Will Treaties Rule America’s Future?
NATO Expansion Commits U.S. to Wars
The current Republican Congress has a duty to save us from Bill Clinton’s blunder in trying to lock America into an expansion of NATO. The 105th Congress has shown a notable lack of encouragement about confronting Clinton on anything, but NATO would be a good place to start.
All during the Cold War, NATO had a precise mission: to prevent the Soviet Union from invading Western Europe. NATO’s job is finished; the Berlin Wall is history; all hands should be awarded medals and retired.
Since the fall of the Wall, NATO has been a bureaucracy in search of a new mission. A deafening drumbeat is now demanding that NATO enlarge its membership by admitting Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, followed by Romania and Slovenia.
This provokes so many questions that haven’t been answered; many are probably unanswerable. Who will we be protecting the NATO countries from? Why admit some of the former Soviet satellites, but not others? How much is it going to cost us? (Estimates range from $5 to $61 billion.)
The biggest question is, why should Americans commit to defend faraway European borders that have been the locus of ethnic, nationalist and religious disputes for hundreds of years? Make no mistake: NATO is a life-and-death U.S. promise to go to war to protect any of the other members.
None of Clinton’s arguments makes sense. Democracy isn’t threatened in the countries invited to join NATO; it’s only threatened in the countries that are excluded. NATO expansion doesn’t erase the dividing line in Europe; it creates a new one.
Our best chance for a peaceful future is to encourage Russia toward democracy and the free market. NATO expansion will alienate Russia, empower the hard-line Communists and ex-KGBers seeking a return to former glory, and drive Russia toward an alliance with China.
Of course, Western Europe favors NATO expansion. A U.S. presence assures a steady flow of U.S. cash into their economies, and it is a useful “cover” for not letting Eastern European countries into their common market, which is called the European Union (EU).
Western Europeans are no longer worried about the Red Army invading, but they are mighty worried about Eastern Europeans invading with low-priced products and emigrants willing to work for low wages. NATO is a clever ploy; let the Eastern European countries into NATO and don’t feel guilty about excluding them from the EU.
Bill Clinton announced his NATO commitment long enough before the 1996 election to make sure that it was known by the Polish, Hungarian, Czech and Croatian voters whose conservatism might have led them to vote for Bob Dole. That smacks of a Dick Morris ploy.
We are now seeing a powerful push to keep America on an interventionist course despite the opposition of the American people. It’s called “global leadership,” which means that our armed services will serve as global policemen and global social workers, while the U.S. taxpayers will play global sugar daddy.
The interventionists are well aware that the United Nations is no longer popular with the American people because of impudent demands that we pay alleged back “dues,” as well as the embarrassments of Somalia, Haiti, and Rwanda. The flap about Army Specialist Michael New being court-martialed for refusing to wear a UN uniform didn’t help the UN’s reputation, either.
That’s why NATO was chosen, rather than the UN, to sponsor the Bosnian expedition. Now, NATO expansion is promoted in order to legitimize the President’s ability to continue to engage American troops in foreign quarrels without ever asking permission from Congress. It’s a sort of “back-door internationalism.”
The chief advocate for NATO expansion is Strobe Talbott, Clinton’s personal foreign policy adviser and Rhodes scholar roommate. The recipient of the 1993 Norman Cousin Global Governance Award, Talbott’s world view calls for birthing what he calls “the global nation” to replace national sovereignty.
Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is described by Time Magazine as having a “passion for American activism.” Colin Powell relates in his autobiography that, when he was JCS Chairman, she said, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
Clinton’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashvili, said on April 3, 1996: “I’m absolutely convinced that America will not participate with military forces in Bosnia after the conclusion of this year. I cannot imagine circumstances changing in such a way that we would remain in Bosnia.”
Since we are now in the ninth month after “the conclusion” of the year he was talking about, we wonder whether Shalikashvili’s military foresight is absolutely unreliable, or he is just one of those who thinks that it’s no big deal to keep Americans in perpetual “peacekeeping” expeditions.
Since NATO expansion is a treaty that will require Senate ratification, the interventionists are trying to line up Republican support through a new front called New Atlantic Initiative. Its second annual conference was held in Phoenix on May 16-18 in order to coopt one of the Senate’s rising conservative stars, Jon Kyl, as a featured speaker in his home state.
Whose Heritage and Whose Land?
I recently revisited Independence Hall, the cradle of our republic where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States Constitution was written. Something new has been added since the last time I saw it: a large bronze plaque with a peculiar inscription under an unidentified insignia.
(Select above picture for larger view)
“Through the collective recognition of the community of nations expressed within the principles of the convention concerning protection of the world cultural and natural heritage, Independence Hall has been designated a World Heritage Site and joins a select list of protected areas around the world whose outstanding natural and cultural resources form the common inheritance of all mankind.”
Whew! Where did all that mumbo-jumbo come from? Obviously not from American history or our founding documents. “Common inheritance of all mankind”? No way. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are both uniquely American, written by identifiable Founding Fathers on American soil at known points in time.
Independence Hall “joins a select list of protected areas around the world”? Who decided that Independence Hall should “join” anything? It is a unique American treasure. And who is protecting these “protected areas”? “Collective recognition of the community of nations”? It’s obvious that all those foreign nations don’t agree with our American Declaration or Constitution or the principles therein.
Since it is impossible to relive history and give the “collective” or the “community of nations” any ownership in the historic events that made Independence Hall an American shrine, we can only deduce that some international entity is asserting a vested interest in the building. Who authorized that?
After all, it would have been a nice accolade and not worthy of particular comment if the Independence Hall plaque merely said, “The United Nations honors the cradle of American freedom, the inspired words of the Declaration of Independence, and the genius of the United States Constitution that has nourished liberty in America for more than two centuries.” But it didn’t.
We now find that at least 20 pieces of American property have been designated as “World Heritage Sites” and so identified with markers. These include Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, the Grand Canyon, Thomas Jefferson’s home Monticello, and, believe it or not, the Statue of Liberty. All of these markings took place without any publicity, without the American people knowing what was going on.
The designation of these World Heritage Sites was authorized by the World Heritage Convention, a treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and ratified in 1973. The World Heritage Program is carried out by UNESCO, to which the United States doesn’t even belong. President Ronald Reagan pulled us out of UNESCO because it was totally corrupt.
The UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program was created in 1970. The United States joined in 1974 when our State Department signed a memorandum of understanding (not a treaty) to put us in the Biosphere Program and pledge that the United States will adhere to the Biosphere conditions and limitations laid down by UNESCO. Paragraph 44 of the World Heritage Operational Guidelines states that “natural” Heritage Sites (as contrasted to “cultural”) can be interchanged with “core reserves” of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program. These core protected areas are planned to be surrounded by highly regulated buffer zones, all for the sake of “biodiversity.”
At a conference in Spain in 1995 that culminated in the Seville Strategy, the Biosphere Program underwent a radical change in purpose. The first goal of the Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserves is to “promote biosphere reserves as a means of implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity.”
U.S. State Department representatives agreed to this new framework of UNESCO-designated guidelines and objectives for the Man and Biosphere Program. So, even though the United States doesn’t belong to UNESCO, and even though the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Biodiversity Treaty, the United States is marching right ahead with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program.
Starting with Yellowstone National Park in 1979, UNESCO has designated 47 Biosphere Reserves in the United States covering 50 million acres. In order to designate sites and spheres under either of these UNESCO programs, the United States must agree to manage these lands according to international dictates and objectives.
That’s another way of saying that the United States has agreed to limit our sovereign power to manage our own lands any way we want in pursuit of our own national interests. The Clinton Administration’s designation of Yellowstone Park as a World Heritage Site “in danger” has already been used to shut down a gold mine near (not even in) Yellowstone.
The UN/UNESCO types have made no secret of their goals. Their next step is their Wildlands Project, a plan to designate one half of the United States as “protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity.”
Americans don’t need or want any UN/UNESCO bureaucrats telling us how to “protect” our own land. We can jolly well handle our own protection.
Global Warning About Global Warming
Finally, the U.S. Senate is starting to assert itself. By passing the Byrd-Hagel Resolution 95 to 0 on July 25, it served notice on President Clinton that the Senate is not going to be a party to reducing the standard of living of Americans in order to accommodate international agreements, third-world envy, or wacko environmentalists.
The Senate resolution, of course, wasn’t that flamboyant, but it was firm and stern. The Byrd-Hagel resolution warned Clinton not to sign, because the Senate won’t ratify, the treaty he is planning to sign in Kyoto, Japan in December to require the United States, but not most of the rest of the world, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The road to Kyoto began at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 when our government signed the Framework Convention on Global Climate Change, which was then ratified by the Senate in 1993. It called for the economically developed countries to take “voluntary actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides) to their 1990 levels by the year 2000.
This is one more example of how government programs called “voluntary” soon morph into mandates. The Clinton Administration’s plan is to turn the voluntary goals into “legally binding commitments” to be achieved by 2010.
The only realistic way to reduce emissions to a 1990 level is to raise energy costs through taxes, i.e., add 60 cents a gallon to gasoline, double home heating oil costs, and raise electric rates 30 percent. Of course, the liberals always want higher taxes.
The enormity of this goal is exceeded only by its inequity. The treaty would bind the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 to 20 percent below our 1990 levels, while Western Europe would be able to evade reductions by averaging among the EU countries and because most of their energy is produced by nuclear plants (not affected by the treaty). The 130 developing nations, including China and Mexico, would have no limitations at all!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that U.S. fossil-fuel-burning plants would move out of the United States to countries where there are no such restrictions. Whole industries and a million to a million and a half U.S. jobs would move overseas, making us a non-industrialized nation.
The Byrd-Hagel resolution provides, as a separate test, that any new treaty should be opposed if it “results in serious harm to the United States economy.” The Clinton Administration is trying to finesse the treaty’s harm by floating a plan for the “international trading of emissions credits.”
This is a scheme to allow rich nations that can’t stay within their limits to “buy” pollution permits from poor countries. That is international hocus-pocus for forcing U.S. companies to finance their foreign competitors. Of course, it would require another world regulatory bureaucracy.
The reason why we are involved in these self-destructive negotiations in the first place is widespread propaganda that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) are making a hole in the ozone and causing “global warming.” But there isn’t a scientific consensus that there is global warming other than natural temperature fluctuations.
Furthermore, there isn’t a scientific consensus that global warming, if it does exist, is a big problem, or that humans caused it, or that government should act now to remedy it. Most of the alleged global warming occurred before 1940, before the widespread use of automobiles which are the chief cause of carbon dioxide emissions.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the developing countries exempted by the Kyoto treaty, such as China, Mexico, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Singapore, are increasing rapidly. They are expected to surpass U.S. emissions by 2015.
Let’s be clear about what this Kyoto treaty is designed to do. It would require us to deliberately reduce our energy consumption by one-fourth, causing a devastating effect on our standard of living and the ability of a million plus U.S. wage-earners to support their families, all on the basis of climate predictions that are at best controversial and at worst no more reliable than the weatherman’s guess of how much snow will fall next winter.
There must be an agenda behind this irrational plan. Let’s try a multiple-choice question. Is the hidden agenda of the Kyoto treaty (a) to promote the presidential candidacy of Al Gore, who has staked his political future on a platform of prioritizing the planet above people, or (b) to redistribute U.S. wealth and jobs to foreign countries because the Clintonian liberals support income redistribution, or (c) to con the American people into accepting increased federal taxes, regulations and even rationing?
Or, is the answer (d) to reduce our standard of living to the level of the rest of the world because other countries are envious of our automobiles and our single-family dwellings that are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, or (e) to save face for the social scientists who have been predicting climate catastrophe, or (f) to provide politically correct “cover” for the multinationals that want to move their plants to low-labor-cost Asian countries, or (g) all of the above?
Economic growth requires energy, and fossil fuels provide 85 percent of our energy. Tell your Senators that Kyoto is a no-no.
UN Reform or ‘Sustainable’ Mischief?
It looks as though American taxpayers may be suckered into paying an additional $819 million to the United Nations on the UN’s promise to “reform.” Do you think the UN is going to reform itself after getting more U.S. handouts disguised as “dues”? If so, I have a good bridge I’d like to sell you.
Laying off a few thousand unnecessary hangers-on at the over-staffed New York City headquarters won’t cause the UN to miss a beat in its march toward its global goals. Replacing Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General with Kofi Annan didn’t accomplish anything except to provide the UN with a smoother salesman for world government, now called “global governance.”
The executive director of Annan’s “UN Reform Program” is Maurice Strong, a David Rockefeller protege and a Canadian. His meteoric career has led him through many exotic positions: secretary general of the 1972 Earth Summit in Stockholm, director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), senior adviser to the World Bank president, and secretary general of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which laid out the agenda for global governance.
The Rio Earth Summit produced the Framework Convention on Climate Change to reduce greenhouse emissions (ratified in 1992, and scheduled to be morphed in Kyoto, Japan in December from voluntary into compulsory restrictions on U.S. energy consumption), the Convention on Biological Diversity (which the Senate refused to ratify, but which the Clinton Administration is implementing anyway through a variety of programs such as Ecosystem Management and UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program), and two agreements signed by President Bush called Agenda 21 and the Sustainable Development Commission (which establish the framework to control all human activity and property in order to protect the environment).
Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development is the outgrowth of these latter two agreements. This Council uses global warming, ozone depletion, and worries about biodiversity to rationalize plans to take over private property, institute federal land-use control, and convert enormous U.S. areas into wilderness.
The Council’s 1996 report officiously proclaims on its cover that it represents “A New Consensus” on Al Gore-style gobbledegook about global interdependence. Of course, there is no such consensus in America, and none of the report’s conclusions about “sustainable development” has ever passed through America’s institutions of self-government or free market.
They are not supposed to. Decision-making about human behavior, land ownership and use, and our economic future are now supposed to be the result of “collaborative approaches” with as yet unidentified persons, using the power of government “to convene and facilitate, . . . setting goals, creating incentives, monitoring performance.”
That’s far removed from full disclosure and American processes of self-government, but we are now in the global marketplace where decisions about our ecosystems are made by “consensus” rather than elections. That’s how Clinton thought he could get by with his 1996 grab for control over all U.S. rivers through his American Heritage Rivers Initiative.
Kofi Annan’s appointee Maurice Strong has emerged as the human link in the intricate network of UN agencies seeking global control. He was a member of the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance, whose 1995 report, “Our Global Neighborhood,” recommended removing U.S. veto power in the Security Council, creating an Economic Security Council to oversee the world’s economy, changing the World Bank into a central bank like the Federal Reserve, establishing an international court superior to U.S. courts, creating a permanent UN standing army while disarming all nations and individuals, establishing a global taxation system, giving the UN control over the “global commons” (the air, the oceans and outer space), and creating a parliamentary body of “civil society” made up of private pressure groups called Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
An acknowledged genius at organizational networking, Maurice Strong is the kingpin of the NGOs, which he has taught how to access foundation funds and manipulate “consensus” at UN conferences. He developed this technique in the 1970s by bringing NGOs into the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), where now some 700 NGOs control the agenda even though the IUCN membership includes 74 governments and 104 government agencies.
U.S. members of the IUCN not only include government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, but also private lobbying groups such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, and the National Wildlife Federation. The IUCN substantially wrote the treaties and agreements that came out of the Rio Earth Summit, which Maurice Strong chaired.
Tightening the screws of world governance is the kind of “reform” that the executive director of the “UN Reform Program” is seeking. And now he’s going to do it with American taxpayers’ money.
Phyllis Schlafly is the author of 16 books, including five books on national defense and foreign policy: The Gravediggers (1964), Strike From Space (1965), and The Betrayers (1968) covering the McNamara years, and Kissinger on the Couch (1975) and Ambush at Vladivostok (1976) covering the Kissinger years. Her other books include A Choice Not an Echo (1964), The Power of the Positive Woman (1977), and First Reader (1994). An attorney, she was a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, by appointment of President Reagan (1985-91). She is the president of Eagle Forum and has been writing the Phyllis Schlafly Report monthly since 1967.