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Archive for June, 2009

Conspiracy Theorists Blame CIA on Honduras Coup

June 29th, 2009
Easy target.

Easy target.

It didn’t take long for the usual suspects to start theorizing that the United States was behind the ouster of Honduras’ leftist president, Manuel Zelaya. As we’ve discussed elsewhere, it is easy to blame the CIA for everything that happens in Latin America. The intellectual luminaries over at the Democratic Underground are squabbling amongst themselves over the extent of Agency involvement, as are some Ron Paul supporters, but the prize goes to Prison Planet’s theory that the CIA orchestrated the coup because Zelaya wanted to legalize drugs and, well, the CIA just loves the drug war too much to let that happen.

Staff Articles

Chavez’s Hollow Pledge on Honduras

June 27th, 2009
Student protests. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

Student protests. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

Hondurans face a political crisis this weekend. Summary by the WSJ:

The president’s term ends in January, following November presidential elections. But Sunday’s referendum would allow voters in November to call for a new constitution. The president’s opponents say he plans to use a new constitution to scrap term limits and run for re-election when his four-year term ends in January.

Opposition forces have organized demonstrations against President Manuel Zelaya, a leftist held in high regard in the capitals of Venezuela, Boliva, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Hugo Chavez, not one to let an opportunity to bluster go by, has promised to “do whatever it takes to ensure the sovereignty of Honduras and its people are respected.”

Staff Articles

Hamas in Iran?

June 19th, 2009
Tete-a-tete between the leaders of Hamas and Iran. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Tete-a-tete between the leaders of Hamas and Iran. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Claims published by the Jerusalem Post that Hamas fighters have arrived in Tehran to bolster Iranian state security forces have been picked up by other outlets, including Michael Totten at Commentary Magazine. Bellum remains skeptical for logistical reasons. Simply put, how would Hamas get its people to Iran? A road trip across Iraq? From Gaza to Cairo to Tehran, past Israeli security? What are we missing here? More likely that these fighters pledge allegiance to either Badr or Sadr.

We welcome comments.

Staff Articles

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June 6th, 2009

The New Dear Leader…

June 2nd, 2009

This from the Washington Post/AP today:

The youngest son of authoritarian leader Kim Jong Il, he appears to have led a cloistered life, pulled back home after his Swiss schooldays and kept out of the limelight.

But he’s already being hailed as “our Commander Kim,” and North Koreans are busy learning the lyrics to a new song praising him as the next leader of the world’s first communist dynasty, South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said Tuesday.

South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers the Pyongyang regime has begun “pledging its allegiance to Kim Jong Un,” legislator Park Jie-won said Tuesday. The Hankook Ilbo newspaper said the announcement was made after North Korea’s provocative underground nuclear test last week.

Staff Articles

Special Guest: Hank Crumpton

June 2nd, 2009
crumptonbellum

Hank Crumpton

Veteran CIA officer and former State Department counterterrorism official Hank Crumpton joins Bellum today for some exclusive Q&A. After 9/11, he led CIA operations in Afghanistan as we hunted for Osama bin Laden and overthrew the Taliban. Now the head of the Crumpton Group, an international business consulting firm, he was kind enough to sit for an interview in his D.C. office earlier this month. Widely regarded as a seasoned professional, Ambassador Crumpton walks us through his thoughts on America’s “exceptional” global role and the “virtue of intelligence” in what he describes as a “very complex, very dangerous world.”

Tristan Abbey Q&A