Commentary: Zelaya's bad move

The latest antics by deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya bring to mind the line by comedian Arte Johnson on the old Laugh-In TV program: "Verrry interesting . . . but stupid."

What was Mr. Zelaya thinking when he decided to sneak into Honduras and seek asylum at the Brazilian Embassy? Far from helping to resolve the political crisis, his reckless move made matters worse. It increased political tension throughout the country and reduced the chances of finding a peaceful diplomatic solution.

The interim government of Roberto Micheletti predictably dug in its heels. It called out the military to control protesters, clamped down on civil liberties and pledged anew that Mr. Zelaya would never regain the presidency. Mr. Zelaya hardly helped his own cause by claiming that phantom "Israeli mercenaries" were out to get him and that his enemies were using brain-addling gas and radiation against him. Outrageous.

The bizarre comments injected a comic-opera note into the unfolding story, all of which makes for great political theater. But it's hardly a laughing matter when the country is under curfew to prevent more violence and Honduras remains diplomatically isolated and politically paralyzed.

Mr. Zelaya should have jumped at the chance to present his case before the U.N. General Assembly, where he was scheduled to appear, instead of making this dramatic but ill-considered gesture. He acted like a cowboy instead of a statesman.

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