Author to immigration reform opponents: “A lot of people live in land that was taken from Mexico”

posted at 5:01 pm on May 5, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

This morning I switched over to CBS in advance of Face the Nation while I was working and happened to catch the last half hour of CBS News Sunday Morning. One segment they featured was an “historical” piece focusing on the Mexican American war, featuring an interview with author Amy S. Greenberg. She published a book last year titled, “A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico.” As the title will probably tell you, she’s not approaching the subject as a fan of the Manifest Destiny doctrine. A transcript of the entire segment is available here.

“James K. Polk went to Congress and said American blood had been shed on American soil, but almost nobody except Americans claimed that the land where the blood was shed was actually American soil,” Greenberg said. “When Zachary Taylor marched his troops between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, he was marching through land which everybody, including the residents of that territory, believed to be Mexican land.”

“So they were basically looking for a fight?” asked Rocca.

“Absolutely. No question about it.”

I’m sure we can have a debate over the motivations and strategies of Polk and the Eminent Domain doctrine, but the host seemed to feel a need to make the conversation a bit more topical by bringing in the immigration reform debate. This is where the author really digs in her heels and finds her voice.

So how do Mexicans today view the war?

“Well, as a disaster,” said museum director Salvador Rueda. “Mexico lost half of their own territory.”

For Rueda, the end of the war was the beginning of a long love/hate relationship between Mexico and the United States over what is known to them as Invasion Americana — “American Invasion.”

Greenberg says the conflict matters today because “A lot of people live in land that was taken from Mexico in this war, taken from Mexico, and they’re not aware of that. I believe a lot of the immigration debate that’s going on now operates in a vacuum, where people are not realizing that in fact Mexicans are here in lands that once belonged to Mexico.”

I’m assuming the tone of the entire book runs along those lines. There seems to be a recurring theme in the author’s comments which seeks to tie the Polk era to more recent events. One excellent example was when she led off by saying, “There was no great ideological reason why we were going to war against Mexico. It was the first war that was started with a presidential lie.” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see where she was going with that one, but the host chose not to follow up on it.

The book received a fairly glowing review from the Washington Post when it first debuted, but when Peter Hannford got hold of it for the Washington Times, some uncomfortable elements were pointed out.

The title of this book about the U.S-Mexican War (1846-47) gives away the author’s bias. It is lifted from a statement Ulysses S. Grant made in 1867, 20 years after the war ended.

The author, Amy Greenberg, is described on the jacket as “a leading scholar of Manifest Destiny.” It seems odd, therefore, that in this book she does not document the popularity of that concept among the people of James K. Polk’s time.

A theme running throughout the book is that Polk lied to Congress and the people, using a pretext to wage war. Ms. Greenberg also makes much of the point that this was the first case of one republic going to war with another. Ever since its independence from Spain in 1822, Mexico’s republican status was tenuous. There were constant power struggles among factions and frequent changes of president. One result was that possessions, notably Alta, Calif. (today’s state) had little oversight from Mexico. American settlers, the British and Russians all had designs on the real estate. Polk wanted to acquire California and was willing to pay for it.

If you’re looking for some interesting Sunday reading, go through both of those reviews. It’s a fascinating period of history, and while Greenberg has a lot of bias on display to answer for, the Washington Times piece includes plenty of salient points about the Polk administration, manifest destiny and the war with Mexico. It’s a good read.


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All I got to say, is F**k Off, We Won It Fair and Square!

lonestar1 on May 5, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Crude as this may be, not to mention unpleasant in such a ‘civilized’ age, it really does apply.

At some level we earned the land we have with bullets and blood, and those who don’t like that can come and take it back…or they can sit and whine because they know that they’d get their beans baked twice, if you get my drift.

MelonCollie on May 6, 2013 at 12:31 AM

As I told my good friend Marco…”we’ll give California back to the Mexicans just as soon as all you Mexicans of Spanish descent give Mexico back to the natives – and – you get your butts back to Spain!”…crickets…

FlyNavy on May 6, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Now you believe in borders?

Ronnie on May 6, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Having spent a few minutes at wikipedia U,

I’ll give the Spanish credit for colonizing California and building the missions etc. I think they could make a claim, but Mexico didn’t exist until 1821, and they called Alta California a territory. Twenty five years later the Natives revolt, the US has a war with Mexico and Mexico cedes the territory.

So, technically California was a territory of Mexico for less than three decades, one hundred and seventy years ago.

As a native Californian, I say to all of those without a clue, believe they belong to a culture that doesn’t actually exist, and who think they deserve something that didn’t belong to them, come and get it.

If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
-Muhammad Ali 

danielreyes on May 6, 2013 at 1:33 AM

We won… they lost… tough luck…

Go celebrate your victory over the French… Happy Cinco de Mayo…

Khun Joe on May 6, 2013 at 1:33 AM

What ethnicity do I need to put a claim in here or win a political race?

Just tell me and I am sure I can …er…manufacture something….

Sherman1864 on May 6, 2013 at 1:46 AM

I vaguely remember a film from the sixties, where Peter Ustinov plays a Mexican general who recaptures the Alamo. I think he gets the girl at the end.

Are these people going to capture the Plaza in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (LA’s original name).

Occupying is trendy, they could try that.

danielreyes on May 6, 2013 at 2:08 AM

I suppose, by the same logic, that we should give the East Coast back to the British; Florida to Spain, and the midwest to France.

Boats48 on May 6, 2013 at 4:54 AM

Nah, we purchased the Louisana Purchase good and proper like.

Sherman1864 on May 6, 2013 at 7:19 AM

I fully expect in the not-too-distant future for elected representatives in California to begin pushing secession from the US to give California “back” to Mexico.

MPan on May 6, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Obozo and his ilk will try to find some way to give Texas away as reperations… after an apology tour and lobbing some drones on texans.

acyl72 on May 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM

…people are not realizing that in fact Mexicans are here in lands that once belonged to Mexico.”

Mexicans are on land that once belonged to the Aztecs and was taken from them. They should return it to the indigenous people and go back to Spain.

RadClown on May 6, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Point well made by the author – makes me realize that the only mistake we made was stopping at the RIO GRANDE !

Many would also argue they have ostensibly reclaimed their territory and more !

alQemist on May 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The author, Amy Greenberg, is described on the jacket as “a leading scholar of Manifest Destiny.”

… and our currently inept and Constitution-ignoring President is often referred to as intelligent and a ‘constitutional scholar’.

The left at best doesn’t know what words mean, and at worst – and most of the time – simply lies, habitually and pathologically.

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

We were not at war with Mexico. Mexico wasn’t threatening us. The indisputable fact is Manifest Destiny made it necessary to take their land, and we took it.

Stealing land is how this country was built. Through force of war we stole from the Mexicans, we stole from the Native Americans, we stole from the Spanish. We tried to steal land from the Canadians (54-40 or fight) but backed off when it became clear they would fight.

“They did it too” is hardly justification for our actions.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

We were not at war with Mexico. Mexico wasn’t threatening us. The indisputable fact is Manifest Destiny made it necessary to take their land, and we took it.

Stealing land is how this country was built. Through force of war we stole from the Mexicans, we stole from the Native Americans, we stole from the Spanish. We tried to steal land from the Canadians (54-40 or fight) but backed off when it became clear they would fight.

“They did it too” is hardly justification for our actions.

Let’s have a good cry.

tom daschle concerned on May 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM

We should have taken the whole country and made it into a couple more states. Then we would only have a 90 mile long border to secure and not a 2,000 mile one.

unseen on May 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

They did it too” is hardly justification for our actions.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

bullcrap. The native Americans were doomed. Their way of life could not exist in the modern world. If the USA didn’t expand outward then the European countries would have took the land from them. France invaded Mexico and if the USA was broken in the civil war they would still be there. britian invaded and kept Canada from the North Americans. France had most of the midwest until we “bought” it from them. The spanish had Mexico and the west. Hell even many of the native american tribes that were here when the eupreans came had their land because of war with other tribes.

unseen on May 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Point well made by the author – makes me realize that the only mistake we made was stopping at the RIO GRANDE !

Many would also argue they have ostensibly reclaimed their territory and more !

alQemist on May 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

well we didn’t stop and the Rio grande. We captured Mexico city. We pulled back at the end of the war to the riop grande stupid mistake. Most of it was because the country at the time did not want a mass of spanish speaking catholics as additional citizens.

unseen on May 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

We should have taken the whole country and made it into a couple more states. Then we would only have a 90 mile long border to secure and not a 2,000 mile one.

unseen on May 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

So your only regret is that we weren’t greedier?

That we didn’t steal more?

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:47 AM

bullcrap. The native Americans were doomed. Their way of life could not exist in the modern world. If the USA didn’t expand outward then the European countries would have took the land from them. France invaded Mexico and if the USA was broken in the civil war they would still be there. britian invaded and kept Canada from the North Americans. France had most of the midwest until we “bought” it from them. The spanish had Mexico and the west. Hell even many of the native american tribes that were here when the eupreans came had their land because of war with other tribes.

unseen on May 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

So the solution was to take their land by force, break treaties and commit acts of genocide?

Yes, I guess it was, to people like you.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM

All I got to say, is F**k Off, We Won It Fair and Square!

lonestar1 on May 5, 2013 at 11:35 PM

I believe that’s what Stalin said about Eastern Europe after WWII.

And it’s what the Chinese are saying now, about Tibet.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Well then Mexico should take it back.

Akzed on May 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Well then Mexico should take it back.

Akzed on May 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM

You only say that because you know they can’t.

You were probably a playground bully.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:07 AM

And who did Mexico take their land from? We either paid for the land or we defeated them in battle. One of the reasons for the first war and their first defeat was that they were forcing all settlers to become Catholic and we didn’t want to. How does that sit with you progressive anti-Catholic marxists?

Old Country Boy on May 6, 2013 at 9:14 AM

TO THE AUTHOR OF IMMIGRATION: In response to your comment that a lot of people live in the land that was taken from Mexico…

EVERYONE LIVES IN THE LAND THAT WAS TAKEN FROM MY PEOPLE, NATIVE AMERICANS, YOU DUMB@$$!

You arrogantly and ignorantly proclaim that ‘time’/'ownership’of what is now the U.S.somehow began with either Mexico or the U.S. owning the land. We have been fighting Illegal Immigration since 1492…and you see how it has worked for us!

DUMB@$$!

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 9:16 AM

So the solution was to take their land by force, break treaties and commit acts of genocide?

Yes, I guess it was, to people like you.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Indians don’t give a rip about white peoples’ politics, unless some group of white people makes it their business. This still holds true in Latin America, and is a big reason for the burning of the rainforest—the attempt to settle people on the borders of various states who are not Indians and actually care about the nation to which they belong. As it stood back then, the lands would be controlled by the group who could successfully lay claim to it. If the Americans didn’t control those lands, the French or Spanish would be more than happy to take them, and simply exterminate the Natives. Does this justify the historical treatment of Ntive Americans? No. But this is a separate issue.

There wasn’t a choice between those naaasty Americanses and nobly savage Native Americans frolicking nekkid through the forest so noble and savage-like. Noble savages can’t defend themselves with moral authority against top military technology in the service of one nation of white people or the other. Joe Indian didn’t care if the French, Spanish, Mexicans, Americans, or the Grays claimed the lands he hunted on, and he certainly wasn’t going to risk his neck for any of the above groups to keep claim to his lands. The white nations needed to move people into his lands who did care and would resist rival nations. As those people took his lands, he started to care.

Sekhmet on May 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

And who did Mexico take their land from? We either paid for the land or we defeated them in battle. One of the reasons for the first war and their first defeat was that they were forcing all settlers to become Catholic and we didn’t want to. How does that sit with you progressive anti-Catholic marxists?

Old Country Boy on May 6, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Already said, “they did it too” is not a justification for the action we took. Polk certainly stated no such reason when he pursued Manifest Destiny.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Here’s a solution to offer Mexico…and California:

California has for the longest time been the ‘Liberal Experiment State’. They are the most Liberal state in the nation, and, therefore, the most insane, most freakish state in the U.S. They are in MASSIVE debt, continues spending, massive taxes, and massive debt/deficit-spending…and seek everyone else to bail them out. (Sounds like a state cloned from Obama’s rear end…)

Just this weekend I heard California is about to pass new legislation that would allow any student of 1 sex that believes they associate themselves with the other sex to use the bathrooms of that other sex in schools. THAT means if a boy feels he should be a girl he can walk into a girl’s bathroom and use the bathroom…and vice versa. Furthermore, that same guy who feels as if he is a girl can be part of any girls’ sports team (& vice versa)! WHAT?!

Ok, it’s finally time to cut California loose before they infect the rest of the United States….Give California back to Mexico & force all the Illegals to move to California!

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 9:22 AM

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Then, pray tell, what would you suggest we do now, over 100 years later, when all those that were involved on both sides have been dust for decades, Hmmm?

Your problem (besides being a troll) Is that you cannot accept the reality of our world and history as it was. In America’s case, we either defeated our enemies in open battle, or we purchased the land that we now own, from other countries that conquered it but didn’t wish to hold it. This is the way of the world and humanity. It has been this way for thousands of years and will be this way for thousands more. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it.

You also have to stop wasting your time trying to make false equivalencies between crime within an ordered society such as theft, and power struggles between nations and peoples. They aren’t the same, and do not occupy the same moral sphere.

Otherwise you put yourself into an endless loop of moral recriminations and reparations. Simply put, there are no perfect peoples or countries. ALL have done things that would be considered horrific if done by a single individual against his or her peers. If you are seeking some moral purity, you won’t find it among humanity.

Unless you are just acting out some kind of personal guilt-trip, in which case I suggest you just spend time down at your local soup kitchen serving the needy to help assuage your soul, and stop trying to make America look somehow morally bankrupt for standing up for her interests.

wearyman on May 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Already said, “they did it too” is not a justification for the action we took. Polk certainly stated no such reason when he pursued Manifest Destiny.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Are you moving back to plains in Africa in order to right these wrongs?

LoganSix on May 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Indians don’t give a rip about white peoples’ politics, unless some group of white people makes it their business.

Says the American whose people stole their land…..I have news for you. In today’s world, YOU are the ‘indian’ & the ‘white folks’ is the current government – the ones taking your ‘land’ (taxes to pay for Obama-phones, Obama-care, record-setting deficit-spending, a $2 Mil vacation every month, etc)!

ANYONE whose property & way of life is threatened by the actions of another is interested in the politics & actions of the ones who are threatening them! That’s like saying I have my own life to worry about and am not interested in what Obama is doing in Washington! That’s ludicrous! HIS socialist agenda is definitely impacting MY life, so YES I am interested!

And the guy who wrote the above main staement, as I pointed out, is an idiot! He’s like a kid who steals a kid’s lollipop & then complains that ANOTHER (3rd) kid is trying to take ‘HIS’ lollipop’.

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 9:28 AM

No single group of people can lay claim to land anywhere on the planet – unless they are willing and able to backup that claim by force of arms.

That’s just how the world works.

Hendo on May 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Santa Anna was a dictator and tyrant. He dissolved the Mexican Constitution and Mexican Congress, turned Mexico into a military dictatorship, and seized people’s assets and property and redistributed it to his supporters. When the Republic of Texas rebelled, Coahuila, Zacatecas, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas also rebelled and declared their independence as the Republic of the Rio Grande and the Republic of Yucatan. Santa Anna viciously slaughtered anyone who opposed him in the rebelling territories. (Remember the Alamo?) Only the Texans were able to maintain their independence. We kicked Santa Ana’s butt fair and square — twice. Santa Anna was a failed military dictator. Texans and others had every right to rebel and turn to the US for assistance. When your country is run by a failed military dictator, you tend to lose territory.

bitsy on May 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Says the American whose people stole their land…..I have news for you. In today’s world, YOU are the ‘indian’ & the ‘white folks’ is the current government – the ones taking your ‘land’ (taxes to pay for Obama-phones, Obama-care, record-setting deficit-spending, a $2 Mil vacation every month, etc)!

ANYONE whose property & way of life is threatened by the actions of another is interested in the politics & actions of the ones who are threatening them! That’s like saying I have my own life to worry about and am not interested in what Obama is doing in Washington! That’s ludicrous! HIS socialist agenda is definitely impacting MY life, so YES I am interested!

And the guy who wrote the above main staement, as I pointed out, is an idiot! He’s like a kid who steals a kid’s lollipop & then complains that ANOTHER (3rd) kid is trying to take ‘HIS’ lollipop’.

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Native Americans (with notable exceptions like the Apache) were apathetic about the flag that some group of white people or another wanted to fly over their heads, but not able to militarily or otherwise resist should a rival group of white people show up and want to fly another flag. Forget Manifest Destiny, this was a gaping Monroe Doctrine problem for the United States. If they didn’t claim the lands, and move people in who were patriotic Americans determined to hold America’s claim to the land, some European power could have swept in and taken land next door to the US.

Heck, Mexico advertised for Americans and Cherokee to settle Texas for this very reason. They wanted people to hold and claim the land for Mexico who gave a damn about being Mexican citizens. Mexico themselves qu3ared the deal by having r3 v0 lution after r3 v0 lution and falling into tyranny under Santa Anna.

Sekhmet on May 6, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Then, pray tell, what would you suggest we do now, over 100 years later, when all those that were involved on both sides have been dust for decades, Hmmm?

No one is being called on to do anything. We’re discussing a book by Amy Greenberg.

Your problem (besides being a troll)

Your problem is you don’t know what a troll is. A troll is not someone who disagrees with you. It’s generally someone who deliberately tries to derail a thread. I have been completely on topic here.

Is that you cannot accept the reality of our world and history as it was.

Nonsense.

In America’s case, we either defeated our enemies in open battle, or we purchased the land that we now own, from other countries that conquered it but didn’t wish to hold it.

I’m sure you believe this revisionist nonsense, but it’s complete…nonsense. Remember, we weren’t at war with Mexico. They weren’t our enemy and they certainly had an interest in holding on to their territory. Your brand of historical whitewash is very thin.

This is the way of the world and humanity. It has been this way for thousands of years and will be this way for thousands more. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it.

Strawman. Well done.

You also have to stop wasting your time trying to make false equivalencies between crime within an ordered society such as theft, and power struggles between nations and peoples. They aren’t the same, and do not occupy the same moral sphere.

There’s no false equivalency here. Nations can and do steal from other nations, and it’s no less a theft than if I break into your home and steal your property. And yes, they occupy the same moral sphere. If you don’t think so, please go ahead and explain the difference.

Otherwise you put yourself into an endless loop of moral recriminations and reparations. Simply put, there are no perfect peoples or countries. ALL have done things that would be considered horrific if done by a single individual against his or her peers. If you are seeking some moral purity, you won’t find it among humanity.

Unless you are just acting out some kind of personal guilt-trip, in which case I suggest you just spend time down at your local soup kitchen serving the needy to help assuage your soul, and stop trying to make America look somehow morally bankrupt for standing up for her interests.

wearyman on May 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Yeah, red herrings with a strawman topping.

Go back and read the post and figure out how my comments relate to it, not your irrelevant comments about what you think I’m talking about.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM

When are the Normans gonna give England back to the Anglo-Saxons?

myiq2xu on May 6, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Already said, “they did it too” is not a justification for the action we took.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Sure it is. Who the fck are you as a member of the most pampered, spoiled generation to ever lecture anyone about the history of this country?

You would not give up one advantage provided for you by this country, founded by your betters, to prove your ‘moral’ superiority.

Typical insecure, leftist poindexter. You are hypocrites on every issues you pretend to care about. You are progressive evangelicals.

ClassicCon on May 6, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I really wish there wasn’t one China. :(

tom daschle concerned on May 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM

My ancestors, Clovis Man and Folsom Man want their lands back from the Anasazi and Hohokam invaders, who want their lands back from the Mogollons and Mimbres invaders, who want their lands back from the Apache, Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and Ute Invaders, who want their lands back from the Mexican invaders, who want their land back from the American invaders.

Oh, and my Neanderthal ancestors want their damn lands back from the damned Cro-Magnon invaders.

Oh, and the apes want their lands back from the Australopithecus Invaders.

LegendHasIt on May 5, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Exactly.

Pretty much everyone on the planet is living on land taken some time in the past from someone else for one reason or another. In most cases the land has changed hands many, many times, most often by force.

Right, wrong, or something in between that was the was the way of the world for thousands of years, right up until the 20th century.

The “you owe me because of what your ancestors did to my ancestors” game can be extended back thousands of years. Every group who has a grievance against some group will in turn have grievances against them by other groups. There is no way to resolve all past grievances. Much less fairly and equitably, as those words have little or no meaning in the context of past times. It is a futile fruitless and useless endeavor. Even worse, it is counterproductive.

Which leaves us with trying to deal as best we can with the world as it is now.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Why would Mexico want more lands when they can’t even manage the land they have now. Greenberg needs to take a leisurely drive through that country to find out just how wonderful it is for the average citizen living there. So much so they are leaving in droves to come here. Buzz off, babe. This land is ours and we’re keeping it.

Kissmygrits on May 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Tyrannosaurus Rex would like his territory back. RAWR!

bitsy on May 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

What I take from this is that US-Mexican relations are asymmetrical. US policy makers see a domestic immigration/illegal migration problem. Mexico cultivates an ancient national grievance of nearly existential proportions. The US wants to ameliorate relations. Mexico harbors a deep-seated grudge. Many Americans are ambivalent about the issue. Most Mexicans are single-minded. We tend to think of it as water under the bridge. To them it is more like an open sore as likely to fester as to heal. For us it’s yesterday’s news. For them it’s at least a point of honor, and possibly a potent mobilizing political-cultural force.

If Mexico becomes more populous, prosperous and self-assertive, the US could be in for some unpleasant surprises.

Seth Halpern on May 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

What’s her stake in this? Is she an illegal alien? Or just brainwashed by the college of her choice.

TerryW on May 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Compare living standards in the region with living standards in Mexico. Would anybody, even Mexicans living there, want to exchange one for the other?

RebeccaH on May 6, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Seth is right. There is a HUGE movement within the Mexican culture to repopulate the SW and California in order to seize it back from the United States. Get the right mixture of President and Congress and you could see a defacto elimination of the southern border and a new line drawn farther inland.

archer52 on May 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

There is a HUGE movement within the Mexican culture to repopulate the SW and California

I don’t that’s the correct word. Maybe “out-populate”, like what the British attempted to do to Ireland and what the Muslims intend to do to the rest of the world.

LoganSix on May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Or maybe just the facts…

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

If Mexico becomes more populous, prosperous and self-assertive, the US could be in for some unpleasant surprises.

Seth Halpern on May 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Not likely. Whatever ethnic or societal problems that have kept Mexico a shithole all these years are not going to be cured.

slickwillie2001 on May 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Seth is right. There is a HUGE movement within the Mexican culture to repopulate the SW and California in order to seize it back from the United States. Get the right mixture of President and Congress and you could see a defacto elimination of the southern border and a new line drawn farther inland.

archer52 on May 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Perhaps they call this plan destino manifiesto.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Dear Mexico and your fine citizens of the time and now.

Explain the $2.00 in gold coin for every set of Apache ears you paid, to include men, women,and children.

Show U.S. all a document, treaty, any thing of record where the Apache ceeded you one inch of the Apache lands you seem to think you have all these prior rights to.

Yours because you are not so true,

Decendants of Mangus Colorados, Cochcise, Victorio etal ask in a rather hostile way.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The point is, we wanted and needed the territory. The Mexicans couldn’t keep it. That’s how adults played throughout history.

Ask yourself what we’ve done with California, Texas and the rest of the States. Then compare that to Mexico and ask yourself who took better care and advantage of the opportunity the land gave them.

Just pointing out the obvious.

archer52 on May 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM

The point is, we wanted and needed the territory. The Mexicans couldn’t keep it. That’s how adults played throughout history.

Ask yourself what we’ve done with California, Texas and the rest of the States. Then compare that to Mexico and ask yourself who took better care and advantage of the opportunity the land gave them.

Just pointing out the obvious.

archer52 on May 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Godwin Alert!

Your comment sounds like a defense of lebensraum.

Just pointing out the obvious…

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM

bullcrap. The native Americans were doomed.

Justification of the ‘victors’ – the ones with the biggest and most guns. :) LOL!

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Oh, c’mon guys – you stole it from the gut-eaters, and we stole it from you, fair and square. Stop whining.

mojo on May 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Look, part of my post is meant for HUMOR…as in poking a little fun at the idiot who declares “much of the land where people live was taken from Mexico’ while ignoring the entire history of what HIS government did – how they got it – before taking land from the Mexicans.

It is ironic that a ‘representative’ of a nation that sat around a table with Russia at the end of WWII and divied up nations as if they were ‘spoils’ of their victory rather than demanding all sovereign nations that fell to Hitler be returned to their pre-war independent state would make a comment like this.

Again, a kid who snatched a lollipop from another kid now complaining or remarking about how a 3rd kid is now trying to take it from him is kinda funny!

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 11:34 AM

From the Washington Times review.

Texas was admitted to the Union just before Polk was inaugurated. It had been a breakaway republic from Mexico for 10 years. It brought with it an unresolved boundary dispute. Mexico claimed that the international boundary was the Nueces River. Texas and the United States claimed it was the Rio Grande, to the south. Mexico had refused to recognize the Texas Republic. After its annexation, Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the United States. In addition to the boundary dispute, the United States sought reparations for some of its citizens from Mexico. An independent commission said Mexico should pay the United States $2 million to compensate these people. It refused.

When Mexico also refused to negotiate, Polk sent troops to the disputed area in case Mexico should cross the river. Its troops did just that, killing 11 American troops.

Many, many wars throughout history began over “border disputes”.

See European history for thousands of examples.

No doubt native American history is no different. They were fighting amongst themselves, taking land from each other and butchering and enslaving each other for thousands of years before Europeans showed up.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

If I/Native Americans (and any Americans) have anything to complain about it is that we have given a U.S. Holiday to a man from 1 country sailing for another country, setting out to find the West Indies – failed to do that because he got lost, landed in the Carribean – for which he was given credit for discovering ‘America’ when he obiviously did NOT – not to mention that Leif Ericson had ‘found’ America a long time before he did – not to mention it didn’t need to be ‘found’ because Native Americans were already here…and then this guy enslaves 1/2 the Indian population & kills off the other 1/2 with violence & disease…..

And for all of THIS we rewarded Christopher Columbus with a U.S. Holiday…what the…?!

…and thus the claim that WE have been fighting ‘Illegal Immigration’ since 1492! :)

easyt65 on May 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

“Mexican racist groups like La Raza, assert that Mexican’s have the legal right to all of the Southwest United States because it was taken from them by force and is therefore Illegally Obtained.

Let’s examine this argument more fully:

La Raza claims that all of Texas is in that category. Mexicans should be free to go into Texas with impunity because Texas really STILL belongs to them; To Mexico.
Let’s stand well north of the current border, let’s stand outside of Lubbock, TX, and see WHO we need to give this land back to.

America wouldn’t return Texas to Mexico, we would return it to the Confederacy, we took it by force and therefore illegally according to this logic.

But the confederacy is gone, so we would then have to return it to it’s rightful owners which is The Republic of Texas.

The Texans would then have to give it back to Mexico, since they took it from them by force.

Then La Raza, being people of integrity (sarc), would have to demonstrate in the streets to give Texas back to Spain, since the Mexican’s took it from them by force.

Spain would then have to give it back to France, since Spain took it by force, then the French would have to give it right back to Spain, since they took it by force to begin with.

So Lubbock belongs to Spain, who took it by force from the Comanche’s.

But then the Comanche’s took it by force from the Apache’s.

The Apache’s pinched this land from the ancient Pueblo people who hi-jacked it from the first few people, who captured it from the Plainview people who conquered it from the Folsome people who snatched it from Clovis Man, who arrived on what is now downtown Lubbock, TX USA, who arrived around 11 thousand years ago.

Since all of these”owners” took that land more or less by force, no ONE owner is in any position of moral superiority.
There are only two people on that timeline with a unique claim:
The people who had it first – Clovis Man and the people who have it now – The USA.

When certain so called leaders tell us that we are NOT ONE PEOPLE, but instead a collection of privileged ethnic groups, each with it’s own set of grievances, each entitled to what belongs to someone else, remember:
It is those people who are the actual racists in America today.”
Bill Whittle

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Then, pray tell, what would you suggest we do now, over 100 years later, when all those that were involved on both sides have been dust for decades, Hmmm?
wearyman on May 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Pretty much everyone on the planet is living on land taken some time in the past from someone else for one reason or another. In most cases the land has changed hands many, many times, most often by force.

Right, wrong, or something in between that was the way of the world for thousands of years, right up until the 20th century continuing to the present day.

The “you owe me because of what your ancestors did to my ancestors” game can be extended back thousands of years. Every group who has a grievance against some group will in turn have grievances against them by other groups. There is no way to resolve all past grievances. Much less fairly and equitably, as those words have little or no meaning in the context of past times. It is a futile fruitless and useless endeavor. Even worse, it is counterproductive.

Which leaves us with trying to deal as best we can with the world as it is now.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

What I take from this is that US-Mexican relations are asymmetrical. US policy makers see a domestic immigration/illegal migration problem. Mexico cultivates an ancient national grievance of nearly existential proportions. The US wants to ameliorate relations. Mexico harbors a deep-seated grudge. Many Americans are ambivalent about the issue. Most Mexicans are single-minded. We tend to think of it as water under the bridge. To them it is more like an open sore as likely to fester as to heal. For us it’s yesterday’s news. For them it’s at least a point of honor, and possibly a potent mobilizing political-cultural force.

Seth Halpern on May 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Substitute the territory dispute of your choice: Israel-Palestine, China-Tibet, China-Japan (certain islands), Argentina-Britain (certain other islands), etc. etc. etc.

As a renowned (but not always this wise) woman once remarked, “There are no do-overs.”

Which leaves us with trying to deal as best we can with the world as it is now.

Indeed.

AesopFan on May 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Important thing to keep in mind if these low dog commie democrats continue down this path of tax and spend and cutting the defense budget, not enforceing the immigration laws and the other things of arvise and fraud they do, soon the time will come where they just ceed parts of the U.S. to Mexico or get the U.S. so weak Mexico can come and take the land and the people they by fraud claim now.

These commie democrats are not of U.S., for U.S. and never will be.

They are for themselves , their way, every hour every day.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Nice cut-n-paste.

Do you have any thoughts of your own to add to the discussion?

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Has Jay Carney, the WH ‘spokes-tool’, told Mexico “That happened a long time ago”, yet?

socalcon on May 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

50,000 years ago possible prior some one was afoot in the now American Southwest.

Some grew wise as they lived here.

Now some grow greedy and power mad as ,they the commie Democrats, live here off all the work of all the others who lived here prior and now these commie democrats seek to work with the LaRaz types for their own evil ends to power.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

socaguy on May 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM

That’s a two-edged sword. There is a reason Lincoln is Bammie’s hero and, in many ways, Oprompta behaves just as Ole “Honest” Abe did – do some research on how he suspended habeas corpus, locked up political opponents without trial, even deported a sitting member of Congress – right from the FLOOR of Congress.

Not to mention, Lincoln is directly responsible for planting the seed that grew into our centralized, powerful federal government.

PJ Emeritus on May 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Mexico “owned” what is now the US Southwest for 26 years, and Texas for only 15. Hardly compelling. If Obama’s current border policy is based on some notion that this is Mexico’s “just due”, then one really has to wonder if he ever managed to stay awake in any university or law school class.

Also, when speaking of Mexico, remember that there are two strata in the population: those of Spanish descent and indigenes (Yaqui and other Indian tribes). If you want a taste of racism just ask a Mexican of Spanish descent what she thinks of the indigenes.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on May 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM

and where did the Mexicans get the land? who did they steal it from?

pretty much every country has fought wars over land going back to the beginning of time. this “author” is your typical leftist cry baby whose first words to any argument is “it’s not fair!”

jetch on May 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Are you moving back to plains in Africa in order to right these wrongs?

LoganSix on May 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Good point!
I keep wondering when they are going to go after the Arabs, we only had slaves for a few hundred years, Arabs have had them for millennia. So, GTF off our our A$$’s would ya! It seems pretty racist that only whites get blamed for slavery or taking land.

rgranger on May 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Disclaimer: I have not read this book, and am suspect of the timing. I gather from the book review that this is an attempt to revise history to suit the liberal agenda. The casus belli of the Mexican War is multifaceted and to describe it simply as an invasion does history a disservice. Wars and political movements cannot succeed without a moral justification. So here is where the left is going with immigration:

Why is the title ‘A Wicked War”? Americans consider wars of conquest distasteful. Perhaps this is a reflection of John Winthrop’s 1630 sermon, ‘A Model of Christian Charity’, which gave rise to folklore that the United States is God’s country and a ‘Shining City on a Hill.’ This sense of American exceptionalism, or moral superiority, it at odds with a war of conquest. We all want to be perceived by the world as good, right?

I have read numerous historical accounts of the Mexican war and own original newspapers detailing Polk’s request for funds and the heated debate in Congress. One thing I am clear on is that the country was inexorably expanding West like it or not.

Here are a few excerpt from a speech I gave in DC last year, regarding the moral justification for the Mexican War.
-Jocundus

At the dawn of this Second Industrial Revolution, Americans became caught up in strong desire for westward expansion, spurred on by guide books based on reports from the Frémont expeditions, explorers, traders, mountain men and other pathfinders. Glowing reports, which were not always accurate, told of lush valleys, fertile farmland, abundant game, and proven routes over the Rockies. Thus began the great emigration of the 1840’s west to Oregon and California.

This great wagon train migration included the Mormons, led by Brigham Young, who settled in the Great Salt Lake valley, leaving Illinois to escape persecution. Following their explusion from Missouri, prophet Joseph Smith founded a new Zion in Nauvoo, Illinois, which grew rapidly. Mormon practices, such as block voting and dismissal of Illinois law, gained suspicion and distrust of the gentiles, as non-mormons were called. Smith’s devine vision of polygamy and celestial marriage gained the ire of fellow leaders, as Smith proposed to their wives. The resulting arrest of Smith and his death in jail at the hands of a mob placed Brigham Young as the new prophet, who, facing an extermination order, begin sending some 15,000 Mormons across the river toward a new Zion in the West.

The rallying cry for those favoring westward expansion was ‘Manifest Destiny’; the belief that Americans were destined by God’s favor to possess the entire continent
‘From Sea to Shining Sea.’ This became one of the moral and economic justifications for conquest regardless of legal or social consequences for indigenous people or foreign governments laying claim to the land. But not everyone agreed, and a growing division in the United States grew larger.

Mexico considered the U.S. annexation of Texas in 1845 an act of war and threatened to reclaim Texas by military force. In January of 1846, President Polk sent Zachary Taylor with his army of observation to the border in the defense of Texas. Tensions along the border increased until on April 25, 1846, a United States scouting party consisting of 70 dragoons, led by Captain Seth Thornton, encountered a Mexican force of some 2,000 troops north of the Rio Grande. In the ensuing battle, 14 American troops were killed, 5 were injured and 49 captured. Taylor send a message to the president that American blood had been spilled on American soil, and that hostilities had commenced. Given this moral justification, Congress declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846.

At this juncture it must be said that Mexico was not favorably viewed in the collective American conscience. Following its independence from Spain, the country went through revolution after revolution and could hardly govern itself. Mexico owed American citizens substantial damages resulting from its military actions.

Thus, there was considerable unease in the country when it became suspect that hostilities may not have commenced on American soil. As the war progressed, some members of congress spoke out strongly against the war. Just to give you a flavor of the contentious discussion, I will quote from the May 16, 1846 edition of Niles’ National Register. While debating the appropriations bill for funding the war, Kentucky Whig Representative Garrett Davis stated “But, Mr. Speaker, I have an objection to the preamble of the bill. It recites that war exists between the United States and Mexico, and that this war was begun by Mexico. That informal war exists between the two countries is undeniable, but that Mexico commenced it is utterly untrue, and I object to the preamble because it sets forth so bold a falsehood.’ He went further on to say “ That night a detachment of the Mexican army crosses Rio Grande, General Taylor sends out a scouting party to reconnoiter, which attacks the Mexicans, and is defeated and captured by the Mexicans, and thus war is raging in bloody earnestness. It is our own president who began this war.’

Abraham Lincoln contested the causes for the war and demanded to know exactly where Thornton had been attacked and American blood shed. “Show me the spot,” he demanded. In short, the war’s critics claimed that Polk deliberately provoked Mexico into war by ordering American troops into disputed territory. Senator J.M Clayton of Delaware declared that ordering Taylor to the Rio Grande was “as much an act of aggression on our part as is a man’s pointing a pistol at another’s breast’.

Northern abolitionists attacked the war as an attempt by slave-owners to strengthen the grip of slavery and thus ensure their continued influence in the federal government. Acting on his convictions, Henry David Thoreau was jailed for his refusal to pay taxes to support the war, and penned his famous essay, ‘Civil Disobedience’.

In response to growing concern that the war was an attempt to expand slavery, Democrat Congressman David Wilmot introduced the Wilmot Proviso, which aimed to prohibit slavery in new territory acquired from Mexico. Wilmot’s proposal did not pass Congress, but it spurred further hostility between the factions. The industrialized North, although relying heavily on southern cotton for its textile mills, feared an expanding South and its significant competitive advantage with its vast resource of free labor. Thus were planted the seeds of the later conflict.

Meanwhile,
Those favoring the war argued that the territory was largely uninhabited and aborginal, and that Mexico had no claim on the land. There was also concern that the territory would be claimed by the British.

The question of the legality of the invasion of Mexico and the moral justification is still uncomfortable to some. Ralph Waldo Emerson rejected war as a means of achieving America’s destiny, although he accepted that ‘most of the great results of history are brought about by discreditable means.’

Jocundus on May 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM

chumpThreads

Dispute what I posted lil fella.

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I’m not interested in your cut and paste job.
I repeat, do you have any ideas of your own to contribute?

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Jocundus on May 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM

To summarize.

There was a border dispute. The US moved a small contingent of troops into the disputed region. Mexico then moved a vastly superior force into the disputed region, attacked the US troops, and killed many of them. Polk is charged with deliberately provoking Mexico to start a war.

Let’s flip this.

What if Mexico had moved a small contingent of troops into the disputed region first, claiming they had a right to do that because it was theirs? And then the US moved a vastly superior force into the region, attacked the small Mexican contingent, and killed many of them. Would the leader of Mexico be charged with deliberately provoking a war with the US?

These things are never as black-and-white as the “blame America first” crowd wants everyone to think.

Border disputes were and still are a common thing and historically they have often been resolved by war. One of the potentially deadliest and explosive in our time is Pakistan-India dispute over Kashmir. There are scores,maybe hundreds, of border disputes in the world today.

In the 20th century, especially after the devastation, destruction, death, and suffering of two World Wars, some nation states (mostly Western ones) adopted the position that resolving such disputes by war was not desirable or ethical. That idea is a fairly recent development in human history. To try to selectively judge nations and peoples of the past retroactively by this relatively new and largely European created idea is not reasonable.

Many nations and peoples still, due to past grievances, think they have a right to take claimed territory by whatever means available. The only thing that stops them is opposing force.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

chumpThreads

Your banjo needs tuning, keep trying.

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Your banjo needs tuning, keep trying.

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Who did you cut and paste that from?

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

.
Nice cut-n-paste.

Do you have any thoughts of your own to add to the discussion?

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

.
Yes, I do.

No debt is owed by the United States to the country of Mexico, the Native Americans , or the descendents of African slaves kidnapped and brought here against their will … period.
.
Next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on May 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Yes, I do.

No debt is owed by the United States to the country of Mexico, the Native Americans , or the descendents of African slaves kidnapped and brought here against their will … period.
.
Next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on May 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Another red herring.
Who brought up the issue of debts owed? The OP certainly didn’t.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

chumpThreads

Another high-level argument from the ‘enlightened’ left, goodie.

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Perhaps they call this plan destino manifiesto.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

They call it La Reconquista. Which is actually more or less what their native narcotraficantes are doing to them. Everyone’s gotta dream.

de rigueur on May 6, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Chump Change
Here is what you are forgetting, the United Stated paid Mexico for the land they had took from them by force even though the amount paid was half of what the United States offered before the War. So it is very difficult to say the lands where stolen when the victors which was the United States paid for the land they took from Mexico by virtue of gold and blood when they could had taken everything from Mexico including it’s capital.

Here is the other thing the you are forgetting. The Mexicans never had any serious military or political control of the Southwestern and Mountain territories they inherited from Spain. Worse, whatever native Mexican population they had in the territories were severely limited to isolated barrios or pueblos and their existence was threatened by the Apaches and the Comaches . Why do you think Mexico was encouraging Americans and Europeans to settle in Texas from 1821 until the Texan Revolution? They needed manpower and population density to protect their borders not only from the United States and the natives, but also from a potential return by the Great European powers.

Seth Halem

Let us say that Mexico managed to get back the whole Southwest and California back and then what? The United States would get those same lands back within 10-30 years and do you know why? The greatest problem of Mexico is the same problem that the Philippines have, Argentina have, Brazil have, Peru and other former Spanish and Portuguese colonies. The inability of it’s government and elites to curb their impulse to keep the the wealth and power within their social and racial class as well as the unfortunate tendency of the same people to basically treat their less fortunate citizens as nothing more than peons.

DinobotPrime on May 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Well, if they want it back, they surely can try. They may win. Or lose. Just like back in the 1800s.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 6, 2013 at 10:43 PM

What I don’t understand is why it’s only bad for the U.S. or Israel to gain land by war.

When is Italy going to pay reparations for all the land the Romans took?

malclave on May 6, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Yes, I do.

No debt is owed by the United States to the country of Mexico, the Native Americans , or the descendents of African slaves kidnapped and brought here against their will … period.
.
Next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on May 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

.
Another red herring.
Who brought up the issue of debts owed? The OP certainly didn’t.

chumpThreads on May 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

.
If Mexico is claiming that we’re holding land that is rightfully their’s,
that IS a claimed “debt”.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 1:16 AM

Chumpthreads=taint of incivility

tom daschle concerned on May 7, 2013 at 2:07 AM

chumpThreads

Another high-level argument from the ‘enlightened’ left, goodie.

Jason58 on May 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

At least I’ve learned how to use the blockquote tag.

chumpThreads on May 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

If Mexico is claiming that we’re holding land that is rightfully their’s,
that IS a claimed “debt”.

listens2glenn on May 7, 2013 at 1:16 AM

No, it’s not.

If someone gives you something with the expectation of repayment, that’s a debt. You’re not incurring a debt if you steal something from someone, because stealing is not a transaction.

I hate to succumb to name calling, but good lord, you can’t be that stupid.

Your comments are pretty much a joke on this site, glen, that’s why I largely ignore you.

chumpThreads on May 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Your comments are pretty much a joke on this site, glen, that’s why I largely ignore you.

chumpThreads on May 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

And you are pretty much a fking retard on any site, chumpThreads, that’s why I largely mock you.

tom daschle concerned on May 7, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I’m so tired of these geographical arguments. It’s how the world has always worked. One country or civilization displaces the weaker. The Israelites ran the Canaanites out of town and so on and so on. Heck, it almost even happen here when Tom Cruise was working on the docks in New Jersey and a bunch of mean ole space aliens invaded. . . no wait, that was a movie. But, what did happen here, even before that hated white man from Italy rowed ashore, the native indians, who by the way the Liberals tell us were perfect stewards of the land, spent their spare time killing, enslaving and displacing one another. You see, everyone does it but you only get grief when you’re successful. If Mexico had really wanted California, they should have done something productive with it. They didn’t so we took it so one day Steve Jobs could invent the iPhone. Would you rather have an iPhone or a taco?

“If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” ~ Winston Churchill

SpiderMike on May 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I’m part Native American……..I’d like Mexico to give back to the Indians what they’ve stolen in Mexico……and they also stole the land from the Indians here.

Hypocrites.

avagreen on May 26, 2013 at 8:26 AM

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