Monday, August 20, 2007

Buenos Amigos Ménage à Troi

MONTEBELLO, Quebec (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush met the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a luxurious cedar chateau on Monday to bolster economic and security ties, but protesters decried the gathering's secrecy and shouted for Bush to go home.

Dubbed the "Three Amigos summit," the two-day meeting of Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon was also expected to look at the credit crunch and turmoil gripping global financial markets.

Canada and Mexico have been frustrated that growth in trade among the partners to the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been held back by the U.S. crackdown on the border following the September 11 attacks in 2001.

To try to tackle that problem, the countries have developed the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP. But the agenda has upset activists on the left and the right who contend it will erode national sovereignty.

As Bush and Calderon arrived at the resort in Montebello, Quebec, more than 2,000 demonstrators descended on the village as well and squared off with police in riot gear.

Some were dressed in black with their faces covered by kerchiefs. They banged on drums and chanted, "Arrest the criminals inside the fence" and "George Bush go home."

But Harper dismissed the demonstrations. "I've heard it's nothing. A couple hundred? It's sad," the Canadian prime minister said just before leading Bush into the log-cabin resort.

Further raising the ire of the summit's critics is a 3-metre (10-foot) fence put up around the hotel to keep protesters at bay.

-----Get used to it folks. When Hillary arrives to officially "end" the Iraq War, the economic boa-squeeze on the peasants will be tighter than Joan Rivers forehead, introducing the mantra that we must annex Canada and Mexico … er … I mean unite, to ensure our joint safety and economic viability. There will be no border fences per se but 10-footers will contain those few sad souls who, for some unknown reason, still believe the unwashed masses will leave their ergonomic chairs and keyboards to fill the street.

No word yet of whether Harper, Calderon, and Bush have exited the republican log-cabin resort - or whether the men are log-cabin republicans resorting to a 2 day summit.

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