Category Archives: North American Union

Obama dismisses criticism of Chavez handshake

SUMMIT/AMERICAS

U.S. President Barack Obama greets his Venezuela counterpart Hugo Chavez with a brotherly handshake before the opening ceremony of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain April 17, 2009. Reuters

AFP | Apr 19, 2009

PORT OF SPAIN (AFP) — President Barack Obama defended on Sunday his amicable first encounter with Venezuelan leader and anti-US firebrand Hugo Chavez, which critics back home assailed as naiive and “irresponsible”.

“It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interest of the United States,” Obama told reporters at the close of a Summit of the Americas.

But, he stressed he still had concerns about Venezuela and Chavez’s often heated rhetoric.

“I have great differences with Hugo Chavez on matters of economic policy and matters of foreign policy,” Obama said.

“There have been instances in which we’ve seen Venezuela interfere with some of the countries that surround Venezuela in ways that I think are a source of concern,” he added.

Obama and Chavez met here Friday at the opening of a 34-nation Americas summit and photos of the encounter showed the US leader smiling as he shook the Venezuelan’s hand and patted him on the shoulder.

Chavez was said to have told Obama: “I shook hands with (former US president George W.) Bush with this hand eight years ago. I want to be your friend.”

Obama responded by thanking Chavez, the official said.

US officials confirmed the encounter, but said Obama had simply presented himself to Chavez with a “How are you?” and left after shaking hands.

An opposition lawmaker on Sunday said Obama’s handling of the meeting confirmed conservatives’ concerns that the Democratic president would not be tough enough on the United States’ adversaries.

“I think it was irresponsible for the president to be seen kind of laughing and joking with Hugo Chavez,” said Republican Senator John Ensign on CNN Sunday.

“This is a person who is one of the most anti-American leaders in the entire world,” Ensign said, calling Chavez “a brutal dictator”.

“When you’re talking about the prestige of the United States and the presidency of the United States, you have to be careful who you’re seeing joking around with,” he said.

Obama said he’d heard such criticisms throughout his campaign for the US presidency and dismissed them as nonsense.

“The whole notion was that somehow if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness,” he said.

“The American people didn’t buy it. And there’s a good reason the American people didn’t buy it, it doesn’t make sense.”

Newspapers around the world ran the photo of the handshake with speculation that the long antagonism between Washington and Caracas might be overcome.

But Sunday Obama downplayed his interaction with Chavez as not particularly unique, noting conversations with other US critics, including Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.

“I had meetings with all the leaders involved, including Ortega, who was the chair person of the Central American meeting,” he said.

“I had very cordial conversations with President Morales and I think it’s just that President Chavez is better at positioning the cameras,” he said.

Cocaine Highways: Post-NAFTA, Most Drugs Cross U.S. Borders in Trucks

mexican_trucks

Trucks waiting to cross the US border at Nogales. Photo: David Sanders Arizona Daily Star

Mexican Cartels Using Huge Fleet of 18-Wheelers, Only 5% Inspected at Border Crossing

ABC | Apr 16, 2009

By RICHARD ESPOSITO, ASA ESLOCKER, and BRIAN ROSS

Most of the drug shipments smuggled into the United States by the Mexican cartels are hidden in trucks that drive across U.S. border checkpoints in plain sight, with little fear of inspection, U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News.

Only about 5 percent of trucks coming into the country from Mexico are inspected, according to U.S. officials.

“It is just too costly and too slow given the volume of trucks to actually try to stop and inspect each and every truck,” said Juan Zarate who dealt with the issue in the Geroge W. Bush White House as Deputy National Security Director.

The number of trucks coming into the U.S. has steadily increased since the passage of NAFTA in 1993. Almost 3,000,000 loaded container trailers crossed at border checkpoints last year.

“It does open up the potential for drug networks to take advantage, but I think it is something we have to find alternative ways of addressing,” said Zarate.

Any attempt to inspect all trucks crossing the border, “would have a hugely negative impact in terms of commercial traffic and trade between the United States and Mexico,” said Zarate, who also held the position of Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism.

“You would see lines like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.

The Mexican cartels’ fleet of 18-wheelers has long since replaced the Caribbean air drops and speed boats used by the Colombian cartels in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the era of “Miami Vice”.

And major cities at interstate highway junctions, like Atlanta, have become important hubs for the Mexican cartels.

“Atlanta is a central trans-shipment point for pushing narcotics to some of the largest distribution cells in the United States,” said Rodney Benson, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA office in Atlanta.

Drug Agents Stakeout Truck Stops and Trail 18 Wheelers

Instead of tracking fancy sports cars at glitzy night clubs in Miami, federal drug agents now spend a lot of their time trailing behind huge 18-wheel trucks and conducting surveillance at interstate truck stops.

Flying over Atlanta’s “Spaghetti Junction,” the intersection of interstates I-85 and I-285, Benson pointed out the truck stops and warehouses where his agents have made major arrests and drugs seizures.

“It’s also a major money collection point,” said Benson. “They do operate with a business-like efficiency,” he said.

Federal agents and local police say the Mexican cartels often rent homes in quiet, upscale suburban neighborhoods for their operatives.

“You couldn’t build a better environment to camouflage this activity,” said Gwinnett County district attorney Danny Porter.

In a major raid last week, aimed at the Atlanta operations of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, police and federal agents raided 16 locations and arrested 21 people.

Nearby residents were shocked to learn their neighbors might be connected to the Mexican cartels.

“Their daughter goes to school with my daughter,” said Amber Youngblood of Duluth, Georgia. “It makes you think twice about who your neighbors are,” she said.

Updating the Militarization and Annexation of North America

No_NAU_sticker

Atlantic Free Press | Mar 17, 2009

by Stephen Lendman

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.

Full Article

Updating the Militarization and Annexation of North America

No_NAU_sticker

Baltimore Chronicle | Mar 13, 2009

by Stephen Lendman

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a military-backed corporate coup d’etat against the sovereignty of three nations, their populations and legislative bodies. The public is largely unaware of what is happening.

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.

Full Story

US military may be “forced to intervene” if Mexico collapses into civil war

PD*26282369

Mexico drugs bust: Mexico lies astride the crucial smuggling routes linking the US with the drug-growing areas of South America Photo: AP

America may be forced to intervene in Mexico to prevent the country’s “rapid and sudden collapse” at the hands of organised crime and drug cartels, according to the US army.

Telegraph | Jan 16, 2009

Mexico in danger of collapse, says US army

By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor

A report on the “Joint Operating Environment”, compiled by the army’s high command, places Mexico alongside Pakistan as a possible failed state of the future. America, which shares a 2,000 mile border with Mexico, would be the obvious destination for massive refugee flows if its neighbour descended into civil war.

President Felipe Calderon has deployed Mexico’s army in a new offensive against organised crime. This battle against four major drug cartels, along with a myriad of local syndicates, claimed the lives of 5,367 members of the security forces or suspected criminals last year alone.

“Two large and important states bear consideration for rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico,” reads the US army’s report.

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state.”

Mexico, with a population of 110 million, provides America with more migrants than any other country. It also lies astride the crucial smuggling routes linking the US with the drug-growing areas of South America, notably Colombia, which remains the world’s biggest source of cocaine.

If Mexico became a failed state, millions would flee across the northern border and organised crime gangs would have a secure base from which to penetrate America. This could leave Washington with little choice but to intervene, possibly by military means.

“Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone,” says the report.

Mexico’s crime gangs have retaliated for Mr Calderon’s offensive by targeting members of the security forces for murder. Dozens of soldiers have been beheaded. Many ordinary police officers and security officials accept bribes from the drug rings. This corruption, which may reach into the highest levels of the government itself, is a crucial factor obstructing Mr Calderon’s campaign. Ultimately, it may also have the effect of destroying the state itself.

The US army’s report stresses that countries can collapse very quickly, pointing to the example of Yugoslavia which broke up during the civil wars of 1991 – 95. “The collapse of Yugoslavia into a chaotic tangle of warring nationalities suggests how suddenly and catastrophically state collapse can happen – in this case a state which had hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo, and which then quickly became the epicentre of the ensuing civil war.”

Mr Calderon won Mexico’s presidency by a tiny margin of less than one per cent during a controversial election held in July 2006. Despite this slender mandate, he has made the fight against organised crime the central goal of his leadership.

Analysts: Dollar collapse would result in ‘amero’

5_amero

(Designs Computed)

Think deep recession likely regardless of Fed’s actions

WorldNet Daily | Dec 13, 2006

By Jerome R. Corsi

Two analysts who have reconstructed money supply data after the Fed stopped publishing it argue a coming dollar collapse will set the stage for creating the amero as a North American currency to replace the dollar.

Related

The reconstructed M3 data – the broadest measure of money – published on econometrician Gary Kuever’s website, NowAndFutures.com, shows M3 increased at a rate of 11 percent in May, compared to 9 percent when the Federal Reserve quit publishing M3 data earlier this year.

Asked why the Fed decided to stop publishing M3 data, Kuever told WND, “The Fed probably wants to hide how much liquidity is being pumped into the market, and I expect the trend to keep pumping liquidity into the market will continue, especially since the economy is slowing down.”

Why is this important?

“The trend line in my M3-plus-debt chart is staggering,” Kuever said. “There has been a straight, long-term trend line of M3-plus-credit increasing since 2000. Long-term, we are creating inflation and the dollar has lost almost 98 percent of its value in the past 100 years.”

Kuever, a retired investor, is concerned that with growing budget and trade deficits “the dollar could collapse.”

“Especially if the Fed cannot increase rates, because we have already entered a recession,” he said.

Bob Chapman, who issued a reconstructed M3 estimate to the 100,000 subscribers to his newsletter, “The International Forecaster”, agrees.

“The world is awash in money and credit,” Chapman told WND. “My numbers show M3 increasing at about a 10-percent rate right now.”

Chapman believes the U.S. economy entered a recession in February. In his newsletter of Dec. 9 he predicted the Fed would hold interest rates at 5.25 percent.

“The Fed is in a very tough spot here,” Chapman wrote, “If they raise rates, the real estate market will collapse, and if they lower rates, the dollar will collapse.”

Meeting yesterday, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee voted, as Chapman had predicted, to hold the overnight lending rates between banks steady at 5.25 percent. This was the fourth straight meeting the Fed had voted not to change rates. In its rate announcement, the Fed affirmed the economy had slowed.

Almost immediately after the announcement of the Fed’s decision, the dollar weakened to a new 20-month low against the euro, with currency markets reportedly pricing in the expectation the Fed will be forced to lower rates next year to bolster the economy. Following the announcement by the Fed, the U.S. Dollar Index, or USDX, also dropped, with the dollar going below 83.

A dollar collapse is imminent, Chapman declared.

“Technicians studying the USDX think there is a support level for the dollar at 75, but I don’t think so.”

How low could the dollar go?

“If the dollar breaks through 78.33 on the USDX,” Chapman answered, “my guess is the dollar will go through a 35-percent correction, which would put it at 55.”

“The key in how low the dollar goes is the interest rates,” Chapman told WND. “In January, the Fed is going to have to make a decision which way to go. If Fed rates go up, the dollar will hold in the 78.33 range, but the stock market and the economy will tank. If next year the Fed lowers rates to keep the economy from crashing, the bottom will fall out of the dollar, and I see it going as low as 55. Once the dollar hits bottom, it will take the stock market and the economy right with it anyway. The Fed is in a box they can’t get out of.”

As WND reported earlier this week, in an unusual move, the Bush administration is sending virtually the entire economic “A-team” to visit China for a “strategic economic dialogue” in Beijing Thursday and Friday. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are leading the delegation, along with five other cabinet-level officials, including Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. Also in the delegation will be Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

But Chapman doubts the trip will help the Fed to engineer a slow dollar slide.

“The Chinese are going to do what the Chinese want to do, not what we want them to do,” he said. “I believe the Chinese are going to send Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke home packing, with little or nothing to show for the trip.”

How severe will the coming dollar collapse be?

“People in the U.S. are going to be hit hard,” Chapman warned. “In the severe recession we are entering now, Bush will argue that we have to form a North American Union to compete with the Euro.”

“Creating the amero,” Chapman explained, “will be presented to the American public as the administration’s solution for dollar recovery. In the process of creating the amero, the Bush administration just abandons the dollar.”

Integrated transatlantic economy to be set up by 2025

EurActiv| 31 October 2008

By Joseph Quinlan, Bank of America Capital Management

While the “first decade and a half of globalisation was largely driven and shaped by the United States and Europe,” tomorrow’s world will be multipolar, with rising powers posing both opportunities and risks for the transatlantic economy, writes Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist at Bank of America Capital Management, for the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

His October paper argues that the transatlantic economy will remain “one of the largest and most powerful economic entities in the world in 2025,” but predicts a shift in world economic power as the figures for global output in purchasing power parity terms, currently 60% for the developed world and 40% for developing countries, are reversed.

The US and the EU will both lose ground as global manufacturing output shifts towards emerging nations and their new corporate actors begin to challenge American and European players, Quinlan predicts. Moreover, nations outside the transatlantic structure will seek more influence in multilateral institutions as their increasing capital and natural resources lend them more weight. New international alignments can be expected as a result of the rise of China, India, Russia and Brazil, he observes.

Globalisation is nevertheless not a “zero-sum game,” the paper recalls, warning that trade and investment protectionism would only be to the detriment of global growth. Transatlantic relations must be transformed to embrace the benefits of facilitating integration of developing countries into the global economy.

Quinlan recommends that the EU and the US identify mutual interests with developing countries and step up cooperation, citing climate change, energy security and aging populations as possible areas where joint efforts would be beneficial to all parties. Developed countries should also engage China and other key developing states in multilateral organisations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation, to coordinate global macroeconomic policies, he adds.

Next, Europe and the US must further strengthen their partnership, as removing the remaining barriers to trade would significantly improve the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy, the paper states.

Finally, both the EU and the US must tackle their own economic issues to build confidence in their economies, Quinlan concludes, suggesting that the US increases its national savings rate and reforms its social security system, while calling on the EU to reform its labour market and implement the Lisbon growth and jobs agenda.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States: The Shape of the Future: The Transatlantic Economy by 2025