Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another Step Towards the NAU

Protest at MontebelloThe image at right is from a protest yesterday at Montebello in Quebec. The occasion was a two-day summit for the leaders of Mexico, the United States, and Canada, with President Bush, Prime Minister Harper, and President Calderon in attendance.

And, just for a change, the protesters (or at least some of them) weren’t there to protest globalization, or capitalism, or the exploitation of the Third World, or global warming, or cruelty to animals. They were there to protest the SPP, and the secrecy surrounding it.

SPP meetingFjordman, Dymphna, and I have written repeatedly about the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that was signed by the three countries in 2005. Those of us who are of a paranoid bent tend to view the SPP as a stepping-stone towards the NAU, the North American Union. For the transnational elites in government, business, and NGOs, the NAU is the ideal solution for North America. Modeled on the European Union, it would arrange the affairs of the continent in such a way that the rich and powerful can easily maintain and consolidate their positions, doing away with the annoying intrusion of democracy, the consent of the governed, and other such trivial concerns.

According to the The National Post:

As the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership summit wrapped up Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the three leaders are “committed to working together on mutual security and continued economic growth.”

[…]

The initiative, known as the SPP, has its share of critics and nearly 1,000 protesters made the trip to Montebello on Monday to demonstrate their opposition.

[…]

Earlier in the day, the leaders met with an exclusive group of business executives — the North American Competitiveness Council.

The group is comprised of 10 chief executive officers and corporate chairmen from each country and was created under the SPP to advise leaders on how best to strengthen North American integration.

The group was to present a report to the three leaders, showing what progress has been made so far on the SPP and what work still needs to be done. The report was expected to contain recommendations on how to free up the flow of goods and people across the border, and reforms to harmonize regulatory roadblocks to trade. [emphasis added]

How to free up the flow of goods and people across the border.

That’s the important part of this exercise: how to create a new arrangement in which borders are no more than lines upon a map. The idea is to optimize the business arrangements that keep power flowing smoothly into the hands of the correct people. The agreements that are crafted at venues like Montebello are crucial and have far-reaching effects, but they don’t have to be ratified by the U.S. Senate, and any consultation with Congress is simply a courtesy.
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There were protests yesterday, as reported by the CBC:

Police used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters who were hurling rocks and branches during confrontations outside the leaders summit in Quebec on Monday.

Police arrested at least one protester in the small resort town of Montebello, near Ottawa, where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon to discuss issues including border security and free trade.

[…]

At least 500 protesters took part in a march outside the hotel, carrying signs with slogans such as “No to Americanada.” Others held a peaceful family-friendly rally away from police lines.

“No to Americanada!” — I like that slogan. We need to fit Mexico into it somehow, though.

Canadians have the same objections to the SPP that we do:

…protesters say the SPP is anti-democratic because it didn’t require a vote in Parliament or a change in the law.

“If this is such a wonderful deal and it is about protecting North Americans from shoddy products or whatever they’re now saying … then be proud of it, stand up, tell us what’s in it … and send it to our Parliament for oversight,” Maude Barlow, head of the Council of Canadians, said in an interview from Ottawa Monday morning.

And from The National Post:

Critics say the council is proof the three governments are only consulting big business, and ignoring everyone else, in their pursuit of closer economic and security ties.

They also oppose what they say are secret negotiations over everything from energy trade to border security.

The Star had a similar report:

One common complaint echoed by all is the secrecy surrounding the meeting.

Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians called for a moratorium on the “profoundly anti-democratic” SPP until the citizens of all three countries are consulted and their elected representatives are given oversight over the business-driven initiative.

The SPP’s proceedings are indeed “profoundly anti-democratic”, but they are hardly secret. Like the EU’s Barcelona declaration and the EuroMed partnership, the process is not so much secret as it is deliberately obfuscated. It is so tedious, boring, mind-numbing, and couched in techno-jargon as to deter all but the most dedicated investigation. Layers of bureaucratic boilerplate, massive pdf downloads that will tie up your bandwidth for hours, and all so that you can read timeless prose such as this (yes, it’s a pdf):

The analysis, consensus-building and advocacy conducted through the NASTC facilitated progress in defining better subsidy disciplines for the steel sector world wide. Building on the common objectives established by the North American governments during the OECD Steel Subsidy Agreement talks, the three governments will continue efforts to curtail subsidization of the steel sector through the OECD and will seek opportunities to develop or strengthen subsidies disciplines affecting steel in other multilateral negotiations. The three governments will continue efforts to explore and identify other opportunities for coordination in multilateral arenas, including the Rules, Non-Agricultural Market Access, and Trade Facilitation negotiations of the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda. Fostering more regular discussion among delegations to seek clarification of positions will be a key component of these efforts.

When I start reading an SPP document, my eyelids droop and my head immediately begins to nod. All the Benzedrine in the world avails you little in the face of such turgid bumf. And I chose this selection at random; it’s all like this.

It’s the purloined letter, hidden on a desktop full of unreadable official reports.

Here’s more about Maude Barlow:

She has some unexpected support from top business leaders.

A report from the Canadian American Business Council says non-governmental organizations and so-called civil society groups - not just blue chip corporate CEOs - should be invited to participate in the SPP.

The council says much of the opposition to the SPP revolves around process rather than substance. It notes that one of the chief criticisms is the “lack of transparency” in the way in which a 30-member committee of business leaders from the three countries makes recommendations to Harper, Bush and Calderon.

The group says the political leaders should embark on a public education campaign to explain the SPP.

The council is right about the “lack of transparency”, but it’s the cloudy prose that keeps it from being transparent. Any “public education” about the SPP should be written in clear English so that even bozos like me can understand it.

I’m ready. Go ahead and educate me.

12 comments:

kepiblanc said...

Mexamericanada ?

Archonix said...

Amexida?

npabga said...

Mexicanaderica?

the proles said...

I sent the following to Senators Burr and Dole (NC) as well as to Congresswoman Foxx:

"I am extremely troubled by the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership. The secrecy that surrounds this initiative goes against everything this republic stands for and represents.

I will not stand idly by and watch the elite of these three countries, and more specifically, the elite in the U.S. sell out our country and dissolve our sovereignty.

I will stand against any initiative that seeks to form a North American Union, modeled after the European Union, and which seeks to undermine our currency, our livelihoods (unlimited mass immigration, the further dismantling of our manufacturing base, and free trade agreements that are NOT free) and the history and culture of this great nation.

I hope I am not assuming too much in assuming you feel as I do and are as alarmed as I am about this secretive project. Please help those of us who share this concern defeat this so-called partnership and bring to light these disturbing trends."

There are some of us that are beginning to wake up...this is just a first step...thanks for getting out the information.

Geraldo said...

Maybe the same as Americanada, a portuguese compound noun.
Constructed the same as:
Espanholada, Portugesada, mexicanada, brasileirada, inglesada, etc.
It is a depreciative colective noun, gender feminine.
In this case it is a depreciative way of mencioning all americans, an american way or something related to USA.
Spanish may have the same as they share a set of basic gramatical rules.

Andrea Shea King said...

Just watched the segment on Brit Hume's Special Report where the All Star panel completely refuted this, with Krauthammer (who I usually agree with) leading the pack, strongly putting it down as a conspiracy freak thing -- "If you believe in this, you also believe Elvis is still alive..." he said derisively.

Guess he hasn't read Corsi's book...

Andrea
Radio Patriot

AWOL Civilization said...

Two things are interesting here. First, they are using the same approach as in the early days of the Common Market: Don't worry, folks, it's just a matter of tariffs and trade barriers. Nothing else to see, just move along.

Second, a convergence of heavy business interests with the transnational Leftist elite. This is extremely effective. Who would suspect that large corporations support the erosion of American power and sovereignty?

It's getting hard to keep up with the ideological permutations we are witnessing these days.

Profitsbeard said...

Even if Canada and Mexico were like-minded, stable and staunch allies, it would still be a form of national suicide by the U.S. to pursue this kind of covert undoing of the Constitution.

But too many Canadians and Mexicans are virulently anti-American, which makes the idea even more absurd, if not demented.

awol civilization has it right-

this is the creeping EU-ization of the New World, through "harmless" argeements and trade and tariff "cooperation" and merely "more humane open borders", until there's no regaining what was gambled away for a mess of pottage.

Geraldo said...

Beware!

The same mantle of lies that is killing democracy in EU is going to cover USA.

Thunder Pig said...

Time to get the pitchforks!

ENGLISHMAN said...

Just another "tidying up" excercise,which has already printed and minted the "amero"in readiness for the collapse of the dollar,a new law concerning martial law and the suspension of the constitution and voila! all ready to conect amexican to the eussr and the fledgling one world government of the un, the future is bright , or at least the manacles are, and if any-one doubts it, try reaching for your rights and see how long the chain is!

S said...

If I recall my civics correctly, the President cannot commit the country to anything like a treaty without the consent of Congress. Thus even if Bush makes a foolish agreement (this is not beyond belief), the US should be able to resist it, provided we, the people, put pressure on Congress to stand up to it. This is where letters, faxes, phone calls to Congress become extremely important. Congress is certainly not know for doing anything just because it is the right thing to do; they have to be prodded. But they will respond if sufficiently prodded (we saw this on the immigration bill this past spring), so we have a way to fight this. It will be a fight, but we are going to have lots of fights in the near future.