mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Jacksonians Find Friend in Axis of Evil


Three of the world’s most dangerous rogue regimes have found themselves in a rare moment of accord with the US Senate. Iran, North Korea, and Syria blocked the much-ballyhooed UN arms treaty yesterday, a legally binding pact backed by the Obama administration to let the UN regulate the world’s conventional weapons market:

“The achievement of such a treaty has been rendered out of reach due to many legal flaws and loopholes,” [Iranian U.N. ambassador Mohammad Khazaee] said. […]

One of those flaws was its failure to ban sales of weapons to groups that commit “acts of aggression,” ostensibly referring to rebel groups, he said. The current draft does not ban transfers to armed groups but says all arms transfers should be subjected to rigorous risk and human rights assessments first.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari echoed the Iranian concerns, saying he also objected to the fact that it does not prohibit weapons transfers to rebel groups.

“Unfortunately our national concerns were not taken into consideration,” he said.

It’s a rare day when the US Senate finds itself on the same side as Assad and the mullahs, but that’s exactly what’s happening now. The Senate voted last week 53-46 in favor of an amendment to defeat the treaty, indicating that the 67 votes required to ratify it are pretty much out of the question.

Of course the Senate is responding to a very different set of concerns. Jacksonian Americans are skeptical about ceding authority over US interests to an international body and are already stirred up about the new push for gun control at home. This has made them liable to lash out at this new treaty even harder.

None of this has stopped President Obama from pushing for a vote in the UN General Assembly next week. This is a move he may well come to regret. As the measure makes its way through the UN, it’s looking more and more like another global treaty train wreck in which the State Department backs a deal that has no chance of passing the Senate. Is Obama about to get his own Treaty of Versailles?

[Andrew Jackson portrait courtesy of Wikimedia]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Alexander Scipio

    The Treaty seems less an issue of being ratified in the Senate than of being used by a future SCOTUS as an “international norm” on which to base a decision, rationale they have used before rather than our Constitution, what they are Constitutionally obligated to use…

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service