- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gordon Brown and education

Paul Moorcraft asserts that Gordon Brown, the next British prime minister, “will bring a difference in style, not substance, in Anglo-American relations” (“Who is Gordon Brown?” Op-Ed, Thursday).

Mr. Brown has led Britain to pledge $15 billion over 10 years for education in the developing world. The U.S. economy is six times larger than Britain’s, but our contribution to developing world education falls short in being just one-third of Britain’s and without the multiyear commitment so necessary for planning. Education in the developing world has a proven record of improving health, lowering the birth rate, lowering infant mortality and improving earnings.

Let us hope that Mr. Brown will be a substantial leader.



An immigration fraud

If the “deal” forged by the Senate is so good for America (“Senate immigration deal forged,” Page 1, Friday), why are the president and Congress trying to ram it through before it is presented in writing to the American voters and before they can vote for or against the proposed legislation?

Like the Baltimore Colts, who left under the darkness of night to move to Indianapolis, President Bush and the liberal Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the House want to pass this “amnesty bill” before voters realize what has happened and before they have to stand up before their voting constituents and explain their sellout of this country and betrayal of the vast majority of hardworking Americans who will be taxed to death to support the consequences of this travesty.

If Mr. Bush and Congress believe this immigration legislation is so good for America, they should not be afraid to stand on their beliefs before the American people and run for office on this legislation and see how far they get.

They don’t want to chance it because they know they will be defeated resoundingly at the polls by the vast majority of Americans, who are angry and disgusted with those who are putting their personal interests and legacies before the welfare and safety of American citizens.



The Law of the Sea Convention

The Commentary column “LOST at the helm” (Tuesday) opposing the U.N. Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention is inaccurate and misleading. As a former member of the U.S. delegation to the LOS Convention negotiations when Ronald Reagan was president, a former Department of Defense representative for ocean policy affairs and someone who testified as a private citizen before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (closed session), I could not let this column pass without comment.

It should be pointed out again that military planners have long sought international respect for the freedoms of navigation and overflight as set forth in the LOS Convention. U.S. forces are experiencing serious threats and challenges that differ greatly from those in the past. However, nothing has changed the fact that many of our economic, political and military interests are located far away from the United States. We must have substantial air- and sea-lift capabilities to enable our forces to go where needed, when needed. The convention provides the legal framework to preserve the right of the U.S. military to use the world’s oceans to meet national security requirements. It is essential that key sea and air lines remain open as an international legal right and not be contingent upon approval by nations along the routes.

Contrary to the contention in the column, the Reagan administration accepted all provisions of the treaty except for Part XI, which deals with deep seabed mining. In fact, Mr. Reagan instructed the executive branch in 1983 to act in accordance with all provisions as if the United States were a party, except for Part XI. Work later began on a subsequent agreement to change the provisions of Part XI and overcome all of the U.S. objections to the earlier regime. This international agreement, fundamentally changing Part XI, was signed by the United States in 1994.

Too bad the critics don’t recognize that most of the LOS Convention simply codifies rules by which states exercise their rights and responsibilities for ocean use with regard to other states, i.e. traditional U.S. diplomacy and the state-based system of international relations. There is nothing “transnational” about this, just as there is no “supranational management of two-thirds of the world’s surface and its resources.”

The LOS Convention helps implement our national security strategy. As President Bush pointed out in March 2006, “We must maintain a military without peer — yet our strength is not founded on force of arms alone. It also rests on … strong alliances, friendships and international institutions, which enable us to promote freedom, prosperity and peace in common purpose with others.”

The convention provides legal certainty in the world’s largest maneuver space. More than 150 nations are parties, including the major maritime powers and our coalition partners. It also should be noted here that U.S. military activities are exempt from the convention’s dispute-resolution procedures, an option selected by current parties to the convention, including Russia, China, Britain and others.

The convention benefits America. In recommending early Senate action, our president is making a significant contribution to our national security, prosperity and well-being in recommending that we take our rightful place as a party. Hopefully, our Senate will take prompt action on his recommendation.



U.S. Navy (retired)

Charleston, S.C.

What to do about Taiwan

Bob Dole writes eloquently about the case for admitting Taiwan to the World Health Organization (“Taiwan belongs in WHO,” Commentary, May 13). However, as a former senator, he fails to note that Taiwan’s current international recognition problems are to a great degree directly caused by a lack of attention to legal fundamentals by the Senate.

To explain this, we must remember that it was Gen. Douglas MacArthur who directed Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to go to Taiwan to accept the surrender of Japanese troops in 1945, thus beginning the military occupation. Then, in late 1949, high-ranking officials of the Republic of China lost the civil war in the mainland and fled to occupied Taiwan, becoming a government in exile.

In the postwar San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT), Japan renounced the sovereignty of Taiwan without designating a “receiving country,” thus leaving Taiwan under the jurisdiction of the principal occupying power of the SFPT — the United States. After the Senate-ratified SFPT became effective in late April 1952, the Senate should have demanded that the government of the Republic of China in Taiwan be disbanded and the Taiwanese be allowed to form their own “civil government.”

The Senate ignored these legal fundamentals, however, so today, the world community doesn’t quite know what to do with the Republic of China, which is merely a subordinate occupying power and government in exile currently resident in Taiwan. If Mr. Dole is serious about wanting to help Taiwan, he first needs to do a laws-of-war reading of the SFPT and encourage current members of the Senate to do likewise.

In terms of WHO, the correct formulation for Taiwan at the present time would be to enter as an “associate member” under the United States, not as a sovereign nation. This is because under the SFPT, Taiwan remains as an overseas territory under the jurisdiction of the United States Military Government.


Taipei, Taiwan

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