Mexican president insults U.S., Congress cheers

When Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, addressed a joint gathering of the United States Senate and House of Representatives less than three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was a speech delivered at the right time, in the right place, to the right people.  It helped strengthen and define Allied resolve for the looming battles against Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire. 

Yet, among the many speeches delivered over the decades by foreign heads of state to the Congress of the United States, Churchill’s December 26, 1941 address was the exception to the rule.  Most foreign leaders who are afforded this honor deliver largely forgettable lectures about how wonderful are the ties between their nations and ours; and often in support of receiving financial or military support from Washington.

Few foreign leaders, however, possess the audacity exhibited earlier this month by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon when he spoke to the House and Senate in joint session.  In his speech, Calderon as much as blamed the tide of extreme violence sweeping Mexico in recent months on the United States.  Calderon specifically singled out our government’s failure to reinstate the Clinton-era gun ban, which expired in 2004, as a major reason why some 23,000 citizens of his country have died as a result of drug-fueled violence since he became president in 2006.

In criticizing what he clearly viewed as a legislative “failing” of the Congress to pass gun-control legislation, Calderon crossed a line normally not breached by visiting heads of state – at least publicly.  Foreign leaders generally are more sensitive to the protocol that you don’t openly meddle in another nation’s domestic political agenda. 

The administration of President Obama may have urged Calderon to step into this fray as its surrogate; having correctly concluded that openly pushing the gun-control agenda this cycle would likely hurt not help Democratic candidates for Congress. 

Calderon added insult to injury, when he offered as evidence of America’s complicity in Mexico’s rampant drug-cartel fueled violence, the fact that “more than 80 percent of [guns and assault weapons seized in Mexico] came from the United States.”  In reality, this “fact” is not a fact at all, but rather a figure demonstrably proved to be false.  The “80%” figure (often boosted to as much as 90%) surfaced early in 2009, and was initially cited without challenge by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), officials at ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and media personalities.

These bloated figures — offered as “proof” that lack of sufficient gun control in the US was fueling drug-cartel violence in Mexico – subsequently were shown to be completely false.  The vast majority of  firearms fueling Mexico’s violence were never able to be “traced” in the first place; and of those that were, they were shown largely to have entered Mexico’s burgeoning black market not from the US but from China, Russian organized crime groups, Spain, Israel, guerrilla groups in Colombia, and elsewhere.  The Mexican military, itself rife with corruption, is another source of purloined armaments for the drug cartel; though, of course, Calderon failed to mention this.

Thus, we witnessed a foreign leader accept an invitation to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress, and then criticize that body for not passing particular domestic legislation based on false and discredited data.  One might have hoped that such audacity would have elicited if not a “boo,” at least a raised eyebrow from the congressional audience.  National pride might have drawn at least stony silence.  Instead, the Democratic majority – or at least most of them – actually stood and applauded the insults delivered by Calderon.  They might as well have stood and said, “thank you, Señor; may we have another, Señor.”  How do you say “spineless” in Spanish?

155 comments Add your comment

Matt the Brave

May 31st, 2010
10:36 am

Mr. Barr, this only goes to prove the point that many foreign leaders do not believe that the US is the 800 pound gorilla in the room anymore and that our president is weak. I’m sick of us having to bend over and take it because our President decides that we need to apologize for everything that’s ever happened in history.

Mike

May 31st, 2010
10:42 am

Wow, the mindless liberal drones are at it again on the blogs. Too bad they can’t get some actual information and education to apply to their politics. But, then if they did that they would be Republicans, wouldn’t they?

If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20 you have no heart. Nut if you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 30, you have no brain!

Tom Davis

May 31st, 2010
10:45 am

Mexico doesn’t respect the borders and sovereignty of the U.S.? Since when does the U.S. respect the borders and sovereignty of other nations? You wing nuts are the most hypocritical of all. Take your medication and go back to bed.

Alphare

May 31st, 2010
10:49 am

when a friend comes over and tells you some blind truth, that’s him being a true friend.

Mike

May 31st, 2010
10:54 am

The first thing we have to do is get back to God!! Get back to the fundamentals this country was founded on. Our (supposed) leadership needs to be held accountable for what they allow to happen. We need to secure our borders and send all illegals home no matter where they are from. We could cut unemployment drastically by emplolying more to secure our country. Use our Military to protect our country. We as Americans need to require an honest days work for an honest days pay for the politicians that we have elected to office. If they can not meet expectation then they should be gone at the next election. We need a person as our presdient who is going to have Morals, Ethics, Honesty and Integrity

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
10:54 am

Hey Andre , Bushy like your dear leader comrade Obumer is a liberal (they are both on the left side of politics). I condemned Bushy more times publically than I ever condemned Clinton about immigration and trade; and he signed NAFTA into law! - Including giving tax incentives to corporations to locate offshore!

Secondly, if all you want to talk about economically fixing is just one half side in the equation of outsourcing American jobs to foreign labor, then you really don’t have half as much to say as I have and even less answers.

In other words, speaking diplomatically, where is the other half of “your thinking” on this issue?

Dr. Pangloss

May 31st, 2010
10:57 am

As usual, Bob distorts the facts. From the GAO:

GAO, June 2009: Available evidence indicates a large proportion of the firearms fueling Mexican drug violence originated in the United States, including a growing number of increasingly lethal weapons. While it is impossible to know how many firearms are illegally trafficked into Mexico in a given year, around 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced over the past 5 years originated in the United States, according to data from ATF. Around 68 percent of these firearms were manufactured in the United States, and around 19 percent were manufactured in third countries and imported into the United States before being trafficked into Mexico. According to U.S. and Mexican government officials, these firearms have been increasingly more powerful and lethal in recent years. For example, many of these firearms are high-caliber and high-powered, such as AK and AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles. Many of these firearms come from gun shops and gun shows in Southwest border states, such as Texas, California, and Arizona, according to ATF officials and trace data. U.S. and Mexican government and law enforcement officials stated most guns trafficked to Mexico are intended to support operations of Mexican DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations], which are also responsible for trafficking arms to Mexico.

Any way you figure it, Mexican criminals are getting way too many guns from the US.

Citation at http://www.factcheck.org/2009/06/gao-report-us-source-for-large-portion-of-mexican-crime-guns/

Alphare

May 31st, 2010
11:02 am

Mike,

it’s funny you mentioned God, and then you go on and on how to treat other forces.

That’s about the southerners, one hand is Bible, and another sword.

Did God say love is first and firstmost? did God say love can cover other sins?

If you thought Bible/Sword combination is for Muslim only, you are wrong.

Roja

May 31st, 2010
11:03 am

If Calderon wants to do something to “punish” the US, he needs to declare a Mexican boycot of the 48 contiguous states and imprison any Mexican citizen who is caught violating that boycot by entering the US, living in the US, working in the US, or purchasing anything from the US.

Alphare

May 31st, 2010
11:05 am

Mike,

it’s funny you mentioned God, and then you go on and on how to treat others with forces.

That’s about the southerners(especially the conservatives), one hand is Bible, and another sword.

Didn’t God say love is first and firstmost? didn’t God say love can cover other sins?

If you thought Bible/Sword combination is for Muslims only, you don’t know how wrong you are. I don’t think southern conservatives are not too far from those extreme Muslims, whom the southern conservatives definitely despise.

Chuy Dawg

May 31st, 2010
11:06 am

I tell you what, reading these comments is so damn sad. My reasoning for this is that the majority of the posts sound like talking points from Rush and all of Fox news. Is this really what our Republican party has turned into? I try not to use harsh language but it almost sounds like our Repubs have turned into paranoid nationalists. That is why I no longer consider myself a Repub, now I am a proud Independent.
The tea-bagging “patriots” never accept facts. The Republican bubble only listens to marching orders from “the great Americans.” It is absolutely sad. Raegan must be spinning in his grave. We had a Repub administration at the turn of the century and they did nothing about immigration, you can spin that fact all you want. Facts are facts, take them for what they are.
And all you tough guys in here posting your “tough” comments are the real funny ones. You know damn well that most of you either hire or do business with illegals on a daily basis.
My background is construction and I see it everyday. A General Contractor will pull up to a job site; and he hall all of his “NOBAMA” “STOP SOCIALISM” stickers. Next thing you know he is trying to communicate with a painter who speaks very limited english, some General Contractors even bragg to me about having to learn Spanish to be able to communicate with the illegal laborers.

I can go on and on with multiple examples.

Bottom line is that this problem goes both ways, don’t kid yourselves. All you tough guys can pull your zippers up.

FACTS ARE FACTS!!!!

And GO DAWGS

Dawg

May 31st, 2010
11:06 am

Does the word illegal conjure up any thoughts? If you are in the United States and you are here legally then you should not have a problem and if not then you need to go. After being in the law enforcement community for over twenty seven years I have problems with people crossing the border and committing crimes and then when evidence is collected there are no prints to compare. See what happens if I go to Mexico without the proper paper work and break the law.

Roja

May 31st, 2010
11:06 am

And if you want to stop the US gunn violence in Mexico, imprison anyone in Mexico who imports, smuggles, buys or uses any US guns. I have owned a gun for years and it has never loaded itself or fired on anyone by itself.

Jim C

May 31st, 2010
11:08 am

“Since when does the U.S. respect the borders and sovereignty of other nations?”
No surprise that liberals can always spew off something non-factual or some other non-sequitur in any debate over illegal immigration or U.S/Mexico relations. They never fail.
Mexico does not respect the borders and sovereignty of the U.S. Period.

Roja

May 31st, 2010
11:08 am

Rahm Emanuel probably invited Calderon to the US and most likely provided him with the speech he gave!! Rahm is H’s version of W’s Cheney!!

Dr. Pangloss

May 31st, 2010
11:12 am

Excuse me, I should have said, “As usual, Bob lies his butt off.”

Bob used to be known as the NRA’s representative to Congress. Does anybody have any idea how much money he has taken from the gun lobby?

Hillbilly Deluxe

May 31st, 2010
11:15 am

President Felipe Calderon should clean up his own backyard before he starts worrying about ours. If things were so rosey there, his people would be staying at home.

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
11:19 am

imprison any Mexican citizen who is caught violating that boycot by entering the US, living in the US, working in the US, or purchasing anything from the US.

Roja, Calderon isn’t as stupid as those who threaten boycotts against others who enforce immigration laws in this country. He is not about to forfeit $16 billion annually in remittances sent to Mexico from this country. That is nearly half of what the Mexico claims as GDP.

Unfortunately dear leader Obumer the apologist hasn’t the moxie to return a complimentary insult to Mexican sovereignty by telling the Mexican equivalent of our Congress what Mexican laws Mexico should change that we don’t like.

Chuy Dawg

May 31st, 2010
11:20 am

Dawg,

Facts are facts and you are absolutely right about your comment. What you fail to mention is how these criminals get in here in the first place. Our govmnt has practically placed a Welcome Mat in the border.
Illegal Immigration is a negative side effect that our economy has created. You know Free Markets, Supply and Demand, keep costs low and maximize profit, etc. All those fun things we learned come into play here. Greed is eating up this country. Just look at the financial meltdown and mortgage crisis.
I agree that Illegal Immigration is a serious problem, but what bothers me is when morons get on here and post comments as if immigration just suddenly became a problem. The Republican machine is simply amazing.

Chuy Dawg

May 31st, 2010
11:22 am

Dr. Pangloss,

Great post. I did not know that.

JF McNamara

May 31st, 2010
11:26 am

I’m tired of Mexico.

john

May 31st, 2010
11:29 am

Where is Joe Wilson when you need him?

My democrat immigrant grand father would have said worse then “you lie” to someone that insulted the USA like that and it would not have been safe in his district to return, because as a whole the LEGAL Irish immigrants would have kicked them in the behind for that behavior. This all goes back to using the USA as the 4th Reich and the SPD. The name changes, the tactics do not.

I can’t believe I use to be a democrat and actually voted for my local democratic quisling twice.

http://www.yankhank.com

Jim C

May 31st, 2010
11:29 am

Even with all the strict gun control laws in Mexico, they are still unable to stop the flow of firearms. What does this say about Mexican law enforcement and their judicial system?

Big Jim

May 31st, 2010
11:36 am

If Obama was pro America He would have told him to get hia ass back to his 3rd world country and take all the illegals and there dope with him. Truman or T Roosevelt would helped him with a shoe in the butt.

reason

May 31st, 2010
11:36 am

What can be said about a hot winded leader, who can’t take care of his own people, one who tells his people to break the law of another country. The fact that Mexico ignores, it’s poor and under-educated, has been going on for generations. Like most Latin countries manifesto says, No.1, is to blame the U.S. for their mistakes, or anything else. Corruption, has been part of Mexico in past, present and most likely the future. The is finger, pointing pass time not for Latin countries, but a world wide epidemic, like a bunch of little kids, blaming the other guy. Politicians comes with two faces and liars and hypocrite they are very good at wearing them. The time has come for this country to take the steps needed to fix the boarder program once and for all, and stop playing politic, and waiting for God to return to earth, then they won’t have to worry about the thousands coming here illegally every month. GET OF YOUR HORSE AND FIX THE BORDER MESS.

Lee

May 31st, 2010
11:38 am

Ah, nothing like a leader that fails miserably at handling his own country (and can’t keep his own people from trying to escape into our country) blaming us for their problems. This doesn’t surprise me.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the dems cheered upon being insulted. I would choose to believe it’s because they also believe in what he said and hate America and blame America for every global problem, but I honestly believe it’s because they are too stupid to realize that they were being insulted.

stranger in a strange land

May 31st, 2010
11:39 am

Maybe Sr. Calderon insulted the US, or maybe he didn’t. The complete inanity of his comments made what he said laughable, and I’m sure he just said what he did to get the trained seal behind to stand up and do her little hand clap trick again. I’m sure eveybody, everywhere loves to see that. It’s just so cute when she does it.

GT3O

May 31st, 2010
11:41 am

Our own President doesn’t have the stones to stand up and say anything strong to the American people. All he can speak on is apologies and empty rhetoric. So he has other Presidents stand up and do the hard talk for him.

It’s a sad day in America when the Mexican President has gets to stand up in front of our “leaders”, criticize us using wrong data, and our “leaders” applaud him for it. Jesus Christ, what a mess.

Democrats are nothing but a bunch of sissy, spineless, apologists. All they know how to do is apologize. “Oh the Mexican President is not happy with us, let’s laud him with praise and surely that’ll help mend the fracture.”

They should have question his data. They should have asked him if the U.S. put up gun control, would his citizens go to the other hundreds of nations and get guns from them? Hello! Guns are freaking everywhere. China, Russia, Europe, even a s*** splat like Ethiopia has guns and a market. I’ll the bet the old Mexican President hadn’t looked that part up though, he was too busy nailing American for his problems. OMG, I can’t believe our leaders were STUPID enough to applaud it.

Trey

May 31st, 2010
11:42 am

Bob, you should run for president.

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
11:47 am

You know Free Markets, Supply and Demand, keep costs low and maximize profit, etc.

Yeah Chuy Dawg I know exactly what you are talking about and that is the reason I call Bush a liberal and the Libertarians liberals because they ignore the commerce clause intentions with their so-called free trade so-called free market open borders immigration with no limits policy agenda pursuant to a Corpocracy. Anyone who reads the commerce clause with any understanding of English knows it establishes and authorizes a regulated capitalism germane to Congressional controls that are meant to promote the general welfare of the Untied States.

The Republican machine isn’t amazing, it is all the closet Libertarians(liberals) that no Conservatives want to see that are in the GOP that astonishes me.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
11:54 am

I recorded and looked very carefully at the TV images. This is what I saw:

– All congressmen on the Democratic side stood up and applauded.

– About half the congressmen on the Republican side stoop up and
applauded.

http://patriot.net/~ramon/GOP-Stake.gif

Cousin Curtis

May 31st, 2010
12:01 pm

I may not agree with Mr. Calderon’s comments, but I don’t have a problem with him making his opinions known. Our heads of state have “meddled in the affairs of other nations’ domestic policies” for decades (i.e. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”).
Stating his opinion is not crossing a line. Labeling it so sounds hypocritical to me.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:02 pm

Every country and individual who is affected by the actions of the USA has a right, nay a DUTY to issue their opinions about the policies of the USA.

Friends should not be afraid to criticize friends.

He who is afraid to offend is not interested in the truth.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:06 pm

Yeah, the boycott runs two ways, indeedy…

How many ways do I boycott thee?
Let me count the ways…

Arizona Los Angeles
Arizona San Francisco
Arizona Oakland
Arizona West Hollywood
Arizona Seattle
Arizona Chicago
Arizona Austin
Arizona St. Paul, MN
Arizona Milwaukee
Arizona Boulder
Arizona Boston
Arizona Springfield, MA
Arizona Worcester, MA
Arizona Brookline, MA (JFK’s birthplace)
Arizona New York City
Arizona Washington, DC

on the international side:

Arizona Mexico (and the rest of Latin America)
Arizona The UN

…and last, but not least:

Arizona Phoenix
Arizona Tucson
Arizona Flagstaff

Plus: The White House has joined The US Chamber of Commerce (I dare you to call them commies!) in asking the USSC to toss the AZ law.

Lib_hater

May 31st, 2010
12:11 pm

We should be telling the Mexican president to control his own borders. We also need to build the new wall to keep these criminals out of our country.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:12 pm

We have too many folks attempting to point bipartisan fingers. Let’s get something straight. All the institutions below have kept virtually IDENTICAL positions when it comes to illegal immigrants.

– The Reagan White House
– The Clinton White House
– The Bush White House (both of them)
– The Obama White House

So, if we feel that we need to place blame on some institution, feel free to criticize the guilty party, which is:

The United States of America

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:15 pm

Correction: where I wrote “bipartisan finger” I meant “partisan fingers”.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:16 pm

We have too many folks attempting to point partisan fingers. Let’s get something straight. All the institutions below have kept virtually IDENTICAL positions when it comes to illegal immigrants.

– The Reagan White House
– The Clinton White House
– The Bush White House (both of them)
– The Obama White House

So, if we feel that we need to place blame on some institution, feel free to criticize the guilty party, which is:

The United States of America

Maretta

May 31st, 2010
12:22 pm

the Mexican president is a poor excuse for a leader. When he’s finished, he probably try and get a green card to the U.S. himself, or cross the border illegally. WHO WANTS TO LIVE IN MEXICO; NO ONE!

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:22 pm

I keep on reading accusations against “liberals”, “communists”, “socialists”. To those of you I ask: Are you saying that the most potent force pushing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and a Path to Citizenship is communist?

The sector that supports the undocumented workers is Corporate America (long live capitalism, and free enterprise!). More specifically, the US Chamber of Commerce.

When I arrived to this country I was told that the reason for its success is capitalism and free enterprise, and that the embodiment of of those traits was The US Chamber of Commerce.

Check the position of the Chamber:
“For the 111th Congress, the Chamber will:
* Continue to push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

http://www.uschamber.com/issues/index/immigration/default

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
12:27 pm

Hey Ramon, Presidents don’t offer opinions when they speak publically to address a foreign nation’s government, they are make policy statements.

Keep counting the boycott money Ramon, the tail don’t wag the dog; not even in Chihuahua, amigo.

Plus, I’ve been calling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce everything under the sun but children of god for a very, very, long time! The White House has been joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the past three Presidential administrations in supporting cheap foreign replacement labor, that’s old news.

Maretta

May 31st, 2010
12:28 pm

There are some people who “immigrant: to this country, who NEVER work — we give them welfare; and then they get SSI — they’ve never paid anything into the U.S. system but they get a lot of free stuff out — at my and your expense. A lot of old people come to the U.S. from other countries because they know they can get a lot of stuff in their old age even though they nor their family members have ever contributed anything to the U.S. When those old people were young, they probably lambasted the U.S. famously.

Lucien

May 31st, 2010
12:29 pm

Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. “Great Britain,” as a titled nation, existed from 1707 until 1801 – long before the era of Winston Churchill and World War II.

If you’re going to chide some for getting the facts wrong, then you ought to be more careful to factcheck yourself.

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
12:30 pm

Nah, Maretta, he will likely do like all the other Mexican Presidentes’: Take all the money he can and run off to Spain.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:32 pm

Let’s make sure we know the people behind the AZ immigration law.

State Senator Russell Pearce wrote the AZ immigration law on behalf of his
constituents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsHi6_l1XzA

http://www.economicrefugee.net/?tag=neo-nazi

Dontdoit

May 31st, 2010
12:41 pm

The constitution says we have a right to bear arms. They didnt say what type of arms. Maybe some of these extreme terror groups in america might get shoulder launchers. The constitution didnt say we have a right to ammunition. Congress should ban all ammunition from being sold by anyone. If you want to hunt make your own bullet. HA

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
12:47 pm

Hey Ramon do yourself a favor, study political philosophy then come back when you understand that there are two left sides of the left both are liberal: One is socialist the other is corporatist. They both want to move past or beyond the Constitution as written, particularly the commerce section, which conservatives don’t want to change or move away from; that is what makes a conservative a conservative, by sticking to the Constitution and opposing changing it for transient causes or slobbering social whims.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
12:48 pm

Maretta -not the brightest of posters- wrote: “the Mexican president is a poor excuse for a leader.”

The opinions of Presidente Calderon affect 200 million Mexicans, 30 million Canadians, not to mention 300 million Americans. I am not even going into Latin American, UN or Europe support for his views. People on your side actually claim that he is the real president of the US. Did you check the reception at the White House. The world richest man was among the invited (talk about commies!).

If that is a bad leader, I’d hate to see a good one!!

Marietta then looks wishfully for the end of his term (denial is not just a river in Egypt): “When he’s finished, he probably try and get a green card”

What makes you believe that any previous or future President of Mexico will be any different?

Presidente Fox spoke in Congress, congressmen stood up and applauded. We The People had the chance to elect new Congressmen, who stood up and applauded Presidente Calderon.

It seems to me that the problem is that your views and those of We The People are contradictory.

Ramon F Herrera

May 31st, 2010
1:00 pm

Hi Michael,

you have no idea how refreshing is to see a thinking individual in your side of the issue. Let’s be clear, those supporting your views are not exactly the brightest of fellows. You are a rara avis in your crowd (I wouldn’t be exactly proud to be among them, btw).

A large portion of your strength is based on ignorance and hate.

Here is the one and only reason Arizona was able to get away with that law (the most challenged in memory):

http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment/arizona

(I call it “The 4% Solution”, the why will be left as an exercise to the reader)

and, these, the reasons why such law will never even be attempted here in Texas, California or New Mexico:

http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment/texas
http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment/california

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
1:01 pm

We’ll fix the contradiction in November of this year.