December 27, 2003
This is in response to “What happened,” by Ken Neubecker, on Dec. 20. This letter probably won’t settle the argument about how the United States gained the Southwestern states.
No doubt that there was a war. No doubt that there was a treaty and that the U.S. paid Mexico as much for these Western territories as they paid France for the Lousiana Purchase.
The cause for the war is the crux of arguments, which should be moot after 155 years. However, for those who wonder, please see FAQ on a Web site created by descendents of veterans of the Mexican-American war. What was the cause of the war? (www.dmwv.org/mexwar/faqs.htm#q4): “On April 25, 1846, after Texas joined the United States, a large body of Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and ambushed a small group of American soldiers, killing 16 and taking the remainder prisoner. U.S. troops under the command of General Zachary Taylor had taken up a position on the north bank of the Rio Grande in the spring of 1846, after Mexican President Mariano Paredes refused to negotiate with the United States and threatened an invasion of Texas.”
Did any Mexicans fight on the U.S. side? (www.dmwv.org/mexwar/faqs.htm#q10) “Yes. An entire company of native Californian lancers, led by Capt. Santiago E. Arguello, volunteered to serve with American forces under Commodore Robert Stockton. They participated in the Battles of La Mesa and Rio San Gabriel in January 1847. Another 200 Mexican citizens, led by Colonel Manuel Dominguez, formed the U.S. Army’s “Mexican Spy Company” that served under General Winfield Scott in Central Mexico. They fought for the United States because they thought the leaders of Mexico were corrupt and had abused their power.”
But the old saying that “No matter what we THINK we are arguing about, what we are REALLY arguing about is money and/or power” perfectly describes the circular arguments about a war that has long since been over. Who deserves to have power in our United States is the crux of the present argument, no matter what form it may take.