the National

"We Are Not Here to Fight for Press Freedom"

The National wanted to be the Times of the Middle East. It failed

In 2008, when a new government-owned newspaper debuted in the Persian Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, it was greeted as the latest sign of the formerly sleepy oil town’s cosmopolitan ambitions. The island city of around 900,000 was in the process of making itself home to a series of prestigious Western institutions. Plans had been hatched for branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums, as well as campuses of New York University and the Sorbonne.

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When Manuel Zelaya was deposed as president of Honduras with the support of the Supreme Court, the National Congress, the attorney general and most of his own party, much of Latin America went into conniptions about safeguarding the constitution. Of course, that was precisely the issue. Zelaya was about to traduce the constitution, which forbade extension of the chief executive's term, precisely his intention. This is common in the lower part of the Western Hemisphere, and it is the opus operandi of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Zelaya's chosen instrument was a referendum, the tool of tyrants.

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The Case of Honduras

A fragile democracy on the edge of a whirlwind.

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