Order Out of Chaos? Ukraine & The Endless Quest for a ‘New World Order’ (Part 1)
By Will Banyan (Copyright © 20 June 2022)
“After the Insiders have established the United Socialist States of America…the next step is the Great Merger of all nations of the world into a dictatorial world government… The Insiders code word for the world superstate is ‘new world order’…”
Gary Allen with Larry Abraham, None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971), p.121.
“And now is a time when things are shifting. We’re going to — there’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a singular event, one that apparently warrants not just our opprobrium at this seemingly obvious act of aggression, but also the commitment of all concerned to supporting Ukraine in order to uphold the existing “rules-based international order.” Russia’s “choice of war”, US President Joe Biden declared in Poland last March, is “nothing less than a direct challenge to the rule-based international order established since the end of World War Two” (emphasis added). According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson writing in the New York Times (Mar. 06, 2022), “Russian aggression” was an assault on the “rules-based international order”; if not a “sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by force.” Russia’s “cold-blooded war of aggression” was “inhumane and contrary to international law”, observed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (DW Feb. 27, 2022). In his recent Sir John Slessor Memorial Lecture,1 Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, head of the British armed forces, claimed that: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is part of a much larger struggle. At stake is the future of global order, and the rules and values that underpin stability and security worldwide” (emphasis added). Addressing NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels in April, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also accused Moscow of “trying to upend” the “international order” through its invasion (emphasis added).
But what exactly is this “rules-based international order” that now warrants the expenditure of so much (Ukrainian) blood and (US-NATO) treasure? Secretary of State Blinken in a recent address to the George Washington University provided this definition:
[T]he rules-based international order [is] the system of laws, agreements, principles, and institutions that the world came together to build after two world wars to manage relations between states, to prevent conflict, to uphold the rights of all people.
Its founding documents include the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrined concepts like self-determination, sovereignty, the peaceful settlement of disputes. These are not Western constructs. They are reflections of the world’s shared aspirations.
For critics, especially those outside of the NATO axis, such declarations of concern for Russia’s affront to the much vaunted “international order” have been difficult to take seriously given the many violations of that same, exalted order by these same countries, particularly the US, that have led the effort to sanction and cancel Russia. According to Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the anti-interventionist Quincy Institute, for example, citing his conversations with diplomats and analysts from across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, there has been an “allergic reaction” to talk of a “rules-based order” given the actual “order” has “allowed the U.S. to violate international law with impunity.” The prime example being “the blatant illegality” of the US invasion of Iraq.2
Numerous critics have highlighted the “striking” “double standards and hypocrisy coming out of Washington, D.C” (Stephen Zunes); given that both invasions were “illegal wars, fought without simulacrum of United Nations blessing. Simply, they are wars of aggression” (Andrew Murray); with the US repeatedly employing in Iraq similar tactics to the Russians of “reducing towns and cities to little more than rubble” (Paul Rogers). According to Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute:
The frequently heard charge that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine violates ostensibly sacred international “norms” holds no water. No such norms exist — at least none that a great power will recognize as inhibiting its own freedom of action. For proof, we need look no further than the recent behavior of the United States which has routinely demonstrated a willingness to write its own norms while employing violence on a scale far exceeding anything that Russia has done or is likely to do (Spectator, Mar. 02, 2022; emphasis added).
In a recent interview Professor Noam Chomsky, a long-time critic of US foreign policy, also took issue with the concept, arguing that the “rules-based international order” was actually distinct from the UN-based world order. Western support for the “rules-based international order”, claimed Chomsky, was entirely because “we set the rules”, unlike in the “old-fashioned, UN-based international order where we don’t set the rules.” A similar formulation was offered by Chinese foreign affairs official Director Yang Jiechi in his meeting with Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Alaska in March 2021:
What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called “rules-based” international order (emphasis added).
The seriousness of this commitment to upholding this “rules-based international order” received its most profound and unexpected repudiation from the “Decider” of the last full-scale invasion of another country, former US President George W. Bush (Figure 1). In what some suggested was a Freudian slip (or perhaps a “Freudian confession”), in a recent speech at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Bush condemned: “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of Ukraine.” Then under his breath Bush said “Iraq, too, anyway”. Bush’s “gaffe” was greeted with both mirth and disgust, but it only exposed the duplicity of US-NATO declarations.
A Proxy War of Choice?
Aside from this obvious hypocrisy behind this new-found deference to national sovereignty and other threats to the “international order”, critics have also accused the Anglo-American-led NATO response as being little more than a “proxy war” aimed at weakening Russia’s military, prolonging the conflict despite the cost in lives. Initially this strategic and military objective was uttered behind closed doors. For example, writing in Bloomberg in March, long-time elite-sycophant, Professor Niall Ferguson reported his opinion, citing insider reporting in the New York Times, that “the U.S. intends to keep this war going.” But he also quoted the following words from a “senior administration official” given at an unidentified “private event” that he had presumably attended as evidence of this intent:
“The only end game now, is the end of Putin regime. Until then, all the time Putin stays, [Russia] will be a pariah state that will never be welcomed back into the community of nations” (emphasis added).
Elements of this maximalist strategy of subjugating Russia were subsequently made explicit. First, in late March, in the midst of castigating Putin during a speech in Poland, Biden blurted out: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” This prompted White House officials to clarify Biden’s comments, to insist that regime change was not on the agenda; though not all were convinced. Then at an April press conference with Secretary Blinken after their joint visit to Kyiv, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III explained the US “goals for success” in this war:
We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.
So it has already lost a lot of military capability, and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability (emphasis added).
Such moments of honesty are perhaps rare, but more importantly this maximalist goal of degrading Russia’s military and weakening Putin’s power explains US reluctance to date to push Ukraine to sue for peace with Russia. This has some obvious precedents. Back in the lead-up to the First Gulf War (1990-1991), for example, another member of the Bush dynasty, President George H. W. Bush, invoked the “new world order”, in his address to Congress on September 11, 1990:
Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective — a new world order — can emerge: a new era — freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world - East and West, North and South - can prosper and live in harmony. A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor.
And today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak (emphasis added).
The sincerity of these sentiments, later expressed for further dramatic effect at the United Nations (UN), can be tested against the private musings of Bush, who had already displayed his disregard for the “rule of law” when he ordered the invasion of Panama and overthrow of its government barely a year before.3 In his book, A World Transformed (1998), co-authored with his National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, Bush admits they only sought UN support for their plans for Iraq because it provided “an added cloak of political cover.” In fact, they were convinced the US could intervene “without its blessing” (p.417). They also concealed the “most important” of their war aims from the public, which was, according to Scowcroft , to “reduce Saddam’s military might so that he could no longer pose a threat to the region” (pp.432-433). The US needed to “destroy Iraq’s offensive capability”, recalled Scowcroft, but it had been impractical to openly list this “major objective” while a “peaceful solution to the crisis was possible” (p.463).
The implications of Bush’s commitment to destroying the Iraqi armed forces were twofold. The first, as Bush later told his advisers (according to Bob Woodward’s reporting), was quite simply: “We have to have a war”.4 While the second, in order to ensure there was a war, was to prevent a diplomatic solution, meaning all proposals from Iraq for the conditional withdrawal of its forces from Kuwait were systematically rejected.5 At the same time, though, the US had to maintain its public image of being serious about avoiding war and pushing for peace through diplomacy. The US put up its own proposal for the unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the final meeting between the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and US Secretary of State James Baker in January 1991. Fortunately for a “jubilant” Bush (Woodward) this demand was rejected; the war to destroy the Iraqi armed forces could proceed preserving US interests in the region.
The “New World Order”- From Bush to Biden
Despite the hegemonic interests that drove the US response in the Persian Gulf, Bush’s invocation of a “new world order” as a broader strategic goal was taken literally by many conspiracists as a sincere declaration that the “New World Order” or, more precisely, a “One World Government” was imminent. John Birch Society President John F. McManus in his tract The Insiders: Architects of the New World Order (5th edition, 2004) was certain there could be only one possible interpretation given Bush’s “Insider credentials”, specifically his affiliations with the Skull and Bones, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Trilateral Commission and Atlantic Council. According to McManus, Bush had used the First Gulf War to “advance the Insider agenda”, by prioritizing UN authorization for military action against Iraq and repeatedly stating his goal was a “new world order” that would boost the “prestige and power” of the UN (p.62). McManus also pointed out that:
The phrase “new world order” has been used for generations by individuals seeking to control the world. Those employing it have sought socialism (economic control) and world government (political control) over mankind (p.63).
According to Pat Robertson, President Bush was unwittingly carrying out “the mission and mouthing the phrases of a tightly knit cabal whose goal is nothing less than a new order for the human race under the domination of Lucifer and his followers” (The New World Order, p.37).6 In his book, The Scarlet and the Beast (1995), John Daniel claimed that Bush was the “first person in high office to promote publicly the Templar Masonic New World Order” (p.581). David Allen Rivera credited Bush as the “man who put the New World Order in the limelight, and did more than anyone to bring about its acceptance” (Final Warning: A History of the New World Order, p.2). But this “New World Order” had a more sinister purpose, Rivera’s decades of research establishing that it was the product of “conspirators” who had taken over the US government and sought a “one-world socialist government” (p.4).
Most Establishment commentators, however, could see through Bush’s “new world order” rhetoric. Strobe Talbott, for example, then Editor at Large for Time magazine, and a proponent of world government,7 complained in the CFR-journal Foreign Affairs (America and the World 1991/92) that despite Bush’s “distinctly Wilsonian note of idealistic internationalism”, Operation Desert Storm had actually been “dedicated to preserving the sanctity of international boundaries and the notion of national sovereignty.” Another commentator, Charles Krauthammer, dismissed the Gulf War as an exercise in “pseudo-multilateralism”; it was “pious nonsense” to believe the Bush’s “new world order” heralded “the resurgence of the UN.” The reality was that “American political leaders” had to “dress up unilateral action in multilateral clothing” (The New Republic, Jul. 29, 1991).
Speaking to CNN in the late 1990s for its documentary about the Cold War, Bush Sr also disputed the more conspiratorial interpretations of his declaration:
There is a new world order now. Some crackpots in the United States criticized me, saying "new world order" meant one-world government. That's absurd. That's not what I meant. What I meant was a world with more freedom and more democracy, and we have such a world…But there is a new world order because the old order of two superpowers kind of dominating things is gone…But there is a new world order and it came about when the Cold War ended without a shot being fired (emphasis added).
But Bush’s complaints fell on deaf ears, however, as demonstrated by some commentary after his death in 2018. Writing in John Birch Society’s magazine, The New American, for example, regular contributor Steve Byas casually linked Bush’s “New World Order” rhetoric to the goal of “world government”:
It was during [the Gulf War] that Bush used the expression “New World Order” to describe his ultimate goal, boasting that “Desert Storm” would bring us closer to that aim. Among Americans who paid close attention to the aims of the globalist elite, the term New World Order was code for world government (TNA, Dec. 03, 2018; emphasis added).
The phrase “new world order” remains toxic and its use by any politician or government official is immediately greeted with suspicion; with any utterance treated as evidence of a globalist intentions. Biden’s use of that term in a speech before the Business Roundtable CEO Quarterly Meeting earlier this year, was no exception, with numerous observers citing as evidence of Biden’s commitment to “world government” (Figure 2). Biden’s statement was “no fluke”, wrote Larry Greenley in The New American (Mar. 23, 2022), as Biden had been “making this type of statement for at least the last 30 years.” Biden’s statement was proof that “the process of creating a New World Order, consisting of a totalitarian UN world government” was “factual, not theoretical.” Infowars gleefully reported that Biden’s “candid admission” about “a New World Order aimed at reshaping all of society” was evidence that “Alex Jones is right once again about the globalists plan for a New World Order.”
Even with the admissions that the US is pursuing narrower hegemonic aims in its support for Ukraine, Biden’s “new world order” comments have only served to fuel suspicions that underlying this crisis is a bolder, sinister plan to remake the world.
To be continued in Part 2.
1 Sir John Slessor (1897-1979) was Marshal of the Royal Air Force. As readers of this site may be aware, Slessor had appeared as a speaker at the May 1956 Bilderberg meeting in Fredensborg, Denmark, where he argued for the US to recognize the newly installed Communist regime in China.
2 The neo-conservative supporters of the US-led invasion of Iraq remain unrepentant and reject any comparisons with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They interpret the failure of the international community to sanction the US over its invasion as a sign of its virtue rather than a reflection of America’s pre-eminent economic and military power that enabled it to overcome any international opposition (although they also conveniently forget to acknowledge the US failed to secure UN support for its invasion); and contend the nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime and its more benign replacement (after a lengthy and brutal civil war), were ample justification for the invasion.
There are numerous examples of this egregious reasoning such as Noah Rothman’s recent piece in Commentary (Apr. 22, 2022), which rejected the Iraq and Ukraine comparisons on the grounds that some analysts have the mistaken idea the Iraq War was a “strategic blunder” or “disaster”, when it was in fact a success, having produced a “stable, nascent democracy in the heart of the Middle East that no longer threatens Western security.” According to Rothman, again pursuing his Iraq comparison, a benchmark for Russian success in Ukraine would be if after 20 years, despite some “growing pains and external attempts to destabilize the country”, the invader could count on a “stable and secure government in Kyiv that no longer opposed Moscow’s interests” (emphasis added). Merely substituting Baghdad and Washington for Kyiv and Moscow in this sentence only exposes the moral equivalence of the two invasions.
In another example, Elliott Abrams, a member of Bush’s National Security Council, insisted that no equivalence could be drawn between Ukrainians who opposed the Russian invasion and the Iraqis who opposed the US invasion. “Iraqis who fought U.S. troops on behalf of Iran or ISIS were not freedom fighters,” Abrams recently told the Associated Press, adding that making such distinctions was “not an act of hypocrisy.”
3 That invasion, the shamelessly named Operation Just Cause, had been criticized by some observers as a “body-blow” to the global “rule of law”; one that “violated both in the letter and spirit the U.N. Charter and the inter-American treaties” (Foreign Policy, Summer 1990). Operation Just Cause was condemned by majorities in the UN General Assembly and the Organization of American States.
4 Quoted in Bob Woodward, “Hammered”, Washington Post, June 20, 1999.
5 For more on these rejected Iraqi peace proposals see Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, (Vintage, 1992), pp.203-210.
6 Pat Robertson noted that he “knew George Bush” and had “met with him in White House”, and thus personally believed Bush was “an honorable man and a man of integrity.” However, Bush had clearly become convinced “of the idealistic possibilities of a world at peace under the benign leadership of a forum for all nations.” But Robertson was equally convinced the “new world order” was a “code phrase” for those who sought to “destroy the Christian faith” and to impose a “socialist world dictatorship” (The New World Order, p.92).
7 Talbott, who later became Ambassador-at-Large and then Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, is better known in conspiracist circles for his Time magazine column predicting that “within the next hundred years…nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognise a single global authority” (Strobe Talbott, “The Birth of the Global Nation”, Time July 20, 1992)