Monday, December 28, 2009

Say, how's that 2010 North American security perimeter coming along?

Yet another article PR piece telling us how the Canada-US border can become 'wafer thin' again, if only we just agree to get inside the North American security perimeter ...

Canada warms to the idea of a tougher 'perimeter'
reads the Star headline while providing no evidence to support it.

Apparently, however, "the more knowledgeable watchers of the cross-border condition suggest Canadians are ready".
Like the director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, concern-trolling about Canada's pig-headed insistence on remaining Canada :
"Perimeter is no longer a dirty word. It's beginning to come up again, at least in academic circles," says David Biette
... whose 'academic circle' includes fellow University of Calgary academic advisor Robert Pastor, Vice Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations 2005 Task Force on the Future of North America:
"The Task Force's central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter."
Back to Biette in The Star :
"Canada has done so well by NAFTA and we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of more confident, culturally secure Canadians. The old Toronto nationalists of the 1960s were essential to building the idea of a postmodern Canada, but now they're starting to die off."

Former US ambassador to Canada Gordon Giffin, whose "one security perimeter" proposal met with a very chilly reception in Canada in 1999, also gets trotted out :
"Those old Canadian worries now sound soooo 20th-century, says Giffin.
"Those old cultural arguments sound like dinosaur-speak today. The world just sort of passed them by," Giffin told the Star.
Whereas by comparison, the deep integration fans are just bristling with fun new ideas.
Here's David Biette in June 2006 :
"Being different from the United States for the sake of being different is irresponsible and an abdication of the national interest. Letting foreign policy be driven by public opinion (particularly when public opinion is an emotional reaction to whatever George W. Bush does) shows a lack of leadership. This was particularly evident in the debate over Canada’s potential participation in ballistic missile defence, something the government had requested before it let the public opinion tail wag the foreign policy dog. If the government changes policies at the whims of public opinion, how reliably will Canada be viewed?"
Let's have that one more time :
"Letting foreign policy be driven by public opinion shows a lack of leadership.
If the government changes policies at the whims of public opinion, how reliably will Canada be viewed?"
Ah, public opinion and all that democracy stuff. Sooooo '20th century'. Sooooo 'dinosaur-speak'.

I'm guessing a militarized NAFTA in the form of a North American security perimeter would be the end of all that whimmy Canadian public input nonsense.

Canada warms to the idea, indeed.

With thanks to West End Bob for the heads up.

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