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PRE-SPP SUMMIT CONFERENCE REVEALS TRUE ELITIST MINDSET
PART 1 of 2

 

 

 

Patrick Wood
August 26, 2007
NewsWithViews.com

The August 21, 2007 Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec with U.S. President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Calderon was held behind closed doors. Nothing of substance has been reported by the press, even though several major media outlets attended the event.

To understand what might have happened, we can turn to an August 13 policy conference that was held in Washington, DC. Titled "The Montebello Summit and the Future of North America," the conference presented three panels of global thinkers, including Dr. Robert A. Pastor, to prognosticate on the past, present and future of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and North America.

These are the academics who represent the policy leading up to each annual SPP summit.

Not coincidentally, the conference was scheduled just one week prior to the SPP Summit held in Montebello, Quebec, where the heads of state would collaborate on issues of "deep integration" between the three nations.

The conference organizer, Professor Christopher Sands, is a Senior Fellow at Hudson, a colleague of Dr. Robert Pastor at American University and a member of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section of the North American Competitiveness Council.

The conference theme was centered around Sands' white paper (co-authored with Canadian Greg Anderson ) entitled, "Negotiating North America: The Security and Prosperity Partnership." Sands and Anderson concluded their 35 page paper by explaining the need to

"fix the short-comings of the present process to address the growing need for cooperation in the management of continental economic integration and security." (p. 31)

Robert Pastor was not so forgiving of the SPP process, even though he was the one who originally suggested it in 2003. Pastor openly criticized SPP as being too bureaucratic, too slow and too vague to be of any good. Note carefully though, that critics of SPP are being heard loud and clear! All of the panelists pointedly addressed public criticism and Sands and Anderson wrote,

"What U.S. negotiators must realize is that North America in the internet age can become an echo chamber in which Canadian and Mexican fears are amplified by U.S.-based criticism, and when the latter goes unanswered, the effect is corrosive to public support in all three countries. Worse, after a period of reverberating recriminations when breakthrough agreement is achieved, the Canadians and Mexicans will be more anxious and resistant to North American cooperation than before and the U.S. public more hostile and skeptical as well." (p. 31)

Their concern over public support is curious. What public support?

Pastor shed some light on this when he stated,

"Public opinion indicates that a strong majority believe in a common security perimeter. A majority in all three countries are in favor of moving towards an economic union, although I think they mean a customs union, if they felt that it would improve their standard of living and not harm their culture or their environment. An overwhelming majority would like greater coordination of environmental, transportation and defense policies. More modest majorities in favor of migration, energy and banking coordination among our three countries."

Whatever opinion polls Pastor is referring to, they fly in the face of the recent FT/Harris poll mentioned in "Global Backlash Against Globalization," where only 20 percent of those polled were solidly in favor of globalization. Still, the most disturbing fact is that Pastor uses made-up statistics to justify his pre-conceived position. This writer has often observed this type of self-justification over many years.

When challenged about claims of public support, elitists like Pastor will backpedal and say that if the public only knew what they know, then of course they would be in favor of globalization! But in fact, the public doesn't know. The elitist presumption to know the public mind is staggering.

A single dissenting voice was allowed on the panel, namely, Dr. John Fonte, who is the director of the Center for American Common Culture at The Hudson Institute. Fonte's rebuttal was so succinct and authoritative that it is repeated below in its entirety.

Panel 3: After Montebello: The View from the Summit, - and Where We Go From Here - Dr. John Fonte

My vision of the future of North America is rather different from the one you have heard. I see a 21st century North American consisting of three independent democratic nation states, the United States, Canada, and Mexico. There would be reasonable cooperation and security and trade, but as sovereign democratic states, they would rule themselves. For example, American border security would be determined by Americans. Canadian trade, economic, and energy policies would be determined by Canadians. And if some of those – America didn’t like some of those policies, well, that is called democracy.

Mexican education and cultural policy would be determined by Mexicans. Thus, Mexican schools, for example, would continue to promote Mexican identity to Mexican students, not, as recommended by the Council on Foreign Relations, to, quote, give students a greater sense of North American identity. I would expect that most ordinary citizens in the United States, Canada and Mexico, would prefer their educational institutions focused on their own national identity and history.

Now, let’s look at some broad – what I see as broad problems with the SPP in general. One is conceptual, philosophical. There is in a sense a democracy deficit in terms of process. And, two, in terms of the substance of the policies them­selves, which I’ll look at – examine that: border security, immigration, and how it meshes with the traditional American concept of the assimilation of immigrants, what we used to proudly call Americanization.

On the first point, democracy deficit, the SPP has some very far-reaching goals: the harmonization of regulation, standards, border immigration policies. The legal and constitutional authority for SPP is supposedly in the fine print in NAFTA. But, as has been pointed out, there is no congressional authorization for SPP. There have been no funds appropriated by Congress directly for SPC – SPP. There is little oversight or congregational hearings, no real public involvement. It is not a treaty, no real transparency, except for the material released reluctantly after freedom-of-information requests.

Actually, just as an aside, I was rather astounded by the last panel when the question was, should we know who was actually attending these meetings, and the person on the panel said, well, that really wouldn’t serve any purpose if you essentially know who is coming or not. This tells us something about the mindset at work.

In short, the SPP contains none of the regular procedures of American constitutional democracy. As the Anderson-Sands paper points out, there has been a lack of response to Congress by the Bush administration.

Now, unlike some, I don’t believe a conspiracy is at work; nevertheless, the North American integration process, the NSPP, is deeply flawed both conceptually and administratively. Obviously there are areas of cooperation that are being pursued by SPP and others that make sense in health regulations, trade, intelligence cooperation and so on. However, the issue is a border security, in immigrations, that are issues in America that will be decided by the Congress of the United States, not delegated to executive branch officials and transnational corporate executives.

Let’s look at some specifics: border security. It’s clear that the SPP document, as it states, the immediate number-one priority is, quote, “to facilitate the movement of people across borders of North America.” Now, unlike Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations,” SPP does not put – does indeed put commerce over security. Remember Smith put security over commerce in the wealth of nations.

Jim Edwards writes in a background paper for the Center for Immigration Study – I urge you to read that, along with the Judicial Watch’s Freedom Information Note, which are very interesting on what – of some of the reports on some of the meetings. Edwards says the SPP reports prioritize speed over security. I think that is right. We’ll give you an example here. The North American Competitiveness Council report of February 2007 have the following recommendation: Develop and adopt a low-cost, easily attainable ID and citizenship-verification document as an alternative to a passport. And that is almost an invitation to fraud given what we know about fraudulent documents in the immigration business in the last 10 years.

These priorities are vaguely written and ambiguous, but implicit is the suggestion there should be one border for all of North America. Indeed, there is a discussion by the traveler screening system working group of one card, and this has been – this is the suggestion. It is somewhat ambiguous in SPP. Well, this is an absolutely crucial issue. Are we talking about one border for North America, or when you cross the Mexican- Guatemalan border, are you in the United States, in which case our security is dependent on Mexican-border security.

The implication of in SPP is a yes, but, as I say, it’s ambiguous. It would make much more sense in terms of border security and the war on terror if we had a layered system of borders. Sure, a North American outer border would be fine, but then even tougher borders – U.S.-Mexican border and the U.S.-Canadian border – tougher as the administration is now belatedly saying the last few weeks that it plans on doing.

One of the problems is this process has been dominated by corporate special interests and not by the national security interests, by border security interests of the United States. And I believe that overall that proposals in SPP would actually weaken border security. For part two click below.

Click here for part -----> 2,

© 2007 Patrick Wood - All Rights Reserved

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Patrick M. Wood is editor of The August Review, which builds on his original research with the late Dr. Antony C. Sutton, who was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Peace and Revolution at Stanford University. Their 1977-1982 newsletter, Trilateral Observer, was the original authoritative critique on the New International Economic Order spearheaded by members of the Trilateral Commission.

Their highly regarded two-volume book, Trilaterals Over Washington, became a standard reference on global elitism. Wood's ongoing work is to build a knowledge center that provides a comprehensive and scholarly source of information on globalism in all its related forms: political, economic and religious.

E-Mail: pwood@augustreview.com

Web Site: www.AugustReview.com


 

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One of the problems is this process has been dominated by corporate special interests and not by the national security interests, by border security interests of the United States.