Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

One continent, under GOP, indivisible…

Posted by Charles II on July 19, 2007

Steven Lendman has an interesting article regarding the complete integration of Canada, Mexico, and the United States into one “security zone.” Normally, this is the kind of stuff that I would brush off as hyperventilation. I have, however, picked up enough confirmation (described in an article in La Jornada in a previous post) to give it a bit of plausibility. The fact that authoritarians Bush, Calderon, and Harper are in power makes it even more credible. At any rate, here’s the essence of it (emphasis added in places):

Besides the Bush administration’s imperial aims and permanent war on the world, add … the people of three nations slowly becoming one headquartered in Washington. That’s the apparent aim of those in power here wanting one continent, “indivisible”…

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) or “Deep Integration” North American Union

SPP was formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush, Mexico’s President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. It’s a tri-national agreement hatched below the radar in Washington… It advocates greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social, and security integration with secretive working groups formed to devise non-debatable agreements that, when completed, will be binding beyond the power of legislatures to change. It’s also taking shape without public knowledge or consideration.

…It’s a scheme to create a borderless North American Union under US control without barriers to trade and capital flows for corporate giants, mainly US ones. It’s also to insure America gets free and unlimited access to Canadian and Mexican resources, mainly oil, and in the case of Canada water as well. …

It’s also to create a fortress-North American security zone encompassing the whole continent under US control in the name of “national (and continental) security” with US borders effectively extended to the far reaches of the continent….

Its doing it at secret meetings like the one from September 12 – 14, 2006 in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It was co-chaired by three former high officials of the participating nations including a leading US cold warrior as Reagan Secretary of State, George Shultz….

… Along with what’s mentioned above, efforts are to create uniform business practices and standards, ease the flow of US products into Canada and Mexico, remove labor constraints, and eliminate unwelcome environmental standards or restrictions interfering with the primary consideration of profits.

Also on the agenda is getting Canada and Mexico to allow more privatization of state-run enterprises like Mexico’s nationalized oil company, PEMEX, and eventually open up Canada’s medicare health care system to private investment….

Recommendations in the report call for specific action in these sectors in … the order priority given: food and agriculture, financial services, transportation, protection of intellectual property rights and lastly energy integration specifically emphasizing Canada’s vast oil sands that make its overall reserves second only to Saudi Arabia.

…They cover the range of issues discussed above and specific ones listed below:

— developing “national critical infrastructure protection strategies” with rules providing for legal protection;

— enhancing emergency management and disaster planning;

— implementing planned land clearance projects, meaning less for the people and more for corporate predators;

— putting in place more business-friendly border security practices, meaning militarizing the border;

— further simplifying NAFTA rules-of-origin requirements, meaning no restrictions on regional trade even for unsafe products;

— simplifying the NAFTA certification process and requirements aiming at their total elimination;

— ending the consumer-protective US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS);

— removing regulatory standards and practices that impede trade even if doing it harms consumers;

— working toward a goal of uniform global regulatory standards and practices regardless of the consequences or concern about national sovereignty;

— easing cross-border tax burdens forcing consumers to pick up the difference;

— cooperating in identifying common financial regulatory concerns, then work to eliminate them;

— agreeing to unrestricted air cargo transport services between the US and Mexico;

— completing a coordinated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Strategy aimed at protecting them and keeping their prices high;

— developing an initiative against counterfeiting and piracy; and

— collaborating on expanding the supply of highly skilled people in the energy sector throughout North America and building a model to be applied to other knowledge-intensive sectors such as financial services.

…The North American SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO)

This is another organization set up to facilitate the designs of NACC and the North American Future 2025 Project for continental integration. It’s a trilateral provincial, state and local government coalition aligned with the goals of corporate giants in three countries. As its name suggests, it aims to develop an international, integrated, secure superhighway running the length of the continent. If built, it would extend from Winnipeg, Manitoba; Edmonton, Alberta; and Windsor, Ontario, Canada through Kansas City, San Antonio and Laredo, Texas into Neuvo Laredo, Guadalajara, and the ports of Manzanillo, Colima and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.

…According to NASCO documents, DHS will be in charge of monitoring the entire system through high-tech sensors and trackers as a further step to securing the continent for business at taxpayers expense. …

Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP)

Mexican President Felipe Calderon wishes to revive former President Vincente Fox’s PPP that flopped but didn’t die. It’s a multi-billion dollar development scheme to turn Southern Mexico and Central America, all the way to Panama, into a colossal free trade paradise displacing indigenous people, destroying their culture and sacred corn, and harming the environment for profit. Fox earlier and Calderon now want to induce private investment by shamelessly handing over to them the region’s natural resources, including its oil, water, minerals, timber and ecological biodiversity.

The idea is to rip into the area with new ports, airports, bullet trains, bridges, superhighways, 25 hydroelectric dams, new telecommunication facilities, electrical grids, and a new Panama Canal – for starters,…

The area planned for development is enormous and so far stalled. It covers 102 million hectares with 64 million inhabitants in eight countries, few of whom will benefit …

Militarizing A Continent As A First Step

…Canada’s Stephen …Harper’s more hard line than his predecessors. …He’s…has been massively ramping up military spending with plans to increase it over 50% above 2005 levels to $21.5 billion annually by 2010.

Mexico has its part to play as well. With threats and fear-mongering, it’s using drug-related violence as a pretext for cracking down on simmering unrest wherever it surfaces with plenty of US military aid to do it. The scheme is to quiet and cow millions in the country opposing democracy, Mexican-style. …

It also made the country a tinderbox of discontent with growing numbers in it fed up with sham elections, decades of repression, deepening poverty and an entrenched system of privilege for the rich and powerful….He’s [Calderon has] got 30,000 troops stomping on the people and fighting Washington’s wars on Mexico’s streets and along its near-2000 mile northern border. He also has to protect state oil company Pemex after a series of July explosions attacked the company’s gas pipelines in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. It affected 800 companies incurring losses of $5 – 10 million a day and caused 5000 people to be evacuated from 20 surrounding communities.

A group called the Popular or People’s Revolutionary Army (EPR) claimed responsibility saying it demands release of two men detained unjustly in Oaxaca in May and held as political prisoners. The group’s communique also said the attacks were part of a “national campaign against the interests of the oligarchy and of this illegitimate government (in power from the stolen 2006 election) that has been put in motion.”  …

Calderon’s 30,000 Mexican troops are also in a third or more of the nation’s states, civil rights are suspended and widespread abuses are reported because the military got a mandate to “use all necessary force to resolve disturbances and return peace to society.” That’s just a hint of what’s coming across Mexico and the continent under full implementation of SPP that won’t tolerate opposition and will crack down hard against it. Mexican law now allows it after passage of the draconian “International Terrorism Law” criminalizing dissent, calling it terrorism, and imposing harsh sentences for using “violence against persons, things, or public services that spread (enough) alarm or fear in the population….to threaten national security or pressure authorities to take certain determinations.”

The press is also targeted with prohibitions against “publish(ing) or distribut(ing)….photos or images without the express consent of those featured,” a condition impossible to meet. Social protests may be criminalized as well with resistance movements like the Zapatistas and Oaxacan Popular Peoples’ Assembly (APPO) labeled terrorist organizations and their leaders subject to 40 year mandated prison terms if charged and convicted. And President Calderon wants Mexico’s Congress to pass an amendment giving him constitutional powers to tap phones and search private residences without first obtaining court-ordered approval under any conditions he claims is “urgent.”

Mexico’s hard right Supreme Court of Nacional Justice (SCJN) is supportive. …

Then there’s Calderon’s war on drugs and the cartels that’s, in fact, a war no different than Colombia’s war on dissident resistance groups like the FARC and ELN.  …

US military elements already operate inside Mexico freely and covertly, and a 1994 Pentagon briefing paper, declassified under FOIA, hinted at a US invasion if the country became destabilized or the government faced the threat of being overthrown because of “widespread economic and social chaos” that would jeopardize US investments, access to oil, overall trade, and would create great numbers of immigrants heading north.

Congressional budgeting calls for millions in Mexican military aid and massive new border detention centers for up to 30,000 detainees for starters with two notorious ones discussed below already operating.

Raymondville and Hutto Texas Immigrant Prison Detention Centers

The Willacy immigrant detention center at Raymondville, Texas, is oppressive enough to be called “Ritmo.” It’s run by the private for-profit MTC Corporation and is currently the largest immigrant prison in the country in the remote southern tip of the state. It cost $65 million to build, is a “tent city,” and is ringed by barbed wire and 14-foot high chain-link fences. It currently holds over 2000 immigrant detainees under repressive conditions including 23 hour a day lockdowns in 10 windowless hothouses. Entire families are incarcerated there, fed poor or insufficient food, given inadequate and delayed medical care, and treated inhumanely in unsafe conditions for extended periods lasting months.

Conditions overall are abusive, disciplinary punishment harsh, with detainees having to put up with no partitions or doors separating five toilets, five sinks, five shower heads and eating areas where some days detainees lack utensils and eat with their hands. Lights are kept on round the clock, clothing is inadequate, and on cold days detainees are kept outside for an allowed daily hour in short-sleeved uniforms with no warm protective clothing like blankets, sweat shirts or jackets.

The Hutto Residential Center is another immigrant detention center in Taylor, Texas currently holding around 400 prisoners including 200 children and infants. Few detainees here or at other immigrant prisons committed crimes or were charged with any, yet they’re treated like criminals because they were forced here to survive NAFTA and DR-CAFTA inflicted job losses. They’re victims of US repressive trade policies but are treated like criminals made to suffer retribution for exploitative state practices committed against them.

…. There and at other facilities like them, ICE-detained immigrants number around 28,000 on an average day with totals heading for 30,000 or more by year end.

Hutto is run by Corrections Corporation of American…

The daily routine is stultifying and cruel. Families are awakened at 5:30AM and allowed 30 minutes to bathe and dress. They then get 20 minutes to eat food that’s often poor quality, inedible, and/or inadequate. If children haven’t finished in time, their food is thrown out and they’re left to go hungry.

5 Responses to “One continent, under GOP, indivisible…”

  1. MEC said

    But rightwingers, like Jerome Corsi of Swiftboat Veterans infamy, are all het up about how immigration will destroy national sovereignty. Hm.

  2. Charles said

    Immigration historically has been a sign of something wrong elsewhere in the world. From religious persecution of the Pilgrims to the Potato Famine to the exodus from Europe in World War II, the US has benefited greatly from troubles elsewhere. If the opposition to immigration were focused on that issue, I’d be with them. Unfortunately, the entire immigration debate inside the US (at least the debate allowed by the media) comes down to low wages to benefit US corporations vs. wage protection for US workers.

  3. The whole thing of course is that the opponents of immigration do know that there are troubles elsewhere, but they fear that troubles ride on the backs of immigrants as some sort of contagion, even though the evidence shows otherwise.

  4. whig said

    So if they turn America into enough of a hellhole that will really cut down on the illegal immigration problem.

  5. Charles said

    Sure, whig. As Dick Gregory said, “the only way to keep a man in the ditch is to stay there with him.”

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