Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Well, Ronald Reagan would say “there you go again, leaping before you look.” In fact, this same treaty was presented to him lo these many years ago after the United Nations adopted its current form in 1982. Reagan said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Internationalist President Bill Clinton signed onto a somewhat truncated version of the treaty in 1994, but couldn’t get Senate ratification. George W. Bush endorsed the shorter version, but never attempted to get it past the Senate.
So why are conservative Republicans, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), attempting to obtain enough signatures from their colleagues to prevent the treaty from passing? It’s those niggling little details that have the conservatives in full attack mode. DeMint already has obtained twenty-four Senate signatures opposing the treaty, leaving him with only ten to go to block the treaty for the foreseeable future.
You see, if all the treaty did (and that’s what its hype is all about) were what was laid out in the opening paragraph of this article, it would probably slide through the Senate, so long as there were not too many openings for the UN to play around with the wording. But that isn’t all there is to this mess of a document. In reality, it contains a general surrender of American naval sovereignty to the most corrupt and inept organization in the entire world—the UN.
The UN is, if at all possible, more capable than the United States government of taking the law and distorting and abusing it by creating sub-agencies which form rules and regulations which serve only the ruling elite and huge bureaucracies. The UN adds the frosting that somehow those rules and regulations always work in favor of leftist and theocratic dictatorships. And when their nefarious agenda is fulfilled, the UN biggies hand the bill to the United States.
So what is it that the UN and the third world don’t want you to know? To start with, Article 82 would require the developed nations (read: United States and a few other players) to transfer a large portion of the royalties from use of the sea’s natural resources to the International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica. Resources developed by the United States beyond the 200 mile territorial limits would be subject to this redistribution of wealth which could amount to billions or even trillions of dollars. If you want to see Barack Obama pushing offshore drilling, just wait until he gets a treaty which will give a third or even half of the profits to the “poor nations” (as defined by the UN).
Many of those poor nations have abundant natural resources, but are too busy slaughtering each other or waiting for some divine power to process their resources for them to get off their duffs and exploit their own resources. It’s so much easier to wait for industrialized (and industrious) Western nations to do the heavy-lifting then siphon off the profits through redistributionist UN schemes like this one. Only one-world pipe-dreamers could possibly think this is a good idea. Of course, Barack Obama will call the scheme “fundamental fairness.”
America already spends billions upon billions of dollars in foreign aid, even during a major recession, to prop up foreign profligates and dictatorships, including some which are simply inimical to everything America stands for. But at least they have to come to the US with a hand out to obtain our willing assistance. The deep sea royalties would become something resembling our domestic entitlements. And if you think that the US would cut foreign aid to balance the royalties, I have this really gorgeous orange bridge in San Francisco I’m willing to sell you. Quite simply, it would be foreign aid plus royalties.
The treaty also includes UN control of all naval activities on the high seas. Though the treaty does not specifically say so, that would easily mean that the US Navy would not be free even to defend its own ships and crews from attack without the permission of the UN. In other words, in order to take any action on the high seas, our navy would need the permission of Russia and China. Of course they would need ours were the situation reversed, but that’s very small comfort. And we know from painful experience that the UN could simply create a “High Seas Commission” which would then regulate and control all naval activities without further action by the General Assembly or Security Council. The Commission would likely be populated with nations such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and a few other peace-loving democracies.
It is important to remind everyone that the only law which can supersede the Constitution is a self-actuating treaty. By treaty, the UN would be able to do that which even our own Congress cannot do. Separation of powers, executive prerogatives (including the Commander-in-Chief’s war-making powers), and the Congressional power to declare war could all be trumped by the treaty and its implementation at the UN. In fact, a naval captain who fires on an enemy ship in self-defense could be prosecuted at the UN for not obtaining UN approval for his actions, and could even be subject to the rules of the International Criminal Court (another treaty that the US Senate has rejected).
In part, DeMint’s letter (which has not yet been delivered to President Obama) states: “To effect the treaty’s broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention. Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.”
As you know, I am not an hysteric, nor am I prone to sudden paroxysms of fear based on things which might or might not happen. So I am essentially looking at the potential danger involved here. It isn’t small. There is little likelihood that the treaty will be ratified by the Senate in its present form, and perhaps in any form whatsoever. So what’s the big worry? Simple. Barack Obama is President of the United States. Signing this treaty on behalf of the United States would be a bit more daring than sanctioning gay marriage, but a snake-oil salesman like Obama has proven that he can sell things to the American people that he can’t sell to the Senate. Constitutional restraints and historical precedent don’t bother him.
Obama has also proven that in pursuit of his agenda, he will do by fiat, regulation and executive order that which he cannot get Congress to go along with. A great deal of damage to American power and prestige could be done by a lame-duck Obama. Even worse could be done if he were to be reelected. “Constitutional law professor” Obama believes in an infinitely malleable constitution which must never be used to thwart progressive principles.
Were the Senate to reject the treaty after Obama’s likely signing, he would have no hesitation in attempting to implement it through bureaucratic regulation and executive order, citing his executive privilege to conduct foreign policy and ignoring the requirement of Senate approval of treaties. Obama is a cafeteria constitutionalist.
Will this happen? I think it unlikely, particularly if the Republicans are diligent about getting the warning flags out to the general public rather than retaining the issue for insider political maneuvering. Could it happen? Yep. It would also be likely to produce that “constitutional crisis” we’ve been warned about a dozen or so times in the past few years. But messiahs don’t worry about things like that. The path to salvation is all that matters.