The Mexican sixth-grade history book celebrates the troops who fought the Americans during the Mexican-American War. But "all the sacrifices and heroism of the Mexican people were useless," recounts the chronicle. The "Mexican people saw the enemy flag wave at the National Palace." The war's consequences were "disastrous," notes the primer: "To end the occupation, Mexico was obligated to sign the treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo," by which the country lost half its territory to the U.S.
This narrative is accurate and rather tame by Mexico's usual anti-American standards. But a student in the U.S. could easily find himself confused about his allegiances. Is his country Mexico or the U.S.? Study exercises that include discovering "what happened to your territory when the U.S. invaded" don't clarify things. The textbook concludes by celebrating Mexican patriotic symbols: the flag, the currency and the national anthem.
The Bush administration winks at such Mexican intrusions with the same insouciance with which it refuses to enforce the immigration laws. The result: an immigration policy that often appears to emanate as much from Mexico City as from Washington.