Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fight or Fry Tortillas

I am a very frustrated retired centurion. I understand it is hard to stay on top as an empire, but our precipitous slide toward irrelevancy is alarming, galling, and scary.

I have watched with utter amazement as the greatest superpower in the history of the world has impotently allowed third world neighbors overwhelm its borders and flood its cities with millions of illegal immigrants who now have the gall to demand recognition as a separate culture within our borders. Some Mexican voices have even proclaimed that they are reclaiming lost territory. Let's pause for a second (okay, several minutes) and review some American history...

One hundred and seventy years ago we helped Americans and Mexicans in a land called Texas in their revolt against a tyrannical dictatorship in Mexico City. A former US congressman, Davy Crockett, and a small band of American adventurers died at the Alamo fighting alongside "Texians" (many of whom were latino). A ragtag Texas army later defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto, and the Republic of Texas was born. Mexico continued to dispute the fact that Texas territory was no longer theirs for the next 9 years. In 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, at their request, and in response to untoward British attention in the region. This precipitated the American war with Mexico--the Mexican government actually declared war on the United States, to which President Polk and the US Congress responded with their own declaration of war. We invaded Mexico. Mexico lost the war, gave up their claim to Texas, and ceded California and New Mexico (including territory in what is now Arizona, Colorada and Nevada) to the United States. Mexicans have groused about this loss ever since. Tough. They can commiserate with the Cherokee, Mohican, Souix, Navaho, Chickasaw, et al.

In fact, there was a fairly strong faction in the US Congress that pushed for annexation of the entirety of Mexico at the conclusion of the war. That we did not, established a precedent for our American Imperialism--we would defeat you in war, but not take ALL of your land and assimilate you. Mores the pity--think how pre-eminent we would be now if not for that precedent. Had our empire building followed more ample historical precedent these re-United States of America might well today include western hemispheric states stretching from the north pole to the equator, perhaps even extending below the Tropic of Capricorn (go look at a globe)--it was an American adventurer, Simon Bolivar, who led most of South America in revolt against their European colonizers--as well as states ringing the western edge of the Pacific Basin. Today, the Spanish language would be spoken only in Spain. Does this sound far-fetched? Imagine how far-fetched the existence of a State of California would have seemed to George Washington.

But I digress. My point is, we took most of the North American continent by wars of conquest--we had better be willing to keep it by means just as ruthless.

Or, we can all learn to sing in Spanish.
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