If people need a respite from bashing France, Mexico offers another large target. Mexico’s political officials are displaying a gratuitious and myopic arrogance toward the U.S. that would make Jacques Chirac proud.
Upset that the U.S. hasn’t fulfilled their pre-9/11 wish list — which includes blanket amnesty for Mexican illegal aliens — Mexican officials are opposing U.S. war plans against Iraq.
“I want to reiterate that Mexico’s position has been and will be very clear. It will exclusively serve our interests, the interests of the Mexicans and no one else,” said Mexico’s Interior Minister Santiago Creel.
Reuters, quoting foreign policy analysts, says that “Mexico now feels spurned and believes it has little to lose politically by turning its back on Washington.” In other words, unable to pluck any more eggs from the goose, Mexico sees no point in defending it against wolves.
American officials are rightly asking, ¿Y tu Mexico? They had hoped that Vicente Fox would discard the anti-American foreign policy of Mexico’s past. But he has proven to be as small-minded and self-serving as his predecessors.
One would think that Fox could understand Bush’s post-9/11 reluctance to support a blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. But maybe not. Mexico’s political officials since 9/11 have shown themselves to be self-absorbed sourpusses. They have acted as if the deaths of 3,000 Americans were a great inconvenience for Mexico. (It does not help matters that shortly after 9/11 Osama bin Laden rubber masks and T-shirts sold like hot cakes in Mexico City.) They have gracelessly mentioned from time to time America’s pre-9/11 “commitments.”
When the Spanish president and U.S. ally Jose Maria Aznar visited with Fox last week, Fox didn’t even bother to dress formally, according to Reuters. He just wore a black leather jacket and open-necked shirt. This is the diplomatic equivalent of throwing a game. How such arrogance will help Fox’s countrymen is a mystery. His spiteful opposition to a U.S. war is an insult which American officials will not soon forget.
Observers might say, “Well, Fox’s not stabbing America in the back. He just has a different view of the war.” But this supposes that Mexico’s opposition to the war is based on a philosophical difference, which strains credulity. If Bush had given Fox the amnesty deal he sought before 9/11, does anybody seriously think Fox would now be talking about the importance of giving U.N. inspectors more time?
Fox’s opposition to the war is part of a larger post-9/11 pattern. Recall that in late 2002 Fox angrily snubbed Bush after Texas executed a Mexican who had killed a police officer. Fox abruptly canceled a summit scheduled at Bush’s ranch. Apparently Bush was supposed to stop the execution of the guilty murderer simply because he was a Mexican.
Fox whined about the just execution at length. He demanded that U.S. authorities suspend the sentence, saying the Mexican murderer hadn’t been allowed to contact the Mexican consulate for help after his 1988 arrest. Fox accused U.S. officials of violating the 1963 Vienna Convention of Consular Relations. He got twelve Latin American nations to file a legal brief in support of the Mexican appeal for Suarez’s life, and his international protest against America’s supposedly unfair practice of executing murderers led Mary Robinson, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, to petition Secretary of State Colin Powell for a review of the case.
Texans weren’t impressed and the cop killer was executed. Fox’s spokesman then said Mexico’s president wouldn’t meet with Bush. “This decision is an unequivocal signal of rejection of the execution,” he said. “It would be inappropriate, in these lamentable circumstances, to go ahead with the visit to Texas.”
Now Fox doesn’t want Bush to punish another killer, Saddam Hussein. Which leads one to wonder: If Mexico is independent enough to stick it to America at the U.N., why isn’t it independent enough to live without America’s assistance?
Mexico will of course demand assistance in the future, and America will grant it. Mexico, like France and other countries afflicted with an inferiority complex, can thus feel secure in its spite, knowing that America will help those who do not help her.
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