This mantra of change in the US...we heard it all through the election. But in US politics and policies, somethings never change - especially when they cause America to examine itself.
The current blowup with Canada has to do with US Foreign Affairs Secretary Janet Napolitano's repetition of the myth that some of the 9/11 hijackers came from Canada.
Why is this more of the same idiocy from the Obama administration as came from Bush? First because it illustrates the development of border policy based on myth and not fact. Secondly, because it illustrates how the US continues to point at everyone but themselves when assigning responsibility. 11 of of the 9/11 hijackers came into the US from Saudi Arabia. Not a single one from Canada. The Millennium Bomber did attempt to get into the US from B.C. - but he was CAUGHT. Isn't that what border security is there for? Is it Canada's fault that he tried to get in from there? Apparently so, according to two US administrations.
Now if you understand US international policy at all, you'll understand that all policies are about money. The US is about money - making it, influencing with it, protecting it for their homegrown multinationals. So when Napolitano speaks about tightening the Canadian border with the US, which everyone knows will slow trade and commerce as well as communication and cooperation - don't believe for a moment it has anything to do with security.
It has to do with gaining a financial advantage for homegrown business. It has to do with bypassing NAFTA and making it easier to say no to business with Canada because of the "difficult" border security situation. It has to do with protecting American jobs. Keeping American money in America.
When Americans want to limit or eliminate access to something - be it a health program or a government benefit - we rarely do away with it. That would be too blatant. What we do is add a step, add a requirement. One additional requirement makes it that much harder for people to do something. In the case of the border with Canada, that one thing is a passport.
With one additional requirement, the US has potentially reduced the number of Canadians who access the US by 59% (according to Statistics Canada, only 41% of Canadians over the age of 18 hold a passport).
Maybe this is change, but its not change I believe in...
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