My school friend Murray wrote a scurrilous parody of Manfred Mann’s single My Name is Jack in order to lampoon the teaching staff, and especially the new headmaster, whose first name was Wilfred. He got punished for it, no doubt because he posted it hand-written on a school notice-board, but it was very funny. It began:
My name is Wilf, and I live by myself
At the Royal Grammar School
And every week I bring you
A wonderful new rule.
Indeed, the new regime did seem to have begun by imposing all kinds of rules that, to us at least, appeared rather arbitrary. An example was the rule that said that sideburns must not extend below the tragus of the ear, an edict which had all the would-be hippies (of which there were many back in 1967) reaching for dictionaries to see what a “tragus” might be.
But arbitrary or not, the rules Wilf made were at least clear and consistently applied, and as headmaster he undoubtedly had the authority to impose them on his students (though we were called “pupils” in those days). Not only that, but you would never see a stray whisker projecting below either of his own tragi.
This is entirely unlike the rules imposed upon the whole world by the American Empire of which Britain is a craven pawn, known rather whimsically as the “rules based order.” It has been increasingly realised by the 87% of the world not consulted in their composition that these rules are completely arbitrary and are constantly changing. These nations don’t even get informed about the rules until they are penalised by them, usually by being bombed (witness Somalia this very month). And they cannot consult the rules in advance because they only exist in the heads of those (ie the US or its appointed minions) imposing them in any particular situation. They are like our school playground games in which, if you were losing, you called out “New Rule!” to turn the tables. The difference is that, in our case, it was a joke (as well as a mild satire at Wilf’s expense), whereas America uses it to bully the whole world and kill millions.
The way it now plays out in reality is that the US deep state (whose scum neverthless floats on the face of the visible state) decides on a self-serving goal, and then perverts all the national and international institutions it has under its power to achieve it.
The latest example is the indicting of Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court. If you have always assumed that the ICC is a necessary and independent arbiter or war-crimes, ask yourself why the investigation of the UK’s abuse of civilians in Iraq, and the waging of the Iraq war itself, was dropped by the ICC despite good evidence of abuse. You might also ask why the court considered a case against “the United Kingdom,” rather than against Tony Blair or the Queen as head of state, but names Putin as personally responsible for crimes allegedly committed by subordinates. And of course you might also consider that Americans can’t be convicted by the ICC as the country is not a signatory to the threat establishing it, whereas Putin apprently can, despite Russia also being a non-signatory. “New Rule!”
This insistence on “taking it to the top” is also in marked contrast to the practice of the US and its allies when forced to face their own war-crimes outside ICC jurisdiction. You will invariably find that in America some squaddy or junior officer is scapegoated for abuses that were actually the policy of senior officers or the high command. Was it ever even plausible that the mistreatment in Abu Graib prison would threaten George W. Bush himself? Would Richard Nixon conceivably have stood trial for the My Lai massacre, in which many were charged, only one lieutenat convicted, and the sentence mitigated to 42 months of house-arrest only? Compare the fate of Milosevic, Gaddafi, or Saddam, or that former ally of the US chopped to pieces by an American drone last year.
Neither is it particularly convincing that, during the active phase of a military conflict, it is possible to attribute war crimes to the West’s enemy, whilst completely exonerating Ukraine and its leadership for well-documented atrocities, including the use of illegal butterfly bombs on civilians in Donetsk, the shelling of a nuclear plant, and the filmed torture and slaying of prisoners of war. Not to mention conscripting children as cannon-fodder in Bakhmut.
No, to me this appears to be just another expression of one longstanding aim of the US Neocon deep state: regime change in Moscow. This began when Putin started to act as if Russia need not be a mere cash-cow for the West forever. Putin was intended to go the same way as Saddam Hussein, Muamar Gaddafi, and a host of other national leaders standing in the way of US hegemony, with the difference that Russia was, potentially, a major world power.
The Maidan Coup of 2014, and the subsequent NATO militarisation of Ukraine, was accomplished for this end, the aim being to provoke Putin into a response that would either see him defeated militarily (and removed from power, with the breakup of Russia into bite-sized chunks), or rendered unpopular at home making a colour revolution possible.
The ground was further prepared by the “Russiagate” hoax, intended to kill two birds with one stone by destroying Trump’s presidency whilst painting Russia as a threat in the public mind, and by the Skripal affair in England, which looks more like state disinformation the closer one studies it.
Backing this up, as we have known since last year, was the idea of imposing trade sanctions on top of those already active (for some forgotten arbitrary reasons), so that economic collapse would similarly oust Putin from power. Unfortunately the war has boosted Putin’s popularity at home, the trade sanctions have ruined the West and prospered Russia (whose inflation rate has dropped to 4%) as well as enabling it to escape the new banking crisis, and to top it all Russia is clearly winning the war in Ukraine. It has also forged strong links with the rest of the world, including China, so that it is now the West whose 13% of the world population look to be the ones isolated from the “international community.”
There are several other signs of regime change as the goal for which everything else occurs. One is the constant personalisation of Russia as “Putin” by western propaganda, as in “Putin’s war.” Another is the repeated portrayal of him as sick, mad, or both (including crudely doctored videos in the Daily Mail). A third is his being represented as both an incompetent sending soldiers to war with only shovels (and they still win!), and as an evil genius cunningly blowing up his own pipelines, shelling his own nuclear plants and so on for purposes too deep for the rest of us to understand. In the last two cases, the relevant international bodies have been unable to find actual evidence implicating Russia, despite Moscow’s co-operation in granting them full access – but surprise, surprise, they have been unable to implicate anyone else either.
Yes, it does seem rather puerile to call the (apparent) dumping of fuel on a hostile drone as “anti-environmental” in the Black Sea when you yourself (or, if you like fairy-tales, anti-Putin Ukrainian amateurs) have polluted the atmosphere with up to 155,000 tonnes of methane in the Baltic. But the “rules based world order” is essentially puerile, even down to the name that disguises the fact that it flies in the face of the actual rules of International Law mediated by the United Nations (which can only be manipulated in a more limited way).
But the new invocation of “war crimes” can surely only be seen as the next lever to pull when your military, economic, and propaganda levers have failed to achieve the one goal you have set yourself – regime change in Moscow. The one good thing about the whole sorry process is that it reveals, for those with eyes to see, exactly which institutions have been captured, and are playing by the secret rules that are intended to ensure that the US always wins the game. Unfortunately they are so numerous that it may be best to start a new game altogether.