The U.N.'S Big Power Grab

Article excerpt

Byline: Frank J. Gaffney Jr., THE WASHINGTON TIMES

If Americans have learned anything about the United Nations over the last 50 years, it is that this "world body" is, at best, riddled with corruption and incompetence. At worst, its bureaucracy, agencies and members are overwhelmingly hostile to the United States and other freedom-loving nations, most especially Israel.

So why on earth would the United States Senate possibly consider putting the U.N. on steroids by assenting to its control of seven-tenths of the world's surface?

Such a step would seem especially improbable given such well-documented fiascoes as: the U.N.-administered Iraq Oil-for-Food program; investigations and cover-ups of corrupt practices at the organization's highest levels; child sex-slave operations and rape squads run by U.N. peacekeepers; and the absurd, yet relentless, assault on alleged Israeli abuses of human rights by majorities led by despotic regimes in Iran, Cuba, Syria and Libya.

Nonetheless, the predictable effect of U.S. accession to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea - better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (or LOST) - would be to transform the U.N. from a nuisance and laughingstock into a world government: The United States would confer upon a U.N. agency called the International Seabed Authority (IA) the right to dictate what is done on, in and under the world's oceans. Doing so, America would become party to surrender of immense resources of the seas and what lies beneath them to the dictates of unaccountable, nontransparent multinational organizations, tribunals and bureaucrats.

LOST's most determined proponents have always been the one-worlders - members of the World Federalists Association (now dubbed Citizens for Global Solutions) and like-minded advocates of supranational government. They have made no secret of their ambition to use the Law of the Sea Treaty as a kind of "constitution of the oceans" and prototype for what they want to do on land, as well.

Specifically, the transnationalists (or Transies) understand LOST would set a precedent for diminishing, and ultimately eliminating, sovereign nations. It would establish the superiority of international mechanisms for managing not just "the common heritage of mankind," but everything that could affect it.

In the case of LOST, such a supranational arrangement is particularly enabled by the treaty's sweeping environmental obligations. State parties promise to "protect and preserve the marine environment." Since ashore activities - from air pollution to runoff that makes its way into a given nation's internal waters - can ultimately affect the oceans, however, the U.N.'s big power grab would also allow it to exercise authority over land-based actions of heretofore sovereign nations.

Unfortunately, the Senate has been misled on this point by the Bush administration. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte claimed in testimony before the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee last Thursday that the treaty has "no jurisdiction over marine pollution disputes involving land-based sources. …