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Arms treaty backfire

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The Obama administration might well have finessed itself into a tight foreign policy corner, first by endorsing the United Nations' intolerable Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), then by offering aid to Syria's rebels.

That could explain why the United States wasn't among the more than 65 nations that rushed in last month to sign this gun-grabbing abomination. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would sign “soon.”

More than a few analysts say that the treaty expressly prohibits signatories from supplying arms to the Syrian government's opposition, according to The Heritage Foundation. A long-standing criticism of the treaty (among many) is that it protects tyrannies by targeting arms shipments to rebels.

Stuart Casey-Maslen, a research fellow at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, says the arms treaty makes transfers “arguably ... unlawful.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman disagrees: “I can't say that if the ATT were enforced today for the United States that this issue (Syria) would be any easier or harder than it already is.”

Complicating matters further, the Syrian rebels don't exactly meet the treaty's human rights standards — not amid reports that the Free Syrian Army massacred Christian villagers, writes Ted R. Bromund for Heritage.

Of course, abiding by the rules, domestic or otherwise, has never been the strong suit of the Obama administration.

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