Monday, March 14, 2011

US Narrowly Averts War with Mexico

Mexican diplomats have succeeding in getting a concession from the U.S. by having us remove our naval patrols which had been ordered by Taft along the east and west coasts of Mexico, according to report in the evening edition of the Washington Times.  These patrols were designed as part of this country's plan to cut off the supply of arms and men to the insurgents and to prop up the Diaz government.  However, the Mexican contingent in Washington has been adamant that such patrols in Mexican waters are a provocation for war and that they must be stopped in order to prevent a conflict between our two nations.  They argue that such patrols can easily be converted into blockades in "three hours' time."  If such patrols were to continue, the Diaz government would have no choice but to declare war on the United States to preserve self-respect.  They also reiterate that such intervention is unnecessary as the Diaz regime is under no threat of toppling.

The Washington Times quoted an unnamed Senator:
If, during the civil war Great Britain had planted on the Canadian border an army larger than that of the Union; and if on top of that she had placed her war vessels in all our ports--that would have been a parallel to what this country undertook to do to Mexico.  How long would war have been staved off in that case?
This negativity from Congress is not alone and the Washington Times writer expects more hostility to be expressed by both houses during the special session next month.  The most furious attacks on the President could come from those on the left in his own party, like new Minnesota Senator Miles Poindexter, who was quoted in the Washington Times:
Certainly this matter will be investigated by Congress.  I understand President Taft has given out two different statements with reference to this order, and I have no doubt inquiry will be made as to which statement is correct.  If he merely planned a maneuver, as indicated by his first statement, then he has undertaken a step to prove our unpreparedness for war, nearly as expensive as a new army.  If his last statement is correct, as now seems apparent, he has practically usurped the powers of Congress by making a demonstration that is almost equivalent to a declaration of war.  This collecting of our army on the Mexican border is without precedent.  It seems to me that the explanation lies in the great concessions Americans have from the Diaz government.  The trusts probably are afraid that if the insurrectionists are successful the new government may not respect these concessions, and, therefore, they have taken steps to see that the revolutionary party is not successful.
The White House clearly saw its position was too far advanced on this.  Patrolling Mexico's major ports on both coasts and effectively sealing the international border between our country and Mexico would not only effect the flow of arms to the rebels, but would also adversely affect normal commerce with that country and ours and other foreign interests, such as Britain, Germany, and Japan (all three of which have been implicated in a potential foreign intervention).  As such, the White House has been forced to accede to Mexico's diplomatic demands that it went too far and will be with drawing its warships from Mexican ports as soon as they have been refueled.  The commander of the army along the Mexican border, Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood has also order that no further troops would be sent on patrols along the Rio Grande.

The Washington Herald had a full report on their front page on the on-going fighting south of the border.  One example was a battle at the town of Santa Rosalia in the state of Chihuahua.  A rebel band of 256 insurgents led by Francisco Villa attacked the town but were repulsed by villagers.  The increase in the violence in Mexico in recent days is thought to be result of the order by Diaz to suspend constitutional protections for personal liberty and allowing for summary executions.

Link: Abolishing Patrol Kept Mexico from Declaring War [The Washington Times]
Link: Insurrectos Active Along the Border [The Washington Herald]

No comments:

Post a Comment