The Global Citizen: Law of the Sea Treaty
In the last week, I've had over ten meetings with Senate staffers on the Law of the Sea Convention (I hope this explains and excuses my recent absence from this blog). In every meeting -- without exception -- staffers have agreed that U.S. interests are served by ratification of the Convention. Yet, every single staffer also added that they are being bombarded by calls from right-wing activists who say that ratification would mean a loss of sovereignty for the U.S.
While Frank Gaffney wrote his first column without any reference to the Law of the Sea in nearly half a year, he probably helped pen the lead editorial on the page opposite his column in the Washington Times.
The Times makes two main claims against the treaty, neither of which has any legs. First, the Times says we should reject the Law of the Sea because Reagan did and argues that Reagan would still reject it. As I've written here, there's little doubt that President Reagan would enthusiastically embrace the Law of the Sea in its current form. After all -- he said so himself.
Then, the Times says the treaty would interfere with John Bolton's Proliferation Security Initiative. None other than John Bolton has put that myth to rest.
I just got back from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on the Law of the Sea. The final vote was 17-4 in favor of consideration by the full Senate.
I'd like to make a correction on my post this morning "Using U.N. Day to Sink the Law of the Sea". In it I critiized Democratic leadership for not saying "one word about the United Nations or the Law of the Sea." I was wrong. My colleague Scott Paul brought to my attention an excellent press release by Senator Biden who said:
Yesterday, Republican Senate leadership celebrated October 24th, United Nations Day, by engaging in one of their favorite sports, base pandering. At the expense of our nation's security they took the opportunity to bash the Law of the Sea convention and the United Nations.
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