Rules-Based Order

One interesting idea of foreign policy is rules-based order. What’s interesting about it is how it sparks curiosity, since, upon hearing such a notion, it’s difficult to discern precisely what they are talking about.

It is a very vague and tautological thing. In fact, it’s very hard to think of ways in which one can establish order without some kind of basis of rules. What becomes interesting is to ask further critical questions such as “What are these rules?” and “Who maintains this order?”

And this becomes particularly important to anyone living outside of the US, since the notion of rules-based order only exists in White House press releases. It is not a foreign policy principle that any nation adheres to outside of the US. Even British media, who is often quite housebroken by the Pentagon, rarely express this notion.

And it’s probably because it’s quite ominous. I’d want something like a Democracy-based order, or maybe a Geneva-based order, or even an order based on concrete international laws that are liable to an international constituency.

But a rules-based order doesn’t sound very ambitious to me. It lacks any kind of framing as to what precisely this order is supposed to do, and how it does it.

Moreover I find that these rules are very selectively applied. Which is understandable since the US, the self-declared World Police, also has a corresponding regular police who, in similar fashion, rarely seem to follow their own rules.

When a thief steals, it’s called stealing, but when a policeman steals, it’s called civil forfeiture. Countries that are foreign to the US will often “torture political prisoners.” But the US and US allies will “perform enhanced interrogation upon enemy combatants.”

When a US soldier is captured, he is a POW, and is protected by the laws of the Geneva convention, but when the US captures a soldier, he is an “enemy combatant” and not a POW, which is why he is not protected by the Geneva convention.

When China puts sanctions on the US, it is considered an act of aggression, and sabre rattling. But when the US puts sanctions on China, then it’s considered a measure to reinforce human rights mandates.

Of course, when countries actually concede to the sanctions and give in to the pressure, such as Viet Nam did in the 80s, then the human rights in question appear to be the right to own and operate sweatshops.

When another country moves military into someone else’s country, it’s considered an act of invasion, but when the US moves military into someone else’s country, then it’s considered a peacekeeping mission.

When other countries kill civilians, it is called terrorism. When the US kills civilians, it is called counter-terrorism.

When other countries train and arm non-state actors it is called funding terrorism.

When the US train and arm non-state actors it is called covert operations.

Moreover, the US and US aligned countries don’t have corruption. Corruption is something that happens in the Eastern and Southern parts of the world. Instead what the US has is malfeasance. When a politician takes a bribe in a NATO country, it’s called lobbying. When a politician takes a bribe outside of this sphere of influence, it’s called a bribe.

And we see that with everything. Chinese police engages in “Brutal repression against their own people”, but US police engage in “Officer-involved shootings.”

Other countries perform “genital mutilation”, whereas the US performs “circumcision.”

And I hate to tell you, but medically speaking, any gratuitous or unnecessary surgical procedure is considered mutilation. There is very little justification from a medical point of view to perform any kind of surgical operation on a perfectly healthy baby.

And unless you’re wandering through the desert for 40 years without regular access to flowing water, then you probably don’t need a circumcision. Just shower daily. I don’t know why Americans are so hostile to taking showers. It’s weird.

Other countries have “concentration camps”, but the US have “detention centres.” Other countries have “internment”, but the US have “detainment.”

Other countries have “famines” but NATO countries have “food crises.”

Other countries have “oppression”, but NATO countries have “austerity.”

Other countries have “colonies”, but NATO countries have “client states.”

Other countries have “slavery”, and the US have “prison labour.”

Other countries have “labour camps”, and the US has “for-profit prisons.”

Other countries have “corrupt police”, but the US has “The blue wall of silence.”

This is basically what the rules based order is. It’s a series of ridiculous double standards that permits the self-acclaimed world police to operate with impunity. Which is why, as of writing this, the US is currently sending troops into Africa.

But don’t worry, it’s not an “invasion.” Only Russians invade people. It’s a “cooperation strategy.”

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Vince

Vince

Scholar, minister, musician, engineer, technician, reformed criminal