Thursday, March 28, 2013

ATT - Not Your Phone Company

The globalists are at it again, this time in the form of ATT, the Arms Trade treaty, sponsored by your friendly (global) neighborhood United Nations.

I have several issues with the UN in general, and the ATT in particular.

My primary issue with the ATT is that a bunch of non-elected "officials" are trying to push through treaties which, if approved, will encumber sovereign states' ability to set internal governance and foreign policy. But then, that is what the UN has been all about since its debut.

The other issue I have with ATT is the raw dishonesty of it. It reads almost like a "for the children" legislative attempt by the American Left. Ostensibly, the purpose is to “prevent terrorism” in the name of saving lives.  This is patently a misdirection considering that terrorists kill very few people compared to legitimate governments.  If the UN truly wanted to save lives, it would attempt to ban international arms deals between governments.  However, that would put the quietus on a $70 billion industry, and there are too many moneyed interests for that to happen.

As a major arms importer, India has pointed this out. 

While Britain and the US are believed to have major part on drafting of such a one-sided treaty, China - another major exporter - has maintained a low profile and may be willing to go along for the simple reason that their key interests (non-commercial transfers of conventional arms in the form of gifts, loans and lease) have been secured as such transfers have been left out from the scope of the treaty, sources said.

According to officials, countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil and several other importing states tried to bring the focus back on illicit arms transfers to non-state actors, illegal trafficking of arms and to correct the balance of obligations.

Indeed, the arms exporting cartel (US, UK, France, China) are protecting their economic interests by promoting a lopsided treaty.

What surprised many delegates attending the conference the approach of the US, especially given that it is fighting a major wars against terrorist outfits and non-state actors like al Qaeda and the Taliban in countries like Afghanistan, and still it did not take any step to block arms supply to them.

Deception aside, there are other reasons to dislike ATT.  A section of the language that many countries are taking issue with reads like this: 

A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2(1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if it has knowledge at the time of authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes as defined by international agreements to which it is a Party, including grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The issue some countries have with this language, as the Heritage Foundation points out is that “crimes against humanity” is often used as a political tool to bash other countries whose foreign policies run counter to the basher’s policy.  Furthermore, over 100 countries want to strengthen this language to include something call “customary international law” (CIL) which pertains to armed conflict.  For Americans, this is a dangerous tack.

One of the main strategies of liberal activists who dislike various parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (in particular the First and Second Amendments) is to argue that U.S. courts have an obligation to use CIL to reinterpret the Constitution, reshape U.S. laws, and remake U.S. policies. In a phrase, this is a strategy of “bringing international law home,” with the additional proviso that the international law in question is being invented to advance the political aims of the elites doing the inventing.

Included in the treaty is a registration scheme which would directly contravene US law.  There is a reason why we have a Bill of Rights.  As I alluded earlier, legitimate governments pose the biggest threat to the well being of humanity.  Historically, registrations schemes have always lead to confiscation.  The US Founding Fathers understood this principle, which is why they codified the Bill of Rights.

Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is in favor of all of this mess.  If the Senate ratifies this treaty, we become a country of fools.

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