As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepares to take up the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST; also known as UNCLOS, for United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) tomorrow, National Review Online editorializes against the treaty, in today’s lead item, taking the Bush administration and the Navy to much-needed task for their misguided support.
[E]nough has surely been written to demonstrate that the selling of UNCLOS is a white-collar crime that has the fingerprints of the Bush administration all over it. Yes, the White House has allies — the usual suspects in fact: the Democrats and some Republicans, the U.S. State Department, the NGOs of the Left, international civil servants, law professors seeking another treaty as pretext to read their own opinions into law, and above all what Hudson Institute scholar John Fonte has called “transnational progressives” (or, for short, Tranzis).
So why is the Bush administration strongly urging passage of UNCLOS?
The reason has little or nothing to do with the value of UNCLOS to the U.S. Its codification of existing maritime law, while modestly useful, grants the U.S. no rights it does not already possess under earlier and customary law. Those who argue, as U.S. Navy lawyers do, that it will help the Navy assert American rights over North Pole oil (always supposing such oil exists in large quantities) must explain (a) why UNCLOS would be certain to support the American case once we had accepted its authority by joining the treaty; (b) who would enforce a favorable UNCLOS ruling over Russian or other objections apart from — the U.S. Navy; and (c) if other powers would be required to help the U.S. enforce a favorable decision under (b), exactly why the U.S. Navy would not be similarly required by UNCLOS to enforce decisions favorable to third parties in other disputes of no concern to the U.S.
So who are these “Tranzis”? Chief among LOST’s NGO boosters is Citizens for Global Solutions, which grew out of something called the World Federalist Institute, and whose stated mission is to empower global bureaucracies like the U.N. — but don’t take it from me; take it from their own history:
The World Federalist Institute (WFI) serves as Citizens for Global Solutions’ think tank by promoting debate, discussion and sharing research on the principle of federalism and its applicability to resolving global problems nations cannot solve alone. One goal of the WFI is to develop pragmatic proposals ultimately leading to the creation of a democratic global political system with a federal structure…
When the World Federalist Association merged with the Campaign for UN Reform in January, 2004, to become Citizens for Global Solutions, the World Federalist Institute was created to carry on the tradition of studying and advocating world federation.
Need I — or they — say more? “Star Trek” this ain’t.