Thursday, August 09, 2007

Remember The Lobster: An Addendum To "US Sovereignty No More?"

Most of the reaction at It's a Matter of Opinion to the cross-post of the original article by Nancy Matthis thusfar is pretty much what I expected - doubt, shock, horror, disbelief, and denial - so let me put a few things in context.

I looked at the links posted that discount the documented proposal of a North American Union as a conspiracy theory. The first one cites mostly pieces written in the following ones, and they offer no refutation, per se. They attempt to marginalize ad nauseum this notion of the NAU as conspiracy theory from right-wing nutters. Any refutation comes from the sources of the architects of the alleged conspiracies. It's like asking the guy who is set to rob your house if that is, in fact, what he is going to do, and he replies, "No, of course not." And then you just believe him? Many of the authors and the sources they cite, such as Michael Medved, are no more than what I would call shills for the Bush administration or the Republican Party. It is not in their best interest to admit anything. As stated in many of the comments on Medved's article, he offers no counter facts, just "Nothing to see here...move along...."

Regarding conspiracy theories, to view the North American Union as such (if that is how one chooses to look at it) through the same lens as, say, the 9/11 or JFK assassination conspiracies is a bit fallacious for two reasons. First, 9/11 and JFK already happened, and, second, they were single, instantaneous (for the most part) events. This current situation is evolving, and, if it happens to come to fruition, it will not be in one single, felled swoop. It falls into the category of creeping incrementalism, for which I often use the analogy of the lobster in the pot of water to illustrate the concept. If one places a lobster immediately into pot of boiling water, it screams in pain; it is aware (as much as a lobster can be "aware" of anything) that its survival is in immediate peril. However, if the lobster is placed into a pot of room-temperature water, and the heat is increased ever so slowly, the lobster will cook gradually - and it will die having hardly ever been "aware" of what actually happened. That is exactly how creeping incrementalism works in the real world of social and political change. Keep this analogy in mind as you read further.

For example, we all bleat on and thump our chests at the flacid criminal justice system, and wonder how it got to the state of impotence it's apparently in, but do we stop and ask ourselves how it got to the point to which it has gotten? These ridiculous sentences for violent/repeat offenders seem contrary to our common sense, yet here we sit staring at it right before our eyes. It didn't just happen overnight. It took years of gradual change (for now I'll set aside my interpretaion of the specific mechanisms and ideologies at play), and we can't believe it's happening even while it's happening. It can't all be attributed to apathy, for surely a lot of people still vote; and not many (if any at all) voted specifically for these changes to occur or the legislation that made the situation possible. And I don't think (I could be wrong, though) that the legislators who created the situation ran on a platform of "more lenient sentences for violent and repeat offenders." Nevertheless, here we are. Remember the lobster...

And here's another idea to ponder when considering conspiracy theories: Global Warming/Anthropogenic Climate Change/whatever you want to call it. Many of us, myself included, find it completely plausible - "connecting the dots" doesn't seem that difficult - to think that it is a wealth re-distribution swindle on an international level to further advance globalized socialism; and the lefties who promote the man-made climate change paradigm think that we are promoting a conspiracy of denial. While there is enough rhetoric emanating from both camps - much of it, I submit, attributable to the "politics of personality," the people involved - both sides of the debate offer facts (as each side sees fit to admit as to what are and are not facts) to support their arguments, and the debate continues. With NAU, however, the side that sees it as a possiblity or even a probability (not necessarily a foregone outcome) is really the only side that has any documentation to support its arguments. The "deniers" can only marginalize the other side as nutters. They offer nothing other than rhetoric stating that it can't/won't happen or, "I'll believe it when I see it." Well, by the time that happens it will be a little late. Of course, one could argue that is exactly what the "climate-changers" say about the "deniers" - by the time it happens it will be too late, that there is no "down side" to reducing carbon emmissions, etc. The same, however, could also be argued by the "deniers" in opposition: If we accept and implement all the proposed mandates of the "climate changers," and none of the proposed catastrophies eventuate (which even the most respected members of the "climate changer" camp admit cannot be totally eliminated, regardless, only minimized), it will be too late for any of the economic and social damage to be reversed, and that is a definite "down side." Then again, the "climate changers" could argue in the future that nothing did eventuate because their mandates were imposed...but I digress. The point is two-fold: First, those who are quick to posit themselves with facts to argue against the "climate changers" are as quick to argue against the NAU using only rhetoric, again, motivated substantially by the politics of personality- in this case, they seem unwilling or unable to "connect the dots." Second, there is no "down side" to acknowledging, which simply requires not much more than vigilance and a willingness to act accordingly, the possibility of such an "alliance" being formed. The founding fathers who wrote our Constitution reminded us to be ever vigilant and to maintain a healthy distrust of government; for to do otherwise is surely to consign oneself to the tyrrany of dictatorship. Remember the lobster...

As another example regarding creeping incrementalism, the need for public vigilance, the Constitution, and the ammendment process necessary to formally approve such an alliance as the NAU, one has to assume that using the Constitutional Ammendment process is how the government would attempt such an act. Placed in plain view, on its face, of course, it would appear almost self-evident that such an abomination would never see the light of day. However, a near-event last year illustrates that, without mass public awareness and subsequent pressure on the US Congress, a deal under the auspices of the Executive branch can slide right through, and nobody would have been the wiser until after the fact. I am referring to the controversial attempted takeover of operations of six (and up to 22) of the most sensitive shipping ports in the US by the United Arab Emirates government-owned company, Dubai Ports World (DPW), after its buy-out of the British firm, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).

Here is a look at:
PSA has operations in 11 countries and is the world’s second-largest ports group. By contrast, DPW was formed as recently as September (2005) with the amalgamation of the Dubai Ports Authority and DPI Terminals.
Remember, this was in February 2006.

  • Security issues raised concerning a nation that, although seems fairly "progressive" as far as Middle Eastern Arab states are concerned, has a checkered past and questionable motives. From Alex Alexiev, vice president for research at the Center for Security Policy:
Washington claims that the United Arab Emirates is a reliable friend and ally of the United States in the war on terror. To the extent that Dubai Ports World is a UAE state-owned company, this may in fact be the key question to ask. The answer is not hard to find if you start looking at the role played by the UAE as an eager financier of the huge worldwide infrastructure of radical Islam built over the past three decades by Saudi Arabia. An infrastructure that’s the main breeding ground of extremism and terrorism.

From the very beginning in the 1970s, the UAE has been a key source of financial support for Saudi-controlled organizations like the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Council of Mosques, and the Muslim World League (MWL) as documented in The Muslim World League Journal, an English-language monthly. The IDB alone, for instance, spent $10 billion between 1977 and 1990 for “Islamic activities” and at least $1 billion more recently to support terrorist activities by the Palestinian Al Aqsa and Intifada Funds.

One of the most successful Islamist operations in the U.S. early on involved the Wahhabi ideological takeover of the Nation of Islam after the death of its founder Elijah Muhammad. Of the $4.8 million “presented” to W. D. Muhammad, Elijah’s son and successor, in 1980 alone, one million came from UAE’s president Sheikh Zayad, according to the August 1980 issue of the MWL Journal. Zayad continued his “philanthropic” activities by donating $2.5 million for a Zayad Islamic Center at Harvard University’s divinity school of all places. The donation had to be returned after it became known that a similar Zayad Center in the UAE was closed because it had become a hotbed of Islamic extremism. And this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. A reliable friend and ally? Perhaps, but hardly one of ours.
and Frank Gaffney, Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy:
...implications include the prospect that a country from whose territory most of the operational planning and financing of the 9/11 attacks occurred will be able to make decisions concerning personnel and cargo that could permit further — and possibly even more deadly — terrorist assaults on this country. At the very least, the company will have to be read-in on these ports' security plans as it will have some role in their implementation. Unless DP World is willing to start from scratch as far as their port deals with us go, these considerations constitute potential security problems.

While we're on the subject of DPW, their sister company, Dubais Aerospace Enterprises (also state-owned and newly "formed")...
DAE was formed in February last year but has already turned its gaze to the other side of the world and Auckland Airport. bidding for 51%-60% of the shares in ownership of Auckland International Airport, right here in little ol' New Zealand, and none of this information on the backgraound of DPW has been discussed in any public forum that I am aware of. To do so, would be xenophobic, don't you know...Remember the lobster...

Aside from creeping incrementalism, obfuscation, and circumventing the Constituional Ammendment process, one cannot discount the possibility of an NAU being passed formally through the Constitutional Ammendment process. Given the constantly shifting demographics of the US population, with Hispanics being the fastest growing minority (Hispanics are already the largest minority in California, so much so that there is no longer any single ethnic group that constitutes a majority), the voting trends are sure to shift as well. Remember, also, that any person born on US soil is automatically a citizen, regardless of whether or not the parents entered the country legally or illegally; these children are known as "anchor babies." There is also a movement known as requonquista (re-conquest), seeking to reclaim the southwest United States (Azatlan), which they believe was "stolen" from Mexico in the 19th century (although they fail to acknowledge that these territories were either won as a result of the spoils of war or were legally purchased). This movement is embraced by radical groups like La Raza (translated, "The Race"), whose motto is, "For those in The Race, everything. For those outside The Race, nothing." I am not saying that all Hispanics are in favor of open borders or requonquista and would vote for any such legislation that would permit such, but given that many Latin American immigrants, legal and illegal, are in favor of requonquista, 20-30 years down the line this could be a major political issue, making the possibility of an NAU not seem so far-fetched.

In summation, the idea of a North American Union, even in a mild, watered-down form cannot be completely dismissed as folly. On the contrary, it is sheer folly to fall into the politics of personality. I have given examples of chicanery, deceit, and obfuscation to show that at the very least one should be skeptical of any government, and especially the current US administration given its track record on such controversies as the above-mentioned Dubais port scandal and the nebulous, unresponsive stance on illegal immigration which I submit is tightly intertwined with the possibility of a proposed NAU. I am not trying to convince you, dear reader, that it is a done deal, only a possibility, and to encourage all to look beyond the surface; recognize that what might be sold to you will not necessarily be what you eventually buy; and repsect the law of unintended consequences. More often than not grand schemes don't happen in just one shot; they happen piecemeal, bit-by-bit. The way for anything to eventuate is to sit back and say to yourself that it can't happen. Remember the lobster...


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