NST Leader: Rules-based world order?

WHERE is the rules-based global order when the world needs it most? Look at the United States, peddling the rules-based world order while it writes its own laws for itself and allies to follow.

On Friday, the world's most powerful nation could have stopped the genocide in Gaza, but it vetoed a humanitarian ceasefire most of the 15-member United Nations Security Council passed. A 13-1 vote in favour of Palestinians is as rare as a hen's teeth. Understandably, some have taken to calling the UNSC "Israel's Security Council".

Now here is the irony. On Saturday, the UN marked the international day for the commemoration of the victims of genocide while the US chose to allow the Israelis to add Palestinian victims to the list. No surprise here.

After all, who remembers the victims of genocide? Only their loved ones: the Jews, Rwandans, Bosnians and the Palestinians. Even the Jews don't give a moment's thought to the Roma, Sinti and Slavs who lost their lives to the Nazis in the Holocaust.

It is now becoming crystal clear that the US and its allies are not serious about rules-based world order. Look at how loud they got in accusing former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir of genocide in Darfur. More recently, equally loudly, they accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of the same in Ukraine.

And the International Criminal Court shamelessly rushed to do just that as if they were the legal body of the West.

We are not questioning the guilt of these men. It is for the ICC to judge, not the leaders of the West.

But the ICC must act justly and apply the law against all men and women who commit genocide. Clearly, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan were scenes of genocide. And Palestine has been one for 106 years.

Where are the war criminals? They are walking the streets of mighty nations and their allies. Might has the dirty habit of breeding impunity, yet the ICC, dictated by the West, cherry picks whom to charge and whom not to.

Here is the thing. More and more nations are questioning the credibility of the West. Consider China's not so rules-based behaviour in the South China Sea for example.

By what measure will the US say Beijing is breaking international law when it allows Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians? What answer would it have to the military regime in Myanmar when it says it has a right to kill those under its control? How would its argument and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's resonate against Russia's occupation of Ukraine?

It can't be no genocide in Palestine and yet one in Ukraine. Blue eyes and white skin can't define genocide. Or do they? Or is it religion? Principles, moral or legal, must be one and the same for all.

The rules applied against China, Russia , Myanmar or Palestine must be the same as those applied against the West and its allies.

The West, especially the US, must seek to understand the distressed nations in the Muslim world. They see a bifurcated world order. One for the mighty and another for the rest.

On Friday, the US could have proven them wrong. International law is so called because it applies to all. The US can't cherry-pick. Rules-based world order isn't this.

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