Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LOST

No, this isn’t a review of the late lamented TV series Lost. LOST is short for the Law Of the Sea Treaty. The treaty purports to intensify international cooperation on the high seas, focus on eliminating piracy, make the sea lanes safer, and promote freedom of navigation. Sounds good to me. Let’s ratify it, “right away” as Barack Obama would say (and will).

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.

15 comments:

T-Rav said...

Yeah, I have no doubt that if the situation were reversed, Russian and/or Chinese naval activities would totally be subject to America's say, and I am being very sarcastic.

Tennessee Jed said...

just when I thought I'd heard every possible reason to vote against Obama . . . . thanks, Hawk, I had no idea about this one

AndrewPrice said...

This thing has been kicking around as a disaster in waiting since Reagan and the Republicans needs to drive a stake through it finally after the election. Kill it once and for all.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: The last time we were able to do anything through the UN without Russia's permission was when they walked out of the UN during the motions to support South Korea against North Korean aggression. Red China wasn't even yet a member of the UN.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Glad to be of service, as if we didn't already have enough reasons to vote against Obama. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: So true. Reagan didn't tinker around at the edges, either. He saw that even if half the treaty went out the window, it was still far too dangerous for America and rejected it outright and in toto. As you said, we need to kill this once and for all after Obama is sent back to the South Side of Chicago. And while we're at it, we might as well include the UN's small arms treaty too. There's far too much danger of surrendering our constitutional rights and American sovereignty without the average Joe even realizing it has happened.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Where is a current day Colonel Christopher Gadsden when we need one?

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: It's a little hard to tread on people on the high seas, but your point is well-taken.

Individualist said...

As if we are not in debt enough as it is we need to give momeyu to the UN

I don't think so....

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: We need to stop handing out money to the UN, to "friendly nations" and even to our allies who are capable of sustaining themselves. Right now, America is the world's largest giver, as well as the world's biggest borrower (to pay for the giving). Overseas welfare has to be cut back just as domestic welfare has to be cut back. And we sure as hell don't need to be automatically handing out the profits from our own efforts.

T-Rav said...

I think we're reaching a point where this crap is causing a solid majority to turn against Obama. Even at least one of his fundraisers has publicly called him out for his class warfare, and when you couple that with the blowback over gay marriage, I think some people have been permanently turned off by the Teleprompter-in-Chief. Hopefully that feeling lasts through November.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: The economy will remain the single most important issue, and the others are largely distractions. Jim Crow will not be reestablished if Republicans win, and gays won't be burned at the stake. But that's all the Democrats have to offer, because they can't run on Obama's record.

I brought today's issue up because Obama's foreign policy is feckless, almost nonexistent. Yet he could do immense damage to American security and sovereignty by simply pulling a stealth approval of LOST. Nobody expects much from him on foreign affairs, so we have to make it abundantly clear that we still have to pay attention to his moves. Distractions are rarely unintended, and gay marriage and the "war on women" are a good way of drawing attention away from matters that could be disastrous for America. It's what we don't see coming that could kill us.

USArtguy said...

LawHawk, thanks for bringing this up again. I recall mentioning this either here or at the Bigs around the time of Obama's election. It hasn't been on the MSM's radar or even a lot of conservative bloggers radar and even I had forgotten it. Pasting the url to my facebook so my 100+ fb friends can read about it too.

LawHawkRFD said...

USArtguy: Glad to have you spread the word. The danger here is that the treaty has been around so long that a lot of people have simply thought "oh, that old thing again." When enough people who ought to know better start to think that, the UN fellow-travelers in the Obama administration can just slip it through without much ado. As a wise man once said, "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post on LOST, LawHawk!

I remember when this anti-liberty garbage first surfaced in the '80's.
Hated it then and hate it now. There's nothing good about it (does anything good ever come from the UN?).

I do hope the GOP sends LOST to hell...again.
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised the donks didn't approve this when they had free reign.
I reckon some of them see the dangers of LOST too.

However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Obama sign it anyway. Same with the Small Arms (international gun control anti-2nd Ammendment) Treaty (garbage).

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