Supporters of the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are turning up the heat ahead of another push next month to finalize the treaty. Oxfam America is second to none in its advocacy of this bad treaty, and on Wednesday released a paper accusing opponents of the treaty of mounting a “campaign of lies and deliberate distortions” in order to stop a treaty that stands for “truth and justice” and “will prevent the irresponsible sale, gift, or lease of weapons and ammunition across borders.” The Heritage Foundation was itself singled out, and so we’d like to respond.
First, of course, we’d like to thank Oxfam for recognizing the impact our work has had. As the author of the paper cited, I am doubly obliged. But we strongly disagree with Oxfam’s charge and think the organization itself is engaging in serious mischaracterizations of what this proposed treaty would do and not do.
Heritage was not the only group attacked. One of the most unattractive things about the treaty’s supporters is that they just cannot fathom that anyone might actually disagree with them in good faith. To them, the only explanation possible is that the treaty opponents are liars. So Oxfam also spends a good deal of time going after House Resolution 814, introduced on November 16, 2012, by Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA).