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November 3, 2009
Soros action group looking to limit small arms exports
David Kopel, writing at the Volokh Conspiracy:
(The Bush administration opposed the treaty because it felt national controls were better).
Rare are the instances where Russia, China, and Israel have the same views on any international treaty; but they all oppose efforts in the United Nations to pass the global Arms Trade Treaty. Why the convergence on this issue?
Because, it would serve to clamp down on arms sales and impose a wide range of controls over exports of them -- with the judgment and enforcement mechanisms being lodged in international bodies set up by the United Nations. Of course, Non-Governmental Organizations would be in the vanguard of monitoring and reporting these sales, as well.
Those would be non-factors in the case of Russia and China. But America and Israel have numerous such groups that would be eager to chill or kill the arms industry in those nations. Nevertheless, Russia and China have a shared interest in not having its arms trade subject to more international scrutiny. Needless to say, exporters of arms such as north Korea and Iran would ignore the treaty and continue to proliferate weapons, regardless of the United Nations (after all, they routinely and flippantly ignore Security Council resolutions).
Both America and Israel have a well-developed defense goods industry. Israel from its founding, had to develop its own defense industry. Nations boycotted the export of arms to Israel, as they do periodically, or use the threat of boycotts as a way to coerce Israel today.
The Israelis face existential peril from the adversaries that surround it and dwarf it in size, wealth, and population. They have learned the peril of relying on the "kindness of strangers." Because weapon systems are expensive, Israel has tried to lower the average costs of its defense goods by developing a thriving arms export industry. Such sales are often used for diplomatic purposes; to strengthen ties between Israel and its customers (India is a major importer of Israeli arms; Israel and India enjoy strong ties-that is but just one example).
Furthermore, its high-tech defense industry has had a myriad of spin-offs that have become the base of Israel's thriving economy (a point well-developed in the new book Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer). Sadly, Israel has not yet been allowed to beat swords into plowshares.
George Soros is a clever, wealthy man, and a fierce opponent of Israel. He has ties to many groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, J Street, The international Crisis Group - and that is just a sampling) that have in common an anti-Israel agenda. Are his efforts to lodge control of the arms export trade in the United Nations (the epicenter of anti-Israel actions) just one more step towards his goal of weakening Israel? He knows how to use leverage: how to invest relatively small sums to bring about radical change. I warned about Soros and his ties to Barack Obama years ago.
Soros was an early and ardent supporter of Barack Obama's. He even used loopholes in campaign finance law to exceed normal limits on campaign donations (and his family members chipped in as well ); he employed his empire of so-called 527 groups (MoveOn.Org among them and he is the largest funder of such groups in America) to promote Obama's candidacy; his pet think tank, the Center for American Progress is the policy font for the Obama administration and has served as a one-stop shop for filling the ranks of the administration with its key officials.
He visits the White House regularly, as shown by recently released White House logs. He has a feverish dream: to hurt Israel by whatever means possible. But he is also a strong opponent of American "hegemony" as he might phrase it; he wants to weaken American power. Restraining America - and weakening our influence - by committing us to international treaties is one clever way to do so. And he is a clever man.
Samantha Power, Obama's foreign policy guru, clearly also would favor a crackdown on Israeli and American arms exports. She, too, has links to Mr. Soros.
Clearly the threats of such an Arms Trade Treaty are not just Israel's alone. America also exports arms, including hunting rifles. Many people worry that this international treaty would be the proverbial "camel nose in the tent."
Will the Treaty have domestic consequences in America and be used to clamp down on arms sales by American companies? Will the prices of rifles rise as production declines in the face of controls on exports? Will this just be one step in the program to clamp down on the second amendment? After all, the judiciary, Justice Department, and government as a whole are rapidly filling up with people who look towards transnational or international law in making their decisions and interpreting our laws.
George Soros has made another good investment in the career of Barack Obama. His agenda is being promoted by the most powerful man on the planet.