Invading Mexico: More Brilliance from Washington
Invading Mexico: More Brilliance from Washington by Fred Reed
Time: “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Peña Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
With Trump it is difficult to tell bluster and carney-barker showmanship from serious consideration or actual intention. While clearly a threat, the remark may have been intended only to intimidate, and the ascription of cowardice to the Mexican army only ill-bred. Trump’s military record leaves no doubt as to his own courage. Given his administration’s threats of military action–war–against China and Iran, the possibility that he will send troops southward may be worth pondering. Whether the President has the faintest idea of what would be involved in very much worth pondering.
If troops are sent, what will they face in Mexico? What would they do? How many would they be?
To begin with, the narcos look exactly like everybody else in Mexico. They do not carry ID cards saying “Narcotraficante.” They can easily blend into the general population. If GIs try to operate here, the inability to distinguish narcos from everybody else will quickly lead to intense frustration. Frustrated troops become angry. They begin to hate the locals as in all such wars they hated the dinks, gooks, slopes, zipperheads, sand niggers, and rag-heads. Mexicans will begin to seem treacherous to them, as always happens when US troops go to countries they do not understand. All Mexicans will come under suspicion.
Soldiers, being young, usually not too bright, poorly educated, with no experience of other cultures, will start knocking people around. It always happens. Always. It is exactly what happened in Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia. There will be beatings, people slapped about, mistaken raids with the man of the house handcuffed, thrown to the floor, and humiliated in front of his wife. This is what happens when when you chase will-o-the-wisp narcos or terrs or mujaheddin or VC or commies on the basis of shaky information from unreliable sources with agendas of their own.
American forces will be called “advisers” or maybe “trainers” by the Pentagon, but Mexicans will see them as invaders. Since the Mexican constitution forbids the deployment of foreign forces in the country, they will indeed be invaders, although the Mexican government will be pressured into “inviting” them.. No country well tolerates arrogant, blundering, heavy-handed alien myrmidons with the power to push them around. GIs will not be regarded as friends or saviors.