America’s response to the increasing economic success of China and other nations that until recent decades were impoverished former colonies is to organize its own allies — especially the English-speaking countries — to become a totally separate global economic trading and military alliance standing against that “third world” — and thereby force all non-aligned nations to have to either choose to be allied with the United States or else become conquered by the U.S. and its allies. It’s “Us,” or “Them,” all the way. The top “enemies” (the “Them”) are the same countries that America and its allies were against during the anti-communist Cold War, Russia and China, even though Russia is no longer communist, and China has become a mixture between communism and capitalism.
America has on its side Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, UAE, and all four of the fascist nations during World War II: Germany, Japan, Italy, and Spain — as well as many other nations.
Russia and China were both allies of the United States during the war against Hitler and his allies, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to fight against considerable American support for the fascist powers (overwhelmingly coming from Republicans) during the years before Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December 1941. (In fact, on 23 November 1937, Hitler’s agents Kurt von Tippleskirch and Manfred von Killinger, two Barons, were secretly negotiating with top Republicans — including the racist Irénée du Pont — what would have been the Duponts’ second coup-attempt against FDR, but neither attempt succeeded.) As soon as Harry S. Truman (whom the Democratic Party’s billionaires chose to be FDR’s VP in 1944) became President on FDR’s death on 12 April 1945, the alliance with the Soviet Union ended, and the Cold War gelled in Truman’s mind on 25 July 1945 because of advice from General Dwight Eisenhower, whom Truman practically worshipped. On 19 June 1945, Truman wrote to his wife, Bess, “He’s done a whale of a job. They are running him for President, which is O.K. with me. I’d turn it over to him now if I could.” And, on 25 July 1945, Ike told Truman that either the Soviet Union would conquer the world or else America would — and this apparently convinced Truman to go for global empire and to conquer the Soviet Union.
America’s increasingly used method for conquest is the method that was first done against Iraq starting in 1991: international sanctions, followed by coup-attempts that, if unsuccessful, are then followed by an outright military invasion — with or without U.N. approval. More recently, this stepwise method (sanctions, failed coup, then invasion) is being used against Syria, but America no longer applies its own troops for its invasions, and instead uses hired proxy-forces (mercenaries), such as, in Syria, jihadists who are hired from around the world and paid for by the Sauds, and also uses separatist Kurds who are hired who have long wanted to break away from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey in order to establish their own Kurdistan nation, and who are controlled more directly from Washington (since the Sauds don’t control Kurdish forces). America’s troops in Syria train and arm (usually with money being supplied by the royal families of Saudi Arabia and Qatar) the jihadists (who are Al Qaeda-affiliated) and the Kurds.
Right now, America is using its post-WW-II position of being the world’s hegemon or globally dominant nation, so as to, basically, compel every other nation either to join them (as a banana republic or vassal nation) or else to become their enemy by destroying them, as Washington and its allies have done to Syrians, Yemenis, Palestinians, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, Bolivians, Ecuadorans, and, before that, Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorans, Argentinians, Chileans, Iranians, and many others in what Washington calls “The Free World.” Ideology is no longer the excuse. Now the excuses are “democracy,” “human rights,” “fighting against corruption,” and, of course “national defense” (which likewise was Hitler’s main excuse).
In other words: America is trying to do everything it can to avoid becoming downgraded to become the world’s #2 nation, in terms of power. America’s billionaires are behind this; America’s Government is controlled by them.
The best single statement of America’s position is the speech that Barack Obama gave to the graduating cadets at West Point Military Academy on 28 May 2014, saying:
The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.
America “responds” to the rising power of nations that formerly had been colonies, by means of offering them this choice: Join with us, or else be destroyed.
As the U.S. Establishment presents and promotes this, it is ‘justified’ because only America is “indispensable”: all other nations are “dispensable.” (Hitler, too, felt that way about all other nations — and most Germans endorsed that supremacism then, just like most Americans support it today.) FDR had planned a non-fascist future for the world, but then he died and (because of whom FDR’s successor was) we got a fascist future, instead, and that’s what we have. Mussolini called fascism “corporationism.” And America is more and more corporationist every decade that passes.
Under the bigoted Hindu-nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is now clearly part of the U.S.-UK-led alliance. On 4 March 2021, Munira Lokhandwala headlined “Google Invests Billions in India as Modi and Allies Stage Corporate Takeover of Agriculture” and reported that
In particular, Google’s multi-billion dollar investment in the telecommunications company owned by oil and gas billionaire Mukesh Ambani shows how US Big Tech will stop at nothing to make a bigger profit, even if this includes legitimizing a key supporter of the authoritarian-leaning government that is now a target of mass revolt. Ambani is India’s richest man and a strong corporate ally to BJP leadership, perceived by many as a major beneficiary of the hated agricultural reforms.
In September 2020, the Indian Parliament approved the Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020, also known as the “Farm Bills.” In response, Indian farmers who opposed these bills launched one of the largest protests and series of cross-sectoral strikes that the world has ever seen.
It’s estimated that over 250 million people have participated in protests against the passage of these bills that Indian farmers see as another phase in the continued attack on their livelihoods and an attempt to deregulate the farming industry to allow for greater private-sector control of food distribution. These changes would favor large corporations like Ambani’s Reliance Industries, who would thrive under the free market conditions that these Farm Bills would create.
India, in the Rhodesist plan, would be a major counter-weight to China.
Japan is another. On 23 April 2021, Craig Mark bannered “From Five Eyes To Six? Japan’s Push To Join The West’s Intelligence Alliance”, and he reported that
As tensions with China continue to grow, Japan is making moves to join the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance. This week, Japan’s ambassador to Australia, Shingo Yamagami, told The Sydney Morning Herald he was “optimistic” about his country coming on board. “[I] would like to see this idea become reality in the near future.”
This comes as New Zealand voices its concerns over using the Five Eyes process to pressure China.
What is this spy alliance? And what are the benefits and risks to bringing Japan on board?
What is the Five Eyes?
Beginning as an intelligence exchange agreement between the United States and United Kingdom in 1943, it formally became the UKUSA Agreement in 1946. The agreement then extended to Canada in 1948, and Australia and New Zealand in 1956.
UK has gotten Japan’s Ambassador to Australia to assist Australia to pressure progressive New Zealand to remain in the Rhodesist alliance and thereby help to bring Japan into the Rhodesist core as being the first-ever non-English-speaking country to be admitted into the Rhodes-core (and thereby turn the “Five Eyes” into six). That would achieve what David Rockefeller and his sidekick Zbig Brzezinski (who was a member of Poland’s nobility) had been attempting to do by means of their Trilateral Commission, which was intended to expand beyond the Bilderberg group of NATO countries so as to include also Japan.
On 30 April 2021, the geostrategic analyst Alexander Mercouris headlined a video “Blinken Goes To Ukraine With A Tough Message For Zelensky” and explained that because Putin recently established “red lines” that would provoke a direct military conflict between Russia and the United States if violated by the U.S., Biden has refocused America’s top target to be conquered as being no longer Russia but instead now China. Mercouris says that Ukraine’s U.S.-stooge President Volodmyr Zelensky will probably now be forced to stop threatening to invade the breakaway formerly Ukrainian Donbas region.
However, whereas the U.S. aristocracy’s main medium-term objective is to retain control over Ukraine so as to become enabled to blitz-launch missiles from there to eliminate Moscow’s ability to retaliate against America’s first-strike hit (the U.S. alliance’s updated version of the Nazis’ Operation Barbarossa), the UK’s main medium-term objective is for the U.S.-UK-Saud-Qatar alliance to arm and train jihadists and separatist Kurds to conquer Syria so that the Sauds will control that country. The long-term objective, both of America’s and UK’s aristocrats, is their shared dictatorship over all nations.
On 30 April 2021, the international investigative journalist Finian Cunningham interviewed at Strategic Culture the former UK Ambassador to Syria, the astoundingly courageous Peter Ford, and headlined “Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford”. This whistleblowing former UK Ambassador opened his comments by saying:
The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away. Why? Because the trope that “Assad gasses his own people” has become a cornerstone of the whole Western propaganda narrative on Syria. Without it, justifying the cruel economic war on Syria, largely through sanctions, would be harder to justify. And with military efforts at regime change having failed, economic warfare is now the last hope for the Western powers of destabilizing Syria enough to topple the government. For this strategy to work the Western powers are more than ready to undermine the credibility of the OPCW by abusing their ability to manipulate it in the Syrian context.
The interview closed with:
Question: Finally, Syria is holding presidential elections on May 26 in which incumbent Bashar al-Assad is running for re-election. The Western powers disparage Syria as an “undemocratic regime”. How do you view Syria’s polity? Is Assad likely to win re-election?
Peter Ford: Of course Assad will win and of course the Western powers will try to disparage his victory. But I can state with certainty that if you could offer the Conservative party in Britain a guarantee of achieving in the next general election anything anywhere near Assad’s genuine level of support, albeit some of it reluctant from a war-weary people, the Tories would bite your hand off for such an electoral gain. Much of the current Western propaganda effort against Syria is geared at trying to spoil Assad’s victory and deny it legitimacy. But inside Syria itself, the people will see the election as setting the seal on 10 years of struggle, and Assad will emerge strengthened as he faces the next phase in the Western war on Syria.
Furthermore, just the same as the U.S. and their allies were funding, training, and arming jihadists (technically called “Salafist Muslims”) in order to bring about regime-change in Syria, they’re doing the very same thing in order to bring about regime-change in China — in that instance by propagandizing ‘human rights’ for Uyghur Chinese who have been indoctrinated with the Sauds’ extremist-Sunni variant of the Islamic faith (Salafism). (Many of those Salafists, because of their Turkic culture, have recently become more favorable to Turkey than to Saudi Arabia, and therefore on 18 July 2019, Reuters headlined “Saudi Arabia defends letter backing China’s Xinjiang policy”, and reported that the Sauds “defended signing a letter along with 36 other countries in support of China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang, where the United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.” The U.S. and UK were now backing pro-Turkish jihadists, instead of pro-Saudi ones. Turkey is a NATO nation; and, so, the Rhodesists don’t care which brand of jihad they are backing in order to break up, or bring regime-change to, China.)
So, even if the U.S. regime might be placing Ukraine onto the back burner, the UK regime, apparently, is unwilling to place the conquest of Syria onto its back burner. And, for both American billionaires and UK billionaires, China is unrelentingly in the gunsights of both aristocracies, to conquer. In fact, on 10 April 2021, Strategic Culture issued an editorial, “Ukraine, Taiwan… Two-Prong U.S. Aggression Toward Russia, China”, which noted:
Biden is advancing the same policy under the previous Trump and Obama administrations of military buildup near China’s territory. This week saw the fourth U.S. guided-missile destroyer passing through the Taiwan Strait since Biden took office. That narrow sea separates the breakaway island from China’s mainland. Beijing has sovereign territorial claim to Taiwan which is recognized by the vast majority of nations, including up until recently the United States under its so-called “One China” policy. Biden, like his predecessor Donald Trump, is deliberately eroding the One China policy by sending delegates to the island on official visits, increasing weapons sales and most provocatively making public declarations that the U.S. will “defend” Taiwan in the event of “an invasion” by Chinese forces.
Similar to the Ukraine, the Biden administration’s rhetoric and conduct is serving to fuel an ever-more provocative stance by the Taiwanese leaders. This week, a senior official warned that the island’s forces would shoot down Chinese aircraft that approach the territory. This is nothing but a flagrant challenge to China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. As in the case of the Ukraine and Russia, it is Washington’s words and actions that are inflaming the tensions between Taiwan and China. Yet the Americans accuse others of “aggression” and claim to be providing “defense”.
The only entity that could possibly stop all this would be the U.S.-created European Union. Either they will turn against their creator, and join with Russia and China against U.S. and UK (which would put an end to the Rhodesist team’s insanity), or there will be World War III (though probably not in the near-term future), in which the U.S. regime will blitz-nuclear attack Russia, though that would destroy the planet.
If the EU does break away from the U.S., then it will also be able to relocate the U.N. out of NYC to Europe and reform the U.N. in what had been its inventor’s, FDR’s, intention, that the U.N. become the democratic global federation of nations controlling all nuclear and other geostrategic weapons and forces, and that serves as the sole and authoritative executive, legislative, and judicial, authority for all international-relations issues throughout the world, the democratic federal world government. That’s what Truman and Churchill prevented, and what would produce a world that will have no future world wars, no future wars between empires, because there would no longer be any empires, nor any imperialism.
Either there will be FDR’s intention, or there will be nuclear annihilation. The EU will decide. For the EU to impose FDR’s intention would be for the EU to turn against its creator, which was Truman and all subsequent U.S. Presidents (and their Congresses, which likewise have been controlled by America’s billionaires). However, a likelier alternative would be for some nations to do as UK did and break away from the EU, but for them to do it as UK did not, to realign themselves with Russia, China, and Iran, and away from the U.S. That, too, might prevent WW III and enable the U.N. to be reformed as FDR had been intending it to be: as the global democratic federal republic and sole source and judge and enforcer of international laws — the post-imperialist world, which FDR had planned for. If FDR’s plan doesn’t happen, then WW III will happen, and this was the reason why he had been planning the U.N. as he did. But as soon as he died, on 12 April 1945, the billionaires’ agents worked on Truman, who finally, on 25 July 1945 (based on General Eisenhower’s advice), decided to go for America’s global conquest; and, so, the ceaseless string of subversions, coups, and invasions, by the U.S. (the permanent-warfare state), started. The first coup was 1948 in Thailand, in order to install rulers who would let the OSS-CIA skim from the international narcotics traffic so as to supply the needed off-the-books funding for the CIA’s Special Operations
Author’s note: first posted at Strategic Culture
Will Geneva Be Any Different Than Helsinki?
Any meeting between the leaders of Russia and the U.S. is inevitably an important international event. At some point in history, such summits decided the fate of the entire world, and the world held its collective breath as it followed Kremlin-White House talks on strategic arms or the two sides seeking agreements on urgent regional problems or any political signals coming from the superpower capitals prior to another round of negotiations.
The bipolar era has long been gone, and the Russia-U.S. relations are no longer the principal axis of international politics, although the suspense over bilateral summits remains. As before, the two countries are engaged in “top-down” interaction. Summits give the initial impetus to Moscow and Washington’s cumbersome bureaucratic machines, then diplomats, military personnel and officials start their assiduous work on specific issues, collaboration between the two countries’ private sectors and civil society perks up, the media gradually soften their rhetoric, bilateral projects in culture, education and science are gradually resumed.
Still, there are annoying exceptions to this general rule. In particular, the latest full-fledged Russia–U.S. summit in Helsinki in July 2018 failed to trigger improvements in bilateral relations. On the contrary, Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Finland’s capital aroused massive resentment among the anti-Russian Washington establishment. Ultimately, on returning home, the U.S. President had to offer awkward apologies to his supporters and opponents alike, and relations between the two countries continued to rapidly deteriorate after the summit.
Surely, nobody is willing to see another Helsinki scenario in June 2021, this time in Geneva. Yet, do we have good reason to hope for a different outcome this time? To answer this question, let us compare Donald Trump and Joseph Biden’s approaches to Russia-U.S. summits and to bilateral relations at large.
First of all, in Helsinki, Trump very much wanted the Russian leader to like him. The Republican President avoided publicly criticizing his Russian counterpart and was quite generous with his compliments to him, which inevitably caused not only annoyance but pure outrage in Washington and in Trump’s own Administration. Joe Biden has known Vladimir Putin for many years; he does not set himself the task of getting the Russian leader to like him. As far as one can tell, the two politicians do not have any special liking for each other, with this more than reserved attitude unlikely to change following their meeting in Geneva.
Additionally, in Helsinki, Trump wanted, as was his wont, to score an impressive foreign policy victory of his own. He believed he was quite capable of doing better than Barack Obama with his “reset” and of somehow “hitting it off” with Putin, thereby transforming Russia if not into a U.S. ally, then at least into its strategic partner. Apparently, Biden has no such plans. The new American President clearly sees that Moscow-Washington relations will remain those of rivalry in the near future and will involve direct confrontation in some instances. The Kremlin and the White House have widely diverging ideas about today’s world: about what is legitimate and what is illegitimate, what is fair and what is unfair, where the world is heading and what the impending world order should be like. So, we are not talking about a transition from strategic confrontation to strategic partnership, we are talking about a possible reduction in the risks and costs of this necessarily costly and lengthy confrontation.
Finally, Trump simply had much more time to prepare for the Helsinki summit than Biden has had to prepare for Geneva. Trump travelled to Finland eighteen months after coming to power. Biden is planning to meet with Putin in less than five months since his inauguration. Preparations for the Geneva summit have to be made in haste, so the expectations concerning the impending summit’s outcome are less.
These differences between Biden and Trump suggest that there is no reason to expect a particularly successful summit. Even so, we should not forget the entire spectrum of other special features of the Biden Administration’s current style of foreign policy. They allow us to be cautiously optimistic about the June summit.
First, Donald Trump never put too much store by arms control, since he arrogantly believed the U.S. capable of winning any race with either Moscow or Beijing. So, his presidential tenure saw nearly total destruction of this crucial dimension of the bilateral relations, with all its attendant negative consequences for other aspects of Russia-U.S. interaction and for global strategic stability.
In contrast, Biden remains a staunch supporter of arms control, as he has already confirmed by his decision to prolong the bilateral New START. There are grounds for hoping that Geneva will see the two leaders to at least start discussing a new agenda in this area, including militarization of outer space, cyberspace, hypersonic weapons, prompt global strike potential, lethal autonomous weapons etc. The dialogue on arms control beyond the New START does not promise any quick solutions, as it will be difficult for both parties. Yet, the sooner it starts, the better it is going to be for both countries and for the international community as a whole.
Second, Trump never liked multilateral formats, believing them to be unproductive. Apparently, he sincerely believed that he could single-handedly resolve any burning international problems, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to North Korea’s nuclear missile programme.
Biden does not seem to harbor such illusions. He has repeatedly emphasized the importance of multilateralism, and he clearly understands that collaboration with Russia is necessary on many regional conflicts and crises. Consequently, Geneva talks may see the two leaders engage in a dialogue on Afghanistan, on the Iranian nuclear deal, on North Korea, or even on Syria. It is not at all obvious that Biden will succeed in reaching agreement with Putin immediately on all or any of these issues, but the very possibility of them discussed at the summit should be welcomed.
Third, Trump was not particularly fond of career diplomats and, apparently, attached little value to the diplomatic dimension of foreign policy. The Russia-U.S. “embassy war” had started before Trump—but not only did Trump fail to stop it, he boosted it to an unprecedented scale and urgency.
Sadly, the “embassy war” continues after Trump, too. Yet President Biden, with his tremendous foreign policy experience, understands diplomatic work better and appreciates it. Practical results of the Geneva summit could include a restoration of the diplomatic missions in Washington and Moscow to their full-fledged status and a rebuilding of the networks of consular offices, which have been completely destroyed in recent years. Amid the problems of big politics, consular services may not seem crucial but, for most ordinary Russians and Americans, regaining the opportunity for recourse to rapid and efficient consular services would outweigh many other potential achievements of the Geneva summit.
From our partner RIAC
“Choose sides” is practically a bogus idea for US military partners
“Choosing sides” is practically a non-starter for US military allies such as Japan and South Korea. These nations, first and foremost military allies of the US, are forging cordial and productive ties with other countries based on military alliances with the US. The nature and level of partnerships varies greatly from those of allies, despite the fact that they appear to be quite heated at times.
Military concerns have been less important in the postwar period, but economic concerns have been extremely heated, social and cultural interactions have been close, and the qualitative differences between cooperative relations and allies have gotten confused, or have been covered and neglected.
Some unreasonable expectations and even mistakes were made. In general, in the game between the rising power and the hegemony, it is undesirable for the rising power to take the initiative and urge the hegemony’s supporters to select a side. Doing so will merely reinforce these countries’ preference for hegemony.
Not only that, but a developing country must contend with not only a dominant hegemony, but also a system of allies governed by the hegemony. In the event of a relative reduction in the power of the hegemony, the strength of the entire alliance system may be reinforced by removing restraints on allies, boosting allies’ capabilities, and allowing allies’ passion and initiative to shine.
Similarly, the allies of the hegemonic power are likely to be quite eager to improve their own strength and exert greater strength for the alliance, without necessarily responding to, much alone being pushed by, the leader. The “opening of a new chapter in the Korean-US partnership” was a key component of the joint statement issued by South Korea and the United States following the meeting of Moon Jae-in and Biden. What “new chapter” may a military alliance have in a situation of non-war?
There are at least three features that can be drawn from the series of encounters between South Korea and the United States during Moon Jae-visit in’s to the United States: First, the withdrawal of the “Korea-US Missile Guide” will place military constraints on South Korea’s missile development and serve as a deterrence to surrounding nations. The second point is that, in addition to the Korean Peninsula, military cooperation between the US and South Korea should be expanded to the regional level in order to respond to regional hotspots. The third point is that, in addition to military alliances, certain elements in vaccinations, chips, 5G, and even 6G are required. These types of coalitions will help to enhance economic cooperation.
Despite the fact that Vice President Harris wiped her hands after shaking hands with Moon Jae-in, and Biden called Moon Jae-in “Prime Minister” and other rude behaviors, the so-called “flaws” are not hidden, South Korea still believes that the visit’s results have exceeded expectations, and that Moon Jae-in’s approval rate will rise significantly as a result.
The joint statement issued by South Korea and the United States addresses delicate subjects such as the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. Of course, China expresses its outrage. It is widely assumed that this is a “private cargo” delivered by Biden’s invitation to Moon Jae-in to visit the United States.
Moon Jae-in stated that he was not pressured by Biden. If this is correct, one option is that such specific concerns will not be handled at all at the summit level; second, South Korea is truly worried about the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea concerns and wishes to speak with the US jointly.
South Korea should be cognizant of China’s sensitivity to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea concerns. When it comes to China-related concerns, the phrasing in the ROK-US joint statement is far more mild than that in the ROK-Japan joint declaration. Nonetheless, the harm done to South Korea-China ties cannot be overlooked.
South Korea highlights the “openness” and “inclusiveness” of the four-party security dialogue system, which allows South Korea to engage to some extent. South Korea will assess the net gain between the “gain” on the US side and the “loss” on the Chinese side. China would strongly protest and fiercely respond to any country’s measures to intervene in China’s domestic affairs and restrict China’s rise.
Political Violence and Elections: Should We Care?
The next Sunday 6th of June, the Chamber of Deputies along with 15 out of the 32 governorships will be up for grabs in Mexico’s mid-term elections. These elections will be a crucial test for the popularity of the president and his party, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). They currently hold majority in the Lower Chamber of the national Congress, and these elections could challenge this.
Recent national polls indicate that the ruling party, MORENA, is still the most popular political force in Mexico, and they are poised to win not only several governorships, but also several municipalities. They are also expected to maintain control of the Lower Chamber, although with a loss of a few seats. In order to ensure MORENA keeps its current majority in the Congress, they have decided to pursue an electoral alliance with the Green Party (PVEM) and the Labout Party (PT). It is expected that with this move, they will be able to ensure the majority in the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress.
There is, however, another aspect that is making the headlines in this current electoral process: The high levels of political and electoral violence, The current electoral process is the second most violent since 2000. The number of candidates that have been assassinated is close to 30% higher than the mid-term electoral process of 2015. More than 79 candidates have been killed so far all across the country.
Insecurity in Mexico has been an ongoing issue that has continued to deteriorate during the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). AMLO has continually criticised his predecessors and the valid problems of their approaches to insecurity in Mexico along with the War on Drugs policy. However, to date, he has yet to offer a viable alternative to tackle the security problems he inherited. During his campaign, AMLO coined the phrase “abrazos no balazos” (hugs not bullets) to describe his approach toward improving security in Mexico. He believed that to successfully tackle the worsening crisis of insecurity, the structural conditions that forced people to commit crimes had to be addressed first: Namely inequality, poverty, low salaries, lack of access to employment etc. To date, insecurity in Mexico continues to worsen, and this had become evident during the current electoral process.
This nonsensical approach to insecurity has resulted in the first three years of his government reaching over 100,000 murders, along with the nearly 225,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic.
What should be particularly worrying in this spiral of violence, is the prevalence of political and electoral violence during the current process. Political violence represents not only a direct attack on democratic institutions and democracy itself, but it also compromises the independence, autonomy, and integrity of those currently in power, and those competing for positions of power. It affects democracy also because political violence offers a way for candidates to gain power through violent means against opposition, and this also allows organised crime to infiltrate the state apparatus.
Political violence is a phenomenon that hurts all citizens and actors in a democracy. It represents a breeding ground for authoritarianism, and impunity at all levels of government. This limits the freedoms and rights of citizens and other actors as it extinguishes any sort of democratic coexistence between those currently holding political power and those aspiring to achieve it. Political violence also obstructs the development of democracy as it discredits anyone with critical views to those in power. This is worrying when we consider that 49% of those assassinated belong to opposition parties. This increase in political violence has also highlighted AMLO´s inability to curtail organised crime and related violence.
Assassination of candidates is only the tip of the iceberg. Organised criminal groups have also infiltrated politics through financing of political campaigns. Most of electoral and political violence tends to happen an municipal levels, where it is easier for criminal groups to exert more pressure and influence in the hope of securing protection, and perpetuate impunity, or securing control over drug trafficking routes. This should be especially worrisome when there is close too government control in certain areas of the country, and there is a serious risk of state erosion at municipal level in several states.
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