Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

GOP Candidates Roil Calm Seas on Ocean Treaty

Freedom on the seas for this clipper, named Liberty.(AP).

It is that rare animal in Washington these days: A treaty which draws equal measures of support from Republicans and Democrats, from the White House and Congress, from environmentalists and business groups.

The Law of the Sea Treaty, which passed a key Senate committee today, would establish new, international rules for use of the world's oceans.

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.) has called it a "vital international agreement." Business organizations want the treaty as a guarantee of passage through northern oceans as the ice there melts. The Ocean Conservancy president Vikki Spruill said the law had earned the nickname "constitution for the oceans" because it "imposes basic obligations for all countries to protect and preserve the marine environment. President Bush said in May that "I urge the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea during this session of Congress."

Today, James L. Connaughton, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the White House was "pleased by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's strong bi-partisan vote" in support of the treaty. "President Bush stressed the importance of this treaty in advancing US national security, expanding US economic sovereignty over new marine areas, and fostering conservation globally," he said.

But to listen to the Republican presidential candidates, the Law of the Sea treaty -- shortened as LOST -- will establish a scary, unaccountable, shady international government bureaucracy that will strip Americans of their freedoms.

It is, in short, this year's New World Order whipping boy for the Right.

"Are we in favor of increasing the power and authority of the United Nations and its subsidiaries at the expense of American sovereignty and vital interests?" former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee asked in a recent statement. "Or are we opposed to world government, particularly the one envisioned by LOST, charged with implementing a hopelessly outdated and counterproductive socialist and redistributionist agenda from the 1970s?"

No soft-peddling there.

His rivals are equally anti-LOST. Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson says the treaty gives "far too much authority" to the United Nations. A spokesman for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney says he opposes empowering "unaccountable international institutions."

And former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls the treaty "fundamentally flawed" and said he can't support "the creation of yet another unaccountable international bureaucracy."

The position of the GOP candidates puts them squarely in the camp of conservative activists, especially online, who have spent years warning of a conspiracy to enact the global treaty.

In a recent online column, conservative commentator Phyllis Schlafly urged against ratifying "any more U.N. treaties that put U.S. law in the noose of foreign tribunals."

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  October 31, 2007; 6:10 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Democrats: What Women Want?
Next: Bush, Clinton Both Flirted With 'Baby Bonds' Concept

Comments

Yeah I am stupid here is the actual finished post

Whoa... r.wical, VladimirValCymbal, and DrColes (I think Dr. McCarthy would be a better online persona, he also made a list of all those disloyal Americans) who let you off the compound in Idaho. All of you don't have to live in fear of little green men in cohoots with those Commie, (or to quote our slightly arrogant chuckandjennifer) "Marxist, socialist liberals bent on bowing to the UN and it's anti-American agenda" no more. (Damn last time I checked our President, the bane of all liberals, couldn't fit into any of those ad hominem attacks, but hey chuckand jennifer that's right your smarter than all of us because you know your right, when the rest of world is wrong. I think the definition of being a good citizen whether that means specifically a global or a local one means having an open mind to those arguments against yours and holding the judgement of whose is right or wrong to when you pass through the pearly gates. I would take 10 to 1 odds that you too have not read the actually boring treaty. I think psychologists classify that a narcissistic self interest bordering on meglomania, a symptom of schizophrenia BTW. You might want to be careful you might end up like the other nut jobs,like myself posting to this non-issue.) DrColes, r.wical, and VladimirValCymbal you three need not live in fear anymore there are tons of conventional antipsychotic drugs have been in use for many decades and the clinical experience of them is very positive. You may wish to consult your doctor on the large group of treatments that includes drugs such as haloperidole (Haldol), zuclopenthioxol (Cisordinol), perphenazin (Trilafon), alimemazin (Theralen) and chlorpromazine (Hibernal). Schizophrenia is something you can function normally with if you get help rather than wasting our time with your paranoid "New World Order" ramblings. If you have a beef with LOST then quote the specifics and make a coherent argument on why it is bad (see JamesL.Johnston's post for an excellent example) Don't waste posting space with psuedo-academic irrationality saying the UN is going over run us showing the rest of the thinking world how stupid us Americans are capabale of being. Like it or not while we don't always get our way in the UN we do control the UN more than any other country. Your arguments sound like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reasons that Iran shouldn't have to comply to UN security council's resolutions regarding their nuclear ambitions. The issue of sovereignty is a 20th century problem that still plagues our efforts in the 21st century to save our selves from destroying the only place we have to live. Somebody has got to step up to the podium and lead us out of that thinking. I'd rather it be the US than Europe or worse China. While far from perfect George Bush has taken that first step and his cohorts attack him for doing so is utterly absurb.

Posted by: morgan_cymro | November 2, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Whoa... r.wical, VladimirValCymbal, and DrColes (I think Dr. McCarthy would be a better online persona, he also made a list of all those disloyal Americans) who let you off the compound in Idaho. All of you don't have to live in fear of little green men in cohoots with those Commie, (or to quote our slightly arrogant chuckandjennifer) "Marxist, socialist liberals bent on bowing to the UN and it's anti-American agenda" no more. (Damn last time I checked our President, the bane of all liberals, couldn't fit into any of those ad hominem attacks, but hey chuckand jennifer that's right your smarter than all of us because you know your right, when the rest of world is wrong. I think the definition of being a good citizen whether that mean global or local means having an open mind to those arguments against yours and holding out for the judgement of whose right or wrong when you pass through the pearly gates. I would take 10 to 1 odds that you too have not read the actually boring treaty. I think psychologists classify that a narcissistic self interest bordering on meglomania, a symptom of schizophrenia BTW. You might want to be careful you might end up like the other nut jobs,like myself posting to this non-issue.) DrColes, r.wical, and VladimirValCymbal you three need not live in fear anymore there are tons of conventional antipsychotic drugs have been in use for many decades and the clinical experience of them is very positive. You may wish to consult your doctor on the large group of treatments that includes drugs such as haloperidole (Haldol), zuclopenthioxol (Cisordinol), perphenazin (Trilafon), alimemazin (Theralen) and chlorpromazine (Hibernal). Schizophrenia is something you can function normally with if you get help rather than wasting our time with your paranoid "New World Order" ramblings. If you have a beef with LOST then quote the specifics and make a coherent argument on why it is bad, not the UN is going over run us, like it or not while we don't always get our way we control the UN.

Posted by: morgan_cymro | November 2, 2007 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Whoa... r.wical, VladimirValCymbal, and DrColes (I think Dr. McCarthy would be a better online persona, he also made a list of all those disloyal Americans) who let you off the compound in Idaho. All of you don't have to live in fear of little green men in cohoots with those Commie, (or to quote our slightly arrogant chuckandjennifer) "Marxist, socialist liberals bent on bowing to the UN and it's anti-American agenda" no more. (Damn last time I checked our President, the bane of all liberals, couldn't fit into any of those ad hominem attacks, but hey chuckand jennifer that's right your smarter than all of us because you know your right, when the rest of world is wrong. I think the definition of being a good citizen whether that mean global or local means having an open mind to those arguments against yours and holding out for the judgement of whose right or wrong when you pass through the pearly gates. I would take 10 to 1 odds that you too have not read the actually boring treaty. I think psychologists classify that a narcissistic self interest bordering on meglomania, a symptom of schizophrenia BTW. You might want to be careful you might end up like the other nut jobs,like myself posting to this non-issue.) DrColes, r.wical, and VladimirValCymbal you three need not live in fear anymore there are tons of conventional antipsychotic drugs have been in use for many decades and the clinical experience of them is very positive. You may wish to consult your doctor on the large group of treatments that includes drugs such as haloperidole (Haldol), zuclopenthioxol (Cisordinol), perphenazin (Trilafon), alimemazin (Theralen) and chlorpromazine (Hibernal). Schizophrenia is something you can function normally with if you get help rather than wasting our time with your paranoid "New World Order" ramblings. If you have a beef with LOST then quote the specifics and make a coherent argument on why it is bad, not the UN is going over run us, like it or not while we don't always get our way we control the UN.

Posted by: morgan_cymro | November 2, 2007 1:23 AM | Report abuse

The Law Of The Sea Is A Bad Deal For U.S. Mineral Consumers

The Wall Street Journal had an article on September 26 by James Baker and George Shultz claiming that if the U.S. "becomes a party to the Convention of the Law of the Sea, it will be a boon for our national security and our economic interests." I beg to differ.

Resources under the Arctic Ocean and an ice-free Northwest Passage are listed as reasons for U.S. ratification of the Law Of the Sea Treaty. But that does not square with my experience on the U.S. delegation. There has always been a dichotomy of U.S. interests. There were the economic interests that would flourish with an improvement in the definition and enforcement of property rights in the ocean areas of the globe beyond national jurisdiction. The other interests were the security and navigational freedoms that were deemed important during the cold war with the Soviet Union.

The defense issues were always given priority over the economic consequences. Indeed, the nondefense interests were considered bargaining chips to be offered in exchange for maintaining navigational freedoms. We have now reached the point where there are almost no more nondefense concessions to be offered.

The one remaining concession is U.S. participation in a worldwide minerals cartel. Normally, cartels are difficult to form and maintain. There is a strong incentive for one member of the cartel to draw off a larger share of the monopoly profits by shaving a little off the price. In the limit, if all the cartel members were to cheat, the prices and output would revert to the competitive levels. What is needed for a successful cartel is an enforcement mechanism. Under the coffee cartel that was effective during the Kennedy Administration, the U.S. government enforced the production quotas by virtue of the United States being the principal consumer of coffee.

Guess what? The United States is one of the principle consumers of minerals, as such it could act to enforce the mineral production quotas. It could do this if the United States were to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty and then take a permanent seat on the International Seabed Authority. The U.S. defense establishment could then broker a deal in the Arctic by tilting the cartel production quotas in favor of Russia and Canada that are already large mineral producers. My experience on the U.S. delegation convinces me that this could happen. Indeed, when I was a member of the U.S. delegation, it was given a full briefing by the Commerce Department on the workings of the coffee cartel.

The U.S. Senate ought to protect the nation's consumers by rejecting the Law of the Sea Treaty and its potential mineral cartel as a bad deal.

Posted by: JamesLJohnston | November 1, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

1st comment and subsequent comments shows how nutty the right wing wackos are: its the commies and islamofascists who must be behind any international law . Also shows how nutty several Republican candidates are in pandering to the right wing paranoiacs.

Posted by: djw3505 | November 1, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Talk about not worth the time to respond... With all do respect to rmmcmanus, I haven't heard elitist drivel like that for a while. The statement that those who oppose this treaty haven't read it and if they have they didn't understand it is an attack that is intended to silence anyone who disagrees with Marxist, socialist liberals bent on bowing to the UN and it's anti-American agenda. I do not believe that we as Americans own the world nor should we. However, it is possible to be a good global citizen and disagree with the rest of the world and be right

Posted by: chuckandjennifer | November 1, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This boggles the mind. This "New World Order" that so many politicians are trying to impose on the citizens of the United States will put us under the control of the most naïve and/or wicked people who ever walked this earth.

These are the same people that gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Arafat and Gore, appointed some of the world's biggest human rights violators on the Human Rights Commission, and are eager to do business with terrorist regimes.

The United Nations Peace Keepers, run like scared rats at the first sign of aggression. These are the people that are going to enforce any agreement?

U. N. officials line their pockets with money that is earmarked for aid and are profiteering from imposed sanctions. We should expect fair arbitration from them?

U. N. observers watch as Hezbollah lobs rockets into Israel, infiltrate Israeli territory, and kidnap IDF members. They say report nothing, they protest nothing, they do nothing. We are to count on them to fairly report violations of any kind?

LOST (Law of the Sea Treaty) should get lost, never to return. Have all our elected officials been drugged, paid off, lost their minds, been replaced with clones, hypnotized, brainwashed, threatened, or just got stupid?

We the people, need to rise up, let them know we are mad as hell, and won't take it any more. Call you congressperson, senator, and the White house. Let them know that we are proud, self reliant, Americans who are not interested in being run by a "New World Order" socialist government dedicated to take from those who have earned the rights through hard work and diligence and give to the less than forty hour work week, two month paid vacation, socialized medicine receiving entitlement demanders. Or perhaps give to the despot rulers keeping their people pore, uninformed, and under the constant threat of incarceration, torture, and death.

No, LOST t is a very bad deal for America and the free world (what's left of it.)

Posted by: VladimirValCymbal | November 1, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know . . . it isn't worth the time to respond. But the two above posts by r.wical and DrColes bear out my earlier post about reflexive ignoramuses. Without citing a single provision of the treaty, r.wical claims it would require transfers of "wealth" and "technology" from developed to undeveloped nations. This is a falsehood. And DrColes asserts grandly that all who disagree with him/her are "disloyal Americans." If so, the list of the disloyal now includes (just off the top of my head), the president of the United States, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all former living Chiefs of Naval Operations, the Bush-appointed US Oceans Policy Commission (unanimous), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (in 2 consecutive Congresses), the American Petroleum Institute, all living former State Dept. Legal Advisers, former Secretary of State Shultz, etc., etc. In any case, DrColes encourages us to read the treaty, and states that US accession "would cost America its sovereignty." That is an outrageous and unsupportable statement, typical of those opponents who have not read the treaty and could not understand it if they did. I have a different take on loyalty: I question the loyalty of those who spread deliberate falsehoods about a matter pending before the Senate with serious implications for our national security.

Posted by: rmcmanus | November 1, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who backs the Law of Sea Treaty is a disloyal American. Read it. It would cost America its sovereignty! No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See http://tinyurl.com/2znnvl Know whom you are voting for.

Posted by: DrColes | November 1, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Law of the Sea Treaty calls for technology transfers and wealth transfers from developed to undeveloped nations. It also requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment. The wealth and technologies transfers will be enforced - the environmental parts of it won't - an example is the Kyoto treaty exempting China and India. If the required wealth and technology transfers aren't Marxist-Socialist, then what do you call them?

Posted by: tryronpaul | November 1, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm really sick of good, logical, bipartisan politics (like the Law of the Sea Treaty) being bashed by people who just don't see the big picture. Anyone who has any idea about current illegal activity in international waters (drug shipments, illegal fishing, human trafficking, etc.) would support this treaty. Don't let the spin doctors smudge mud over GOOD POLICY!

Dick Lugar is an excellent senator, more Republicans should follow his solids politics for a better America and bipartisan leadership.

Posted by: dolly4fish | November 1, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Once again from the tone of the comments made to this article It is easy to discern the American "we own the world" attitude. As long as that kind of philosophy pervails in the U.S. it will constantly be wasting its young soldiers on fruitless foreign adventures trying to steal something that was not America's to begin with. The only way to get along in this world is to understand that there are a few hundred countries and territories making up the U.N. and other world organizations. Although these countries do not have the power and clout of the U.S. they deserve a right to a voice in world affairs. The U.S. is much too quick to send in the troops if they want something and are opposed by the rest of the world or a majority thereof. No matter how you spin it, the American idea that "might makes right" is totally morally and ethically corrupt. Americans must come to grips with this dichotomy. Are you a country of laws or are you a country that relies on brute force? A treaty means you rely on law, no treaty means you rely on force. Make up your minds, you can't have both and be true to yourself or the world.

Posted by: Archie1954 | November 1, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

In this short article by Michael Shear and in the ensuing comments, it seems to have escaped notice that the UN has NO substantive role under the LOS Convention. What's really going on here is a disinformation campaign by the spiritual descendants of those who thought water fluoridation was a Communist Plot. Phyllis Schlafly, for example, has written that the treaty would give the International Seabed Authority "total jurisdiction over all the oceans and everything in them," including authority to regulate passage by US Navy ships. (Bend, OR, Weekly, 5/18/07). Such statements are, of course, utter nonsense and are never backed up by references to the treaty text -- because there are none. Thompson, Giuliani and the now flip-flopped McCain are simply pandering to the reflexive ignoramuses who besiege them with anti-treaty emails, but who have no knowledge whatever of the actual provisions of this 200-page document.

Posted by: rmcmanus | November 1, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

We don't enter treaties to do favors for others. We do it to achieve things for ourselves that we cannot gain by acting alone. 20 years ago we decided that we needed to protect Americans from skin cancer due to ozone depletion. We could do a lot here to curb ozone-depleting chemicals. As the biggest emitter, we had to lead. But we couldn't fully protect our own people without getting other countries to curb those chemicals too. Same now with global warming. We need a global warming treaty for our own safety, not to do favors for others. Republicans who reject these treaties forget that we don't live on a planet all by ourselves. To protect our own interests, we need others' cooperation.

Posted by: ddoniger | October 31, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the other GOP candidates have decided to start parroting the positions of Ron Paul. They must realize that people actually like what he has to say and are tired of finding themselves on the wrong side of the conservative fence.

Posted by: ianallover | October 31, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

No surprises here. As supporters of an ideology that insures socialism for the very wealthiest in the form of endless tax breaks and hidden subsidies (the fires in California being just one more sad example), with a watered down version of capitalism for the rest of us, the Republican's simply hold true to form in their blind opposition to any extra-national environmental management.

The criminal class which masquerades as the entrepreneurial elite had hoped to insure the ascendancy of their destructive and bribery-drive resource extraction - with no controls at any international level - forever and a day. That's exactly what the free trade agreements meant: international agreements on business and finance without the hard-won labor, environmental, safety, or health issues that we've fought a hundred years and more to get in the United States. Easy pickings.

You bet it's high time we get the UN involved. For all its flaws it is infinitely superior to the leeches in the boardrooms, that global kleptocracy that wants no one above them.

Posted by: ncimon | October 31, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Gee, chemist no complaints about those pernicious socialist conspiracies at the WTO, or NATO, or WIPO or any of the hundred plus international treaty organizations that facilitate and mediate international commerce. I suppose we should just deploy the marines to keep the worlds water ways free? Whoops, they're otherwise occupied.
U R nut.

Posted by: goexplode | October 31, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The United Nations is at best a pernicious collaboration and collection of Marxist-Socialist and Muslim adversaries who seldom, if ever, have anything good to say or enact any resolution that is good for America. But what do you expect from an organization whose charter is practically a verbatim copy of the 1936 Soviet Constitution under Joseph Stalin? It is the organ of the Socialist Internationale, the organization that has the fealty and allegiance of every socialist,progressive and left wing entity throughout the world. This includes the many Democratic members that ascribe to and are endorsed by The Democratic Socialist of America. ( www.dsausa.org)
The United nations is comprised of an assemblge of non-elected bureaucrats, self-style Platonic enlightened philospher kings ( aka Vanguards of the revolution) who want either one-world socialism and/or Islamic global control, without an accountability to an electorate. It is a cadre of officials from third world countries, who despise the poverty their own dictatorial or Marxist regimes have engendered in their own societies. So these third world dictatorships use class envy against the prosperity capitalism and freedom create, neglect their own responsibility for their own national or religious policies, and vote to re-distribute the wealth of America and other capitalist systems. The UN is really a collection of progressive parasites and should be removed from American soil.
The tradegy is the liberal politicians in America , who more resemble the Torries in The American Revolution. These people would have us to be a colony again, ruled by foreign despots,( despots with the same ideology). They willingly advance treaties to abrogate and usurp American Constitutional freedoms, and would remove our republican sovereignty to make us serfs of the leftist elites throughout the world. Just look at the Kyoto Treaty that would decimate American Industry but somehow let Communist China and India be exempt. The Law of the Sea Treaty works on the same Anti-American, pro-elitist strategy. Mike Guy

Posted by: chemistmike | October 31, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company