Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nationalism Will Not Stop North American Union


The drive to further Fortress North America is gaining ground with through the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Also known as the North American Union. It is the natural follow up to NAFTA, driven by the events of 9/11.

Unfortunately the response so far has been that of narrow nationalism and the wailing over the death of sovereignty.

In the U.S. it has been led by nativist populist Lou Dobbs, and in Canada by left nationalist Maude Barlow, making strange bedfellows indeed.
DOBBS: There are rising concerns in Canada about the SPP, the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership which some think is directly the foundation for something called the North American Union. The Bush administration is pretty excited about that, saying the initiative is meant to increase security and prosperity for all of North America. Opponents, however, say the initiative is nothing less than a plan to create a North American Union that would eliminate sovereignty for all three nations.

As Christine Romans now reports, grassroots opposition is rising in Canada.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Ottawa, author and activist Maude Barlow has unrestrained contempt for the Security and Prosperity Partnership. She's concerned about a grab for Canada's natural resources and a watering down of its regulations and benefits by the biggest corporations doing business in North America. And that's just for starters.

MAUDE BARLOW, THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS: If Canadians and Americans and Mexicans, ordinary people, saw what these guys are talking about, including one trade bloc, one security perimeter, one -- you know, everybody agreeing with George Bush's foreign policy, and don't ask any questions -- you know, lowest common denominator environmental standards, I don't think they would go for it.

ROMANS: Her group, the Council of Canadians, has published a citizens guide called "Integrate This," denouncing the deep integration agenda between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The stated goal established by presidents Bush, Fox and Prime Minister Paul Martin is integration by 2010. Harmonizing regulations for a safer, more prosperous North America.

But Barlow recently testified before a parliamentary trade committee that the SPP "... is quite literally about eliminating Canada's ability to determine independent regulatory standards, environmental protections, energy security, foreign, military, immigration and other policies."

Among the Canadians left, a growing fear that big business is drafting government policy behind closed doors.

BRUCE CAMPBELL, CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES: This is a vast initiative. It's an umbrella for a whole bunch of initiatives. There's 20 working groups and initiatives totaling about 300. And very little is known really about the nitty-gritty of these. We have a superficial knowledge, but I think we need -- we need to know more.

ROMANS: He's hoping all three legislative bodies will insist on oversight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: It's just emerging as an issue now before Canada's lawmakers, driven by progressives and Canadian nationalists. In the U.S., the (INAUDIBLE) opposition is dominated by border control advocates. Strange bedfellows, they both agree, but both are wondering why more people aren't raising questions. Canadian immigration opponents promise plenty of noise as the next trilateral meeting of leaders approaches in Canada this time -- Lou.

DOBBS: The new -- the new world order that this president's father talked about with such great enthusiasm seems to be high on the agenda in this administration. It's remarkable to me, the arrogance, the idea of just simply throwing away the nation's sovereignty. But they're trying to do so in many ways.


But like opposition to NAFTA this narrow nationalism fails to address the real nature of this agreement and thus is unable to effectively offer any alternative.

For narrow nationalism has already been defeated by the continental reality of the trading blocs created as a result of the evolution of the WTO.
It was begun in the 1970's with the creation of the Trilateral Commission and has evolved since then into a new global order of capital integration and a new era of inter-capital imperialism.

The New World Order was declared by George Bush I and the result has been almost two decades of transformation of the nation state into the corporatist state. That is where the State is a partner with the private sector, the ultimate P3 is globalization.

The agenda of the corporatist state is to access large amounts of public funds accessible for private investment, such as public pension funds/Social Security.

It is replacing the Fordist Welfare State in the U.S. and the social security state in social democratic countries like Canada and Mexico. It is creating blended economies of trading blocs in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and ultimately at its source; North America. Left out is Africa which remains the cheap goods, labour and raw resource colony of the New World Order, and the place they can invest.

Immigration Bill Advances North American Union
By Cliff Kincaid
Apr 29, 2007

Rep. Edward Royce, a high-ranking conservative California Republican, said over the weekend that a White House-backed amnesty plan for illegal aliens has provisions which undermine the national sovereignty of the U.S. and help facilitate development of a North American Union, much like the European Union that supersedes the sovereignty of 27 European countries.

He vowed to defy the White House and mobilize House Republicans against the bill, backed by what he called the "open borders lobby."



This is a new development in the decadence of the period of State Captialism. Ultimately as corporations replaced governments in providing services, they developed the need for trade agreements that allowed for their access to these services intra and internationally.

The dialectic was that globalization required nation states to promote it, but through a new form of governance, one modeled on corporate agreements rather than on binding national and international models of governance. APEC, the WTO, the GATTS, etc. are all corporate treaties signed by two parties, the State and its corporate allies. They are not international trade agreements solely between governments, and their dispute resolution boards are made up of corporate as well as judicial lawyers.



A group supporting North American integration is preparing to hold its annual "North American Model Parliament" for students from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The North American Forum on Integration, or NAFI, is scheduled to hold "Triumvirate," in Washington, D.C., May 20–25.

NAFI, according to the group's website, is as a non-profit organization based in Montreal, dedicated to "address the issues raised by North American integration as well as identify new ideas and strategies to reinforce the North American region."

The group's support of North American integration is documented by an objective listed to "identify the elements of the North American agenda which would allow the consolidation and reinforcement of the North American region."

A variety of issues pertinent to the formation and operation of a North American Community are debated by the mock parliament, including expanding immigration, stimulating investment in Mexico and revising NAFTA to move in the direction of becoming a regional government.

This year's Triumvirate themes are listed as the creations of a customs union, water management, human trafficking and telecommunications in North America.

Last year's Triumvirate 2006 was held in the Mexican Senate.

Triumvirate 2005, the first NAFI mock North American Parliament, was held in Ottawa, Canada.

As WND reported, Raymond Chretien, the president of the Triumvirate and the former Canadian ambassador to both Mexico and the U.S., was quoted as claiming the exercise was intended to be more than academic.

"The creation of a North American parliament, such as the one being simulated by these young people, should be considered," he told WND.

The recent development of TILMA, a labour, capital, agreement between Alberta and B.C. which allows for NAFTA regulations to be applied in the two provinces as a way of breaking traditional inter provincial barriers is another example of the NAU being put into practice.

The North American Union is the child of the privateers and neo-cons despite the opposition of the traditional right in the U.S. In Canada the right has always admired the U.S. and been contientalist, it is the left who has been nationalistic.

Preserving America’s Freedom

Wood’s actions in Idaho were the first successful and visible manifestations of a groundswell of opposition to the NAU that has materialized in recent months. Led by members of the John Birch Society (of which this magazine is an affiliate), concerned grass-roots activists have succeeded in raising awareness at the local and state level of the dangers presented by the SPP and the move toward further North American integration. As a result of these efforts, resolutions opposing a North American Union have been introduced in 18 states as we go to press. So far, resolutions opposing the SPP and NAU efforts of the federal government have been passed by state legislatures in Idaho and Montana. But it is in Idaho that opposition to the SPP had its first great success.

North American Union

One example is the reaction to evidence that U.S. officials are laying the groundwork for a North American entity, sometimes called a "North American Community" or "North American Union" of the U.S., Canada and Mexico in economic and other spheres. I attended a Washington conference devoted to developing a North American legal system that included literature outlining the creation of a North American Supreme Court. Lou Dobbs of CNN had me on his show recently to talk about it. "It's clear that you're as astounded as I am and as my colleagues are that more people in the media are not focusing on this issue," he said. Indeed, it is a story with dramatic implications for the survival of our nation as a sovereign entity. Yet, Dobbs is the only major media figure to consider the issue newsworthy. Conservative radio host Michael Medved openly ridiculed those who are covering the issue, and Fox News won't touch it.

In the latest developments, Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm, has uncovered federal documents indicating that secretive "working groups" in the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a Bush Administration initiative, are working on a "One Card" concept to facilitate cross-border movement between the three countries. The SPP is being sold to the public as an attempt to help business, but the documents indicate a far-reaching effort to erase national borders and even national identity. Previous documents released by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal a strategy called "evolution by stealth" to undermine the sovereignty of the three countries. That suggests a determined effort to keep this from the American people.

It may be difficult for the rest of the media to continue ignoring the controversy because opposition to the SPP is growing not only in the U.S. but Canada and Mexico. In fact, activists, academics, union officials, politicians and journalists from Canada, Mexico and the United States were in Ottawa from March 31-April 1 to organize opposition to the initiative. Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press reports sources close to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as saying that he is firmly against Canada being part of any North American Union and that Canadian sovereignty is "everything" to him.

Actually what right winger Judi McLeod said in her article was far less flattering of Harper, and more to my point;

"This newspaper had been told by trusted sources that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is against the NAU. But not only is Harper's silence on the NAU deafening, his top ministers attend NAU meetings."

Mar. 31, 2006: At the Summit
of the Americas in Cancun,
Canada (under new Prime
Minister Stephen Harper) along with the
U.S. and Mexico release the Leaders' Joint
Statement. The statement presents six action
points to move toward a North American
Union, aka a North American Community.
These action points include:
1) Establishment of a Trilateral Regulatory
Cooperative Framework,
2) Establishment of the North American
Competitiveness Council (NACC),
3) Provision for North American Emergency
Management,
4) Provision for Avian and Human
Pandemic Influenza Management,
5) Development of North American Energy
Security,
6) Assure Smart, Secure North American
Borders.
The release of the new Fraser Institute study by Preston Manning and Mike Harris shows that the conservative corporatist lobby embraces the North American Union, unlike their social conservative counterparts.

Canada must reduce trade and ownership barriers, integrate economy with U.S., say Manning and Harris

Canada needs to fully open its economy and drop restrictions on foreign ownership in all business sectors including banking, financial services and telecommunications, Preston Manning and Mike Harris say in a new policy paper released today by independent research organizations The Fraser Institute and the Montreal Economic Institute.

The two also call for eliminating Canada’s supply boards and agricultural subsidies, establishing a customs union and common external tariff with the United States, and reforming Canada’s approach to foreign aid.

International Trade Liberalization

Freer international trade offers the most effective means of increasing Canadian prosperity and sustaining essential social services. Manning and Harris propose eliminating protectionist measures from supply management to business subsidies, systematic privatization of government export promotion and development programs, elimination of ideologically driven efforts to diversity trade patterns and partners, and fully opening up the domestic market to international competition.

Maximizing the Benefits of Strong Canada-US Relations

Whether Canadians like it or not, Canada's influence in the world depends to a large extent on its ability to gain and exert influence in Washington. Harris and Manning propose a Canada-US Customs Union involving a common external tariff, a joint approach to the treatment of third-country goods, a fully integrated energy market, a common approach to trade remedies and border security, and an integrated government procurement regime.

The solution lies not in narrow nationalism but in the labour movement creating a continental opposition to the NAU by focusing on the environment. It is not the Kyoto protocol perse that is the weak link in the Harper Bush push for a North American Union, it is government regulation they oppose. The push is for deregulation, to have national standards meet the lowest common denominator.

Regulations pertaining to food and pesticides, environmental issues by any other name, being subjected to not only NAFTA but the SPP protocols as well.

Better break out the veggie-scrubbers: Canada is set to raise its limits on pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables for hundreds of products.

The move is part of an effort to harmonize Canadian pesticide rules with those of the United States, which allows higher residue levels for 40 per cent of the pesticides it regulates.

Differences in residue limits, which apply both to domestic and imported food, pose a potential "trade irritant," said Richard Aucoin, chief registrar of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which sets Canada's pesticide rules.

Canadian regulators and their U.S. counterparts have been working to harmonize pesticide regulations since 1996, as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Now the effort is being fast-tracked as an initiative under the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a wide-ranging plan to streamline regulatory and security protocols across North America.

The SPP's 2006 report identified stricter residue limits as "barriers to trade."

When it comes to the environment, environmental health, green house gas reductions, the three Amigos oppose tougher regulations. It is this that is the weakness in ruling class plans for a Continental union. And the source of real opposition to the SPP. It is not a narrow nationalist response but a global solidarity alternative to corporate globalization.


Asserting that “global warming has transformed the issue of pollution into the ultimate health and safety issue,”

United Steelworkers (USW) president Leo W. Gerard on May 7 told the North American Labor Conference on Climate Crisis that regulating both carbon emissions and trade more stringently are essential for addressing the global climate crisis.


“Labor, environmental and human rights standards are at the core of our vision for making the global economy work for workers,” Gerard told more than 300 delegates. “They should become the new gold standard for how nations trade with each other.”


Gerard characterized the Labor Movement’s vision of addressing global warming as fundamentally at odds with the approach of giving away the right to emit carbon pollution to the world’s giant corporations and letting them make immense profits by trading and acquiring those rights without ever addressing the basic inequalities in our global economy.


“We need to use regulation of global warming and trade to lift two billion people out of poverty around the world,” he said. “To do that, we’ll need to regulate a lot of economic activity — from power plants to fuel efficiency to energy efficiency — and we’ll need to use this regulation as a powerful tool to improve workers’ lives, both here in North America and across the globe. The struggle for sustainability is not just about cleaning up the planet. It’s about engaging in raising standards of living over the long term – creating a world that has the capacity to solve the divisions of wealth and poverty that are the drivers of international conflict.”

To create a real opposition to capitalist contientalism and globalization a new movement of the Cooperative Commonwealth must be built.


An alternative form of stateless socialism based on community self management is the only solution to the crisis of capitalism with its attempts to privatize and commodify the world while avoiding the social and environmental costs of its actions.


Technocracy offered a possible alternative industrial model of contientalism under self management, the IWW and the Socialist Industrial Unionism of DeLeon offered models of self management of Fordist production. Combined they offer a real alternative to the current models of capitalism. See my paper: The Administration of Things: 20th Century North American Economic Models for A Post Capitalist Society, Socialist Industrialization, Syndicalism and Technocracy


While the cooperative commonwealth offers a political economic model of a market without the state.



See:

Deep Integration

Origins of the Captialist State In Canada

Time For A Canadian Steel Workers Union

Will Canadian Labour Accept Free Trade?

Cold Gold

Mittal Plays Monopoly



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5 comments:

Alison said...

Great post.
You probably remember that NAFI was hatched as part of the Task Force on the Future of North America, a follow-up to the original New Frontiers written by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

JimBobby said...

Scary stuff, GeneFeller. I wanna know what Petey MacKay an' CondiGal are doin' on this. If only the genpop was aware but like Maude sez, nobuddy's listenin' an' there ain't much to listen to from the movers an' shakers an' Canada-breakers.

JB

Lizt. said...

We must remember that we have a Queen and that this in the Constitution. It may be a little harder than thought. We must get rid of the neocons!

"Blanks57" said...

Oh this can't be true, Brian Mulroney promised us this wasn't part of the "Deal"!
A promise is a promise and Jean chretien promised to "abrogate" the FTA if it was no good for Canada, then signed went out and signed NAFTA?

Crazy for Canada said...

http://www.firesociety.com/forum/thread/24468/North-American-Parliament-@-Montreal-May-2008/

I have just inserted a "breaking news" post at FireSociety, it isn't published by them yet, maybe you can see it anyway.

NORTH AMERICAN MODEL PARLIAMENT
at Montreal City Hall, Canada
25-30 May 2008
FOLKS! Why not rent a bus! Bring a picnic, come see your new Parliament in action! This is what your government will be like after the new North American Parliament of Robert Pastor replaces your Congress.

LINK to MODEL PARLIAMENT announcement:

http://www.fina-nafi.org/eng/fina/presentation.asp?count=eng

Need cheap place to stay in Montreal? Try this page:

http://montrealrentals.tripod.com/alouermontreal/id19.html

SCROLL down that page, past the "chambres" (rooms) to rent, and there's a section with the following :

Auberge Alternative (Eng)
Auberge Chez Jean (Eng)
Auberge de jeunesse Maeva Montréal (F)
Hébergements Montréal (F)
HI Auberge de Jeunesse (Eng)
Hostel Montréal (Gîtes) (F)
La Maison du Patriote - dortoir (Eng)
PSE Accommodation (Eng)
SaisoLoc.com (F)
Vacances Canada M.D. Youth Hostel (Eng)

I've made note of the pages that are available in English. Look for an English link on French pages, to take you to their English site.

The least formal of the lot appears to be CHEZ JEAN (in English, that would mean "John's Place") at $20 cash a night, with picture ID required. The $20 is for a mattress on the floor of a converted old row house; and includes coffee and a breakfast (serve yourself) of cereal and toast. I've used it myself, it's cheap, it's fine.

My fave is the Auberge Alternative -- quite nice, an old industrial loft in Old Montreal converted to dormitories with gigantic wooden bunks, high ceilings, and lots of atmosphere. Bring EARPLUGS to sleep at night. The big dormitory starts at $18 per person for a bunk, plus a one-time sheet-rental fee of a couple of bucks. Other accommodations are available at higher prices. Coffee is free all day. Breakfast is $4.00 Canadian funds (self-serve) and includes cereal, fruit, bread, buns, cheese, toast, it's pretty nice. Also nice is the free wifi, just bring your laptop. Oh yeah, $5 deposit for the key.

I also warmly invite you to read my updated GROUNDS page (linked below) from Habeas Corpus Canada, which explains how the 1980 Referendum for Quebec to secede, and the 1995 Referendum for Quebec to Secede were in fact attempts to impose on Canada (i.e., on North America) the Treaty of Rome which set up the European Economic Community, which then morphed into the European Union, and is now morphing into the European Soviet Union:

GROUNDS PAGE:

http://habeascorpuscanada.webng.com/grounds.html

MAIN SITE:

http://www.habeascorpuscanada.com/

Come, one and all, see beautiful Montreal! Great opportunity to sight-see. If you plan to picket, you may have to ask permission of the Police.

But overall, you'll really enjoy Montreal. Picket at the END of your stay, so you don't spend all of it in jail. Get to sight-see first!

Nice city, mostly nice people, that is, of course, except for those nasty One-Worlders at the Montreal City Hall (in French that's "Hotel de Ville") who are planning to take my country and yours away from us by 2010.

Cheers ! Kathleen Moore, Canada

And, in case you didn't know: http://crazyforcanada.blogspot.com