Recently, we learned that the Mexican drug cartels are capable of defeating the Mexican Army in a pitched firefight. Then we learned that the cartels are literally building altars of human skulls. This week the Mexican cartels brutally murdered nine Americans, including young children. In 1916, the murder of American civilians by Mexican bandits was enough to prompt Woodrow Wilson to send Jack Pershing and many of the men who would later fight under Pershing on the Western Front into Mexico to bring some measure of justice to that perennially lawless country.
Today, though, expressions of concern about what is going on in Mexico are viewed as eccentric at best and racist at worst. Dead Americans garner much less attention than do dead Kurds, and the frontiers of a fictive Kurdistan get far more attention in DC than do the frontiers of the United States. Calling for more American troops to stand guard in the Middle East is the hallmark of respectability; calling for any American troops to stand guard on the Mexican border is a surefire sign of xenophobia and extremism. Indeed, everyone who matters knows that the manifest destiny of America is to care deeply about everything that happens in the Middle East and not at all about what is happening at our border or just over our border.
[Image via Pixabay.]
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.