The failure by the U.S. State Department to cite historical evidence that American explorers actually discovered the North Pole, in the wake of Russian claims to the oil-rich region, has had the desired effect. Our media are declaring that the matter has to be resolved by the United Nations. One writer, Eric Margolis, even proposes that the U.N. take complete control of the region.
In a column, Margolis contended that “There’s a much better method to handle this potential gold rush. The entire, oval-shaped Arctic zone surrounded by the 200-mile limits of Canada, the US, Norway, and Denmark should become a special UN economic zone. Any nation seeking to drill or mine in this region should buy concessions from the UN and pay it royalties that will be used to fund humanitarian and ecological projects.”
Can you imagine the organization which gave us the oil-for-food scandal profiting from the Russian gambit? It’s not so far-fetched. In fact, the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is being proposed by the State Department as a “solution” to the Russian claim, has a global tax mechanism that forces countries and corporations to pay for the right to exploit ocean resources. So Margolis is in tune with State Department thinking on this matter. In fact, his educational background includes the School Of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, which produces U.S. Foreign Service personnel.
Robert Miller, a professor at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times saying that the Russian claim should not be laughed at. Notwithstanding international treaties, he said the Russians relied on the Doctrine of Discovery, used by European and American explorers from the 15th through the 20th centuries. Miller, however, seemed unaware of American claims to the North Pole region.
The facts, as I explained in a recent report, are that American explorers staked an American claim to the North Pole in the early 1900s and U.S. nuclear submarines traveled below the Pole and broke the ice in the 1950s. Russian claims are fraudulent and should be seen and rejected as such.
But State Department spokesman Tom Casey demonstrated no knowledge of these facts when he took questions on the subject at the State Department briefing on August 2.
Instead, Casey argued for U.S. Senate ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He said, “One thing I would note about this, of course, is that the Russian Government is pursuing a claim under their right to do so as members of the Law of the Sea Convention. This is something that unfortunately, the United States is not in a position to do because we have yet to ratify that convention and it’s one of the reasons why we are interested and supportive of having that treaty be ratified by the U.S. Senate and certainly hopeful that when Congress comes back in session, they’ll give it due consideration.”
Casey added that “I’d again point out that one of the important things to take from this is that the Russians are doing this because they’re members of a treaty that allows them to do so in an international regime that sets up a process for adjudicating those claims. And we unfortunately aren’t in that ballgame because we haven’t ratified the treaty yet.”
But the “ballgame” is stacked against the U.S. That’s one reason why the U.S. has stayed out of the treaty. If the U.S. joined the pact, we would be letting U.N. bodies and tribunals comprised mostly of countries opposed to our interests decide these disputes. Incredibly, this is what the State Department wants. Casey, who also holds the title of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, joined the Foreign Service in 1988.
It’s true that one U.N. body rejected Russian claims to the region in 2002. It did so with information provided by the United States, proving that we didn’t need to be a treaty member to play a role. But if the Senate ratifies this treaty in September and then a decision goes against our interests, the pressure will be enormous for the U.S. Government to comply. Indeed, the U.S. would be accused of violating international law if we rejected an UNCLOS finding. This could result in the dissolution of historic American claims to the region.
There’s absolutely no reason to get the corrupt U.N. involved in any of this. If there are legitimate disputes, they can be addressed through the Arctic Council of eight nations, including the U.S. and Russia, with interests in the region. Some problems could be solved through bilateral agreements.
Russia is playing a clever game, with the collaboration of our own State Department, acting against U.S. interests. And the Russians are now making threats. Artur Chilingarov, a Russian polar scientist on the mission, declared, “Russia must win. Russia has what it takes to win. The Arctic has always been Russian.”
This is baloney, of course, and he knows it. Russian scientists and encyclopedias acknowledge that Americans got to the Pole first and even planted an American flag there. The tragedy is that the U.S. State Department seems to think the anti-American U.N., founded by a Russian spy and State Department official by the name of Alger Hiss, is the solution. In fact, getting the matter turned over to the U.N. may be the Russian intention.
It’s too bad we don’t have a media willing to expose this scam.
It strikes some observers as the equivalent of another Panama Canal giveaway. President Ronald Reagan fought to keep the Panama Canal in American hands. He ultimately lost the campaign against Senate ratification of the Panama Canal Treaty, and we are paying the price today. The Communist Chinese today control the ports at each end of the waterway.
In the North Pole controversy, the Russians are the intended beneficiaries, and they are hoping to reap a financial windfall amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil revenue. With State Department support, the U.N. will take its cut, and the U.S. will end up being even more dependent on Russia and other foreign sources of oil.
The entire scenario, however, can be disrupted by the American people objecting to this scheme and convincing the Senate to reject UNCLOS. They will have to remind their Senators that Reagan, who was right on the Panama Canal Treaty, was also opposed to UNCLOS.