Tuesday 25th of June 2024

house rules ...

house rules ...

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One of the most commonly used phrases by western politicians is their professed belief  in the “International rules based order.” It is meant to convey their respect for international law and is invariably  used in the context of criticising their enemies du jour, currently China, Iran and Russia who are supposed to epitomise the opposite of a rules based order.

Even the most casual observer of the geopolitics of the post world War two period knows that the gap between the rhetoric and the reality is immense. Countries not within the privileged clique of Anglo American European imperialism know this full well and have made the appropriate adjustments to their own policies.

A series of recent events however, suggest that levels of Western hypocrisy have reached new and dangerous levels. At the beginning of October, the United States secretary of the interior Ryan Zinke suggested that the United States and its allies could force a change in Russia’s middle east policy by imposing a blockade, preventing the movement of ships into and out of Russian ports.It is unclear whether or not Mr Zinke fully appreciate the significance of what he is saying, even given the unlikely ability of the United States to actually enforce such a blockade.

To mount a blockade requires the use of force. Such a blockade would not have the sanction of the United Nations Security Council and neither would it remotely come within the ambit of the self defence provisions of article 51 of the United Nations Charter. In other words it would be a direct violation of international law. As an act of war against Russia, Russia would be entitled to take appropriate steps to defeat such an illegal intrusion into its sovereign territory, and take other such actions deemed necessary to defend itself. War would be the inevitable consequence of the United States government taking Mr Zinke’s frankly insane advice.

Rules based International Order - the rhetoric and the reality