Commentary on Latin America. Mostly about Mexico - but not always. Designed to encourage readers to learn about the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people spread across two continents - but not always. You can always count on a little snark.
With the "Fast and Furious" debate raging in Washington and Senator Issa hunting for heads from the Justice Department, let's take a moment to remember 25 years ago this summer when the nation learned via hearings in DC the extent to which Ronald Reagan and his advisors (let's remember the "President was briefed verbally" moment) were funneling weapons to Iran and the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua. Don't forget to have a look at the Oliver North files at the National Security Archive, HERE.
Since Glenn Beck's failed crusade to Jerusalem (see The Guardian article here) I've lost track of the nutter, but back in May he apparently took a shot at Eva Longoria for comments she made on the Bill Maher show stating that the United States had occupied Mexico. Beck seeks to, erm, set the record straight regarding the "Mexico was occupied crap" that was dropped on "us" (he had a mouse in his pocket). His reasons for saying Mexico was not occupied by the United States:
1) In Mexico they speak Spanish (not Mexican, he said, which will come as a shock to all the nahuatl speakers and perhaps the 51 other indigenous language speakers in Mexico), not Enlgish, which would be a sign of occupation (again, which would come as a shock to all those Mexicans that remained on the north end of the 1847 war AND all the Mexicans speaking English to deal with the tourists and 1 million economic refugees from the US that live in Mexico). No, the true sign of an occupation is that Spanish and Hispanic come from a Roman (he also says Italian) occupation of Spain and then a 300 year Spanish occupation of Mexico. The part of Mexico that became Texas was only Mexican for 15 years, so no occupation happened.
2) The war with Mexico was a product of Mexican aggression. The presence of US forces in Mexico City was not an occupation because it was resolved with a treaty. Interesting. He does take a moment to recognize that Manifest Destiny was in play.
3) Even though the US "routed" Mexico we were benevolent enough to purchase what became the Western American States for $15 million. "We went the extra distance" and paid for it. So, since what was left of Mexico was not occupied with military forces or controlled by the US politically, and because the part that was militarily occupied was paid for and won in war then no occupation happened. The Mexicans living in the US were bought for, fair and square. Not occupied.
4) Anybody that thinks any portion of Mexico was occupied is ignorant, and that ignorance of history creates the current climate of bad immigration policy.
5) The US and Israel are the only two nations in the world that are slandered and attacked as wrongful occupiers of invaded lands, even when justly conquered in war. Not even China's occupation of Tibet.
6) Israel is a benevolent nation, rightfully given land by the United Nations, and just vanquisher of wrongful Arabic aggression.
7) The world is devoid of truth.
8) Disagreeing with the Beckian version of history means you hate the United States.
Beck got all of that from a statement in which Longoria said Latinos are not a monolithic voting bloc because Cubans are welcomed as political refugees but Mexicans were occupied. From Nogales to Tel Aviv in a few short minutes of Beck logic. While Beck gets some surface facts correct, his disregard for other goings on is a history crime aided and abetted by some strange interpretations. The only thing I think we can fully agree on his the seventh point - that the world is devoid of truth - starting with the void space between his ears.
I'd point out that not two weeks after Longoria's "betrayal" of the United States, her movie about the Cristero war and how "big bad gubment" beats up on the defenseless and weak Catholic Church in Mexico has become a darling of the American right-wing.
Reports of hormiga style vote stealing (a few hundred here, a few hundred there), armed robbery of ballot boxes, mis-counting, bribery, and an interesting hacking job by anonymous showing that AMLO won has the outcome of the 2012 election a little more up in the air than the pundits in New York and D.C. are reporting. Hold on to your hats folks - if there is a shred of justice left in electoral politics in Mexico this SHOULD get interesting.
Jason Dormady is currently an associate professor of history at Central Washington University where he teaches courses on Mexico, general Latin American topics, world history, and religion in Latin America. He is also a member of the CWU Latin@ and Latin American Studies program faculty. You can read about my research interests at Academia.
The statements on this page do not reflect the views of Central Washington University or the Latin@ and Latin American Studies program.