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It’s nothing personal

7 August 2009

There is a planned summit meeting this weekend among the NAFTA leadership — or specifically, among the Security and Prosperity Partnership leadership (same thing) — in Guadalajara.

The rather poorly thought out “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, announced back in May 2005 during some similar do in Waco, Texas.  It never was a “partnership” as such, being primarily designed to “Coordinate our security efforts to better protect U.S. citizens from terrorist threats and transnational crime and promote the safe and efficient movement of legitimate people and goods.” In other words, to make Canada and Mexico buy into the Bush administration’s paranoia.

However,  Canada and Mexico never quite bought into Bushismo (aka  “Bu-shit”) and Felipe Calderon, Barack Obama and Stephen Harper, together with their country’s foreign ministers (Patricia Espinoza, Hillary Clinton and Lawrence Cannon) — will be in the Jaliscience city Sunday and Monday to discuss common concerns and actions regarding the economy, energy and climate change.

There wasn’t much media attention given this event.  Outside of my reference in the first paragraph (from Angus Reid Strategies, a Canadian news service) there was nothing “controversial” or even particularly interesting to make the summit newsworthy.  The right wing loono-sphere  sees NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership as some sort of secret plan by the illumanti to turn over the United States government to shadowy rulers in Ottawa (or maybe Mexico City)… as opposed to the situation now, where the Mexicans and Canadians think their political strings are pulled by overlords in Washington.  They’ll be holding their own loony-do in Guadalajara too. Well known U.S. crackpots Ron Paul and Howard Phillips may provide some comic relief to what otherwise looks to be a typical “Do as we in Washington say, not as we do” gab-fest.

Certainly, “Security” is on the agenda, but in all three North American countries, the alarmist rhetoric of the Bush era was supposedly behind us.  Reuters must not have gotten the memo, writing not about common strategies for dealing with common regional issues, but focusing on the “drug war” that saturates U.S. media coverage of Mexico:

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican drug gangs are killing rivals in record numbers in a major setback for the government, which will seek more support from U.S. President Barack Obama when he visits the country this weekend.

Severed heads, burned bodies, daylight shootouts and dead children are daily fare from Mexico’s Caribbean to its desert border with the United States, even as army generals pour soldiers and elite police onto city streets.

The Mexican voters decided last month that the Calderon Administration is giving too much attention to cutting off narcotics exports to the United States and not enough to domestic issues, and even Calderon doesn’t think that one export is the sum total of transportation and export/import issues to be considered.  And Reuters seems to have overlooked the Canadians entirely (though I think they’re used to it by now). I imagine the U.S. coverage will be focused on drugs, drugs and more drugs — and the unrealistic expectations that Mexico both implement more draconian measures to stop their citizens from involvement in an industry that is funded by the United States, while simultaneously NOT using draconian measures against its citizens that offend the sensibilities of the United States by using those measures against its citizens AND continue to provide jobs and markets for the people and businesses in the United States who create the weapons and tools used by both the exporters and the abusers.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Timo permalink
    7 August 2009 8:09 am

    I hardly think Mexico is getting a raw deal from the US. Mexico lures jobs from the US under the guise of NAFTA, and then exports its own unemployed back to the US where they take more US jobs. Mexico wins coming and going, and the US pays the price.

    So it’s odd to hear you constantly describing Mexico as some kind of victime of US policies.

  2. 7 August 2009 8:20 am

    Where was anything said about “victimhood” or any statement made that NAFTA was good, bad or indifferent? I said there are other issues besides narcotics (which IS a problem rooted in the United States, being the only market of any consequence for Mexican exports in this market sector).

  3. Telzey permalink
    7 August 2009 10:44 am

    We certainly agree there are other issues than narcotics. I raised one in my comment. Which should make you happy. It seems to have had the opposite effect. So shall we go back to talking about “drugs drugs drugs”?

    Your analysis of drug trafficking from Mexico is also rather simplistic. The US has had a huge appetite for illegal drugs for about a century now. The Mexican drug cartels only became powerful in the last decade. How do you explain that, if US drug demand automatically and magically creates drug cartels in Mexico?

  4. ... permalink
    7 August 2009 11:28 am

    “the US. Mexico lures jobs from the US under the guise of NAFTA, and then exports its own unemployed back to the US where they take more US jobs.”

    We only got lame quality jobs in assembly lines (three months contracts, no social security, long hours, no workplace safety, low wages), and lost many more jobs in key areas. The millions of migrants that had to take shitty jobs in the US (and leave their families, which is not a pleasant thing), used to have not so bad jobs here, once upon a time, but lost them to the US agricultural subsidies.

    So maybe you got a raw deal, but what we got was at least as bad, if not worse. Workers of the world unite, etc.

  5. Telzey permalink
    7 August 2009 11:48 am

    Oh come on, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs have moved from the US to Mexico since NAFTA. And it’s not true that Mexico’s immigrants to the US all have “shitty” jobs. Come to LA, and you’ll see for yourself.

    Here’s a nice article on the effects of NAFTA on the US economy:

    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/briefingpapers_bp147/

    I think if Mexican companies were shedding thousands of workers to move their plants to the US, and millions of unemployed Americans were moving to Mexico to displace Mexican workers, we’d be hearing about how horrible that was.

  6. 8 August 2009 9:55 am

    Why do you refer to Ron Paul as ‘a crackpot’? Is it because he doesn’t toe the mainstream line? He seems like a wise old gentleman to me and one of the few honest politicians left in America.

  7. 17 August 2009 8:22 pm

    Aren’t we all tired of the lame argument of hundreds of thousands of jobs moving to Mexico under NAFTA. Not true at all.

    We lost some jobs to Mexico, 14,000,000 to be exact in a 10 year period but under NAFTA we also gained 14,000,000 in the same time period.

    Many of the jobs lost were lost to technology. Blame Germany, one of the countries which produces industrial robots that can do the work of 5 men on an assembly line.

    And those displaced workers had rather sit on their asses at home and whine and complain about NAFTA and Mexico than get off their butts, retrain, reeducate themselves in order to compete in the 21st century.

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