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Signs of the Apocalypse: Washington Post Says “Listen to Sarah Palin”

At Via Meadia, we’ve spent years scouring the news for the most shocking stories and there is very little that can surprise us. In the past year alone, we’ve seen giant rats descend on New York, British ethicists endorsing “after-birth abortions” and the rise of caffeinated meat.  But the Washington Post has managed to surprise us: it says the GOP should listen to Sarah Palin.

It should listen to her on the Law of the Sea Convention, that is. Before attaining the national spotlight as John McCain’s running mate, Governor Palin advised her state’s senators that “If the U.S. does not ratify the convention, the opportunity to pursue our own claims to offshore areas in the Arctic Ocean might well be lost. As a consequence, our rightful claims to hydrocarbons, minerals, and other natural resources could be ignored.” The Post, surveying the merits of the treaty, calls on the Republicans to heed her warnings “on something she knows about firsthand.”

This treaty has been kicking around unratified for nearly twenty years, and it appears that the opposition is holding fast. Many senators, particularly Republicans, have raised concerns that ratification of the treaty could result in a loss of sovereignty, forcing America to give up part of its taxing authority to the United Nations.

The arguments in favor of ratification are getting stronger, however. One in particular is becoming more powerful: The treaty is an important legal bulwark in the struggle over the South China Sea. China has ratified the treaty, and under its provisions many of China’s extreme territorial claims do not stand up. These violations give the U.S. and its allies more leverage in potential territorial clashes with China, but it will be hard for the U.S. to muster an international consensus in favor of enforcing a treaty that we haven’t ratified.

What’s needed here is a serious discussion, in which the senators with questions put it all on the table, and the Administration works, with past Republican Secretaries of State and other officials who are respected by those senators, to address the issues and arrive at a genuine consensus on the treaty. In the old days, Jesse Helms used to be the go to guy on treaties. Conservatives trusted him to inspect treaties carefully for hidden sovereignty giveaways and other features; presidents trying to get treaties ratified knew who they should try to persuade.

It’s not clear that Helms has a successor in the Senate in this gate keeping role. Perhaps the administration should reach out to someone conservatives trust on national security issues and work with that person to see whether there is a way to meet conservative concerns while getting the benefits of ratification.

Could this be a job for John Bolton?

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  • Kenny

    Sorry Mead, but the Law of the Sea convention treaty is a no-go as written.

    If you ever hope to get something like that passed, then there needs to be a major re-write — now get this — to better protect U.S. interests.

    Bolten could do that but don’t expect him to be a successful stooge for the treaty as it now stands. Ditto Palin.

  • Brendan Doran

    LOST and the UN itself for that matter…beginning with UNRWA [goodbye to you know who, peace at last] should be filed under Presidential Contingency [profanity removed] storms to be stirred up when you need a distraction, not that all shouldn’t be destroyed on their own merits.

    The Law of the Sea like International Law is pronounced by the mouth of Cannon.

    Our sea and mineral rights and China’s for that matter will be secured by the Second Amendment and Arms thereof. The rest is gas.

  • QET

    Ordinarily I agree with WRM, but not here. The last thing the US needs right now is another international tribunal that sees its mission as developing new international law doctrine. And Palin’s statement is paradoxical. What exactly are our “rightful” claims? As she posits the existence of such claims prior to the ratification of the treaty, then the question of right must be determinable independently of that treaty. The source of the right must lie outside the treaty.

  • RAZ

    If the South China Sea is your major concern, and if China is already a signatory, shouldn’t the question be: have the other parties that have claims in that area (the Phillipines, the Vietnamese, etc.)signed the treaty? If so, all sides are bound even though the US is NOT a signatory!

  • Mrs. Davis

    The UN should not have an independent revenue source. Period. The long term implications of that for freedom are incalculable.

  • alex scipio

    That’s funny!

    Dr. Mead put “serious discussion” and “senators” in the same sentence. ROFLMAO.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I disagree that the US needs to ratify the treaty in order to demand that China and other signatories to the treaty abide by their ratification of it. If they agreed to it then they must abide by it, or it throws every treaty they have ratified into doubt.

  • Luke Lea

    Here’s another place were Palin got it right:

    And I’m a yellow dog Democrat.

  • Corlyss

    I’d be instantly suspicious of WaPo endorsing any thing Palin ever thought or said. I smell a head-fake.

  • Corlyss

    WaPo belongs in the category described by Andrew Klavan in his latest:

    “There are still people who read the New York Times and believe they are getting the news.

    I am not making this up. I talked to them myself. I met them in the city everywhere I went. They get their “news” from the New York Times and think they have a clear picture of the world.

    For me, the New York Times has now become an organ of leftist disinformation. It scrambles teams of reporters at any trace of scandal on the right, and ignores solid evidence of scandal on the left. It races to cover any sign of global warming, but drags its feet when warming alarmists are revealed to have fudged the facts. It plays down acts of violence and incivility by leftists while allowing columnists to imagine them in rightists. It assigns left-wing reviewers to review conservative books and movies — and assigns left-wing reviewers to review left-wing books and movies as well. It publishes Paul Krugman, who admits he has a lousy record of predicting economic outcomes but never ceases to be certain his exploded theories are correct, who blames violence on right-wing incivility without proof and indulges in left wing incivility also without proof, who claims Europe’s economy is doing great except that it’s failing because of “austerity” (there’s a laugh!), and who all in all will say anything whether it makes sense or not in order to support the death-dealing dead letter of socialism. (To give him his due, he did write a book called The Conscience of a Liberal, which sits next to Intelligent French Theories and Feminist Humor on my shelf of books so thin you can’t see them.)”

  • WigWag

    The cries from the those populating Obama’s amen corner if he reached out to John Bolton would be absolutely hysterical to watch.

  • Jim.

    Now, is this the Law of the Sea with or without the “mineral rights” section that extorts technology and money from seabed miners?

    If the UN has finally given up that particular bit of Marxist drivel, it’s ready to sign. If not, we have a navy that’s capable of sweeping intruders out of Arctic waters.

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