Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Vodka Infuriates Americans!

this advert has sent some Americans into a righteous fury!

They object to Absolut, a Swedish vodka company, from using a pre-1848 map of Mexico to market their drink. There has been some bizarre comments made by 'right wing' Americans comparing this map, to a map showing Paris as part of Germany!!

Absolut defended themselves, stating that this map represented an idealised time in Mexican history, before half of their territory was taken by those United States.

War and conquest are a part of our being, conquest can be argued to be right and proper (mostly by the winning side) or it can be denounced as evil and immoral (the losing side), but it exists and that is how the American states of California, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona came into being part of those United States of America.

It seems some Americans are oblivious to this, that they did pursue an aggressive war of conquest against their weaker neighbour and that they seized half of what used to be Mexico, at least admit you did that!

The territory may now be yours, but it was once Mexico, and looking at current immigration statistics, it may once again be Mexican!


al fin said...

I actually like the map and think it has great historic value. But the country of Mexico has always been a basket case.

One of my distant relatives of Irish descent fought for Mexico in the Mexican American war, and was killed by a Mexican general who apparently had a grudge against outsiders.

But Texas declared independence in 1836 before joining the US, and fought its own war with Mexico to free itself. It joined the US afterward. California declared independence from Mexico in 1946.

The Mexican American war forced Mexico to give up its northern possessions. The US could easily have forced more concessions, since it was occupying Mexico City at the time.

The US paid Mexico more money for small wedges of its Southwest than it paid Russia for all of Alaska.

I think what infuriates Americans is all the crime and poverty traipsing across the border putting huge strains on social services, schools, hospitals, prisons.

The thought that the country of Mexico is in any position to administer itself well, much less parts of other countries, is not so much infuriating as surreal.

Joe Blow said...

Also...lets get our facts straight...Mexico only occupied a small sliver of the edge of the land that now is the border of the US and Mexico, never way up to the edge of this phoney map.

Irish Tory said...

I'm not saying that Mexico should have the land back as America has done very well with the land.

I also realise that Americans have made better use of the land then the Mexicans would have.

The point I was making is, there seems to be an unrealistic element in American popular memory that seems to strain to justify every act of previous American governments as righteous.

This is the problem I was trying to address, not trying to insult.

Americans at the time of the Mexican war were not unified against Mexico, there were serious divisions and doubts over this war and the conquest of the present American south west.

A little humility and reality would, I believe reinvigorate Ameican history and its study.

America is not without sin, it is just another country with national interests.