26 February 2016

Israeli Arms: A US Proxy in Mexico

The Zapatistas of Chiapas rose up in rebellion in 1994 as a reaction to the passing of NAFTA as well as decades of unaddressed grievance. The uprising which continues to demand reform (not secession) continues to wear on after twenty plus years of low-level conflict.

Many will remember this from the 1990s. It made the news primarily because it affected American tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula. After the initial period of intense conflict coverage faded.

What many did not realise is that Israel became involved in supporting the Mexican state through arms sales. The provided links remind the reader that arms sales and proxies are but additional tools in the US Imperial arsenal. No nation would be allowed to operate in Mexico without US permission, especially in the realm of arms sales. Israel was effectively the US agent.

The Israelis and at other times Singapore and South Africa have served in a similar capacity. In the 1980's Israel worked closely with Apartheid South Africa on many 'projects' throughout Africa and it proved an effective way for US policy to circumvent the congress. It was but one of many examples of the Reagan administration completely rejecting the powers given to Congress in the US Constitution.

The arms industries of these countries are afforded an opportunity to generate some profits while at the same time they can work in coordination with American intelligence to bring about the desired US policy goal.

America's longtime ally and proxy, Mexico's PRI fell from power with the election of Vicente Fox in 2000. However, Fox had campaigned to deal with Chiapas and in addition became best known for his embrace of Neo-liberal economic policies. The fall of the PRI was just a shell game. Fox did eventually fall out with the United States in not supporting the Iraq invasion in the UN and by 2006 he was gone. His successor Felipe Calderon famously ignited the Mexican Drug War, a policy greatly supported by the United States. Its brutality and scale have led many to forget about Chiapas altogether though the conflict continues at a very low intensity. The old US ally the PRI returned to power in 2012 with the somewhat shady election of Pena Nieto.

The US has a long and very poor record in Mexico and their direct involvement would have harmed their ability to exert influence. And yet as the now famous 1995 Chase-Manhattan memo revealed it was important to US interests and hegemony to quash the Zapatistas. The Zapatista narrative, so opposed to globalisation and determined to expose its nature could prove harmful to US financial and thus imperial interests.

It was a situation perfect for an American proxy to step in and Israel filled the role.

It's a largely forgotten or even unnoticed chapter in US-Mexico relations but instructive as today the issues of Constitutionality, arms sales, drugs and proxy war continue to make the news.

Of course these wars have led to untold suffering on a massive scale. Among those who have felt the brunt of this are Christians caught in the middle of society that is collapsing. Mexico is presently afflicted by and in many cases ruled by violent cartels every bit as vicious and maniacal as ISIS in the Middle East. While not specifically targeting Christians in many cases Evangelicals suffer disproportionately. It is perhaps an understatement to note they are not appreciated by the Establishment of the country or society in general. In many locales the cartels operate as the de facto government and Evangelicals are viewed as suspect, non-compliant even subversive.

In other cases the cartels have gone after Christians. This is all the more sinister as in some cases the US government is collaborating with the same cartels. This is explained by a host of political, economic and strategic considerations. The recent prosecutions of figures like El Chapo should be viewed as sceptically as the US arrest of Manuel Noriega. It's simply a house-cleaning exercise and an opportunity to recalibrate and control the narrative.

American Christians cannot lament worldwide persecution when in many cases they are part of the system that is directly and indirectly contributing to it. Petitioning the US government to put 'pressure' (i.e. threaten) state actors to back-off is not only theologically dubious but is in fact schizophrenic and often contrary to official policy. Contrary to American domestic perceptions the US has no moral authority in the world. And its hypocrisy is all too often backed and supported by an all but apostate Church which cheers on its destabilising operations that continue to spread chaos and death. In the wake of these strategic wars it is the people of God who often suffer.