Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taft Administration Clarifies Reason for Troop Movement

The White House yesterday clarified the reason behind the movement of 20,000 troops, Marines, and naval war ships to the U.S-Mexico border and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  When the mobilization was first announced on Monday evening, the War Department stated that these movements were conducted to support war games to be performed in Galveston and San Diego.  However, many in the press refuted these claims, believing instead that this was a prelude to the U.S. intervention in the Mexican insurrection.  It now appears that this is the case, after the German embassy sent a communique to several American newspapers stating that they had informed our government that they considered the U.S. responsible for the safety of their interests in Mexico, and that if the U.S. failed to uphold the Monroe Doctrine, the German government would have no choice but to intervene.  Quoting from the front-page article in today's Washington Herald, the communique from the German embassy states:
The Government has not yet received any news that would indicate that a dangerous condition of affairs exists in Mexico.  If, however, the government receives reports showing that German interests are menaced, Germany will certainly, without the least delay, take such measures as seem necessary for the protection of German subjects in Mexico.
This statement follows similar intimations from the British foreign office, as reported in the Washington Herald two days ago.  After this statement was released, the White House backtracked on their maneuver cover story, stating that in fact the mobilization was intended to prevent filibustering and the sale of weapons to the Mexican rebels.  Taft believes that by sending troops to the border and with the flow of guns into rebel hands curtailed, the rebellion will eventually die out and preserve the Monroe Doctrine in the process.  The president made the statements while stopped at Charlottesville, Virginia, on his way south to Atlanta and Augusta for several speaking engagements and for a short vacation.  According to the Associated Press:
The United States has determined that the revolution in the republic to the south must end.  The American troops have been sent to form a solid military wall along the Rio Grande to stop filibustering and to see that there is no further smuggling of arms and men across the international boundary.  It is believed that with this source of contraband supplies cut off, the insurrectionary movement which has disturbed conditions generally for nearly a year without accomplishing anything like the formation of a responsible independent government, will speedily come to a close...The Washington government unexpectedly found itself confronted by the necessity of throwing an army along the border line of Mexico to stop the source of supply of the revolutionists and to be in a position to invade Mexico at a moment's notice in the event of the death of President Diaz or an other untoward circumstance which might cause general fighting or rioting.
While Taft has stated that an invasion of Mexico would only occur as a last resort, recent reports late today from Mexico have made it clear that intervention by the U.S. is not welcomed and that such action, the crossing of the Rio Grande, would be considered an act of war.  Mexican Ambassador de la Berra stated that the government in Mexico City can take of itself and that his government would never entertain the notion of having U.S. troops on Mexican soil.  They are however not against a cordon being implemented, on American soil, to prevent the flow of weapons to insurrectionists.  Finally, the Ambassador and Mexican finance minister (in New York) Jose Limantour both denied reports that President Porfirio Díaz was near death and that the government was at no risk of tottering.

One Hundred Year Old News will have more on this developing story tomorrow with another editorial from Veronica Stirnitzke.

Link: Europe Made United States Guard Mexico [The Washington Herald]
Link: Troop Movement Means Intervention by U.S. [The Bisbee Daily Review]
Link: Mexican Officials Resent President Taft's Statements That Intervention May Come [The Washington Times]
Link: Resolved to End Revolt in Mexico [The New York Tribune]

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