Wrong and Strong in Honduras?

Good stuff from Faith Smith at the Washington Note, on what’s at play in Honduras:

And so the showdown begins. On one side we have Zelaya backed by theinternational community and on the other is the government of Hondurasbacked by the majority of its 7.5 million citizens; an unfair fight for sure.

What’s most fascinating to me about the above is how in and of itself, it leads you to a pretty obvious assumption. Substitute Zimbabwe for Honduras, for instance, and former opposition leader (now prime minister) Morgan Tsvangirai for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and your case makes itself.

But the entirety of Smith’s post shows how, contrary to our instinct and intuition, in the absence of context (in this case, legal context), the formulation above really doesn’t give you much to hang your hat on. The whole thing is worth reading for how it sets up that nugget.

Former President Bill Clinton once famously said wrong and strong beats right and weak. This might very well prove to be an example of that rule of thumb. There’s still the chance of a best-case scenario, whereby Zelaya’s return is negotiated in exchange for a civilian destitution (impeachment) or Zelaya conceding on the actual referendum that catalyzed the military intervention. I don’t see how a grandstanding showdown — with Zelaya returning to Honduras surrounded by a human chain of diplomatic untouchables — facilitates that, though.

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