No one knows what goes on behind closed doors, which is why Harper must be tried for sedition
Canadian Arab News via Information Clearing House
August 23, 2007
Stephen Harper has been doing a lot of laundry this past week or so. First, he sorted through his cabinet and put some of his ministerial sock puppets through the spin cycle. Despite the best efforts of our palace press to present the event as “real news,” it was a political nullity.
A cabinet minister today is a micromanaged serf who cannot go to the bathroom without written permission from Harper’s Central Directorate, so the individual at the head of a given ministry is supremely irrelevant, unless he or she gets beaten up by the Opposition beyond the point of redemption and has to be replaced.
Such was the case with Gordon O’Conner, who was done in as minion of defence by Harper’s pro-Bush militarism in Afghanistan, especially the scandal of Taliban prisoners being tortured after Canadian soldiers turned them over to Afghan authorities. O’Conner, though clearly not up to the job, could not be blamed for a policy that was entirely the product of Harper’s devotion to the U.S. and Israel.
Nevertheless, O’Conner was shuffled off to a less conspicuous post and replaced at defence by Foreign Minion Peter McKay. Other changes were not significant. While this non-event got more attention than it deserved, substantive coverage of Harper—and Paul Martin before him—taking Canada’s sovereignty to the cleaners has been all but non-existent. What little we do know about it comes largely from public protests and organizations like the Canadian Action Party.
On Aug. 20 and 21 Harper, Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderón met at Château Montebello in Quebec to discuss the (shhh!) Security and Prosperity Partnership, which has as its objective the consolidation of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into one North American politico-economic entity. To the sub rosa conclave, the press and parliamentarians were not invited, although business leaders were.
According to official sources, critics of the SPP have it all wrong—the SPP isn’t a treaty or an agreement; it’s simply “a dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity.” If that be the case, why is this claim found on a website bearing a U.S. government domain and why is there no public dialogue?
(Felton’s Second Law of Electoral Politics: “A transparently self-serving, virtuous title for a group or project serves to mask conduct detrimental to the public good and rule of law.” For example: Security and Prosperity Partnership, Canadian Coalition for Democracies, and “Operation: Enduring Freedom.”)
When a dialogue on the SPP was organized in June 2007 at the University of Ottawa, the Harper government refused to participate. Granted, the event at Simard Hall was highly critical of the SPP, but Harper should have sent a representative, if for no other reason than to regurgitate official fictions, deny the obvious, and give the illusion that he gives a damn what Canadians think.
The fact that Harper refuses to debate the SPP fuels legitimate speculation that something criminal is going on, and that he is betraying the interests of Canadians. Sue Corcoran of the Council of Canadians rightly points out that the SPP, unlike the North American Free [sic] Trade Agreement, is not being discussed among elected legislators in full view of the public; rather, it’s being negotiated in secret by unelected bureaucrats.
That is cause enough to warrant an investigation of Harper for sedition on the grounds that he is usurping the role of Parliament, and undermining the sovereignty of Canada and the welfare of Canadians.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 59 (3) states: “A seditious conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to carry out a seditious intention.” These persons are, but not limited to, Harper, Bush and Calderón. The definition of seditious intention is given in Section 59 (4):
“Without limiting the generality of the meaning of the expression ‘seditious intention,’ every one shall be presumed to have a seditious intention who
(a) teaches or advocates, or
(b) publishes or circulates any writing that advocates, the use, without the authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Canada.”
Since Parliament is the only body authorized to pass federal laws, and since it has had little or no input into the SPP, Harper has no legal authority to negotiate away any amount of Canadian political sovereignty. Despite the dearth of definitive data on this deal, its dishonesty is demonstrable. To take one further example from the spp.gov website:
“Myth: The SPP is a movement to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union and establish a common currency.
Fact: The cooperative efforts under the SPP,…seek to make the United States, Canada and Mexico open to legitimate trade and closed to terrorism and crime. It does not change our courts or legislative processes and respects the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The SPP in no way, shape or form considers the creation of a European Union-like structure or a common currency. The SPP does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency or change the American system of government designed by our Founding Fathers.”
While you ponder the veracity of this claim—and debate which is “myth” and which is “fact”—I’d like to introduce you to Robert Pastor PhD, vice-president of international affairs, professor of international relations, and director of the Center for North American Studies, American University in Washington, D.C.
At the beginning of November 2002, this highly credentialized individual gave a speech in Toronto entitled A North American Community—A Modest Proposal to the Trilateral Commission. It is perhaps the clearest exposition of the SPP and its objectives.
Pastor argues, among other things, that NAFTA should be raised to a new level of co-operation. On this new level, the existing “two bilateral legislative groups” (Parliament and Congress) would be merged into one North American Parliamentary Group. There’d also be a Permanent Court on Trade and Investment, though he doesn’t say how such a court would stop traditional U.S. contempt for Canadian economic interests—softwood lumber, anyone?— as well as a North American Commission to deal with immigration and customs, and propose measures like a continental infrastructure and transportation network, harmonized [sic] regulatory policies, a customs union, and a common currency.
On the latter point he said: “Mexicans and Canadians do not want to be incorporated into the United States, and they are ambivalent about adopting the American dollar, but they are more willing to become part of a single country of North America and of a unified currency, like the “Amero,” proposed by Herbert Grubel.” Grubel, of course, is a former MP and now a senior econo-theologian at the Fraser Institute, the B.C.-based neo-con propaganda factory that has more influence on national policy than do elected MPs. He made his proposal in 1999!
Bad news for The Lobby means good news for the rest of us
Canadian Arab News, December 7, 2006
As years go, 2006 has been dismal for Canada politically. On almost every front, the country’s reputation, civil liberties and self-respect have taken a shellacking. Among other things, Stephen Harper and his cabal of Christian-Zionist anti-statist wingnuts have:
• gutted this country’s environmental policy;
• presented Parliament with a softwood lumber deal that rewards U.S. thievery to the tune of $1 billion;
• committed Canada to a combat role in Afghanistan, contrary to the national interest;
• showed contempt for any standard of governmental accountability; and most conspicuously,
• reinforced Canada’s shame as a sock puppet of Israel.
Harper’s eagerness to cut off aid to the elected government of Palestine and his refusal even to express sympathy for the civilian victims of Israel’s destruction of Lebanon must be reckoned the most callous and craven acts of zionist servility in recent memory, proving yet again that the concept of a Canadian foreign policy is a transparent fiction.
(Of course, if NDP leader Jack Layton had not stupidly brought down the Paul Martin government in late 2005, we might have been spared this theocratic horror show. You might say Canada’s government is “The Parliament That Jack Built.”)
Any hope of returning Canada to some semblance of independent national government lies with the Liberal Party, and for nearly the entire year it has been leaderless and bereft of ideas. Worse, under Martin the “Little Knesset” led by Irwin Cotler officially zionized foreign policy.
However, all is not bleak. The unexpected selection this month of Quebec MP Stéphane Dion as Liberal leader is the first good political news Canadians have had in a long time, and reason to be at least cautiously optimistic about 2007.
Unlike front-runners Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae, Dion is not an ideological zionist. During Israel’s assault on Lebanon, he was one of the few Canadian politicians who said Canada should criticize “its friends.” Although Dion has not indicated that he would be willing to do battle with The Lobby, he is nevertheless far less susceptible to coercion than either Ignatieff or Rae.
Also, the manner of his selection seems to indicate a change in attitude within the Party. Fourth-place finisher Gerard Kennedy, another non-zionist, threw his support to Dion rather than contest another ballot after fifth-place finisher Ken Dryden dropped off. The rebuke to The Lobby was decisive, whether intended or not.
Many prominent zionists, like Cotler, supported Rae, who had to be considered The Lobby’s favourite after Ignatieff declared the destruction of Lebanon to be a war crime and caused high-profile desertions from the Party, including Cotler’s wife. Rae, on the other hand, is a thoroughly domesticated dissembler. In November, he actually praised Israel for being a beacon of constitutionality and rule of law, even though Israel has no constitution, no common citizenship, and practices apartheid.
Rae’s ignorance is inexcusable, and had he managed to win the nomination, Canadians would have been faced with a choice between Harper and Harper-lite during the next election, which is really no choice at all.
By the end of the third ballot, the voting stood at:
Dion, 1,782; Ignatieff, 1,660; Rae 1,375.
The final tally was Dion, 2,521; Ignatieff, 2,084.
Vancouver Courier, Nov. 10, 2006
Having spent my political life fighting Central Canada’s pandering to Quebec at the expense of Western Canada, I find myself in the incongruous position of fighting Western Canada and championing Quebec.
For one thing, The Lobby’s influence in Quebec is weaker than in the rest of the country, because the province’s mainly French-speaking electorate is insulated from the barrage of English-language propaganda and groupthink emanating from Western and Central Canada.
For another, the Quebec electorate is sophisticated and cultured. They are strong supporters of the Palestinians and defenders of constitutional rights, unlike the Bible-thumping, anti-statist dilettantes that predominate in the West. As a result, the most effective Opposition Party to date has, ironically, been the separatist Bloc Québécois, especially on military policy. Now that Dion, a staunch federalist, wants to define a new approach to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, Canada might start to reclaim sovereignty over foreign policy.
To add to this rosy scenario, Harper has unwisely chosen to pander to the separatist element in Quebec by agreeing to recognize the province as a nation within Canada. This is the same grubbing chicanery that led to the destruction of the Progressive Conservative Party under Brian Mulroney. The West would have none of it, and as a result Canadians elected three consecutive majority Liberal governments.
A Dion-led Liberal Party not only gives Canadians a clear alternative, but the issue of special status for Quebec could destroy Harper the way it did Mulroney. My prediction from February seems solid: “Harper will be remembered as nothing more than a fart in Canada’s political winds of change.”
Canada: Ottawa emploie des mercenaires en Afghanistan. La firme Saladin protège l’ambassade, Blackwater forme des soldats, par Alec Castonguay, Le Devoir, 26 oct 07