op-ed

A great month for American sovereignty

Thomas P. Kilgannon President, Freedom Alliance

Property values in the global community took a hit this month after the United States twice declined invitations to surrender its sovereignty to the United Nations.

The first bit of good news came when Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) announced a 34-member coalition pledged in opposition to the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty (L.O.S.T.). While more may join the effort, there are now enough votes to prevent ratification and protect the U.S. Navy and our oil and gas industries from answering to the United Nations and the International Seabed Authority (I.S.A.).

L.O.S.T. is a deeply flawed document that would transfer power, authority, resources and riches to employees at the U.N. whose credentials barely rise to that of flea market management.

The treaty empowers the U.N. to govern the world’s oceans and control activities on and below the water — including shipping, mining, exploration and fishing. It was opposed by President Reagan in 1982, and has been resurrected and rejected several times in the 30 years since.

Senators are right to be concerned about L.O.S.T.’s impact on American sovereignty. Ratification of the treaty would christen the Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority as a global entity authorized to lay and collect taxes on American businesses. The I.S.A. would determine which companies can drill, where and for what. It would lay claim to the associated royalties, which experts believe would amount to trillions of dollars, or roughly the equivalent of a Barack Obama annual deficit. Those monies would then be funneled through the ethically challenged United Nations rather than the ailing U.S. economy.

This is standard fare for the treaty’s chief proponent. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry is a U.N. man to the core. He backs treaties that add to global government, believes the U.N. Security Council must authorize America’s military actions and has voiced his desire to see the American military deployed around the world “only at the directive of the United Nations.”

Kerry’s friends at Turtle Bay suffered another setback last week when the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty ended in failure, ensuring that the Second Amendment needn’t be excised from the Constitution just yet. On July 27 — the last day of the conference — the Obama administration told delegates meeting in New York that it needed more time to review the proposed text. The conference deadline came and went, and the U.N.’s strongest-ever effort to strip Americans of the right to own firearms was turned back.

The dual rejection of these treaties marks the most significant affirmation of American sovereignty since John Bolton removed the U.S. signature from the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court — an act that Bolton describes as his proudest achievement in public service.

One can comb through these treaties and find specific problems with each. My colleagues who’ve done just that deserve eternal thanks for exposing the threats they pose.

But these are temporary victories, and the match continues to be played on the globalists’ turf. Proponents of these treaties won’t give up — they’ll be back again and again, on these and other matters. The trend of global agreements is to internationalize domestic policy. Treaties have been written or ratified to universally govern policies on education, climate, the environment, firearms, tobacco, oceans, discrimination, women, children, families and persons with disabilities, to name just a few.

International governing bodies are littered with socialists and cultural degenerates. It is no wonder the American left wishes to elevate these issues to their natural allies at the U.N.

Writing in The Washington Times, Senators Inhofe and DeMint framed the big picture accurately. America’s founders, they explain, “sought to constrain our actions within the confines of the consent of the people.” That, however, is problematic for leftist elites who eschew good, old-fashioned American values. So they choose, as the senators explain, “to elevate authority wherever possible above democratic accountability.”

The victories on L.O.S.T. and the Arms Trade Treaty should be celebrated. A sustainable American sovereignty, however, requires Congress to end support for the U.N. and its affiliated agencies, which keep advocating initiatives that undermine our Constitution and our interests.

Thomas P. Kilgannon is the president of Freedom Alliance and the author of Diplomatic Divorce: Why America Should End Its Love Affair With the United Nations.