Rule of Law Index 2010 published

Original text 2010-10-15: Yesterday a rule of law index was published covering 35 nations. They covered 9 aspects, and presented the results over a hundred pages, but did not provide any overview. Therefore I’ve compiled the data and made the following simple graph, with all the scores at a glance.

Rule of Law index 2010 (click for full size)
Rule of Law index 2010 (click for full size)

Sweden got the highest score, while the United States only came in the ninth place, between France and Spain. Most Latin American countries ended up below the middle with almost the same score, but Bolivia – the only ALBA country included – ended up in the bottom 10% in this global comparison.

Update 2010-10-18: Having read that corruption is correlated with the form of government, with parliamentary systems being less corrupt than presidential systems, I decided to add an analysis of the form of government to this rule of law index by calculating the average position for each form of government. Result:

Parliamentary monarchy: Average 6.9 (7 countries).

Parliamentary republic: Average 5.2 (8 countries).

Full presidential republic: Average 4.4 (15 countries).

The parliamentary monarchy is also known as constitutional monarchy. There were also two semi-presidential republics, two semi-constitutional monarchies, and one parliamentary republic where the president is also head of government, in the list.

It would seem that the parliamentary monarchy is clearly superior, but one should keep in mind that monarchies only appear in countries that have been stable for a long time, and there is a clear correlation between low corruption and long time of stable government. The most interesting comparison is therefore between the two main forms of republics: The full presidential republic, and the parliamentary republic. The latter comes out the winner hands down. This graph illustrates it strikingly:

Rule of Law score as a function of Form of Government.
Rule of Law score as a function of Form of Government. Green = parliamentarian monarchies (e.g. Sweden, Canada), blue = parliamentarian republics (e.g. Austria, India), red = full presidential republics (e.g. USA, Latin America).

In a parliamentary republic the president is the head of state, and represents the country. The head of government, on the other hand, is a prime minister (premier), often the party leader of the biggest party in the parliament (or the leading party in a coalition). The cabinet, which may or may not be selected from members of parliament, takes decisions by majority vote, runs the bureaucracy much like the board of directors in a corporation, prepares the budget, and prepares major legislative proposals. The cabinet can be dismissed by a vote of no confidence by the parliament, for whatever reason. When that happens the head of state has to ask someone else to form the government, and if unsuccessful, may have to call for an extra election to change the balance of power in the parliament.

This is the typical system in Germanic Europe, but in the Americas it is virtually unknown south of Canada. Given the attacks on democracy that is taking place in Latin America, including Honduras, I would submit that going towards a parliamentary republic would strengthen democracy. Experience post WWII shows that parliamentary republics are likely to succeed in establishing democracy, but presidential republics are likely to suffer coups and authoritarian setbacks.

Everyone concerned about rule of law, democracy, and prosperity – in Honduras, Nicaragua, or elsewhere – would be well advised to consider separating the role of head of government from the presidency, so that the latter only remains head of state, and to let the popularly elected parliament exercise oversight over the head of government and his cabinet. This is a constitutional reform that makes sense, and that can be done completely legally.

Latin America’s Vanishing Democracy a Threat to Peace

Nicaragua cannot be called a democracy any more with a straight face. The president has stacked the Supreme Court, had them declare that he can run for re-election contrary to the constitution, had a new constitution printed when Congress refused to change it to his liking, and ignores blatant election fraud such as tossing 100% of opponent votes in the garbage bin.

This appears to be part of a plan to perpetuate the Ortegas at power. The plan is spearheaded by Venezuela, backed by Cuba, and includes Ecuador and Bolivia, while El Salvador and the Dominican Republic are “candidates”. Also Honduras is on the list.

Until now, Honduras has been the only country to effectively fight back and stand up for democracy.

Unfortunately, it may have been a temporary victory. The new president, Lobo, by claiming to follow instructions from abroad by financial necessity, appears to be playing a double game. It would seem that he is on the one hand pretending to act as though Zelaya’s deposing last year was a coup d’état that his country now has to atone for, while on the other hand he is doing things in a way that benefits the South American cocaine communists. Examples include not funding the fight against crime sufficiently, while engaging groups that don’t recognize the legitimacy of his government in discussing plans for throwing out the constitution by holding a “constituyente” – even though the Supreme Court has already declared that unconstitutional.

Real democracy requires rule of law. The pseudo-democracy of Chavez is democracy only to the name. The society lacks rule of law, lacks respect for property, lacks respect for laws and the constitution, and cooperates more or less openly with criminal and terrorist organizations.

Chavez allegedly buys other countries for $1 billion per year. That way he also gains votes in international organizations. When the OAS and the UN turn into tools for criminals and terrorists, gradually changing the majority, then the whole international framework of peace and stability is endangered. Venezuela is already supplying uranium to Iran, and Russia has agreed to build nuclear reactors in Venezuela – a country in which narco-terrorists control part of the territory without objection from the government.

What happens with Honduras and Latin America is crucially important for the security analysis of any country, also Sweden. Unfortunately, Latin America does not even seem to be on the radar in Europe. It is all Africa and Asia, leaving Latina America for the US to “handle”. A task that they apparently are incapable of, given that the US itself has the same flaws in its constitution that makes systemic corruption possible and legal.

The war of aggression on Iraq suggests that some US Republicans are way too close to the military-industrial complex. The reaction of part of the US Democrats after Zelaya’s attempted coup d’état and resulting deposal in Honduras on June 28, 2009, suggests that they are closer than comfortable to the narco-communists of South America.

The only thing that can save peace, liberty, and democracy, is if normal people wake up from their complacency, stop believing the hate messages spread by those wanting to control them, and insist on the rule of law. The single most important objective is to insist on the rule of law, and to refuse to be scared silent.

Footnote: A few days after writing this, Washington Post had an editorial on the same topic, Nicaragua, Honduras and hypocrisy.

Knark-kommunisternas planer avslöjade: 15-års “Reich”

Ett dokument som påstås vara upprättat vid ett besök i Nicaragua av Venezuelas president Hugo Chávez (spanska, engelska) lägger fram hela den välgenomtänkta planen för hur Latinamerikanska länder skall tas över, köpta för en miljard dollar per land och år av Venezuela. Vare sig dokumentet är äkta eller förfalskat så är det intressant, för hela strategin som presenteras har redan implementerats i ett eller flera länder. Min egen reflektion då jag läste det var att Chávez verkar ha studerat hur nationalsocialisterna kom till makten i Tyskland, för likheterna i strategin är slående.

Pepe Lobo och Mel Zelaya är inte bara kompisar, de verkar också ha liknande intressen.
Pepe Lobo och Mel Zelaya är inte bara kompisar, de verkar också ha liknande intressen. Lobo har nu startat en process för att ändra grundlagen så att en konstituerande grundlagsförsamling kan hållas - just det projekt som fick Mel att förlora presidentposten den 28 juni, 2009. Projektet är i grund och botten knark-kommunism.

En artikel om dokumentet har även publicerats på Huffington Post, vilket är anmärkningsvärt eftersom det är en blogg på vänsterkanten som tills nyligen varit ensidigt Chávez-vänlig. Detta betyder att vinden kanske har vänt, så Honduras inte längre behöver stå ensamt i kampen mot detta hot mot frihet och demokrati i Amerika. Ojala.

Notera att dokumentet, upprättat i januari 2009 enligt vad källan påstår, säger att Zelaya skall återväljas i november 2009 (presidentval hölls den 29 november). Problemet är att en president inte kan återväljas i Honduras. Därför skulle grundlagen ändras, det är en av punkterna i programmet. I mars 2009 utlyste Zelaya mycket riktigt en folkomröstning den 28 juni, om att hålla en folkomröstning den 29 november, om att tillsätta en konstituerande grundlagsförsamling. Han påstod att han själv inte skulle kunna väljas om, officiellt, men sanningen läckte ändå ut. Ledande personer i Honduras kände till planen redan före den 28 juni.

Planen var att folkomröstningen skulle riggas (Zelaya vann), han skulle på natten förklara att resultatet var så överväldigande att han bestämt sig för att utlysa grundlagsförsamlingen meddetsamma (massvis med Chávez-media var där och nyheten var redan skriven), han skulle så utse sig själv till ordförande för den, skriva om grundlagen så att han kunde bli omvald, och kasta ut resultatet av de redan hållna primärvalen genom fönstret. Det faktum att han inte anslagit några medel till de ordinarie valen visar tydligt att han inte avsåg att de skulle hållas.

Riksåklagaren hade väckt åtal för detta försök till att hålla en grundlagsvidrig folkomröstning, och högsta domstolen hade utfärdad ett direkt förbud mot alla i landet att på något sätt delta i den. De krävde också att presidenten rapporterade senast den 25 juni om deras order att stoppa planerna. Då han inte lämnade någon sådan rapport utfärdades en arresteringsorder för honom. Militären förstod att fienden hade förberett ett motdrag om presidenten arresterades, i form av ett väpnat upplopp lett av beväpnade infiltratörer, stormtrupper, från Venezuela. Därför sändes presidenten istället utomlands, och gränserna stängdes, med hänvisning till nationellt nödvärn. De agerade som om rikets säkerhet var hotat av en irreguljär attack. Dokumentet från Nicaragua stödjer deras hotbild.

Vad dokumentet inte nämner är den starka kopplingen mellan vänstergerillor och knarksmugglare i Sydamerika. Knarksmugglingen är dock inte så omfattande i Nicaragua, där säkerhetsstyrkorna har lyckats bekämpa den rätt effektivt. Honduras däremot fungerar sedan några år som landningsbana för hundratals eller till och med tusentals knarkflygningar varje år. Omkring 150 ton kokain passerar landet, uppskattas det. Medan Nicaragua knappt har några landningsbanor (vilket kunde slutat illa för mig men det är en annan historia) har Honduras massvis eftersom en stor del av landet är väglöst.

Värdet av det kokain som smugglas genom Honduras varje år är mer än dubbelt så stort som landets bruttonationalprodukt, vilket jag skrev om på Newsmill igår. Det är en Davids kamp mot Goliath som det lilla landet som kunde utkämpar. Men en dag, det är jag säker på, kommer de att få erkännande för att ha stått upp för fred, frihet, lag och rätt, den dag de avsatte Zelaya och de 7 månader de, under Micheletti, vägrade vika en tum för omvärldens påtryckningar. Om det finns någon rättvisa i världen så kommer de att hyllas en dag.

PS. Sverige kan ta åt sig en del av äran för att de stått upp för dessa höga värderingar, för vårt land har under flera år hjälp till att bygga upp kompetens inom demokrati, och den institution som även i Honduras kallas “ombudsman” för mänskliga rättigheter.

Publicerat 09:28 ET, sist uppdaterat 17:06 ET.

The Truth Commission in Honduras

The political crisis in Honduras last year ended in an agreement, the Guaymuras Accord, in which it was stipulated in point 6 that a Truth Commission be formed to investigate what really led up to the crisis, so that the risk of repetition can be minimized. The commission is working since this Spring, and the report is due in early 2011.

The text gives these instructions, in my translation: “With the purpose of clarifying the events occurred before and after June 28, 2009, a Truth Commission will also be created that will identify the acts that led to the present situation, and present to the Honduran people elements to avoid that these acts are repeated in the future.” The Spanish original reads, “Con el fin de esclarecer los hechos ocurridos antes y después del 28 de junio de 2009, se creará también una Comisión de la Verdad que identifique los actos que condujeron a la situación actual, y proporcione al pueblo de Honduras elementos para evitar que estos hechos se repitan en el futuro.

On the website of the Truth Commission, a scheme of inquiry is described.

A work plan for the truth commission could rather look something like what I will describe here. It is based on the scientific method, in which one erects an hypothesis and then tries to prove it wrong.

  1. Erect the hypothesis that the institutions (the courts, the congress, etc.) acted correctly in relation to the deposing of Zelaya, and try to disprove this hypothesis. Note that it would be scientifically wrong to erect the hypothesis that they acted incorrectly, since that hypothesis is virtually impossible to disprove. The burden of proof has to be on the one that claims that they acted wrong, not on the one that claims they acted correctly. Therefore, the null hypothesis must be that they acted correctly.
  2. Establish a paper trail for what happened, gather documents and other evidence and try to verify their veracity.
  3. Evaluate the actions (by Zelaya and others) and the reactions (by the judicial branch) step by step, in chronological order, based on the Honduran Constitution, the Honduran law, and Honduran jurisprudence.
  4. Repeat this procedure for each institution, i.e., the legislative, the prosecutor, the military, the police, and so on.
  5. For every case where someone acted outside the law, verify if the case was dealt with appropriately by the judicial.

If no proof of wrongdoing can be found with this approach, then the hypothesis is retained, and the institutions are found to have acted within the law. If some wrongdoing is found, then one must follow up and see how that wrongdoing was dealt with (point 5). If it was dealt with appropriately, then, too, the institutionality of Honduras shall be deemed to have passed the hypothesis-testing.

Jumping the gun, what it will come down to is the expatriation of Zelaya. We already know that those responsible were prosecuted. The question is rather if Zelaya was held harmless;in other words, if his legal rights were respected the same in the light of his illegal expatriation, as they would have been had he instead been thrown in jail as the arrest warrant ordered. This is of course somewhat of an hypothetical, since he has not returned to Honduras to face justice. The only way to find out if there is justice or not is, really, for him to return and defend himself in court.

If the commission does its work appropriately, we will have authoritative answers to these questions:

  1. Does the Supreme Court have the authority of arrest the president (based on Honduran jurisprudence, of course)?
  2. Did the Supreme Court, on June 26 when the arrest warrant was issued, have due cause for issuing the arrest warrant?
  3. Does the Supreme Court have the authority to relieve the president from office, temporarily or permanently?
  4. Does the Congress have the authority to relieve the president from office, temporarily or permanently?
  5. Who issued the order to expatriate Mel Zelaya?
  6. Has the one(s) who issued the order to expatriate Mel Zelaya been prosecuted according to the laws?
  7. Has Zelaya’s legal rights been safeguarded, before and after he was illegally expatriated?

The more important question may not be if the commission will do its job correctly, but if media will report its conclusions correctly.

The Risks and how to Mitigate them

It seems clear beyond reasonable doubt that there is a concerted attack against Honduras carried out by certain groups, the face of which is Hugo Chavez. The tools of the attack are not military, the goal is not a military victory. Rather, the tools are manipulation of the media story by means of false news and control of the media news cycle, and the goal is to make Honduras ungovernable, so that the smuggling of cocaine to the north can be carried out cheap and safely – relatively speaking. Only the cocaine economy can explain the vast investment that is being made in this attack on Honduras institutions of government. We are talking about tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars “invested” in destroying Honduras. This is a cold war precisely as Adolf Hitler intended when he coined the term.

Understanding their goal we can predict their strategy. There is no doubt in my mind that they will write their story-lines and edit their news coverage in advance of the release of the report from the truth commission. Once the report is out they will quickly scan it for a quote that they can use to “support” their story, and then quickly go out with their version of what the commission actually said. By being quick, they hope that the other media, like AP, AFP, EFE, and Reuters, will run with their version instead of taking the time to actually read the report.

Judging from how those news agencies have acted in the past, I’d predict that the strategy is going to work.

The only ones that can prevent this willful distortion of the commissions report is the commission itself. If they desire for the truth to be known, they have to manage the news themselves.

The most important counter-measure is to remove the possibility for the enemy of Honduras to act. The opportunity for the enemy is in the moment when the report is released. The mitigation must therefore be to not release the report all at once at the end. A range of methods can be used, and some have already started.

Social media: The commission is already using social media to communicate with people, thus gradually diffusing information about the process and gaining confidence.

Radio: They could cooperate with radio shows to discuss subjects on air, taking questions and even discussing with people who call in. This, too, will gradually diffuse their findings and undermine the chances for the enemy to spin the story when the final report comes.

Leaks: By leaking findings in advance, the enemy is denied the chance to spin, or lie, about these facts later.

Galleys: Provide copies of the report to select news outlets about a week in advance of the official release date so that they have time to read it and write their own, accurate, stories.

What is essential here is to understand that some media are not news outlets, but propaganda organizations. They must be treated accordingly. While they pretend to be news outlets and claim to be protected by the rules of journalistic freedom, they really are the enemy in disguise. It is a tricky business to on the one hand not violate their rights, and on the other hand not allow them to play the game they want. It’s like a game of chess, but it’s not a game, what is at stake is human lives. Millions of human lives.

“U” i USA står nog för U-land

Döm själva. Skatteverket skickar ut ett kravbrev i vilket det påstås att ett företag i somras deklarerat att de för 2 år sedan hade en anställd för vilken de är skyldiga arbetsgivaravgifter, avgifter som företaget inte betalat in. De kräver dels den påstått självdeklarerade arbetsgivaravgiften, dels ränta, och dels straffavgift för att deklarationen kom in 2 år för sent.

Företaget kontaktar skatteverket och talar om att de inte har sänt in någon sådan deklaration. De hade nämligen ännu inga anställda vid den tid det gäller. Skatteverket nonchalerar skrivelsen och hotar med inkasso.

Företaget ringer då skatteverket och ber att få se den deklarationsblankett som de påstår sig ha fått. Men för att få se det bevis som skatteverket påstår sig ha för företagets skuld, måste företaget betala en avgift till skatteverket.

Det är Kafka-likt. Tänk dig att du är anklagad för fortkörning fast du vet att du kröp fram. Du vet att polisen har bevis för din oskuld, men för att få tillgång till de bevisen måste du betala polisen. Ren utpressning. Maffian hade inte kunnat organisera USAs skatteverk bättre.

Det är inte att undra på att USA håller på att gå käpprätt åt helvete. Vare sig det är galopperande inkompetens, eller det faktiskt är maffian som organiserat den federala byråkratin, så är det oroväckande för framtiden.

I USA kritiseras gärna FN för sin byråkrati, men min personliga erfarenhet är att FNs byråkrati är ett under av effektivitet jämfört med USAs byråkrati. Kanske beror på att FN fungerar på ett mycket svenskt sätt – vilket jag misstänker hänger ihop med Dag Hammarskjölds insats. En välfungerande byråkrati är maffians värsta fiende. Månne det är orsaken till att den organiserade brottslighet som infiltrerat USAs etablissemang hatar FN så hjärtligt?

Doctor in Quito: President Correa Behind Military Attack on Hospital

A message has arrived in Spanish, that alleges to be written by a medical doctor who was attending president Ragael Correa in Quito, Ecuador, in the Police Hospital on 30 September. This is the original text:

El Dr. Fernando Vargas, médico Bioquímico Farmacéutico, Coordinador de Medicinas e Insumos Médicos del Hospital Quito No.1 de la Policía Nacional ecuatoriana cuenta detalles del llamado “secuestro” presidencial.
En una nota que nos envía explica lo lamentable de los eventos ese día.
La publico pues coincide con las apreciaciones que antes escribí en estas páginas.
He aquí su reporte:

“El señor presidente nunca estuvo en calidad de secuestrado, estuvo siendo atendido por el personal médico del hospital de la Policía, después que de una manera prepotente, en vez de conciliadora realiza el desafío incoherente que lo maten si son valientes, nadie quería matarlo ni derrocar al régimen, es mas desde el interior del Hospital el dio varias declaraciones vía telefónica en múltiples ocasiones durante el día.
Minutos antes del salvaje asalto militar a esta casa de salud (ojo, no cuartel policial) con armas de grueso calibre y municiones reales en donde se encuentran mujeres, niños y ancianos la mayoría de ellos graves, pues nadie va a un hospital de vacaciones, con diferentes dolencias y que por la gran lluvia de gases y la balacera sin medida resultaron con asfixia y crisis nerviosas.
Ya se estaba cantando el Himno Nacional y preparada la calle de honor por la que se disponía a salir el Sr. Presidente para ser trasladado al Palacio de Gobierno, por tanto, la incursión fue provocada por este cobarde para ganar protagonismo, hacerse la víctima y mantener su postura de prepotencia.
Compañero transmite este mensaje a todos tus contactos para que sepan la verdad y no como lo dicen que fue un secuestro y mucho menos un intento golpista.

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador in hospital after being exposed to tear gas Sept 30, 2010
President Rafael Correa of Ecuador in hospital after being exposed to tear gas Sept 30, 2010

In short, the doctor says that Correa was there to receive treatment, that he was never held against his will, and that they were just preparing to dismiss him with honors – even singing the national anthem – when he himself had the military attack the hospital in order to make him seem a victim and to gain sympathy. A hospital with women, children, sick people (!), was attacked with live ammo, just for political effect, by the country’s commander in chief, according to this report.

Media: WSJ has a more detailed story by Mary O’Grady, supported by a handful of witnesses (in Spanish).

Update: Even several days after this came out, Liberal Swedish newspaper DN still carries the official version from the ALBA-nation, affiliated with the narcoterrorist-sympathizer Hugo Chavez.

Sit still in the boat, please!

Could the chaos described in this article be the beginning of the end of USA as we know it? In short, a database over property ownership that was created in USA in the careless decade that past, has broken the trail of title. In other words, the real title-holder is the last one to have a proper paper title, which may be a different person than the one registered in that private database. So?

Well, it means that a lot of lenders will have a very hard time to get their money back from borrowers. Tens of thousands of foreclosures have been stopped in all 23 states that require judicial review, but also the other states are affected.

This threatens to create utter chaos in the financial markets.

Remember last time that happened? The world economy was on the brink of collapse.

USA is slowly crawling out of the Great Recession, the largest economical downturn since the Great Depression. The latter was a double-dip recession. Will the Great Recession also get a second dip, and develop a W-shaped graph?

If the article I linked to is correct, there is reason for worry. The only thing left to happen for the bottom to fall out is if the financial markets panic again, as in 2008. So, please don’t panic. Sit still in the boat and let the captain and the crew sort out this problem, OK? And pray that they start getting serious with creating a proper government-controlled cadaster, and why not modeled on the one in Sweden.

This is serious. USA has to stop the brainless partisan fighting and start solving the issues.

First Honduras, now Ecuador?

Update 2010-10-01: The president was brought out from the Police Hospital by the military last night, after a firefight with the police that we could see on live TV here in Miami. There was never a declaration of a coup, and the whole things seems to have been nothing but a protest that went out of hand when someone fired a tear gas grenade in the face of the president. In that respect this event was of a completely different nature than last year’s events in Honduras.

In Honduras, the protests started with peaceful mass demonstrations, in which unarmed civilians dressed in white demanded that the president respect the constitution and the rule of law. At the same time, a judicial process was being carried out against the president in the courts. The first loss of life was many days after the president had been deposed, and then as a result of a deliberate stratagem to create a martyr, staged by the deposed president and his supporters.

In Ecuador the kettle immediately boiled over as a result of seemingly spontaneous protests by the police, and, weapons being fired, it caused the loss of lives on both sides the first day. Yet the situation is similar in many respects in the two countries. Both were members of ALBA, and both presidents were taking bribes from a foreign country, Venezuela (the so-called ALBA “loans”), thus potentially committing treason but at the very least a severe case of corruption.

Another similarity is that both presidents were pursuing policies that threatened the very existence of the popularly elected Congress, the ultimate voice of the people between elections: Zelaya by holding a referendum that would have opened the door for him to abolish the constitution, and Correa by threatening to abolish the Congress and rule by dictates. Anybody concerned with the rule of law and democratic institutions thus had reason to distrust the president in both countries.

Honduras painstakingly pursued a legal process to stop their president, peaceful protests coupled with a judicial process. It is the civilized way to do things.

Coup d’etats can never be justified, and that goes for autogolpes, too. If Correa insists in his plans he will be guilty of an autogolpe, but that in and of itself does not justify the police starting to riot in the streets. The deposing of a self-coupster has to be initiated in the proper democratic institutions, as was the case in Honduras. The rule of law cannot be defended by violating the rule of law.

Original text 2010-09-30: Yesterday I blogged about how Honduras could have started a new centrist trend in Latin America when the democratic institutions, led by the popularly elected Congress – got rid of an increasingly despotic president.

Today the fury of the masses was directed at Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa, who also is showing increasingly despotic traits. The president was taken to a hospital, allegedly injured by tear gas as police was protesting.

The word is that there is a strong sentiment among ordinary people that he has to go, but as I write this nobody has declared that he has been replaced. Perhaps it will, this time, stay at a strong warning sign for Correa, and not develop into a coup. Or maybe not.

At any rate, here is a reminder to him that no president is above the law:

Ceremonial Pajamas of the Republic of Honduras
The Ceremonial Pajamas of the Republic of Honduras is offered as a loan to Ecuador (or Nicaragua, or even Cuba), but they need to return it promptly after use in case it is needed again, I am told.

A friend was flying out today but the flight was cancelled when it was about to take off, as the military blocked the runway. Stay tuned.

Swedish Media: DN.