Cliff May

Worse, this welfare would go not directly to the poor but to international bureaucrats who would have the power to pass it on to dictators, despots, and even state sponsors of terrorism. Article 82 of the treaty calls for “equitable sharing,” taking into account “the interests and needs of developing States, particularly the least developed.” (“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” Karl Marx wrote in 1875. Marx was not so radical as to include “interests.”)

There’s also this: Once the billions begin to flow, opportunities for corruption will be plentiful. Have those supporting ratification forgotten the U.N. “oil-for-food” scandal (exposed largely by the Foundation for Defense of Democracy’s Claudia Rosett while most of the major media turned a blind eye)? Are they under the impression that the U.N. has reformed since then?

Steve Groves, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, also testified before the Senate, pointing out that accession to LOST “would expose the U.S. to lawsuits regarding virtually any maritime activity.” He added: “Regardless of the lack of merits of such a case, the U.S. would be forced to defend itself against every such lawsuit at great expense to U.S. taxpayers.”

Lawsuits could be launched against American businesses nowhere near an ocean. Section 207, “Pollution from land based sources,” requires that members “shall adopt laws and regulations” to prevent, among other things, “global warming” and increasing ocean acidity. So if the Authority thinks an electric-power facility in West Virginia is causing climate change, a lawsuit can be launched to shut it down.

Such cases would be heard not by American courts but by international tribunals. Decisions would be legally enforceable with no possibility of appeal. In other words, the judgment of a “Seabed Chamber” would have the same legal authority as the judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court. This, too, would represent a historic Rubicon crossed.

In sum, by ratifying LOST, Americans will be relinquishing wealth and power. More significantly, Americans will be surrendering American sovereignty. We will be empowering transnational bureaucrats, many of whom will be beholden to regimes hostile to us.

So why would anyone support ratifying LOST? In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice argue that by joining the club we would gain a seat at the table, and would “strengthen our capacity to influence deliberations and negotiations involving other nations’ attempts to extend their continental boundaries.” The way we influence the U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Council? Really?

It will require 34 senators to block the treaty. Senator Jim DeMint is attempting to persuade that many to state, unambiguously and on the record, that they will not vote for ratification. He still has a way to go: At the moment, every Senate Democrat favors LOST, as do a surprising number of Republicans.

In recent years, the United Nations and its affiliated organizations have failed at peacekeeping, genocide prevention, economic development — one mission after another. Time and again they have undermined America’s interests and trampled American values. To now grant them power over the world’s oceans — two-thirds of the world’s surface — would be madness. But is anyone confident that madness is not the destination toward which the West is now heading?

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.