Much fun has been had by American politicians and pundits who are rightly taking France to task for its wimpish, pro-appeasement ways.
But what about the country that prides itself as America's "closest ally" and has enjoyed a highly touted "special relationship" with us? What about our soft-on-terror, fence-sitting, fair-weather friend on the U.N. Security Council, Mexico?
President Bush is sorely disappointed that his old ranch buddy, Mexican President Vicente Fox, has left him twisting in the wind at this late date. But Fox's reluctance to side with the U.S. in the debate over war with Iraq (exacerbated by recent Mexican election victories by the opposition PRI party) is no surprise to those who watched him wobble right after the September 11 attacks.
Remember: When America called on the world to join in Operation Enduring Freedom, every major industrialized country (including Axis of Weasel members France and Germany) answered the call.
Every major American ally, that is, except Mexico.
Although Fox declared "sympathy" for the victims, he waited a week after the September 11 attacks to ever-so-gingerly make the case to his countrymen for supporting the global fight against terror. He refused to commit military support for the counter-attack on Afghanistan, and he refused to observe a moment of silence in honor of those who died in the attacks.
Fox's belated "unconditional" declaration of support for the War on Terror had more strings attached to it than a grand piano's innards. Meanwhile, his government demanded that illegal aliens from Mexico who died in the attacks be automatically granted U.S. citizenship and that their families be exempt from immigration enforcement.
While other nations jumped at the chance to help hunt down radical Islamist murderers, Mexico worried about protecting its image among virulent anti-American factions at home. One of Fox's cabinet members, Interior Minister Santiago Creel, expressed concern that Mexico would appear "subordinate" to the U.S. (There's irony.)
Other Mexicans, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette noted, "even dare(d) suggest that the United States brought the attack on itself by sticking its nose into affairs of other countries, including -- presumably -- Mexico." Navarrette (with whom I disagree on many border issues) bravely skewered Fox's hypocrisy: "When it comes to Mexican immigrants residing in the United States, Mexico most certainly does not mind its own business. . . . Fox has himself meddled in our affairs with demands and deadlines."
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