By Courtenay Barnett


Whatever one’s political preferences and/or ideological persuasions, there are some home truths – and when one focuses on a ‘rule based’ international order there are some possibilities and realities which must make any rational world citizen wishing for peace – worry and cringe.


Do we construct or destroy: When fifty or so cruise missiles are launched into Syria killing civilians including children.

Do we construct or destroy: When smashing a country such as Libya with the objective of regime change?

Do we construct or destroy: When there is a tearing up of the book of rules for world governance?

Do we construct or destroy: When the US condemns the International Criminal Court ( while war criminals such as Kissinger, Bush Jr. and Blair walk free) – but perceived enemies of the US/West feel the full force of the law in war crimes tribunals?

Do we construct or destroy: When we dismantle the INF Treaty and end the START Treaty in 2021?

Do we act on a predictable and rational basis so as not to destroy the entire planet by honoring the existing global rules of governance ( at least those established since post World War 11): or do we embrace John Bolton’s vision for America – and – by extension – the world when he says America will not cooperate in any way with the International Criminal Court?   

Maybe we all need to kneel at the Altar of Peace and pray that the neo-cons do not have their way as they obviously worship at the Altar of War and Eternal Conflict.


* COURTENAY BARNETT is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, has been subjected to death threats, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.