Friday, October 19, 2007


The United States Senate is expected to soon consider ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). The name may not sound very interesting, but anyone who values America's freedom, security, and independence should be very concerned about LOST.

What is LOST? Its official name is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is a treaty that would regulate practically everything having to do with the world's oceans. It contains many different provisions.

One section would codify international law regarding navigation on the oceans. This section appears to be relatively uncontroversial, though there does not seem to be any particular need for it. A United Nations treaty offers no more protection for freedom of navigation than the current system.

LOST would place severe restrictions on military activities.

According to the UN, the purpose of LOST is to preserve international waters for “peaceful purposes.” But Articles 19 & 20 of the treaty would proscribe the U.S. Navy from training with weapons, collecting intelligence or interfering with enemy communications in the territorial waters of other states without their expressed permission. Military aircraft are specifically prohibited from taking off and landing in these waters, and severe limitations would be imposed on loading and unloading “any commodity, currency or person” including military equipment. Submarines are required to travel on the surface and “show their flag in territorial waters.” Article 30 states that warships not complying with the laws of a coastal nation can be forced to leave.
Disputes would be subject to decisions by international panels of judges. The United States would not have a veto.

LOST also creates the International Seabed Authority. It would designate the oceans and the resources beneath them to be the "common heritage of mankind". Anyone who wanted to mine these resources would have to pay a tax to the United Nations.

This is a wholesale violation of the right to property as elaborated by John Locke. Unowned resources can be appropriated by anyone. To do so, someone must "mix their labor" with them. That is, they must do the work to collect them. The notion that these resources are owned by "mankind" is a fundamental attack on freedom.

Of course, when the UN says "mankind", it actually means the UN. LOST would for the first time give the UN an independent source of revenue with which to pursue its designs.

Some conservatives see the United Nations as a harmless absurdity. While the UN is far from harmless, its designs have been limited by the fact that it depends on its member nations for revenue. Without this constraint, it will be much more free to pursue military "peacekeeping" activities, socialism, and world government.

LOST was first drafted around thirty years ago. Its primary creator was Marxist world government advocate Elisabeth Borgese. Surprisingly or not, most elites favored the treaty in the early eighties. But President Ronald Reagan totally rejected LOST and refused to sign it. But LOST didn't go away.

In 1994, President Clinton negotiated a side agreement that purported to fix the treaty and signed it. But the side agreement wasn't binding on the actual treaty. Former Reagan officials Ed Meese and Jeane Kirkpatrick have said that Reagan would still oppose the treaty.

Thankfully, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms refused to consider the treaty. When Helms retired in 2002, the new chairman, Richard Lugar, made a new push to ratify the treaty. But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist heeded conservative opposition and did not bring it to a vote. Now that Democrats have a Senate majority, LOST is once again on the agenda.

Most, if not all conservatives oppose LOST. This includes organizations such as Eagle Forum, Center for Security Policy, Free Congress Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Leadership Institute. It also includes publications such as Human Events, National Review, and the Weekly Standard. Prominent conservatives including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, Oliver North, Paul Weyrich, Morton Blackwell, Cliff Kincaid, Michelle Malkin, and more oppose LOST.

However, the current administration supports LOST and is pushing for ratification.

Conservatives and anyone else who values America's freedom, security, and independence must oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty and prevent its ratification.

POLITICAL UPDATE--Law of the Sea Treaty

More information: Eagle Forum

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