02/04/2024 lewrockwell.com  9 min 🇬🇧 #245991

A Rogue Us. Against the Rest of the World

 Moon of Alabama

April 2, 2024

Ted Snider asks:

 Is America a Rogue Superpower?

"Unipolar" used to mean that the United States was, at least in theory, alone in leading the world. Now "unipolar" means that the United States is alone and isolated in opposition to the world.

Snider refers to the recent UN Security Council resolution 2728 which "demands" a ceasefire in Gaza and "demands" a release of hostages and "demands" the unhindered supply of food and other items to Gaza.

The U.S.  has claimed,  falsely, that the resolution is not binding.

As Snider  writes:

On March 25, the U.S. went one step further and took a step toward becoming a rogue state who has supplanted international law with its rules-based order. International law is grounded in the charter system and the United Nations and is universally applicable.  The rules-based order is composed of unwritten laws whose source, consent, and legitimacy are unknown. To the global majority, those unwritten laws have the appearance of being invoked when they benefit the U.S. and its partners and not being invoked when they don't.

On March 25, the Security Council  passed a resolution demanding "an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire." The resolution was able to pass because the U.S. stood aside and let the other fourteen Security Council members pass it by abstaining instead of vetoing.

But in her explanation of the American abstention after the resolution passed, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield " surprisingly"  said that "we fully support some of the critical objectives in this nonbinding resolution."

Her claim that the Security Council resolution was nonbinding was not an off script, impromptu comment. It is the strategy of a country that enforces, not international law, but the U.S. led rules-based order.

Arnaud Bertrand  has added a similar thought:

Since the beginning, it's been obvious that Gaza was in many ways a fight between International Law and the US's "rules-based order".

This whole episode around the UN resolution is a perfect illustration of this. There is no debate amongst international law scholars that resolutions by the UN Security Council that "demand" certain actions are binding (good explanation by a legal scholar  here). In fact resolutions by the council ARE international law, article 25 of the UN Charter clearly states: "The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter."

Yet the US now argues that the "rule" is in fact different: "It's a non-binding resolution, so there's no impact at all on Israel".

Where is this rule written, that somehow when the UNSC "demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire", it's non-binding and "there's no impact at all" on the warring party?

Nowhere, that's the beauty of the rules-based order: the rules are made-up in the moment to fit the interests of the U.S. and its henchmen, depending on the circumstances.

The big issue here is that the whole world, literally, disagrees with the U.S. claims.

Snider  again:

All UN Security Council resolutions are  legally binding and have the  status of international law. That is why UN Secretary General António Guterres  said, "This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable." UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq  explained that, "All the resolutions of the Security Council are international law. They are as binding as international laws."

 Others responded the same way to the U.S. claim. On behalf of the ten elected members of the Security Council who drafted the resolution, Pedro Comissario, Mozambique's envoy to the United Nations, said, "All United Nations Security Council resolutions are binding and mandatory." He then added, "It is the hope of the 10 that the resolution adopted today will be implemented in good faith by all parties."

The United Kingdom also did " not share" the U.S. claim, prompting their envoy to the UN to  say, "we expect all Council resolutions to be implemented. This one is not any different. The demands in the resolution are absolutely clear." China, too, did not share the U.S. evaluation. "China's U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun  said Security Council resolutions are binding."

France too  rejects the U.S. claim and insists that UNSC Res 2728 is absolutely binding and especially binding for Israel:

"A United Nation Security Council resolution is binding under international law. All concerned parties MUST implement it, especially Israel, to whom it is incumbent to apply this resolution."

Russia has  said similar:

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that UN Security Council Resolution 2728 on Gaza, which calls for an immediate cease-fire and access for humanitarian aid, is binding for all sides, including Israel.
"The Russian side expects that the binding UN Security Council Resolution 2728 will contribute to de-escalating violence in Gaza, including preventing the Israeli operation in Rafah, freeing hostages, (and) increasing humanitarian assistance to civilians in the sector," it said.

Four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - including two major U.S. allies -, all of its non-permanent members and the UN Secretary General have explicitly said that UNSC Res 2728 is binding.

The U.S. (plus maybe a few of its minor proxies) is the only state which publicly disputes that.

Bertrand  points out that this will have huge consequences:

There's no overstating how consequential this is for the integrity of international relations. By doing so, the US effectively destroys the world order it largely created after WW2 because it effectively tells everyone that the set of institutions, rules and norms that underpin it are meaningless. We're effectively now in a world system where everyone realizes the police, the government, the basic set of beliefs, have become completely corrupted. This changes everything.

What comes next? I think there's no coming back for the U.S. And I think they know this, maybe unconsciously, otherwise they would at least pretend to act for the better good of all. The fact they don't shows they've effectively abdicated ambitions to restore their hegemony: they're now nakedly in it to milk the system for themselves, universal pretentions have gone.

This UN Security Council is not the only institution which the U.S. tries to destroys after having largely created it.

In 2019 the World Trade Organization  lost its appeal court:

The appellate body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), considered the supreme court for international trade, lost its ability to rule on new dispute cases at midnight Tuesday.

The panel, whose decisions affect billions of dollars in global trade, is supposed to have seven judges. But their ranks have dwindled because the United States - under the past three presidents - has blocked replacements to protest the way the WTO does business.

A minimum of three judges is needed to issue rulings and the terms of two of the last three judges ended at midnight Tuesday.

This will deal a major blow to the global trading system, critics say, arguing that the situation risked creating a system of trade relations based on power rather than binding international rules.

The U.S. is now using protectionism, subsidies and tariffs, which are clearly illegal under WTO rules it had previously agreed to. But as it has managed,  without having any serious argument, to destroy the WTO's court their is no longer a direct way it can get penalized for it.

But trade is only one field of international relations and other WTO members have found ways to solve disputes even without its court.

The stakes are much higher when it comes to matters of peace and of wars waged with the intent of genocide.

Bertrand  concludes:

Most countries however don't want to live in an "eat or get eaten"/"might makes right" world, without rules or norms. So in time a new system will arise.

The biggest unknowns being: can it arise without a major global war, who will lead the construction of its foundations and how can it be set up so that this time around it is fair for all and respected by all?

I'll leave it to you to ponder those questions.

Reprinted with permission from  Moon of Alabama.