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Miamian
09-18-2003, 12:04 AM
Since this is primarily a Dolphins website, political discussions seem secondary and I don't usually feel inclined to start political threads, unless moved to do so. That just happened.

I happened to read the Lounge thread about lap dancing being banned in LA with the light-hearted remark about shame in being American. Recently, I felt that way on a more serious level.

I had time off of work and decided to go to Mexico City. I had always wanted to see it. One of the "can't-miss" sites is Chapultepec Park, a sprawling park with museums and monuments.

One of those monuments is dedicated to Los Niños Héroes, the Boy Heroes. It commemorates the bravery and patriotism of six cadets at the military academy which was then located on a tall craggy hill in the park. During the Mexican War, U.S. forces drove all the way to Mexico City and entered the academy. Those six cadets realized that a military victory would be impossible. So rather than surrender, they draped themselves in the Mexican flag and flung themselves down the side of the hill to the bare rock below, killing themselves. I had read about the story and the monument before, but seeing it first-hand gave me a different perspective.

The sight of the monument, the heroism of the boys, and the realization that this was a war of aggression and imperial expansionism on our part caused me to feel shame as an American for one of the few times in my life. Even though the war was fought about 160 years ago, as a nation we tend to express our revulsion at countries who do the same thing, even though in this case we were probably less justified. I can't help but feel that we're hypocrites when we criticize others, but continue to enjoy the spoils resulting from the Mexican War.

PhinPhan1227
09-18-2003, 11:32 AM
Every nation has it's dark times. Heck, we were one of the first countries to employ true germ warfare when we imported disease ridden blankets to give to the Indians on thier reservations. That being said, we've got a ton of history since then to be darned proud of. We've brought freedom and economic health to an incredible number of people. And one thing you should also bear in mind with the Mexican American War...we weren't fighting against a government elected by the people...we were fighting against a government that was imposed on those people by a foreign power. So yes, bad things happened in that war....bad things happen in any war, no matter HOW noble the cause. But good things happened as well.

zach13
09-18-2003, 02:47 PM
Actually disease ridden blankets were given out by the British to the Indians during the French- Indian war in the 1760's.

Incidentally, modern epidemiologists believe that smallpox can not be transmitted in that fashion and the Indian who contracted the disease must have got it from human contact.

Furhter, there is not one documented account of the U.S. military employing such a strategem.

There was, however, a well documented smallpox inoculation program that the U.S. employed with the Indians.

Furrther, the Mexican American war can not be characterized as an imperialist power victimizing an innocent neighbor.

It was a fight between two governments over territory.

Miamian
09-18-2003, 09:31 PM
And one thing you should also bear in mind with the Mexican American War...we weren't fighting against a government elected by the people...we were fighting against a government that was imposed on those people by a foreign power. Actually, the war was fought in the 1840's and the Napoleonic Empire was imposed in the 1860's, even though the adminsitration at the time was set up by a military coup d'etat. Nevertheless, our objective was not to "liberate" the Mexican people from an oppressive regime, like we claim we're doing in Iraq. Even if the government at the time was corrupt, it still does not justify military conquest and then seizing half their country.


It was a fight between two governments over territory. If you want to go in that direction, then there is no such thing as imperialism since the expansion of territory is always one of the primary goals of empire-building. That would also include Russia's seizing of the Baltic republics, "Imperial" Rome, all the mercantalistic empires of 17th and 18th century Europe, and lest we forget early to mid 20th century Germany.