Editor's Notes

Friday, April 24, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 22 (173)

Good cop, lap dog

Those who lose sleep at night on the fear that Barack Obama is a socialist can flush their sleeping pills. The new President of the United Sates of America simply wants to inject intelligence and imagination into the national and international affairs of his country. One might say he wants to evolve capitalism with a human face.

He's got a tough job given the 20th century history of the U.S. Throughout Latin America, in the name of fighting Communism, it financed and otherwise supported dictatorships that were some of the worst kind in modern history while allowing, if not prompting American-based corporations virtually unlimited scope to plunder and pillage hapless national victims and their populations. So appalling was the exploitation that even branches of the Roman Catholic Church, always careful to align itself with the powers that be, took part in the protest movements that developed.

George W. Bush and his criminal cabal delivered the final feeding of the forces of U.S. rejection. During his disastrous eight-year reign, with a few exceptions, Central and South America moved left and anti-American. At the previous Summit of the Americas the concept of free trade was soundly rejected. Only Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, raised the issue at the Summit of the Americas held last weekend. His promotion was ignored.

Only when Harper left Jamaica on Tuesday, April 21, was he able to announce a victory. By waving an $18 million envelope as bait he got Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding to bite.

Throughout this sideshow Obama said nary a word about free trade. Instead he put his best foot forward and in effect gave assurance that under his watch Washington would change its ways. Uncle Sam would transform to benign from Simon Legree. Latin Americans, while hopeful, remain wary.

But why was Harper running around with his free trade prattle? When he first became prime minister he was quick to run down to Washington, leap into Bush's lap with hugs and kisses and pledging eternal allegiance. He was making it clear to all concerned that he would be consistent in his role of lap dog.

Well you can be sure that he was fulfilling that role for his new boss. Despite rumours to the contrary Obama has no intention of reopening NAFTA. And you can bet your baby's booties that he sees a free-trade western hemisphere as the answer to the mounting economic power of Europe and China. Makes sense if one could find a way to keep the sticky hands of the obsessively greedy and stupid out of the till. However, that's another story.

Now first things first. Obama has sense enough to try and repair the damage done in Latin America before again raising the prospect of free trade. A lot of bruises must be healed before that can be done. For now, his lap dog, on a short leash can keep the question on the table.

Meanwhile, take it easy but take it.

Looking forward

Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

24 April 2009 — Return to cover.
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