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End Them, Don't Mend Them

Clinton signed some terrible treaties; Bush should repudiate them

11:00 PM, Jan 21, 2001 • By JEREMY RABKIN
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Clinton has signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and a convention of the International Labor Organization on race discrimination in employment. Neither has much chance of Senate ratification. But they are unusually meaningless: The Clinton administration itself has claimed we would not need to change any existing policy to be in compliance with these treaties. It might be satisfying to repudiate these pretentious baubles, too, just out of principle. But as Churchill said -- to explain the focus of British bombing on strategic targets rather than German civilians -- "business before pleasure."

Jeremy Rabkin teaches constitutional law and international law at Cornell University.