Monday, July 06, 2009

Honduras: One week after the coup – mass mobilisation continues – Army prevents Zelaya’s come back

By Jorge Martín
Monday, 06 July 2009

All kinds of manoeuvres are taking place after the coup in Honduras. The coup organisers want to hold on, but pressure is being brought to bear for some kind of compromise solution, which however cannot satisfy the masses. The only real answer lies in the full mobilisation of the Honduran workers and peasants.

Hundreds of thousands had marched to the Toncontin airport and broken through police lines to make sure Zelaya's plane could land.On Sunday, July 5, a week after having been removed by a military coup, Honduran president Mel Zelaya boarded a Venezuelan plane in Washington with the aim of going back to his country. Hundreds of thousands had marched to the Toncontin airport and broken through police lines to make sure his plane could land. However, the army opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators, injuring scores and killing at least one. Zelaya’s plane was prevented from landing by the Army which positioned vehicles on the landing strip. The government of Micheletti ‑ imposed by a coup ‑ has closed down all of the country’s airports.

Men, women, children, workers, peasants, the poor, had gathered from early in the morning to march to the airport to receive their president. A report from Radio Globo put the figure at half a million, others put the number at 200,000 people. The live broadcast from Telesur showed a huge crowd of hundreds of thousands, far bigger than the 65,000 that had marched against the coup the day before in Tegucigalpa. Speaking from Honduras to In Defence of Marxism, Democratic Unity (UD) party MP Tomás Andino said: “This demonstration was unprecedented, probably the largest in the history of Honduras”. We have to take into account that the population of the country as a whole is only 7.5 million people. This demonstration was the biggest so far against the coup and dwarfed any of the demonstrations organised by the coup plotters during the week.

This massive movement of the people of Honduras has taken place despite the fact that the new regime has imposed a curfew (which has not been extended and is in place between 6pm and 6am every night), has arrested dozens of known trade union and popular movement activists and leaders, has killed a number of them (the correspondent from El Pais has reported that people have been taken to hospital by the police with bullet wounds every single night), has suspended constitutional guarantees (a de facto state of emergency situation) and put in place a media blockade (a number of radio and TV stations have been closed down). According to police officials 651 people were arrested on Saturday and Sunday alone. None of this has stopped the movement and the strikes which have paralysed mainly the education system and the telecommunications and electricity companies. Peasant and indigenous organisations are maintaining road blocks in many of the districts in the interior of the country.

The scope of the movement against the coup and growing the international pressure is already opening up rifts within the camp of the coup organisers. According to some reports, businessmen Ricardo Maduro, Rafael Ferrari and Carlos Flores Facussémet met with representatives of the coup organisers until early in the morning trying to get them to reach an agreement. But the coup plotters, led by Micheletti, are particularly obtuse representatives of the Honduran oligarchy, and having taken the step of organising the coup, are now in no mood to make any concessions. In a farcical press conference Micheletti alleged that Nicaraguan troops were massing at the border in preparation for an invasion of Honduras. When pressed by the journalists to give more details, he changed his tune and said that it was just a “psychological invasion”!

On Saturday, July 4, Micheletti’s junta also rebuffed OAS general secretary Insulza, who had gone to Honduras in a last minute attempt to reach a compromise. It is clear that this coup is highly embarrassing for the current US administration and that pressure is being put on the coup plotters to at least make some concessions which could allow for a negotiated settlement, probably including some guarantees on Zelaya’s part that he would not seek to call a referendum on a Constituent Assembly.

The role of the United States in the coup

There has been a lot of speculation about whether the Obama administration was involved in this coup or not. On this question, Andino was very clear: “We think it is impossible for the Honduran Army to have acted without at least tacit approval on the part of US intelligence”.

All the information that has come out over the last week confirms what we said just after the coup:

“It is clear and public knowledge that the US knew that a coup was being organised. They had had conversations with the leaders of Congress in which the coup had been discussed. The advice from the US had been against taking the step of arresting Zelaya. Probably the US administration, faced with the mass mobilisation on Friday and having learnt some lessons from Venezuela, was not very confident in taking what might be seen as an illegal step and were more in favour of continuing with the script of the “constitutional coup”, leaving the removal of Zelaya for another, more favourable, moment.” (Defeat the reactionary military coup in Honduras – Mass mobilisation in the streets and general strike!)

US ambassador Hugo Llorens had stated on a number of occasions that he was against the consultation being proposed by Zelaya on the possibility of a referendum on a constituent assembly, but he phrased his opposition in typical diplomatic language: “one cannot violate the Constitution in order to create a Constitution”, he said (La Prensa, June 4). This was precisely the argument used by the oligarchy to block Zelaya’s proposed consultation.

Llorens stressed that: “whatever is finally done, it should be done within the law, within the Constitution”. On June 17, he echoed the arguments of the Honduran capitalists: “The political situation in the country does not help to create an investment friendly climate. Uncertainty in a country does not help investment” (La Prensa). And he added that the dispute about the consultation should be resolved by Congress. What he was saying, loud and clear, was that the US were in favour of a “democratic constitutional coup”.

Right up to the eve of the coup, US ambassador Llorens was talking to the coup plotters. On June 21, there was a meeting in the US embassy with the presence of president Zelaya, as well as all the coup plotters: Congress president Micheletti, Liberal and National Party presidential candidates Santos and Lobo, and the head of the Armed Forces, Romeo Vásquez. According to the report in the Honduran La Prensa, Zelaya was told that “the best way out of the crisis” would be for him to “cancel the consultation and carry out an opinion poll instead”. (La Prensa, June 22). The very fact that the US ambassador is meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country in this manner is a clear indication of the status of Honduras as a “banana republic” dominated by US imperialism. The message to Zelaya was clear: cancel the referendum or else.

It would be extremely naïve to think that Llorens did not know of the plans for a coup ‑ in fact this was being openly discussed in the Honduran media in the days leading up to it ‑ and even more naïve to think that he had not reported to Washington. Llorens is not a newcomer, he was nominated as US ambassador to Honduras by the Bush administration and had been Head of Andean Affairs at the National Security Council in 2002 and 2003. This position made him Bush’s main advisor on matters related to Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. He therefore was well aware of the failure of the 2002 coup in Venezuela.

The policy of the new Obama administration regarding Latin America has been one of hiding the stick and mainly waving the carrot. The aims are the same, but after the fiasco of Bush’s bullish policy in the region, Obama is keen to push back the revolutionary wave sweeping the continent by leaning on the “reasonable left” governments in the region. He cannot, therefore, afford the embarrassment of a military coup. Certainly the US administration wanted to remove Zelaya, who had become a thorn in their side, by joining ALBA, siding with Chavez, refusing for months to accept the new US ambassador, Llorens, as a gesture of solidarity with Bolivia (where the US were involved in another attempted coup in September last year) and by generally contributing to a sharpening of the class struggle (“polarisation”) in Honduras with his “irresponsible” statements about the rich and poor, and “freeing the country from imperialism”. They merely preferred to do so by constitutional means.

On June 25 the Honduran congress declared itself in “permanent session”. They were going to carry out the coup by declaring the disqualification of the president. The coup was averted at the last minute with the intervention of Llorens and even, according to some reports, of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself. But this only delayed the coup until Sunday 28, when the army took Zelaya in the middle of the night and put him on a plane to Costa Rica.

This was revealed in the lukewarm and belated statements of the Obama administration in the aftermath of the coup. The first official pronouncement of the White House was along the lines of an appeal to “all political and social players in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter”. That was an appeal for all players to respect democracy, when some of them had just carried out a coup! It was only after the strongly worded condemnation of the coup by the ALBA member countries, led by Venezuela, that the US was forced to utter the word “coup”, and threatened to curtail military aid to Honduras. However, ambassador Llorens was left in Honduras, in order to keep an open line “with all players”.

Even though Zelaya has been in Washington for a few days, neither Obama nor Clinton have thus far met with him, preferring to allow the OAS to deal with the matter. The Organisation of American States has been charged with trying to find a reasonable solution to this mess, one that would save face by bringing Zelaya back, but on the basis of neutralising him – and above all the masses who support him. After all, even if he came back, he does not have control of Congress, nor the Supreme Court, nor the Army, and there are elections scheduled in November in which he cannot legally participate. When Zelaya announced that he was going back to the country on Thursday, July 2nd, the OAS gave the regime a 72-hour ultimatum, thus delaying his return. Then Zelaya announced that he would go back on Saturday 4th, only for OAS general secretary Insulza to announce his own visit to Honduras on that day, delaying Zelaya by one more day.

But Insulza was met with derision on the part of the coup plotters who announced that, before anyone kicked the out, they would be leaving the OAS. There are certain elements in politics that are never completely under anyone's control. Here we saw the most obtuse representatives of the Honduran oligarchy biting the hand that was offering them a way out.

The Spanish El Pais, always reflecting faithfully the opinions of imperialism, put it quite bluntly last week: “It is urgent to find a way out within the agreed [OAS] deadline, in order to prevent Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, from filling the vacuum which might be left afterwards. If the OAS, with US support, does not reinstate Zelaya, the road would then be open for the insurrectionary solution that Chavez is suggesting. The US seems to be conscious of the fact that it is running more risks here than they could have ever imagined in a country like Honduras, and is attempting to be very careful in its moves, so that Zelaya can win but without a victory for what he represents. In other words, without a victory for Chavez and populism”. (El Pais, July 2nd, Ultimátum de la OEA a los golpistas)

El Pais, incidentally came out against the coup but supported the reasons for it, after having written a vitriolic denunciation of Zelaya the day before the coup, in an editorial which ridiculed Chavez’s warning that a coup was being prepared in Honduras. (Editorial: Crisis en Honduras, June 26th)

Negotiations and mass action

Nonetheless, in the next few days, more pressure will be exerted on the coup leaders to reach a settlement. This was confirmed today in an article in the Washington Post: “U.S. officials confirmed that Honduras's de facto government had sent a message to the OAS seeking to open negotiations, a move that one official described as positive. 'We think this could create the basis for continuing movement by the OAS on diplomatic initiatives,' one official said.”

Tomás Andino, the UD deputy, told us that Carlos Flores was in negotiations with Washington to find a negotiated way out of the current crisis. “They want to bring back Zelaya, but bound hand and foot”. He pointed out that the businessmen fear that if the current efforts do not force the coup plotters to step down they will be faced with an armed mass uprising of the people which would threaten the whole of the capitalist regime.

However, we must be clear on one point: no amount of diplomatic pressure can defeat the coup in Honduras unless the masses of workers and peasants fight for it on the streets as they have done in the last few days. It may even come to pass that Zelaya is returned to Honduras, only for Congress to start proceedings to remove him from the presidency before the end of his term in January.

Over the last week, the mass movement in Honduras has become broader, more confident and more radicalised. This is precisely what the coup plotters feared, and the reason why they organised the coup. The struggle of the hundreds of thousands of Honduran working people, who have come out on the streets over the last week braving repression, is not only for the reinstatement of the president, but also for the trial and punishment of the coup plotters. Even more than that, it is a fundamental struggle for jobs, bread, land, dignity, and national sovereignty. None of this will be achieved simply with the return of Zelaya alone. If a negotiated settlement is finally reached, this will not satisfy the demands of the masses for justice, and it will certainly not solve the economic and social problems that have pushed them to rally behind Zelaya.

Speaking to Tomas Aquino, from the Honduras Democratic United Party, he made it very clear that the Peoples’ Resistance Front Against the Coup rejects any kind of negotiation with the coup-plotters and stands for the unconditional reinstatement of the president. He added that the masses of the people have become radicalised through their own experience. “They no longer demand a referendum on the Constituent Assembly, they want a Constituent Assembly full stop, as they are not prepared to deal any more with the political institutions that organised the coup”.

The return of Zelaya, if it does finally take place in the next few days, will only be a real victory for the mass movement if it is achieved without concessions on his part. If so, it will strengthen the resolve of the workers and peasants, it will increase their confidence in their own strength.

This last week of struggle has been a very rich school of political education for the masses. Under the whip of repression their political understanding has developed by leaps and bounds. All that Zelaya wanted, apparently, was to carry out a consultation on the possibility of a referendum to decide on a Constituent Assembly! And just because of that, the oligarchy en bloc organised a military-civilian coup. As Andino explained to us, the coup has the support of all traditional political parties, the hierarchy of the Evangelical and Catholic churches, the monopoly mass media groups, the owners of industry, the landowners, the judiciary and the tops of the Army. The whole of the capitalist political establishment is against a minor democratic reform! Because they are terrified of the revolutionary implications of the direct participation of the masses of the workers and peasants in politics. The capitalist system cannot allow it. Andino added that, “what we see is the beginning of a revolution”, and he is correct.

The two main lessons to be learnt from these events are, on the one hand, that the oligarchy in these underdeveloped capitalist countries cannot allow even the most moderate progressive reforms if these are accompanied by a process of politicisation and mobilisation of the masses. They fear the revolutionary consequences of the active participation of the masses in politics. On the other hand it should by now be clear that it is utopian to expect that the institutions of the capitalist state (the judiciary, army hierarchy, mass media, police, etc.), will allow genuine revolutionary change to take place without them stepping in to defend the interests of their masters, the ruling class. This is a serious warning for the revolutionary movement in Bolivia, in neighbouring El Salvador, in Ecuador, etc.

The only way forward for the movement in Honduras is to continue the mobilisation against the coup. This must be organised and coordinated nationally through committees in every workplace, neighbourhood and village. An appeal must be made to the ranks of the Army, the ordinary soldiers who are also part of the people. Mass demonstrations must be protected by defence committees made up of the workers and peasants themselves. The army generals have already shown what they are capable of, the people cannot face them unprotected. Tomás Andino reported to us lots of different examples of fraternisation of police officers and soldiers with the protestors. These have not yet crystallised in any section of the army openly rebelling, but this could happen in the next few days.

Finally, the main weapon of working people against the oligarchy and the coup is the general strike. Without the permission of the working class not a wheel turns and not a light bulb shines in Honduras. Workers can bring the country to a halt and prevent the coup regime from functioning. Andino reported to In Defence of Marxism that about 60% of public sector workers had participated in the strike against the coup and that this week would see the spreading of the strike movement to the private sector. The call for strike action had been made by the three trade union confederations, all of them part of the Peoples Resistance Front.

Tomás Andino also made an appeal for action to the international working class. “There should be blockades against Honduran products on the part of dockers and transport workers. This can hit the capitalist class where it hurts”.

International solidarity on the part of working people and the labour movement internationally is also crucial. We stand firmly on the side of the Honduran people and against any attempts to water down their fundamental demands.

For the immediate return of Zelaya!

Trial and punishment for the coup plotters!

Full support for the struggle of the people of Honduras!



SecondComingOfBast said...

It's really inaccurate to call it a coup. The military was acting on behest of the Supreme Court, not their own initiative. It was Zelaya who was trying to conduct a coup, when you get right down to it. I'll be interested to see if Obama calls our ambassador back, and replaces him. The article points out he was appointed by Bush.

Those two hundred thousand people who demonstrated must make up a pretty large percentage of the 25% support Zelaya enjoyed in Honduras.

I just purchased a pack of eight pair of "Made In Honduras" socks for $5.50. That's just my little way of supporting the "coup".

Anonymous said...

“It is clear and public knowledge that the US knew that a coup was being organised. What do you think tipped them off, Zelaya's illegal seizure of the referendum ballots from the military two days before his ouster, or the orders from the Honduran Supreme Court to subsequently arrest Zelaya?

And please, hundreds of thousands of protestors? Tens of thousands might be believable, but hundreds of thousands is one, if not two, orders of magnitude off.

If there are going to be any "compromises", they'll come tomorrow at Hillary's meeting. If not, the only compromise Zelaya is likely to receive is in whether they'll let Zelaya shave before his hanging.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: Even the US calls it a coup. The General Romero Vasquez was trained at the School of Americas in Georgia, which assisted paramilitary groups in Latin America for decades.

The constitution itself was produced by a military junta in 1982.

It was Zelaya who was trying to conduct a coup, when you get right down to it.

That's just ignorant rhetoric. You talk that nonsense, but don't back it up. How the hell was Zalaya planning a coup? Your killing my blog with stupid rhetoric like that. Like provocative for the sake of being provocative. If you want to be inflammatory, just to be inflammatory, go somewhere else.

The 200,000 (some say close to a half million) was way more than came out for the government.

FJ: It was atleast 200,000.

The article convinced me to be against a compromise.

Anonymous said...

FJ: It was atleast 200,000.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha. I saw the videos. Tell it to someone who hasn't.

Anonymous said...

Give it up, Ren, even The Guardian is selling Zelaya down the river.

Anonymous said...

Nope, things aren't looking very good for Zelaya...

MEXICO CITY, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Mexico will consider offering asylum to ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya if he asks for this, a Mexican official said here on Monday.

SecondComingOfBast said...

For the umpteenth-zillionth time, Zelaya was acting against the Constitution of his country. That's no big revelation on my part, why should I have to back it up. Demand that the news agencies reporting the facts back it up. I don't have to, nor do I care how the Constitution came about. It's still the governing document of the country, at least for now.

In the US during the Revolution, the "people" didn't get a vote on whether or not the colonies would rebel against Great Britain. If the people had voted for it, it probably never would have happened. As many people wanted to remain under Britain as wanted to separate from Britain. At least half the people didn't care one way or another.

They also didn't vote em masse for or against the Constitution, nor did they vote for or against any specific article within it. It's still our constitution. If somebody was to try to have a national referendum on changing or amending it through popular vote, he'd be laughed out of the country, and if he tried to force it through anyway, he'd be tried for sedition.

That's what Zelaya tried to do, and all the phony bussed-in protests by that massive 25% of the country that supports him isn't going to change the facts one iota.

Larry Gambone said...

Ren, I am glad to see you have finally lost patience with your resident reactionaries. In truth, they ARE killing your blog. People are staying away rather than battle their drivel. Comments moderation please!

Anonymous said...

If Ren wants me to leave and not comment, all he has to do is ask. I've no desire to see you move into comment moderation.

And if you can't battle the truth, Gambone, what's that say for your position?

Frank Partisan said...

I'm not interested in comment moderation.

There are things that can be said at a rightist clique blog, that shouldn't be said on a blog with diverse views.

There was a time, when the arguments would often move to Sonia's blog.

I'll respond tonight to comments.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren: I know you don't care but just to echo and support the words of Larry Gambone, he is right, there is no dialogue here aside from you battling the reactionaries as he terms it.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I agree with FJ, there's absolutely no need to go into comment moderation mode, I simply won't comment anymore. I'll still keep this blog on my blogroll, and even link to it from time to time in posts, because this is an interesting blog from a socialist perspective. But I see no sense in remaining a commenter on a blog where I'm constantly called names and harassed because people don't care to see my perspective. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion I'm making valid points by the reaction I get. When Ren goes into redneck mode, I know I've probably hit one out of the park.

So, I guess I'll go the way of so many others who no longer comment here, like Mr. Beamish and Mad Zionist, or the many others who rarely comment any longer, including, its beginning to seem, Sentinel.

I have no desire to descend to the level of discourse Beakerkin engaged in here, so maybe its time to call it off before it gets to that level.

Desert Mystery said...

Micheleti is backed by business interests. Why not target them where it hurts...There should be an international boycott on all Honduran products. Starting with the bananas supplied to the markets such as US and Spain.

Frank Partisan said...

I don't want comment moderation, nor does contributors Maryam, Marie Trigona etc. I never banned anyone.

I looked at my stats tonight. I go weeks without checking them. They are stable. Most of the views come because this blog is rated high on Google. I found today three blogs that linked to me, that I never visited.

Many bloggers moved to Facebook and Twitter.

Part of the reason I lose people, is my own views. I'm a Trotskyist. Trotskyism gets heat from left and right. Trotsky used to hate The Nation magazine, he called their writers lizards. I hope people would engage with me, instead they run.

I'm not sure if maybe the topics, mostly war and revolution play a part. Lighter subjects more often would help.

I should ask what the right thinks when I visit a rightist blog?

So, I guess I'll go the way of so many others who no longer comment here, like Mr. Beamish and Mad Zionist, or the many others who rarely comment any longer, including, its beginning to seem, Sentinel.

That's shocking in a way. You've come to this blog almost since its inception. You used to play a moderate role. What has changed?

It's harder to accept over the top comments, when people who comment are staying away from the discussion.

FJ: That article didn't talk about crowd size. It parroted the US line.

Larry G: I need more people with moderate views, to leave comments, and not be driven away.

Daniel H-G: Moderation wouldn't work for me.

Frank Partisan said...

Desert Mystery:

Several governments have already started boycotting Honduras. Boycotts don't usually work, not even the South Africa embargo. Nelson Mendala said the Cubans being in Angola, brought down apartheid.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren: I think this will be final word on this but had to respond to two things you put in your comment.

"I need more people with moderate views, to leave comments, and not be driven away."

This will only happen if the atmosphere here is condusive to moderate people coming and hsaring their views, it is not, at all, it is a far too negative and reactionary environment, hence the vast withdrawal of people commenting here that are not from the right.

You seem to not want to take responsibility for the atmosphere but hope it will sort itself out, not the way I'm afraid.

And views is all well and good Ren but if you want a debate in the comments that is not destructive then you need to take steps to make sure the comments are a safe environment.

I personally do not think you should moderate at all but rather have some guidelines for commenters and delete as needed.

Here is an example I stole from elsewhere:

# We have a tight comments policy aimed at fostering constructive debate.
# We believe in free speech but not your right to abuse our space.
# Abusive, sarcastic or silly comments may be deleted.
# Misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments will be deleted.

What do you think?

The Sentinel said...

"What do you think?"

I think you just roam around blogs calling for censorship and the suppression of opinions without actually offering one of your own very often; and then an ill-informed, disjointed and hysterical one when you do that you seek to impose upon everyone else.

Fascists are defined by actions not labels, and it never ceases to amaze me that people who have never risked their lives in the service of their country and its freedoms are invariably the ones who least respect, or even hold contempt for, those hard earned freedoms and so whimsically call for their abolition or curtailment.

By your own set of proffered rules you would be consistently censored by the first three criteria - and given your use of extreme abuse quite rightly banned under them - and who decides what falls into the last category? You?


The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."

~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I was asking Ren not you but it doesn't surprise me that you decide to take it upon yourself to get involved. You seem compelled to speak to me via this forum for some odd reason.

I'm not calling for censorship.

As for surpressing opinions, you are very keen on that by calling anything you disagree with "ill-informed, disjointed and hysterical".

Soemthing else you do is mis-use the term fascist constantly and use it as a device to silence others while complaining about the use of the term racist, or homophobe.

You seem to be eager to play the defence of your nation card but you offered no evidence of your alleged service in the army due to your desire to hide who you are, so we have to take your word for it and I do not value your word.

And it may well be that in my discussion with people here I would have breached those rules, I would've taken any punishment or the removal of my words with full acceptance and not whinge or complain as you are oft to do.

Anonymous said...

I like the above guidelines, provided you add the following:

"All appeals to the blog owner for the censoring of other bloggers comments will be immediately deleted w/o consideration, as they fall into the "silly and abusive comment" category."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Fine by me. If the rules are stuck to, there will be no need.

The Sentinel said...

1) I couldn't care less who you think you were addressing it to. It is a public forum and one that - much to your obvious hatred and anger - practises free speech.

2) "You seem compelled to speak to me via this forum for some odd reason" falls into category 3 of your own censor list.

3) Like I said, fascists are defined by actions not labels try and work out what that actually means.

4) I don't have to prove anything to anyone, least of all to the likes of you. Clearly your idea of bravery is using you real name online to insult peoples dead mothers, taunt them about incest and ask people if they want you to rape them.

All the time linking in unwitting family members with your obscene behaviour; I have told you before, you are a danger to yourself and moreover to others that are completely unaware and uninvolved in your online hate campaigns.

5) I have already proven here that you are liar with no integrity, and whose word isn't worth a Zimbabwean coin.

6) You have enormous front making comments such as "This will only happen if the atmosphere here is condusive to moderate people" and "make sure the comments are a safe environment" - apart from all the above extreme abuses on other sites, I seem to recall you calling FJ "a slimy c*nt" on this blog and having the whole thread closed down.

You are nothing less then an astounding, hysterical, abusive, bigoted and anti-freedom hypocrite.

SecondComingOfBast said...

You can't adopt a moderate stance when you are attacked from an extreme position, whether that be from a genuine socialist, anarchist, or from what would seem to be an obvious or at the very least a would-be Democratic Party apparatchik parroting a politically correct party line (I think you know who I'm talking about here).

There are some policies and issues for which there is no moderate stance. A good example of this is when it comes to national sovereignty issues. You either support national sovereignty or you do not. There is no middle ground there.

I have tried here lately to refrain from speaking out on issues of which I know little. That is why I said nothing for a long time on the issue of the current problems afflicting Iran. It is too easy to jump on such bandwagons head first and get carried away by emotionally based rhetoric.

That would seem to be the problem here with a great many issues being discussed. Sometimes it is my fault. I have a habit of being personally abusive for the fun of it, but only when the door has been opened by someone else. For example, I used to take great delight in laying these little traps for Daniel. I accidentally learned how to push his buttons, and for some time did so with glee. I know now I was wrong to do this, but let's face it, he made it very easy to play that game. I think he enjoys it, in fact, and from what I have seen, evidently he still likes to wear that kick me sign on his rump.

As for what has happened, life has happened. You have to adjust to current realities, and current realities are just not conducive to a moderate stance. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand, and when you are obliged to go that route, it makes no sense to straddle that line.

I just think it would be better for all concerned if I stayed away for awhile. No reason to take it personally. Feel free to drop by and comment on my blog anytime, as you always have, no need for walking on eggshells either.

In parting, I suggest if you want to do a lighter post, do a post about Michael Jackson. Your stats will go through the rood, like mine have the last few days. You can certainly do so from a socialist angle.

Larry Gambone said...

The reactionaries are a kind of collective psychic vampire, sucking up people's time and energy dealing with them. Even if you ignore their comments, which I tend to do more and more, they still clutter up the blog, you have to wade through all their comments to find something you want to read. It would be great to have this blog as a meeting place for all generally progressive people to discuss the interesting postings that Ren comes up with. But as long as they are here you can't.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


Do you intend for this to be another chance for a tit-for-tat? Another chance for you to empty all your evident spite and hatred in my direction? If so I will not participate.

1) The fact stands I was asking Ren a question and you dived in to attack me, it would be your comments, not mine in this thread that would face removal. You're making excuses for personal attacks, hence why I left here in the first place.

2) No it doesn't, it is a matter of fact but if the blog owner decided that it was the case the comment would be removed.

3) I do not act like a facist but you calling me one reflects badly on you.

4) I had no doubt you would not use evidence and I have a right to doubt you and beleive you are lying, just as you have a right to dig up and out of context, like a broken record, comments from other blogs and heated debates there.

5) You have not proven such a thing at all.

6) Again, digging up old news out of context and refusing to acknowledge that it takes tow to tango in any heated debate. Tow wrongs to not make a right and I would accpet any censure that the blog owner would devise including deletion of my comments BUT the comments would not have degenrated if action had been taken at an earler stage in the process.

"You are nothing less then an astounding, hysterical, abusive, bigoted and anti-freedom hypocrite."

Nice name callling that adds a lot to this blog and once again show all you care about is having a go at me...again, when I have done no such thing to you.

Take care Sentinel.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I second Larry's comment.

tony said...

Hey Ren It's Party Time!
Dont moderate.Your blog is unique in that it allows a space for all.You are the most generous amoung us.Comment Moderation is like closing your eyes.If people believe something, putting a gag or a blindfold on them doesnt make an opinion go away.
saying that, whats this all got to do with Honduras?
[Although the comments here DO sometimes feel like a MasterClass in how coups begin..........]

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Tony, I disagree, I presume that in the case of abusive comments being left you would think moderation useful?

As I said, I don't think moderation is the answer, just some guidelines for posting.

Also, no disrespect, but you are a relative no comer and those of us that have been around a while have noticed a real sea-change here and have stayed away.

Take care.

tony said...

Daniel , most blogs dont challenge the reader/commentator.Things usually get cosy & it ends up with like-minded people reinforcing one another.......This one , on the other hand,can be uncomfortable for all concerned.
If it were my blog I would probably either be abusive back or burst into tears (or both!).But Fair Play To Ren for doing neither.
It up to Ren I think.
But ,yes, I,m the new kid on the block........

The Sentinel said...


As ever you are the self centred, attention seeking narcissistic luvvy that wants the world to revolve around him and set the terms and rules for everyone else.

Renegade Eye has said TWICE in this thread alone - and God knows how many times elsewhere - that he doesn't want to implement your demands of censorship but yet still you try to impose your will on him and everyone else here.

And then, as always you try to claim victimhood and equity in the natural backlash of calling for others to be

1) That is your interpretation of events and not mine. You see how censorship is subjective and insidious?

2) Again, interpretation.

3) You call for freedom of speech to be abolished or curtailed and for opinion to be destroyed.

4) Actually, I didn't even mention that I served at all defending these freedoms, just the fact that you did not.

5) Oh yes I did - quite thoroughly as all there know. You might want others to have the memories of a fruit fly but most do not.

But I will prove it again here in any case:

LG: "Comments moderation please!"

DHG:" to echo and support the words of Larry Gambone, he is right"

and then

DHG: "As I said, I don't think moderation is the answer"

You are a liar.

6) I'm sure you don't like your hypocrisy held up to public scrutiny, and Im sure that is why you practise censorship yourself and incite others too - but the fact remains that your behaviour is in the gutter; you language is in the gutter and your ethics are in the gutter. FJ did not take the debate to the extremes that you did by a long chalk and it was your behaviour that closed the debate down.

Rational people are not offended by opposing opinions but they are offended by people like you insulting peoples dead mothers, laughing at incest, joking about rape and using extreme obscenities.

7) Name calling is gratuitous or inane - that is an accurate description of your behaviour.

8) "I second Larry's comment" - and as someone who uses extreme abuse and obscenities you are in good company - I have highlighted before how Larry's first reaction (quite some time ago now and in a much different place) to my posting a rational and evidenced comment linking Hillary Clinton to AIPAC was to tell me that I had been incestuously molested as a child. And it got worse from there.

9) "Also, no disrespect, but you are a relative no comer" - and this blog had the same freedom of speech policy from the start, so you are the one who is out of place here - and out of order.

10) I was able to quote one of our leading thinkers on why censorship is wrong, can you reciprocate with why censorship is right? And Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini don't count.

The fact is that unlike some many, many others, Renegade Eye clearly has integrity and conviction in his beliefs and is not afraid of opposing opinion. He doesn't need constant affirmation, doesn't need to use abuse, doesn't need to play underhanded games, and doesn't need to hide behind cowardly walls and destroy dissent.

In three years of using this medium I think Renegade Eye is the ONLY one on the left that warrants my respect because of his obvious conviction of belief and pro-freedom of speech stance.

I may not agree with his beliefs (but there are things we have agreed on) but I unreservedly respect his right to his beliefs and his freedom to express them.

That is what freedom is all about.

Anyone who wants to try and remove even one element of that is very, very dangerous and would walk us down the path of tyranny.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else, Ren, at least now you know how Oscar Arias feels when trying to mediate between Mel Zelaya & Bob Micheletti...

tony said...

Please Stand In Line And Form An Orderly Coup..........

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Tony, of course it is up to Ren, I couldn't agree more, I make no effort to dictate a thing, just wanted to agree with Larry. Also can I just add that there may be challenge that in itself is not worth anything, there is no fluidity in ideas, only a few people shouting at each other, no sharing of ideas, not in the real sense anyway but that's only my opinion.

Anonymous said...

gnothi seauton, eh Danny?

Frank Partisan said...

Daniel: I think guidelines is a good idea. Even if I don't have a moderation policy, there has always been an attempt at decorum. I'll have guidelines with the next post. It might be good for your blog as well.

Sentinel: I fought hard against left/liberals, who called Bush fascist. I would often say if he is fascist, why is your blog online? I believe from political experience, unless you are precise with your political definitions, it can only lead to incorrect political solutions. Stalin called social democrats in Germany social fascists, that led to Hitler coming to power. Trotsky opposed Hitler, eleven years before Churchill, because he had a correct definition. Daniel is not a fascist. If he was both of our blogs would be shut down.

There are other lefty blogs, that have commenters from other views.

Larry G; I believe that politically you become stronger, if you know what your opposition is thinking. An example is, "Palestinians don't exist." If I didn't interract with rightists, I would be unprepared. Another example is from FJ, you can learn every anti-Zalaya argument in the universe. On the other hand there is a dialectic. He probably never thought about socialism in one country, and what that means.

Tony: I do want to hide at times. I don't only get heat from the right.

FJ: Arias was a fool to try to mediate this struggle. Zalaya is somewhat of a historical accident, like Mousavi in Iran. Thrust at the head of a movement by circumstances. Populism is a historical accident, it comes when revolutionary leadership is absent.

Pagan: I missed the boat on Michael Jackson. As for pedophillia, how about how Paris Jackson was used by the media? That was terrible.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ab Abusu Ad Usum Non Valet Consequentia, eh FJ?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


All I will say about guidelines, by the way you can add them to the comment form itself rather than the post, is that they need you to enforce them, if needed that is.

As FJ points out it would not be wise to have people requesting they are deleted.

As for guidelines over at mine, I don't need them, my posts to not stir debate as over here, also, I am being attacked by a BNP supporter at the moment who is using anti-Semitic, racist, sexually abusive language directed at me and my partner, hence the moderation.

He has not interest in any guidelines and the soul aim is to hurt me, which is a shame.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye,

Actually, I never called hoffman-gill a fascist per se, I said that fascists are defined by their actions not by labels and given that the word 'fascist' appears to have no real hard and fast meaning (I would be interested in your definition of fascism though) the closest accepted definition of its main features is the actual or desired suppression of freedom of speech and opposition through authoritarianism and censorship, and hoffman-gill most certainly fits into that bracket.

The "guidelines" nonsense proffered by him is not even remotely in good faith, it is just another attempt by this shallow narcissist to have some control over someone else's realm when his main tenet of outright censorship has been flatly rejected; I think that and his disingenuous claims to disagree with censorship - known in the blog world as "comment moderation" - can be quite easily gathered given the fact that: 1) he is the only one on this blog (and elsewhere) that I have seen in need of any guidelines on acceptable language and behaviour 2) he practices censorship and underhanded games himself on his own blog (unacceptable comments take one second to delete) 3) he enthusiastically agreed with censorship here already 4) if this is his approach to something as abstract and insignificant as a blog, can you imagine given any real power what he would do?

Now I'm no physchic but I can safely predict that the next step after the "guidelines", the next game, will then will be to constantly challenge everyman and his dog - especially you - that these guidelines have been breached and his target - invariably a dissenter from the shallow hoffman-gill world of the PC party line - needs to be censored and / or banned as he so desires.

You watch and see if I'm right...

But all in all, given that this guy loves to throw labels around as often as he blinks in order to maliciously pigeon hole an opinion and as a prerequisite to some sort of self perceived moral authority for abuse, it has hardly been an injustice that he has been held to a standard and introduced to a label himself.

When all is said and done, this blog is your ball, play with it how you will - it is not really an important issue in life.

Incidentally, I can follow your logic about if Bush was fascist why were blogs still online, but not even by a long stretch can I comprehend "Daniel is not a fascist. If he was both of our blogs would be shut down" - how does that even compute?

And where are these elusive blogs you speak of?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Sentinel, I know you're a coward but the terrible backwards move you've just done on denying insinuating I was a fascist is quite amusing.

Your definition of fascist is also wrong, you know as well I do that fascism is a politcal ideology first and foremost, the key criteria being a highly authorative nationalism and corporatist economic strategy.

Fascism is the idea that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict, where only the strong survive. It's about single party states that dispise the capitalist liberal democracies for its creation and communists for exploiting the concept.

Fascism is anti-individualism, anti-rationalism, anti-liberalism, anti-conservatism and anti-communism.

That is fascism.

I find it odd that you keep attacking me Sentinel, I ignored your previous lengthy comment but still you have to pick, to attack me, don't you?

I will repeat, I have no interest in censorship here but a safe environment, that is all.

You keep digging up old arguments and vomiting them back up to no effect.

Plenty of people on here need some level of guidance on their comments, both you, FJ, Pagan and many others, myself included have stepped over the line often enough.

Also, the only comments I delete on my blog are ones that use personal insults or attacks, hence why I have moderation on at the moment, or to avoid tit-for-tat comment degeneration, like we have here; where tow immovable objects trade insults.

You are obsessed with me Sentinel and passing judgement.

I challenge you to stop commenting about me, I challenge you to leave me alone, I challenge you to ignore me and leave me in peace here so I can return?

Can you do that please?

Anonymous said...

Every state, modern or ancient, requires an executioner if there is to be any semblance of order maintained in that state (Joseph de Maistre). Absolute "free speech" on a blog is for anarchists and idiots.

I've got no problem w/Ren being the comment "judge" and "executioner" provided he never allows Hoffman-Gill a say in specifically who/what/when a comment gets executed/deleted.

Anonymous said...

ps- Danny, gnothi seauton. But then, I repeat myself.

The Sentinel said...


Straight to the baseless argumentum ad hominem you claim to loath and wish to regulate! (Under section 3 of your own code actually.)

We both know that you a real coward: From the small things like not turning up to that little event (and of course telling no one else before hand), then lying about it in a most exaggerated fashion, then making a post about me and then enabling comment moderation in order to slag me off without recourse - through to the major things like casually calling for the curb on freedoms that you have never bothered to defend.

I haven't backtracked at all, nor did I "deny" insinuating you are a fascist; I say it straight out here: I think you are a fascist.

What I did was to rationally analyse my actual utterances in line with Renegade Eye's response. That was all. I work on logic, not empty populist emotion and hysteria. But I am highly amused that you find there could be any possible reason as to why I would make a "terrible backwards move" - what possible consequence would there be that would make do that?!! Absolutely none that I know of. That is the major difference between you and I - I am honest, I say exactly what I mean even if it is unpopular or uncomfortable or has politically motivated consequences- the principle of 'even in minority of one, the truth is still the truth.'

As for your definition of fascism, I wonder how long it took you on goggle to collate such a disparate list of features, and then fail to understand the fundamental principle that without individuals there are no parties, no movements - without fascist people there are no fascist governments (though you have no trouble calling individuals 'Nazis'.) Orwell, a great thinker who actually fought fascists had this to say: "The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable" and the closest Mussolini came to defining his movement was the "mergence of corporation and state" - the reason being, and the reason that it so hard for people to independently define is that it was a totally nihilistic; a black hole; power for powers sake.

And that sums you up perfectly; you don't appear to actually believe in anything at all other then your own infalliablity. No core belief, no ideolgy no postion just a mindless sheeple regurgitation of the current populist PC sentiment.

As for the rest of your gibberish, I have already provided your online track record of you insulting peoples dead mothers, laughing at incest, joking about rape and using extreme obscenities, including the term "slimy c*nt" here on this blog - so don't make me laugh about wanting a "safe environment." You are a hypocrite of the worst type. Are you really surprised that you seem to attract so much hatred - no on else that comments on this blog seems to get that much malicious attention directed towards them - why is that, do you think?

And onto another lie - "the only comments I delete on my blog are ones that use personal insults or attacks" you also use censorship to hide behind whilst insulting people and lying about people.

You are as see through as you are shallow with all your pathetic "I challenge you" rubbish - that is exactly what you crave; I have rarely seen you express an on-topic opinion here or anywhere else; it always seems to degenerate into a gutter farce whenever you appear.

I challenge you to be a normal rational human being who accepts that people have ideas and opinions other then the ones you subscribe to and they are entitled to air them so long as they use logic and evidence; I challenge you to stop your extreme abuse online and stop blaming the "heat of the moment" when we all know that first you have to log in, then type your comment, then enter the anti spam letters, then hit publish; I challenge you to be honest and use reason rather then emotion, facts rather then slogans in debate. Can you do that please?

The Sentinel said...


I agree, but my point here - and I think it will become a "miraculous prophecy" - is that hoffman-gill will use any such "guidelines" to constantly challenge everyman and his dog (and especially RE) over these guidelines rather then the real business of any blog in expressing actual on-topic opinions and debating them.

In fact, after I posted my last comment I then noticed he had already put his foot in the door with that one saying "all I will say about that they need you to enforce them,if needed that is" - and I'm willing to wager that it will indeed be needed, and frequently too, and unfortunately it will all fall down to him to do battle on it.

Anonymous said...

...and if he does, we'll simply refer Ren back to the "zeroeth law" of blog hosting ethics stated previously:

"All appeals to the blog owner for the censoring of other bloggers comments will be immediately deleted w/o consideration, as they fall into the "silly and abusive comment" category."

Which would put all of Danny's posts squarely in the trash where they belong.

Frank Partisan said...

The new guidelines are up.

We can start fresh, with the next post.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to work on your use of commas and "and/or" statements, Ren... I'd go with:

Misogynist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic OR abusive comments will not be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Much better.

Now, enjoy!

Saul Alinsky, "Rules for Radicals"

4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."

Anonymous said...

Here's my blog's disclaimer:

This is an open, yet selectively censored forum. We encourage courtesy, but are not responsible for the comments from any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other “off color" comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk. And if you don't want to be selectively censored by the blog owner, then don't post! And if you don't like what you see, then leave. Nobody forced you to come here to read.

You'll notice there are no rules. I simply delete whomsoever I feel like deleting...

Anonymous said...

...a blog is your property, Ren. It's yours to do with however YOU see fit. Others need to butt the hell out.