Reid and Biden: Law of the Sea is There for the Taking

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I’ve been pretty quiet on the Law of the Sea front these past few months, but now that’s over. The clock is ticking. The “quiet strategy” has achieved as much as it is going to. It’s time for an all out push — there’s simply too much at stake to let it go. Look for this site to become Law of the Sea central over the next few weeks.
The quiet strategy did achieve something over the past few months: I can confirm that there are more than enough senators in favor of U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea convention to get it through. Now it’s up to Senators Reid and Biden to finish the job.
One or two of these pro-LOS votes could flip as a result of right-wing pressure, but there’s easily enough cushion to pass anyway. Besides, once the treaty comes to the floor, President Bush, who is strongly supportive, is likely to bring a few more senators on board. He’s been unwilling to get out in front to advocate for the treaty, but once its moving the White House will work to see it pass. The WH will be faced with a choice: secure a win and incorporate the treaty into the Bush legacy or add one more failure to its extensive list of blunders. They will choose the former and ensure that it passes.
This is a great opportunity for Senator Reid, who has faced accusations of excessive partisanship from the other side. In one fell swoop, Reid can collaborate with senior, well-respected Republican senators and President Bush as he helps the United States take a huge step towards greater security, prosperity and sustainability.
On the flip side, there is no excuse for leaving this clear victory on the table. The days of letting flat-earthers dictate U.S. foreign policy needs to come to an end and ratifying the Law of the Sea Convention is the first step.
— Scott Paul

Comments

2 comments on “Reid and Biden: Law of the Sea is There for the Taking

  1. Jay C says:

    I’ll disagree with both Scott and pt on their comments on the LOST:
    First: I think there is little downside to President Bush and/or the Republicans in the upcoming Presidential campaign whether the LOS Treaty is ratified or not. If the Senate kills it: well, no loss to them, and the issue gets put off til the next Congress. If the Senate ratifies it, and Bush signs on to it: it will most likely be forgotten as an issue: the vast majority of the American public knows little and cares less about grandiose international treaties like the UNCLOS. If the Senate ratfies it, and Bush manages to kill or sidetrack it: well, still no loss to them; it’s still the next Congress’s problem to deal with.
    I think the one thing supporters of US ratification of the UNCLOS would want to avoid at any cost is having the Treaty become an issue in the general election. Regardless of the realities; as long as the opposition can frame the LOS debate as a matter of constraints on “American sovereignity”, its opponents can (and almost certainly will) paint its supporters as vaguely “un-American” (the cliches will be familiar) – reminiscent (although probably stronger) of the attacks on John Kerry’s purported “global test” in 2004.
    Sad to say, but in this upcoming election – especially with John McCain as the GOP nominee – the desperate Republicans are going to do their best to insure that belligerent jingoistic nationalism will be a major theme of the campaign. And to make anything connected (however loosely) with the hated UN a prime talking-point.
    ADD: Yep, the WN’s new captcha check sucks: majorly. Can anything be done about this?

    Reply

  2. pt says:

    this may actually be a bad idea from a liberal internationalist
    perspective. Let McCain defend his opposition to LoS in the
    general and then we can pass it afterwards. Passing it now
    deprives us of an issue

    Reply

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