Last week, a US-Canada oil pipeline exploded in Minnesota, briefly affecting global prices—and highlighting the criticality of Canadian resources to the US and global economy. Our November issue featured the story “Flashpoint in the Flathead: US-Canada War Looms Over Energy, Water” by WW4 REPORT editor Bill Weinberg, noting resource conflicts now brewing in regions that span the border—such as the Flathead Valley, where coal mining on the British Columbia side is opposed by farmers and environmentalists downstream in Montana. Writes Weinberg: “While on the economic front all talk is currently of integration and falling trade barriers, battles are already being waged by the grassroots both sides of the border against resource plunder and mega-development schemes. These could eventually mean war between the two longtime allies if a populist government comes to power in Ottawa and tries to turn off the spigot of south-bound resources—and the Pentagon has already drawn up plans for this contingency.” Our November Exit Poll was: “Which is a more likely prophecy of the future: George Orwell’s 1984 or Michael Moore’s Canadian Bacon? (In other words, is the US on a trajectory towards eventual war with Canada, or are we just paranoid?)” We received the following responses:
From Bert Golding in Houston, Texas:
Paranoid in that there are real tensions but little probability of war—My memory fails me, but wasn’t there once an actual war game against Canada based on an analysis showing it as on the probable enemies list? Seems to me Douglas McArthur was involved
Bill Weinberg replies: The war plans have always existed, from 1812 to the present day, and haven’t even changed that much. As discussed at the end of the article, the current Pentagon invasion plans envision using the same route (up the Lake Champlain valley to the St. Lawrence) as the ill-fated Quebec expedition of 1813… Today with added contingencies for securing the Canadian west, of course…
From Joseph Wetmore in Ithaca, New York:
The US is at war with its own citizens. Bush has been demanding more and more powers to spy on us and then lock us up without a trial. Congress has not stopped him on a single demand, and in some cases actually voted to allow his to do the unconstitutional activities he was already doing.
There has been a class war between the elites, who are running this country, and the rest of of for decades. What little support we won with FDR and the New Deal has been systematically taken from us (The social safety net, progressive taxes, etc).
If you have any question as to who’s side of this class war, look at who gets help in natural disasters: the poor, mostly black residents of New Orleans or the rich, mostly white, residents of southern California.
The symbol of the future is a boot permanently stamping on the human face.
Bill Weinberg replies: So you vote for 1984.
Look, I don’t disagree with any of that. But despite the facetious wording of my question, isn’t an either/or. A government being at war with its own people and being at war with another government are hardly mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they usually go hand in hand. All the roll-backs of civil liberties we’ve seen since 9-11 have been in the context of foreign military adventures, no? Just like COINTELPRO coincided with the Vietnam adventure, the domestic snooping of the Cold War was part and parcel of the anti-Soviet hysteria, the Palmer raids followed World War I, the Alien & Sedition Acts came during John Adams’ “quasi-war” with France, etc.
Right now, even if Canada isn’t sufficiently playing along with Washington’s military adventures (no troops in Iraq, for instance), the two are united on the resource-plunder agenda, and the assault on North America’s native peoples that it necessarily implies. For instance, the US and Canada were among only four countries (with Australia and New Zealand) to oppose adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples earlier this year. But if Venezuela-style resource nationalists ever take power in Canada, that could change fast. As I wrote: “Since the signing of NAFTA, Canadian energy exports to the US cannot fall below 1993 levels… So once the faucet is turned on, it may be impossible to turn it off: it could be a treaty violation and cause for war.”
It may be hard to imagine the New Democratic Party in red berets, but the NDP website calls for slowing “continental integration,” especially where military and security matters are concerned…
From Margery Coffey in Rosalie, Nebraska:
Well, since we have 1984 now it is hardly the future. I think the future is far more likely to be sans humans and large mammals. The trees will be gone and large portions of the planet will be radioactive. The polar regions will be gone and most of the earth will be underwater. It will be peaceful.
Bill Weinberg replies: Jeez, and people call me a Gloomy Gus…
From “JG” in New York City:
John Brunners The Sheep Look Up and Stand on Zanzibar with some Pohl The Space Merchants.
War with Canada? You mean after we take out the Muslims, Russians, Chinese and Chavez? Good question for Huckabee.
From Philip Fleischer, somewhere in cyberspace: