Propaganda Must Be Countered By Truth
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Recently, I heard more false claims that the US stole much of the land that is now the southwestern states from Mexico. It’s BUNK!
The mainstream media continues to publish those claims without counterbalancing them with the truth. That does two things. It emboldens those perpetrating those false claims against the US – and -- it is accepted as truth by our woefully undereducated citizenry.
Over a year ago we attempted an effort to bring truth to the discussion by explaining that the US did, in fact, purchase that land. It is a matter of historical fact.
As the months have gone by, I have seen no attempt to set the record straight. This, dear reader, is how revisionist history becomes so successful. No one refutes it. It is the first rule of propaganda: tell the lie long enough and loud enough and it will eventually be accepted as truth. It would seem that is what those groups in the United States, whose aim it is to push Amnesty for Illegal Aliens legislation through the Congress and onto Obama’s desk for his signature, are endeavoring to do. I mean, how can we insist that those people abide by the law and apply for citizenship in the US legally, because, after all, it IS THEIR LAND.
OK, let’s take another shot at setting the record straight and look at some facts.
First, The Mexican War:
The Mexican War between the United States and Mexico began with a Mexican attack on American troops along the southern border of Texas on Apr. 25, 1846. Fighting ended when U.S. Gen. Winfield Scott occupied Mexico City on Sept. 14, 1847; a few months later a peace treaty was signed (Feb. 2, 1848) at Guadalupe Hidalgo. In addition to recognizing the U.S. annexation of Texas defeated Mexico ceded California and, New Mexico (including all the present-day states of the Southwest) to the United States.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed on February 2, 1848, by Nicholas P. Trist, for the United States, and by a special commission representing the collapsed government of Mexico.
Under the treaty, Mexico ceded to the United States Upper California and New Mexico (including Arizona) and recognized U.S. claims over Texas, with the Rio Grande as its southern boundary. The United States in turn paid Mexico $15,000,000, assumed the claims of American citizens against Mexico, ($3.25 Million) recognized prior land grants in the Southwest, and offered citizenship to any Mexicans residing in the area. Then a few years later, the US bought the land that is now Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico for another 6 million dollars.
Why did we need that additional land?
After the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, border disputes between the United States and Mexico remained unsettled. Land that now comprises lower Arizona and New Mexico was part of a proposed southern route for a transcontenental railroad. US President Franklin Pierce was convinced by Jefferson Davis, (Later the First President of the Confederate States of America) then the US Secretary of War, to send James Gadsden (who had personal interests in the rail route) to negotiate the Gadsden Purchase with Mexico. Under the resulting agreement, the U.S. paid Mexico $10 million. There was a problem with the money, however: Even though the agreement specified $10 million, the US Congress only agreed to pay $7 million. When the money finally arrived, in Mexico City, $1 million was found to be lost, thus making $6 million the amount Mexico actually got for the sale of that land. Hey, they set the price… we paid it!
Run the numbers and you will find that the US paid Mexico $24,250,000.00 (24 million, two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand) US dollars for the land in the Southwest US which many claim, today, we (The US) stole!
You know, I get a bit tired, and even short-tempered, with folks who attempt to perpetuate an untruth by the act of sheer ommission. As a Southerner, I know how that can hurt. To say the US stole all that land in the Southwest is a flat-out lie. So, 24 and-a-quarter-million isn’t much money? Not by today’s standards perhaps, but back in the mid 1800’s we’re talking about somewhere in the area of $600,000,000.00! Now that IS big bucks!
So, next time you hear someone prattling on about how the US stole all the southwestern United States from Mexico, set them straight. Tell them we bought it and paid for it . If they refuse to believe you refer them to the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty and the Gadsden’s Purchase a few years later. It’s all there. It’s a part of history. A part of history students in the American government schools apparently never hear about.
Of course, the claims that we stole the land from Mexico is all a part of the propaganda being employed to saddle Americans with more undeserved guilt. People who feel guilty will ofttimes respond in the way those proding them wish them to respond. That is what is hoped for with all the unmitigated garbage heaped on America today.
Actually, as I view the relationship between the US and Mexico today, I tend to agree with those who feel we ought to annex the entire country of Mexico and run it as an American territory. I mean, it’s not like we are not supporting the country of Mexico these days. The billions of US dollars a year pouring into Mexico, from Mexican citizens who have burglarized the US, is staggering.
The US has a huge number of problems these days that must be dealt with. But we must not let our guard down for one minute else an amnesty bill for illegal aliens will be passed by the Congress whether under Democratic or Republican control. Eternal vigilance truly is the price of freedom.
J. D. Longstreet