Arizona, California, Canada, Colorado, further instances of Canadian perfidy, Great Britain, James Knox Polk, Let us help!, manifest destiny, Mexico, muchas gracias, Nevada, one-termer by choice, one-termers, outright lies, Saddam Hussein, Saddam totally did it, Santa Anna, Somalia, Texas, there's a NEW Mexico?, treachery, United Kingdom, United States of America, Utah
You’ve probably heard more than once that there’s no such thing as a ‘good’ war. The sentiment driving this notion is noble, and easy enough to understand: it’s hard to take any joy from a victory when even one life has been needlessly cut short. Moreover, there is also the sad legacy of war’s victims who survive the conflict only to return to shattered, empty lives.
World War II is sometimes considered a ‘good war’ in that it very literally halted the extinction of an entire people. This view necessarily tends to discount the ugly reality that the war cost the lives of just as many people and a great deal more, but was more egalitarian in that it distributed the horrors among a variety of nations. Others consider the US’s ill-fated War of 1812 among this select group of noble atrocities, because the dream of liberating Canada from her tyrannical British masters was a righteous and Heaven-sanctioned one, despite the ingratitude and surprising unhelpfulness of the Canadian people.¹
But the little known Mexican-American War is something everyone can get behind. Having recently acquired the Independent Republic of Texas, the United States under President James Knox Polk was looking for a little more real estate. Polk had long prized such material assets as the Napa Wine Country, Camp Pendleton Marine Base and California Adventures, so America’s 11th President–and by any estimate its most effective One-Termer–set his sights on wresting the Golden State from Mexico.²
Polk was initially stymied in his efforts by that age-old bugbear of democratic republics, the notion that you can’t just go starting a war for no reason. But when it was determined that Mexico’s General Antonio López de Santa Anna (an early forerunner of future bad-guy, Adolf Hitler) was stockpiling Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the Sonora Desert, America was left with little choice but to act.
Although no WMD were ever found, the story did end happily, with the Mexicans chased all the way to Tijuana by the victorious gringos, and the Stars & Stripes lofted over the golden, rolling hills of California. However, it has so often been said that ‘a lawn does not cut itself,’ and like the storied swallows of Capistrano, in a final righting of history, the descendants of those long-ago Californios have since returned to California, bringing with them a great many friends whose ancestors had previously never been north of Michoacan.
Can always count on this blog for a little education. And I stress the word “little”… Or, en français, since you seem to adore the French (though have left them be this time around), “un peu”.
Thanks as always. You know, there probably something to be gained from our insights, providing you’re able to sort the gems from the outright lies.
Not always, sadly. For example, it took me awhile to realize Tardsie’s inanimate nature. But I got there eventually…
El Guapo said:
Wow, what a…novel view of war.
This account will stay in my brain. Until I can drink it out. 😉
Well done as always!
You are too kind, and too handsome. Thanks, Guap!
We Canadians are a hockey supremacy. By we, I exclude myself as I shame Canada with my poor skating skills.
That is all I got from your blog post.
Go back to the History Channel, hippie.
I’ve had some hurtful comments thrown my way before, but I have to tell you, being called a hippie stings! Insofar as I can tell, there is only one major issue on which our lifestyles converge. Regular readers will not have to be told that I’m referring to our mutual love for the sweet, sweet not bathing.
And you’ll forgive my skepticism about your inability to play hockey. FACT: ALL Canadians play hockey well. While there are exceptions (Canucks afflicted with degenerative conditions like MS or cerebral palsy may be ‘okay’ hockey players), most claims to a lack of hockey acumen are simply examples of Canadians practicing their second-most prized skill: lying).
Alex Autin said:
My knowledge of history is far too limited to allow me to debate many of the fine points raised in this piece. I guess I’ll have to google them…as soon as I stop laughing. 🙂
Thanks, Alex. And all our ‘facts’ (I’m required to put the quotes there for certain legal reasons you’d no doubt find boring, but just go ahead and pretend they’re not there) are so thoroughly vetted that there’s no reason whatsoever to check. Seriously, you don’t want to do that.