Monday, February 11, 2008

Lately I Fear All Hope May Be L.O.S.T.

Will America Get LOST?
By Brian Farmer
The New American

President George W. Bush wants the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (otherwise known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST), which President Ronald Reagan rejected in 1982. Proponents of the treaty contend that Reagan's objections were fully addressed in a multilateral accord known as the Agreement of 1994. However, the original vision that was behind LOST, namely the promotion of a form of global collectivism known as the New International Economic Order (NIEO), is still present in the 1994 Agreement.

During the course of protracted negotiations, LOST mutated from an effort to codify certain navigation rights, strongly supported by the U.S. Navy, into a dramatic step toward world government. The NIEO agenda was most closely identified with Part XI of LOST, which created a massive bureaucracy, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), to control the resources of the world's oceans as "the common heritage of all mankind," and allow for the redistribution of ocean-resource-derived income from industrialized countries to developing countries.

As early as the 1970s, supporters of LOST were admitting that the treaty would grant tremendous new powers to an international authority. In 1974, global strategist Richard N. Gardner wrote an article for the Council on Foreign Relations journal, Foreign Affairs, in which he laid out a comprehensive program for implementing world government. Gardner said:

In the 1974 Law of the Sea Conference and beyond-in what may be several years of very difficult negotiations-there should eventually emerge a new international regime governing the world's oceans. New law is, all agree, urgently needed on such crucial matters as the territorial sea, passage through international straits, fisheries, the exploitation of the mineral resources of the seabed, the regulation of marine pollution, and the conduct of scientific research. To make these rules of law meaningful, there will have to be tough provisions to assure compliance as well as to provide for the compulsory settlement of disputes. The regulatory responsibilities of the new oceans agency are likely to exceed those of any existing international organization.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently approved the revised version of LOST and recommended it to the full Senate for ratification. Unfortunately, that Senate committee's consideration of the accord amounted to little more than a rubber-stamp. In hearings conducted on October 4, 2007, only two critics of LOST were allowed to testify, and then only for five minutes each. Hence, there is every appearance of a deliberate effort to keep the American people in the dark until after LOST is ratified when it would be too late to do anything about it. If LOST is so bad that Republican icon Ronald Reagan opposed the treaty during his presidency, why are Republican Senators such as Richard Lugar lobbying for its passage today? One reason is that too many of our leaders now care more about global governance than about national sovereignty. Another reason is many politicians, diplomats, and bureaucrats have spent the better part of their careers working on LOST and are eager to have something to show for it. To put it bluntly, they seem to care more about their own legacies rather than the welfare of the nation. The most dangerous aspect of LOST is the precedent it would create: the concession of authority and control to an international organization over which the United States has little or no control. To ratify LOST would diminish U.S. national sovereignty while enhancing the power of unaccountable international governance. And the precedent thereby created could lead to global regulation of everything from the Internet to outer space. It is a dangerous concession to accept the notion that our economic prosperity and national security should be subject to the approval of unreliable majorities of other nations.

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