July 9, 2009

Stuff everyone knows, but nobody's allowed to say...

Quico says: Be sure to check out this fascinating column on the Honduran crisis by IAD's Michael Lisman in, of all places, The Guardian:
As Honduras enters its second week of political crisis, the international community is beginning to take a second look at the murky circumstances under which the Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was removed from office and exiled from the country on June 28.

Until last weekend, world leaders were unanimous in their condemnation of the so-called military coup. But having been forced to watch the spectacle continue for a second straight week, the world has now become painfully aware of two things they had not anticipated.

The first is how ardent, unanimous, and organized the interim government in Honduras is against any sort of reprieve for Zelaya, much less his reinstatement.

The second is how erratic and unfit for leadership Zelaya has become. Both realisations have caused diplomats to rethink their strategies in the push for Zelaya's immediate and unrestricted return to power. As the standoff continues this week, the international community would be wise to bite its tongue and instead, push for what world leaders initially called a "Honduran solution" – even if it's not the one they had in mind.
One of the most interesting things about this Honduran crisis is the way chavismo's rhetorical crouch - together with the US's colossal rabo'e'paja when it comes to military coups - have conspired to make it strictly verboten for regional leaders to say, out loud, thigs that a-they obviously think and b-are central to the crisis.

Lisman gets props for breaking some of that silence. Still, in the longer run, it cannot be good that the implicit rulebook for kosher political discourse accepted by all the hemisphere's leaders leaves whole provinces of reality effectively out of bounds.