"State Control": What the UN Firearms Treaty is All Aboutby William Norman Grigg
Apr. 04, 2013
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White House mouthpiece Jay Carney says that the Obama administration will “conduct a thorough review” of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact “to determine whether to sign the treaty.” The suspense is hardly unbearable, given that the UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons.
The announced objective of the treaty is to regulate the sale and transfer of small arms and light weapons, a category that includes all civilian-owned firearms. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
Well, actually, it would not. Nothing in the dense and nearly unreadable text of the 15-page treaty will prevent member states from arming terrorists and criminals. Article 2, Section 3 specifies that nothing in the treaty will “apply to the international movement of conventional arms by, or on behalf of, a State Party for its use provided that the conventional arms remain under that State Party’s ownership.”
Article 11, which deals with “Diversion” of weaponry, requires that parties to the treaty work to “mitigate the risk” that weapons would fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists, and that they “share relevant information … on effective measures to address diversion.” But nothing in the language forbids such diversions from States to “non-state actors” – a point that was made, ironically, by the Communist government of North Korea when it opposed the treaty.
Each government that signs the UN gun treaty agree to create “a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition [and] munitions” (Article 3), which is described in the preamble as “the primary responsibility of all States.” The document repeatedly refers to the “inherent right” of States to arm themselves and to control the weaponry within the boundaries over which they claim jurisdiction. Not a syllable can be found in the document recognizing the innate right of the individual to armed self-defense. This omission was not accidental.
For more than fifty years, the United Nations, with the enthusiastic support of the U.S. government, has pursued a vision of “general and complete disarmament” in which the world body, or its successor, would claim a monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force. Within that global monopoly, each national government would have an exclusive territorial franchise.
“Controlling the proliferation of illicit [that is, civilian-owned] weapons is a necessary first step towards the non-proliferation of small arms,” wrote former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in his official 2000 report, We the Peoples. “These weapons must be brought under the control of states, and states must be held responsible for their transfer.” (Emphasis added.)
It was in pursuit of that formula that UN “peacekeepers” were deployed in Rwanda in 1993. The peace treaty they were sent to enforce required the collection of all civilian-owned weapons. Despite that country’s history of bloody ethnic conflict, Rwandans were assured that they had nothing to fear from a UN-approved government that claimed a monopoly on weaponry; after all, the Blue Beret-wearing emissaries of the “international community” were there to protect them, in the event their government turned feral.
In January 1994, Lt. Col. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer commanding the UN contingent in Rwanda, learned that the Hutu-dominated regime was planning to massacre the Tutsi population. He sent an urgent fax to UN headquarters requesting permission to disarm the government-backed militias by raiding their arms caches. He wasn’t allowed to take this pre-emptive action, because the UN’s self-assigned mandate called for civilian disarmament, not the disarmament of government operatives.
Less than three months later, the massacre began – a 100-day orgy of bloodshed in which roughly one million people were slaughtered. Most were hacked to death with machetes – but behind the machete-wielding goons were government troops, police, and militiamen armed with guns. Dallaire’s troops did nothing to protect the victims; indeed, many of them were butchered as well.
The UN official who was given advance warning of the massacre, and ordered Dallaire not to take any preventive action, was Kofi Annan – who at the time was undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations. In the finest tradition of Soviet career advancement, Annan was rewarded with a promotion to Secretary General, and eventually received the Nobel Peace Prize. Dallaire, who had done what he could to prevent the genocide, succumbed to near-suicidal depression and alcoholism. He was eventually rehabilitated after a reporter found him freezing to death under a park bench in Hull, Quebec.
Rwanda is a nearly ideal case of the UN’s model of “human security,” which requires, among other things, the establishment of “norms of non-possession” of firearms by civilians. That phrase was taken from the UN-approved “Hague Appeal for Peace,” which was unveiled at the 2000 “Millennium Summit” at UN Headquarters.
According to the Hague Appeal:
“Full-fledged demobilization programs must reclaim and destroy weaponry…. Steps toward stopping the flow of weapons include: controlling legal transfers between states; preventing illicit transfers … collecting, removing, and destroying surplus weapons from regions of conflict … [and] creating norms of non-possession.”
Those objectives are woven into the UN’s new arms treaty – but those threads run back to the late 1950s, when the world body first became involved in the “arms control” process.
Barack Obama is a left-leaning corporatist from an exotic background, but he is not the first U.S. president whose administration has promoted a UN-centered gun grab. That distinction belongs to Dwight Eisenhower, the conservative Republican whose State Department served as an incubator for a proposal called Freedom from War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World.
That program, also known as State Department Document 7277, was introduced to the world in the fall of 1961 by Eisenhower’s successor, John F. Kennedy.
Freedom from War, and its follow-up Blueprint for the Peace Race, outlined a three-stage global program in which the UN’s machinery for “peace enforcement” – what honest people would call “warmaking” – would be built up pari passu with disarmament of national governments. In Stage III, national governments would retain only those armaments and establishments necessary to carry out UN-ordained “global obligations” and to “maintain internal order.”
“All other armaments would be destroyed or converted to peaceful purposes,” dictates the U.S.-created program. “Peaceful purposes,” in the statist lexicon, include all acts of government-sanctioned aggression and violence. “All other armaments” would, of necessity, include civilian-owned weaponry. Those points were made with plangent clarity in a 1962 State Department-commissioned study called A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, which was written by MIT professor Lincoln P. Bloomfield.
Dispensing with the utopian pretenses of many world government advocates, Bloomfield observed that the pursuit of a world “effectively controlled” by the UN would be to create a “stable military environment” for the benefit of the U.S. government and allied interests. This would eventually require the creation of a nuclear-armed UN “Peace Force” – a multilateral body that itself would be effectively controlled by Washington – that would include a “disarmament policing agency.” Each constituent member of the UN would be permitted a military establishment that would be limited “to the right to maintain sufficient police forces to ensure domestic security.”
One source frequently cited by Bloomfield in his study is World Peace through World Law, a 1958 book co-written by Wall Street attorney Grenville Clark and Professor Louis B. Sohn. That book unflinchingly endorsed the creation of “A World Police Force” that would possess “a coercive force of overwhelming power.” It would initially be equipped through “the transfer of weapons and equipment discarded by national military forces during the process of complete disarmament.” However, it would also benefit from a research and development program devoted to providing it with a prohibitive advantage against any potential adversary.
Such an entity does not exist within the United Nations, of course. But what Clark and Sohn envisioned looks a great deal like the military-industrial complex that serves the interest of the de facto world government operated out of Washington, D.C.
“Even in a world in which all national military forces were abolished,” continued Clark and Sohn, “it is conceivable that … an aroused nation with a strong grievance could marshal quite a formidable armed force even if no on in it possessed any weapon stronger than a rifle.” This is why, they concluded, “a strong and well-armed police force is part of the indispensable price of peace and the sooner the world faces up to this conclusion the better it will be for all peoples.”
Oh, sure, they acknowledge, the nuclear-armed world “Peace Force” they envisioned “might be perverted into a tool of world domination” – a concession they make without explaining how what they describe is something other than a plan for world domination.
They then feinted in the direction of checks and balances, insisting that “careful limitations and safeguards” would be incorporated into the system – without providing so much as a hint of what they would be in a world where everybody but UN-approved government bodies would be disarmed.
In his 1962 study, Bloomfield took note of one critical complication: “In the United States, the people have the constitutional right to `keep and bear arms’; the government monopoly is legally abridged to that extent.”
Once we peel the propaganda and persiflage away from the new UN arms treaty, it becomes clear that establishing that monopoly is the entire purpose of the document.