AMLO: No Patriot

Sunday, July 09, 2006

News stories like this one, which speak of the post-election tactics of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as if they are ordinary (simply because he has a long track record of this type of behavior) or harmless (simply because he hasn't yet succeeded in starting a civil war or enslaving Mexico) are missing the real story behind AMLO's post-electoral antics.

Mexico may have dodged a bullet in its last election, but AMLO, whom some have compared to Venezuela's dictator, Hugo Chavez, seems poised to undermine Mexico's political stability for the sake of positioning himself to run in the next election if he cannot steal this one outright.

AMLO pretends, when discussing the multiple mass protests he plans to call in the upcoming weeks, that he is merely standing up for rule of law, something that the reporters for the Houston Chronicle seem more than willing to help him do.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to fight the outcome in the courts. And though he's asking supporters to take to the streets, he urged them to be peaceful.

"We don't want to affect the citizens. This is not about blocking highways," he said. "This is, and will continue being, a peaceful movement."
This is coming from the same man who led supporters in a seizure of oil wells in 1994 after he lost a gubernatorial race, and some of whose followers are speaking even now, of armed rebellion.
"The people are heading for social conflict, with arms if necessary," said Marcos Montiel, 50, from the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, which Lopez Obrador's party governs. "The people of the south are on the path of struggle."

Montiel shook with rage as he spoke. He's hardly alone in his fury.

"If they let that thief Calderon take office, I can tell you there will be the biggest strike Mexico has every seen," said Hilario Lizama, a member of the electricians' union, one of Latin America's largest with more than 60,000 members.
Although the article does note that the armed movements in Mexico's south do not support AMLO, is it any wonder that his supporters are speaking in such terms? And can anyone honestly believe that AMLO thinks his followers will take his calls for peaceful assembly seriously, given his past record and the fact that he doubtless understands who supports him? AMLO has been speaking of peace for the benefit of the gullible reporters and politicians from El Norte while setting the stage for a huge confrontation when his silly requst is thrown out as being unwarranted under Mexican law. He knows this and so do his followers.
[Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) president Luis Carlos ] Ugalde said [a vote-by-vote recount] was not possible.

"Mexican law is very clear on when a ballot box can be opened: only when there are problems with the vote tallies, when the tally sheet has obviously been changed, or when the box has been tampered with," Mr. Ugalde said.

Once the count is complete, the seven-judge Federal Electoral Tribunal hears any complaints and can overturn elections. By law, it must certify a winner by Sept. 6, and its decision is final.

[Leonel] Cota [president of AMLO's party] said the party might take its case to international tribunals.
And if this still doesn't sound contrived by now, consider the fact that the tactics of insinuating a rigged election and rabble rousing have been a foregone conclusion -- in the event of a loss by AMLO -- for some time.
At one point, Lopez Obrador claimed, falsely, that the IFE had promised to announce results Sunday night. And he claimed the reason there wasn't an announcement Sunday was that he had been ahead all along.

Known by his initials, AMLO has been raising the prospect of a stolen election for some time, as the Chicago Tribune reminded readers today. "Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolutionary Party has warned all along that it could be victimized by electoral fraud. During the campaign, he insisted he would win by a large margin so that authorities would not 'mess' with his victory, just as the PRI allegedly stole the presidency from another left-wing candidate in 1988." [link dropped]
All of this brings to mind an Ayn Rand quote most recently brought to my attention by Bruno at The Simplest Thing.
The only power of a mob, as against an individual, is greater muscular strength -- i.e., plain, brute physical force. The attempt to solve social problems by means of physical force is what a civilized society is established to prevent. The advocates of mass civil disobedience admit that their purpose is intimidation. A society that tolerates intimidation as a means of settling disputes -- the physical intimidation of some men or groups by others -- loses its moral right to exist as a social system, and its collapse does not take long to follow. [Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 256]
AMLO doth protest too much when he insists that his movement is and will remain peaceful. The above quote describes his method, intimidation, and its effect if not effectively countered by Felipe Calderon. Interestingly, Ayn Rand continues, describing the only valid use of mass civil disobedience: as a repudiation of all ties with a country's political institutions and thus as a prelude to civil war. It speaks volumes about AMLO that he is so willing to play with this kind of fire, and yet at the same time professes a desire to preserve his country's political institutions, which are fragile to begin with.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

As a mexican im really sad for my country at this times. I just hope that violent acts can be prevented without using the military.

Shame on you AMLO for trying to divide us!

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you for stopping by. I visited your country shortly before the election and saw signs that it could make great strides if it did not choose -- or get stuck with -- AMLO.

My best wishes.