The United States' selective belief in international norms



As the end of the article indicates the United States appear to consider international norms, laws and whatever only as disadvantageous to others, but never as a constraint to themselves.

I wonder why any party still enters any kind of contract with a entity that does so blatantly and obviously does not feel bound by anything even if it itself stated so with ink and seal.

I myself consider the United States as a useless ally (even a highly troublesome). As mentioned before, the main utility of NATO is in my opinion to keep European powers and the United States allied in an effort to keep them from becoming over rivals. Cooperation yields better fruits than confrontation, but I would never rely on the United states meeting some once agreed-upon obligations. Ever.

S Ortmann


  1. You hear of the building Ugland House in George Town, Grand Cayman has having 18,000 companies with registered office services there, but the US doesn't tend to mention that in Delaware one building has some 200,000 companies doing the same thing. This is one of many things you could say.

    Though I would have different standards on many different things from the international norms, laws, etc..., I would at least apply them the same for them as for me.


  2. "does not feel bound by anything even if it itself stated so with ink and seal."

    You seem to be more than a little wrong.

    "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum"

    What part of that is hard to understand?

  3. The line was more about things such as the outlawing of war of aggression et cetera.

    The incredible thing in regard to diplomatic asylum is that the U.S. expected it to work in its favour in regard to the dissidents who fled into the U.S. embassy Beijing.
    Don't tell me the U.S. would have been fine with Chinese police dragging them out after ex territorial status of the embassy had been revoked for an hour.

    The U.S. manage to be hypocritical even without having signed an agreement. It's not only that they expect to benefit from agreements but don't feel always obliged to benefit others accordingly, they also feel they deserve benefits from agreements they didn't sign.

  4. "they also feel they deserve benefits from agreements they didn't sign."

    The Organization of American States agreements apply to relations with China?

    Try again.

  5. Anon, you're not trying to understand yourself.

    The U.S. doesn't believe in dip0loatic asylum in the Assange case when the DA is an obstacle to its own intentions.
    It did no doubt expect China to respect the U.S. embassy in Beijing and not lift the extraterritorial status for even a second.

    Ask yourself: How would the U.S., how would H.Clinton have reacted if the Chinese had declared the U.S. embassy as not extraterritorial for a day, stormed it with police and arrested that dissident seeking asylum there?

    Ask this yourself, and then ask yourself how it would react if the UK did quite the same to arrest Assange.

    I strongly suspect this blog is the wrong kind of blog for you if you cannot detect the hypocrisy.

  6. A useless alliance?

    There is a big difference from being highly annoying to being useless.

    What war has the U.S. forced Germany into? What war has the U.S. forced anyone into as an allie?

    The British didn't mind having the U.S. as an allie in two world wars, and the U.S. involvement was likely critical in their avoiding complete defeat in both.

    Germany is not likely to be in any threat of Russian invasion at the moment. But if the U.S. had pulled out of Germany, would the Soviets than have been less annoying than the U.S?

    I am not particularly thrilled with a lot of our conduct, but we are not unique in our poor behaviour, we are just bigger. And "useless" is an awfully large word.

  7. To not be useless implies to be of use. What use is the U.S. to Germany as an ally, in addition to this alliance banning the chance of open rivalry?

    Who would have attacked or even defeated Germany if we weren't allied this way? No-one.

    Does Germany need to spend less because of the U.S. Forces? hardly so, Europe is spending more on the militaries than justified by its non-allied neighbours.

    Who attacked us because we were allied this way? (Couple errorists possibly.)

    Besides, Austria-Hungary proved to be a horrible ally with its disrespect for Serbian sovereignty which eventually led us into WWI. By early 1914, they had not forced Germany into a war or forced any ally into a war, but they were still a horrible risk to Germany as an ally.

  8. "I strongly suspect this blog is the wrong kind of blog for you if you cannot detect the hypocrisy."

    To the contrary, I detect your hypocrisy in just about everything you write.

  9. Sigh. It seems my tolerance for BS allowed a troll to return temporarily.

    Your last comment reveals the quality of your thinking; your blind aversion kept you from taking into account that most of my topics are totally unsuitable for hypocrisy. I couldn't possibly display hypocrisy "in just about everything" I write simply because the topics don't allow for it.

    On top of that, you have no idea of what I write, you only see the blog and maybe some comments of forum replies in some other places, but you've got no idea about the whole thing and thus no idea at all what "just about everything" actually is.

    So your "just about everything" assertion also reveals a certain arrogance and hints at a tendency towards preconceptions.

  10. SO:

    You just narrowed the argument by a huge amount.

    You went from the U.S. is a useless allie to the U.S. is a useless allie to Germany at the moment.

    To the extent that many of the advantages (and disadvantages) of the U.S. (Germany doesn't need to worry about keeping sealanes open outside a very narrow sphere of interest) are gained regardless of allie status, there is some truth to that.

    You don't know if Germany would spend less. Let the U.S. pullout, and wait 10 years. See what happens with the Eastern borders.

  11. russell, the same rationale could be applied to almost all if not all formal allies of the U.S..
    Even South Korea doesn't really benefit, for there's no incentive for PRC to attack South Korea and they're strong enough to fend off North Korea on their own.
    It was just easier to explain one countries' situation in a few lines than of all of them.

  12. @ SO; I would disagree about the DPRK and ROK. America acts as a guarantor to the ROK's independance. As the DPRK has ~ 1-2 mil under arms were as ROK can only call up ~ 600 thousand. Thus Americas might is a very welcome sight for the south Koreans. However regarding Europe, America has become superfluous especially in defence as you rightly point out.


    PS are you going to do any more strange and wonderful weapons?

  13. oh yes DPRK states that its main objective is to unite Korea behind their glorious leader


  14. I was thinking about part V exotic weapons, just cannot decide between a couple one (such as a sharktooth sword ...). Plus I've recently seen a fascinating European Renaissance weapon.

    About DPRK:
    Those 1+ million are not fully capable soldiers. They follow the per-1980s PRC model and have lots of conscripts as factory workers, harvest helpers, construction workers, ballet dancers et cetera.
    Their historical strength was in light infantry infiltration attacks with minimal support requirements, but night vision technology is a showstopper against that if the other side can muster enough troops to man a defensive zone a couple kilometres deep. North Korea also lacks the infantry anti-tank weapons needed to defeat modern South Korean tanks in the few tank-friendly areas.
    South Korean troops and especially their infantry have a strong reputation and can be considered among the world's best.
    Finally, North Korea would have to fear both Inchon and a divisional jump, so they would be forced to keep huge quantities of troops far in the back.

    North Korea has moved after 1990 from a real warmaking capability to toys that impress politicians, such as rockets reminiscent of Scuds, fission nukes and artillery in range of Seoul.
    Their military is not an offensive threat, but rather a deterrence show.