Can I see all of the south's new state flags?
I'm really surprised no body challenged that banning of the Confederate flag on free speech grounds.
They most likely have the ability to make them but have no need for them yet. I mean afterI'm kinda surprised that Germany hasn't tried to develop nuclear weapons
(And today on Out of Context)
I'm really surprised no body challenged that banning of the Confederate flag on free speech grounds.
Just missing India, though Pakistan and the Entebbe Pact have their own nuclear programs☢️Nuclear Armed Nations☢️
Am I right? I don't remember if these are all the nations that have nuclear weapons in this story.
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- French Republic
- Republic of Chile
- State of Israel
- Union of South Africa
- People's Republic of China
Romney: Yeah I’m pissed, I don’t get what the hell is your strategy with Ukraine and Poland, sitting on hands does nothing good, peace is at stake here. We cannot be dragged into war. We barely avoided a war. Its a miracle, considering the idiocy in Europe, damn Freyists.
WAIT A GODDAMN MINUTE. MA BOI BERNIE SANDERS ACTUALLY WINNING? IN NDCR!?1997 NYC Mayoral election
"Who is this f-ing Bernie a-hole?!"
New York City. America’s most cosmopolitan and iconic city. The city was not in for the best of times. The golden years under Mayor Bill Buckley seemed long past by 1997, and the post-war labor struggles had hit the city hard. With a new wave of immigration from India, China, Latin America, and former Russia only exacerbated the problems derived from lack of housing and the drug trade. New York City hadn’t run a surplus since 1987, and the last of the Buckley-built rainy day fund was dry in 1993. The state of New York was forced to bail out the city the following year, causing a backlash that found Governor Griffin defeated by Stephen Clark Rockefeller. The new Governor, while sympathetic, vowed no new bailouts. It just went downhill from there.
Another major story was the sensational July 1995 murder of seven in Astoria, Queens. Police discovered a drug lab run by several Spanish-American residents, with a seventh person with a Peruvian passport dead as well. Initially thought of as a random gang hit, video captured of the murder of a local street dealer in Brooklyn a few weeks later pointed instead to a vigilante killer. Dubbed the “Bronson Murderer” (after the lead actor of the Death Wish film franchise), the killer would strike three more times against drug dealers in NYC before appearing in Philadelphia in January 1996, sparking the formation of an FBI task force. The Bronson Murderer would become a folk hero for many, but caused anxiety about drugs and crime among voters in the city.
The voters took their anger out on Gracie Mansion, ousting Republican Mayor Charlie Rangel in favor of former Mayor and Senator Hugh Carey in 1993. Carey was remembered fondly as a boring technocrat and efficient manager of the city, of a time where crime was low and the city ran smoothly. Voters trusted him to put the city back to order. Almost immediately after his return, however, Carey ran into huge problems. Construction unions immediately began to strike as part of the postwar labor unrest. Complaining about low pay and competition with cheaper East Asian labor, all new housing construction ground to a halt - especially in the Brighton Beach neighborhood, where many union members refused to build homes for the “dirty communist” Russians that had emigrated out of Russia due to the civil war and lack of opportunities. Many joked that the only words most people in Brighton knew were “Hello” and “Now get out”. Carey was normally friendly with the unions, but negotiations stalled until President Iacocca and Ohio Governor Jim Traficant managed to reach an accord with national affiliates that trickled into NYC. The strike was over, but Carey looked incompetent.
Further government employee strikes, scandals involving mismanagement of relief funds for the 1996 storms, and the rising crime rate destroyed what goodwill Carey had, and by Bundy’s election in 1996 his approval rating was a whopping 15%, impressively low. He knew he would be destroyed for reelection, so for the good of the Democratic party he announced his retirement from politics. A bruising Democratic primary found the liberal wing ascendent, picking congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro over communonationalist favorite Joseph Addabbo. The Republicans, in a contentious five-way primary, selected supermarket magnate and Bundy-campaign co-chair for New York, John Catsimatidis largely on Staten Island and outer Queens votes. While the Liberal party nomination was initially thought to be significantly contested, in the end one candidate coalesced all party support - academic and 1981 Mayoral candidate Bernard “Bernie” Sanders. The race was on.
Bernie announcing his mayoral run at a press conference outside NYU, where he had been teaching for over a decade.
As predicted, the main issues facing New York City were corruption, fiscal shortfalls, and the ongoing war on drugs by the Bundy Administration. Mayor Carey had been an ally of the President on the crime front, and the candidates immediately staked out their positions. Sanders declared himself “one hundred percent opposed” to Bundy’s “dictatorial brutality,” while Catsimatidis stated he was fully on board with Bundy’s plan. With his campaign, Catsimatidis made voting for him like voting for Bundy himself. Ferraro straddled the issue, and officially made a vague non-position, stating she would support what worked and oppose what went too far. Initially, Sanders’ rhetoric was seen as too radical, and commentators saw the race as one between Ferraro and Catsimatidis - with Ferraro being the frontrunner, (much was made about her potentially being New York’s first female mayor). These predictions underestimated the fiery “Uncle Bernie.”
Bernie Sanders had come a long way in the Progressive Party (the Liberal Party was the NY state affiliate) since his near pointless run during the Return of the Bull Moose. Building himself up as the leading intellectual voice among the Progressives along with famous linguist/social activist, Noam Chomsky, he joined Ruth Ginsburg as Ross Perot’s main opponent within the party. The two had made up after a rather bitter primary fight, joining forces against the Democratic government. Perot despised Bernie, and while publically supportive, he secretly cut off the mayoral candidate from the party infrastructure, typical of Perot’s strategy of attempting to turn the Progressives closer to his own ideological standings, even if it meant shooting the party in the foot. Bernie rolled with the punches, however, and went on despite this hurdle. He built his own network of funding, combining support from wealthy-left wing donors and support from grassroots liberals in the city himself. Thirty-one year old campaign strategist, Jeff Weaver proved himself to be able to play with the big boys. Sanders criss-crossed the city in impromptu street rallies and park speeches, outworking the two major party candidates with his grassroots campaigning.
Like a shadow, the looming elephant in the room was Ted Bundy. Being one of the hubs of American commerce, New York City was seen by the Administration as one of the ground zeroes for their anti-drug policies, behind the party schools in the South. Raids orchestrated by William Calley targeted many slums and college campuses, supported by Catsimatidis and Ferraro - the latter tacking to the center in order to win working class votes. Bernie, however, campaigned hard against the “new police state.” Bringing up accusations of anti-Spanish American racism and fighting for civil liberties, attacks against him by right-wing outlets for being “pro-Soviet” were largely blunted, and he started gaining in the polls. The October Surprise of the campaign occurred with only one week left to go. On the orders of Calley himself, DEA agents put Columbia University under a state of emergency to root out illegal drug users. In the ensuing raid, a group of two dozen students (mostly Spanish-American and black, including several on scholarship) fled their dorms. By the order of Mayor Carey, everything north of Central Park on Manhattan was put under curfew as armed DEA agents and NYPD officers conducted a house to house search for the missing students. It would dominate international headlines and draw condemnation from millions of New Yorkers - the most prominent being Bernie Sanders. No one was surprised by the results.
Popular rumor had it that a drunk President Bundy, watching the returns in the Oval Office with Secretary of the Treasury Donald Trump, went into a violent rage and began hurling glass across the room, (Trump has called this theory “crap” to this day, backed up by Mitt Romney, who said Bundy took it calmly). In any case, the President did not have much to like about the result. Riding high on significant black crossover after the Lockdown Crisis, Bernie Sanders secured nearly 64% of the vote on Manhattan - delivering him to a decisive victory. Neither Ferraro’s turn to the center nor Catsimatidis’ base campaign halted the famous “Bernie Bros” base, and their march to Gracie Mansion. Carey’s failures and the memory of Charlie Rangel before him coupled with anger at the President to convince New Yorkers that a new course was needed, and Bernie Sanders filled this role.
The White House now had to contend with the fact that “America’s Mayor” would now be an ardent foe of his agenda.
Regarding Ted "Mass Murderer and Rapist" Bundy's War on Drugs, I have only THIS tiny little tape from the future to show him for eyes only viewing:Credit to @Laxault2020
Bundy’s War on Drugs
Bundy knew that the question of crime, along with last minute swings from Western Progs, had delivered him victory in 1996. Reports were coming in, however, which indicated that the crisis continued to rise. Other hate groups had begun to copy KKK tactics to distribute illicit substances, as some FBI reports indicated the KKK continued its traditional techniques to pick up “regular members”, who were “only there for the hating”, and use them to sell drugs. In short, the hate group was beginning to act like a cartel. In addition, competing Neo-Incan, Colombian, and Central American drug gangs were “getting in on the action”. Especially since Carnahan's deal with the cartel, most Mexican cartels were looking to recover lost revenue inside the United States. Moreover, US and Mexican drug relations were soured heavily and the DEA was overwhelmed as the Mexican authorities “went to the beach on their pension” as Cardenas refused to change his mind (Ted Bundy, 1997). Why should he? Mexico was doing fine, only the US was suffering, and he had been elected on a relatively anti-US platform. Competition from Mexican cartels also made White Nationalist gangs much more aggressive.
Designer drugs for the wealthy (and stupid, as some would add) continued to grow especially as South American cartels began to compete with existing White Nationalist drug rings. While the African American population was also affected, there was a phenomenon where the issue was ignored in favor of the issues amongst the wealthy, white, and elite.
Southern Elites affected the worst. Sass hit many elite southern schools who had been seeking to attract the best and brightest through a “work hard play hard” atmosphere (with varying degrees of work and play) not offered in the Northeast cold. This was in part because a new generation of University leadership up north had worked to crack down on campus protest culture post-1970’s, that hadn’t existed in the south. Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Duke, University of Miami, tennessee, Tulane, etc. were legendary for being “hedonistic hotbeds” (Pat Buchanan 1996).
Bundy knew that he had won in part because of his law and order stance, especially amongst conservative and Communonationalist Democrats, and so primarily chose to meet with the Democratic leadership to pass his reforms, which went through swimmingly. Many Democrats had wanted to pass more stringent regulations and prosecutions against drugs under Iacocca, but Iacocca personally disagreed and favored a more holistic approach. Moreover, by the time of the inauguration, drug use had hit a peak, and Americans had elected Bundy hoping he’d get out of “Iaccoca’s traffic jam”.
His first initiative was to increase the budget of the DEA by $1 billion bucks and to make the DEA a Cabinet Level Agency, basically copying word-for-word one of James Traficant’s Presidential Campaign proposals. Republican Florida Representative William Calley, who focused on drug policy, was made head of the DEA [OTL My Lai didn’t happen, hiding Calley’s issues].
He followed this budget increase with changes to enforcement policies. His main ally in the senate was not in fact a Republican. Majority leader Lugar quietly disapproved of BUndy’s actions, but didn’t want to create a rift. However, Wes Watkins, the minority head of the Senate committee on crime, was more than willing to help, laying out the Watkins-Dreier plan.
THe first element created the famous “3-strikes laws” and mandatory minimums for repeated drug offenses. Moreover, the assets of convicted drug dealers would be automatically seized by the feds and sold to pay off the national debt. 2-time Drug offenders would not be allowed to collect general minimum income payments.
Certain drugs would be treated even more harshly. If someone was convicted of selling designer drugs 2-times, provided another arrest had occurred for another crime, the death penalty was put in place and all assets were seized. 3-time caught users of designer drugs or Sassafras would be put in jail for life, with their assets seized and sold (a way to get back at many of the rich youth who favored this drug). “Drug Kingpins”-those who were proven in court to have been in charge of drug running corporation, would also receive the death penalty and full asset seizure and sale. Moreover, family members could be detained for short periods in order to “flush out” drug dealers.
The FBI also targeted the users in the universities themselves, and would “sweep” universities. FBI informants, often poor college students (secretly receiving free tuition for their work) would “try out” the party scene and rat out students individually to the FBI or local law enforcement. I more desperate cases, a “national emergency” would be declared, and the FBI, backed by the national guard, would go dorm to dorm, searching for drugs and testing students and administrators. This was incredibly unpopular. It lead to a major incident at DUke university, widely regarded as the wildest school in country (its academic reputation having fallen substantially since the 1980’s in favor of other universities). Students threw molotov cocktails at the national guard, and formed a human chain to stop the FBI. The FBI overreacted and shot rubber bullets and used tear gas. No one was killed but ten students had to be sent to the hospital. Afterwards, William Calley moved to a more subtle approach (ending the “campus emergency” practice) after a PR disaster that even Bundy, a man who did not seem to know the definition of overkill, had to hide.
The CIA worked throughout Central and South America, assassinating those local leaders they suspected of being “pro-gang” and rigging elections in favor of those who wanted to prevent further drug infestations. The US military base in the Galapagos became the center of their operations. The biggest attack was a hit on Mexican President Cardenas (although this was never proven or revealed) which failed as the sniper missed (never found) and killed the Mexican Minister of Defense instead. The CIA was the obvious suspect, infuriating the Mexican populace.
While Colombia had dealt with its narcotics program, the leftist military dictator in Venezuela Andrés Velásquez, who had taken power in the wake of Marburg, began funding the development of designer drugs. He also seemed to be interested in joining the French Concordat. The CIA with centrist and center-right democratic forces. On June 1st 1997, American Marines landed in Caracas, working in tandem with local forces, leading to a coup-d'etat followed by an election “Colombian-Style”.
Using said Galapagos base, the regime in Ecuador was next to go. The Populist Government lead by Jorge Bolanos had connections with organized crime. Ecuadoran drugs were often sold to the various hate groups that distributed the in the USA. Alvaro Noboa, a diaspora billionaire, had funded a rebel army in tandem with the CIA, and convinced Bundy to use air support and Navy Seals to support the instillation of a new government. Bundy agreed so long as the operation was “quick and dirty, we’ll go blow shit up---I’ll have no expensive nation building on my watch, I don’t care if you make yourself dictator or communist, just don’t become a narco”.
Special Forces and Air Power supported a force of exiles and local military leaders in seizing Guayaquil, San Lorenzo, Salinas, and Esmeraldas on day one. Ecuadoran forces were armed with surplus Soviet equipment (seized under the terms of the Treaty of Geneva as part of a temporary demilitarization) and American equipment (from WWIII). US Air Power bombed Quito and destroyed any modern Ecuadorian equipment. A couple months long armed struggle took place, but the existing regime was poor and unloved. Bundy withdrew US troops completely by August, although some pro-regime terrorists were hiding in the hills, the new military government lead by Paco Moncayo ruled over Ecuador. Bundy hoped Democracy could be restored, but this would take time.
Bundy and AG Thomas also saw the crisis as a chance to finally wipe out hate groups in this country through the lense of their drug smuggling. He officially announced in a speech at North Carolina A&T, an HBCU, that the KKK, Skinheads, US Nazi Party, National Bolshevik, La Raza, Siberian Tsarist Loyalist, American Renaissance Group, League of the South, would now be banned as terrorist organizations per DOJ anti-terrorism protocol, and that membership would be punished. Many considered this a violation of free speech and assembly, but when US Nazi members killed the Chief of Police in LA in a drive-by, the civil libertarians in Congress were nowhere to be found. The combination of drugs and hate was simply too evil.
Congress, in the aftermath of the official prosecution of the KKK by the FBI, passed a bill banning the use of the Confederate Battle Flag or regular Flag on State Property or Flag designs or ensigns, which would prompt immediate changes in Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi. The toxicity of the situation, and desire for culturally unity meant few complained, especially as Bundy threatened to repeal his “tough on crime” policies if southern democrats complained.
Various hate crime laws would be passed, including a “minimum clause” designating the death penalty for all murders “associated with racial, ethnic, or gender oriented bigotry”. These “hate minimums” would complicate many cases, according to their minaprogressive critics, but they did as one commentator put it, “scare the bejesus”, out of the various small hate groups and drug gangs. Democrats, happy the Bundy had signed up for the war on drugs many on the Communonationalist side of things had been edging for for a while, wanting to preserve the 90’s cultural consensus,and avoid the charge of racism, protested little though some did vote against these bills.
New Mississippi State flag-- found on Internet.
Traficant, worrying about re-election in a Bundy State, would continue to exploit his mob connections that he had developed in his anti-corruption campaigns (which had so-so success). Using government contract jobs as slush funds, Traficant would encourage the mob to “hit up” known agitators, terrorists, and drug dealers (that weren’t in the mob obviously). Also, once in jail, mob members were instructed to target and “eliminate” the White Knights, Klansmen, etc. in return for shorter sentences for “good behavior”.
Bundy knew, and appreciated, Traficant’s activities, but wanted more. He thought of a way to “strike back”, to satisfy personal goals he never publicly stated, and came up with a grand scheme. In an example of the bipartisan cooperation over the War on Drugs triumphed by Bundy, (something revealed after his tenure as governor finished), Traficant would use his connections to a Cleveland group that had before then resisted cooperation (along with a promise to release their ringleader, currently in jail), with connections to hate groups, to find that their would be “the largest meeting of hate gangs in history”. It was what would later be called the “Apalachin meeting in Cincinnati”.
It worked, almost too well. Nearly all of the remaining “haters” on the East Coast, were ecstatic at the chance to coordinate their activities (mainly drug running as funds were low) poured into Cincinnati. They also gave the National Guard an easy excuse to start - a drunken attack on a black-owned bakery. US Troops, already in position, descended on Cleveland. The National Guard was shot at, and replied with force; killing forty, and injuring 131. Thirty-three individuals went missing, including the chief event organizer himself, Jared Taylor. The national guard hunted each last member down, arresting nearly every participant, and sending most to lifetime sentences. Jared Taylor’s body was found in Abilene, Kansas, (which during Iacocca's presidency moved to become Kansas’s state capital), chopped up body parts (arm,s head, fingers, etc.) strewn over the floor in a room at a low-budget “no-tell motel”. The FBI suspected his girlfriend, but the jury, which famously included a large Bundy campaign funder, was hung and did not convict. Meanwhile in Cincinnati, multiple houses had been firebombed, and property damage was high. Moreover, the trick likely wouldn't work again.
Meanwhile in DC, Bundy was in an ecstatic mood, practically jumping for joy whilst shaking off negative news about casualty reports. He knew murder was wrong, but they were just Nazis after all, and how could something that made him feel so good all over, be wrong? He answered the question by inviting his wife to “help him with a speech” late that night in the oval office with a bottle of wine in hand and wearing her best dress. One secret service agent wrote in a letter to his wife the next morning- “There has never been a President and First Lady more in love with each other”.
The first lady at her last Hollywood event before temporarily retiring from acting, 1997.
In the long run, drugs from white nationalist groups would decrease dramatically, the only issue being that the mob and traditional gangs would emerge in their place to a limited extent. Membership in hate groups would go from “miniscule to microscopic” (William Calley on BNN) and their blight wouldn’t be a part of the American consciousness.
National Guardsmen going Street-to-Street hunting stragglers down in Cincinnati
To follow up this “tough on hate” approach was reconciliation. On the back of the “Third Great Awakening” many religious leaders would engage in the healing process. With religious attendance at all-time highs resembling the 1950’s, many who had hated their fellow man would look to God for redemption. AG Thomas would encourage this by appearing with numerous pastors and born-again ex-Nazis, Klansmen, etc. who would encourage repentance. The aging George Lincoln-Rockwell helped greatly to the reconciliation effort by hosting a special episodes of conversation with ex-nazis and black community leader on his radio show. Reverend Billy Graham would also preach towards these groups, about ending hate. Jerry Falwell, and his son Jerry Falwell Jr. would stand out by reaching towards drug users, in particular, and helping them recover.
Overseas, some wondered if the US was going too far, and descending into an authoritarian “vengeance state” trying to “vanquish mistakes with new mistakes”. Bundy’s approval among traditionally Republican minorities, African Americans and Asian Americans, would skyrocket, whilst Traficant’s critics said Bundy was simply engaging in political theater by punching an easy target, after all, most hate groups had turned to drug dealing because their membership had been seriously dropping already. Bundy supporters felt that they were “moving forward into the 21st century”. Bundy’s famous quote-“time to squish the roaches”, explained the national mood best. However, there were fierce divides over the cause of the crisis. Democrats blamed Blacks and Wealthy Republicans for not raising good kids. They said in a “more just society” the spoiled brats wouldn't be protected. Republicans would blame the “filthy rednecks” for being “naturally attracted to gangs, its just in the Southern Temperament” (House Rep. Ezola Foster). Meanwhile, they attacked the “Liberal Elites” for coddling druggies, condoning drug. The Progressives were the “party of reason” asking the question: Why such a change in drug policy now? Ross Perot quipped, “I’m just saying we treat addicts like addicts, like Reagan did, I thought Republicans liked Reagan” whilst reminding Democrats that “they lost four elections after George Wallace, maybe these culture wars aren’t the best idea”. At a time of cultural unity and prosperity, this bitter fighting seemed useless. The labour fights of 1994 were far behind in the rear view mirror thanks to economic prosperity and a mutual sense of the stupidity of the past fighting. It seemed Americans couldn’t have complete peace though.
The Progressives Campaigned furiously against these drug policies, with Ron Paul leading the charge. Libertarian progressive, Ron Paul was furious at the drug war, and he made as many appearances on TV, and college speeches against Bundy and his policies, though he voted with Bundy on economic issues. He was joined by Senator Bob Casey, who lead a “New Christian Democratic Faction” in the Democratic Party (although he was about to retire due to his illness, he hoped to further this cause in another capacity once his health improved). Together they attacked the divisiveness the drug was was causing, as Democrats and Republicans argued over its cause. Bob Casey and Ron Paul would even mutually endorse each other, an odd move considering their very different political philosophies. The two were nicknamed “Don Quixote and Sancho Panza” for their heroic stand.
The Drug War was also incredibly unpopular overseas. France officially placed sanctions on US medicine after the interventions in Venezuela and Colombia. France even accepted “refugees” (US drug users) whilst offering treatment centers in Algeria (many claimed this was simply a plan to get more settlers, especially wealthy ones, in that part of the country). While the French Government was Communonationalistic, it was also reflexively resistant to American policy, seeing it as heavy-handed and the wrong way to deal with the drug crisis. His country was also to a lesser extent, dealing with the same problems as the U.S., as cocaine flooded France’s seedier underground and designer drugs leaked into the rave culture. In response to Bundy’s “War on Drugs”, Roquejoffre would increase spending on drug treatment centers and even medically legalized marijuana (recreational legalization was a step too far at the time although the radicals said they wanted to take such a step in the future).
The illicit heroin trade was the main source of drugs in South and East Asia, but thanks to maneuvers by the Afghan government, a clamp-down on this trade reduced it to 10% of levels in the 1980s. Sanjay Gandhi proclaimed that the West was falling to hedonism, hence their problems in the present day, saying that the problems of the drug crisis was a result of the morality of these countries, implying that Asia wouldn’t have had such a crisis.
Appendix - On Venezuela
While its neighbor, Colombia, would be famously to the authoritarian left of the United States, Venezuela took a more libertarian/liberty conservative route under President Enrique Salas Romer. While drug sponsorship by the government ended, the new regime did legalize Marijuana, per the Canadian model. Moreover, it went on a great privatization spree. However, this meant that many profits often ended benefitting American firms, which while good for the American economy, wasn’t so for the Venezuelans. Anti-corruption policies would be pursued. Uniquely, outside of a UBI/reverse income tax, no other welfare programs existed in Venezuela. Venezuela did have security issues as a result of Inca terrorism and “spillover” from the Brazilian civil war, and refugees were a great burden on a struggling state. Moreover corruption remained rampant thanks to uncharismatic leadership. These issues would leave Venezuela in the third world, unlike its western neighbor, though this was better than the positively primeval conditions found elsewhere on the continent.
Caribbean Free Trade Agreement
Joseph Wilson and Jeffrey Skilling worked throughout 1997 to negotiate free trade with the Caribbean as an outlet for American goods, help end the trade war, and one-up the Progressives in support of free trade. They were followed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, who wanted to use a prosperous and strong Caribbean to prevent the chaos in South America from spreading northward.
The Caribbean would be America’s bulwark. Cheney had vetoed any move towards having free trade with Mexico, believing that opening up the southern border and demilitarizing it would allow Incan militias (which had been reported in Southern Mexico by the CIA), drug lords, and spies to enter the U.S. An insulting idea to be sure, but Cheney would not take any chances. Moreover, the Mexican Government didn’t particularly like Bundy. The legacy of the WWIII and the Marburg Virus loomed large. Canada’s relations with the U.S. had of course soured after Iacocca didn’t exempt Canada from his Tariffs and the Attorney General personally blamed Canada in part of America’s growing drug crisis. Bundy claimed that Canada’s supposed negligence to enforce its drug laws had led to it becoming a gateway to drugs in the U.S. Thus the Caribbean seemed the logical destination for Free Trade Expansion.
The signatories for the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CarFTA) in December 14th 1997.
4. Dominican Republic
5. The Second West Indies Federation
All tariffs and import/export quotas (besides those in the Aircraft and Auto industry in the US and fishing industry in Cuba and the Dominican Republic) between these states would be lifted. Of special importance to this agreement was lifting of mutual sugar tariffs and vegetable duties. The US also agreed to end all corn subsidies, in return for an end to Alcohol, and non vegetable, fruit or spice (i.e. grain, sugar, fish) subsidies in the caribbean. This made Bundy unpopular in Nebraska and Iowa, but very popular in Kentucky and West Virginia, whose Bourbon and Whiskey competed with Caribbean Rum and had struggled throughout the 1990’s due to large subsidies in Cuba. Many credit the Cuban and Haitian move towards vegetables and spice growing away from liquor to this part of the agreement. In all, since these islands lacked heavy industry, most of the trade would be in agriculture.
In addition, unified standards for machinery, airline travel, and food labeling were now dictated by US law, even in other sovereign states. Moreover, to foster easy exchange rates, all of the signatories besides the Dominican Republic agreed to peg their currency to the USD. All nations aso agreed to institute mutual visa-free travel and to exclusively buy aircraft built within these states (i.e. the USA). Lastly, intellectual property would now be protected in all of these states and all of the signatory states agreed to reduce their bureaucracy and make it easier for foreign investors to come in.
The Jones Act, mandating only US ships can sail between US ports, would be amended to include ships of all of the nations that were part of the agreement. This was incredibly important with regards to trade between the mainland US and Puerto Rico.
US desire for stabler Caribbean means Bundy was very much heavily invested in the agreement. As did the desire to create new markets for US goods is also high. This agreement also helped the deep south and Puerto Rico gain wealth, as ports in Mobile, Houston, Charleston, and Miami grew in prominence from the trade. Sugar, rum, indian spices, and other goods would come into the southern states, and manufactured goods-automobiles, refrigerators, and generators would be sent to the Caribbean. (The increased availability of the spices and vegetables gained him points with the Indian American community, as it led to a drop in prices for ingredients needed for Indian cooking in American markets.) Due to the limited agricultural space available to domestically harvest traditional southeast asian staples (due to the radically different climate) many immigrant families were literally “priced out” of their traditional recipes, especially under Iacocca's inflation. Sure, markets had taro leaves, tamarind, etc., but they were ludicrously expensive as most American farms produced more traditionally American staples, and the instances when they were grown they were at too small a scale. Many times locals were simply growing them in their garden. Common side dishes like sambar and thoran, and much more would now be cheaper, since the agreement allowed for them to be grown on the caribbean islands for much lower cost, especially as Carribean farmers realized the market potential and shifted away from Rum, which without subsidies, couldn’t compete with American alcohol. In addition, more fusion recipes that incorporated into general American cuisine. In particular, the average American meal became 2x as spicy during the second half of the nineties according to researchers at Brown University. Many credit the integration of Indian cooking into general American culture, a symbol of the general cultural intermingling and unity, to the lower tropical food prices brought upon by this agreement.
Arguably, however, the formation of the second West Indies Federation, a key move pushed heavily by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, a strong advocate for a Caribbean bulwark for America, was the most important element of this agreement, though to better understand this one has to go a bit back in time.
Recently after the end of the Third World War, Caribbean nations had been hit with corruption scandal after corruption scandal, leading many in the populace to gripe about the state of politics in their country. A fringe, but growing number even advocating a return to British rule. Anguilla, shortly after declaring independence from St. Kitts and Nevis after a short rebellion, willing decided to become an overseas territory of the British empire again. As a result, it gained money from the investment it received from the British Government and gained a level of stability compared to St. Kitts and Nevis. The British sacked the government in 1992 because of a corruption scandal, forcing the island’s government to hold new elections for parliament, which led to anti-corruption candidates taking power. The idea of having a safety net, like the central government in London, seems appealing to the populace.
And there’s also the example of British and French Guiana, in recent years had a higher GDP per capita then Suriname. Caribbean leaders also had seen the example of the Jamaat al Muslimeen coup attempt in Trinidad and Tobago, occurring during WWIII and was believed to be supported by the Warsaw Pact.
If only twenty four armed men could take the entire country hostage for a few days, one of the largest English speaking nations in the Caribbean at that, well that’s not stability is it? (A/N: Yes this actually happened OTL.) Leaders from one of the smaller nations involved were upset towards their chances if a grouped of armed men could start a coup in their nation too. Could this happen again? As they soon found out, yes.
Their worries came true with Operation Red Dog in 1994. An armed group of nearly 35 Ku Klux Klan members, allied with deposed president Patrick John, invaded the tiny country, killing the president of the time, a woman named Eugenia Charles. Their reign of havoc ended later that day with an intervention from the Barbados. In America, the page made rounds of the news cycle, if only for the oddity of the story. Nearly 12 of those members involved in the coup were reportedly recruited by a KKK operation to gain members from Red Hunting Committees. Though obviously the committees did do some good towards helping the war effort, they attracted the types of cranks attracted to most fringe political groups, provided they were extremist and marginal.
Two coup attempts in two years made these small micro states seem unviable. A frightening amount of people in the Caribbean even advocated returning to British rule or becoming an American territory. The Turks and Caicos voted to become part of Canada and cede independence, to Ed Broadbent’s pleasure. Caribbean nations agreed to reform West Indies Federation as a sovereign state, so that trade can be facilitated easier, that the country can have more political “heft”, assuage those looking to return to the empire (though it was likely that they wouldn’t completely get rid of corruption and other related factors), and so that business is easier in the region. This is not even to mention the South American refugee crisis, with all the issues that entailed.
This movement greatly gained steam when the Bahamas announced its support for such an arrangement. After hearing of the announcement, the cash-strapped Kingdom of the Netherlands agreed to sell all of its Caribbean territories (including the oil-rich Aruba) to this new West Indies Federation in return for $1.7 billion of aid in the form of heavy machinery and automobiles from the U.S. The transfer was formally completed in August 1997. Some cynically stated that it was so they could pass off the priority of managing their border security to someone else. Events in the Eastern Hemisphere eventually led to the French selling their other Caribbean territories in 1999. The entirety of the Lesser Antilles were united under the banner of the West Indies Federation, which now had three national languages, English, Dutch and French. The nations realized that they must have a common front to not be divided and conquered, and to prevent incidents like the Trinidadian or Dominican coup attempts. In addition, fear of the Marburg virus, and a belief in the need to combat it, made such a movement more poignant and sensible. This new state was, as planned, heavily federalized to minimize sectarian conflict.
In all, the desire for prosperity and stability, especially with fear of anarchy coming from South America, outweighed fears of losing national sovereignty. While many had doubts initially about the potential success of the West Indies Federation, trade vastly increased as old protectionism in the region was replaced by the free flow of goods. Sheer distance and power disputes between Jamaica and Trinidad made political unity difficult at times, however, heavy federalization, especially of the more basic needs such as roads and policing, helped reduce this issue. In addition, prosperity seemed to bring people together. The inclusion of Montserrat, and the Cayman Islands in 2003 would solidify this new Caribbean regional economic power. To further encourage national unity and cultural integration between all of the states, the CAFTA Games, a bi-annual Under-21 multi-sports championship involving these five nations were created along with the CAFTA music event.
After the end of the interim transition government in 1999, parliamentary election season began in the Federation. Jamaican president Von Hermann Ferguson, father of U.S. representative Colin Ferguson, was one of the main candidates in the first West Indies election. Wildly popular in his home country, the businessman had in only one term cleared out much of the corruption on the island and made it run more efficiently under a communonationalist system of governing. He campaigned on the promise of bringing the success of his island to the rest of the nation, winning the first presidential election, against his challenger, the president of Trinidad and Tobago, A.N.R. Robinson, considered a hero after bravely refusing to surrender to Islamist forces, even while held hostage and beaten by his attackers for ordering the police to quell the rebellion. He was shot in the leg during the coup, reportedly after he killed one of the putschists himself with his personal shotgun. Representing the Dutch and French minorities of the nation, Henny Eman, ran as a third party challenger in the new National Minorities Alliance. At the end of the day however, the popular Von Hermann Ferguson won the day with his message of peace and prosperity in the West Indies, winning a majority of seats.
In the United States, this agreement passed easily in congress thanks to unanimous support from Republicans and Progressives. Sugar prices dropped with the entry of more Carribean products and American marketplaces now included a much larger variety of interesting fruits, vegetables, and spices that would stimulate the Average Americans palette and increase average life expectancy by three months according to a Tulane University study. In addition, US manufacturing grew by an additional 2% nationally thanks to the opening of these new markets which had no heavy industry of their own and couldn’t compete with the US anyways due to the high costs of island living. US firms would now dominate what became “The American Lake”.
At the end of the negotiations in Miami, all participants signed an additional document, the Miami Agreement, which set a target date for further negotiations with the goal of admitting new members in a planned signing in 2005 with negotiations beginning in 2003 (time was needed to sort out he West Indies Federation), and the establishment of a customs union, with the complete elimination of inter-state trade barriers and a common external trade policy by 2013.
Three things, welcome to the TL its nice to see you, two,please don't quote entire updates, and three,you'll be interested to know that this entire War On Drugs is a new phase in American history (up till now ITTL the Drug war was more focused on rehabilitation) so its not quite as instuionlaized as it is OTL.[
Regarding Ted "Mass Murderer and Rapist" Bundy's War on Drugs, I have only THIS tiny little tape from the future to show him for eyes only viewing:
(Minus the Richard Nixon part for obvious reasons, as he bodyswapped with Kennedy ITTL.)