the “New Economic School” in Moscow, Russia, which President Obama himself pointed out was “founded with Western support,” Obama recurred to a phrase we’ve come to hear from him with some frequency: “Let me be clear.”

Now let me be clear: America cannot and should not seek to impose any system of government on any other country, nor would we presume to choose which party or individual should run a country. And we haven’t always done what we should have on that front. Even as we meet here today, America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected President of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies. We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not.

But the President’s actions are anything but clear.  If people are still confused about how to “read” Obama, Machetera has a suggestion. Watch what he does, not what he says.

Are the people at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) packing their bags because their two little regime change sluice troughs – the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, whose fingerprints are all over the 2002 coup in Venezuela, the 2004 coup in Haiti, and last week’s coup in Honduras, just wait and see – are about to be shut down?  Is USAID – which is up to its eyeballs in the regime change business, not the rice donations and latrine constructions of the popular imagination – turning off the lights yet?  Seeing as how we’re all about not seeking to impose any system of government on any other country, or presuming to choose which party or individual should run a country?   Even though, granted, “we haven’t always done what we should have on that front”?  Speaking of that, can we go ahead and lift the senseless blockade against Cuba now that we’re no longer in the business of seeking to impose our system?

Just like the NED, the New Economic School in Russia is a little slow to post up-to-date reports on its website.  (At least Otto Reich just flat out says he’s not going to tell you who his current clients are, though past clients will give you a clue.)  Three years ago Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and the Swiss Bank UBS AG helped fund the New Economic School.  What might their donation be for the 2009/2010 academic year?  Seeing as how free market capitalism is working so well for them these days? NED is not immediately visible as a donor, although in 2007, it contributed $226,948 to the Center for International Private Enterprise in Georgia which in turn provided financial assistance to the New Economic School of Georgia.  Connect the dots.

Here you have the President of the United States, standing on ground which has been more or less openly well-tilled by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, George Soros (the Open Society Institute), Boeing, etc., and fertilized behind the scenes by NED’s innumerable front groups (Center for International Private Enterprise, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, International Republican Institute), saying he wants to be clear.  Not only can we not impose a particular system on other people, we shouldn’t even be seeking it.  On the face of it, this should be terrible news for our entire regime change industrial complex as well as its subcontractors (Internews, the people who’ve made a business out of subcontracting for NED on the propaganda front, comes to mind, though surely there are more).  And if NED’s people have been working on the ground in Honduras with the oligarchy/military who forced the Honduran president out of the country at gunpoint, in his pajamas, could someone please explain how that is not a matter of seeking to impose our view?  Or does that also fall under the category of things “we haven’t always done [that] we should have?”

If that were the case, and today is a new day where we are putting all of that behind us, then surely Obama’s State Department would not be seeking to “forge a compromise between Zelaya, Micheletti and the Honduran military under which the ousted president would be allowed to serve out his remaining six months in office with limited and clearly defined powers,” as Will Weissert reported today for the Associated Press?  In other words, pushing Zelaya to compromise with the people with blood on their hands.  Whenever you hear powerful people talk about “dialogue” you can safely assume that they’re on the losing moral end of the equation.

Let me ask a question.  If we were talking about Venezuela and Hugo Chávez had come to power, not through elections but by forcing his way into Miraflores palace, bundling its occupant onto a plane at gunpoint, and then setting up snipers to kill people who went to the airport to look for their elected president, would the State Department be talking about forging a compromise?

I can’t translate this for you any further.  There’s no need. As the details continue to spill out about who worked to get Mel Zelaya out of Honduras and who delayed his return, Obama’s rhetoric will start to become painfully obvious.

There’s no there there.

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