Sunday, June 14, 2009

 

ANOTHER "BANANA" REPUBLIC?

Bet you thought American colonialism vanished at the Iraqi border? It's a rhetorical question...but, here's a new twist - It seems the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the wide ranging security perimeter the United-States unilaterally imposed on June first, really only applies to Canada and to Mexico.

As only about 20% of Americans have valid passports and few plan to get them; They'll stay home. But - America's own internal complementary domestic security initiative known as "Real ID" which was meant to apply "in country" as the adjunct to W.H.T.I. is being repealed and replaced on the say-so of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. It is quite simple really: The 50 States have refused to pay for it. It seems the State Governors showed the backbone Canada did not, stood-up to Washington, and are forcing the Obama Administration to retreat on this keystone recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. It helps of course that Napolitano, when she was Arizona's Governor, said the legislation was "not worth the cost" and had signed a state law opting Arizona out of the plan. I sure wish we Canadians and the Mexicans had the same options. Eighteen of the 19 September 11, 2001 hijackers, (It bears repeating: None of whom came from Canada) carried fraudulent "State" identification documents which readily eased their movements within the USA.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is one more example of the "big dog" from down south wagging its Canadian "tail". We are just as powerless over its implementation as over the measures of February's U.S. Economic Recovery Legislation which dictate that the steel and manufactured goods bought with Federal Funds must be made in the United-States. President Obama, his Homeland Secretary, and just this weekend, his Secretary-Of-State, Hillary Clinton, talk a good game - talk is cheap - And Stephen Harper's counter-offensives about "protectionist behaviour" on the ultra-right "Fox News Network" aren't going to matter dick-all.

Yikes! If one rather believes Hillary Clinton, I fear yet more initiatives down this slippery slope. Subjects she touched-on during her three-hour "feel good" romp with Lawrence Cannon across Niagara's "Rainbow Bridge" on Saturday included: Arctic Sovereignty, the Boundary Waters Treaty, and the 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Until Canada starts showing the same backbone against measures which verge on threats of renewed American imperialism, as somehow the State Governors seem to do, we may be destined to being the 51st State...or worse just another subservient Banana Republic of the 19th Century. Ouch!

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