A Bad Idea Resurfaces

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Tue May 29 17:04:20 MDT 2007

>Free Congress Foundation Commentary
>“UNCLOS” or “LOST” – A Bad Idea Resurfaces
>By Paul M. Weyrich
>May 29, 2007
>No bad idea is ever completely defeated in this 
>country, perhaps in other nations as well. I 
>have seen bad ideas surface again and again in 
>this country. When the right is defeated the 
>right tends to stay defeated. I recall 
>advocating a national right-to-work law when I 
>worked in the Senate in the late 1970s. The 
>member of the leadership to whom I pitched the 
>idea exclaimed, “Oh, no. We can’t do that. It 
>was defeated in 1958.” I merely was suggesting 
>that we try to get a vote on the issue. I knew 
>we couldn’t win at that time. I went on and said 
>“So? There is hardly anyone here who was in the 
>Senate then.” I didn’t work for this Senator so 
>I felt that I could not go further but the point 
>remains valid. No doubt if I tried to push the 
>idea among conservatives in the Senate to this 
>day someone would object because his father told 
>him that the idea had been defeated in 1958 and therefore it could not be done.
>Not so with the liberals. My first encounter 
>with the demand for gun control came in 1968. It 
>was shortly after Senator Robert F. (Bobby) 
>Kennedy was assassinated. It seemed that every 
>man and his brother was demanding gun control. 
>Senator Gordon L. Allott, for whom I worked, 
>told me “Just wait around. A few months from now 
>almost no one will be talking about gun control. 
>I’ve seen it all before [when President John F. 
>Kennedy was assassinated]. This idea comes up 
>here again and again although if you would ask 
>the average man on the street, he almost would 
>never demand gun control.” The good Senator was 
>correct. He has been gone for more than 25 
>years, yet the issue has surfaced again and 
>again. Most recently it has occurred following 
>the tragic killings at the Virginia 
>Polytechnical Institute and State University, 
>known as “Virginia Tech.” With conservatives 
>when an idea is defeated it by and large remains 
>defeated. Does any current Senator push the Bricker Amendment?
>On the other hand liberals have no hesitancy in 
>repeatedly pushing a bad idea after it has been 
>defeated. We have a perfect illustration of this 
>in the current Senate. When Ronald W. Reagan 
>took office as President, more than 25 years 
>ago, an issue surfaced known as the Law of the 
>Sea Treaty. I had never heard of it and must 
>admit when it was first mentioned I didn’t pay 
>much attention. But thanks to Howard Phillips, 
>Phyllis Schlafly and others I began to realize 
>that this Treaty, sometimes disparagingly called 
>“LOST,” approvingly called “UNCLOS,” would give 
>our sovereignty away. That alarmed me.
>Through our Coalitions efforts we began to fight 
>this Treaty. The battle seemed helpless until 
>some of us discussed the matter with Edwin (Ed) 
>Meese, III, then a key member of President 
>Reagan’s White House Staff. Meese agreed that 
>the Treaty was fatally flawed and invited the 
>President’s attention to it.  President Reagan 
>opposed it. Yet, would you believe that we still 
>had to carry on the fight against the Treaty 
>beyond his coming out against it. The Navy, it 
>seems, despite Reagan’s opposition, still 
>carried on until ordered to stop. Why, you ask, 
>would the Navy be in favor of a treaty which 
>would have given away our sovereignty? The 
>reason, we were told, was that the Navy believed 
>the Treaty if ratified would make it safer for 
>our ships to operate. Who knows, but that was 
>the argument advanced at the time.
>Once the Law of the Sea Treaty was put on ice by 
>Reagan in the second year of his eight years in 
>the Presidency it did not surface again. Nor did 
>it surface during the Administration of 
>President George H. W. Bush. After William J. 
>(Bill) Clinton was in office for two years and 
>faced a Republican Senate he never pushed the Treaty at all.
>Then came the Administration of President George 
>W. Bush. During his first term the Treaty never 
>was pushed. We assumed that it was dead. But 
>during the first Congress of his second term it 
>surfaced again. In fact, Chairman Richard G. 
>Lugar (R-IN) of the Senate Foreign Relations 
>Committee was so determined to push this Treaty 
>that he permitted no opposition during the 
>hearings. It was voted out unanimously.
>Thanks to extraordinary work by Senator James R. 
>(Jim) Inhofe (R-OK), and then a commitment made 
>by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) at 
>our Coalitions lunch, the Law of the Sea Treaty 
>again was put on ice. While supposedly Vice 
>President Richard B. (Dick) Cheney was for the 
>Treaty, President Bush never supported it.
>Now that Bush is a lameduck President and at the 
>lowest polling rating of his Presidency (28% 
>favorably), Bush at last has come out in favor 
>of the Treaty. We have an uphill fight to defeat 
>the Treaty. The Democrats are in control of the 
>Senate and almost all of them favor the Treaty. 
>Many of the six GOP Senators who were defeated 
>in 2006 were opponents of the Treaty. So if 
>Senator Inhofe is to drum up opposition he would 
>need 35 Senators. That would be next to 
>impossible. Whereas Majority Leader Frist kept 
>his commitment to be against the Treaty, his 
>successor, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has 
>not yet taken a position of which we are aware.
>Again, when conservatives are defeated they 
>regard their defeat as final. When liberals are 
>defeated they wait around until the next 
>opportunity presents itself. Meanwhile, 
>the  extraordinary researcher Cliff Kincaid has 
>produced a monograph linking global warming with 
>the Treaty and demonstrates that if the Treaty 
>were ratified it would be far easier to bring 
>cases against the United States. In another 
>paper, “The Secret Agenda behind the Law of the 
>Sea Treaty,” he says the Treaty is so extreme 
>that former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick 
>stated that “it was viewed as the cornerstone of 
>Marxist-oriented New International Economic 
>Order.”  According to Kincaid, “This was 
>conceived as a scheme to transfer money and 
>technology from the United States and other 
>developed countries to the Third World.” He 
>points out that Kirkpatrick strongly opposed the Law of the Sea Treaty.
>According to Kincaid, the Treaty would open the 
>U.S. up to international lawsuits and 
>climate-change legislation, providing a back 
>door for implementation of the ungratified and 
>costly global warming treaty. This is because 
>the Treaty would establish a new international 
>legal regime, including a new international 
>court, to govern activities on, over and under 
>the oceans, seven-tenths of the world’s surface. 
>The provisions of the Treaty would also permit 
>international rules and regulations governing 
>economic and industrial activity on the 
>remaining land area of the world in order to 
>combat global warming and other perceived pollution dangers.
>There you have it. Another bad idea, long 
>defeated, about to be ratified unless there is a real revolt against it.
>Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.

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