Arms-trade treaty talks collapse, supporters rip Obama

posted at 10:01 am on July 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I doubt anyone reading Hot Air will mind this, but it looks like the UN won’t get a chance to dictate terms of the Second Amendment any time soon.  Yesterday evening, talks on an international arms-trade treaty collapsed when the US and a few other nations demanded an extension of time before committing to a position.  The rest of the participants suspended the entire effort — and activists pointed their fingers at Barack Obama:

The United Nations indefinitely suspended action on an international arms trade treaty Friday after the United States and several other countries asked for more time.

The decision sparked angry reactions from human rights groups often allied with the Obama administration, who believed a treaty to regulate the export of deadly weapons to rogue regimes was within reach. The UN had spent the entire month of July hammering out a deal, and Friday was the deadline for an agreement on a treaty that has met with the staunch opposition of the National Rifle Association and bipartisan concerns in the Senate.

“This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. “It’s a staggering abdication of leadership by the world’s largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough that would have required all nations to deny arms export licenses where there was an overriding risk that the weapons would be used to facilitate serious crimes against humanity.”

And Scott Stedjan, Oxfam America’s senior policy advisor, called the failure “a tremendous loss for thousands of innocent civilians around the globe who die each year from armed violence fueled by the unregulated transfer of arms.”

It wasn’t just a few activist groups that vented their frustrations, either.  A statement put forward by the UK, France, Germany, and 87 other nations complained that the draft treaty was all but ready to be adopted.  Without naming Obama, the nations pointed out their own “compromises” and had “overwhelming support of the international community” before the US demanded more time to consider it.

Frankly, Obama didn’t have much choice.  A majority of 51 Senators had already signed a letter promising to vote against ratification if the treaty covered “small arms” and/or “light weapons,” which the draft treaty does — in fact, it explicitly includes “small arms and light weapons” in Article 2, Section A1h.  Obama could have signed this draft a hundred times, and it still would have had no chance of passing in its current form.  Had the UN struck that provision, this treaty might have won the required 67 votes for approval in the Senate, and it still would have been a big step forward in arms control … at least on paper.

The problems with this treaty mirror those of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty: it sets up a UN agency that has no teeth, where enforcement ends up being a game between the West on one side and Russia and China on the other.  Meanwhile, North Korea has already gone nuclear, and Iran isn’t too far away, while Russia and China protect their client states and the West vainly tries to enforce the agreement.  This would have put the US in the same position, only this treaty would have the force of law inside the US, which would mean we would bind ourselves to its terms while the rest of the world’s kleptocrats and tyrants would ignore it.

For now, though, it’s a moot point.  Obama will end up taking the blame for this “failure,” which might seem unfair — but Obama chose to participate in this folly in 2009 after the US had previously refused, so he only has himself to blame for the impossible position in which he now finds himself.  That’s called smart power, apparently.


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Comment pages: 1 2

CorporatePiggy on July 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

For libs “math is hard, science is harder and research is hardest of all.” 525,000 ( per her 1 death per minute quote) certainly doesn’t match the less than 30,000 (.05 deaths per minute) that actually occur.

chemman on July 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM

The rest of the participants suspended the entire effort — and activists pointed their fingers at Barack Obama:

Thank you pResident 0bama!

/crr6

LegendHasIt on July 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM

A lame-duck president and Senate would be out to enforce the treaty in full like stink on sh!t.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The greens would love that as it certainly would reduce the surplus population that they are worried about.

chemman on July 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Mexico’s president said something to this effect “all who oppose are uncivilized nations”.

There, you US American yahoos!

Schadenfreude on July 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

A lame-duck president and Senate would be out to enforce the treaty in full like stink on sh!t.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Beware of this very precarious and dangerous time, indeed!

Schadenfreude on July 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Yep, good news. The rest of the world only does this stuff because it’s a way to get Americans to hobble ourselves. The ATT process started a long time ago, way before the US decided to elect Obama and start acting weak and indecisive. Now that that’s what we’re doing, ATT isn’t nearly so important.

J.E. Dyer on July 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Not directly. But the accords of a ratified treaty become part of Federal law.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

The Supreme Court has already ruled on this matter. The Constitution supersedes treaties.

Reid v Covert.

ButterflyDragon on July 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Had Fast and Furious been successful this would have been a slam dunk for Obama and the libs.

Now we know what one of the end goals of Fast and Furious was.

Skwor on July 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

The Supreme Court has already ruled on this matter. The Constitution supersedes treaties.

Reid v Covert.

ButterflyDragon on July 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Good! I’m glad to be wrong.

Thanks!

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

A lame-duck president and Senate would be out to enforce the treaty in full like stink on sh!t.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Beware of this very precarious and dangerous time, indeed!

Schadenfreude on July 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I think of that more and more. Between the election and the inauguration will be interesting times. I don’t put anything, anything past this bunch of thugs in the wake of their defeat.

petefrt on July 28, 2012 at 2:36 PM

We all know which “rogue regime” will be the first to be targeted once this thing is signed: Israel.

For once re-election fears prompted the Obama administration to do the right thing.

Mr. Arkadin on July 28, 2012 at 2:56 PM

WRONG. People die and are victims of violence because they themselves are UNARMED and unable to defend themselves with FIREARMS because their countries ban possession and use of them. Oh except for criminals, and criminal governments. They can have them.

that would have required all nations to deny arms export licenses where there was an overriding risk that the weapons would be used to facilitate serious crimes against humanity.”

And Scott Stedjan, Oxfam America’s senior policy advisor, called the failure “a tremendous loss for thousands of innocent civilians around the globe who die each year from armed violence fueled by the unregulated transfer of arms.”

TX-96 on July 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Its not about this, entirely. It’s about being able to export and IMPORT firearms which is part of our economy and trade.

EXAMPLE: I dont give a darn what the politics are of RUSSIA, however I want a russian shotgun. But because of POLITICS and antigun zelots, they would prohibit import of shotguns from russia because someone got their feelings hurt.

WRONG way to do business.

Not directly. But the accords of a ratified treaty become part of Federal law.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

The Supreme Court has already ruled on this matter. The Constitution supersedes treaties.

Reid v Covert.

ButterflyDragon on July 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

TX-96 on July 28, 2012 at 3:27 PM

For once I am happy to see failure from this administration and the Useless Nations.

Under NO NO NO circumstances in ANY country should the UN be allowed to dictate something, ANYTHING that runs counter to that country’s constitution. I don’t give a blip if the ruling party is pure communist or not, each country is sovereign and has the right to set their own rules….EFF THE UN.

Defund that piece of crap and get it off our soil already. It’s nothing more than a mini totalitarian kleptocracy in it’self, and as humanitarian efforts go, the best thing the UN could do to further humanitarian efforts would be to disband.

Wolfmoon on July 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM

“a tremendous loss for thousands of innocent civilians around the globe who die each year from armed violence fueled by the unregulated transfer of arms.”

Er, um, this is President Fast and Furious we are talking about. Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

LA Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Since the Ruskies are going to build a base in Cuba……..

Why negotiate with the Appeaser-In-Chief?

God help us survive his Presidency!!!

PappyD61 on July 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

— in fact, it explicitly includes “small arms and light weapons” in Article 2, Section A1h.

See. Now here was the problem. The UN has learned nothing the Dems have tried to teach it. You don’t write the laws until they have passed!
Obama should have just been out there selling this by saying “We have to pass it and ratify this so we can see what’s in it!”

JellyToast on July 28, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Please declare Martial law and try to cancel the elections so we can protest your behind out of the White House and set your Wilsonian Progressivism back 50 years.

TeaNami2!!

PappyD61 on July 28, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Obama to supporters: We tried our plan and it worked!

/pretty much covers everything.

Fish on July 28, 2012 at 4:25 PM

As long as Kelo v. New London is on the books, can’t we use it to condemn, and bulldoze into the East River, a certain property on the Avenue of the Americas? I’m sure something much more useful could be developed there.

M240H on July 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I looked at the letter and am very disappointed not to see Scott Brown’s signature on it. He’s got to act like a real republican if he wants to win the senate race, we all know he’s running against a nutcase, Warren. I live in MA and will vote for Brown but I’ve been too disappointed so many times to actively campaign and donate to him this time. This is not the time for RINOs.

Glad to see Obama didn’t get to sign this treaty, we should abolish NATO and the UN.

carolt2 on July 28, 2012 at 4:33 PM

who believed a treaty to regulate the export of deadly weapons to rogue regimes was within reach

“deadly weapons”

Since we’re padding it with as much inflammatory BS as we can pack in, why not “icky, dirty, stinky weapons that only smokers, pedophiles, and unpeople could want” or something.

Also, one would think a “rogue regime” could build a flipping rifle factory.

Axe on July 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

“Arms treaty negotiations fail in U.N.”..add this to the Fast and Furious atrocity and we now have TWO ATTEMPTS by the OBOZO regime to destroy the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans, both of which have failed as miserably as OBOZO’s economic policies.

TeaPartyNation on July 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

When are the idiot liberals ever going to give up trying to repeal the 2nd. amendment?

cajunpatriot on July 28, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Whatever.
I answer to the U.S. Constitution. I will never answer to the U.N. or any other foreign body, unless I move there.

KMC1 on July 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

As long as Kelo v. New London is on the books, can’t we use it to condemn, and bulldoze into the East River, a certain property on the Avenue of the Americas? I’m sure something much more useful could be developed there.

M240H on July 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I wish.

I’d rather see the world’s largest Chick-Fil-A restaurant open up there.

ButterflyDragon on July 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

As long as Kelo v. New London is on the books, can’t we use it to condemn, and bulldoze into the East River, a certain property on the Avenue of the Americas? I’m sure something much more useful could be developed there.

M240H on July 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM

True story- I was in NYC for a wedding and was staying near the UN. Mostly to see the architecture (which is a significant mid-century landmark), I took the UN tour which is pretty much internationalist propaganda like the long lecture on the evils of landmines.

It was explained in very pompous terms that the tour would be limited to the public spaces because the UN was a “working institution.” I wasn’t trying to be rude but I don’t think my snort went entirely without notice.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2012 at 5:48 PM

who believed a treaty to regulate the export of deadly weapons to rogue regimes was within reach

“deadly weapons”

Since we’re padding it with as much inflammatory BS as we can pack in, why not “icky, dirty, stinky weapons that only smokers, pedophiles, and unpeople could want” or something.

Also, one would think a “rogue regime” could build a flipping rifle factory.

Axe on July 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

LOL! Yep.

Bmore on July 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Actually, it can. Under the Constitution, any treaty ratified becomes supreme law of the land.

I’m already in favor of an Article Five Convention to amend the Constitution. And that provision badly needs to be modified.

Liam on July 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

No that doesn’t even make sense, this is not my web site and and don’t endorse it but it gives the backround about the subject:

http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/staterights/treaties.htm

That is not to say that we want to put the subject to the current SC but it is already established law.

From the link above on the ability to renounce a treaty:

Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said on the right to renounce treaties:

“Compacts then, between a nation and a nation, are obligatory on them as by the same moral law which obliges individuals to observe their compacts. There are circumstances, however, which sometimes excuse the non-performance of contracts between man and man; so are there also between nation and nation. When performance, for instance, becomes impossible, non-performance is not immoral; so if performance becomes self-destructive to the party, the law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others”.

pg 317 – “The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson,” A. Koch & Wm. Peden, Random House 1944, renewed 1972. Jefferson also said in a letter to Wilson C. Nicholas on Sept. 7, 1803, Ibid. pg 573

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction [interpretation]. I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution.”

whbates on July 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Obama to Biden: Add that U.N. arms control to our ‘Lame Duck’ agenda, wound you joe?

socalcon on July 29, 2012 at 3:13 AM

Didn’t they understand? They only had to wait until after the election, when Presdient Choom would have had all kinds of flexibility. Tsk.

curved space on July 29, 2012 at 7:04 AM

May God bless Border Agent Brian Terry’s soul, as his death began the unraveling of the Fast and Furious gunrunning program, which had we not learned of and stopped would likely have Mexico in flames by now. Giving the White House the photo-ops he would have been blasting across the nation as reason enough to push this mess through.

Nathan_OH on July 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM

The enemy of my enemy is my friendo.

It’s pleasant to see Our Great Geek Leader get ripped by somebody.

Sherman1864 on July 29, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Do you think Obama is a HA registrant??

Sherman1864 on July 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Did the UN understand they were dealing with Obama the Nobel Peace Price winner?

Did the UN understand they were dealing with Obama the One?

sdbatboy on July 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM

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