Tuesday, 06 August 2013

The U.S. "Homeland"

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While a full-blown North American Union (NAU) analogous to the up-and-running European Union may still be a distant dream for internationalists, in one sense, at least, union among the United States, Canada, and Mexico is already much closer to reality. In the matter of continent-wide security, the governments of those three countries have already significantly combined and pooled their resources, using such pretexts as the war on drugs, international terrorism, and illegal immigration.

In 2011, for example, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed a four-page agreement committing their two countries to setting up a common “perimeter” to enhance security. “We … recognize that cooperation across air, land, and maritime domains, as well as in space and cyberspace, our enduring bi-national defence [sic] relationship, and military support for civilian authorities engaged in disaster response efforts and critical infrastructure protection, have all contributed significantly to the security of our populations,” the document noted, in reference, presumably, to military cooperation against the Soviet threat during the Cold War, as well as to ongoing efforts to “harmonize” law enforcement and surveillance to prosecute the ill-defined and open-ended “war on terrorism.”

Now, amid the official panic created by the Snowden revelations and the self-justificatory rhetoric issuing from the NSA to avoid having its powers curtailed by Congress, California Senator Dianne Feinstein has unwittingly uncovered the NSA’s version of a North American Union. Specifically, a colored map (shown) of the world — purporting to show the number of terrorist plots the NSA has disrupted by region — depicts “Events in Homeland” in an area covering all of North America (Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Greenland), as well as Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in Central America (Costa Rica and Panama, oddly, didn’t make the cut). Senator Feinstein, in her presentation, referred to the 13 terror events “in the Homeland” on a par with those in “Africa,” “Europe,” and “Asia,” suggesting ineluctably that the “Homeland” is coextensive with the North American continent, including Mesoamerica.

We can only suppose that the good citizens of Canada, Mexico, and a large part of Central America might be surprised to find themselves under the not-so-benevolent umbrella of the NSA’s “homeland.” They (and we in the United States) might equally ponder just what the “homeland” in the Department of Homeland Security has reference to. While one declassified colored map may not necessarily constitute a smoking gun for the North American Union, it is certainly indicative of the mindset of North American internationalists, and may indeed signpost a much greater degree of behind-the-scenes continental security integration than anyone outside the NSA has acknowledged or suspected.

Legitimate intelligence-gathering, including limited cooperation with the security forces in other countries, is not at issue; what is of concern is the way that terrorism and other security matters are being used to promote continental political unity, now that the program for economic convergence has assumed a lower profile. Some type of North American political union, à la Europe, is most definitely contemplated by North American internationalist elites as a long-range outcome, and whether the pretexts for its assembly are regional security, free trade, or something else will matter less than the final result.