Monday, May 4, 2009

Harold Koh’s Transnationalism

Meet Harold Koh, another Obama nominee who is well versed in the globalist/banker world 'vision' of control of the slaves. "International law should be “brought down” into domestic law around the world."

Legal Advisor Nominee Advocates Global Gun Control

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Harold Koh, a former Dean of the Yale Law School, to be Legal Advisor to the State Department. One of the many concerns with Koh is his belief that international organizations should be empowered to regulate the Second Amendment right to own a firearm.

On April 2, 2002, Koh gave a speech to the Fordham University School of Law titled “A World Drowning in Guns” where he mapped out his vision of global gun control. Koh advocated an international “marking and tracing regime.” He complained that “the United States is now the major supplier of small arms in the world, yet the United States and its allies do not trace their newly manufactured weapons in any consistent way.” Koh advocated a U.N.-governed regime to force the U.S. “to submit information about their small arms production.”

Koh supports the idea that the U.N. should be granted the power “to standardize national laws and procedures with member states of regional organizations.” Koh feels that U.S. should “establish a national firearms control system and a register of manufacturers, traders, importers and exporters” of guns to comply with international obligations. This regulatory regime would allow U.N. members such as Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran to have a say in what type of gun regulations are imposed on American citizens. {source}


A World Drowning in Laws
from the New Ledger

by Ted Bromund

The Administration’s nominee for Legal Adviser to the State Department, Harold Koh, the Dean of Yale Law School, has come under widespread criticism for his advocacy of legal transnationalism. This is the belief that international law should, in Koh’s words, be “brought down” into domestic law around the world.

The problem today, Koh argues, is that a few states – pre-eminently the U.S. – are obstructing this process. Koh’s favorite way to criticize the U.S. for this is by pointing to the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that the U.S. should pay “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” Koh claims that “decent respect” requires supporting anything concerned with human rights that a majority of the world’s states have endorsed, and even requires U.S. courts to draw on the decisions of foreign courts and on treaties the U.S. has not signed.

As Koh put it in late 2008:

The next President should recall the words of our founders in the Declaration of Independence to pay ‘decent respect to the opinions of mankind’ by supporting, not attacking, the institutions and treaties of international human rights law.

Or, in 2002:

[In] an interdependent world, United States courts should not decide cases without paying ‘a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.’

But here, in words that should be familiar to all Americans, is what the Declaration says:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The Declaration’s purpose was to tell the world the U.S. had a right to independence. The Founders believed it was necessary to pay “decent respect” by explaining why this was so. To transform this reasoned assertion of self-government and sovereignty into an argument that judgments in foreign courts should guide American judges, or that the U.S. should sign treaties simply because other states have done so is, at best, specious and distorted.

Koh has not been shy about expressing his transnationalist convictions. Indeed, one of the most troubling things about him is his willingness to lump “responsible lawyers, scholars, and human rights activists” together, as though they should be regarded as inseparable and equally authoritative. In his 2002 Robert L. Levine Distinguished Lecture at Fordham University, on “A World Drowning in Guns,” he argued that one of the most pressing issues facing the world is the need for, in his words, “the global regulation of small arms.” Koh is not alone in this belief: it is embodied in the long-running campaign for a U.N. treaty on the subject.

This campaign has recently born fruit. On October 31, 2008, the UN General Assembly voted by 145 to 2 against, with 18 abstentions, in favor of a resolution supporting the negotiation of an arms trade treaty. The U.S. cast one of the negative votes. The passage of the resolution resulted in the creation of a working group charged with the eventual drafting of a treaty to create common standards for the international import, export, and transfer of small arms. Koh’s views on global arms regulation therefore bear directly on a question he will be called to advise the State Department upon if he is confirmed by the Senate.

Koh is strongly in favor of building what he describes as a “global gun control regime.” His starting point is that small arms and light weapons – essentially, any weapon that can be carried – are responsible for most of the deaths in the world’s wars. This is entirely correct. Unfortunately, that is where his realism ends.

Koh believes that small arms are responsible for “dramatically fuel[ing] and inflam[ing] armed conflicts.” This theory has been popular among liberals since the 1920s and the campaign against the ‘Merchants of Death’ who supposedly caused the First World War. But the argument has little to recommend it: wars, and the accumulation of arms, are the product of underlying political rivalries, not their cause. As Koh acknowledges, the Rwandan genocide was carried out with machetes: if the hatreds are there, weapons will be found.

But for Koh, the only relevant question is how to bring global gun control into existence. As throughout his work, he called for aid in 2002 from a “transnational legal process.” This process begins with liberal NGOs who create networks around a problem as they define it, and develop so-called norms of behavior. Governments then create a “law-declaring forum” that embodies these norms and operates at a global level, and a “broader interpretive community” crystallizes to interpret and promote the norms in “a variety of settings.” This “community,” which includes U.S. judges, then draws on the interpretations it has fashioned to remake law and practice in the American setting.

The crucial step in this process is the interpretation of the norms, because it is those interpretations – provided by that supportive “community” – that decide what domestic law means. In this view, international law is not bottom up: it does not reflect what democratic political processes within nations decide to accept. Rather, it is top down: it is born of transnational advocacy, and then “internalized” by “responsible lawyers, scholars, and human rights activists” to refashion domestic society. From this point of view, international law is a set of norms that exists to be interpreted by liberal law school professors in the U.S. This turns international law into an expression of aspirations, not of democratically-sanctioned practice: build it, Koh implies, and the world will be forced to come along.

This is not a vision that pays “due respect” to the right of self-government. On the contrary, it has no patience with the idea that law should be created solely by the duly-elected representatives of the people and interpreted according to the Constitution. As a result, for example, Koh’s claim that the U.S. could support global gun control “without committing itself to a regime that would affront legitimate Second Amendment concerns” is meaningless. Like the rest of the Constitution, the “legitimate” concerns inherent in the Second Amendment are up for transnational redefinition. But Koh is right about one thing: the process he describes has driven the campaign behind the arms trade treaty.

Yet that campaign, for reasons that reveal the practical fallacies of the transnationalist vision, is a dangerous one. The General Assembly’s resolution calls for the treaty to create “common international standards” for the sale, purchase, and transfer of arms. more


  1. Why do all the neo-Marxist globalist rat feces scum always come from Harvard, Yale, or Chicago business schools?

  2. Let's see, we can pick and choose what UN laws we'll obey.

    Treaties against torture, which are part of US law, according to the Constitution?

    Fuck 'em, we've got a 70 year long planned war to keep going, so we'll keep torturing "al Qaeda" suspects until they tell us what we told them to say, that AQ is behind all of those IED's that are starting to go off in Iraq when there is talk of a troop pullout.

    But treaties restricting gun ownership?

    My god man, that's a UN mandated law and according to that treaty we signed, we've just GOT to obey that law, so hand over those firearms... or else!

    Who said Communism was dead?