News Article

Transforming North America: a Not-So-Modest Proposal

By Colby Lyons, Utah Statesman

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In November 2002, Robert Pastor gave a speech titled "A Modest Proposal" to the Trilateral Commission in Toronto, Canada. In his speech, Pastor, professor of international relations, vice president of international affairs and director of the Center for North American Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., discussed the direction he feels should be followed in North America. He laid out specific recommendations he feels should be followed by the governments of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. If implemented, Pastor's ideas would prove to be the destruction of our Constitution and the freedoms it protects.

Pastor's over-arching theme was the need for citizens of the three nations to begin viewing themselves as citizens of North America. To help achieve this goal, he proposed the establishment of Centers for North American Studies in the three countries.

Pastor also proposed the formation of several unelected institutions that would oversee the direction taken by the governments of the North American nations...

Pastor also proposed the creation of a North American Parliamentary Group, which he suggests might "raise the sensitivity of American Congressmen and ... encourage all to think hard about what they share."

The third institution advocated by Pastor would be a "Permanent Court of Trade and Investment."..

The need for a continental currency was advocated by Pastor. One option he suggested could be the Amero, proposed by Herbert Grubel, professor of economics (emeritus) at Simon Fraser University and senior fellow at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, Canada. This would eliminate the power of our Congress "To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin..."

Professor Pastor is an influential member of the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, which is composed of many prominent individuals from all three nations, including many former government officials. Pastor has been one of the leading advocates of this group's agenda.

The Task Force has set 2010 as the goal for the implementation of its plans.

The Council of Foreign Relations is the sponsor of the Task Force in the U.S. The CFR describes itself as "an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries."

Among the CFR's members are prominent Americans such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Tom Brokaw, David Rockefeller and former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Madeleine Allbright.

Many of the plans mentioned by Pastor are slowly taking shape. The North American Free Trade Agreement has already paved the way for many of these proposals. President Bush has met several times with Canada's prime minister and Mexico's president. The Security and Prosperity Partnership, which sets guidelines and plans for the "harmonization" of the regulations of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, has been developed as a direct result of these summits.

A "North American Competitiveness Council" has been created. This council is composed of business leaders in all three nations. Its purpose is to advise the leaders of these nations on policies which would allow for greater continental economic integration.

Plans for the integration of infrastructure have also been put in place. Construction has begun on several "corridors" running from Mexico to Canada. Most conspicuous is the NASCO corridor, which would begin in Mexico and cut through the Midwest to Canada. Also included in this corridor is a proposed inland port in Kansas City. The Canamex Corridor, which begins in Mexico and cuts through Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Montana on its way to Canada, is also being planned.

The ideas of Pastor and his fellow members of the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America greatly threaten our nation's independence, and thus the liberty of all of us. The officials who would be filling the positions proposed by Pastor would be appointed, not elected by the people of any of the three nations. Therefore, these officials would also not be accountable to the people for their actions.

The institutions proposed by Pastor and his colleagues would, effectively, create a new government with executive, legislative and judicial branches, with jurisdiction over the entire North American continent. The "North American set of rules that modify the three regulatory schemes," as discussed by Pastor, would need to be enforced by a North American government.

In order to fully implement the "harmonization" of regulations as envisioned by Pastor, it would be necessary to strip both our national and state governments of the powers we have granted them. When the Constitution was drafted, we, the people, entrusted government with certain limited powers. For our government to surrender those powers to such a continental authority would be a violation of that trust.

Once established, a continental government would slowly work to centralize power to itself. More harmonization of regulations would require greater government oversight. Such a government would weaken our Congress, Supreme Court and Executive Branch until they were to become mere figureheads, and our once independent nation would be reduced to nothing more than a shell. As citizens of a new North American state, we would be in the power of a group of unelected, unimpeachable officials, who would be governing with no Constitutional restraints.

The plans of Pastor and his colleagues to create a new "North American Community" are well on their way. However, there is still time to act. Jefferson once stated, "Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree." If we follow that wise advice and strive to educate ourselves and others on the path our nation is taking, these plans can be stopped in their tracks. We must act now, before it is too late.

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