By Walid Phares
In an article published by the Atlantic magazine, journalist Alexia Fernández Campbell alleges that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has invited presidential candidate Donald J. Trump to a meeting this week “because he fears a Trump Presidency.” Campbell argued that Nieto is panicking at the idea that Trump would “destroy the Mexican economy by canceling NAFTA.”
This assertion is wrong, but it does reveal other very real fears. How do we know this assertion is wrong?
First, if Nieto was panicking at the idea of a Trump Administration, the last thing he would do is to invite him and give him a global forum in Mexico City. Second, Trump and Nieto agreed that NAFTA should be revised and reorganized for the benefit of both countries. Third, the crisis of the border is of mutual concern. The United States is flooded by illegal immigrants and Mexico is invaded by weapons which end up falling in the hands of the cartels. A #TrumpNieto (Not a #ClintonNieto) partnership can and will revisit the issues both countries face over the border — and help to pacify actions on both sides of the international line.
Now, what is behind the attempts to twist Nieto’s intentions behind his invitation to Trump? Based on what our Mexican and Latin American sources have told us, it is not that the Mexican president fears a Trump administration. No, just the opposite: The Mexican president fears a third term of Obama’s policies.
The first (authentic) reason the invitation was issued to Trump — despite the leftist media protest in Mexico — is precisely because the Obama-Clinton administration failed to engage in a campaign with Mexico to remove the Cartels’ hostile force from the border, hence creating more threats to Mexico’s northern provinces and its central government. A weak and uncontrolled border — what we have now — would continue to flood the United States with illegal immigrants while flooding Mexico with illegal weapons.
Another reason for a Mexican hope for a Trump administration — despite the so-called narrative of concern — is a hoped for Mexican-US regional cooperation against the radical (neo Marxist) networks which have been rising in Central America and often — according to observers — tolerated by the Obama-Clinton administration. Mexico is threatened to its south by hostiles whose penetration will destabilize the country itself, through some of its southern provinces (including Chiapas), while on their way to destabilize the United States.
Nieto and his allies in Mexico understand that another four years of an Obama-Clinton sympathy to far-left radicals in Central America coupled with further weakening of the country’s northern border will undermine the Mexican economy and destabilize its security.
The American “far left” was stunned by Nieto’s move and at first hoped for a negative outcome for Trump. It did not happen. The Republican nominee emerged with higher international credibility. Thus, the critics then focused on a “tweets” exchange between the two leaders about “who will pay for the wall.” How irrelevant — as such a discussion only matters should Mr. Trump sit in the Oval Office.
And then came attacks by the “far left” inside Mexico against Nieto. But the latter dismissed them in his own way.
The only recourse left for dismissing the successful visit was to impute “fears” as the impetus for the Mexican president’s decision to extend such an important invitation to the presidential candidate. It is the radicals who fear that a #NietoTrump alliance in 2017 would secure the northern border, remove the menacing cartels from the area, and jointly address the security concerns in the region, including those very radicals against such an alliance, along with Jihadists and pro-Iranian regime networks.
The Atlantic, and many other American media who tilt to the neo-Marxist left — falsely described as liberal — are attempting to create a decoy by focusing on an alleged Nieto fear of Trump in order to camouflage the real fear of Mexicans: that they will face another disastrous four years for North America if Trump does not win in November.
Walid Phares is a foreign-policy advisor to presidential candidate Donald Trump, an advisor to members of the US Congress, and a professor of international relations.
This article first appeared in the New English Review.