Elite Logic at the Border


Just as PNAC or the Project for the New American Century helped us to think about underlying motives for the public shams of the war on terrorism, so might CNAC or the Compact for North American Competitiveness help us to think about drama at the border between Mexico and the USA. Already CNAC’s preferences for “border security” and “temporary workers” have attracted friends with clout, but did you know that Mexican oil is also on the agenda?

Shortly after last year’s Waco Summit brought together three North American heads of state, Bush, Fox, and Martin, a CNAC proposal was released by the US Council of the Mexico-US Business Committee (MEXUS), an organization which predates the Council of the Americas (COA) to which it now belongs.

The April 2005 report is signed by COA heavyweights Robert Mosbacher and James Jones, backed by a leadership team composed of ChevronTexaco, Eastman Kodak, First Data, Ford Motor, Kissinger McLarty, Manatt Jones Global Strategies, Merck, MetLife, Miller and Chevalier, Nextel, and Proctor and Gamble.

In a preface to the report, MEXUS takes a lot of credit for creating NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement; brags about publishing “NAFTA Works”; and promises to maintain leadership for “increasing competitiveness” in the unified North American bloc.

The fact that seems to irritate this report more than any other is that despite NAFTA the maquiladora sector of the Mexican economy had managed to lose 250,000 jobs to China in the first five years of the new American century. This fact also locates the area that CNAC authors are most interested to address: how to fix the problems of Mexico so that the NAFTA alliance can steal back those maquiladora jobs. One key task is "free and secure” trade through borders which commodities can speed quickly, but which must do a better job screening people.

Concurrent with release of this report last April, the Minutemen were quietly fading into the margins of the media when their profile was rescued by terminator Governor Schwarzenegger of California. At that time, remember, Schwarzenegger miscued himself by talking about “closing the border”, a line he later delivered closer to script.

"Yesterday was a total screw-up in the words I used," the governor said at a press conference. "Because instead of closing, I meant securing." With those words, pieces of the border puzzle had actually locked into place last April, soon followed last May by a caucus report from Congress calling for 36,000 national guard at the border. At the time, the idea seemed far-fetched, like the idea of full-scale invasions had sounded a few years before that.

As we now know, the President has fulfilled the 2005 prophesies by sending thousands of troops to replace the function modeled by the Minutemen, just as Schwarzenegger and the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus had suggested in the first place.

Besides “border security” the CNAC report is clear in its preference for a second darling policy favored by Bush and Companies: an “enforceable temporary worker program that will match willing workers with willing employers, bringing order and increased security to current haphazard patterns of immigration.” We haven’t heard the end of this idea this year. Having a global temp service is really too tempting for Mexico’s continental partners to ignore.

Given the momentum that security and temp work are having in the real world today, it is worth noting a third area of prime concern for CNAC, and that is reform of Mexico’s oil and gas industry. In the near term, says the CNAC report, the Mexican government has to improve opportunities for private investment and in the long term Mexico has to find “cost-effective means to raise production.” Unless this is done, says the CNAC report, “security and competitiveness within North America will be impacted.”

This past weekend in its coverage of the Mexican presidential race, scheduled for July 2, the Associated Press clearly outlined the positions of each major candidate on reforming the Mexican oil and gas sector. While reading those news reports online I got the queasy feeling that CNAC was beginning to look like PNAC all over again.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at gmosesx@prodigy.net




December 01, 2015
John Wight
From Iraq to Syria: Repeating a Debacle
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: the Left Takes Charge
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Revenge? The Fight for the Border
Sami Al-Arian
My Ordeal: One of America’s Many Political Trials Since 9/11
Steffen Böhm
Why the Paris Climate Talks Will Fail, Just Like All the Others
Gilbert Mercier
Will Turkey Be Kicked Out of NATO?
Bilal El-Amine
The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It
Pete Dolack
Solidarity Instead of Hierarchy as “Common Sense”
Dan Glazebrook
Rhodes Must Fall: Decolonizing Education
Colin Todhunter
Big Oil, TTIP and the Scramble for Europe
Eric Draitser
Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia?
Linn Washington Jr.
Torture and Other Abuses Make Turkey as American as Apple Pie
Randy Shaw
Krugman is Wrong on Gentrification
Raouf Halaby
Time to Speak Out Against Censorship
Jesse Jackson
It’s Time for Answers in Laquan McDonald Case
Patrick Walker
Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink!
November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism