This is how crazy the world has gotten: Shortly after a U.N. report found that Iran has illegally shipped arms to Syria to kill its own citizens, a panel called the U.N. Conference of the Arms Trade Treaty appointed Iran to the intergovernmental committee that is deciding how to regulate international conventional arms sales.
Hillel Neuer, director of U.N. Watch, a monitoring group based in Geneva, said, “This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market.”
Critics of the treaty, including the National Rifle Association, point out that the United Nations’ effort is an attempt to remove the individual right to bear arms and reserve gun ownership to governments alone.
The Bush Administration had rejected participation in such a treaty, which would allow the United Nations to create legal restrictions and roadblocks to gun ownership and ammunition purchases even inside the United States.
The Obama Administration in 2009 decided to take part in the talks at the United Nations on condition that a final treaty be reached by unanimous consensus. An agreement is anticipated sometime later this month.
“It cheapens our rights as American citizens, and weakens our sovereignty,” Wayne LaPierre of the NRA told Fox News.
LaPierre says 58 senators have signed a letter refusing to ratify any treaty that attempts to control civilian arms and ammunition.
A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required by the Constitution to ratify a treaty. Considering King Obama’s recent record, however, the president could just implement the treaty with an executive order.
Even if such a treaty were not ratified by the U.S., it still could take effect internationally if ratified by 65 countries.
Such a development could restrict our ability to arm allies with weapons and related technology, according to Greg Suchan, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 2000 to 2007.
Another concern, Suchan said, is that Islamist states would use the treaty to block military aide to Israel, just as they currently use the U.N. Human Rights Council to condemn Israel.