The term “rules-based world order” has surfaced in U.S. diplospeak in recent years. Whatever does it mean?
[Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov surveys the results of the recent G7, NATO and US-EU summits prior to Putin-Biden in Geneva:
These meetings were carefully prepared in a way that leaves no doubt that the West wanted to send a clear message: it stands united like never before and will do what it believes to be right in international affairs, while forcing others, primarily Russia and China, to follow its lead. The documents adopted at the Cornwall and Brussels summits cemented the rules-based world order concept as a counterweight to the universal principles of international law with the UN Charter as its primary source. In doing so, the West deliberately shies away from spelling out the rules it purports to follow, just as it refrains from explaining why they are needed.
As he dismisses how Russia and China have been labeled as “authoritarian powers” (or “illiberal”, according to the favorite New York-Paris-London mantra), Lavrov smashes Western hypocrisy:
While proclaiming the ‘right’ to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries for the sake of promoting democracy as it understands it, the West instantly loses all interest when we raise the prospect of making international relations more democratic, including renouncing arrogant behavior and committing to abide by the universally recognized tenets of international law instead of ‘rules’.
I’d naively assumed that the term was but a convenient way of referring to international law as expressed in important part in the U.N. Charter and various treaties and conventions. As I’ve heard the term more and more, I see that it has a certain spongy quality such that it is actually a fig leaf obscuring untrammeled, unilateral, arbitary, discretionary action on the part of the U.S.
The world apparently can be reordered according to these “rules” that only we can decipher. NATO can be expanded into Lithuania and Micronesia, Serbia can be subjected to 30,000 air strikes, Kosovo can be ripped from Serbia and its non-Muslim minorities ejected, the government of Ukraine can be overthrown, and the windows in the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol can be measured for new drapes by an advance party of the U.S. Navy.
Afghanistan can be invaded and reformed by a procession of strutting cockatoos and Iraq can be invaded and upended and its people killed off like flies on a pretext after years of enthusiastic U.S. support for Saddam Hussein so long as he was willing to gas and bomb Iranians. Our exquisite sensibilities regarding chemical weapons had not then yet reached their present peak of volcanic outrage.
Too, Libya can be turned into bandido land and its gold reserves spiritied away to who knows where. To be fair, the Libyan bomb fest had something of a blessing from the U.N. Security Council though with less justification than the WMD threat that supposedly existed in Iraq. More of the “evil ruler who lives to attack his own people” firewater. Sells like hotcakes at a Weight Watchers convention.
Iran can be casually designated as the chief sponsor of terror in the world while the U.S. and certain of its “partners” and “stakeholders” around the Middle East can kill over 500,000 Syrian civilians, displace millions, and lay waste to its cities. Turkey can cart off Syrian factories and flood Syria with troops and the U.S. can send in troops to
steal Syrian oil protect Syrian oil fields and it’s all good. Apparently, plunder and aggressive war are part of the RBWO. As is attacking the Syrian Arab Army in support of ISIS. The point being here that we are not at war with Syria and it threatens no American interest. But the “rule” is we get to decide who’s the bestest ruler for Syria and which elections are Grade F elections and which elections are like American elections. Wait! That didn’t come out right.
I’d have less of an urge to take a shower and disinfect my clothes at the mention of the RBWO shliblut if The Sacred Homeland weren’t afflicted with (1) a Supreme Court that flees from facing its responsibilities like a virgin at a BLM convention and (2) any number of gutless, traitorous local and state authorities who would rather stab their grandmothers with a Ginzu knife than maintain order and the rule of law.
Honorable mention to all of the state supreme courts and bar associations who seem not to have noticed that the Interstate Commerce Clause has been studiousl not enforced since the 1930s, thereby enabling the expansion of the federal government to its present monstrous, wildly-unconstitutional size.
Gigantic monopolies also seem to have escaped the notice of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission for, oh, the last 50 years. (Lina Khan at the FTC seems to have some salutary heartburn over monopolies. We’ll see if that’s sincere or if she’ll be stalled before she can even zero her Glock.)
But, yeah. We’re sticklers for “the rules.” And if you’re not careful, we’ll arrive in force and straighten your asses out.
 “Escobar: The Long & Winding Multipolar Road.” By Pepe Escobar, ZeroHedge, 7/4/21.