Thursday, June 29, 2006

More lunatic nonsense from the NY Times re: Mexico

What the heck is it with Latin American leftists, and the virulent reaction against them in the US media. Is it because ...gasp...we might get similar ideas around here?

The latest from the NY Times:

MEXICO CITY, June 28 — Mexico's polarizing presidential campaign ended officially on Wednesday and, with four days to go before the vote, it has come down to a contest between a gritty, charismatic advocate for the poor and a well-educated technocrat.

Like many elections, this one is a struggle between promise and fear and remains too close to call. On one side is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City who has traveled little outside Mexico and says he is inspired by Gandhi and Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the other is Felipe Calderón, the former energy minister with a Harvard degree who talks of fitting Mexico into the globalized economy...

"My fear is that with López Obrador we could end up very soon with an all-powerful president again," Enrique Krauze, an author and historian, said Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, adding that Mr. López Obrador was "very ignorant" and "inward looking" and "dismisses the rule of law as something made by the bourgeoisie to oppress the poor."

Such accusations and concerns — and many consider them nothing short of fearmongering — have defined the race for many voters.

Mr. López Obrador has been hit with advertisements depicting him as a spendthrift populist with a tendency to foment violent protests. His opponents have compared him to President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and have suggested that he is an autocrat. Many of Mr. Calderón's supporters acknowledge they are voting out of fear of what a maverick leftist like Mr. López Obrador might do, rather than enthusiasm for Mr. Calderón, a dapper man who speaks with all the fire of an economist.

"It's more of a vote against López Obrador than for Calderón," explained Jorge Valenzuela, a cab driver in Mexico City. "López Obrador seems to me like a well-intentioned person, but he's very violent."

Not a shred of fact is given against the charges made here. Not a bit. Krauze, of course, got to grace the Times op-ed pages the other day.

What does Obrador say about this?

"What are they afraid of?" he asked supporters in Toluca on Tuesday. "That they'll lose their privileges. I would tell them, 'Calm down, be serene, nothing's going to happen.' Vengeance is not my forte. I'm not going to invent crimes. We're not going to hunt down anyone. The only thing that will happen is that Mexico will not be a country of privileges, the government will not be at the service of a minority.'"

And maybe that's really what the NY Times fears.

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