Mexico and Circassia: U.S. Double Standards
August 29, 2012
Mexico is the nearest and weaker neighbor of the United States. Many a time it happened to be a victim of such neighborhood. The US intervention in 1846-1848 occupies a special place in Mexicans’ memory. We’re accustomed to call it the US-Mexican war. The historic and geographic remoteness of those events makes it hard to estimate the damage inflicted upon Mexico by combat actions and the geopolitical gains achieved by the United States.
The war resulted in former Mexican states: Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico joining the US. Texas had gotten independence from Mexico earlier and had joined the United States of America a few years before the war started. All those lands had been sovereign Mexican territory causing expansionist appetites in US community that had already known what it’s like to grab whatever was «not watched».
The problems started with Texas. The Anglo-Saxon settlers moved further to the West gradually setting down in the lands that were Mexican at the time. The inflow grew substantially after the USA bought Louisiana from France. Many white Americans left Louisiana for Texas to settle down in the new lands. There had already been over 30 000 Americans in Texas by 1830. It was a complex relationship between Mexican Catholic and Anglo-Saxon Protestants. The Protestants openly expressed their discontent over the Mexican laws. They demanded more political and economic freedom. Even the abolition of slavery in Mexico evoked indignation of Texan slave owners as well as the ban on immigration from the USA into the Mexican border areas. No wonder the war for independence of Texas sparked in 1836. Mexico was defeated. The Texans got considerable support from the USA that determined in advance the correlation of forces. Mexico agreed to set Texas free, but the condition attached required it would remain an independent republic, a «buffer zone» between the two neighbors. Still Texas was absorbed by the United States.
It was only a beginning. The Mexican-Texas border was not strictly delimited. Washington wanted it to be moved deeper into Mexico, something that was unacceptable for the Mexicans. Then Washington decided to use force. To disguise the intent it started talks on buying a part of Mexican territory. The US diplomats demanded that Mexico pay compensation for damage inflicted by war on the property of US citizens estimating it to be equal to $60 million. In case of failure to comply Washington suggested it would buy out the states of California and New Mexico (for $25 and 5 million accordingly). Nothing came out of it. Moreover Mexico demanded Texas back. The decision to use force was taken without giving it a second thought and the US army crossed the Mexican border occupying the disputed territories. The Mexican government demanded the US pull out the troops. Washington didn’t step back; it even blockaded the Mexican ports. Mexico had no other choice but to start war that resulted in catastrophe. The country lost 1, 3 million square kilometers of land (almost half of its territory). A wave of patriotic fervor swept the USA. After the war many in the United Sates started to treat seriously the words of O’ Sullivan about Manifest Destiny meaning the USA was chosen among other nations for a divinely inspired mission in the world. Mexico, divided in half, became an obedient child in the US hands. The phantom pain caused by that unfair defeat suffered far back in history is still strong in Mexican society. There is a memorial erected in the Chapultepec Park of Mexico city in honor of six cadets that threw themselves down from the palace walls to avoid being taken prisoners by US invaders. The oldest of them was 19. The revanchist aspirations grow strong among the Mexicans but absolute dependence of Mexican political elites on Washington prevents this sentiment from acquiring a form of massive public movement.
The US immigration policy exasperates the Mexicans too. As is known the US-Mexico border is 3100 km long. Thousands of people had crossed it yearly in search of work. In 2006 the US Congress approved the construction of about 1100 km long wall. Numerous border guards patrol it. Their mission is to detain those who illegally cross the border. The wall (that the German tourists laugh at) makes crossing much more difficult to do. Many illegal immigrants die in desert because of heat, cold, hunger and snakes. The USA, a nation of emigrants, starts to hate those who come from other countries. The second, third or fifth generation immigrants flatly refuse to give others a chance to do the same thing their predecessors did. Not so long ago, in the days of the Soviet Union, Washington put Moscow to shame for not giving permission to emigrate from the country. Today the political show is over. Those who called for freedom of migration create hitches in the way of those who want to emigrate from the countries of post-Soviet space.
The emigration from Mexico is a special case. The Mexicans have a moral right to live in Utah, Arizona, California, Texas and Nevada. Just a little bit more than a hundred years ago this land belonged to them. Their predecessors lived there hundreds of years, out of good will they amicably let the first Anglo-Saxon newcomers settle there. The settlers even had an opportunity to buy land for cheap; the installment payment opportunities were granted. As soon as the number of settlers rose to a several dozen thousand Washington organized a political farce recognizing Texas sovereignty and subsequently seizing half of Mexican territory. In the given case Texas was used as a beachhead for getting deep into the land. Let’s not forget the formal pretext for further offensive against Mexico was the discontent of Washington concerning the delimitation of border.
Let’s draw parallels with the so called «Circassian issue» that the US analytical community is so actively involved in nowadays. The comparisons are more than propitious once Washington is dissatisfied with the existing borders between the «Circassian republics» of the Russian Federation. The US political essay writers and experts on geopolitics call for changing them almost in the form of ultimatum.
Brussels started to dance to the US tune joining the deliberations the very same way Paris and London did recognizing Texas in 1836 creating preconditions for future war; in 1845 they tried to dissuade Mexico from armed resistance to beat off Washington’s diktat. Other European countries behavior is far from setting an example of being able to come up with something new or demonstrate adherence to democracy. The very same way as in 1845 the whole Europe followed France and Great Britain wishing Mexico did what Paris and London wanted it to. Today it follows Brussels and speaks the very same language as Washington and NATO.
Washington demands Russia immediately let in several hundred thousand Circassians from Syria, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and other countries because historically they come from the Caucasus. Nobody argues, no one says it’s not the case. The evacuation of 32 Adyghe families from war torn Kosovo in the 1990s proves the fact that Russia is ready to meet the interests of foreign Circassians. At present possible movement of Circassians and Chechens from Syria is an issue on the agenda.
But what have the United States done for the Mexicans who historically come from the southern states? Has any US politician ever raised the issue of repatriation of Mexicans to the land of their predecessors since the land was captured by Washington? No. the idea has never even struck them. To the contrary more additional hitches are created on the way «Mexicans becoming Americans living in the USA», from diplomatic (visa documentation) to physical (the US-Mexican wall equipped with cutting edge technology devices and border patrols).
Washington demands Moscow provides adequate social infrastructure for the Circassians wishing to come to Russia. By the way 50%, perhaps even more, of the North Caucasian republics income is donations. So there is no way the newcomers could be accommodated without money coming from federal budget.
At the same time Washington constantly resorts to economic and social reasons to justify its plans to strengthen the Mexican border. It says the problems are caused by huge numbers of immigrants from South America. Besides the sociologists and political scholars beat alarm about changing the cultural appearance of Anglo-Saxon America. «850 000 university students learn Spanish in comparison with 210 000 whom learn French and 198 000 who learn German…Around 40 million of US citizens are fluent Spanish speakers, the Spanish language speaking skills of 4 million white Americans are up to par…the number of children born in Latino families on the territory of the USA will exceed the number of children born in African American or white Anglo-Saxon families making up for 30% of newly born infants by 2050. The shift of mental paradigm has caused a surge of interest in Spanish language among American students».(1) The ethnic and demographic dynamics testify that the issue of migration should be tackled taking into consideration all corresponding aspects, from culture to economy. Inability to manage the process may instigate a real social upheaval.
Looks like instigation of social upheaval that could be given ethnic – political taint, meets the interests of the West in the Caucasus. Otherwise how could one explain huge financial inflows of US humanitarian foundations into the project, the appearance of «pocket» Circassian organizations abroad that claim to know the historic truth, and ready-made comments of overseas analysts constantly keeping the Circassian and Russian in focus of their attention?
If the Circassian community allows these foreign organizations grasp the initiative and define the emotional tonality and political course of Circassian people then it would hit the spot to exclaim: «Poor Circassia! So far from God, So Close to the West!»
1. Alberto Buela. Hispanics Throw the Gauntlet to Anglo-Saxons. (www.segodnia.ru, 04.04.2011)