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Intern Val Zavala?

Mark A. R. Kleiman links to the American Prospect article 'Hoarse Whisperer: Bush's quiet but not-so-subtle bullying of Mexico', which takes as its source the Economist article 'Time to be counted':

A stream of American officials, sounding much more hostile than sorry, have been trekking south to argue the point. Most of the pressure, though, is coming from the grass-roots. Rogelio Ramirez de la O, an independent Mexican economist, argues that American boardrooms are discussing whether to cut back future investment in Mexico if the Mexicans disappoint them. One American diplomat has given warning that a Mexican No could "stir up feelings" against Mexicans in the United States. He draws comparisons with the Japanese-Americans who were interned after 1941, and wonders whether Mexico "wants to stir the fires of jingoism during a war".

TAP goes off on a hysterical tear based on this supposed quote and based on a later speech from Bush, suggesting that Bush is threatening to intern Mexican-Americans.

While the Mexican government is at times an enemy-ally (for instance, the friendly gesture of teaching their schoolchildren that Mexico is the rightful owner of the U.S. Southwest), and there is a problem with forces of separatism (see this post for a summary), I have trouble believing that anyone would even suggest such a wacky plan. The major problem with this internment would be in finding non-Mexican-Americans to carry it out. Why, I'll even go on record as stating that if such an internment ever came to pass, I would personally offer refuge to Val Zavala.

Something must be wrong here. Hmmm... Could that something perhaps be a) the context or accuracy of the statements from the unnamed American diplomat, and/or b) TAP's analysis?

The Economist reporter does not state where this quote came from. Was it told to the reporter directly, or did he hear about it from a Mexican diplomat? How do we know that it's accurate? How do we know it's not just disinformation?

Specifically, how do we know that the reporter didn't hear it from a Mexican official who wanted to stir the pot? For instance, former foreign minister Castaneda's "propagating militant activities" comment.

As far as the grass-roots anti-French sentiment, as the TAP columnist reports, it's taken the form of boycotting French wine. I don't recall, say, Franco-Americans being beaten in the streets by armed mobs, do you? As with the internment, the TAP columnist goes off on yet another hysterical tear, suggesting somehow that if a grass-roots anti-Mexico sentiment developed, it would take an ugly form, rather than, for instance, people avoiding El Pollo Loco. Something that I would find difficult as well.

Immigration2003 · Thu, 03/06/2003 - 14:25 · Importance: 1

Thu, 03/06/2003 - 18:16