Skip to comments.Ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty: A Not-So-Innocent Passage
Posted on 01/11/2007 9:53:52 AM PST by Paul Ross
Better posted late than never.
I hope our government has the sense to turn it down.
There is nothing there that is in our interests.
This is so like the UN. Will the terrorists abide by these types of principles?
Our government supports and pushes LOST.
I didn't even want to read the whole thing. I didn't even get halfway through it.
Who in this country would dare sign that into law? If Bush does it, it will be a huge blow in terms of my trust in him.
What would that do to SEAL Delivery Vehicles? Would they have to travel on the surface, possibly dangerously endangering their lives and their mission.
Forget about our own national security. That's pretty much a thing of the past.
They don't write charters that included terrorists and people that don't fly flags. They're special indeed.
Are they trying to bring this up again? If so, who is saying it should be approved by the U.S.? Algore? Some whack job PhD candidate at Cornell? Some whack job at the Brookings Institution who has little else to do? Are the Democrats trying to revive it and I missed the story? Is anyone paying attention to them? This treaty was declared dead in the water (pardon the pun) in the Reagan administration and Clinton didn't take it anywhere, either. It has not improved with age. Why was this posted at this time?
He does. Condi even spoke about supporting it at her confirmation hearing.
Agreed. And there is a whole lot of detriment to doing it...we haven't seen the half of.
Yet the Administration has been quietly pushing this, and pushing it, and pushing it. All at the flunky-level. But an upper-echelon lieutenant, Condileeza Rice, in her confirmation hearings for the Secretary of State position back in '05 stated that this was an Administration priority.
Interesting how the RATs and Kerry never made it an issue, eh? Perhaps a case of "Honor among, a'hem thieves" (as they allow sovereignty to be diluted and weakened). Both Liberals...and this Administration... are for it. A mutual hand-washing exercise...while the country is betrayed.
We now have a DemocRAT Senate. Harry Reid, unlike Bill Frist, will likely be inclined to favor this thing...and have the votes to put it over.
You need to do some serious reading on this topic or not comment on something you know nothing about.
I have to get back to schooling, just stopped by while I ate lunch. I can give you how ever many articles you need to satisfy you that the Bush administration is pushing this thing when I come back later today.
This isn't a law. It just says that if you go into someone else's territorial waters, and you aren't on the surface, they can treat you like a hostile. It doesn't set us up for criminal prosecution or anything. It's really just saying that if you are on the surface, by international law you have a right to be there and can't be attacked.
You're right. If snotty. I had no idea Secretary Rice was trying to get this passed. I hadn't read anything about it since something that was in National Review after 9/11. But I'm still not seeing it going anywhere. Is the idea that the Dems, now in control, will pass it? Is there momentum?
This is not true. When two of more nations sign a treaty, they agree to treat the terms of the treaty as part of their national law. It would mean that a dispute about a matter would go to an international court (The Hague) or to arbitration. The Treaty is bad for the US.
This Administration remains for it. Only Senate conservatives stood in the way...and they sure weren't in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee...formerly chaired by "Uber-Globalist" Richard Lugar...a not-so-closet RINO.
It passed UNANIMOUSLY under his Committee-stewardship for Pete's sake! Only the Former Senate Majority Chairman, Bill Frist (not the greatest conservative obviously) kept it bottled up...and never presented it to the floor for passage. The votes on the Senate Floor weren't there to pass it then (thank God!).
But NOW, we have a real danger the votes may just might be there...(keeping in mind the RINOs slavering to support it)
Now the President has his Liberal Team in charge in the Senate. Expect trouble.
I tried to explain that, I guess poorly. What i mean is that this doesn't make it "against the law" to traverse UNDERWATER, it just says that you don't get the benefits of "innocent passage" if you are underwater -- which is they way it has always been.
I apologize for that. It's just when I hear the L.O.S.T. rearing it's head again, my blood boils. Again, I apologize.
Give me a few minutes to go to my files and I'll show you some of what I have.
Take a look at who opposes LOST.
Lugar tried sneaking this in, this site is his site.
The ISA could impose international taxes. If you don't like the idea of international bureaucrats levying taxes without your say-so, too bad. Your congressman or senator wouldn't have anything to say about it. World government advocates have been dreaming of this for years.
I can't find the resoultion Ron Paul brought up for a vote to get rid of LOST and was voted down by our fearless leaders. I have it somewhere.
Ron Paul managed to create enough furor over it, that he forced Frist's hand to shuffle it into other committees...where it received a much more critical assessment than Richard Lugar's stacked panel steam-rolling it.
I have it somewhere. I even posted the names of the Senators who shot it down. I'll find it. Lugar, despicable %#@*&^#.
First, it has so many "mights" and "coulds", its not credible.
Second, Ridenour and his wife/boss are so dirty with Abramoff money, its best to stay away from them.
Typical of academic euphemisms. Traditional cautionary understatement.
Second, Ridenour and his wife/boss are so dirty with Abramoff money, its best to stay away from them.
Oh, really? As I recall, the real issue here was special interest money, i.e., "industry" was FAVORING the accession to the LOST treaty! This has far more explanatory power in the persistent administration determination to enact this puppy than anything else we have yet seen. The tail is wagging this dog.
So just how does "Abramoff" money factor into this analysis by Ridenor?
OTOH, most are going to see the Admiral and the State Dept's international law expert as having more credibility.
As for Abramoff, you will likely be hearing much about him now that the dems control the committees, but if you want to chime in also, go for it.
Actually, Ronald Reagan has a hell of a lot more credibility to me than anybody espousing LOST. He took the proper action, not only formally withdrawing from LOST...but firing the passel of liars and UN apologists that had created it / "negotiated it"... with the U.N.
So you must have liked it when Bill Clinton revived it...and ushered it and its partisans back into the State Dept.
Only Reaganite Jesse Helms kept it bottled up for those 8 long years. Thank God for Jesse.
But now they have a new plan of attack, still firmly ensconced in their Foggy Bottom sinecures...exploiting the new players and their ignorance.
If you don't like the the transit language in the treaty, send Ridenour out to negotiate a special agreement on the Straits of Hormuz with the ayatollah. I'm sure that Fidel is looking forward to sitting down with Ron Paul to discuss the Florida Straits.
False. He never expressed ALL of his objections. And they were manifestly there. Hence his terminating the whole scam...with prejudice...by firing the negotiators. Which should have been the end of it, but of course Bubba brought it back from the dead.
You apparenlty have no understanding of what is happening with this. None of those promises change the treaty whatsoever, as noted by Frank Gaffney:
This decision is all the more puzzling since the Law of the Sea Treaty has not improved with age. In fact, there has been no change to the treaty whatsoever from the document Reagan found wanting.
To be sure, in 1994, the Clinton Administration negotiated a separate accord (called "the Agreement") that proponents claim "fixed" the Reagan objections. But the truth of the matter is that, like so many other Clinton flim-flams, this one is not the real deal since LOST has not actually been amended at all.
All of those wonderful what-we-want-to-hear promises...in the "Agreement" can then be easily reversed at the whim of the UN once we put it in place. And it is much harder for the U.S. to revoke a treaty once ratified. Particularly with a monied special interest group backing it.
And it is clear that Reagan would still oppose it today, as all those familiar with him and his decision have said:
Ed Meese: Reagan Would Still Oppose Law of the Sea Treaty
by Edwin Meese III
Posted Apr 25, 2005 The so-called Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is a bad idea whose time should never come up -- at least for the United States and for those who believe in economic liberty and national security. That was the view of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and would remain his view today if he were with us to express it.
The actual title of the treaty is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As its name suggests, it gives to the United Nations, through its subordinate organizations established in the treaty, unprecedented economic powers and expansive authority over the commercial and maritime interests of the nations of the world.
As Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Defense Department executive and President of the Center for Security Policy, has stated, it is unimaginable that the United States would choose to expand the power and influence of the United Nations at a time when evidence of the latters corruption, malfeasance and inherent anti-Americanism is growing by the day.
How did such an idea get started? It began in the 1970s, when Socialism was still raging and considered by some elitists as the wave of the future. The United Nations still wore the mantle of hope. Jimmy Carter claimed that the worlds energy supplies would be diminished in just 20 years. Time spent in our cars waiting for rationed gas gave some the sense that perhaps the worlds resources should be subject to greater regulation.
No doubt that to diplomats in Foggy Bottom or Manhattans East Side, the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) that they painstakingly negotiated, complete with its 17 Parts, 320 Articles, and nine Annexes, was the answer to their dreams.
Proponents of this giant step toward world-level bureaucracy probably could not imagine that the new American president, Ronald Reagan, could reject the treaty and fire the people responsible for negotiating it. But he did. LOST was the creature of a negotiation process dominated by the Soviet bloc and the non-aligned movement. It placed its hope on the United Nations bureaucracy. And it was out of step with the concepts of economic liberty and free enterprise that Ronald Reagan was to inspire throughout the world. Time has proven President Reagan right.
Less imaginable is that 23 years later LOST is again being seriously considered by a Republican president and a Republican Senate. It was a bad idea in 1982; it is an unconscionable one now as we protect against new enemies and the internationalist whims of our Supreme Court. A 1994 limited agreement pertaining to deep-sea mining, negotiated by the Clinton administration, but not part of the treaty itself does not make the treaty as a whole any more acceptable.
Americas adherence to this treaty would entail historys biggest transfer of wealth and surrender of sovereignty. LOST vests in the new international entity the power to regulate seven-tenths of the worlds surface area; to impose production quotas for deep-sea mining, oil production and other harvesting; and to regulate ocean research and exploration.
LOST creates a multinational court system to render and enforce its judgments. This is particularly alarming after a majority of the United States Supreme Court, in Roper v. Simmons, included an unratified international convention as justification for the judicial revision of a portion of our Constitution. Soon the high court will decide whether to honor a decision by the International Court of Justice, under another treaty, that would challenge the conviction of 51 convicted felons and murderers in our prisons who are foreign nationals.
Significantly, LOST creates the authority for an international authority to levy taxes against member countries, ultimately to be paid by taxpayers. This brings the world closer to what United Nations bureaucrats have long wanted -- a source of unlimited income.
Most importantly, the treaty was drafted at a time when positions and actions of nations were relatively predictable. But today new enemies are involved. The sorts of at-sea interdiction efforts central to our new Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) would be prohibited under LOST. The treaty effectively prohibits two functions vital to American security: intelligence-collection in, and submerged transit of, foreign territorial waters. Mandatory information-sharing would afford enemies data that could be used to facilitate attacks. Obligatory technology transfers would equip adversaries with sensitive and militarily useful equipment and knowledge.
Why has a bad idea, once thought to be dead, now again raised its ugly head? Unfortunately, misguided internationalists have teamed with unrealistic business interests to support the resurgence of LOST.
Some advocates believe that this giant step toward the rigidity of world government would be beneficial for mankind. They minimize the importance of national sovereignty and the value of free market economic decision-making and individualized business negotiations.
There are those in the American oil industry who believe that an international organization will fairly allocate permits for the exploration and exploitation of undersea deposits and they like the idea that the U.S. taxpayers will pay the associated costs.
But experience and common sense demonstrates that whatever inconvenience and expense may be involved in negotiating drilling rights with individual governments on straight business principles cannot justify the creation of a massive international authority susceptible to ideological pressures and potential corruption.
Moreover, much of what the oil industry needs can be achieved through bilateral treaties and the involvement of the international financing system.
Representatives of the U.S. Navy claim that LOST would provide navigation rights that would benefit our country. But the existing 1958 Law of the Seat Treaty already provides such rights without subjecting our naval forces to the compulsory dispute resolution by a UN tribunal, as required by the new treaty. Indeed, LOST provides the opportunity for legal mischief by those forces, both foreign and domestic, who would seek to limit the Navys activities.
In short, LOST is an invitation to trial lawyers and their environmentalist front groups to go international, not only against the private sector but also against our military.
The challenge should be clear for those who would follow the principles and implement the vision of Ronald Reagan. The best interests of the United States and of global freedom and opportunity demand that the Law of the Sea Treaty proposed for ratification be sunk, never to surface again.
I found Phyllis Schlafly's piece perhaps the most encompassing coverage of the issue:
|VOL. 38, NO. 7||P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002||FEBRUARY 2005|
|Defeat the UN Law of the Sea Treaty!|
Assuming Rice was authorized to deliver this shocking news, George W. Bush can no longer claim the mantle of the Ronald Reagan legacy. President Reagan refused to sign the United Nations Convention (Treaty) on the Law of the Sea in 1982 and fired the State Department staff who helped to negotiate it. It is even worse today because of additional dangers since 9/11.
The acronym for the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is apt. LOST is the correct word for our sovereignty that would be lost under LOST.
Republicans who oppose this giant giveaway are looking at a stunning historical model. Ronald Reagan became the conservative standard bearer when he led the fight against the Panama Canal Treaty which was supported by incumbent Presidents Gerald Ford (and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) and then Jimmy Carter.
We lost the battle to prevent the Panama Canal giveaway by one Senate vote in 1978. But that battle made Reagan the undisputed leader of the conservative movement and multiplied its activists. Hindsight teaches us that the battle was well worth fighting because it brought about the cataclysmic events of 1980: the election of a real pro-American conservative President, the election of a Republican Senate, plus the defeat of most of the internationalist Senators who voted for the giveaway.
Conservatives are currently searching for a man of pro- American principles whom they can support for President in 2008. The Republican Senator or Governor who steps up to the plate can hit a home run if he leads the battle against LOSTs enormous transfer of wealth and power to the unpopular United Nations.
The LOST is grounded in such un-American and un-Republican concepts as global socialism and world government. There is not much of a constituency today for the United Nations, whose officials continually use the UN as a platform for anti-American diatribes, and who just committed the biggest corruption in history (Iraqi oil-for-food).
The report on that scandal by the commission chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volker stated that the oil-for-food project seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations. Most Americans would respond: What integrity? The UN never had any integrity going back all the way to the beginning when it operated as the headquarters for the Soviet espionage network.
The Law of the Sea Treaty is so bad that it is a puzzlement how anyone who respects American sovereignty could support it with a straight face. LOST gives its own creation, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the power to regulate seven-tenths of the worlds surface area, a territory greater than the Soviet Union ruled at its zenith. LOST would cede sovereign control to the ISA over all the riches at the bottom of all the worlds oceans.
The LOST gives ISA the power to levy international taxes, one of the essential indicia of sovereignty. This ISA power is artfully concealed behind direct U.S. assessments and fees paid by corporations, plus permits paid by the U.S. Treasury, but the proper word is taxes. This plan is touted as a model for other resource-related treaties that aspire to enjoy the power to levy taxes. And, of course, the United States will have to fork up our usual 25% of the ISAs operating budget (as we do for all UN operations).
The LOST gives ISA the power to regulate ocean research and exploration. This is the power to deny U.S. companies access to strategic ocean minerals that we need for our industries and military defense access to resources that are freely available to us today under customary international law. The LOST gives ISA the power to impose production quotas for deep-sea mining and oil production so the United States could never become self-sufficient in strategic materials.
The LOST gives the ISA the power to create a multinational court system called the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and to enforce its judgments. The ISA courts would have even wider jurisdiction than the International Criminal Court (to which, fortunately, we do not belong) or the World Trade Organization (which has ruled against the United States a dozen times and forced us to change our tax laws and import duties). There is no guarantee that the United States would even be represented on the Law of the Sea International Tribunal.
This Sea Tribunal is already spreading its wings to try to become a major international court with broad jurisdiction. Its easy to predict that unfriendly regimes and organizations would file suits to interfere with U.S. commercial or military practices. And, since six of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices have indicated a willingness to cite international law and courts, who knows if our own judges would defer to this new UN Sea Tribunal.
The whole concept of putting the United States in the noose of another one-nation-one-vote global organization, which reduces America to the same vote as Cuba, is offensive to Americans. Like other aspirants to global government (such as the World Trade Organization), the ISA has a legislature, an executive, a bureaucracy, busybody commissions, and a powerful court system.
In the post-9/11 world, the notion of signing a treaty that mandates military information-sharing with our enemies plus technology transfers is not only dangerous its ridiculous. The treaty creates restrictions on our intelligence-gathering by submarines, activities that are essential to our military security. And LOST apparently doesnt permit our stopping and searching on the high seas any vessels suspected of transporting weapons of mass destruction. Communist China has already claimed that LOST would prohibit President Bushs Proliferation Security Initiative.
Of course, Bill Clinton is for the LOST; he revived it in 1994. We thought we were rid of Bill Clinton (thanks to the 22nd Amendment), but his love affair with UN treaties and global integration has come back to haunt us. The LOST meshes perfectly with his speech to the United Nations in September 1997, in which he boasted of wanting to put America into a web of treaties for the emerging international system. The people who want to dissolve or diminish American sovereignty and replace it with global governance continue to work toward their one-world goal incrementally through United Nations treaties.
Of course, Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar is for LOST. Like Clinton, he is a Rhodes scholar and an internationalist who never saw a United Nations treaty he didnt like. Vice President Cheney is an advocate of LOST. He doesnt have to listen to American voters because he will never again run for office.
Some are claiming that LOST is OK because a Clinton Administration Agreement fixed the objections to the Treaty that Reagan rejected. That all depends on what the meaning of is is. The truth is that the LOST hasnt been changed at all, and many other countries have publicly stated that the Agreement doesnt change the Treaty and they wont be bound by it anyway.
Lugars Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about LOST, held without any publicity and with only advocates invited to testify, was an insult to the American people. Majority Leader Bill Frist will forfeit his chance to be in the running for the Republican nomination for President if he schedules a vote before all Senate committees affected by the LOST hold hearings with both sides represented.
The United States is a giant island of freedom, achievement, wealth and prosperity in a world hostile to our values. We have almost everything we need to maintain our safety and economy, but we lack some items that are essential to us in both war and peace such as manganese, cobalt, bauxite, chromium, and platinum, and some of these are at the bottom of the ocean.
The UN Law of the Sea Treaty is a trap that would compel the United States to pay billions of private-enterprise dollars to an international authority while socialist, anti-American nations harvest the profit. The LOST would be a giant giveaway of American wealth, sovereignty, resources needed to maintain our economy, capacity to defend ourselves, and even our ships and submarines ability to gather intelligence necessary to our national defense.
The LOST would be a sellout of American interests far greater than even Jimmy Carters giveaway of the U.S. Canal at Panama. It would be a cave-in to the world-government advocates whose goal is global socialist government in order to integrate American prosperity with Third World poverty until they are leveled.
Tell your U.S. Senators to vote No on the UN Law of the Sea Treaty.
3 pictures of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea at Hamburg, Germany
The United Nations Convention (Treaty) on the Law of the Sea is a blueprint for world socialism. It is a document of 208 pages of fine print which gives the International Seabed Authority (called the Authority) total jurisdiction over all the oceans and everything in them, and gives the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea the power of a super supreme court to decide all disputes. It is difficult to convey the enormity of the power grab because the powers given to these global organizations are so broadly stated and the text of the Treaty is so complex. The Treaty requires forfeiting U.S. sovereignty to global control exercised by the representatives of 148 other nations, most of whom hate or envy America. The following are just a few quotations from the Treaty. It can be read in full on the Internet. Search for Law of the Sea.
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But not recognized by a sizeable fraction of the Authority. And the fundamentals that Reagan opposed, such as the redistributionism explicitly at the core of this socialist enterprise, remain. This triggered this response from Cato:
March 12, 2004
by Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he served as a deputy representative to the third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea.
President Bush has demonstrated his willingness to stand alone internationally. Yet for little better reason than go-along, get-along multilateralism, the administration is now pushing the Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, which was just unanimously voted out of Richard Lugar's Senate Foreign Relations Committee. At a committee meeting in February, Lugar noted a wide range of support from American interests "for U.S. accession to be completed swiftly." However, the treaty is a flawed document, and there would be serious costs from accepting it.
The Law of the Sea Treaty originated in the 1970s as part of the United Nations' redistributionist agenda known as the "New International Economic Order." The convention covers such issues as fishing and navigation, but the controversy arose mainly over seabed mining. In essence, the Law of the Sea Treaty was designed to transfer wealth and technology from the industrialized states to the Third World.
Two decades ago, President Ronald Reagan ignored criticism of American unilateralism and refused to sign the treaty. U.S. leadership caused the Europeans and even the Soviet Union to stay out. Many Third World states eventually acknowledged the treaty's many flaws.
But treaties attract diplomats as lights attract moths. The first Bush and Clinton administrations worked to "fix" the treaty, leading to a revised agreement in 1994. Washington signed, leading to a cascade of ratifications from other countries. GOP gains in Congress, however, dissuaded the Clinton administration from pushing for ratification. Now George W. Bush has stepped in where Bill Clinton feared to tread.
Unfortunately, the revised treaty retains many of its original flaws. There is still a complicated multinational bureaucracy that sounds like an excerpt from George Orwell's "1984": At its center is the International Seabed Authority. The Authority (as it calls itself) supervises a mining subsidiary called the Enterprise, ruled by an Assembly, Council, and various commissions and committees. Mining approval would be highly politicized and could discriminate against American operators. Companies that are allowed to mine would owe substantial fees to the Authority and be required to do surveys for the Enterprise, their government-subsidized competitor.
A mandatory transfer of mining technologies to Third World companies has been watered down. However, "sponsoring states" -- that is, governments of nations where mining companies are located-would have to facilitate such transfers if the Enterprise and Third World competitors are "unable to obtain" necessary equipment commercially. Depending on the whims of the Authority, ensuring the "cooperation" of private miners could look very much like mandatory transfers.
The Authority, though so far of modest size, would suffer from the same perverse incentives that afflict the U.N., since the United States would be responsible for 25 percent of the budget but easily outmaneuvered. Proposals by industrialized signatories to limit their contributions have so far received an unfriendly reception. Still, when it signed the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Clinton administration said there was no reason to worry, because the treaty proclaims that "all organs and subsidiary bodies to be established under the Convention and this Agreement shall be cost-effective." Right. Presumably just as cost-effective as the U.N.
The treaty's mining scheme is flawed in its very conception. Although many people once thought untold wealth would leap from the seabed, land-based sources have remained cheaper than expected, and scooping up manganese nodules and other resources from the ocean floor is logistically daunting. There is no guarantee that seabed mining will ever be commercially viable.
Yet this has not dimmed the enthusiasm of the Authority. Like the U.N., it generates lots of reports and paper and obsesses over trivia. Protecting "the emblem, the official seal and the name" of the International Seabed Authority has been a matter of some concern. Among the crises the Authority has confronted: In April 2002 the Jamaican government turned off its air conditioning, necessitating "urgent consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade." A year later Jamaica used the same tactic in an ongoing battle over Authority payments for its facility. Oh yes, half of the Authority members are behind on their dues.
Were seabed mining ever to thrive, a transparent system for recognizing mine sites and resolving disputes would be helpful. But the Authority's purpose isn't to be helpful. It is to redistribute resources to irresponsible Third World governments with a sorry history of squandering abundant foreign aid.
This redistributionist bent is reflected in the treaty's call for financial transfers to developing states and even "peoples who have not attained full independence or other self-governing status"-code for groups such as the PLO. Whatever changes the treaty has undergone, a constant has been Third World pressure for financial transfers. Three voluntary trust funds were established to aid developing countries. Alas, few donors have come forward to subsidize the participation of, say, sub-Saharan African states in the development of ocean mining. Thus, the Authority has had to dip into its own budget to pay into the funds.
Why, given all this, was the Senate Foreign Relations Committee eager to sign on? The treaty is not without benefits. Provisions regarding the environment, resource management, and rights of transit generally are positive, though many reflect what is now customary international law, even in the absence of U.S. ratification. Lugar notes that "law and practice with respect to regulation of activities off our shores is already generally compatible with the Convention." This would seem to be an equally strong argument for not ratifying the treaty.
Most influential, though, may be support from the U.S. Navy, which is enamored of the treaty's guarantee of navigational freedom. Not that such freedom is threatened now: The Russian navy is rusting in port, China has yet to develop a blue water capability, and no country is impeding U.S. transit, commercial or military.
At the same time, some ambiguous provisions may impinge on freedoms U.S. shipping now enjoys. In Senate testimony last fall, State Department legal adviser William H. Taft IV noted the importance of conditioning acceptance "upon the understanding that each Party has the exclusive right to determine which of its activities are 'military activities' and that such determination is not subject to review." Whether other members will respect that claim is not at all certain. Admiral Michael G. Mullen, the vice chief of naval operations, acknowledges the possibility that a Law of the Sea tribunal could rule adversely and harm U.S. "operational planning and activities, and our security."
Moreover, at a time when Washington is combating lawless terrorism, it should be evident that the only sure guarantee of free passage on the seas is the power of the U.S. Navy, combined with friendly relations with the states, few in number, that sit astride important sea lanes. Coastal nations make policy based on perceived national interest, not abstract legal norms. Remember the luckless USS Pueblo in 1968? International law did not prevent North Korea from seizing the intelligence ship; approval of the Law of the Sea Treaty would have offered the Pueblo no additional protection. America was similarly unaided by international law in its 2001 confrontation with China over our downed EP-3 surveillance plane.
Nor has signing the Law of the Sea Treaty prevented Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, and others from making ocean claims deemed excessive by others. Indeed, last October Adm. Mullen warned that the benefits he believed to derive from treaty ratification did not "suggest that countries' attempts to restrict navigation will cease once the United States becomes a party to the Law of the Sea Convention."
Critics of the U.S. refusal to sign in 1982 predicted ocean chaos, but not once has an American ship been denied passage. No country has had either the incentive or the ability to interfere with U.S. shipping. And if they had, the treaty would have been of little help. In 1998 Law of the Sea Treaty supporters agitated for immediate ratification because several special exemptions for the United States were set to expire; Washington did not ratify, and no one seems to have noticed. Now Lugar worries that Washington could "forfeit our seat at the table of institutions that will make decisions about the use of the oceans." Yet last October Assistant Secretary of State John F. Turner told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that America has "had considerable success" in asserting "its oceans interests as a nonparty to the Convention."
Law of the Sea Treaty proponents talk grandly of the need to "restore U.S. leadership," but real leadership can mean saying no as well as yes. Ronald Reagan was right to torpedo the Law of the Sea Treaty two decades ago. Creating a new oceans bureaucracy is no more attractive today.
This article was published in The Weekly Standard, week of March 15, 2004. Copyright (c) 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard. All Rights Reserved.
I have posted the links to the testimony and the briefs.
You understand, your position on this and many other issues depend on the assumption that "they" are trying to destroy America.
Of course there is the option of negotiating individual treaties with all the water fronting nations. If we go that route, we better send Gaffney out with Paul and Ridenour.
Or how about the late Jeane Kirkpatrick, writing for the American Enterprise Institute whose role for the Reagan Administration as U.N. Ambassador was seminal, and had major insight into the thought processes and reasons of Ronald Reagan in his rejection...and why she believes those reasons STILL HOLD SWAY over the purported "fixes."
From the article you posted, Ben. Let's give the whole shebang to the damn U.N. Why just give them control of 70% of the Earths surface. They'll be our new masters.
It just occured to me, Ben, you're a one worlder. You believe in the NWO. Well, I'll be damned!
Yup. Reagan, Kirkpatrick, Bandow, Gaffney, Schlafly, etc.
You understand, your position on this and many other issues depend on the assumption that "they" are trying to destroy America.
Empirically, you have a tough sell trying to convince us of the good will of the U.N. towards the People of the United States, and our rights and liberty.
Perhaps you really do need to do as Jeane Kirkpatrick advised the Senators who thought as you do, that this could all be "fixed from within...by our leading". LOL!
She pointedly invited each and everyone who implicitly obviously thought she was being paranoid...to spend a year sitting in on the Sessions of the General Assembly.
She also noted the fundamentally unchanged nature of the beast here:
Of course, important events affecting the Treaty have occurred in the years following the Reagan Administration and modifications of the Treaty have taken place. But the modifications have not been major. The Treaty is fundamentally the same. On October 7, 1999, President Clinton transmitted to the U.S. Senate the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating implementation of Part XI of the Convention. On November 16, 1994, the treaty entered into force but without accession by the United States.
These amendments ...do not address the basic structure or consequences of the Treaty.
I have read much of the discussion of the Treaty and I regret to say that I remain concerned that its ratification will diminish our capacity for self government, including, ultimately, our capacity for self defense.
I particularly found telling this keen reflection:
The notion that the oceans or space are the common heritage of mankind was--and is--a dramatic departure from traditional Western conceptions of private property. Most members at upper levels of the Reagan Administration were reluctant to put our foot on that slippery slope.
Hence, the core idea was at odds, and STILL REMAINS SO.
Furthermore, there is a real hazard that the whole enterprise is going to be turned into an engine to tax the United States and make the UN what it dreams of being...a World Government. That tendancy for them to sidestep all limitations and try to milk the U.S. was highlighted by Ambassador Kirkpatrick:
The fact that the expenses of the LOS Prep Com were so readily increased under the U.N. program budget--and by that vote of 132 to 4--illustrated the realism of the U.S. concern about our relative isolation in the U.N., and also about a new trend in the U.N. policy toward defining extraordinary expenses into the U.N.s core budget. This redefinition is an easy solution to the problem of financing activities for which it is difficult to secure voluntary contributions, and as usually, entails little or no cost to the majority voting to add on expenses.
Clearly, there is nothing in the "fixes" that addresses this.
Here is the whole piece that you should read. A lot of grist in this mill.
Yes, I'm part of the big conspiracy. Sec Rice, Bush, the admirals, exxon, we are all in on it. Sorry that I can't give you the names of everyone involved, the list is too long.
Yes, you and they are.
Which conspiracy is that? Care to be specific?
Uh, that wouldn't happen to be the testimony from the stacked hearings conducted by Senator Richard Lugar...where no critical questioning was conducted, nor opposing testimony invited and received?
A good classification of any such testimony would be "biassed".
I recognize that the world is getting smaller, that it is reorganizing
I support the political leaders that will get out in front of it and shape it so it benefits me.
But BOTH of your other links were to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee...which is guilty as charged. I note none of the other, more critical Senate Committees where Frist forwarded the Treaty got linked here. Surprise, surprise.
Is that the new euphemism today used when losing your country's sovernerity---reorganizing? That's exactly what I fight aganist-reorganizing my country.
I support the political leaders that will get out in front of it and shape it so it benefits me.
That's the piece you're not seeing. They don't care about you and me. It won't benefit you, it'll benefit the UN.
Your hero, then?
I liked this little description of him...
"His bias is wide open enough to drive an eighteen wheeler through it, and makes the case that inside every Khofi Annan there's an Idi Amin screaming to get out..."
How about this one?
Speak for yourself. I'm in on the conspiracy, remember.
Okay, have it your way, but I'm warning you right now...there is no honor among thieves.
President Reagan frequently quoted the Russian proverb, doveryay, no proveryay, trust but verify. Of course, he was referring to the Soviets and nuclear missiles at the height of the Cold War but you would do well to heed this advice before trusting your life and liberty to the likes of a World Government run by these Usual Suspects.
As you wish.
They tie the hands of the innocent and are violated with impunity by criminal and terrorist countries.
And, oh yes, the self-appointed arbiters are fourth rate, useless countries with no power other than self-delusion and bluster (i.e.- Belgium and the Netherlands).
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