In fiscal year 2003, the most recent data available shows 12% of new recruits to the active U.S. armed forces were Latino.(1) That is less than the Latino share of the relevant age group targeted, but it's still more than Mexico's contribution to the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq--0%.
Only six very small countries of Central America sent troops to Iraq--and none of the South American countries sent any. MIM does not want to diminish the horror of seeing Third World countries endorse Yankee wars on other Third World countries. It has public opinion value for Bush; nonetheless, in terms of what the heroic Iraqi insurgents have to overcome, the top Latin American troop-sender was Honduras with 368 troops at one point in 2004. The proportion of its population Honduras sent was 6.1 per 100,000 compared with 47.7 per 100,000 from the united $tates. At another point, El Salvador sent 380 troops.
The occupation of Afghanistan is a British/Kanadian thing and Uncle $am brags about a puny 8,000 troops there from coalition partners. However, Uncle $am's own list shows not a single Latin American country sending troops to Afghanistan.(3) NATO (a U.$. treaty with Europeans) is the structure behind the occupation there.(4)
MIM knew all this before there was an invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq, because of theory. For two decades, we have put forward the line on the labor aristocracy--how people inside u.$. borders are exploiters of the world. People with legal working rights inside the united $tates are at the very least small exploiters of the world. Their children make the most reliable cannon fodder for empire.
The theory question arises, because the question is which evil is worse, neo- colonial lackeys or labor aristocracy lackeys. The president of Mexico is a U.$. puppet, but even so, the way the world works, it's harder for him to contribute to u.$. militarism than it is for Mexicans crossing the border to contribute to u.$. militarism. That's the key fact we need to know with these figures above.
In actual fact, the world's bourgeoisie is concentrated in the imperialist countries. The world's Vicente Foxes and other stooges do not add up to much material relatively-speaking. Fox is dangerous as a bad example to Third World people politically, but the six digit figure of Latino troops in the U.$. military is literally menacing to countries around the world. Even when Fox builds his military it deals with other Mexican people--a bad thing, but not imperialist.
People wonder why we support the Mexican flag and not the u.$. flag in the migrant rallies. One reason is that relatively-speaking, the Mexican flag is a flag of peace. The liberals like the New York Times complain about the Mexican flag, but their flag is a flag of war and plunder.
We do not support seeing the current migrant movement as a civil rights struggle. We are not here to get Latinos equal treatment in the u.$. military. On the other hand, we support the liberation of Aztlán by the people living there. They should find ways to wrench away support from u.$. militarism as a duty not just to themselves but the whole world. If Aztlán could liberate itself, that would be that much less support for u.$. militarism internationally.
The message should be clear to anti-militarists. When MIM says there is a strategic choice between emphasizing anti-racism or national liberation, anti- militarists need to use their noodle. For those of us who think that the united $tates is the leading threat to world peace, national liberation should be primary.
Having pride in Mexico or any other Latin American country is a progressive, anti-militarist factor in the world--applied internationalism as Mao said. The battle for civil rights and anti-racism by contrast leads to more troops for the u.$. imperialist military; hence, the battle for civil rights is a mixed blessing. Our battle is not to get Mexicans an equal share of super-profits that the united $tates loots from the rest of the world. That is the imperialist message delivered by the left-wing of white nationalism and the civil rights movement.
We don't want people to become like warmongering, genocidal Amerikkkans. Lack of assimilation is a good thing, when the society to assimilate into is unjust and militarist.