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Something else for Secretary of State Clinton to think about as she begins her visit today.
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What could be the thoughts of these innocent young girls as they intone their nation’s war chant?
What was González Bocanegra thinking when he wrote this?
Besides the call of nature and the pangs of love, he had a motive to brown-nose Santa Anna and his regime, sore from the humiliation of United States invasion of Mexico a few years before.
Nota bene: The verses were written a decade before the French invasion of Mexico and installation of Maximilian of Hapsburg as Emperor. In the original intent of the Mexican national anthem, there is one and only one foreign invader as object of enmity — and its capital is on a river called Potomac.
Was this an instance of sincere patriotic expression or self-concious parody, some sort of “secret writing”?
Leo Strauss, call your office.
There is reason to doubt that the throngs in Minute Maid Park, waiting for the first pitch and the second Budweiser, give much thought to the rockets and ramparts of war when they sing our national anthem. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is another warning against invasion, inspired by the British attacks on Washington and Baltimore in the War of 1812. Our anthem’s seldom-sung third verse is the bloodiest part of the song:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
The United States anthem is triumphal and optimistic; the anthem of Mexico, which has never won a war, is bitter and fatalistic.
Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox, far friendlier to the United States than any of his predecessors, recalls ruefully that his counterpart George W. Bush simply could not understand the Mexican refusal to join the “coalition of the willing” in the invasion of Iraq. In his memoir, Fox says that sending Mexican troops into a foreign intervention goes against not only the nation’s written Constitution but also the constitution of the Mexicans’minds and souls.
A familiar refrain in popular Mexican love ballads is yo se perder. This translates as “I know loss,” or, with a certain savoir faire, “I know how to lose.”
In “Como la Flor,” Selena, the Tex-Mex chanteuse, sang yo se perder as a woman walking away from an unrequited love. In the more traditional Mexican ballad, “Volver, Volver,” the singer exclaims yo se perder while announcing she is flying back — ready or not, here I come! — into the arms of her amor perdido.
What is to be made of this? What happens when a gung-ho nation where “winning is the only thing” meets a culture that has elevated losing to an elaborate art form? Do not be so certain about your predictions, and remember: Amor vincit omnia.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?