Daily Archives: April 27, 2006


Rob wrote in to chastise me about my comment about the US “meddling” in Mexican affairs, specifically with respect to Pancho Villa. He apparently thought I was referring the Punitive Expedition, in 1916, where General Blackjack Pershing led US troops into Mexico, after Pancho Villa attacked Columbus NM and killed US soldiers and civilians.

But I was specifically referring to US ambassador to Mexico Henry Lane Wilson, who helped Victoriano Huerta overthrow, capture and assassinate Francisco Madero during the Decena Tragica in 1913. But, anyway, in this particular case, it’s not like Madero himself was a nice guy or anything. Neither was Porfiro Diaz, for that matter, the guy Madero replaced.

But, frankly, it’s not like a secret or anything that the US was involved. Heck, it was official US policy to meddle in the affairs of our southern neighbors. President Theodore Roosevelt unapologetically articulated as such in his annual message to the Congress in 1904. In the section Policy Toward Other Nations of the Western Hemisphere, he specifically announced that the United States, in the case of “wrongdoing” or “impotence” by another country, the United States would be “forced” to the “exercise of an international police power.” We then proceeded to invade and occupy Cuba, Nicaragua (three times), Haiti , and the Dominican Republic in the next thirty years, before the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was replaced by FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy.

Honestly, Rob totally surprised me. I didn’t imagine that I was saying anything even remotely controversial.

Meddling, it’s just what we do.