From owner-labor-l@YORKU.CA Sat Nov 24 02:00:10 2001
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 00:09:48 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Groucho Marx <grok@SPRINT.CA>
Subject: Creeping Coup d'Etat

By way of the CPC-ML's TMLDaily:

U.S. Military Occupation of Canada in the Works

TML Daily, no.211, 23 November 2001

As a second omnibus security bill was being tabled in the Canadian Parliament, news reports surfaced of two related events which help to shed light on what lies ahead.

Canada and the United States have agreed to launch a joint review of continental defence agreements with the aim of increasing military co-operation between the two countries, Art Eggleton, the Minister of Defence, said on November 21. The National Post reports that Ottawa agreed to open talks on ‘the widest possible’ level of military integration following a meeting this week between Mr. Eggleton and Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Defence Secretary.

According to Eggleton, The security environment in this country and the United States changed fundamentally on Sept. 11. We have to look at security within our own countries and—since we work in a co-operative way—security of the continent, the Post says. However, what neither he nor the media pointed out is that this meeting with his American counterpart took place because the Pentagon announced that it has decided to name a four-star general to coordinate troops used for defending the United States from attack. According to a report in the Washington Post, the Pentagon currently has regional commanders in chief responsible for Europe, the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and South Asia, but has no corresponding post for managing the deployment of U.S. forces within the United States for homeland defense.

The issue is posed as one of rethinking of the Pentagon's command structure and force assignments in the aftermath of September 11. The Washington Post quoted unnamed sources who said that creating a domestic regional commander in chief would clarify the chain of command for troops being used for homeland defense. Much was said about the fact that Rumsfeld has yet to decide who the rose will be pinned on. But what emerges is that the military is being given a role in homeland defence and Canada is participating in these precedent-setting changes without bringing their significance to the attention of public opinion, let alone for its consent.

The U.S. military traditionally is not used for domestic security purposes. But the Sept. 11 attacks have thrust the U.S. military into such a role, with Air Force jets patrolling the skies above U.S. cities and National Guard troops protecting airports and bridges and assisting at border checkpoints, the Washington Post says matter-of-factly. National Guard troops last week began assisting in providing security at the U.S. Capitol, the Post adds.

As if permitting the military to occupy the United States is business as usual, the newspaper said officials are considering restructuring an existing command already headquartered within the United States to take up the homeland defence role. The two possibilities mentioned are the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado and the Joint Forces Command in Virginia.

It is interesting that the second omnibus bill tabled in the Canadian Parliament was expected on Wednesday but officials said it was not ready. It then appeared on Thursday and contains measures to amend the Defence Act to provide for the creation of temporary military security zones to protect Canadian Forces and visiting forces personnel and equipment that are located off of National Defence establishments.

When Eggleton announced that Canada and the U.S. agreed to launch a joint review of continental defence agreements with the aim of increasing military co-operation between the two countries, the Pentagon decision was not mentioned. Eggleton said that The first mission of the Canadian Forces is the defence of Canada and Canadians. The second is the defence of the continent together with the United States ... So we'll be looking at areas of co-operation in the widest possible area.

The National Post informs us that Canada and the United States already co-operate on continental security through the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), established in 1958 to defend North American airspace. Canada has tripled the number of CF-18 fighters assigned to NORAD from four to 12 since Sept. 11. The review will include some 80 treaties and 250 memorandums of understanding that govern the security arrangements between Canada and the United States.

According to the National Post, Mr. Eggleton hinted at the creation of a sweeping continental security defence system that includes all arms of the military, but refused to say whether Canada and the United States are considering full integration of army battalions or task groups.

I'm not going to speculate on the outcome of this, other than to say that we are out to improve the relationship and the safety and security of the people of two countries and our continent, Eggleton said.

Canadians, who vigorously opposed the testing of American Cruise Missiles in Canada, are now facing the possibility of not only the U.S. military occupation of the United States but also of Canada. The omnibus bills are indeed legacy legislation. The urgency of discussing what they will mean for Canadians and of categorically opposing them cannot but be given top priority.