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Old August 13, 2009, 04:38 PM   #74
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
Given time to prepare for a Chris Matthews interview...

... I'd have emphasized the importance the US government places on having the Navy perform Freedom of Navigation cruises and flights. These go through international waters and / or airspace which is claimed by another nation, such as the Economic Exclusion Zone of China which we've read about in the news quite a lot, or the Line of Death in the Gulf of Sidra off Libya in the 1980's.

The whole point of steaming or flying through those areas, even though it ostensibly antagonizes countries who are trying to claim waters and airspace outside the internationally recognized 12 nautical miles from their shorelines, is to avoid having the internationally recognized boundaries changed by tacit precedent.

In other words, it would be possible in international assemblies, for an argument to be made that by avoiding the water and air claimed by China, Libya, Cambodia, North Korea (take your pick) the US and other nations have tacitly conceded that those waters and airspaces belong to the claimant countries.

If the US government feels it is worthwhile to antagonize such countries, at risk of possible violence (actual violence, if you count the collision some Chinese F8's caused with our EP3 off Hainan island, or the shootdown of a US Lockheed Constellation off North Korea in the 60's) and politically uncomfortable situations in order to exercise and preserve the right to freedom of navigation, then how is it reasonable for the US government to expect its own citizens not to exercise and preserve their own Constitutional rights?
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