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Of George and Felipe: A case of premature congratulation?

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Message Edward Pepe
Thanks to the alternative press, almost everyone knows about the President of Germany's understandable aversion to being touched on the shoulders by George Bush. To be fair to Dubya, it s clear that Ms. Merkel was unaware that the G8 recess bell had gone off and that Georgie was just looking for someone to play with. Besides, it wasn't very nice that some of the heads of state went on being presidential during the break. Especially since George can't manage that during class time.

But while we have all had ample time to sympathize with Ms. Merkel, the blog pages are failing to give sufficient attention to another of Mr. Bush's international love affairs-that with Felipe Calderon. That no one has yet been named president after the recent and very controversial elections in Mexico, did not stop Mr. Bush from phoning his buddy to congratulate him as that country's new president. Well, who could blame George? After all, he was SO excited (stopping the spread of "communism" can be very arousing). Which of course explains how George fell victim to perhaps the most embarrassing of international mishaps in these between-the-political-sheets relationships: premature congratulation. (One possibility, of course, is that Ms. Merkel rejected George because she had in fact heard about the embarrassing incident with Felipe and didn't want to waste her time. Perhaps the French president had promised her a foot massage later?)

Some progressive writers have already pointed out the Bushite hypocrisy in branding some foreign elections as fraudulent while praising the one in Mexico. How the Neocon machine can be so certain that the Mexican results were fair is of course directly related to the purported results. When the candidate they support loses, the elections were fraudulent. When the candidate wins, they were pure as the driven snow. Lose, bad. Win, good. Even George doesn't need to write that one on his shirt cuff. And of course the US radical right (undoubtedly through some direct line to God) knows better than the million or more silly Mexicans who passionately, but peacefully, gathered in (and spilled out of, because not every one COULD fit into) Mexico City's main square to exercise their legitimate right to express doubt and frustration over pre-election, election, and post-election irregularities. But why so many would have such strong doubts in a country that has experienced so many decades of such fraudulent elections seems to be beyond the likes of not only the Bush oligarchy, but also of corporate and state media within Mexico and around the globe. (The Mexican television channels chose not to cover the country's largest-ever political rally. Can you imagine a million people in Washington protesting the Bush regime not receiving any television airtime? Oh, wait. Yes, I guess I could.)

Why the Bush cadre cares so much about Mexico is clear: one of their own (in these matters, oligarchy trumps nationality) stands to be shown for a vicious cheat propped up by corporate interests. (Indeed, who would it surprise if Calderón s conservative PAN party had in fact received advice from their friends up North on how to go about cheating? Shall we take bets on how long it takes for that story to come out?) No, exposing Calderón would never do. The parallels between elections in Mexico 2006 and the United States in 2000 and again in 2004 are a little too clear. Should Calderón be shown to have manipulating the election, or worse, should it come out exactly how he managed to manipulate them, the already large number of (North) Americans enraged over election results there would simply be reminded of what had happened to them.

Meanwhile, institutions like the BBC insist on pointing out that the EU election monitors found no fraud in Mexico. What they don't tell you, naturally, is that there were 80 of those monitors for more than 130,477 polling stations. That's 8 monitors for 13,048 polling stations. 1 monitor for every 1,631 polling stations. Assuming the stations were open 24 hours on election day, which they were not, and assuming that it took no time at all to get from one polling station to another, which of course it did, a monitor would have had less than 53 seconds in each station to check for irregularities. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't seem like enough time. Besides, couldn't the EU have afforded more monitors? After all, its member states have for years been exploiting the natural resources of Latin American countries. But I guess the whole point there is to take the money, not to spend it on the countries being exploited. So we're stuck with that 1 monitor for 1,631 polling stations. But tell me, please, they at least found a way of getting one of the election monitors inside the computers used to tabulate the election results? (Not surprisingly, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico has identified strange irregularities in the computer results.) But just because doubts and problems have plagued the computers used in US elections, why would the same be true in Mexico? Just because they are using American computers? Just because relatives of Calderón wrote the computer software? No. Clearly, Mexico has completely solved any problems with election fraud.

Meanwhile, Felipe Calderón is gleefully planning his new government. (That is, of course, when he is not being flown to a beach vacation on the private plane of the owner of the hotel he is staying in. Luckily the owners of fancy hotels know how tiring it can be to plan an illegitimate government.) But, wait. There is no president-elect in Mexico. So why is Felipe planning a government? Another case of premature (self) congratulation? It must run in the royal bloodlines.

Andre's Manuel López Obradór, meanwhile, is waiting out the official decision of the Electoral Tribunal before deciding on a course of action. Maybe AMLO needs to give both George and Felipe some man-to-man advice on, shall we say, how not to jump the gun?
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Edgar Pope is an artist, musician, writer who is old enough to remember when the world really was, or at least seemed, a kinder and gentler place.
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Of George and Felipe: A case of premature congratulation?

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