The Texican War of 2072
This is set in a parallel universe; you can draw some parallels…
Seen in retrospect, the war was inevitable.
It was a long time coming. Back in 2041 the United States had fallen apart under the pressure of globalism, the FIRE economy and the over-concentration of wealth while public squalor grew. Out of the flames arose a new American Federation comprising most of the States and with a fresh Constitution, the nation’s third - as Jefferson had rightly said, the dead have no power over the living.
Most of the States, but not all. The ancient Mexican possessions had developed a different identity as their populations swelled with migration from the south. A group of territories including Colorado, New Mexico, Baja California and Arizona declared independence. Recognising that they were weak individually, over a period of years each joined the Latin American Union (LAU), flying its flag, a circlet of stars on a red ground, alongside its own.
Joining the LAU also meant becoming members of the Central American Treaty Organisation (CATO), sponsored by China and ostensibly formed to resist imperialist aggression. The creeping acquisition of non-aligned States had gone on despite Mexico’s assurances to the contrary, and made the government in Washington nervous. Accordingly, CATO had wisely desisted, at that stage, from stationing nuclear missiles in these areas.
One former US State with old Mexican links had remained neutral: Texas.
Potentially, Texas had vital military and economic significance. Its northern border was only some 500 miles from the AF’s Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In the south, its western edge was a mere 100 miles or so from Monterrey and its eastern shores were in a position to control naval activity and maritime trade in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
Texas had a challenge to maintain order, what with the notorious corruption of its post-independence political establishment, the power of the oligarchs and the tensions beween its Hispanic and Anglophone communities. The government in Austin tried to maintain a balance between its two great neighbours, despite financial blandishments from both sides, but it was only a matter of time before somebody shook its tree.
For the hawks of Mexico City, the prize was too great to resist; it was the key to unravelling the American Federation. They coveted the immense natural and energy resources of the AF. Also, they disliked President Jackson, now in his sixteenth year of office. The President had disciplined the super-bandits that had been eating the country alive and he was popular with his voters, despite being portrayed abroad as an evil tyrant. He was proving himself a tough old bird.
It was time to pluck his feathers.
Mexico’s foreign intelligence agency, the CNI, decided on a policy of ‘overextending and unbalancing’ the Jackson regime, initially without direct military confrontation.
Canada was to be useful, having fault lines that could be exploited. There was the simmering separatism of Quebec, so mischievously played by France’s President de Gaulle on his visit in 1967; the enduring links between the Francophone populace there and their relations in New England; the activism of First Nation peoples of both countries, whose ancestral lands in many cases straddled the border; even some Georgist factions, descendants of the royalists who had been forced to flee revolutionary America three centuries before.
Accordingly, various Canadian provinces broke out in conflicts that spilled over into the northern AF; distractions that were difficult and expensive for the latter to settle, that soured relations with Ottawa and further served to confirm Jackson’s international profile as a warlike imperialist and oppressor of dissidents.
The hour seemed right to ignite the Lone Star State. In 2063 the President of Texas, urged by the LAU/CATO to submit to them, had opted instead for a closer-but-fraternal relationship with the American Federation, and a seemingly spontaneous wave of demonstrations broke out in Austin; perhaps not unconnected with Mexico’s CNI, whose Head had been spotted in the city at the time - there were even bizarre reports of snipers who shot not at one side but both.
The revolution in the following year replaced the President with another who not only agreed to join the LAU but set out to make Spanish the official language across the whole country (five years later in 2069, the Texan government passed a law to make Spanish compulsory in schools, universities and many other areas, including official departments, electoral procedures and political campaigning.)
This clove the nation in two. The predominantly English-speaking areas in the north understood that they would be victimised; the AF’s President Jackson annexed a portion of the territory and helped the citizens declare independence in a referendum. The new Texan President immediately sent large forces to besiege the Anglophone separatists and the shelling of Dallas began. A trilateral commission sought to resolve the conflict through regionalisation, but the ‘Austin agreements’ were never fully implemented.
After five years in office the President of Texas was himself deposed, partly because he was seen as grossly corrupt; his successor, President Zapata, came in on a platform of cleansing corruption and seeking to make peace, things he had promoted in his previous career as a television satirist. He soon became a cat’s-paw of the oligarchs who still effectively ran the Lone Star State; the oppression of the Anglophones continued and intensified. The Texan Army not only fought the northern militias but in towns where they gained a foothold they set up snipers to shoot civilians going about their daily business.
Jackson had started to champion the interests of former US citizens who now found themselves domiciled in post-collapse satellite states, often experiencing discrimination as English-speaking minority communities. A survey conducted in the AF - it’s not clear whose initiative this was - put Texas as the top place where Americans felt their former compatriots to be persecuted. The narrative suggested that part of Jackson’s role was to take action on behalf of ex-Americans.
After eight years of unarguably severe provocation, Jackson did what most of his voters thought right and much of the rest of the Western world saw as inexcusably wrong: he invaded Texas to combat the Lone Star forces.
This was a godsend for the LAU, who continued to stand off but provided enormous help in the form of money and arms, military training and advice. Jackson had fallen into their trap: Texas would be his Vietnam.
The personable and vigorous Zapata used his PR and entertainment skills to promote the image of the Austin government as victims. The Latin internet burst out in Lone Star flags, pro-American sites were censored, Zapata was invited to address foreign national assemblies and even open a session of the Mexican Stock Exchange to signal his willingness for Texas to be opened up to LAU capital.
Another attempt to make peace, in April 2072, was stymied when the British Prime Minister flew into Austin to tell Zapata that it would not be accepted by… those that mattered, even though continuation of the conflict was seriously hurting vital trade between the AF and northern members of the LAU.
The pro-Texan propaganda became so one-sided that even a distinguished journalist merely asking for open discussion felt forced to salt his article with condemnations of Jackson: ‘a sinister tyrant’, ‘regards dissent as treason’, ‘the invasion (w)as barbaric, lawless and stupid’, Jackson’s ‘idiotic crime, which has done limitless damage to the peace and security of that country for decades to come and perhaps forever.’
The rest of this old and tragic tale, you know.
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