Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hondo Hillary - 10

The Colonial Surrogates
If you want to understand who is the true power behind the Honduran coup, you need to find out who is paying Lanny Davis.

-Robert White, former US Ambassador to El Salvador
If you begin with the military sector, the Honduran coup makers can be sub-divided generally by tasks: military tasks, financial tasks, political tasks, and media tasks. The old “send guns, money, and lawyers” trope. Just add, “send well-heeled media.”

The money is where Robert White said to look, specifically where the money comes from to pay Clinton loyalist Lanny Davis. Davis’ client is the Honduras chapter of the Consejo Empresarial de America Latina (Latin American Business Council, CEAL). CEAL-Honduras is composed of a list of sector-specific business associations (Roger Noriega represents the one for manufacturing). Among its members, there is another multi-sector formation that constitutes the political arm of CEAL; and that is the Consejo Hondureno de la Empresa Privada, or COHEP.

COHEP consists of 62 member organizations, which means there is still another layer to go down to see who exactly runs COHEP, which is a privatization-advocacy organization – slash – national chamber of commerce. It’s US counterpart is actually an organization we have seen: Council of the Americas, where Lanny Davis organized the “propaganda sandwich.”

The 62 organizations fall into one of the following categories: associations, industrial, agro-industrial, and services. These are further subdivided, for example, industrial breaks down into manufacturing and distribution, natural resources, health care, and textiles.

COHEP’s executive director is Benjamin Bogran; and after the coup he was appointed Minister of Commerce. Beginning in 2008, he waged relentless attacks on Honduran membership with ALBA.

The president of COHEP, appointed this year, is Santiago Ruiz (agribusiness magnate). Vice president, Alejandro Alvarez (construction tycoon). Other key members: Aline Flores (President,Industrial Chamber of Commerce – Tegucigalpa), Oscar Galeano (arms importer), Jesus Canahuati (President, Honduras Textile and Apparel Manufacturers Association), Asterio Reyes (coffee baron), Roque Rivera (President, Honduran Banking Association), Eduardo Atala (banking, telecommunications), Abrahm Bennaton (banker, and now Economics Minister), Flavio Tinoco (agribusiness, meatpacking), Alexander Hedman (transportation, trucking, railroads), Edison Cardenas (food and beverages), Leonel Giannini (Nationalist Party Deputy), and so the list goes on.

As does a murderous post-coup Honduras. Where Hillary made her bones.


As this is being written on April 22, 2015, Al Jazeera is reporting that Clinton has made a partial admission - that she was bent on ensuring that President Zelaya never returned to office.  She's actually quite proud of it.  In yesterday's news, she was hugging up on another homicidal coup maker and former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, of Chile fame.

In The Nation today, there is a story featuring Honduras, which alludes to Clinton's coup consolidation role, that emphasizes how dangerous Honduras remains under the rule of the self-same oligarchy that came back to power with Clinton's able assistance.

The fact that most Democrats, and that the Democrats who ultimately determine who cannot run for high office, i.e., the arch-neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council, have virtually coronated Clinton for the Presidential ticket.  This is the sorry state of politics, the sorry state of US politics, and the sorry state of Democratic Party politics today.  We may very well have a contest between Clinton and Bush again.  Dynastic overtones aside, it would be hard to find two more cautiously mediocre intellects, or two more narcissistic uber-ambitions associated with a profound sense of entitlement.

I've said precious little in this long series about my faith, even though this is appearing on a blog called "Chasin' Jesus."  The point really, was to lay out the story as clearly as possible, with greater emphasis on structural motives than most media provide.  I originally published this story on Feral Scholar, my old blog, in 2010, when I was living in Grecia, Costa Rica.  I have re-issued it precisely in response to Clinton's candidacy, but not because I intend to work for or against her candidacy.  Even if an unexpected candidate - like Obama in 2008 - appears to rain on Hillary's parade, the President of the United States will be a committed neoliberal, and one who has no compunction about sacrificing human lives to the office, to the cause of US power, or to his/her ambitions.  This is the nature of the world's politics - the immutable character of Caesar in the service of Mammon.

We Christians are always tempted to believe we can change that through our own power politics, and-or through the election/coronation of some Great Leader.  We are always tempted by these idolatries and delusions because most of us do want to reduce the quanta of suffering in the world . . . and perhaps more damning, we want to do it impersonally, through "systems," and "policies," and laws.  The unbearable truth is that (1) these means are themselves trapped within self-organized structures that give them an irresistible inertia, that (2) the Great Leaders are themselves creatures of that self-organized inertia and powerless to do those things we like to vaguely imagine, and that (3) the acquisition of power within these structures will not convert the structures, but it will certainly convert us into conformity with them.

The tediously predictable response to these allegations against Hillary Clinton will be that the Republicans are worse (we can't give up that illusion of control, even a little bit of control), and that Presidents can appoint Supreme Court Justices.  So let's keep our mouths shut about all those dead, maimed, imprisoned, and exiled foreigners, because the little control we have left is to choose between Coke and Pepsi, and any criticism might tip the balance against us.  We have to be instrumental.

No.  Just no.

“Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
― Dorothy Day


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