Joel Mowbray

Discussed on the main stage were the UN?s aggressive pursuit of international criminal courts, the body?s efforts to rid the world of all handguns, the Law of the Sea treaty, its inability to distinguish morally between democracies and tyrannies, and of course, the oil-for-food scandal.

Particularly irking to CPAC attendees, though, was that the UN commits its abuses with the financial assistance of U.S. taxpayers, who pay for nearly one-fourth of the body?s bloated budget.  Conservatives would love to shrink the UN?s massive bureaucracy, but for now, they?re just grateful to the man seen as responsible for hitting the UN head-on.

Receiving the prestigious Defender of the Constitution award?which was presented following Vice President Dick Cheney?s keynote address?was Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) for his valiant efforts as chairman of a special Senate panel investigating oil-for-food.  Not bad for a guy who two years ago was unknown to those outside the Twin Cities.

Sen. Coleman?s star likely will rise even further as more and more salacious details regarding the oil-for-food scandal?including one involving Kofi?s son Kojo receiving kickbacks that is forthcoming?come out.  No doubt these should-be headlines will be relegated mostly to blogs and talk radio, but that will not mean less glory among conservatives for the junior Senator from Minnesota.

The brighter spotlight on the UN is already resulting in concrete action.  A coalition of more than a dozen conservative groups sought to exploit the anti-UN momentum generated by CPAC, holding a press conference on Friday, the event?s second day, announcing firm opposition to the Law of the Sea Treaty. 

The treaty, which has re-emerged after more than 20 years in the wilderness, would globalize the world?s oceans, giving the UN powers of regulation and taxation.  Instead of being opposed primarily on grounds that it would infringe on U.S. sovereignty?as Reagan did in killing it back in 1982?the new coalition is resting its case on what is glaringly obvious after oil-for-food: the UN can?t be trusted to manage anything, let alone the oceans.

Despite enjoying the support of many Republicans?including its primary sponsor, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?the Law of the Sea Treaty looks headed for choppy waters. 

If the treaty doesn?t get ratified?and its prospects aren?t bright?then the finger should be pointed in one direction: the right?s reinvigorated contempt for the UN.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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