by Patrick J. Buchanan
Have the Bush Republicans ceased to be reliable custodians of American sovereignty? So it would seem.
President George W. Bush began well. He rejected the Kyoto Protocol on global warming negotiated by Vice President Al Gore as both injurious to the economy and rooted in questionable science. He refused to allow the armed forces and diplomats of the United States to be brought under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
But now President Bush is about to take his country by the hand and make a great leap forward into world government. He has signed on to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which transfers jurisdiction over the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans and all the oil and mineral resources they contain to an International Seabed Authority. This second United Nations would be ceded eternal hegemony over two-thirds of the Earth. It is the greatest U.N. power grab in history and, thanks to George Bush, is about to succeed.
Within the Authority, consisting of 155 nations, America would have one vote and no veto. However, we would pay the principal share of the operating costs, as we do today of the United Nations.
In 1978, Ronald Reagan declared, “No national interest of the United States can justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth’s surface over to the Third World.”
Rejecting the New International Economic Order that sought to effect a historic transfer of wealth and power from the First World to the Third, President Reagan in 1982 refused to sign the Law of the Sea Treaty or send it to the Senate. Now, Bush, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., have resurrected this monstrosity and are about to ram it through the U.S. Senate with, if you can believe it, the support of the U.S. Navy.
The rot of globalism runs deep in this capital city.
What is the matter with Bush? What is the matter with the U.S. Navy? For the sea treaty grants us no rights we do not already have in international law and tradition – it only codifies them. It siphons off national rights, national sovereignty and national wealth, however, and empowers global bureaucrats and Third World kleptocrats whose common trait is jealousy of and hostility toward the United States.
Under LOST, if the United States wishes to mine the ocean or scoop up minerals from its floor, we would have to pay a fee and get permission from the Authority, then provide a subsidiary of the Authority called the Enterprise with a comparable site for its own exploitation with our technology. Eventually, the Authority would collect 7 percent of the revenue from the U.S. mining site, giving this institution of world government what the United Nations has hungered for for decades: the power to tax nations.
While the treaty assures the right of peaceful passage on the high seas and through narrows that are territorial waters, we already have that right under international law. And for the past two centuries, we have had as guarantor of the right of free passage the U.S. Navy. Now, we will have it courtesy of the International Seabed Authority.
“It is inconceivable to this naval officer,” writes Adm. James Lyons, former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, “why the Senate would willingly want to forfeit its responsibility for America’s freedom of the seas to the unelected and unaccountable international agency that would be created by the ratification of LOST.
“The power of the U.S. Navy, not some anonymous bureaucracy, has been the nation’s guarantee to our access to and freedom of the seas. I can cite many maritime operations – from the blockade of Cuba in 1962, to the reflagging of ships in the Persian Gulf, to our submarine intelligence-gathering programs – that have been critical to maintaining our freedom of the seas and protecting our waters from encroachment. All those examples would likely have to be submitted to an international tribunal for approval if we become a signatory to this treaty. … This is incomprehensible.”
U.S. warships today inspect vessels suspected of carrying nuclear contraband. In the Cold War, U.S. submarines entered harbors to tap into communications cables to protect our national security. Our subs routinely transit straits submerged. To do this, post-LOST, the Navy would have to get permission from an Authority composed of states most of which have an almost unbroken record of voting against us in the United Nations.
Why are we doing this? Do we think we will win the approbation of the international community if we show ourselves to be good global citizens by surrendering our rights and our wealth?
The Law of the Sea Treaty is an utterly unnecessary transfer of authority from the United States and of the wealth of its citizens to global bureaucrats who have never had our interests at heart, and to Third World regimes that have never been reliable friends. That Republicans senators think this is a good idea speaks volumes about what has become of the party of T.R., Bob Taft, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
And they call themselves conservatives.