Debunked: Russia to supply weapons to Mexico

SabreSaint

New Member
With the recent bombings in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia various WW3 conspiracies have bubbled to the surface. This one in particular is popping up on the Facebook Live-Feed quite a lot. Courtesy of a website called Red Flag News. Admittedly I've never heard of this site previously. The gist of their claim is that Russia will supply weapons to Mexico in order to retake: California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming from the US if the US government ever supplies weapons to Ukraine.

http://www.redflagnews.com/headline...-to-ukraine-saudi-arabia-starts-bombing-yemen

This is a direct quote from the website article and it serves both as their overarching claim and their only claim of evidence.
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
The problem with the claim is that an arms deal like that needs to be supported on the receiving end as well as the giving end. Germany very much wanted Mexico to do the same thing in both world wars, but Mexico had no particular desire to do so, because they benefited too much from trade with the US (especially since during the wars European markets were restricted or closed entirely). They still enjoy that trade benefit - it's not as one sided in their favor as it was during WWII but it's still critical to their economy, and still have shown no territorial designs or grudges from a war 170 years ago.

Right now, Mexico barely has control over parts of their country (including many of the parts they'd need to stage an invasion of the US). If they were looking to militarily expand they'd be doing so inside their own borders, liberating areas controlled by drug cartels strong enough to function as local governments.

There's also limits to what giving a country weapons can do. Mexico's total military is half the size of the US's reserve forces alone. Russia's not giving away the Armata tank or their current generation fighters, meaning they'll be badly outclassed in armor and aircraft (suppose Russia did give them the Armata, a tank they're not actually using yet, that may put them one-to-one on par with the Abrams but still comically outnumbered), and Russia doesn't really have ships to give, leaving Mexico with its current navy consisting of two destroyers and a few patrol boats - massively outclassed by a single carrier group (incidentally this also leaves them basically defenseless against cruise missiles, one of the US's favored siege and infrastructure destruction weapons).

An invasion by Mexico wouldn't even divert enough troops long enough to count as "stretching thin" in other theaters unless the US launched a subsequent occupation of the country. Iraq had a larger military in Desert Storm and what we did to it can hardly be called annihilation even, it was more of a disassembly.

Contrary to what some people imply, Putin is a rational leader. He might act like he's playing a game of Civilization with all the boring victory conditions turned off, but he's still doing so rationally, only involving his country directly or indirectly against weaker countries that aren't tied up in treaty networks (Ukraine stands alone, having moved away from Russia but not solidified any move towards the EU or NATO, both of which have policies about refusing such moves from countries currently in conflict, neither is willing to treaty themselves into a war that doesn't involve them). This would be a very irrational action for everyone involved.
 
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Whitebeard

Senior Member.
My gut reaction is what would Mexico gain by attacking the US, even with huge amounts of Russian weapons?

Nothing. It would be suicide both militarily and economically. For a start the Mexican armed forces total around 280,000 active personnel, compared to over 2 million (including active reservists) in the US) and whilst Mexico does have around 59 million citizens of military age that could be conscripted (the US having over 140 million) surely any sign of mass Mexican conscription is going to ring alarm bells across the region.

Also consider that the US is by far Mexico's biggest trading partner, around half of Mexican exports go to the US and around 45% of its imports either come from or through the US, 41% of Mexico's direct foreign investment comes from the US as well. Would any nation risk a hit that would take around half of its, currently growing, economy for a costly conflict that it would most likely loose badly? Remember as well the US is a member of NATO, and the political backlash against Mexico from other NATO members, would be crippling economic sanctions at the very least.

Besides for the record Russia is already supplying (selling) military equipment to Mexico, Its Mexico's second biggest supplier of military gear after the US. This equipment includes armored vehicles such as the BTR-60 armored personnel carrier, and other stuff including trucks, anti-aircraft systems and helicopters.

this Newsweeks take on the story.
All of which to me says cold war sabre rattling.

Mexico makes no claims, as far as I can tell, over the above mentioned ceded territories. It is staying well out of the Ukraine crisis, and has nothing to gain and everything to loose in being drawn into the crisis, especially on the Russian side.

I've just been through the English online editions of several Mexican newspapers, and whilst they are carrying the story I can find no comment as yet from the Mexican government.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
That particular article makes the situation a bit more clear - this isn't even the Russian government rattling it saber, but one of its more minor puppets. I suspected as much, but it was ambiguous in the OP's link.

I wouldn't doubt that Moscow is pulling the strings, but this goes back to the Cold War style rhetoric - the USSR would regularly have the non-Russian member states or other Warsaw Pact countries make the really absurd and provocative statements like this and decline to comment on them itself. If anyone raised issue, the defense was that nobody in the pact except the Russian SSR actually had the power to do anything anyway and the statements of hot headed but impotent leaders could be ignored by both sides.

The USSR liked to maintain the illusion that the SSRs and satellite nations were independent, but weren't too shy about them being powerless puppets.
 
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AltoidSBS

New Member
Mexico makes no claims, as far as I can tell, over the above mentioned ceded territories.
Conspiracy sites don't let that stop them. The belief that Mexico wants to reclaim the territories lost in the 19th century (called "Aztlán" and based in part on a few Mexican-American fringe political groups) is fairly common among right-wing CTers. A few years ago, many suggested an organized conspiracy in which Mexico intends to carry out a "Reconquista" and reclaim the Southwest, possibly by sending waves of immigrants.

The fact that Mexico is ravaged by civil war and unable to control even its own territory doesn't seem to matter a great deal.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's just rhetoric (from Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, speaker of the Chechen parliament, and not "Russia"), basically he is saying "Ukraine is none of your business, we don't like you messing with it, how would you like if we were to give arms to Mexico and encourage them to get California back?"

The entire speech is filled with that type of anti-American rhetoric, like (paraphrased) "what do you need NATO for, if there's no Soviet Union", and "the arrest of Bradley Manning for leaking top secret cables is a first amendment violation".

Russia basically dismissed the idea.

http://tass.ru/politika/1856814 [translated]
 

Jeremy

Active Member
This is the first I've heard of this.

It seems odd that it was brought up considering how much the CT crowd loves Putin, though.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
This is the first I've heard of this.

It seems odd that it was brought up considering how much the CT crowd loves Putin, though.
It seams to have gained most traction with the US right wing CT crowd, rather than the CT world in general.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Not just CT's, but in the US the right wing has a weird relationship with Putin. On the one hand, while he was cold with Bush he's been actively antagonistic with Obama, which is considered a good thing in-and-of itself, and his weird cult of personality (shirtless pictures riding bears and such) fits the idea of a dying breed of hypermasculine man's man, but on the other hand, he's really good at raising the twin specters of Communism and Fascism (which the US right wing tends to think are the same thing).

Depending on the media mood of the day, he can easily fall into the hero or villain role.
 

Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
Depending on the media mood of the day, he can easily fall into the hero or villain role.
I'm not sure what media you read, but I've never seen an article or report in the western media that was positive on Putin, and in fact vilification and hyperbole is more often the rule. (Eg, western outlets routinely refer to Putin's government as 'totalitarian', and while an argument can be made that it's authoritarian and anocratic it's certainly not that; and after the 2012 presidential election almost every news report claimed there was fraud but as 'evidence' only cited opposition figures who themselves made that claim without evidence or reference to specific instances.)

In terms of the US right-wingers, the only 'credit' they seem to give Putin is for Russia's homophobic laws (obviously only the extreme right-wingers). Other than neo-nazis, most CTers do not seem to _particularly_ care about gay rights, and so even the right-leaning CTers would have no reason to like Putin.

But in any case, this seems to be more mainstream and less conspiratorial than most CTs, and perhaps would be better described as a political myth (like 'there's no consensus on climate change!', 'Ronald Reagan brought down the USSR!', or, more relevantly, 'If Reagan/GWB was President Putin would never have dared do this!' [USSR/Russia invaded Poland in 1981 and Georgia in 2006]).

Edit - correction - The SU did not intervene in the Polish crisis of 1981. I misremembered. (I suppose this also means I did not cover the non-invasion in a helicopter that was forced down by Soviet fire... darn.)
 
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Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
Part of this seems to be the idea that all of 'Russia' speaks with one voice. People often fall into this trap when talking about Groups they have little knowledge of - it's common in the West to talk of 'the Arab world' or 'the Chinese' etc as if there is unanimous agreement on everything within those spheres. I've even met people who speak as if all Palestinians are united (in hatred of the West), while in fact rival political factions are literally killing each other.

In this instance, it seems that the Russian equalivant of a US state legislator made a bombastic and jingoistic statement. John Oliver did a segment once on outrageous (including racist and homophobic) things US state lawmakers have said in the legislative chambers. I only hope non-Western media doesn't pick that up and think that those people speak for the US government!
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Fox news as recently as last month has called Putin the victim in Ukraine and the one man to stand up to Obama's tyranny, and as recently as January said he would be a better President here in the US.

Last year one of their speakers echoed a statement made by a member of congress that Republicans wanted Putin as a leader instead of Obama (she actually did this several times, Fox has recently taken down all the videos except this one, where she tempers it by saying "Maybe for 48 hours or something"):
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kimberly-guilfoyle-netanyahu-putin-american-president
This one references a number of other articles going back to 2009, and noting how the tune was very different in 2008 and earlier:
http://www.forwardprogressives.com/one-notices-republican-lovefest-vladimir-putin/
(Here you can also see the move in the last few weeks by Fox News to remove videos doing this - two from this video are now dead links, though the one in the above article is still up)

And, of course, every time Fox does something dumb, the other networks give more air time to saying, "Haha, look at one those silly Fox people are doing" than Fox gave to the idea to begin with, every blog on both sides picks it up in opposing viewpoints, causing it to flood news aggregators, with the net effect being that if you haven't seen it, you're not bothering with very much news.

Oh, and then of course there was the actual, literal love letter Young Republicans Leadership Conference wrote to him, but... well, I won't hold that against the party, because the YRLC has done some batty things over the years.
 
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Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
Fox news as recently as last month has called Putin the victim in Ukraine and the one man to stand up to Obama's tyranny, and as recently as January said he would be a better President here in the US.

Last year one of their speakers echoed a statement made by a member of congress that Republicans wanted Putin as a leader instead of Obama (she actually did this several times, Fox has recently taken down all the videos except this one, where she tempers it by saying "Maybe for 48 hours or something"):
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kimberly-guilfoyle-netanyahu-putin-american-president
This one references a number of other articles going back to 2009, and noting how the tune was very different in 2008 and earlier:
http://www.forwardprogressives.com/one-notices-republican-lovefest-vladimir-putin/
(Here you can also see the move in the last few weeks by Fox News to remove videos doing this - two from this video are now dead links, though the one in the above article is still up)

And, of course, every time Fox does something dumb, the other networks give more air time to saying, "Haha, look at one those silly Fox people are doing" than Fox gave to the idea to begin with, every blog on both sides picks it up in opposing viewpoints, causing it to flood news aggregators, with the net effect being that if you haven't seen it, you're not bothering with very much news.

Oh, and then of course there was the actual, literal love letter Young Republicans Leadership Conference wrote to him, but... well, I won't hold that against the party, because the YRLC has done some batty things over the years.
The first link quotes a talk show host as saying she wants someone 'like Netanyahu or Putin' to lead the US against IS - meaning she wants someone 'tough', not that she wants Putin. I don't know what she has said in the past or what congressman you referred to.

The second link is a stridently partisan article that mostly speculates that Republicans 'probably' like a guy like Putin, and then claims that examples of Republicans playing up the threat he poses are 'praise' of Putin. That's ridiculous - it's like saying that historians 'praise' the Nazis when they point out that the SS was an elite outfit and difficult to defeat. Frankly, imo the article is just the left-wing version of populist pro-Tea Party rubbish.

Regarding the claims that the favourable things said about Putin on Fox News are all over the media, the headline in the second link is, 'Am I the only person who notices the right-wing love fest with Putin?' - 'nuff said.

And Google searches for 'young republican leadership letter to Putin' and 'young republican leadership Putin' found no relevant results.

Edited for clarity and elaboration.
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.
I'm not sure what media you read, but
I've never seen an article or report in the western media that was positive on Putin...

:eek: I must say, I was pretty surprised to see this...given that the Republicans demonstrated so much tumescence for Putin only a year ago, that it inspired this awesome bit on the Daily Show



Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.57.05 AM.png
 

Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
:eek: I must say, I was pretty surprised to see this...given that the Republicans demonstrated so much tumescence for Putin only a year ago, that it inspired this awesome bit on the Daily Show


View attachment 12058
I emigrated to the US a year and a half ago, and have no idea what the American media was saying before that.

Edit - May I point out that in all the clips Stewart plays of Republicans, none of them expresses any liking for Putin, but simply play up the threat he poses and use him as another brick in their war against Obama. And the guy at the end who says 'Putin reminds me of my mother' goes on to vilify his mother!

(When neo-nazis call Jews 'cunning' and 'clever', does anyone think they're praising and professing love and admiration for Jewish people?
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.
I emigrated to the US a year and a half ago, and have no idea what the American media was saying before that.
Welcome to the U.S.!! :D

(and I'm no math whiz, but if you emigrated to the US a year and a half ago, you were here over 5 months before this aired)
 

Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
Welcome to the U.S.!! :D

(and I'm no math whiz, but if you emigrated to the US a year and a half ago, you were here over 5 months before this aired)
Thanks!

On a totally unrelated note, it's interesting to see how enthusiastic Americans are about the red white and blue OF THE UNION JACK!
 

BombDr

Senior Member.
The belief that Mexico wants to reclaim the territories lost in the 19th century (called "Aztlán" and based in part on a few Mexican-American fringe political groups) is fairly common among right-wing CTers.
And Pat Buchanan....

 

BombDr

Senior Member.
I think the CT crowd are missing the real dodgy Russian dealings in Latin America...

And apparently the British are taking it seriously!

Why has Dahboo77 and Chris Greene at AMTV not picked up on this obviously-Obama's-fault event....?
 

BombDr

Senior Member.
I spoke too soon....:


Well, being modest, I don't think that even if Russia gave Argentina brand new planes they would be much use without Air to Air refuelling, and none of that kit is likely to have a short procurement time, nor all the training is likely to be done without someone noticing. The fact is that Argentina can indeed inflict some harm on the Royal Navy and the military garrison in the Falklands, but it cannot significantly damage the UK militarily.

By contrast the UK can destroy all of Argentina's Air Force and Navy with near-impunity, and they know this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astute-class_submarine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar-class_submarine

Military smugness aside, I am sure Vladimir enjoys a chuckle when he reads about Parliament getting all Lord Nelson over a few second hand bombers.... He probably enjoys the idea of the US getting all Teddy Roosevelt over the Mexican story too...
 
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