Borrowing the famous words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away," we can now see that old treaties never die, they can be resurrected years or even decades after taking what we thought was a knockout punch.
President George W. Bush is scheduled to announce any day that he will breathe new life into the old United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which President Ronald Reagan rejected in 1982. Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley has asked Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., to secure Senate ratification "as early as possible."
To defuse expected opposition, the Bush administration has been pursuing a most unusual lobbying campaign: inviting two or three prominent conservatives at a time to the White House without telling them in advance the purpose of the invitation or who will be present. After admission past executive office barricades, the conservatives are subjected to aggressive lobbying by administration heavy hitters: usually the chief counsel for the State Department and the judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy.
The 202-page Law of the Sea Treaty entered into force in 1994 and has been ratified by 153 countries. The treaty created the International Seabed Authority, giving it total jurisdiction over all the oceans and everything in them, including the ocean floor with "all" its riches ("solid, liquid or gaseous mineral resources"), along with the power to regulate 70 percent of the world's surface.
Headquartered in Jamaica, the International Seabed Authority has an assembly, a council, a bureaucracy and commissions, all drawing tax-free salaries. If the United States ratifies the treaty, Americans would have the same vote in the International Seabed Authority as Cuba, an unprecedented surrender of U.S. sovereignty, independence of action and wealth.
Even worse, the threat gives the International Seabed Authority the power to levy international taxes. No one should be fooled by the treaty's attempt to conceal this by labeling the taxes assessments, fees, permits, payments or contributions.
The purpose of the taxing power is to compel the United States to pay billions of private-enterprise dollars to International Seabed Authority bureaucrats, who can then transfer U.S. wealth to socialist, anti-American nations (euphemistically called "developing countries") ruled by corrupt dictators. The treaty asserts that this is for "the benefit of mankind as a whole."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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