by John Hawkins | July 19, 2006 11:46 am
“By 2010, the integration of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. will be almost complete. Congress and the media will not know what happened. Americans will be as clueless as ever; thanks to the complicity of the brain-dead media, the triumph of a bloodless bureaucratic elitist coup will become a reality, or close to it.” — Diane Alden
“President Bush signed a formal agreement that will end the United States as we know it, and he took the step without approval from either the U.S. Congress or the people of the United States.” —Lou Dobbs Tonight
“President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, effectively erasing our borders with both Mexico and Canada. This was the hidden agenda behind the Bush administration’s true open borders policy….Why doesn’t President Bush just tell the truth? His secret agenda is to dissolve the United States of America into the North American Union.” — Jerome Corsi
Judging by the three hysterical quotes you’ve just read, you’d think that the United States was about to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into some sort of merger with Canada and Mexico.
However, that’s not exactly true. As a matter of fact, to be completely accurate, it’s not true at all. But, since claims of this sort are spreading like wildfire on the right, it seemed like a good idea to take the time to tear out the underpinnings of this conspiracy theory.
So, let’s explore some of the pieces of “evidence” that support the North American Union conspiracy theory and see how well they bear up under scrutiny.
Claim #1: There a Council of Foreign Relations report called, “Building A North American Community,” that’s being used as the “blueprint” for a merger of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
Back in 2005, a task force sponsored by the Council of Foreign Relations put out a report called, “Building A North American Community.” I recently spoke to Lee Feinstein, Executive Director of the Task Force Program at the Council of Foreign Relations — and he told me the report calls for improving security between the borders, steps to grow the American economy, and improving trade.
When I asked him if the report favors merging the United States, Canada, and Mexico, his reply was, “It doesn’t favor anything of the kind.” Indeed, if you read through the report (.pdf file), you will find that it doesn’t call for the creation of a superstate.
Moreover, Mr. Feinstein said he would be flattered if people in the Bush Administration were reading and paying attention to the report, but he denied that it was being used as any sort of “blueprint” and said, “Realistically, anyone outside the government has to be modest about the impact that they have on government policy because the government has its own ideas of what it wants to do.”
Claim #2: “Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S…” —Jerome Corsi
To be honest, this one has always been a little hard to figure out. After all, Canada and Mexico are our two biggest trading partners. Therefore, it’s difficult to understand why some people are so adamantly opposed to improving the highways running between those nations, and into the US, or why they believe a road is part of some monstrous conspiracy. But nevertheless, since this issue has been widely discussed, I took the time to dig into this claim.
First of all, the group behind the “NAFTA Super Highway” is called NASCO. They’re not a government entity and they’re not advocating building “four football field-wide” roads or even new roads at all. They just support the expansion of existing roads to better serve business interests in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
Yesterday, Tiffany Melvin, the Executive director of NASCO was kind enough to take the time to discuss the North American Union conspiracy theory with me. Here’s what she had to say:
“NASCO is a non-profit organization that has been around for 12 years. We have no secret meetings with the Bush administration and we’re not part of a conspiracy. We’re a business organization trying to promote the NASCO Corridor and the connecting highways in Canada and Mexico as an efficient, secure transportation system that will attract companies to use our corridor for their business.”
NASCO has gotten so tired of the conspiracy theories swirling around them that they’ve actually put up a “NASCO Myths Debunked (.PDF File)” section on their website to try to kill some of these rumors. People who believe they’re involved in creating some sort of “North American Union” should take a look at that article. It’ll quickly ease their concerns.
Claim #3: A customs facility in Kansas City is going to become Mexican territory!
What this refers to is the KC Smartport, which is, at least in my humble opinion, a brilliant idea. The idea is to set up an area in Kansas City, with Mexican and American customs officials there who can examine outgoing vehicles away from the long lines generated at the borders. You heard that right by the way; this facility will only handle outbound freight headed to Mexico, not Mexican vehicles headed into the United States.
So, is the area the KC Smartport sits on going to be leased or owned by Mexico? No. So, where did the idea come from? I asked Tasha Hammes, the Media Relations & Marketing Manager for the KC Smartport project, about that and she said it was an idea that was kicked around via email in something akin to an online brainstorming session at one point. However, as she confirmed to me in a follow-up email, the idea was not something that the KC SmartPort project chose to pursue:
“Kansas City, Mo., is leasing the facility to KC SmartPort. It will NOT be leased to any Mexican government agency or be sovereign territory of Mexico.”
Claim #4: The United States, Mexico, and Canada are going to merge their currencies into something called an Amero.
It’s always difficult to reason people out of something that they weren’t reasoned into in the first place and therefore, it’ll be very difficult to convince people who believe in this claim that it’s not going to happen.
That being said, George Bush has never advocated merging our currency with that of another country and neither has anyone in his cabinet. Furthermore, no one has presented any proof whatsoever that anyone in the United States government is working on this idea. At least one of the North American Union conspiracy theorists has speculated that the Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America may be working on such a proposal. However, I spoke with David Bohigian over at the Commerce Department yesterday and he issued a flat denial that the SPP was working on merging America currency with that of our neighbors.
So, if people want to insist that we’re creating some sort of unified currency based on the fact that a few professors think it’s a good idea, that’s fine — but as of yet, there has not been one, single, solitary shred of evidence presented that the Bush administration supports, advocates, or is working on this idea.
Claim #5: The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is the government entity that’s working on merging the United States, Canada, and Mexico!
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is a group that was launched in 2005 and it works under the aegis of the Commerce Department. The SPP was created to help increase cooperation between the U.S. and its neighbors to the North and South.
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday I spoke to David Bohigian over at the Commerce Department about the SPP. He confirmed that the SPP is not using the, “Building A North American Community,” report from the CFR task force as any sort of a “blueprint” and he added the following:
“This is not a treaty and not an agreement. It’s like a discussion you’d have with your neighbors. Nobody is looking to merge our currency, or our borders, or do any sort of union like the EU. The United States is working cooperatively with its neighbors to enhance security and prosperity of our countries.”
Summary: Folks, as you can see from reading this column, there is no “North American Union” in the works. If you don’t believe me when I tell you that, then maybe you’ll believe Tony Snow who had this to say when he was, “asked if the president would categorically deny any interest in building a European Union-style superstate in North America,”
“Of course, no. We’re not interested. There is not going to be an EU in the U.S.”
If you don’t believe me and you don’t believe Tony Snow, then believe your own knowledge of how the U.S. Government works. To merge the United States into a North American Union would obviously require a whole host of Constitutional Amendments. In fact, so many would be necessary that the only possible way to accomplish it would be through a Constitutional Convention, an event that hasn’t occurred in over 200 years and that would require the support of 34 state legislatures to be possible. So, even if George Bush or any other U.S. President were so inclined to create a North American superstate, he would be powerless to do so unless he were able to rally 2/3 of America’s state legislatures to his side.
Since that is the case, there’s simply no need for people to try to turn run-of-the-mill attempts to improve cooperation with Canada and Mexico into some sort of vast conspiracy to create a North American Union. The reality is that since Mexico and Canada are our neighbors and our biggest trading partners, there are plenty of reasons for the government and private industry to try to streamline and improve our relationship with them on security, trade, and other issues. So, let’s worry about real problems instead of non-existent conspiracy theories that melt like snow in the middle of a Texas summer the moment you take a hard look at them.
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