Reclaiming “Sovereignty” (the Word) and Wrapping LOST in the Flag
Supporters of US ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty now have a network home, curiously called “The American Sovereignty Campaign.” It seems to be a serious undertaking, counting the US Chamber of Commerce and the Pew Charitable Trusts among its members, running this polished ad in the print media.
What of the use of “sovereignty” here? From the coalition’s website:
Here you will find the supporting documents and testimonials that demonstrate the overwhelming support for immediate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty. As you will see, the need for action is greater than it has ever been in order to protect and expand America’s sovereignty and national and economic security.
And from that ad (quoting John Negroponte):
With ratification, America would secure international recognition of the greatest expansion of resource sovereignty in its history, gaining exclusive access to resources in a region larger than the area of the Louisiana Purchase and Alaska combined.
So UNCLOS is pro-sovereignty because it literally (littorally) and legally recognizes US jurisidiction over huge swathes of the ocean. You have to admire this PR attempt to meet opponents on their own rhetorical terms, which is NOT to predict that this novel use of “sovereignty” will have political legs.