Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA

Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA

Postby Oscar » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:52 am

# 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
in Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009


Sources: Center for International Policy, May 30, 2007
Title: “‘Deep Integration’—the Anti-Democratic Expansion of NAFTA”
Author: Laura Carlsen

Global Research, July 19, 2007
Title: “The Militarization and Annexation of North America”
Author: Stephen Lendman

Global Research, August 2, 2007
Title: “North American Union: The SPP is a ‘hostile takeover’ of democratic government and an end to the Rule of Law”
Author: Constance Fogal

Student Researchers: Rebecca Newsome and Andrea Lochtefeld

Faculty Evaluator: Ron Lopez, PhD

Leaders of Canada, the US, and Mexico have been meeting to secretly expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with “deep integration” of a more militarized tri-national Homeland Security force. Taking shape under the radar of the respective governments and without public knowledge or consideration, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)—headquartered in Washington—aims to integrate the three nations into a single political, economic, and security bloc.

The SPP was launched at a meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Vicente Fox, and Prime Minister Paul Martin, in Waco, Texas, on March 31, 2005. The official US web page describes the SPP as “. . . a White House-led initiative among the United States and Canada and Mexico to increase security and to enhance prosperity . . .” The SPP is not a law, or a treaty, or even a signed agreement. All these would require public debate and participation of Congress.

The SPP was born in the “war on terror” era and reflects an inordinate emphasis on US security as interpreted by the Department of Homeland Security. Its accords mandate border actions, military and police training, modernization of equipment, and adoption of new technologies, all under the logic of the US counter-terrorism campaign. Head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Finance Carlos Gutierrez, are the three officials charged with attending SPP ministerial conferences.

Measures to coordinate security have pressured Mexico to militarize its southern border. US military elements already operate inside Mexico and the DEA and the FBI have initiated training programs for the Mexican Army (now involved in the drug war), federal and state police, and intelligence units. Stephen Lendman states that a Pentagon briefing paper 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.

Canada’s influential Department of National Defence; its new Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier; and Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor are on board as well. They’re committed to ramping up the nation’s military spending and linking with America’s “war on terror.”

The SPP created the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) that serves as an official tri-national SPP working group. The group is composed of representatives of thirty giant North American companies, including General Electric, Ford Motors, General Motors, Wal-Mart, Lockheed-Martin, Merck, and Chevron.

NACC’s recommendations centered on “private sector involvement” being “a key step to enhancing North America’s competitive position in global markets and is the driving force behind innovation and growth.” The NACC stressed the importance of establishing policies for maximum profits.

The US-guided agenda prioritizes corporate-friendly access to resources, especially Canadian and Mexican oil and water. The NACC’s policy states that “the prosperity of the United States relies heavily on a secure supply of imported energy.” US energy security is seen as a top priority encouraging Canada and Mexico to allow privatization of state-run enterprises like Mexico’s nationalized oil company, PEMEX. In January 2008, Halliburton signed a $683 million contract with PEMEX to drill fifty-eight new test holes in Chiapas and Tabasco and take over maintenance of pipelines. This is the latest of $2 billion in contracts Halliburton has received from PEMEX during Fox’s and current Mexican president Felipe Calderone’s administrations, which the opposition warns has become the public front for US monopoly capital privatization.1 US policy seeks to insure America gets unlimited access to Canada water as well.

Connie Fogal of Canadian Action Party says, “The SPP is the hostile takeover of the apparatus of democratic government . . . a coup d’etat over the government operations of Canada, US and Mexico.”

Citation

1. “Mexican Farmers Protest NAFTA Hardships,” People’s Weekly World, February 7, 2008.

UPDATE BY STEPHEN LENDMAN

A fourth SPP summit was held in New Orleans from April 22 to 24, 2008. George Bush, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon attended. Protesters held what they called a “people’s summit.” They were in the streets and held workshops to inform people how destructive SPP is, strengthen networking and organizational ties against it, maintain online information about their activities, promote efforts and build added support, and affirm their determination to continue resisting a hugely repressive corporate-sponsored agenda.

Opponents call the “Partnership” NAFTA on steroids. Business-friendly opposition also exists. The prominent Coalition to Block the North American Union (NAU) is backed by the Conservative Caucus, which has a “NAU War Room,” a “headquarters of the national campaign to expose and halt America’s absorption into a North American Union with Canada and Mexico.” It opposes building “a massive, continental ‘NAFTA Superhighway.’”

This coalition has congressional allies, and on January 2007, Rep. Virgil Goode and six co-sponsors introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40, which expresses “the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in (building a NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a NAU with Mexico and Canada.”

The April summit reaffirmed SPP’s intentions—to create a borderless North America, dissolve national sovereignty, put corporate giants in control, and assure big US companies most of it. It’s also to create fortress-North America by militarizing the continent under US command.

SPP maintains a website. Its “key accomplishments” since August 2007 are updated as of April 22, 2008. The information is too detailed for this update, but can be accessed from the following link: http://www.spp.gov/pdf/key_accomplishme ... t_2007.pdf.

The website lists principles agreed to; bilateral deals struck; negotiations concluded; study assessments released; agreements on the “Free Flow of Information”; law enforcement activities; efforts related to intellectual property, border and long-haul trucking enforcement; import licensing procedures; food and product safety issues; energy issues (with special focus on oil); infrastructure development; emergency management; and much more. It’s all laid out in deceptively understated tones to hide its continental aim—to enable enhanced corporate exploitation with as little public knowledge as possible.

Militarization includes the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), established in October 2002, which has air, land, and sea responsibility for the continent regardless of Posse Comitatus limitations that no longer apply or sovereign borders that are easily erased. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also have large roles. So does the FBI, CIA, all US spy agencies, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, and paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA.

They’re headed anywhere on the continent with license to operate as freely as in Iraq and New Orleans post-Katrina. They’ll be able to turn hemispheric streets into versions of Baghdad and make them unfit to live on if things come to that.

Consider other militarizing developments as well. On February 14, 2008, the US and Canada agreed to allow American troops inside Canada. Canadians were told nothing of this agreement, which was drafted in 2002. Neither was it discussed in Congress or in the Canadian House of Commons. The agreement establishes “bilateral integration” of military command structures in areas of immigration, law enforcement, intelligence, or whatever else the Pentagon or Washington wishes. Overall, it’s part of the “war on terror” and militarizing the continent to make it “safer” for business and being prepared for any civilian opposition.

Mexico is also being targeted, with a “Plan Mexico” that was announced in October 2007. It’s a Mexican and Central American security plan called the Merida Initiative, supported by $1.4 billion in allocated aid. Congress will soon vote on this initiative, likely well before this is published. It’s a “regional security cooperation initiative” similar to Plan Colombia and presented as an effort to fight drug trafficking.

In fact, the Merida Initiative is part of SPP’s militarization of Mexico and gives Washington more control of the country. Most of the aid goes to Mexico’s military and police forces, with a major portion earmarked for US defense contractors for equipment, training, and maintenance. The touchy issue of deploying US troops will be avoided by instead employing private US security forces, i.e., Blackwater and DynCorp.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org, Mondays from 11 am to 1 pm CT.

http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stor ... zed-nafta/





“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
Chair of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Valencia, Spain, Nov. 17, 2007
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8381
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

SPP: Updating the Militarization and Annexation of North Ame

Postby Oscar » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:21 am

SPP: Updating the Militarization and Annexation of North America

By Stephen Lendman

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12696

Global Research, March 13, 2009

The title refers to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), also known as the North American Union - formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 Waco, Texas meeting attended by George Bush, Mexico's President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. It's for a tri-national agreement, below the radar, for greater economic, political, and security integration with secret business and government working groups devising binding policies with no public knowledge or legislative debate.

In short, it's a military-backed corporate coup d'etat against the sovereignty of three nations, their populations and legislative bodies. It's a dagger through the heart of democratic freedom in all three, yet the public is largely unaware of what's happening.

Last April, New Orleans hosted the last SPP summit. Ever since, progress may have stalled given the gravity of the global economic crisis and top priority need to address it. Nonetheless, what's known to date is updated below plus some related information.

Last September, the Army Times reported that the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team in Iraq would be re-deployed at home (October 1) as "an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks."

"This marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities."

Then on December 1, the Washington Post reported that the Pentagon will deploy 20,000 troops nationwide by 2011 "to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear attack or other domestic catastrophe." Three "rapid-reaction" combat units are planned. Two or more others may follow. They'll be supplemented by 80 smaller National Guard units trained to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high-yield explosive, and other domestic "terror" attacks or disturbances. In other words, homeland militarization and occupation are planned using troops trained to kill.

The pretext is national security. In fact, they'll be on-call against another major terrorist attack, real or contrived, as well as civil unrest given the gravity of the economic crisis, its affect on millions, and likelihood that sooner or later they'll react. Armed combat troops will supplement militarized local police in case security crackdowns are ordered or martial law declared.

"Catastrophic Emergency" procedures are in place to react to situations, "natural or manmade," according to DHS/FEMA's March 2008 "Preparedness for the Next Catastrophic Disaster" policy paper. Should conditions warrant, initiatives to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law are in place, but militarizing America for business is also at issue.

Last October 1, the Canadian Action Party posted a "COUP IN USA ALERT" after the Bush administration announced the homeland deployment of troops with "$100 billion (bailout) dollars" to do it.

What's Likely in Prospect

SPP efforts paused during the Bush to Obama transition, but "deep integration" plans remain. On January 19, Ottawa's Carleton University's Centre for Trade Policy and Law outlined an agenda for America and Canada going forward. It called for "early and sustained cooperation" at a time of continuing global crisis, to include security, defense, trade and competitiveness.

It said the "most pressing issue is the need to re-think the architecture for managing North America's common economic space (including) trade liberalization." It used language like "re-imagining (and) modernizing the border" that reads like erasing it and doing the same with Mexico. In a similar vein, it recommends "integrating national regulatory regimes into one that applies on both sides of the border." It called the arrival of a new Washington administration "a golden opportunity" to forge a "mutually beneficial agenda (that) will define global and North American governance for years to come."

It mentioned the specter of protectionism and need to avoid it given the current economic climate. It advocates a "more ambitious Canada-US Partnership" beyond NAFTA," in co-partnership with Mexico.

Titled "North America Next," a recent Arizona State University North American Center for Transborder Studies report called for "sustainable and security competitiveness" and deeper US-Canada-Mexico integration through "sustainable security and effective trade and transportation (to) make (the three nation) North America(n partnership) safer, more economically viable, and more prosperous."

Both Carleton and Arizona State University project participants want SPP initiatives invigorated under a new Washington administration, especially in a climate of global economic crisis when addressing it takes precedence.

Other Issues in Play

"The Canadian's" Mike Finch "North American Union (NAU) watch" reports that US and Canadian organizations want to end free flow Internet information. He cites an "net-neutrality activist group" discovery of "plans for the demise of the free Internet by 2010 in Canada," and by 2012 globally.

Canada's two largest ISPs, Bell Canada and TELUS, are behind a scheme to limit browsing, block out sites, and charge fees on most others as part of a 2012 "planned full (NAU) launching." Web host I Power's Reese Leysen called it "beyond censorship: it is killing the biggest (ever) 'ecosystem' of free expression and freedom of speech." He cited big company inside sources providing information on "exclusivity deals between ISPs and big content providers (like TV studios and video game publishers) "to decide which sites will be in the standard package offered customers, leaving the rest of the Internet unreachable except for fees."

Leysen called his source "100% reliable" and cited similar information from a Dylan Pattyn Time magazine article, based on Bell Canada and TELUS sources. Plans are for "only the top 100 - 200 sites making the cut in the initial subscription package," likely to include major news outlets at the expense of smaller, alternative ones. "The Internet would become a playground for billion-dollar content providers," like cable TV providers, unless efforts are made to stop it.

Leysen thinks US and global ISPs have similar plans that include free speech restrictions and privacy invasions. The stakes are high if he's right. Yet the profit potential is huge and friendly governments may oblige. Also involved are "deceptive marketing and fear tactics" (like citing child pornography threats) to gain public approval for subscription services masquerading as online safety. The time to stop it is now.

Earlier Plans to Rename SPP/NAU

Last March, Canada's Fraser Institute proposed it in an article titled: "Saving the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership" at a time of mounting criticism. It recommended discarding NAU in favor of the "North American Standards and Regulatory Area (NASRA)" to disguise its real purpose. It called the "SPP brand" tarnished so changing it was essential to continue where NAFTA left off by combining security with quality of life issues like food safety, global warming, climate change, and pandemic diseases. It also wants better communications to sell it to the public. Their idea is to fool most people until it's too late to matter.

Rumblings in America at the State Level

Running counter to "deep integration," News with Views (NWV) writer Jim Kouri headlined on February 23: "Individual States Declaring Sovereignty." He cites political strategist Mike Baker saying "Americans are becoming disenchanted with the federal government's lack of perspective on" matters like: "illegal aliens, crime, (and) economic turmoil - while intruding into the private lives of citizens with gun-control laws and other intrusions," issues our Founding Fathers "relegated to the individual states." Bothersome also are unfunded mandates that states can't handle given their over-stretched budgets and need to cut back. In addition, Washington's intrusion into local law enforcement is a big issue.

So far, nine states have declared sovereignty and another dozen or more are considering it. Enacted or proposed legislation varies from all states' rights to selective ones like gun control and abortion.

As of January 30, Washington State is one of the former under House and Senate bill HJM-4009 stating:

"The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;' and The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution of the United States and no more."

Earlier in January, New Hampshire enacted similar legislation (HCR-6) "affirming States' rights based on Jeffersonian principles." Other states doing it totally or in part include California, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Georgia. In addition, the following states are considering similar measures: Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Idaho, Alabama, Maine, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska, and reportedly, Wyoming and Mississippi may as well.

Besides states rights issues, driving the current movement are:

-- the grave and deteriorating economy;

-- Wall Street's harmful control over policy;

-- its effects on checks and balances;

-- excessive bailouts for an insolvent and corrupted banking system at the expense of local state budgets and rights; and

-- reckless and unsustainable spending and national debt levels driving the nation to bankruptcy and placing untenable burdens on states.

Overall, concern is that Washington is complicit in driving the nation to ruin, and they want out or at least lean that way. If this movement gains strength, at the least it will slow "deep integration," stall it for a considerable time, but won't likely halt it. Corporate America wants it, and most often what it wants, it gets.

It may just take longer than planned, much longer given the gravity of the global crisis, how hard it will be to resolve, and how long doing it will take. Some experts predict another Great Depression as bad or worse than the first one and far worse than Japan's "lost decades" - from 1990 to the present.

Top priority in world capitals and corporate boardrooms is preventing it if possible. Except for "national security," other initiatives are secondary.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday through Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php? ... &aid=12593

-------------------------
Please support Global Research
Global Research relies on the financial support of its readers.
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8381
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm


Return to TRADE AGREEMENTS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron