Friday, January 27, 2006

Xenophobic imperialist warmonger ...

And Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat, of course:

Reports of armed Mexican outlaws crossing the border to clash with U.S. forces led to demands that the president send troops to protect American lives.
It sounds like a story ripped from this week's headlines, when Texas sheriff's deputies pursued marijuana smugglers protected by machine-gun wielding men in Mexican military uniforms.
So far, the White House is speaking of its "concern about the reports" of Monday's border crossing, which a spokesman described as "an incident that is under investigation." Yet in 1916, when Pancho Villa's bandits raided Columbus, N.M., a Democratic president didn't hesitate.
President Woodrow Wilson sent Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing to lead an expedition into Mexico. A $5,000 bounty was offered for Villa's capture, and Army posters invoked "The Flag, Old Glory" in calling for 25,000 recruits: "Come on, boys, be ready to shoulder the trusty Springfield."

Amazing what a great writer can do with an old story like that. Thanks to Clayton Cramer for his excellent research on that notoriously racist newspaper, The Los Angeles Times.


UPDATE: I've been Googling like crazy today, but so far have been unable to find any "WILSON LIED, PEOPLE DIED" T-shirts.

UPDATE 1/28/06: The "Pershing Option" meme for the Southwest border continues gaining traction, even among those who oppose any serious effort to defend U.S. borders:

Yet the blame-everything-on-Mexico crowd — American politicians, cable and radio-talk-show hosts and right-wing activists — are clamoring for armed American troops, Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to be sent to the border.
They are angrier than a nest of rattlesnakes, demanding President Bush send in Pershing's successor.

"Clamoring" and "demanding" are perhaps a bit too strong. I think the "right-wing activists" (at least what I understand from their arguments at extremist Web sites) would be content if maybe Mr. Bush would gently remind Vicente Fox that the American people, though peace-loving and patient, can be a mite ornery when repeatedly provoked. Of course, the anti-war left has been "clamoring" and "demanding" that the U.S. pull its troops out of Iraq, and I'm willing to bet the G.I.s over there would much rather be occupying, say, Cozumel or Cabo ....