In 1999, our dear allies the Saudis got together with Mexico and Argentina and cooked up a plan to lead non-OPEC producers such as Norway into what was in effect an alliance with OPEC. This was so there would be real clout behind an OPEC price hike. A 2001 Stratfor report lays out the juicy details.
But in 2001 Mexico bolted the agreement, refused to go along with an OPEC cut in oil production and sided with the USA. That led to the collapse of the cozy three-way alliance. Democrats and Republicans who cuss at Bush about the border situation should remember that, for it was Bush who wooed Mexico away from OPEC.
This doesn't mean Mexico owns the United States but to be adult about it, Americans need to get past the idea that Mexico is the poor cousin. Mexico is the wastrel cousin--the one who keeps blowing his inheritance money, driving while drunk. There's one in every family.
But because of the petroleum angle and what's in effect Mexico's energy alliance with the US, there are limits to how hard Bush can lean on Vicente Fox. If the ruling class in Mexico pushes Fox out, there's no telling whether the next president will be as friendly with the US as this one or whether he'll become best buddies with Hugo Chavez.
Of course there are other considerations but that is the one to keep in mind, when you throw up your hands about the illegal immigrant situation.
Tomorrow we'll start in earnest on an adult discussion about Mexico. As with the situation in Ukraine, the Mexican one has aspects that transcend a single nation's problems. However, as with the wastrel relative Mexico has a very special problem, which is that they can always turn to 'family' to bail them out no matter how many times they mess up. Applying tough love in this situation is a very limited option.
Cut and paste url for Strafor report:
For links to other Pundita essays on Mexico, US-Mexico relations, immigration from Mexico and the Mexico-US border situation/war on terror, see Mexico Desk.