Saturday, June 25, 2016

Today -100: June 25, 1916: Mexico has long been an international nuisance

The Wilson administration is rather annoyed at not being able to formulate a Mexican policy (i.e., go to war) because of Gen. Pershing’s delay in sending a full report on exactly what happened at Carrizal (i.e., who really started the shooting between Mexican and US forces). The delay is in part because US soldiers are still making their way back in dribs and drabs. But the US is demanding the immediate release of captured US soldiers.

Gen. Jacinto Treviño, the Carrancista chief in Chihuahua State, says in a telegram to some random Mexican that at Carrizal he was only following Carranza’s orders. The US will take this as an admission that if there’s a war, the Mexicans started it.

The threat of impending war has brought Mexicans together, with some of Pancho Villa’s generals and men flocking to join Carranza’s army.

The US Senate Military Committee drops the $1 million the House appropriated for the families of National Guardsmen drafted into federal service. Instead, any guardsman with a wife and/or children may ask to be discharged. The Committee also removes the House’s 3-year limit on the terms of service, leaving it as “the period of the emergency.”

William Howard Taft says the duty to invade Mexico is clear – “Mexico has long been an international nuisance.” But, as he was told when he president, it will take 250,000 soldiers, we’ll need to capture every major city and port and then deal with guerilla warfare and it will all take two or three years.

This is surprising: a Sunday NYT Magazine article on the rather obscure late artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

The Mag also examines why so few French Canadians are joining the army. Evidently it’s because public schools in Quebec are not taught in French.

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