Printed from America's Survival, Inc. - http://www.usasurival.org/
443-964-8208 Kincaid@comcast.netDecember 22, 2008
Governor Sarah Palin
Alaska State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001
Dear Governor Palin:
Our organization, America's Survival, Inc., has been playing a key role in educating the public about how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) could deny American access to oil, gas and mineral resources in the oceans of the world, including the Arctic region.
It has come to our attention that you sent a letter to Alaska's Senators on September 13, 2007, urging Senate ratification of UNCLOS. We are writing to inform you that the U.S. has legitimate claims to the resources in the region and doesn't need the U.N.'s blessings to pursue and protect our sovereign rights.
You stated, "If the U.S. does not ratify the convention, the opportunity to pursue our own claims to offshore areas in the Arctic Ocean might well be lost. As a consequence, our rightful claims to hydrocarbons, minerals, and other natural resources could be ignored."
In fact, ratification of UNCLOS could deny U.S. access to those resources.
State Department and other officials have claimed that the U.S. should ratify UNCLOS in order to contest Russia's claim to the seabed under the North Pole. They seem to have forgotten that the U.S. Navy's first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, passed under the North Pole on August 3, 1958, and its second Commanding Officer, Commander William R. Anderson, claimed the region for the U.S. He wrote the book, "First Under the North Pole," about the secret mission called "Operation Sunshine." President Eisenhower sent the message, "Congratulations on a magnificent achievement. Well done."
While the Russians are claiming to have traveled to the Arctic Ocean floor at the North Pole in a submarine and planted their flag on August 2, 2007, the Nautilus reached the geographic North Pole 50 years ago. A second submarine, the Skate, actually surfaced at the Pole.
Before the Nautilus, two American explorers, Dr. Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary, a U.S. Navy commander, led missions that reportedly reached the Pole in 1908 and 1909. On the Peary mission, it was his aide, Matthew Henson, a black explorer, who planted the American flag in the ice. A website in his honor refers to him as the co-discoverer of the North Pole and a U.S. postage stamp recognized their achievement. Henson's important role in this mission was recognized by President Reagan, who granted a petition to move Henson's remains to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. In 1996, a Navy ship, the USNS Henson, was named for him and he remains a role model for and hero to African-American young people.
At a Matthew Henson Remembrance Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on November 21, 1998, Rear Admiral Jerry Ellis, the Oceanographer of the Navy, described Henson as "the man who stood first at the world's northernmost point of land, who held the American flag at 86 degrees, 6 minutes north, who suffered the hardships of that frightful march to the North Pole, when dogs were used for food, and sledges burned for fuel."
There is still a dispute over who got there first, and how close they actually came to the Pole, but Russell W. Gibbons of the Frederick Cook Society notes that Soviet/Russian encyclopedias and authorities give Cook credit for discovering the Pole. The website of the Cook Society features a quotation from Dr. V.S. Koryakin, Polar historian of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying in 1993, "There is no ground to question the validity of Dr. Cook's assertion that he reached the North Pole."
So the Russians have conceded that America was first!
Supporters of UNCLOS claim that the Senate needs to ratify UNCLOS so the U.S. can submit a claim to the arctic seabed up to 600 miles off the coast of Alaska. A claim would have to be submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which has 21 members, including Russia and China, and cannot be counted on to rule in our favor.
Why should we depend on a 21-member U.N. commission dominated by countries which cannot be counted on to defend our interests?
There used to be a time when U.S. ships were the law OF the sea. But now, because of the decline in Navy ships from 594 under President Reagan to only 276 today, the State Department wants to depend on a U.N. treaty to give us the rights we previously exercised on our own behalf.
This was admitted by Susan Biniaz, an Assistant Legal Adviser in the U.S. Department of State, who told an American Enterprise Institute panel discussion that, "We don't have the capacity to be challenging every maritime claim throughout the world solely through the use of naval power. And [we] certainly can't use the Navy to meet all the economic interests."
This means the State Department will "challenge" Russia's claim to the North Pole through UNCLOS.
Rather than reassert U.S. claims to the entire area - based on the Cook, Peary/Henson and Nautilus expeditions - the State Department wants to dicker with the Russians, Chinese and others through a U.N. Commission.
Rather than build more ships, the State Department plans to hire more lawyers to make our case before the foreign judges at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It has 21 judges from such countries as Russia, China, and France. UNCLOS regulates "military" and "peaceful" activities on the high seas and restricts industrial activity on land that could contribute to pollution in the oceans. It calls the oceans the "common heritage of mankind," a Marxist concept that takes away the right of nation-states to exploit the resources for their own benefit. It gives countries their own natural resources within 200 miles of their coast and allows them to claim more only if they can prove their continental shelf extends further into the sea. The Russians are insisting there is an underwater ridge that extends from the Siberian shelf below the Pole.
Russian claims in this area are so flimsy that they were rejected before - by the U.N. itself. The proceedings of the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf demonstrate that Russian claims about the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic and Pacific oceans were considered during a series of meetings in 2002 and they was told to make "revised" submissions. That is, the Russian case was weak. The proceedings also show that the U.S., despite not having ratified the treaty, provided information, along with Canada, Denmark, Japan, and Norway, rebutting the Russian claims. So we already have the "seat at the table" that treaty proponents say we can only get through ratification.
replica watches online outlet abercrombie gucci handbags abercrombie sale abercrombie outlet abendkleid kurz cremeBecause of the melting ice, U.S. and other ships can now navigate what is called the Northwest Passage. The U.S. made an arrangement with Canada for these rights and the U.N. did not need to become involved. What's more, there already exists an Arctic Council of 8 countries, including Russia, which exists to resolve disputes.
It would be tragic if the Russian mission, which was clearly a stunt, prompts the Senate to ratify a treaty whose effect would be to diminish and even discredit the work of the courageous American explorers and military personnel who truly discovered the Pole and claimed it for America.
As Alaska's Governor, we urge you to reject UNCLOS and stand up for the rights and claims already established by American explorers. Can we count on you to do so?
Cliff Kincaid, President