The Second Mexican War
By Lawrence Auster, Front Page Magazine, February 17, 2006
The Mexican invasion of the United States began decades ago as a spontaneous migration of ordinary Mexicans into the U.S. seeking economic opportunities. It has morphed into a campaign to occupy and gain power over our country—a project encouraged, abetted, and organized by the Mexican state and supported by the leading elements of Mexican society.
It is, in other words, war. War does not have to consist of armed conflict. War can consist of any hostile course of action undertaken by one country to weaken, harm, and dominate another country. Mexico is waging war on the U.S. through mass immigration illegal and legal, through the assertion of Mexican national claims over the U.S., and through the subversion of its laws and sovereignty, all having the common end of bringing the southwestern part of the U.S. under the control of the expanding Mexican nation, and of increasing Mexico’s political and cultural influence over the U.S. as a whole.
We experience Mexico’s assault on our country incrementally—as a series of mini-crises, each of which calls forth ever-renewed debates and perhaps some tiny change of policy. Because it has been with us so long and has become part of the cultural and political air we breathe, it is hard for us to see the deep logic behind our “immigration problem.” Focused as we are on border incursions, border enforcement, illegal alien crime, guest worker proposals, changes of government in Mexico City, and other such transient problems and events—all of them framed by the media’s obfuscation of whether or not illegal immigration’s costs outweigh its benefits and by the maudlin script of “immigrant rights”—we don’t get the Big Picture: that the Mexican government is promoting and carrying out an attack on the United States.
Another reason we miss what’s happening is that our focus is on the immigrants as individuals. Thus our leaders talk about illegal immigrants as “good dads,” “hard working folks” seeking to better their lives and their family’s prospects. In fact, this is not about individual immigrants and their families, legal or illegal. It is about a great national migration, a nation of people moving into our nation’s land, in order to reproduce on it their own nation and people and push ours aside.
Thus, in orchestrating this war on America, the Mexican state is representing the desires of the Mexican people as a whole.
What are these desires?
(1) Political revanchism—to regain control of the territories Mexico lost to the U.S. in 1848, thus avenging themselves for the humiliations they feel they have suffered at our hands for the last century and a half;
(2) Cultural imperialism—to expand the Mexican culture and the Spanish language into North America; and especially
(3) Economic parasitism—to maintain and increase the flow of billions of dollars that Mexicans in the U.S. send back to their relatives at home every year, a major factor keeping the chronically troubled Mexican economy afloat and the corrupt Mexican political system cocooned in its status quo.
These motives are shared by the Mexican masses and the elites. According to a Zogby poll in 2002, 58 percent of the Mexican people believed the U.S. Southwest belongs to Mexico, and 57 percent believed that Mexicans have the right to enter the United States without U.S. permission. Only small minorities disagreed with these propositions.
Meanwhile, for Mexico’s opinion shapers, it is simply a truism that the great northern migration is a reconquista of lands belonging to Mexico, the righting of a great historic wrong. “A peaceful mass of people … carries out slowly and patiently an unstoppable invasion, the most important in human history” [emphasis added], wrote columnist Carlos Loret de Mola for Mexico City’s Excelsior newspaper in 1982.
You cannot give me a similar example of such a large migratory wave by an ant-like multitude, stubborn, unarmed, and carried on in the face of the most powerful and best-armed nation on earth.... [The migrant invasion] seems to be slowly returning [the southwestern United States] to the jurisdiction of Mexico without the firing of a single shot, nor requiring the least diplomatic action, by means of a steady, spontaneous, and uninterrupted occupation.
Similarly, the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska told the Venezuelan journal El Imparcial on July 3rd, 2001:
The people of the poor, the lice-ridden and the cucarachas are advancing in the United States, a country that wants to speak Spanish because 33.4 million Hispanics impose their culture...Mexico is recovering the territories ceded to the United States with migratory tactics...[This phenomenon] fills me with jubilation, because the Hispanics can have a growing force between Patagonia and Alaska.
The Mexicans, as Poniatowska sees it, have changed from resentful losers—which was the way Octavio Paz saw them in his famous 1960 study, The Labyrinth of Solitude—into winners. What accounts for this change? Their expansion northward into the U.S., as the vanguard of a Hispanic conquest of all of North America—cultural imperialism and national vengeance combined in one great volkish movement.
Politicians echo the same aggressive sentiments. At an International Congress of the Spanish Language in Spain in October 2000, Vicente Fox, soon to become president of Mexico with the support of U.S. conservatives, spoke of the “millions of Mexicans in the United States, who in cities such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami or San Francisco, inject the vitality of the Spanish language and of their cultural expression.... To continue speaking Spanish in the United States is to hacer patria”—to do one’s patriotic duty. Fox was thus describing Mexican immigrants in the U.S., not as people who had left Mexico and still had some sentimental connections there, as all immigrants do, but as carriers of the national mission of the Mexican nation into and inside the United States.
At the same conference, the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes said: “In the face of the silent reconquista of the United States [emphasis added], we confront a new linguistic phenomenon,” by which he meant that Spanish was conquering English just as it conquered the Aztec language centuries ago. According to El Siglo, Fuentes received “an intense ovation.”
Government statements and policies
The Mexican invasion thus represents the ultimate self-realization of the Mexican people as they move onto a larger part of the world stage—namely the United States—than they have ever occupied before. But the migration, and the imperialism that celebrates it, do not in themselves constitute war. What makes this great national movement war is the Mexican government’s statements and actions about it, particularly with regard to the extraterritorial nature of the Mexican nation and its claims on the U.S. For years, Mexican presidents have routinely spoken of a Mexican nation that extends beyond that country’s northern border into American territory. President Ernesto Zedillo told a 1994 convention of the radical-left Mexican-American lobbying group, the National Council of La Raza, “You are Mexicans too, you just live in the United States.” One of Fox’s cabinet officers, Juan Hernandez, has declared: “The Mexican population is 100 million in Mexico and 23 million who live in the United States.” These are not off-the-cuff statements, but formal state policy. As Heather Mac Donald writes in her important article in the Fall 2005 City Journal:
Mexico’s five-year development plan in 1995 announced that the “Mexican nation extends beyond ... its border”—into the United States. Accordingly, the government would “strengthen solidarity programs with the Mexican communities abroad by emphasizing their Mexican roots, and supporting literacy programs in Spanish and the teaching of the history, values, and traditions of our country.”
Such solidarity not only keeps Mexican-Americans sending remittances back to the home country, it makes them willing instruments of the Mexican government. Fox’s national security adviser proposed the mobilization of Mexican-Americans as a tool of Mexican foreign policy, as reported by Allan Wall. The head of the Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad said: “We are betting that the Mexican American population in the United States ... will think Mexico first.”
The Fifth Column
Once the Mexican people have been defined as a nation that transcends the physical borders of the Republic of Mexico, and once Mexican-Americans are defined as “Mexicans” who are to be represented by the Mexican government, claims of “Mexican” sovereignty and rights can be made on their behalf against the country in which they reside.
One such claim is to deny the authority of American law over them. Thus President Zedillo in 1997 denounced attempts by the United States to enforce its immigration laws, insisting that “we will not tolerate foreign forces dictating laws to Mexicans.” [Italics added.] The “Mexicans” to whom he was referring were, of course, residents and citizens of the U.S., living under U.S. law. By saying that U.S. law does not apply to them, Zedillo was denying America’s sovereign power over its own territory. He was saying something that the Mexican elite as a whole believe: that wherever Mexicans live (particularly the U.S. Southwest, which many Mexicans see as rightfully theirs) the Mexican nation has legitimate national interests. From this it follows that the normal operation of U.S. law on Mexicans living in the U.S. constitutes an “intolerable” attack on Mexican rights, which in turn justifies further Mexican aggression against America in the form of illegal border crossings, interference in the enforcement of U.S. laws, and just plain government to government obnoxiousness.
Employing this irredentist logic, President Fox refuses to call undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. “illegals.” He told radio host Sean Hannity in March 2002: “They are not illegals. They are people that come there to work, to look for a better opportunity.” But if people who have entered the U.S. illegally are not doing something illegal, then U.S. law itself has no legitimacy, at least over Mexican-Americans, and any operation of U.S. law upon them is aggression against the Mexican people.
Once we understand the cultural and national expansiveness that drives the Mexicans, the rest of their behavior falls into place. Consider Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda’s non-negotiable demands—“It’s the whole enchilada or nothing”—that he issued in a speech in Phoenix, Arizona in 2001. America, said Castañeda (as recounted by Allan Wall), “had to legalize all Mexican illegal aliens, loosen its already lax border enforcement, establish a guest worker program (during an economic downturn) and exempt Mexican immigrants from U.S. visa quotas!” He also demanded that Mexicans living in the U.S. receive health care and in-state college tuition. As Castañeda summed it up in Tijuana a few days later, “We must obtain the greatest number of rights for the greatest number of Mexicans [i.e. in the U.S.] in the shortest time possible.” What this adds up to, comments Wall, is basically “the complete surrender of U.S. sovereignty over immigration policy.” And why not? As Castañeda had written in The Atlantic in 1995: “Some Americans ... dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it.”
Hitler pursued Anschluss, the joining together of the Germans in Austria with the Germans in Germany leading to the official annexation of Austria to Germany. The softer Mexican equivalent of this concept is acercamiento. The word means closer or warmer relations, yet it is also used in the sense of getting Mexican-Americans to act as a unified bloc to advance Mexico’s political interests inside the U.S., particularly in increasing immigration and weakening U.S. immigration law. Thus the Mexican government is using the Mexican U.S. population, including its radical elements, as a fifth column.
As reported in the November 23, 2002 Houston Post:
Mexico’s foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, said his country would begin a “bottom-up campaign” to win U.S. public support for a proposal to legalize 3.5 million undocumented Mexican workers in the United States. Castañeda said Mexican officials will begin rallying unions, churches, universities and Mexican communities.... [Castañeda said:] “We are already giving instructions to our consulates that they begin propagating militant activities—if you will—in their communities.”
La Voz de Aztlan, the radical Mexican-American group that seeks to end U.S. “occupation” of the Southwest and form a new Mexican nation there, writes at its website:
One great hope that came out of the Zapatista March was that generated by the “alliance” that was forged by some of us in the Chicano/Mexicano Delegation and our brothers and sisters in Mexico. The delegation met with officials of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) in Mexico City and discussed strategies that will increase our influence in the United States and further our collective efforts of “acercamiento.”
Mexico’s violations of our laws and sovereignty
Let us now consider some of the specific actions by which the Mexican government is carrying out the strategy outlined above:
- The Mexican government publishes a comic book-style booklet, Guía del Migrante Mexicano (Guide for the Mexican Migrant), on how to transgress the U.S. border safely (“Crossing the river can be very risky, especially if you cross alone and at night ... Heavy clothing grows heavier when wet and this makes it difficult to swim or float”) and avoid detection once in the U.S.
- As Heather Mac Donald puts it, Mexico backs up these written instructions with real-world resources for the collective assault on the border. An elite law enforcement team called Grupo Beta protects illegal migrants as they sneak into the U.S. from corrupt Mexican officials and criminals—essentially pitting two types of Mexican lawlessness against each other. Grupo Beta currently maintains aid stations for Mexicans crossing the desert. In April 2005, it worked with Mexican federal and Sonoran state police to help steer illegal aliens away from Arizona border spots patrolled by Minutemen border enforcement volunteers—demagogically denounced by President Vicente Fox as “migrant-hunting groups.”
- While the Mexican government sends police to protect illegal border crossers against criminals, rogue Mexican soldiers protecting drug smugglers have threatened U.S. Border Patrol agents, and even engaged in shootouts, as reported in the Washington Times in January 2006. Rep. Tom Tancredo says the activities of these renegade Mexican troops in support of drug traffickers amount to a “war” along the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has urged President Bush to deploy troops there.
- Meanwhile, sheriffs from Hudspeth County, Texas testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations this month at a hearing titled “Armed and Dangerous: Confronting the Problem of Border Incursions.” They spoke of a dramatic increase in alien and drug smuggling. “The U.S./Mexico border is the weakest link and our national security is only as good as our weakest link,” said one sheriff. “Our border is under siege.” We need to understand that whether the Mexican government is behind the border incursions or is merely unable (or unwilling) to stop them, it ultimately doesn’t matter. As I said at the beginning, the Mexican war on America is supported by all segments of the Mexican society, even, apparently, the criminals. The situation is thus analogous to Muslim razzias or raids—irregular attacks short of outright invasion—used to soften a target country in anticipation of full scale military conquest. The outlaws and smugglers and the renegade soldiers may not be official agents of the Mexican government, yet they are serving its purposes by sowing mayhem along our southern border and demoralizing our population.
- A major role in Mexico’s revanchist war against America is played by the Mexican consulates in the U.S., reports Mac Donald. Now numbering 47 and increasing rapidly, they serve as the focal point of Mexico’s fifth column. While Mexico’s foreign ministry distributes the Guía del Migrante Mexicano inside Mexico, Mexican consulates, unbelievably, distribute the guide to Mexican illegals inside the U.S.
- After the U.S. became more concerned about illegal immigration following the 9/11 attack, the Mexican consulates were ordered to promote the matricula consular—a card that simply identifies the holder as a Mexican—as a way for illegals to obtain privileges that the U.S. usually reserves for legal residents. The consulates started aggressively lobbying American governmental officials and banks to accept the matriculas as valid IDs for driver’s licenses, checking accounts, mortgage lending, and other benefits.
- The consulates freely hand out the matricula to anyone who asks, not demanding proof that the person is legally in the U.S. Here is Mac Donald’s summary of the wildly improper role played by the consulates:
Disseminating information about how to evade a host country’s laws is not typical consular activity. Consulates exist to promote the commercial interests of their nations abroad and to help nationals if they have lost passports, gotten robbed, or fallen ill. If a national gets arrested, consular officials may visit him in jail, to ensure that his treatment meets minimum human rights standards. Consuls aren’t supposed to connive in breaking a host country’s laws or intervene in its internal affairs.
- As an example of the latter, the Mexican consulates automatically denounce, as “biased,” virtually all law enforcement activities against Mexican illegals inside the U.S. The Mexican authorities tolerate deportations of illegals if U.S. officials arrest them at the border and promptly send them back to the other side—whence they can try again the next day. But once an illegal is inside the U.S. and away from the border, he gains untouchable status in the eyes of Mexican consuls, and any U.S. law enforcement activity against him is seen as an abuse of his rights.
- The Mexican consulates actively campaign in U.S. elections on matters affecting illegal aliens. In November 2004, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, which reaffirmed existing state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to vote and to receive welfare benefits. The Mexican consul general in Phoenix sent out press releases urging Hispanics to vote against it. After the law passed, Mexico’s foreign minister threatened to bring suit in international tribunals for this supposedly egregious human rights violation, and the Phoenix consulate supported the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s federal lawsuit against the proposition.
- The consulates also help spread Mexican culture. We are not speaking here of the traditional activity of embassies and consulates in representing their country’s culture in a friendly and educational way to the host country; we are speaking of consulates acting as agents of the Mexican state’s imperialistic agenda. Each of Mexico’s consulates in the U.S. has a mandate to introduce Mexican textbooks (that’s Mexican textbooks) into U.S. schools with significant Hispanic populations. The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles bestowed nearly 100,000 textbooks on 1,500 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District this year alone.
- It has also been proposed that Mexicans in the U.S. vote in Mexican elections in designated electoral districts in the United States. Under this proposal, California, for example, might have seats in the Mexican Congress, specifically representing Mexicans residing in that state. The governing PAN party of President Fox has opposed this idea, not out of respect for U.S. sovereignty, but out of fear that most Mexicans in the U.S. would vote against the PAN. Meanwhile, another of Mexico’s three major parties, the leftist PRD, urges the designation of the entire United States as the sixth Mexican electoral district.
The follies of the victors
Throughout this article, I have spoken of Mexico’s revanchist campaign against the U.S. as though the Mexicans were carrying it out completely against our will. But as we are bitterly aware, this is not at all the case. Something has happened in America over the last 40 years that has not only opened us to the Mexican invasion, but has even invited it. From the refusal of many American cities to cooperate with the INS, to President Bush’s celebration of Mexican illegal aliens as the carriers of family values, to the Democratic Party’s insistence that all Mexican illegals in the U.S. be given instant amnesty and U.S. citizenship, it seems that America itself wants the Mexicans to invade and gain power in our country. Since we (or rather, some of us) have invited the Mexican invasion, does this mean we (or rather the rest of us) have no right oppose it?
In the first chapter of his history of the Second World War, entitled “The Follies of the Victors,” Winston Churchill wrote that the triumphant Western allies after the First World War made two mistakes, which in combination were fatal. First, they gave the defeated Germans the motive for revenge, by imposing terribly harsh penalties on them, and second—insanely—they gave them the opportunity for revenge, by failing to enforce the surrender terms when Hitler began to violate them in the 1930s. Yet the fact that the victors’ inexcusable follies enabled Germany to initiate a devastating war against Europe did not change the fact that Germany had initiated the war and had to be beaten. In the same way, by wresting vast territories from Mexico in 1848 we gave the Mexicans the motive for revenge, and then, 120 years later, we insanely gave them the opportunity, by letting Mexicans immigrate en masse into the very lands that our ancestors had taken from theirs, and also by adopting a view of ourselves as a guilty nation deserving of being overrun by cultural aliens.
We gave them the opportunity, they took it, and now it is they who are dictating terms to us.
To quote again from Jorge Castañeda’s 1995 Atlantic article:
Some Americans—undoubtedly more than before—dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it, and the consequences of trying to stop immigration would also certainly be more pernicious than any conceivable advantage. The United States should count its blessings: it has dodged instability on its borders since the Mexican Revolution, now nearly a century ago. The warnings from Mexico are loud and clear; this time it might be a good idea to heed them.
Because the U.S. has been silent and passive, Castañeda, in the manner of all bullies and conquistadors, tells us to heed Mexico. The time is long since passed for us to reverse this drama, and make Mexico heed the United States. But for us to do this, we must recognize that the Mexicans are not coming here merely as individuals seeking economic opportunities, but as a nation, expressing their national identity and collective will. Even more important, we must revive our own largely forgotten and forbidden sense that we ourselves are a nation, not just a bunch of consumers and bearers of individual rights, and have the right to defend our nation as a nation.
Lawrence Auster is the author of Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation. He offers a traditionalist conservative perspective at his weblog, View from the Right.
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