Memo From Mexico | Barone Blunders (Again)
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[VDARE.COM note: President Fox has just cancelled his projected meeting with President Bush to protest Americans' interfering in their own affairs by executing a convicted Mexican cop killer.]

"It is in our national interest to help Fox and Mexico keep moving in the right direction." Thus Michael Barone ends his article "South of the Border" in U.S. News and World Report (01/08/2002). [Pay archive] There is also a link to the Barone article on a free site: click here.

What exactly does this mean?

What Barone means is that the United States must help Presidente Vicente Fox and Mexico by–guess what?—giving Fox what he wants on immigration.

Various other Fox Fawners have argued the same. Taken collectively, this approach presents Vicente Fox as "The Only Leader Who Can Save Mexico" and "Our Man In Mexico".

Where have you heard this kind of reasoning before? "If Politician XYZ of Country XYZ does not retain power, disaster will follow." Answer: during the Cold War, when the State Department was obsessed with the need to support mythical "moderates" against "hard-liners" in various Communist politburos.

But it's an error to apply it to contemporary Mexico. Mexico has its own political transition to attend to. It's not the responsibility of the U.S. to prop up the administration of Vicente Fox. In the long run, it's counter-productive.

In the interests of fairness and full disclosure, let me say that I did root for Vicente Fox in the 2000 Mexican election. I even wrote him a letter of encouragement. Of course, being a foreign resident of Mexico and not a citizen, I could not vote for him. But my Mexican wife and her family did. In the year 2000, his candidacy was simply the best option.

But it's quite another thing to say that Fox is the only hope for Mexico and that if his agenda fails, Mexico will go down the drain - and the U.S. along with it.

Fox Fawners typically end their tributes to San Vicente with an exhortation to the U.S. to obey the great leader and allow even more Mexicans into the U.S. 

As an American living in Mexico, I personally disagree. As long as Fox has the U.S. as a safety valve, he has no incentive for real reform.  Do we want to help Mexico? Then close the gates, and you will see some real reform - whether Fox carries it out or not.

Barone points out some positive features of the Fox presidency. But many of these positive changes in Mexican society were occurring before Fox became president. So far the principle accomplishment of his administration has been that, after 71 years, a member of another party than the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) is president - i.e. Fox himself.

The Fox Fawners, in their zeal to support Vicente Fox, tend to ignore the Mexican Congress. When they do refer to it, they portray the Mexican Congressional Opposition as the bad guys. It's funny, you'd think Americans would applaud the development of a healthy system of checks and balances–isn't that an important part of representative government? The way the Fox Fawners talk you'd think they support Vicente as President-for-Life.  American media coverage of Vicente Fox generally reads like it was penned by the Fox Administration. By contrast, the Mexican media is much cooler.

When you think about it, the Fox Fawners' approach to Mexican politics is nothing short of arrogant. Why not let the Mexicans solve their own problems while we solve ours–we certainly have enough, don't we?

Mr. Barone, however, eventually does make it to his conclusion:

"The United States has an interest in accelerating this progress in a country with 100 million people and a 2,066-mile border with the United States. One way to do that is to reach agreement on the immigration issues Fox raised with George W. Bush on his state visit the week before September 11–regularization of the status of Mexicans currently in the United States, a guest-worker program, changes in visa procedures, and border security questions."

My translation:


  • "Regularization of the status of Mexicans currently in the United States" = Amnesty for Mexican illegals;



  • "Changes in visa procedures" = more visas for Mexicans;


  • "Changes in border security Questions" = letting Fox help guard the border.


So in order to help Vicente Fox reform Mexico, we have to surrender to him on immigration.

Which, by a strange coincidence, is what Michael Barone wants anyway.

American citizen Allan Wall has lived in Mexico since 1991,and is permitted to live and work there thanks to a legal work permit issued by the Mexican government.  His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here.  Readers can contact Allan Wall at [email protected]

August 15, 2002

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