For more than twenty years American foreign policy has been guided by a freedom agenda: the notion that our security interests are best protected by advancing the cause of freedom around the world. Ronald Reagan championed it when he won the cold war, George H.W. Bush when he fought the first gulf war, and Bill Clinton when he committed America to defending human rights in the Balkans. Now, here comes President Barack Obama. who has effectively turned America’s back on the cause of freedom around the globe.
Right now, freedom hangs in the balance in Honduras. President Manuel Zelaya has been sent packing because of his attempted power grab and efforts to subvert the constitution. The Honduran constitution limits him to just one 4-year term. (This restriction is seen as so important that in Honduras even the Honduran congress and the President acting together cannot discard it.) Nevertheless, this Hugo Chavez wannabe began an unconstitutional and illegal referendum that would allow him to rule indefinitely. The Honduran Supreme Court, Attorney General, and Congress, however, all proceeded to follow their constitution. Accordingly, he was expelled and replaced by the proper successor of his own political party. Evidence now reveals the extent that Zelaya has been supported in his power grab by Chavez of Venezuela and neighboring Nicaragua who are placing hundreds of supporters into Honduras to foment trouble.
What has been President Obama’s response? On which side does the United States now stand? Mr. Obama has sided with Zelaya, even echoing his words that the Honduran effort to faithfully follow their constitution amounts to “a coup.” The Obama Administration even co-sponsored a resolution in the United Nations condemning Honduras and calling for Zelaya's reinstatement. Little surprise that Hugo Chavez has gleefully declared that Obama’s move will “deliver a major blow” to the people and government of Honduras.
Alone, this might be seen as a poor decision. But it is part of a troubling pattern of behavior that speaks to something deeper at work.
When Iranians took the streets in recent weeks to declare their rejection of the unfair and rigged elections in their country, President Obama dithered and sat mute for days preferring to play the role of neutral observer rather than the advocate for freedom. Only after world public opinion soundly came out against the mullahs in Iran did Obama feel safe to condemn their brutal suppression of protestors.