US Hypocrisy: Niger and Honduras

February 20th, 2010

Thursday, US State Department assistant secretary Philip J. Crowley made the following statement about Niger:

MR. CROWLEY: Right. Very fluid situation and the Embassy there is monitoring it closely. Indications are it could be an attempted coup. There was evidently an attempted assassination of President Tandja. My understanding is that our Embassy staff is safe. We do have Congressman Mark Grayson of Florida who happened to be in the country at the time and he is currently at the Embassy and is also safe.

This is a difficult situation. President Tandja has been trying to extend his mandate in office. Both the United States and ECOWAS have expressed our concerns about that, and obviously that may well have been an act on his behalf that precipitated this act today. Clearly, we do not in any way, shape, or form, defend violence of this nature. But clearly, we think this underscores that Niger needs to move ahead and – with the elections and the formation of a new government.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was removed from power 7 months before his term expired by an order from the Supreme Court and Congress of Honduras. Admittedly, the order was carried out by the military. But, no power of the state was dissolved, and the elections that were already planned for November were carried out as scheduled. Zelaya was against the elections and was trying to push through constitutional reform to “refound Honduras”, presumably as a socialist state in the image of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

On the other hand in Niger, the military dissolved all the powers of the government. The president of Niger had been successful in reforming the constitution a few months before, and was removed after a 4-hour gun battle.

With Honduras, minutes after Zelaya landed in Costa Rica, President Obama said: “We believe the coup was not legal … I think it would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seing military coups as a means of political transition.”

Where is the outrage of the United States! Where is the State Departments decency! Where is their commitment to truth! Or at very least, their consistency! All of these seem to be sold out to uranium mining interests. Niger is has the fifth largest Uranium reserves on Earth.

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  • The double standard wasn’t lost on me either. Unbelievable.

  • Just unbelievable. I wish I had time to search to see what CNN, NY Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, etc. has to say about this.

  • Alan Campbell

    Let’s guess why this time’s different:

    1) The natural resources there are so important that more competent folks are assigned to the US embassy.

    2) The US might be behind the takeover because of disagreements with the previous government over such resources.

    3) Somebody covered President Obama’s mouth with duct tape.

  • Pingback: Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » A double standard?()

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