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Sunday, July 30, 2006 

US Media's Aggression towards López Obrador

It is not a surprise that the Bush administration has been chagrining by the Latin American New Left. The electoral results throughout South America have not been going Dudya's way, the countries being governed by new left-leaning presidents are: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Chile. And when it comes to attacking unbacked leaders, the US is famous for its propaganda style attacks, such as those used during the US "dirty wars" in the 1980s.

The White House maintained that the an official policy is not to intervening in other countries' elections. However, this rule has always been violated when it concerns US interest and Mexico is no exception.

In February 2005, in congressional testimony, then-CIA director Porter Goss included Mexico in a review of "potential areas for instability," placing the country in the company of Colombia, Venezuela, and Haiti as one of the "flashpoints" in the Western Hemisphere.
POTENTIAL AREAS FOR INSTABILITY
In LATIN AMERICA, the region is entering a major electoral cycle in 2006, when Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela hold presidential elections. Several key countries in the hemisphere are potential flashpoints in 2005.

Campaigning for the 2006 presidential election in Mexico is likely to stall progress on fiscal, labor, and energy reforms.
Since the congressional testimony, Dudya was uncharacteristically been silent about Mexico's political stirrings. It was not until a few days before the July 2 election, Dudya said that it is willing to "work with whoever is chosen by the Mexican people."

Although Washington has been uncharacteristically silent, efforts to discredit Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the pundits were tasked to do Dudya's dirty work. This time around, the strategy is to turn AMLO into a future Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's lapdog. Attack ads had the Venezuelan president’s face next to AMLO’s during the presidential race until it was told to take it down.

Beginning in March 2006, the Wall Street Journal published an anti-AMLO column by Mary Anastasia O'Grady - who also vehemently attacked Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez - who argued that AMLO's opposition to President Vicente Fox's pro-corporate economic policy should signal "a worrying authoritarianism with moralistic overtones" and suggested that an alternative path for development would qualify as "wild populist experimentation."

In April 2006, Conservative Felipe Calderón - although denied by the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) - informally hired two American consultants political advisor and Fox News commentator Dick Morris and Republican strategist Rob Allyn to help him in his failing campaign. In June, El Universal report how Juan Camilo Mourino, Calderón's campaign manager, suddenly started running campaign ads that resembled those of the United States, electoral techniques evidently imported from the United States.
Importing electoral techniques from the United States .... the campaign ran a series of negative television and radio ads - the first significant use of such ads in a Mexican presidential race - portraying him as a threat to Mexico's hard-won gains.
El Universal also reported that Camilo received his training in campaign dirty tricks in the US at "campaign seminars" and he also received "advice" from Dick Morris, who supposedly didn't have "an official role in the campaign."

In May, Proceso, "Mercenary Strategists Without Rival"(in Spanish and by subscription), reported that Calderón contracted Morris and Texas-based political consultant Rob Allyn "to handle not only his image, but the development of his campaign." However, in a phone interview, Allen told Washington Post's Jefferson Morley, "I've never met Dick Morris and we're not associated in any way."

Which explains Morris' action in April 2006, when he published a couple of hit pieces - one in The New York Post, The New York Post, "Menace In Mexico" and other at the ultraconservative online magazine FrontPageMag.com, Mexico's Hugo Chavez - that linked AMLO to President Chávez. Morris' editorial attempted to terrorize readers into believing AMLO's campaign was bankrolled by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, which means Mexico will become the primary threat to US national security. Morris also claimed an elected AMLO would be the "final piece" needed by President Chávez and Cuba's President Fidel Castro in their "grand plan to bring the United States to its knees before the newly resurgent Latin left."
Chavez is a firm ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro. Lopez Obrador could be the final piece in their grand plan to bring the United States to its knees before the newly resurgent Latin left.
Morris' linked the so those living here and in Mexico would begin to have a distaste for economic policies that have failed Latin America by Populist leaders.

In Mexico, both Felipe Calderón Hinojosa of the right-wing PAN (the party of current president Vicente Fox) and Roberto Madrazo Pintado of the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), ran a barrage of negative ads that lasted for a month. The mudslinging was so bad the Federal Electoral Institute had to step in to censure a series of ads that declared AMLO "a danger to Mexico" and that likened AMLO to Chávez.

Outside of Mexico other newspapers have jumped to run similar type pieces leading up to the July 2 election. Sample of some articles:
London's Independent - "Firebrand on Bush's Doorstep";
The Atlantic Online - "The Talented Mr. Chávez";
New York Times - Bringing Mexico Closer to God
The Economist - Will the real Andrés Manuel López Obrador please stand up?

Now that the election is over in Mexico, the election results are now hanging in the balance.
In Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) fight to demand a recount of Mexico's July 2 presidential election, Prensa Latina is reporting that Mexico's "Por el Bien de Todos" coalition is presenting additional proof electoral violations took place. Among the proof to be shown will be broken seals that were illegally opened at the ballot boxes and proof that a "US daily published propaganda favoring ruling candidate Felipe Calderon three days before the election, an incident that violates the Institutional Federal Code and Electoral Procedures in Mexico."
But is the propaganda campaign over? Not be a long shot. The current oped pieces are beginning to sound a lot like the anti-Chávez meme, the only difference, Chávez is replaced by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Since early January 2005, major US publications and television stations have published or broadcast well over 60 articles and programs regurgitating State Department accusations that President Chávez presents a "negative force in the region," is a "threat to democracy," a "semi-dictator,"...
Latest Articles Critical Of AMLO:

July 29, 2006 - Washington Post - An Anti-Democracy Campaign: Mexico's presidential loser takes a lesson from Joseph Stalin.
Now Mr. López Obrador has launched a second populist campaign -- this time in an attempt to overturn Mexico's fragile democracy
July 28, 2006 - Los Angeles Times - López Obrador should protest with dignity
But Lopez Obrador has said he will never accept the results because now he does not accept the legitimacy of the institutions. Like a spoiled child, he wants the right to play, but not the obligation to accept the final score. He'll try to hold Mexico hostage with street demonstrations and increasingly radical rhetoric until he gets his way. Calderon will continue to play by the rules, pursuing his own legal counter-demands through the nation's electoral tribunal and accepting whatever remedies the court orders. The contrast is deafening.

Mexico must be a nation of laws, not of men, if it is to remain a functioning democracy. Any other outcome would be a step on the road to anarchy — a disastrous recipe for Mexico and its northern neighbor — and a blow to the concepts of openness, democracy, tolerance and pluralism in the Americas.
July 26, 2006 - Dallas Morning News (via the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, IN) - Mexico's protests have little to do with democracy
Let's be precise about what's going on in Mexico: The protests that second-place presidential finisher Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador plans to rally again Sunday are all about him, his ego and his standing. They are not about the country, not about its standing in the global economy and certainly not about its democratic evolution.
July 23, 2006 - Arizona Republic, AZ - Loser can make it a winner
Mexico's fragile new democracy needs the confidence of its people, yet Lopez Obrador seems determined to undermine faith in a system that observers inside and outside of Mexico say is working. He wants, among other things, for the tribunal to order a vote-by-vote recount of the ballots....It would be ironic if Lopez Obrador merely used his position to discredit the honest election that just took place in a nation that was once known for the creative corruption of its elections.
July 15, 2006 - Chicago Tribune - Como se dice, sore loser?
It is his right to challenge the election, and voters are entitled to assurances that the results are fair and accurate. But that's why the elections tribunal was created, and there's every reason to believe it will do the right thing. Unfortunately Lopez Obrador seems unwilling to accept that. And that is an ominous sign for Mexico.
July 30, 2006 - Miami Herald - Challenge tests Mexican democracy
This denigration of the respected Mexican electoral system, which had just announced the triumph of hundreds of PRD candidates, and the incendiary speeches that have followed seriously threaten the peace in Mexico.

This is a film the world has seen many times. The seed of dictatorship has been planted. Impermeable to objective truth, a messiah who has proclaimed himself "indestructible" and publicly (and seriously) compared himself to Jesus, seeks to kidnap Mexican democracy. If the ransom he demands (strict obedience by the Federal Electoral Tribunal to his will) is not paid, he is prepared to set the country aflame.
Awww....American propaganda, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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