In his commentary, which appeared in today’s Columbia Daily Tribune, Ryan T. Balis, research associate at The National Center for Public Policy Research, expresses alarm that – with the approval of various U.S. presidents – 20 cultural and natural landmarks in the United States haven been placed on the list of “World Heritage Areas” sites to be protected and monitored by the United Nations.
Why is Mr. Balis so upset about the U.S. landmarks being placed on the Word Heritage list? Is it that this specific U.N. program is run from the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in (gasp!) Paris? Perhaps. But “threat to our sovereignty” is a much better sell, however unlikely the scenario.
“A World Heritage Area designation can be used by another nation operating in bad faith to interfere with our self-government on both the local and federal level,” he writes. And here it comes: “France, Germany or Belgium – all major mischief-makers during our recent overthrow of Saddam Hussein – readily come to mind. Any of those nations, for instance, could use the World Heritage Areas designation to ask the United Nations to ban or restrict traffic in Manhattan and parts of northern New Jersey by contending that air pollution generated by motor vehicles was damaging the Statue of Liberty.” It would be quite something to see, for example, the German parliament debate pollution in New Jersey in effort to distract the public’s attention from unemployment and economic woe at home.
But Mr. Balis insists that such a scenario is not far-fetched. “Belgium already has moved to try U.S. high-ranking military officers as war criminals for their role in liberating Iraq.”
His eye on the upcoming July 4th holiday, Mr. Balis is convinced that “If America is to restore the full measure of liberty that we celebrate anew this Independence Day, it must have sole ownership and control of these scare (sic) sites.” And: “With a flourishing preservation movement in this country, Americans need no help from international busybodies in safeguarding their heritage.”