CBS Sunday Morning decided to slip in a rather egregious Cinco de Mayo segment about the Mexican-American War (1846-48), in which most of the Western part of the United States was acquired under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Apparently, the occasion requires a seminar on how Cinco de Mayo is ruined by American imperialism.
CBS reported this was a “wicked” and “forgotten war,” built on presidential lies, and should resonate in the immigration debate -- because Americans don’t know that they’re living on land that was Mexico’s.
On the CBS website, they wrote that “for the people of Mexico, the "Halls of Montezuma" are much more than the words of a song; they represent a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the United States in 1847. Not even the 1862 victory over France that Mexico celebrates today -- Cinco de Mayo -- is enough to fully heal the wound.”
Daily Show alumnus Mo Rocca brought us the idea that modern-day Mexicans are still furious about the “American invasion,” and showcased Penn State Professor Amy S. Greenberg, who said this was “the first war that is fought for greed rather than principle in American history…it was the first war that was started with a presidential lie.” Greenberg’s book, A Wicked War, details the conflict, and states it was “engineered” by President James K. Polk.
Rocca says that this war was fought to complete America’s mission of manifest destiny, with added emphasis to give an aura of evil to this claim. It mocks American history. It mocks the basic dynamics of international relations concerning the behavior of regional hegemons. It’s a liberal study group that inappropriately inserts itself into an area that isn’t being discussed under Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Rocca reported that once the war began, it was “long” and “bloody.” Bloody, yes – but long is hardly the word to be used to describe this war. It lasted from April 25, 1846 to February 2, 1848. That’s less than two years, Mr. Rocca, and most of the deaths were due to disease, exhaustion, and other natural elements not related to combat. This was the norm. The majority of all U.S. deaths during the Civil War were due to infection and disease, not combat. The casualty rates weren’t akin to the Vietnam War, as this segment would have you believe.
Also, while Polk is vilified, for the lack of a better term, for starting this war, there’s almost no criticism of President Santa Anna, who was a dictator.
The segment ends with Professor Greenberg saying, “A lot of people live in land that was taken from Mexico in this war, taken from Mexico, and they're not aware of that. I believe a lot of the immigration debate that's going on now operates in a vacuum, where people are not realizing that in fact Mexicans are here in lands that once belonged to Mexico.”
This information should make us all amnesty-favoring liberals, if CBS had its way.
All nations have their dark era in history – Germany can attest to this – but what did this segment have to do with Cinco de Mayo? It was just another liberal bashing of America. Yes, once could make the argument that the Mexican-American War was unjust, but are we going to give that land back? Also, if Americans knew that we were living in land that once belonged to Mexico, the vast majority of them would probably just go on with their day and not care. The economy is on everyone’s minds, not America’s epic victory over Mexico in the 1840s.