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                          WAR WITH MEXICO

                                Posted By: PAT BUCHANAN
                            Date: Monday, 22 May 2000, at 4:03 a.m.

               War with Mexico?

               Trouble in the Neighborhood

               Patrick J. Buchanan

               Let me begin with a little history. Since Mexico won its independence from Spain  in 1821, our relations have often been troubled. In 1836, American settlers in
Texas rebelled and that Mexican province was soon lost to the United States. War ensued; and Mexico ceded the entire Southwest and California to America.

               However, when a Union Army helped Benito Juarez force the French out of
Mexico in 1867, the neighbors became friends. But in 1910, the troubles began anew. After a revolution that was both anti-church and anti-American, an impatient Woodrow Wilson declared, "I am going to teach the South Americans to elect good men." And, after a bloody assault on New Mexico by Pancho Villa, Wilson sent General Pershing -- to do his tutoring.

               In 1938, despite the Good Neighbor Policy of FDR, President Cardenas
nationalized the foreign oil companies. PEMEX was born.  Lately, PEMEX has
colluded with OPEC to kept oil off the world market to gouge the Americans who bailed out Mexico five years ago. So much for gratitude.

               Today, I fear America and Mexico may again be headed for a time of troubles.  Indeed, in his novel about future wars, Cap Weinberger even had one of those wars feature a U.S. invasion of Mexico. For the record, that is not what I have in
mind.

               Why do I believe U.S.-Mexican relations are headed downhill? Because, despite the propaganda about NAFTA, despite some 4000 maquiladora plants employing over a million workers, real wages in these plants have fallen below where they  were when NAFTA passed. Indeed, real wages in Mexico are now below where
they were in 1980.

               Two catastrophic devaluations of the peso have robbed Mexico's hard-working people of the fruits of their labor. Hence, the great migration north of Mexico's poor has exploded. Senator Adolfo Zinser openly admits:

"The [Mexican] government's economic policy is dependent on unlimited emigration to the United States."

               In 1993, Janet Reno boasted: "If NAFTA passes, my job guarding the border will be easier." Well, Ms. Reno got NAFTA; and despite a doubling of the Border
Patrol and a new security fence at San Diego, record numbers of illegal aliens are
being apprehended every year.

               Let me tell you about a lady I visited: Theresa Murray, 82 years old, who lives in a ranch house right on the border in Douglas, Arizona. Her house is surrounded by
chain-link fence on the top of which are masses of razor wire. Every door and window has bars on it. She sleeps with a gun on her bed table because she has been burglarized 30 times. Her two pet guard dogs are dead, their stomachs torn open by shards of glass in packets of meat that were thrown over the fence. This lady is living inside a maximum security prison in her own home in her own country because our government is too weak or cowardly to do its duty to defend America's borders.

               Politicians may gush over our warm relations, but there is no peace on the frontier.  Nightly, ranches are turned into bivouac areas for armies of aliens that cut fences and leave poisoned cattle and trails of human debris behind in their endless drive north.

               Lately, the Mexican army has begun to intrude. The State Department reports 55 Mexican military incursions in five years. Last month, two truckloads of Mexican
soldiers barreled through a barbed wire fence, pursued a Border Patrol vehicle and two officers on horseback, and fired shots. Mexico City says the soldiers  were part of an anti-drug unit. But Border Patrol agents believe some Mexican  army units collaborate with the drug cartels, that made Mexico their preferred crossing point into the U.S. when NAFTA passed.

               As for the millions of illegals who have already entered this country, they have
caused a demographic sea change. California now has 34 million people and, if  the border is not secured, will have 50 million by 2010.  One-third of California's
population is now Latino.

               Such sudden changes in the ethnic character of a society can mean everything.
              
               When Americans in Texas vastly out-numbered Mexicans, they rebelled, and
Mexico lost Texas. In 1893, U.S. sugar planters in Hawaii rose up and deposed the Queen. Five years later, we annexed Hawaii. Mass immigration, then insurrection, independence, and annexation: This is how Europe's American empires were expropriated, and America grew. We may choose to forget this history, but Mexico remembers. And while we shudder at the idea it could happen here, Mexican irredentism is alive and well.

               In 1998, the Mexican consul general in California exclaimed: "[E]ven though I am saying this part serious, part joking, I think we are practicing La Reconquista in
California." In 1997, President Zedillo said: "I have proudly proclaimed that the  Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders,  and...Mexican migrants are...a very important part of it."

               Anti-Americanism is taking root in the barrios. In February 1998 the U.S. soccer team played Mexico in Los Angeles' Coliseum. The crowd
booed our national anthem. Fans who applauded the U.S. team were pelted with
fruit and cups of beer; the U.S. players were showered with debris and spat
upon as they left the field - in their own country.

               The Latino student organization MechA openly demands return of the Southwest  to Mexico. Charles Truxillo, a professor of Chicano studies at the University of New Mexico, says the creation of a new "Aztlan," with it capital in Los Angeles is
inevitable, and Mexicans should seek it by any means necessary. Ricky Sierra of
One Stop Immigration, declares: "We're recolonizing America so they're afraid of
us. It's time to take back what is ours."

               One demonstration leader in Westwood was heard to say,  "We are here...to
show white Protestant Los Angeles that we're the majority...and we claim this land
as ours. It's always been ours and we're still here if anybody is going to be deported it's going to be you." Now, in 1845, Californians did not consider themselves Mexicans, but Spaniards. So this is myth. But in such matters myth trumps truth.

               Proposition 187, passed by a 3-2 margin in 1994, was the last serious effort by Californians to confront a crisis state and federal governments refuse to grapple
with. It would have denied social benefits and free schooling to illegal aliens. It may have been too harsh; but, after Californians voted it into law, pro-illegal groups tied it up in court, and Governor Gray Davis refused to pursue it to the Supreme Court. Prop 187, mocks California legislator Art Torres, was "the last gasp of white America."

               Why did Californians support it? One reason is that the L.A. school system is in crisis. At a cost of $10,500 per student, more than half the students cannot do        grade-level work. Children are promoted automatically, whether failing or not. The new L.A. also has a thriving gang culture, where Hispanic gangs account for far more killings than those by any other group.

               Taxpayer services was another reason for Prop 187. Here, I want to repeat a
story by Roger McGrath, an historian of the American West who was born in  L.A. "Not so long ago," writes McGrath, "my daughter had split her eyebrow  open in an accident and my wife and I rushed her to our local hospital. Although our community is not more than 8% Hispanic, a third or more in the emergency room clearly were recent arrivals from south of the border...they were speaking only Spanish. While my wife held an ice pack on my daughter's eyebrow, I filled out a stack of insurance forms for the hospital, and watched illegal alien after illegal alien go ahead of us....Most of them seemed to be there for problems that were not of an emergency nature. Controlling my temper as best I could I asked one of the nurses what was going on. She looked at me
sympathetically, nodded in the direction of the illegals and said 'If they don't pay,
the county and the state cover our expenses. If you don't pay, we're stuck with it.'
Illegal aliens to the front of the line, American citizens to the rear."

               No one is supposed to talk about this. Republicans head for the hills and wall
themselves off in gated communities, terrified to speak their minds lest they be branded "xenophobic" by the thought police of Political Correctness. Democrats see a new base in illegal immigration. The more poor people, the larger the constituency for social programs. The speaker of California's assembly has called on the state to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. And Democrats are moving at flank speed to turn illegals into voters.

               President Clinton, whose INS created 800,000 new citizens just in time to vote in 1996, is talking about another amnesty for all illegal aliens. The AFL-CIO, with          visions of millions of new union members, is all for it. Meanwhile, in California, plans are being explored to declare Cinco de Mayo a state holiday. "In the near future," says Gray Davis, "people will look at California and Mexico as one magnificent region." Perhaps we can call it Aztlan.

               George W. Bush goes further. He wants a NAFTA free trade zone extended to
all of South America to Cape Horn. But just as in Europe,where such a Common
Market led to a European political union, a hemispheric NAFTA must mean an
eventual end of America's separate identity and national sovereignty. Mr. Clinton
understands this. I doubt if Mr. Bush has a clue.

               My friends, Mexico's people are good people, who have been robbed repeatedly of the just rewards of their labor. While any American President must be ready to  help Mexico, we cannot permit any regime to use America as a spillway for the excess population it cannot employ. And we cannot allow to rise within our
country a nation within a nation where Spanish is the language and anti-Americanism the ideology, while U.S. taxpayers pay for its schools and services as it swells inexorably towards the Nuevo Aztlan of the Chicano activists' imagination.

               In a Buchanan presidency, the Border Patrol will get the tools it needs, and be
backed up by the Armed Forces if necessary; and that border will be closed tight to illegal immigration, and I will ask no one's permission to do it. As Ronald Reagan reminded us: A country that doesn't control its borders isn't really a country anymore. Good fences make good neighbors.

               As for U.S. businesses that repeatedly hire illegals to avoid the wages, benefits,  and protections accorded our workers, they will be prosecuted. And I will use
every presidential power to ensure that immigrant children are immersed in the
English language from the moment they enter an American classroom.

               My friends, you in the West know that Mexico is inseparably entwined with the
culture and history of this region. But for all that we share, we remain separate,                distinct nations. And the nation, said General DeGaulle, is the building block of
international society. As he could not see a Europe without her France, her Italy, her Germany, so, to me, the world will suffer an incomparable and irreparable loss
without a fully sovereign and forever independent United States, with defined frontiers, confident of its history and identity, ready always to extend Mexico a helping hand, but prepared to enforce its own laws, and formulate trade and immigration policies in the interests of Americans first. When all our leaders are clear about that, we will be on the way to peace on the border once again.


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