President Bush's proposal to send the National Guard to Mexico is reviving memories the U.S. reaction to Pancho Villa 90 years ago. The Richmond Times-Dispatch's columnist Ray McAllister does a pretty good job of reminding us how it all happened:
If President Bush does deploy thousands of National Guard troops, including Virginia's, to the Mexican border, it won't be their first trip.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson mobilized a whopping 158,664 Guardsmen from all 48 states and sent them to protect the length of the border. They were moved to camps in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
That time, it wasn't Mexican immigrants they were trying to keep out.
It was Pancho Villa.
But McAllister wasn't the only one who remembered Pancho Villa. We've got to give props to South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R), who also made the connection. Rounds said the episode showed there's precedent for sending the Guard to the border.