“Time for Mexico, with the help of the U.S., to wage WAR on the drug cartels!” (Donald Trump).
An echo: “Mexico has a moral obligation to accept Trump’s offer to send U.S. troops to Mexico” (Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, Texas 15thDistrict, Rio Grande Guardian, 28 Nov 19).
To whom is Rep. Gonzalez appealing – to Republicans? He may see them as cross-over voters next election, should he incur Democratic opposition.
Is Rep. Gonzalez mistakenly appealing to Anglo voters, based on the recent killing of Anglo-Americans in Sonora/Chihuahua? One would hope has he commented previously, with compassion, on the 25,000 Mexicans killed by cartel violence in 2018, or the over 150,000 Mexicans who have died since 2006? (Bobby Allynn, “Fears of Drone Strikes,” NPR, 28 No 19).
And what of Gonzalez’s advisers? Are there any specialists among them sufficiently aware of Mexican-US history, who might have advised him differently, counseled him to be more discerning?
If so, they could have mentioned the 1846-48 U.S. invasion of Mexico. Gonzalez referred to Mexico losing “one-third of her land.” No, not so. Mexico was deprived of 54 percent of her territory! That wartime trophy included what is now Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah.
Gonzalez further advised: “Mexicans need to get over it.” (As we did the Alamo?) Actually, they have gotten over it, save for honoring the “Heroic Children,” who plunged to their death rather than surrender to General Scott’s army as he entered Mexico City. May they not cherish their history and their memories (and be understandably cautious about U.S. troops on their soil)?
Far better to deal with the root causes of violence in Mexico—U.S. consumption/importation of drugs, and US exportation of guns. Wisdom passed on to President Trump about such factors would make more sense than gratuitous ”advice” to President López Obrador (AMLO). In fact, AMLO “has tried to avoid violent confrontation” as part of his policy to try to deal with these admittedly serious problems plaguing Mexico. His focus is on “reducing youth unemployment” (“Mexico’s New Drug War,” PBS, 30 Aug 19). His policy is supported by many; Carlos Angel Ortiz, who lost his daughter, Xóchitl, to drug violence, advised: “only the people can save the people.”
We would do well to listen to Mexicans, not to Trump. That Mexican-hater has uttered, over the past few years, countless epithets and curses at Mexicans, including:
1) “Mexicans are not our friends.”
2) “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
3) “The Mexican legal system is corrupt, as is most of Mexico.”
4) “I want nothing to do with Mexico” (Trump Insults Mexico,” Time, 31 Aug 19).
On the other hand, he has tried, occasionally, to be positive. He tweeted: “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill; I love Hispanics.” However, such clumsy attempts are obviated by other tweets: “I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge,” [Judge González Curiel] adding, lest we miss his point: because he is of “Mexican heritage” (“Trump’s Insulting Language,” The Fix, 2 Oct 16). And as for immigrants themselves from Mexico? The president ups the ante, speaking in private of filling a “moat with snakes and alligators,” or shooting to kill any who throw rocks.” When advised that might be illegal, he switched, advising only “shooting them in the legs.” So, González would leave the matter of “security” in Mexico and the US, which concerns him, to the “very reasonable” Donald Trump?
No one questions the sadness and seriousness of Mexico’s dilemmas and sorrows. They include, among the many deaths, the addition of 200 cartel cells, with over 130 candidates and political officials killed before the 2018 elections (NPR). Our U.S. political divisions, dire as they are, cannot compare. We have our own problems and would not appreciate carping and ill-advice from Mexican (or other foreign) congresspersons. (Or, do we only allow Russian intervention?)
And, yet, we so much want to continue to help our neighbor. We can help by keeping trade alive, by helping, not sabotaging their economic system (by Trump’s threats of tariffs, boycotts), and by aiding with military training and equipment, which we ALREADY provide, gracias a la políticade Presidente Obama! (Alexander Main, NACLA, 3 Jul 14).
May such aid continue, expand, and may idle, harmful chatter about sending “troops” to Mexico—whether from D.C. or the Rio Grande Valley – end now. It is a shame Trump has been quoted, echoed, and thus, legitimized further. The President of Mexico would be severely damaged if he agreed with such regressive, intrusive, un-Mexican policy changes. So, my advice to the Congressman: Be a true Democratic representative and be more mindful of your Mexican heritage, of our Mexican heritage.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows President Trump eating a taco bowl. He posted the photo on his Facebook page to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in May, 2016.