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US Congress Short Memory: (Oil For Food) “Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas”

The Law of the Sea Treaty is as harmful today as it was when Reagan and Thatcher first opposed it in 1982.

June 13, 2012
By DONALD RUMSFELD

Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan asked me to meet with world leaders to represent the United States in opposition to the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty. Our efforts soon found a persuasive supporter in British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Today, as the U.S. Senate again considers approving this flawed agreement, the Reagan-Thatcher reasons for opposition remain every bit as persuasive.

When I met with Mrs. Thatcher in 1982, her conclusion on the treaty was unforgettable: “What this treaty proposes is nothing less than the international nationalization of roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.” Then, referring to her battles dismantling Britain’s state-owned mining and utility companies, she added, “And you know how I feel about nationalization. Tell Ronnie I’m with him.”

Reagan had entered office the year before with the treaty presented to him as a done deal requiring only his signature and Senate ratification. Then as now, most of the world’s nations had already approved it. The Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations had all gone along. American diplomats generally supported the treaty and were shocked when Reagan changed America’s policy. Puzzled by their reaction, the president was said to have responded, “But isn’t that what the election was all about?”

Yet, as the Gipper might have said, here we go again: An impressive coalition—including every living former secretary of State—has endorsed the Obama administration’s goal of ratifying the treaty. The U.S. Navy wants to “lock in” existing and widely accepted rules of high-seas navigation. Business groups say the treaty could help them by creating somewhat more certainty.

Can so many people, organizations and countries be mistaken? Yes. Various proponents have valid considerations, but none has made a compelling case that the treaty would, on balance, benefit America as a whole.

Though a 1994 agreement (signed by some but not all parties to the treaty) fixed some of its original flaws, the treaty remains a sweeping power grab that could prove to be the largest mechanism for the world-wide redistribution of wealth in human history.

The treaty proposes to create a new global governance institution that would regulate American citizens and businesses without being accountable politically to the American people. Some treaty proponents pay little attention to constitutional concerns about democratic legislative processes and principles of self-government, but I believe the American people take seriously such threats to the foundations of our nation.

The treaty creates a United Nations-style body called the “International Seabed Authority.” “The Authority,” as U.N. bureaucrats call it in Orwellian shorthand, would be involved in all commercial activity in international waters, such as mining and oil and gas production. Pursuant to the treaty’s Article 82, the U.S. would be required to transfer to this entity a significant share of all royalties generated by U.S. companies—royalties that would otherwise go to the U.S. Treasury.

Over time, hundreds of billions of dollars could flow through the Authority with little oversight. The U.S. would not control how those revenues are spent: The treaty empowers the Authority to redistribute these so-called international royalties to developing and landlocked nations with no role in exploring or extracting those resources.

This would constitute massive global welfare, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It would be as if fishermen who exerted themselves to catch fish on the high seas were required, on the principle that those fish belonged to all people everywhere, to give a share of their take to countries that had nothing to do with their costly, dangerous and arduous efforts.

Worse still, these sizable “royalties” could go to corrupt dictatorships and state sponsors of terrorism. For example, as a treaty signatory and a member of the Authority’s executive council, the government of Sudan—which has harbored terrorists and conducted a mass extermination campaign against its own people—would have as much say as the U.S. on issues to be decided by the Authority.

Disagreements among treaty signatories are to be decided through mandatory dispute-resolution processes of uncertain integrity. Americans should be uncomfortable with unelected and unaccountable tribunals appointed by the secretary-general of the United Nations serving as the final arbiter of such disagreements.

Even if one were to agree with the principle of global wealth redistribution from the U.S. to other nations, other U.N. bodies have proven notably unskilled at financial management. The U.N. Oil for Food program in Iraq, for instance, resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in corruption and graft that directly benefited Saddam Hussein and his allies. The Law of the Sea Treaty is an opportunity for scandal on an even larger scale.

The most persuasive argument for the treaty is the U.S. Navy’s desire to shore up international navigation rights. It is true that the treaty might produce some benefits, clarifying some principles and perhaps making it easier to resolve certain disputes. But our Navy has done quite well without this treaty for the past 200 years, relying often on centuries-old, well-established customary international law to assert navigational rights. Ultimately, it is our naval power that protects international freedom of navigation. This treaty would not make a large enough additional contribution to counterbalance the problems it would create.

In his farewell address to the nation in 1988, Reagan advised the country: “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” If the members of the U.S. Senate fulfill their responsibilities, read the Law of the Sea Treaty and consider it carefully, I believe they will come to the conclusion that its costs to our security and sovereignty would far exceed any benefits.

Mr. Rumsfeld was secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 and from 2001 to 2006. He is author of “Known and Unknown: A Memoir” (Sentinel, 2011).

A version of this article appeared June 13, 2012, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas.

Obama’s LOST Legacy: A New World Order

By Peter C Glover
Posted on Jun. 11, 2012

So who cares if Obama wants, as part of his legacy, to do what Ronald Reagan refused to do and sign up the United States to LOST, the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty? Well if you are a small government, liberty-loving American, or citizen anywhere in the free world, you should. Here’s why.

US ratification of this Treaty would effectively grant governance of the bulk of the world’s surface area, its navigable waterways and access to what lies beneath – i.e. the world’s deepwater energy riches, not only fishing rights – to an unelected, anti-US, rabidly anti-Jewish, anti-free market, anti-capitalist body; where those in the democratic West can easily be outvoted.

Sound good to you?

For many Lost is a far-flung fictional fantasy about people facing a dangerous new world that poses unique threats. LOST also offers a new world of unique threats – but is an only too real, clear and present danger. It just so happens, when it comes to ambitions for an expanded Law of the Sea Treaty, that what is in the best interests of the United States is also in the best interest of the free world. No matter that the much of the rest of the world may have already attempted to sign away some of their sovereign rights under LOST. Quite simply, without US ratification (and its naval power), LOST remains a largely meaningless document. It is essential that it stays that way.

The problem with transnational governance of any kind is that on an administrative level it ties up sovereign claims in bureaucratic red tape for years. Meanwhile the world’s ‘less’ democratic leaders, like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, will do as they always have, ignore them altogether. Russia has effectively already annexed around 60 percent of the Arctic. We’ve all seen the International Criminal Court of Justice in action. Those hauled up before it are far more likely to die of old age than receive justice. Imagine an international tribunal, with all manner of agendas, demanding governments and successful companies stump up billions of dollars in fines, compensations and ‘reparations’ to be ‘redistributed’ at the whim and collusion of some of the world’s leading dictators.

A little harsh? Then consider the UN’s track record.

LOST, the story so far

With bemusing short-sightedness, the key supporters of LOST or, to give it its alternative title, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are pushing ratification both as a “tool to expand and confirm American sovereignty” and as a “peace tool for the US”. The treaty has been on the books since 1982 garnering wide Western support until Ronald Reagan grounded it perceiving it to be a threat to US sovereign interests. But President Obama, it seems, sees adoption as part of his legacy. In mid-May the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Atlantic Council held a forum at which US politicians, businesses and even national security leaders gave their support to the Treaty. Currently, Senator John Kerry is operating as the administration’s point man. Kerry is holding a series of public hearings to garner further support for the US to ratify LOST. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey (amazingly the US Navy thinks it’s a good idea) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – all avid proponents of adopting the Treaty – have all been called to give evidence.

The thinking runs that the US needs to secure its rights to the vast mineral resources on its extended continental shelf, not least in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The fact is, however, under existing international law and US policy, America already has access to these areas. And it’s hard to see anyone arguing the fact given US naval clout; which brings us full circle to what’s really going on here. And for those who love liberty and freedom, it turns out to be far more than controlling just US wealth and sovereign rights, as the rush for the Arctic’s subsea energy riches exemplifies.

The USGS estimates that the Arctic has around 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered energy resources, with 84 percent of that figure in deepwater. It is clearly a whole new energy frontier. While various claims to Arctic regions, as well as other energy-rich areas of the world, have been lodged with the UNCLOS, tensions between the Arctic’s littoral states, Russia, Canada, Norway Denmark (Greenland), the US and Iceland have been ratcheting up. with the larger states, particularly Russia, militarizing their claimed regions. The argument from the American left is that as the US has not ratified UNCLOS/LOST it does not have a seat at, what they view, as the UN’s prospective arbitration table. Indeed, the US has notably not submitted any claims to UNCLOS. And without US co-operation any decisions currently made by UNCLOS won’t count for much.

In 2010 I attended the inaugural meeting of The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue which has translated into an annual forum on all matters Arctic hosted by the Russian Geographical Society, sponsored by Putin himself. Those attending included members of another key international forum, the Arctic Council, made up of representatives of all the littoral Arctic states. Bottom line: international ‘jaw-jaw’ forum to deal with everything ‘Arctic’ already exist. So why is a new UN convention with global reach necessary? And who, precisely, thinks it’s a good idea? Let’s take the second issue first.

Usual suspects

Washington Times’ Frank Gaffney describes those pushing for the US to sign up to LOST as “usual suspects – the environmentalists, the one-worlder trans-nationalists, the Obama administration” and other “short-sighted special interests”. Yep, leftwing social engineers all. And US ratification of LOST would give the world’s greatest naval power no more than a single vote at a table chaired by the UN. De-superpowered at a bureaucratic stroke and giving the world’s leading talking shop to rake in a huge ‘tax and penalty’ bonanza from the vast deepwater energy resources on continental shelves.

America signing up to LOST would effectively require it to pay tax royalties to the UN’s International Seabed Authority. It would also become subject to UN powers of arbitration over disputed waters. At whim, the UN bureaucracy could level economic penalties for all sorts of alleged infractions. The UN would, at last, have found a potentially bottomless pit of independent income, mostly at US expense. Greenpeace and other lobbies would salivate at the prospect of suing the US and other countries to force them to sign up to that which has thus far eluded them: a legally-binding climate deal. All in all, ratification of LOST would provide the UN – the same organisation that has elected Iran to the Commission on Women’s Rights and recently invited Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe to become a UN Ambassador – with what the Washington Times’ Ed Fuelner rightly describes as “an economic wrecking ball”.

President Obama may or may not be out of office come November but he wants a lasting, globally-impacting, legacy. And ‘internationalist’ legacies don’t come much bigger than being instrumental in handing governance of seventy percent of the earth’s surface to an unelected Star Chamber, supported and dominated by one world nutjobs, enviro-freaks, international despots and self-aggrandizing bureaucrats.

That’s quite a legacy.

Source

Law of the Sea Treaty = The Rape of America … J. D. Longstreet

http://insightonfreedom.blog.com/files/2012/05/Law-of-the-Sea-Treaty-LOGO-300x204.jpg

May 23rd, 2012
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The Obama Administration has dragged the Law of the Sea Treaty back before the US Senate this week.

The treaty, if approved by the Senate will amount to the rape of America.

Here’s what the Center for Security Policy has to say about the Law Of The Sea Treaty: “If, on the other hand, the members of the U.S. Senate trouble themselves to study, or at least read, the text of the Law of the Sea Treaty, they would immediately see it for what it really is: a diplomatic dinosaur, a throwback to a bygone era when UN negotiations were dominated by communists of the Soviet Union and their fellow-travelers in the Third World.

These adversaries’ agenda was transparent and wholly inimical to American equities. They sought to: establish control over 70% of the world’s surface; create an international governing institution that would serve as a model for bringing nation states like ours to heel; and redistribute the planet’s wealth and technology from the developed world to themselves. LOST codifies such arrangements – and would subject us to mandatory dispute resolution to enforce them via stacked-deck adjudication panels.”
SOURCE:

Center for Security Policy

Still, many, if not MOST, Americans have never heard of it — the Law Of The Sea Treaty.

So why is it important?

OK, lets look at some reasons why the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is important to you as an American and to all inhabitants of the earth:

Why We Lose if LOST Wins
By asserting UN authority over seven-tenths of the Earth’s surface, LOST would be the largest territorial conquest in history.

In principle, the treaty would assert UN jurisdiction over U.S. territorial waters, and eventually over waterways within our country.

It would create a huge bureaucratic entity called the “Enterprise” which would regulate and tax all commercial uses of the high seas.

By taxing all efforts to develop the wealth of the seabed, the UN would be given a huge revenue stream, independent of national governments, to push its agenda for international socialism.

The treaty would require the redistribution of cutting-edge technology from the U.S. to all governments in the “developing world,” including extremely repressive governments.

Get the picture??? It’s that cussed “One World Government thing again! (Otherwise known as “Global Governance) You know… the “GLOBALISTS” at work.

Apparatchiks from the Obama Administration will trudge over to the US Senate this week to sing the praises of LOST. They will applaud it and explain to the Senators that it is the best thing since the US Constitution for America, indeed, for the whole world.

It will be a pack of lies.

So, where do we stand today on LOST? Not good, I’m afraid.

The National Center for Public Policy Research has a website providing educational resources on the Law of the Sea Treaty (also known by the acronyms LOST and UNCLOS).

“The Law of the Sea Treaty is a terrible deal for the U.S. It would threaten our sovereignty, place a significant portion of the world’s resources under the control of a U.N.-style body, and complicate our efforts to apprehend terrorists on the high seas by subjecting our actions to review by an international court unlikely to render decisions favorable to the U.S.,” said National Center Vice President David Ridenour.

“The Law of the Sea Treaty would help radical environmentalists achieve what they haven’t been able to achieve through legislation,” Ridenour added. “Greenpeace has said ‘the benefits of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea are substantial, including its basic duties for states to protect and preserve the marine environment and to conserve marine living species.’ The Natural Resources Defense Council challenged the Navy’s use of ‘intense active sonar,’ arguing that it violates the treaty by posing a danger to marine life. The Navy ultimately agreed to scale back use of this technology. The Law of the Sea Treaty has also been used by Australia and New Zealand in an attempt to shut down an experimental blue fin tuna fishing program and by Ireland in an attempt to shut down a plant on land in England”

The website, the United National Law of the Sea Treaty Information Center, contains a collection of research papers, commentaries and blog entries about LOST from a variety of think-tanks, scholars, opinion writers and bloggers. It can be accessed at: Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST or UNCLOS III).

“Although the Law of the Sea Treaty has been around for decades — the National Center for Public Policy Research first worked on it in 1982 — relatively few people know much about it,” said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty Information Center website is designed to help correct this.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C.

It is more important now then ever before to contact your senators and urge them to oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Look. This Law Of The Sea Treaty is serious socialist, global governance, trickery! And NOBODY IS Talking ABOUT IT! Of course, we cannot expect the so-called “Mainstream Media” in America to bring it up, being so deep in the bunker for Obama, that is. The near incestuous relationship between the MsM and Obama prevents them from actually informing their readers, listeners, and viewers, of important, pending, life-changing policy being considered in the nation’s legislature.

We urge you to educate yourself about the Law Of The Sea Treaty — and do so quickly.

In the meantime, however, we suggest that you get on the phone, or send an e-mail or fax to the offices of your US Senators and ask them to vote NO on the Law Of The Sea Treaty.

Every so often, we get a chance to use our constitutional rights for good. This is one of those times.

J. D. Longstreet

Sink the Law of the Sea Treaty

By Ed Feulner
The Washington Times
Monday, May 21, 2012

Want the United States to gain legal access to the vast amount of oil and natural gas in the underwater extended continental shelf? Get LOST – specifically, the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).

The Obama administration wants the Senate to act on the treaty, which has been around since 1982. Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, will be holding a series of hearings, beginning Wednesday, to make the case for LOST.

According to its advocates, we need LOST for a variety of reasons. One of them concerns the oil and gas resources located in the outer limits of our continental shelf. The treaty’s proponents say we can obtain legal title to it only by signing on to the treaty.

“If the United States does not ratify this treaty, our ability to claim the vast extended continental shelf off Alaska will be seriously impeded,” said Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican.

Without LOST, we are told, we will not be able to develop the hydrocarbon resources beneath the extended continental shelf in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean.

Sounds pretty dire and, at a time of fluctuating prices for gasoline and other forms of energy, alarming. Fortunately, it’s not true.

Under international law and long-standing U.S. policy, we already have access to these areas. Presidents dating back to Harry Truman have issued proclamations – and Congress has passed laws – establishing America’s maritime laws and boundaries. And no one has challenged them.

Perhaps LOST’s proponents would like this to change. They tend to be fans of superfluous international agreements and frequently back policies that would tie the hands of the U.S. and prevent us from acting in our own interests. But the fact remains that their claim about LOST being necessary to obtain legal title to the oil and gas under the extended continental shelf is pure fiction.

A big part of the reason this matters is that a lot of money is at stake. It is hard to say exactly how much hydrocarbon deposits there are beneath the extended continental shelf, but according to the ECS Task Force, “Given the size of the U.S. continental shelf, the resources we find there may be worth many billions, if not trillions, of dollars.”

Forgoing such a treasure is not the only way that the United States could lose out financially under LOST. Environmental activists are high on the treaty, too. That is because they anticipate suing the U.S., if it joins LOST, to force America to adopt the radical climate-change agenda they have been unsuccessful at imposing. So far, at least.

Climate-change alarmists have tried again and again in recent years to secure an international agreement. In Denmark, Mexico and South Africa, they have tried to come up with a legally binding climate-change pact. Considering what an economic wrecking ball such an agreement would represent to the U.S. and its allies, we can be glad they failed. But now they think they have found a solution: LOST.

Groups such as Greenpeace would love a chance to make the U.S. pay in international court. And that is just what we would do under the U.S. Convention on the Law of the Sea – pay.

“In addition to needlessly exposing itself to baseless environmental lawsuits,” writes The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Groves, an expert on LOST, “the United States would be required to transfer billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties … to the International Seabed Authority for redistribution to the developing world.”

What does this mean? In short, it means that the United Nations will have an independent source of income, courtesy of the United States.

So who has Sen. Kerry invited to testify at his hearings? Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of them are proponents of the treaty. So do not expect to hear a word about any of its many drawbacks.

LOST amounts to little more than an expensive power grab by America’s detractors worldwide. President Reagan was right to reject it 30 years ago. The U.S. Senate should do the same thing today.

Ed Feulner is president of the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org).

Source

FEULNER: Sink the Law of the Sea Treaty – Washington Times.

George Soros, Agenda 21 and the Coming World Government

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Why you need to know this

Agenda 21 is a two-decade old, grand plan for global ’Sustainable Development,’ brought to you from the United Nations. George H.W. Bush (and 177 other world leaders) agreed to it back in 1992, and in 1995, Bill Clinton signed Executive Order #12858, creating a Presidential Council on ‘Sustainable Development.’ This effectively pushed the UN plan into America’s large, churning government machine without the need for any review or discussion by Congress or the American people.

‘Sustainable Development’ sounds like a nice idea, right? It sounds nice, until you scratch the surface and find that Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are really cloaked plans to impose the tenets of Social Justice/Socialism on the world.

At risk from Agenda 21;

  • Private Property ownership
  • Single-Family homes
  • Private car ownership and individual travel choices
  • Privately owned farms

The Agenda 21 plan openly targets private property. For over thirty-five years the UN has made their stance very clear on the issue of individuals owning land;

Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole.

There are two more, very good reasons to be wary of Agenda 21 and the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) that supports it: George Soros and the United Nations. Soros money has been tracked to funding parts of ICLEI ;

In 1997, George Soros’s Open Society gave ICLEI a $2,147,415 grant to support its Local Agenda 21 Project

As regards the UN, that organization‘s problems with America’s appreciation of freedom and self-determination is one that needs no explanation.

Currently in California, Agenda 21 is working to implement plans to create plans for sustainable management of ‘open spaces.‘ The definition of what is to be considered an ’open space’ has sparked some heated exchanges between those directing the planning meetings and citizens who want private property rights to be respected and protected. (The East Bay Tea Party video featuring a Liberal Democrat arguing against ICLEI can be seen at the end of this article.)

This type of global plan could not be implemented without a large and well-funded group pushing through its priorities. For that, Agenda 21 has the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). And ICLEI is deeply entrenched in America;

ICLEI USA was launched in 1995 and has grown from a handful of local governments participating in a pilot project to a solid network of more than 600 cities, towns and counties actively striving to achieve tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and create more sustainable communities. ICLEI USA is the domestic leader on climate protection and adaptation, and sustainable development at the local government level.

Over six hundred cities,towns and counties in America are members of ICLEI? Do you support your local government agreeing to rules and regulations set up by a UN-based organization that wants private property transferred to government control? If you would like to see if your community is a member of ICLEI, you can visit their website.

source – The Blaze

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