Last Thursday, the heads of government of the 27 member states of the European Union convened in the Portuguese capital Lisbon to sign the EU Reform Treaty. That "Treaty of Lisbon" is almost identical to the European Constitutional Treaty, the so-called EU Constitution, which was rejected two years ago in referendums in major EU member states.
The EU rules stipulate that treaties only become effective when they have been ratified in all 27 member states. The "no" votes in the 2005 referendums killed the constitution, which would have transformed the EU from a supranational organization of 27 sovereign member states into a genuine single European federal state with 27 provinces. It was clear from the outset, however, that the peoples of the various European states were not willing to renounce their national sovereignty for a "United States of Europe."
Nevertheless, the European leaders are determined, no matter what their electorates say, to transform the EU into a USE. As Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg, said prior to the referendums: "If the vote is yes, we will say: We go ahead. If it is no, we will say: We continue." Or as the former president of France, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the chairman of the so-called convention, which drew up the constitution, said: "The rejection of the constitution [by the voters in referendums] was a mistake which will have to be corrected."
In order to correct the voters' mistake the reform treaty was drafted. This treaty is a copy of the constitution, with the articles in a somewhat different order, with many additions to deliberately complicate the text and without references to a national flag or anthem. As Mr. Giscard explained in June to the Paris leftist paper Le Monde: "Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly... All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."
Or as Guiliano Amato, the foreign minister of Italy and the former vice chairman of the convention, said about the document that the European leaders signed last week: "They decided that the document should be unreadable. If it is unreadable, it is not constitutional, that was the sort of perception."
The EU leaders agreed that none of the member states (apart from Ireland, which is obliged to do so under its own constitution) will hold a referendum about the new treaty. Instead, the national parliaments will ratify the treaty. "There is a cleavage between people and governments," admitted French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no treaty if we had a referendum in France."
Once the Lisbon Treaty is ratified in all member states, the legal nature of the EU will change into that of a state. The national constitutions and the national parliaments will be subordinate to the EU, which will be enabled to unilaterally increase its own powers.
Europe's politicians are very eager to sell out their national sovereignty to the EU because the Brussels-based EU governing bodies are either unelected (the commission) or unaccountable (the council). Moreover, the European Parliament is not a real parliament. It cannot reject the so-called EU directives, which the national parliaments are obliged to incorporate into their national legislation. Even today, up to 70 percent of the legislation in the various 27 EU member states emanates from Brussels.
Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has coined the term "EUSSR" to refer to the EU. He claims Europe is on its way to developing into a totalitarian state. In the early 1990s Mr. Bukovsky was given permission to research the secret documents of the Soviet leadership. To his amazement he found a transcript there of a conversation held during a visit in January 1989 of Mr. Giscard to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. In this conversation the former declared to the latter that "within 15 years Europe is going to be a federal state." The USE project was delayed a bit by the 2005 referendums, but European politicians have managed to get it back on track in Lisbon. "Today's situation is really grim. Major political parties have been completely taken in by the new EU project. None of them really opposes it. They have become very corrupt. Who is going to defend our freedoms?" Mr. Bukovsky asks.
In America, the supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, the maverick Republican presidential candidate, claim that there is a growing rift between the political leadership and the people. Hence, they say, it is time for a second American Revolution.
Considering the far greater rift between the people and the governments in Europe, the need for a revolution is more urgent on the old continent than in Washington. If the EU reform treaty is ratified, ancient nations such as England, France, Denmark and Hungary will lose their sovereignty. They will be absorbed by a United States of Europe — a USE which a former Soviet dissident can only describe as an EUSSR.
And what about the North American Union? The European state was created incrementally, just as some in North America are attempting to do with NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Now that Americans and other North Americans are on to them, has a similar incremental plan for a North American State been dropped? Some say no.
Pastor’s objections to a North American Union are strictly pragmatic. Pastor has repeatedly called for the next stage to be what he calls the “North American Community.” Pastor wants to put in place a series of institutional structures, including his North American Development Fund,” all resulting in greater North American economic and political integration, such that we all begin to think like “North Americans” rather than citizens of the U.S. Canada, and Mexico.
I interviewed Pastor by telephone on Dec. 13, 2006, after Pastor gave an interview in Spanish to the magazine Poder y Negocios. In that magazine interview, Pastor had argued in Spanish that a new 9/11 crisis might be needed to further North American integration. Pastor also expressed frustration that the lame-duck nature of the Bush Administration, the minority government in Canada, and the challenge from the left to Mexico’s new president, Felipe Calderón, were blocking the three governments from moving toward integration fast enough. With Pastor’s permission, I recorded my interview with him.
I am going to reproduce here from the transcript a relevant segment of my interview with Pastor, in which I asked him a number of questions to determine if his objection to a North American Union was on pragmatic grounds.
A lot of what you argue is incremental. First, for instance, we have NAFTA, then the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America which is in place right now. You have called the Council on Foreign Relations task force report entitled, Building a North American Community, a blue print for SPP. Now, you are advocating a next stage, which you call a North American Community. That sounds like an incremental advancement on North American integration, which, absent a crisis, is what you are recommending.
PASTOR: Yes. What I am recommending is a series of functional steps. You could call them incremental, although I think they are a little bit more than incremental. Each of the proposals that I have laid out do represent more than just small steps. But it doesn’t represent the leap toward a North American Union, or even to some confederation of any kind. I’m not representing that. I don’t think either is plausible, necessary, or even helpful to contemplate at this stage.
But, I want to concentrate on that, what you just said, “at this stage.” In your book Toward a North American Community you lay out three or four different ways that economic integration could lead to political integration, and there, as in this interview, you reject them. But your rejection is largely on pragmatic grounds, which could be summarized as “the countries aren’t ready yet.” It doesn’t sound like your saying that a political union is an inherently bad idea.
PASTOR: Oh, I don’t think a political union is an inherently bad idea. Nor do I think it is a good idea for North America right now.
Again, “right now” is the key part of that statement.
PASTOR: I teach a course at American University in which I look at the different options and I put them before the students. The reason it is not a good idea at this state, perhaps ever, is because of people like yourself who begin to fear that their sense of America could disappear and therefore they become resistant to ideas that are as simple as obvious to me as creating transportation corridors between the three countries that trade more with each other by land than with any other countries in the world. To me that seems just straightforward. But if you’re fearful that somehow America’s sovereignty will disappear even if you just take these small steps forward, then you don’t do anything. Then you’re just mired in the status quo. Actually you’re not in the status quo, because in this world which is moving very rapidly you can’t stay competitive if you don’t move.
We probably have some disagreements beyond fear. I might believe that the structure of laws we have in place in the United States is superior to what a regional configuration would be, even as demonstrated in Europe. That would be a separate argument than fear.
PASTOR: That’s fair enough. I’ve just laid out one possible motive, I think there are others. And I think there are on each of these issues questions that I think should be on the agenda for discussion among the three publics. There are legitimate arguments on both sides.
So, Pastor acknowledges that there are legitimate arguments on both sides of the North American integration debate and, contrary to Medved and Hawkins, Pastor was not abusive simply because I disagree with him.
When asked specifically if he would say that a North American Union formed as a regional political government was an inherently bad idea, Pastor declined to do so. Moreover, Pastor admitted in the telephone interview that a main reason he rejects the idea of a North American Union right now is because of the opposition I have launched, based on my desire to preserve and protect U.S. sovereignty. One suspects Pastor would have preceded full speed ahead with full political integration of North America, if he had not encountered our strong resistance. Pastor is a globalist. Later in the interview Pastor said, “Globalization is a net plus for the world economy, for the middle class, and for all people.”
Eternal vigilance will keep us free.