U.S. 1, U.N. 0

by Mark Krikorian

Earlier today, the Senate rejected a U.N. treaty on the rights of the disabled. Supporters trotted out Bob Dole, as though sympathy for a wounded war hero should logically translate into support for a U.N. power grab. The measure was defended with the usual lies about its having no possible effect on our sovereignty:

Kerry and other backers stressed that the treaty requires no changes in U.S. law, that a committee created by the treaty to make recommendations has no power to change laws and that the treaty cannot serve as a basis for a lawsuit in U.S. courts.

For the dangers to American sovereignty from such U.N. agreements, the definitive work is John Fonte’s Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others? And the justification for the treaty was laughable:

They said the treaty, by encouraging other countries to emulate the rights and facilities for the disabled already existing in the United States, would be of benefit for disabled Americans, particularly veterans, who want to work, travel or study abroad.

I’ve lived in the Middle East and seen close-up the contempt and fear disabled people face in backward societies. But can even someone with the limited judgment of Senator Kerry really believe that a U.N. treaty would have the slightest impact on such medieval attitudes? Look at the list of countries that have ratified the treaty: It includes, among others, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, and, to skip to the end of the alphabet, Sudan, Syria (!), and Yemen. Only someone who believes there’s utility in a U.N. Human Rights Council that includes as members Saudi Arabia and Red China could imagine that this measure would bring about any improvement in the lamentable status of disabled people in the more barbarous corners of the globe.