May 17, 2009
Land For Peace, American StyleBy Rob Miller
" Never ask a friend to buy a horse you wouldn't buy yourself" - (Loose translation of an old Yiddish proverb)
Apply the principles urged on Israel to the United States, and you end up with a scenario something like this:
The new final settlement conference between the US, Mexico, and the Aztlánistas is scheduled for late June. The agreement promises a new chapter in the relationship between the countries -- and new hope for Mexican refugees yearning for self-determination and a state of their own.
For years, there have been ongoing hostilities, culminating in a rash of illegal immigration and ongoing terrorism on the border. While there are many troublesome issues, new attitudes on both sides of the conflict may mean that peace is finally at hand.
The new status quo will probably look very much like a proposition made by New Aztlán advocates like MEChA (and prominent American academics), tempered with the peace plan promoted by Mexican President Calderon. Other Latin American countries have endorsed the plan.
What the Aztlánistas want is final status on a state of their own with contiguous borders, New Aztlán, to consist of the American territories of California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The capital of the new regime will, of course, be traditionally Aztlánista Los Angeles.
All non-Mexican settlements and American settlers would be evacuated outside these borders to the original pre-1836 US borders, with some modifications, perhaps, to reflect demographics. Part of Northern California, for instance, could be traded for land in southern Nevada, eastern Louisiana, Colorado or Utah as part of a final agreement.
A key demand for the Mexicans and the Aztlánistas is justice for the descendants of the refugees and their descendants dating from the original American-Mexican conflict. They want a full right of return for these refugees and their descendants to Mexican lands still in the hands of the US. The plan's supporters insist upon a right to settle in the US for those Mexicans dubbed "illegal aliens" who have been victimized by what both the Mexicans and the Aztlánistas denounce as the apartheid border wall and restrictive US immigration policies.
The proponents of the plan also demand (1) the agreement must have a deadline for implementation; (2) all checkpoints within New Aztlán, (especially on the current borders) are to be removed to allow the Aztlánistas freedom of movement; and (3) US occupation of New Aztlán must end during the interim before the final settlement agreement is implemented.
The Aztlánistas are also demanding full sovereignty and control over historic US sites like the Grand Canyon, the Alamo, and Yosemite.
An important part of the agreement is that all Mexican and Aztlánista prisoners currently in American custody, who the Aztlánistas consider to be freedom fighters, will be repatriated to Aztlánista territory.
In exchange for this, the Mexicans, Latin American Nations and Aztlánistas promise to recognize the remainder of American territory as the sovereign United States. These parties have agreed to renounce illegal immigration, terrorism and to dismantle the drug cartels currently operating out of Mexican and Aztlánista territory.
The problems of a final solution to this problem should not be underestimated. Right wing ultra-nationalist settlers who consider these territories part of their historic homeland, regardless of international law, populate much of the area in question. Resettling them in the United States within the pre-conflict borders will entail considerable trouble and expense for the US.
In the territories on the North Bank (Texas) in particular, opposition to a proposed land for peace settlement is particularly widespread, not least when it comes to control of the Alamo, which many settlers consider one of the most important sites in their history. The Aztlánistas are insisting on total control of the Alamo as part of their State, claiming that according to their tradition, Aztlánista hero General Santa Ana tied his horse there before ascending to heaven.
There are also questions of what kind of control the Mexican government and the Aztlánistas have over groups like the Zetas and MS13 (who are actually mostly Salvadorans), who have yet to commit to being part of any settlement and questions of the proponents' ability to prevent illegal immigration to the US.
Obviously the International community will have to provide substantial amounts of aid to both Calderon and to the Aztlánistas as part of a package in order to bolster America's new peace partners. American critics of the peace negotiations have pointed out that such aid in the past has largely ended up in the hands of corrupt Aztlánista politicians. The money has been used in the past to fund drug cartels and terrorists organizations like the Zetas. But experts agree that continued foreign aid would undoubtedly be the necessary "price for peace" on the part of the US.
As the Aztlánista population grows, time is running out for a comprehensive settlement. American President Obama has pointed out that the Latino "demographic bomb" will leave Americans with the option of either being a minority in their country or foregoing democracy and permanently occupying the southern territories.
Unless the coming conference ends up with major concessions by the Americans, an intensified cycle of violence is almost guaranteed. The Aztlánistas will become more radicalized as they lose hope of reaching a comprehensive settlement.
We may very well be on the verge of a peaceful, two-state solution in the region. A land for peace agreement is undoubtedly an important step towards that goal. Proponents of a two-state solution have pointed to Oslo and the Gaza disengagement by Israel. Supporters of the agreement argue that such a plan can work if it is properly implemented with the support of the international community.
Most experts in the field contend that the two-state solution is the only hope of ending the conflict and preserving America's character as a democratic state.