There is much going on in Mexico regarding the Iraq war, almost all of it ignored in the U.S. media. An update for VDARE.COM readers:
The Mexican media has presented the U.S. prosecution of the Iraq war in the worst light possible, continually impugning U.S. motives and military practice.
A favorite theme: the cannon fodder argument – that the U.S. is utilizing Mexicans to fight in Iraq.
This perception is reinforced in several ways. When Mexican journalists visit U.S. military camps and vessels, they seek out Spanish-speaking service members to interview. And the Mexican media publicizes (and keeps a running count of) all Mexican-origin soldiers who die in the war.
Then there's TV Azteca's Ramon Fregoso, a white Mexican journalist who is serving as anchor man while the regular anchor, Javier Alatorre, broadcasts from the Middle East.
Fregoso recently informed his audience that the U.S. military was still recruiting new soldiers – and guess who recruitment efforts are directed at? Viewers were then treated to a replay of a U.S. Army recruiting commercial - in Spanish. When the commercial ended, Fregoso smugly commented: "Van por los mexicanos" – "They go for the Mexicans."
Ironically, the Mexican elite constantly celebrates the growing prominence of Spanish in the U.S., correctly seeing it as a conquest. They constantly demand that the U.S. provide education and other services in Spanish. Then they complain about recruiting commercials in Spanish!
The following night, Fregoso recounted the plight of Mexican soldiers in the U.S: military who are not citizens of the U.S. They can't even vote in the U.S., Fregoso told viewers, but they are fighting. His implication was that it was a great injustice.
Opponents of dual citizenship sometimes pose this question – "What would you do if the U.S. and Mexico went to war with each other?" The Iraq war demonstrates that it's not even necessary to posit this extreme. If the U.S. goes to war with any country, dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship is part of the equation.
In a previous VDARE.COM article, I reported how the Fox administration was compiling a list of all Mexican and Mexican-descended personnel in the U.S. military, regardless of citizenship.
Only three days later, Mexican Foreign Secretary Derbez made the rather startling announcement that Mexico was considering direct negotiations with the Saddam regime over U.S. soldiers who are dual citizens of the U.S. and Mexico!
According to "Reforma" (Analizan defender a soldados mexicans, March 31st, 2003)
"The legal department of the SRE [Mexican Foreign Ministry] is analyzing the viability of Mexico's intercession before the government of Iraq for Mexican soldiers imprisoned in that country."
(El departamento Jurídico de la Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores analiza la viabilidad de que México interceda ante el Gobierno de Iraq por los soldados mexicanos presos en ese Pais.)
"Chancellor Luis Ernesto Derbez said...that the department is studying the possibility of an appeal to the Geneva Convention concerning prisoners of war in the case of soldiers who have the two citizenships (U.S. and Mexican) and of military personnel who have Mexican citizenship and U.S. residence...."
(El canciller Luis Ernesto Derbez dijo la tarde de este lunes que la dependencia a su cargo estudia si es posible apela a la Convención de Ginebra sobre presos de guerra en el caso de los soldados que tengan las dos ciudadanías, así como de los militares que cuentan con la ciudadanía mexicana y la residencia estadounidense y con bases en el Ejército de Estados Unidos.)
"....Derbez emphasized that México will make it clear, that if the petition is carried out, that it will be done without being part of the military conflict."
(En conference, Derbez destacó que México dejará en clare, si llega a realizar la petición, que lo hace sin ser parte del conflicto militar.)
So the Mexican government was willing to negotiate with Saddam over dual citizen prisoners-of-war - but it had to make clear it wasn't supporting the United States!
Now that Baghdad has been taken, the Mexicans have to give up negotiating with the regime. But we know they were working on it. Which is one possible use of that census of Mexican-origin U.S. soldiers I wrote about earlier.
And demonstrates the inevitable complications of dual citizenship.
On April 2nd, 2003, Vicente Fox met with visiting Mexican residents of the U.S., and self-righteously slammed the U.S. war effort, emphatically declaring that "¡estamos contra la guerra!" – "We are against the war!" (Proceso, April 2nd, 2003)
The same day a Mexican tourism convention in Acapulco was addressed (in a pre-recorded video) by the Mexican president. Fox told them that the war was an opportunity for Mexican tourism! (His reasoning: Americans would want to travel to safer and nearer destinations).
("Puede guerra ser fuente de oportunidades para turism en Mexico: Fox," El Universal, April 2nd, 2003
According to polls taken in early April, 75% of Hispanics born in the U.S. support the war - but 52% of Hispanics residing in the U.S. but born abroad reject it. Furthermore, 86% of Hispanics who watch English-language news media thought the war's progress was going well. But 59% of those who watch Spanish-language TV thought it wasn't.
("Divide a latinos de EU tema de la guerra en Irak," El Universal, April 8th, 2003,)
How will Fox's rejection of the Iraq war affect U.S.-Mexican relations and the exaggerated "relationship" Bush apparently thought he had with Fox?
Bush is said to value personal loyalty. Will he understand that Fox does not feel (and never has felt) the same about Bush as Bush feels about him?
Yes, it's a sad story of unrequited love.
Since the Iraq war has begun, Fox and Bush have only spoken once by phone. And Bush uncharacteristically took 4 days to return the call!
Now that Baghdad is taken, it appears Fox is attempting to repair fences. Last week, Fox stated his confidence that "once the armed conflict is concluded, the bilateral relationship can be reconstructed."
("Reconoce Fox decepción de EU hacia México", Universal, April 9th, 2003)
Fox is here referring to Mexico's distinction between its bilateral relationship with the U.S., and its multilateral relationship centered on the UN (and Mexico now heads the UN Security Council). The Mexican government view is that its multilateral UN-type diplomacy won't effect its bilateral relationship with the U.S.
Translation: Mexico expects the U.S. to open its border with Mexico. But don't expect Mexico to back the U.S. at the UN or any other international forum. That would be too embarrassing!
Will the U.S. and Mexico get back to business as usual – the systematic deconstruction of U.S. sovereignty in favor of a Mexican veto over U.S. immigration policy?
Or does George W. Bush, having been burned by his "amigo," now have a more realistic view?
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he holds an FM-2 residency and work permit, but serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.