The biggest problem with this treaty is the dangerous precedent it sets.
Update: 4:30: Donald Rumsfeld spoke against the redistribution mechanism which seems to have no limits. Rumsfeld said that the U.N. has a poor management record and he did not want to entrust our interests to their international tribunal. The Navy has done fine without it, he said, adding that the treaty cannot counterbalance the few benefits.
Senator Bellinger said that it will give the U.S. a vote they would not have unless they became a member. He said that the Bush administration concluded it supports U.S. interests, interests which could not be achieved otherwise.
Steve Groves of Heritage stated that he is skeptical, not based on ideology or mythology, but on facts. He said UNCLOS will affect our sovereignty by subjecting us to an international tribunal over which there is no appeal. It will require us to pay an incalculable amount of royalty revenue to an international body that will redistribute these funds from Kingston, Jamaica. In addition, we will have to seek permission to mine the seabed from a council of countries that includes Sudan.
Groves talked about the Founding Fathers not wanting us to be taxed from afar nor wanting us subjected to foreign tribunals for pretended offenses.
Groves pointed to the facts. He said the Navy has protected our maritime interests and has never been denied access despite failure to join UNCLOS. Failure to join UNCLOS would not limit us. We currently have full jurisdiction over our continental shelf through treaties with Mexico and Russia.
There is no way to know what the royalty revenues will be and the treaty is an open-ended commitment to landlocked and underdeveloped nations. Environmental activists and academics will launch lawsuits with the tribunal to which we must accede, Groves added. U.S. experience with tribunals has been negative.
He further said that proponents claim there are no costs. The proponents facts are based on mythology said Groves.
There was an interesting exchange of ideas in which the proponents speculated on what would happen if the U.S. interests were challenged.
Senator Jim Risch said UNCLOS will definitely subject us to the Kyoto Protocol and he backed it up with the language of the treaty.
Senator Inhofe pointed out the large amounts of money that might be involved are unknown. Groves said there is no study of what the 7% of hydrocarbons will amount to since we have no clue as to what is out there. The only study, which gives a gross indication, points to sums in the trillions being transferred in the form of entitlements.
The U.S. veto power is nearly nonexistent based on the statements by Inhofe and Groves. Furthermore, he said, oil companies are not chomping at the bit for this treaty to be approved.
I wonder if the veto matters once we have agreed to cede our sovereignty to a U.N. treaty.
Original: 6/14: There has always been an informal law of the sea which allows for the innocent passage of one nation’s ships through another nation’s territorial waters. Lost, the Law of the Sea Treaty, formalizes the “right of innocent passage.” There are conditions, such as it cannot threaten the sovereignty and security of that nation.
LOST, formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS III, was adopted in 1982. It was negotiated as UNCLOS I and II in the ’60’s and 70’s. Reagan refused to sign UNCLOS III because he saw it as a threat to liberty.
In the ’90’s, Clinton signed a supplementary agreement on deep seabed mining which was more acceptable to the U.S. and which modified some of the more objectionable clauses in UNCLSO III. UNCLOS III, with a Bush approval, received Senate confirmation and was signed in 2004. It is now being renegotiated.
The treaty is a threat to U.S. sovereignty and economic interests because it is based on a failed socialist model –
- The treaty is reliant on the economic beliefs held by the U.N. The treaty seeks “fairer” terms of trade and development financing for the so-called under-developed and developing nations. In other words, it seeks redistribution.
- The treaty requires parties to the treaty adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment. These are the ideas that Ronald Reagan rejected as contrary to U.S. values of freedom.
- The treaty also establishes specific jurisdictional limits on the ocean area that countries may claim, including a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit. The biggest problem is the clause that requires the U.S. to provide just compensation to the rest of the world. Remember, we are talking about socialists and redistribution here. The UNCLOS members could extend that distance to 350 miles if they so choose.
- Critical nations to this treaty will not sign it. China, for one, has no intention of abiding by the treaty.
- There are no provisions for intervention against ships that are operated by terrorists or carrying weapons of mass destruction.
- It puts an international authority over the treaty implementation and over any disagreements. An international tribunal, ITCLOS, in Hamburg, Germany will make decisions about our rights, even our right to seize a vessel, including those carrying weapons of mass destruction. If we do not comply, we face criminal penalties. The U.S. along with other nations would be forced to document the seizure in detail, compromising sensitive military operations. The treaty asserts that resources are the common “heritage of mankind” and “all rights in resources are vested in mankind as a whole, on whose behalf the Authority [the tribunal] shall act.” They will regulate us into oblivion.
- Mining profits will be adjusted to manage competition to keep it from becoming too competitive, true to socialist values.
- The U.S. does NOT have a veto power over the international tribunal.
Hillary Clinton has dismissed any arguments against LOST as mythology. That is the same Hillary Clinton who thought she ducked sniper fire in Bosnia when she was actually strolling off the plane. She said, “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Sinbad, the comedian, who accompanied her said the scariest part of the trip was wondering where he’d eat next.
I don’t believe the Clintons and their colleagues. I prefer the raw data and the raw video.
The Senate Committee hearings on LOST began today. The morning hearings began with speeches by Senators Kerry, Lugar and military officers who support the treaty. The hearings will be continued.
Sen. Kerry, an avid supporter of LOST, believes that unwritten laws are not safe and a treaty is needed to protect us and release illegal restrictions on maritime issues. He quoted Gen. Dempsey as saying the treaty will give the U.S. legitimacy, credibility and an additional tool to navigate the seas. Dempsey believes it will show the world that the U.S. stands for the rule of law.
Senator Lugar joined Senator Kerry in his support for the treaty.
The Navy supports LOST and repeated the belief that it preserves what we have and gives us an additional tool in protecting our maritime interests. They believe it will guarantee our sovereignty. They believe it provides a legal foundation to their military mobility.
The Navy officers testifying today believe it will prevent us from having to use physical force in protecting our own borders and that it will open areas to our own mining interests in deepwater drilling.
The Navy representatives said that claims to areas of the seas have grown and something needs to be done.
The National Center for Public Policy Research said that “sufficient concerns about the implications for U.S. national security and U.S. environmental policy exist that the United States should be wary of acceding to the Law of the Sea Treaty.”