Oddly the Mexican government cutting off 24 million mobile phones has failed to fire the civil liberty neurons of those US liberty lovers who quake with outrage every time Hugo Chávez (or sometimes Morales but they aren’t that well informed so mostly they stick with a name they know- Brand Chávez) launches bellicose rhetoric back at the Empire. What must it mean?
DN:- LAURA CARLSEN: Well, in March of 2005, NAFTA was extended into the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and this was an unprecedented move for a trade agreement to go into the security area, but it’s something that the Bush administration had been wanting to do for a long time. Essentially, the idea was to push the borders out of the United States and create a North American security perimeter that would include Canada and Mexico. In this way, the Bush government, what it sought to do was to apply the radical national security doctrine to Mexican territory as well. This is a big problem for Mexico, because it not only violates national sovereignty, but it also imposes on Mexico the security priorities of the United States government at a time when those are very belligerent and aggressive priorities throughout the world.
In the case of Plan Mexico, it’s a perfect example of the result of those policies. Essentially, it’s very important what Avi says, that it’s not just a counter-narcotics program, it’s a regional cooperation security initiative that includes counter-narcotics, counterterrorism and border security. So it lumps these together and basically gets a greater military presence for the United States within Mexico, not actual troops, but in terms of its intervention in the Mexican national security apparatus, and imposes the agenda of the United States government on that country.
AVI LEWIS: [inaudible] Sorry, just to jump in. There’s a fellow named Thomas Shannon, who’s a senior State Department official—
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Avi Lewis.
AVI LEWIS: A senior State Department official named Thomas Shannon, who’s deeply involved in the Security and Prosperity Partnership, I think kind of let the cat out of the bag in a speech this past spring, when he was talking about the SPP and North America as a shared economic space, which is the current lingo for this worldview. And he said explicitly, “What we’re doing, in some way, in a certain respect, is armoring NAFTA.” And I think when you look at the intersection of the economic agenda, the cover of the war on drugs, the immigration and border hysteria underneath it, Plan Mexico represents exactly that, the armoring of NAFTA. And, of course, it’s not talked about in those ways when it’s approved by Congress, when Democrats and Republicans reach across the aisle to support it.