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US sovereignty vote survey: We're still at risk
By Tom DeWeese
Few issues that come before Congress have more importance than our national sovereignty. It is an issue of control over both the landmass and jurisdiction of this nation to determine the laws by which it will be governed. A nation can voluntarily surrender its control, but it is still loss of sovereignty.
An analysis of our annual review of key votes on sovereignty issues, the American Policy Center discovered that one third of the members of the 107th Congress failed to protect it.
The votes we reviewed included four key pieces of legislation designed to protect members of the US military and oppose funding of United Nations programs that undermine the sovereignty of the United States. This is a frightening trend regarding the most fundamental requirement of self-governance.
As president of the Center, I can only hope that the last election's shift of political power will afford Americans greater protection against the efforts of the UN to erode and undermine our national sovereignty.
Of the 435 members of the 107th Congress, 130 voted against the American Servicemembers Protection Act (HR 1794), and amendments to strike funding for UNESCO (Amdt 33 to HR 1646), the UN International Criminal Court (Amdt 480 to HR 4546), and for (Amdt 191 to HR 2500) UN peacekeeping operations.
Most dramatically not one member of the House delegation from the State of Massachusetts supported any sovereignty measure. This is a shameful record as their Congressmen uniformly rejected any effort to protect American service personnel against prosecution by the UN's International Criminal Court or the other measures that would deny funding to UN agencies and programs that run counter to the interests of the United States.
Politically, with the exception of just four Republicans, all of those with a zero percent voting record were Democrats. Only one Democrat, Gene Taylor of Mississippi, was among the 39 members with 100% voting records supporting the four pieces of sovereignty legislation.
In America, our sovereignty comes directly from our Constitution and the powers granted to our government by the people. Our nation's sovereignty requires the utmost protection against efforts to diminish the laws by which we are governed. The creation of the UN International Criminal Court strikes directly at our system of justice and our exclusive right to administer it.
The good news of the last session was that both the American Servicemembers Protection Act and the prohibition of funding for the UN International Criminal Court passed on May 10, 2001. However, legislation opposing funding for UNESCO and UN peacekeeping operations was defeated on May 10 and July 18, respectively.
The funding of the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an agency that engages in international educational programs designed to undermine national sovereignty should not have received US funding. The United States had previously withdrawn from UNESCO in protest of the agency's record of waste, corruption, and mismanagement.
The US, as we have seen in the former Gulf War and the action to come against Iraq, has always largely undertaken the bulk of peacekeeping operations, yet it is the UN that gets the credit. At the same time, its International Criminal Court puts US citizens and members of our military at risk of politically motivated prosecution. The US should not be a party to this travesty of justice.
The nation remains captive of a wide variety of protocols, treaties and conventions that exercise an extraordinary control over our national treasures such as the Statue of Liberty, Independence hall, and most of all national parks and forests. We have conceded our self-governance over many issues, particularly our environmental programs.
None of this bodes well for the future. A Congress that allows the slow erosion of its control over essential issues of national sovereignty may ultimately leave this nation powerless to resist the demands of the international community. We have witnessed the extraordinary efforts required to get the UN to concede to the need to remove Iraq's threats to its neighbors.
In the last century, Congress refused to join the League of Nations, understanding that such utopian concepts do nothing to end war or project the power to thwart the threats of despots and dictators. The United Nations came about as a reaction to the devastation of World War II. It has failed its mission to end war in the years since. Worse, it has evolved into an institution openly seeking global control over all nations.
Elected US representatives must not, as fully one third of the 107th Congress has, cede any element our national sovereignty. It is an offense to all who have fought and died to protect our Constitution.
Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center, headquartered
in Warrenton, Virginia. It maintains an Internet site at www.americanpolicy.com.
© Tom DeWeese, 2003
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