Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anschluß : Canada and US Have Merged

The greatest paranoia of Canadians for decades has been the notion that their country would merge with the United States. These fears have increased since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement of 1988. When former Prime Minister Jean Chretien broke his 1993 election campaign promise to scuttle NAFTA by signing it into law, many Canadians knew it was only a matter of time before the economic union with the U.S. would lead to political union. In recent years, television films such as H20 have warned of the takeover of Canada by the United States. On February 4th, current Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Obama signed the North American Security Perimeter. In effect, Canada has signed away its sovereignty over to the United States of America.

What has aroused the greatest suspicions and fears is the little publicity and transparency of the new "border" arrangement between the two countries. There hasn't any debate or notification by the Conservative Reform Alliance Party (CRAP) government in the Canadian Parliament. The opposition parties found out about the new arrangement from the media. The Obama administration has neither consulted Congress nor the public of the agreement. The agreement was done undercover and announced suddenly without warning.

Common Border and Law Enforcement

The details as announced by Obama and Harper are limited but this is what is known so far. The police, immigration and other law enforcement agencies as well as the intelligence agencies have been merged under the name of "increased cooperation". Both countries will merge their immigration and customs under a joint Canada-U.S. "exit-entry" program. In practice, this means travellers to Canada with no intention of entering the U.S. will be subject to American police and intelligence scrutiny. Those on the US "no fly list" or "terrorist watch list" will be prevented from boarding Canadian bound flights. 
Another detail is that there will be joint Canada-US customs and immigration officers and facilities in other countries. That means that Canadian citizens and residents will be subject to questioning by American officials about their travels and activities overseas. When Canadians arrive in their country, they will have to pass through American immigration and customs officials and  could be subject to search and seizure of their luggage. They might even be forced to pay taxes to the US government when they land at Canadian airports. Most alarming is that Canadians will be forced to use biometric passports and be subject to other invasive procedures such as digital fingerprints and iris scans in order to enter their own country.

Under the agreement, there will be special cross police officers. Canadians that haven't broken any laws in Canada can be arrested and brought to trail for breaking American laws in Canada. This means that being caught with less than 3 grams of marijuana or for selling and growing will be subjected to harsher American laws than the more lenient Canadian laws. In theory Canadian law enforcement will have the same powers in the US but in reality, American law enforcement will exercise greater power in Canada than vice versa.

Ultimately, Canadians will have their email, internet history, and telecommunications monitored and stored by American agencies. Canadians will have their personal information such as their banking and financial transactions under American surveillance. Canadians will not have legal recourse when their privacy has been violated by secret agencies in Washington.

Why and Who Benefits?
Linda McQuaig, a Toronto based journalist has been one of the few Canadian journalists that has researched and written extensively about the coming Anschluß between Canada and the United States. She has broken apart all the arguments and justifications for these developments. Officially, it's being done in the name of "security". Immediately following the attacks on 9/11/01, many in the American political and media establishment were quick to blame Canada. It was first believed that the terrorists had taken a ferry from Nova Scotia to Boston, where they boarded the planes and hijacked them. This turned out to be untrue of course. Many reactionary commentators on Fox News said that Canada's relatively liberal immigration procedures were too "lax". Canada's so-called "open door" immigration policies created a security risk for the United States. Canada was viewed as America's soft underbelly.

The border between the two countries was closed and sealed for days after the terror attacks. Billions of dollars were lost by Canadian businesses due to the sealed border. According to McQuaig, Canadian corporate bosses lobbied aggressively for Canada to harmonise immigration and customs policies with those of the United States. Canadian corporate executives were spooked by the accusations that Canada posed a security risk for the U.S. Moreover, they feared that if another major terror strike were to hit the United States, the border would not only tighten but it could seriously undermine if not derail the flow of Canadian goods into the US. The corporate heads believed that Canada's sovreignty was too costly for business and profit. The goal of the security perimeter was not to safeguard the safety of Canadian or American people but to safeguard profits.

In the years after 2001, the Canadian government conducted a series of secret negotiations which the American government which further eroded Canada's sovereignty. In 2003, the Liberal government of Jean Chretien announced an agreement that should a terrorist strike hit Canada, the US military would enter the country to help "secure" it. This was later cemented in 2008 under Harper allowing the US military to enter Canada in the event of a "civil emergency." In 2005, Chretien's successor Paul Martin along with President Bush and Mexican President Calderon announced the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). 

The SPP set off a flurry of fury in both the US and Canada. Citizens of both countries were alarmed about the loss of sovereignty. These jitters were fueled from the speculation of a new currency called the "Amero" which would replace the US and Canadian Dollar and Mexican Peso with a unified currency. It was never verified, though it's likely that it might have been discreetly discarded due to the negative publicity.

Canada and the American Empire

Historically Canada was one of the last outposts of the British Empire. Indeed, some historians agree that the British North America Act of 1867, which created the modern nation state of Canada was the beginning of the end of the British Empire. Canada only exists because it remained loyal to the Britain and refused to join the American republic.Between 1867 up until World War 2, Canada played a key role in the preservation of the British empire. Canada sent the largest portion of troops in the Boer War. Canada was also played a critical part in preserving the British Empire during the two world wars. After Britain was seriously weakened after the the First World War, Canada took the lead in policing the British West Indies.

After the Second World War, which led to the downfall of the British Empire, Canada was stranded. Canada was forced to be a completely independent country and found itself in a balancing act protecting its domestic interests while finding itself the neighbour of a superpower. The post war years saw Canada engaged in bitter diplomatic rows with the US over the United Nations, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Peacekeeping and Vietnam. During the 1950s, when Canada had produced the Avro Arrow, which was at the time the most advanced jet fighter, the US military applied immense pressure against Canada to dismantle it.

The decades between the 1950s and 1970s was the nadir of US-Canada relations since the War of 1812. Diefenbaker, Pearson and Trudeau had rocky and volitile relationships with US presidents. Trudeau's policy to allow up to 75,000 Americans to reside in Canada to escape being drafted into the Vietnam conflict caused consternation within the Pentagon. Indeed, there are many military neo-cons that still blame Canada, Trudeau in particular, for the defeat in Vietnam.

Relations improved dramatically after the 1984 election of Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Mulroney formed the final tripartite of the Anglo-Saxon Neo-Liberal revolution of the 1980s. Along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Mulroney pursued wholesale privatisation of state enterprises, implemented deregulation and worshiped at the alter of free markets and free trade. Mulroney introduced American style politics into Canada. Mostly through the use of bribes and payoffs, known in official parlance as "campaign contributions". Canada was never immune to corruption. In that regard, Canada wasn't any different from any other modern nation state. However, Mulroney made millions while being Prime Minister of Canada. Mulroney laundered money with the creation of numerous American style Political Action Committees (PACS). 24 Sussex Drive became the epicenter  of corruption and sleaze in Canada. This has been amply documented in Stevie Cameron's book On The Take.

In 1988, Mulroney began negotians on free trade with the Reagan administration. The free trade agreement gave the US all of Canada's resources and assets for little or nothing in return. Impressed by the free giveaway, Reagan gushed praised for Mulroney. Mulroney won re-election in 1988 on Free Trade. The Canadian public had yet been aware of the corruption of the government and believed that the FTA would bring economic prosperity to the country. Canadians believed Mulroney because they had yet been exposed to the undprecendent mendacity of official politics.

Mulroney and the Canadian corporate elite decided that their wealth and livelihood depended upon throwing their lot in with American capitalism and imperialism. In that regard, they were simply following the ruling class of Britain. In order to preserve whatever prestige and influence following the lost of its empire, Britain became subservient to the US. Canada which had always been subservient to Britain believed that it had no choice but to follow suit. From there, Canada has joined the US and the UK in every military adventure from the First Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and even the present Iraq war. (The Liberal Party under Chretien made a big show and dance about declining to join the "coalition of the willing" but in reality both Canadian troops and naval vessels have participated and continue to participate in the Iraq war.)

After more than 20 years of economic integration with the United States, Canada has concluded that its economic interests in indelibly tied to that of the United States. Canada's material position rests entirely on that of the American empire. Canada cannot survive on its own. It has invested too much to pull back from now. How the US fares, so does Canada. Imagine the United States as the Titantic. Canada is a dingy attached its bow. When the Titantic sinks, so does the dingy. In other words, Canada must preserve the American Empire if it wishes to maintain its economic prosperity.
Bye Bye Canada?

 In the Spring of 2003, the Canadian edition of Time magazine had a provocative front cover headline: "Would Anyone Notice If Canada Disappeared?" That was very likely the biggest selling issue of Time magazine in Canada. The article itself was a propaganda exercise. The entire mainstream media establishment with the possible exception of the CBC, have accepted that Canada's unification with the United States is inevitable. These and many other Op-Ed columns and editorials serve the function of conditioning Canadians for Anschluß. Moreover, they feed off of the general insecurity and inferiority complex Canadians have about themselves. Even though Canada is the second largest country in the world in land mass, it's paltry population of 33 million is insignifigant. Besides, most of the world doesn't see any difference between the US and Canada. So if Canada disappeared, no one would really notice. 
This opinion is shared by many Canadians themselves. They really see no difference between the two countries except that the US has more Blacks and Latinos than Canada. Many Canadians dream of moving to California and Florida. Many Canadians believe that there are more opportunities south of the border. Many doctors have moved to the US where they can receive incomes up to 100 times than what they can make in Canada. Many of the greatest comics in Hollywood are Canadians such as Mike Myers, Dan Akroyd and Jim Carey just to name a few. It's unlikely they would have become famous stars had they remained in Canada.

Many Canadians wouldn't mind merging with the US if it meant that they could work and live without obtaining a visa. The further West one travels, the more prevalent the sensibility. The majority of residents in Alberta and British Colombia identify more with the US than with Canada. It's not an accident that Stephen Harper and the majority of the MP's of his party are based in Alberta. The Conservative Reform Alliance Party has long received funding from the US Republican Party and other American neo-conservative think tanks. It's long been the objective of far right wing elements in the US to break up Canada or to have it absorbed into the United States. Stephen Harper is doing what he's been assigned: The break up and complete economic and political suboridnation of Canada on behalf of the United States.
This is not a done deal yet. There are millions of Canadians who are aware of what is going on. There are many civic organisations such as the Council of Canadians who have been aware of the trends towards Anschluß. There are countless more Canadians that understand that they enjoy more freedoms and human rights protection in Canada than in the United States. There are many Canadians that simply will not tolerate being turned into Americans.

There are additional lines of defense. The provincial premiers of Canada would raise hell over losing their soverignty as well. Canadian provinces enjoy a great deal of autonomy. The central Federal government has little control and jurisdiction over the economic and political affairs of the provinces. Provincial premiers are modern day dukes and counts. They're extremely territorial. They will not submit to Washington, particularly if it meant they would lose their political and economic power.

However, things have been set in motion. For all intents and purposes Canada and the US have merged. The only missing component is political union. That is the end game. When it comes to to real power and realpolitik, the US already owns Canada. In the final analysis, as the American empire collapses within the next 5 years, Canada will not be able to escaped unscathed. Whether Canada disappears by being absorbed into the US politically or by being dragged down by the collapse of the US itself, the fact remains that Canada is on the countdown.

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