By Jim Kouri
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta attendance at what he termed “an historic trilateral meeting” in Canada yesterday with national security leaders from Canada and Mexico to discuss and improve continental security, has disturbed numerous Americans who fear the creation of a North American Union, similar to the European Union.
Some research reveals the betrayal of the American people by a “government cabal who are bent on destroying our sovereignty in order to create a North American Union.” Panetta’s visit did little to quell those fears, according political strategist Mike Baker.
“This is the first trilateral meeting of defense ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico and it’s a real honor for me to have this opportunity to be here in Ottawa to participate in this historic event,” Panetta said during a post-meeting news conference.
Panetta stated that this meeting provided the defense ministers with “an unprecedented opportunity to try to bring together our nations in a common approach to continental security.”
“Two areas that seem to cause fear and anger among some Americans is the creation of an intertwined economy among the three nations, and the creation of police and military forces comprised of officers and soldiers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” notes Baker.
The ties between the North American nations “are deep, and they are abiding,” not just because of shared geography, Panetta told his audience.
“We share a similar identity rooted in the principals of liberty and democracy,” Panetta said. “American and Canadian forces have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan for the last decade.
“The United States and Mexican forces have long cooperated in a number of areas, especially in the fight against illegal drug traffickers,” he added.
Panetta expressed his gratitude to Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay for Canadian forces’ partnership in Afghanistan.
“The mission there is on track, thanks largely to the efforts of countries like Canada and their tremendous contribution and sacrifice,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate what the Canadians have done to be part of this effort. And I understand and recognize the sacrifices that have been made on behalf of this effort.”
Canada’s MacKay said it was important for the three nations to work together to improve continental security for North Americans.
“When it comes to the security of North America, none of us can afford to work in isolation, and that has been an easy conclusion to arrive at,” he said. “Our discussions today began with what I believe is an important dialogue on security and defense in North America that we will continue through regular meetings.”
Several police commanders believe the actions of the Bush Administration and now the Obama Administration are aimed at erasing borders in North America.
“This is very troubling, but it does explain the current attitude by U.S. government officials regarding border security. It’s a dog-and-pony show to make Americans believe they are being protected, but in reality the U.S. welcomes with open arms illegal aliens from Mexico as a first step in erasing borders,” said police lieutenant Stephen McCaffrey from California.
MacKay, speaking in English, French and occasionally Spanish, discussed the importance of the trilateral meeting.
“Through our discussions today, we were able to better identify a number of opportunities to better coordinate our efforts on issues related to national defense,” MacKay said. “We discussed the need to advance a common understanding of the threats facing North America.”
The three leaders also will be exploring ways to cooperate more closely on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, MacKay said. “We have defined a way forward and now is the time to go to work to operationalize … some of the discussions and the agreements that we’ve had today,” he said.
In the past, MacKay’s government hosted a law enforcement summit that brought together U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officials to discuss cross-border crime.
On Tuesday, leaders also discussed the need for a common threat assessment on challenges facing the area, better relationships and improved regional engagement, Panetta said.
“Looking ahead, the U.S. is exploring other ways to improve our defense collaboration and to focus on areas like cyber security and defense support to civil authorities such as law enforcement agencies,” he added. “We continue to take steps on a bilateral basis as well.”
Panetta said he discussed the fight against drug cartels, disaster relief training and exchange programs with his Mexican counterparts. He also had “very constructive” talks with McKay, he said, about capacity building in Central America, NATO’s long-term approach in Afghanistan, ongoing NATO reform efforts and America’s commitment to the F-35 program.
“All of these steps herald a new era of defense cooperation on this continent,” he said. “A new effort that I believe will advance security in the Western Hemisphere and around the world.”
“Our nations are more than just neighbors,” Panetta said. “We are friends, we are partners, we are one family – una familia, un famil – committed to forging a better and more secure future for our people.”
But some members of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities were less enthusiastic as Panetta. They wondered why the most powerful nation in the world would ever need Canadian and Mexican troops enter the United States.
“Posse Comitatus prevents U.S. troops from operating within the United States. That’s why we have cops and State National Guard units. So why are we discussing joint military actions within the U.S.?” asks former military intelligence and civilian police officer Mike Snopes.
“I’m no conspiracy theorist, but this latest summit smacks of something more sinister than we’ve seen in the past,” Snopes said.