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Like Major John, this weekend I have been waiting for this to gel in my nogg'n.
My first reaction was, "A coup in Latin American, oh, it must be the end of the month." Then it dawned on my that if my memory served me right, this would be the first coup in Central America since the Cold War.
Then I went to my primary Latin American counter-indicator, Hugo. Why are we sounding like we are in alignment with Hugo and Fidel? Is everyone, at least initially, having a knee-jerk response?
Well, things are a little more complicated than they look - or more simple.
Over at the WSJ, they start to build the case the the military was just doing its Constitutional duty.
It's not surprising that chavistas throughout the region are claiming that he was victim of a military coup. They want to hide the fact that the military was acting on a court order to defend the rule of law and the constitution, and that the Congress asserted itself for that purpose, too.This may be sinking in, as SECSTATE and CINC's comments are becoming, how do you say, more nuanced.
Mrs. Clinton has piled on as well. Yesterday she accused Honduras of violating "the precepts of the Interamerican Democratic Charter" and said it "should be condemned by all." Fidel Castro did just that. Mr. Chávez pledged to overthrow the new government.
That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.
But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.
Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order.
The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out.
Honduras is fighting back by strictly following the constitution. The Honduran Congress met in emergency session yesterday and designated its president as the interim executive as stipulated in Honduran law. It also said that presidential elections set for November will go forward. The Supreme Court later said that the military acted on its orders. It also said that when Mr. Zelaya realized that he was going to be prosecuted for his illegal behavior, he agreed to an offer to resign in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Mr. Zelaya denies it.
Many Hondurans are going to be celebrating Mr. Zelaya's foreign excursion. Street protests against his heavy-handed tactics had already begun last week. On Friday a large number of military reservists took their turn. "We won't go backwards," one sign said. "We want to live in peace, freedom and development."
Besides opposition from the Congress, the Supreme Court, the electoral tribunal and the attorney general, the president had also become persona non grata with the Catholic Church and numerous evangelical church leaders. On Thursday evening his own party in Congress sponsored a resolution to investigate whether he is mentally unfit to remain in office.
As long as the Honduran's are following their Constitution - maybe we should put more faith in the Honduran Supreme Court, Congress and its military - and less on some Leftist Hugo wannabe.All done!
The stories I am seeing about Honduras call the removal of their President by the Army a coup.
But as I read more stories, I keep seeing:
"The country's Supreme Court last week came out against Zelaya and ordered him to reinstate fired military chief Vasquez. The court said on Sunday it had told the army to remove the president."
"Zelaya, a leftist allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was arrested shortly before polls were to open in a referendum on whether to change the constitution. The Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal and everyone from Congress to members of his own party opposed it. Critics said Zelaya wanted to remove limits to his re-election."
If the Army is asked by the Judiciary to remove the President for violating the Consitution, and Congress also backs the Court and the Army, is it a "coup" or is it the Army acting as the police?
I'm glad I'm not in the Honduran Army right now, that I am sure of.
UPDATE: See what I mean?
At last ... it is about time. I just hope he can find a Democrat with seniority to back him.
A California congressman who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan convinced the House Armed Services Committee to order a full review of the criteria used for giving awards for gallantry and valor after a senior defense official said technological advancements and new combat tactics might be the reason fewer of the highest medals are being issued.Ummm, will somebody please hit Gail McGinn with a ClueBat?
At the urging of Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine combat veteran elected to Congress in November, the armed services committee has asked for a review of trends in awarding the Medal of Honor to determine if the low number of awards in the current wars is the result of "inadvertent subjective bias amongst commanders."
The committee also wants the Defense Department to survey officers and noncommissioned officers in leadership positions to look at attitudes about acts of valor. Hunter is looking for the reasons behind not just fewer nominations, but also a trend since the Vietnam War in which the only Medal of Honor awards have been for people who died during an act of valor.
In a June 2 letter to Hunter that was released Wednesday, Gail McGinn, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said defense officials see nothing amiss in the Peralta decision.Not only is that not based on fact (perhaps she should talk to Gen. Mattis) that is a huge insult to all those who have taken ground and engaged the enemy the same as others have throughout our history: face to face, hand to hand.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who made the final call, "was advised by five independent reviewers who all individually concluded that the evidence included in the [Medal of Honor] recommendation did not support the award," McGinn wrote.
The reviewers included a former commanding general of Marine forces in Iraq, a neurosurgeon, two pathologists and a Medal of Honor recipient, McGinn said.
Her letter also responds to Hunter's larger question about whether the criteria have changed over time. A 2008 review of guidance used in making the awards "found no evidence of a posthumous requirement, either written or unwritten," she said.
What has changed, McGinn said, is warfare. U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq "are inherently different from previous major conflicts," she said.
We could spend hours with examples from Iraq and Afghanistan alone that would prove that from the tactical standpoint (Where Medal of Honor are won), there is no difference between the fighting now and the fighting in 1969, 1951, 1944, 1918, 1898, 1863, 1066 .... amazing someone at that level in that position could say something so out of alignment with reality,
BZ Rep. Hunter - go get 'em.
True or false?
1. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona were once threatened by an alliance the Kaiser wanted.
2. An amphibious landing spelled the end of the French in Canada.
3. General Grant, an Army general, practiced riverine warfare.
4. The U.S. Army never fought in North Africa.
5. The Two Ocean War describes the rough water in the places that the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.
You should be able to find your answers here.
Apparently the ever laboring donkey has continued since I left the country some years ago.
Tom Swift wasn't the only planner of deep ocean airports. See here.
This destroyer escort may not look like a powerhouse, but it was.
And she had sisters.
As explained here.
On the drive between Blacksburg and Norfolk, Virginia, just off US-460 is the small town of Bedford, Virginia. This town lost more soldiers per capita on D-Day than just about any other town in America. Bedford, which is about 100 miles from the nearest large city, is tucked in the green magnificence of the Blue Ridge Mountains: surrounded by all of God's "mountain majesty". Bedford is also home to the National D-Day Memorial... stunningly beautiful, well crafted, reverent to the sacrifices and achievements of June 6, 1944. We had never heard of the Memorial, but it was the best 1-mile detour we have ever taken.
Others will blog today on the operational facts of D-Day and the meaning of D-Day and its (obvious) significance to the outcome of the war -- all of which the D-Day Memorial covers in detail -- but I will share the moving experience the National D-Day Memorial provided.
Remember the lament that went out from my home blog in JAN 05?
It has been a concern of mine for awhile that Hollywierd has not made any effort to tell the story of this Global War. From early on there have been many opportunities, heck the...and again in JUL 05?
cavalry chargein the start of the Afghanistan operation would make a great movie.
Hollywierd continues to demonstrate its hate of America as we are almost 4 yrs post-9/11 and there have been NO major efforts to make a film of any substance about the war from a major movie house. TheWell hot, fracking d@mn.
mounted cavalry chargewith B-52s early on in OEF, I though would be a no-brainer. I was there for the planning. I have inside (very funny) UNCLAS info for them direct from C5F briefings about saddles, horses, etc. Email me. Make a movie. Funny, inspiring, motivation, patriotic. Did I mention it had a cavalry charge by US Soldiers? Rumors from 2002 ... then ... nothing. Sigh. Sometimes.....
Doug Stanton's upcoming book Horse Soldiers is coming to the big screen at the hands of uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney, which just recently acquired the screen rights. The story revolves around a band of elite Special Forces and CIA operatives who secretly invaded Afghanistan post-9/11 on horseback and helped Afghan fighters capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif and topple the Taliban. In Horse Soldiers, the operatives helped orchestrate the invasion by bribing local warlords and using high-tech communications to coordinate the assault and equip the Afghan soldiers. They also held off an ambush during the surrender of hundreds of Taliban troops. Scribner will publish the book in May. Stanton previously wrote In Harm's Way, the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during WWII. Warner Bros. was at one point developing a big screen adaptation. Bruckheimer has G-Force and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on the horizonOh Shipmate ... don't be a tool. You know the book is always better than the movie.
The book is out and ready. Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan.