Glynn Custred asks "Where's Vicente?" Answers *
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(*note ominous squishy-on-illegals noise from Bush official)

From:  Glynn Custred

Maybe you can answer a question I have. Bush has met with Chretien of Canada and Blair of Britain, our closest allies, concerning the vicious September 11 terrorist attack on the United States. Bush has also been in consultation with European leaders, including Vladimir Putin, who have all expressed solidarity in one way or another (so far at least). Just yesterday he met with the Prime Minister of Japan.

But what has Bush's very best buddy in the whole wide world, Vicente Fox, said about the terrorist attacks? How has Fox demonstrated his commitment to the New North America with its melted borders? What has best friend Fox said about our shared economic fortunes and our shared citizens? Has Fox changed his OPEC defined oil policy so that cheaper oil will soon flow across the non-existent border so that our economic crisis in this time of trouble might be mitigated?

I'm sure Bush's very best buddy in all the whole world has strongly condemned the terrorists, has reaffirmed his commitment to a blended North American that has merged Mexico with the United States, and I am sure he is ready taken steps to help his NAFTA partner economically in the best way he possibly can.

I'm sure he's said and done all that. I just haven't heard about it.

Please inform me.

[Glynn Custred is Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Hayward and the co-author of Proposition 209. His important October 2000 article on the immigration problem as experienced by Americans on the Southwest border has been rescued by from implosion of American Spectator's website and is now archived by us.]

VDARE.COM'S ANSWER: Since Glynn Custred wrote us on Wednesday, Fox has voiced his support, finally, in a limited way, specifically ruling out military support. On Larry King Live, he said:

While Fox said Mexico will help the United States diplomatically and would be willing to share intelligence and supply oil, he said he does not expect Mexico to participate in any U.S. military operation.


"Militarily speaking, we don't count. I mean, we are not a military country," Fox said. "We don't have a strong army. That is not the way we contribute."

Well, that's true - Mexico certainly has not contributed in that way to any recent U.S. war.  Mexico sat out World War I and in World War II sent a total of one Mexican Fighter Squadron overseas.

The Columbia Encyclopedia's discussion of wartime President Avila Camacho describes Mexico's contribution to the defeat of the Empire of Japan:

During World War II, he cooperated with the United States in programs of hemisphere defense, reciprocal trade, and agricultural labor exchange and sent (1945) a Mexican air squadron to fight in the Pacific.

1945! The "War on Terrorism" is likely to drag on for a while, but if we knew in advance when the last year of it was going to be, that would be the year that Señor Fox would send troops.

Mexico's banners were conspicuously absent from the Korean War, when even Colombia and Luxembourg sent forces.

Mexico does have an army of 130,000, with reserves of 300,000, and it spends 4 billion dollars a year on the military. But according to leftist peace activist Fred Miller,

The Ejercito's competence at its original function, resisting other armies, is also irrelevant. Mexico is not at risk of invasion; it outspends Belize and Guatemala by forty times. US military spending is 52 times Mexico's. No contest there. There is only one job the Mexican Army can, and does, do. That is its de facto mission, repression of unarmed civilians. The Ejercito Mexicano, like most militaries in most poor countries, is the battalion big enough to fight against trade unions, tribal councils, farmer's cooperatives and artisan's guilds.

But this army, Fox thinks, is not strong enough to fight Osama bin Laden.

Ruben Navarrette of the Dallas Morning News has a good overview of Fox's vacillating, which he obviously finds embarrassing. Mexico did actually sign the 1947 Rio Treaty, which states that "an armed attack by any State against an American State shall be considered as an attack against all the American States and, consequently, each one of the said Contracting Parties undertakes to assist in meeting the attack in the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense, recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations." It's just that Mexico apparently doesn't feel bound by it.

According to Ginger Thompson in the New York Times, (September 27, 2001) Fox is now making stronger statements after his earlier comments were criticised as being "ambiguous and bound by conditions."


But Fox has a problem. As soon as he tries to be helpful to the United States, the Mexican Congress cries "Treason."


But the attacks and Mr. Bush's declarations against terrorism have unleashed a resurgence of bad feelings toward the United States that threatens to undermine Mexico's new high-profile status.


Mr. Castañeda, the architect of Mr. Fox's campaign to make Mexico a more active influence in the world, has been scolded in Congress as a traitor. Some legislators called for his resignation.


Carlos Fuentes, the writer who is a former ambassador, said, "We are partners to the United States, but in no way should we be 'yes men' to the United States." He used a derogatory word that also translates as "subjects."

Question for George W. Bush: maybe the Mexicans just don't like American very much?

Ruben Navarrette (email him) also points out that the attack on New York was literally an attack on Mexicans:

Buried and presumed dead in the rubble are at least 500 Mexicans who were working in the World Trade Center on September 11. Will Mexico help avenge their deaths? Will it aid their survivors?

Answer: probably "no," since the Americans are already obligingly doing both. Lisa J. Adams of AP reports that an aid fund has been set up by the 31 US states that have offices in Mexico:

The Sept. 11 Fund is intended to help relatives of those killed and injured in the attacks and those who may have survived but lost jobs in the United States, said Beverly Halls of the United Fund Private Assistance Institution, the private Mexican organization handling the donations.


Many Mexicans worked in hotels, restaurants and offices in the World Trade Center towers, which collapsed after being struck by two hijacked airplanes on Sept. 11.


 [US Ambassador to Mexico Jeffrey] Davidow said there would be no discrimination against survivors of the attack who had been working illegally in the United States, or against relatives of the victims who come forward to help with the identification process.


"I want to stress that the lack of legal papers is not going to be in any way an obstacle," Davidow said. emphasis added.

The one good thing that has come out of this is that the Mexican Government has proved that it can prevent people from crossing the border when it wants to.

The New York Times (September 27, 2001) reports that

the Mexican government has added agents along the border in an effort to close the porous points where illegal immigrants routinely cross. Agents now rummage through the guest houses where people wait to be walked across the border by guides for a $1,000 fee.

"We have more people at the federal, state and local levels working the border, and it is paying off," Mr. Escobar said. "For example, 13 men from Yemen were apprehended last Saturday in Agua Prieta, just across from Douglas."

After the crisis has settled down, we could suggest to Señor Fox that it would be much simpler just to prevent everybody from crossing the border illegally - Mexicans, Salvadorians, and Yemenis alike.

This would simplify the task of the Mexican Army, and avoid the inevitable charges of profilismo.

And, oh - we can find no reports that Fox is considering letting the U.S. have cheaper oil.

When in 1938, President Lázaro Cárdena expropriated the oil industry, a theft of an almost unthinkable magnitude. Other countries boycotted Mexico, refusing to buy stolen oil, but World War II made such scruples impracticable, with the Allies desperate for oil to fight Germany and Japan.  World war II saved the Mexican oil industry.

A shutdown  in the Middle East will give the Mexican economy a terrific boost. Maybe Mexican workers will  be able to stay home.

September 30, 2001

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