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."
Indeed. While Fox frets about whether America is properly respecting the sovereignty and borders of terror-sponsoring regimes, Mexico's meddling minions at consulates across America have been systematically undermining our own sovereignty and borders. With Fox's encouragement, Mexican consular officials in the U.S. (who have failed to register as political lobbyists) are aggressively pushing for:
-- illegal alien driver's licenses;
-- acceptance of insecure matricula consular identification cards that "regularize" illegal Mexican immigrants;
-- in-state tuition discount rates for illegal alien students;
-- "labor rights" for illegal Mexican workers;
-- an official amnesty program (as opposed to the de facto amnesty that already exists);
-- and government retirement "refunds" for illegal alien workers who used stolen or fake Social Security numbers.
That's just for starters. Even if Mexico ultimately votes with the U.S. on the Iraq resolution, it remains against us in so many other ways. While its own citizens clamor for death penalty prosecutions, Mexico ran to the World Court to block the U.S. from executing illegal Mexican criminals. Meanwhile, Fox's peace-loving nation remains a shameful refuge for scores of suspected fugitive murderers whom American prosecutors have tried futilely to have extradited, including alleged cop-killer Armando Garcia and alleged double-murderer Juan Manuel Casillas.
When it comes to standing against crime and tyranny, Mexico is as much an equivocal tail-tucker as its European counterparts. But other than a few vague words of disaffection from President Bush last week, our vacillating neighbor has suffered no public repercussions. You haven't (and won't) see congressional leaders dumping tequila and tacos down the drain the way they've been trashing French wine and French fries.
Why not? Because neither political party in Washington has the guts to stand up and call Mexico what it is. It's easy to ridicule the French as cheese-eating monkeys. It's much harder to truly offend politically correct sensibilities and call out the weasel next door.