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U.S. and Canada create a "Shared Vision for Perimeter Security". What's next?

For years, the establishment has tried to tell us that concerns about a North American Union were just crazy talk. Yet, on Friday, the U.S. and Canada established a "Shared Vision for Perimeter Security", a common security perimeter designed among other things to "accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries". In the case of Canada we (at least currently) don't need to worry too much about millions of Canadians wanting to move to the U.S., but the same can't be said of similar efforts that might be planned with Mexico: around 39 million Mexicans would move to the U.S. if given the chance.

While the "shared vision" says it respects the "sovereign right of each country", the agreement will help blur the line between the two countries and cost each sovereignty. For an example, see the issue of Mexican trucks on U.S. roads as mandated by NAFTA.

Further, both countries agreed to the "shared vision" with executive orders rather than with decisions by the U.S. Congress or the Canadian parliament. And, talks leading up to the agreement were secret and the announcement itself was designed to be propagandized.

A write-up on the agreement is here. Excerpts from the Barack Obama Executive Order are at [1]. A leaked memo about propagandizing the announcement is at [2].

Note that Obama is simply continuing what George W Bush started with the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (formerly at spp.gov). In fact - while you never heard about it from rightwing bloggers and pundits - Obama indicated his interest in continuing the SPP before the election.

While the leftwing in Canada is generally on the correct side of this issue, the leftwing in the U.S. has been trained to reflexively respond to any concerns with childish mockery. And, those like the tea partiers who pretend Obama's a far-left transformative figure should try and explain why he's continuing a very establishment-friendly proposal that Bush started.

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[1] From whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/04/
declaration-president-obama-and-prime-minister-harper
-canada-beyond-bord

Note that in the third paragraph below the people who live in the U.S. and Canada are seemingly an afterthought. Note also the use of biometrics and the mention of "harmonizing existing programs". The latter was one of the goals of Bush's SPP.

To preserve and extend the benefits our close relationship has helped bring to Americans and Canadians alike, we intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries. We intend to do so in partnership, and in ways that support economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity...

...We intend to work together in cooperation and partnership to develop, implement, manage, and monitor security initiatives, standards, and practices to fulfill our vision. We recognize that our efforts should accelerate job creation and economic growth through trade facilitation at our borders and contribute directly to the economic security and well-being of both the United States and Canada.

...We intend to work together to engage with all levels of government and with communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, as well as with our citizens, on innovative approaches to security and competitiveness.

...We value and respect our separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy, civil liberties, and human rights and provide for appropriate recourse and redress.

We recognize the sovereign right of each country to act independently in its own interest and in accordance with its laws.

...To increase security, counter fraud, and improve efficiency, we intend to work together to establish and verify the identities of travelers and conduct screening at the earliest possible opportunity. We intend to work toward common technical standards for the collection, transmission, and matching of biometrics that enable the sharing of information on travelers in real time. This collaboration should facilitate combined United States and Canadian screening efforts and strengthen methods of threat notification.

In order to promote mobility between our two countries, we expect to work towards an integrated United States-Canada entry-exit system, including work towards the exchange of relevant entry information in the land environment so that documented entry into one country serves to verify exit from the other country.

...We aim to build on the success of current joint programs by expanding trusted traveler and trader programs, harmonizing existing programs, and automating processes at the land border to increase efficiency.

...We intend to work together to defend and protect our use of air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace, and enhance the security of our integrated transportation and communications networks.

...The United States and Canada intend to establish a Beyond the Border Working Group (BBWG) composed of representatives from the appropriate departments and offices of our respective federal governments.

...We intend for the BBWG to report to their respective Leaders in the coming months, and after a period of consultation, with a joint Plan of Action to realize the goals of this declaration, that would, where appropriate, rely upon existing bilateral border-related groups, for implementation.

The BBWG will report on the implementation of this declaration to Leaders on an annual basis. The mandate of the BBWG will be reviewed after three years.

[2] From "Canada kept U.S. border talks under wraps: document" (link):

OTTAWA - The federal government deliberately kept negotiations on a border deal with Washington secret while it planned ways to massage public opinion in favour of the pact, according to a confidential communications strategy.

The 14-page public relations document recommended that talks keep a "low public profile" in the months leading up to the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. At the same time, the government would secretly engage "stakeholders" - interested parties such as big business groups and others - in a way that respected "the confidentiality of the announcement."

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 12:30 · Importance: 5

 
 
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