Craig Murray: The Decline of Western Power

The really interesting thing about the G7 summit is that it wasn’t interesting. Nobody expected it to change the world, and it won’t.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leaders of the G7 watch the Red Arrows fly over in Carbis Bay, June 12. (Simon Dawson, No 10 Downing Street, Flickr)

By Craig Murray

Boris Johnson sees himself as the heritor of a world bestriding Imperial mantle, but in truth he cannot bestride the Irish Sea. The overshadowing of last month’s G7 summit by the U.K. prime minister’s peculiar concern that Irish sausages should not be eaten by those in Northern Ireland who do not believe in evolution, was a fascinating examplar of British impotence as he failed to persuade anybody else to support him. It looks like Danish bacon for the shops of Belfast and Derry will have to be imported through Dun Laoghaire and not through Larne. Ho hum.

The really interesting thing about the G7 summit is that it wasn’t interesting. Nobody expected it to change the world, and it won’t. John Pilger pointed out the key fact. Twenty years ago, the G7 constituted two thirds of the world economy. Now they constitute one third. They don’t even represent most of the world’s billionaires any longer, though those billionaires they do represent — and indeed some of the billionaires they don’t represent — were naturally pulling the strings of these rather sluggish puppets.

It used to be that any important sporting event in any developing country would feature hoardings for western multinationals, such as Pepsi Cola and Nestle baby milk. Nowadays I am watching the Euros football pitches surrounded by electronic hoardings in Chinese. The thing about power is this; it shifts with time.

None of the commitments made on Covid or climate change constituted any new money, any real transfer of wealth or technology. It was a non-event. Nobody will ever look back at anything beyond the personal as having started last month in Cornwall.

From there, pretty well the same people moved on to pretend to bestride the world militarily at NATO, where the first job was to pretend they had not lost the long Afghan war they have just, err, lost.

China Upsetting NATO 

NATO leaders watch a multimedia tower display visualizations of the military alliance’s adaptation through the NATO 2030 agenda, June 14. (NATO, Flickr)

At NATO, they stuck out their tongues at China, which has upset them a lot by becoming the world’s most powerful nation. China was accused of an aggressive military posture, which is amusing in its utter lack of truth. Other than some construction of tiny artificial islands (which China is in fact wrong to claim can generate maritime claims according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), it is very difficult to understand on what this NATO accusation of aggression is based.

If China really is trying to outdo many centuries of Western Imperial conquest — stretching up to the recent destructions of Libya and Syria — by building tiny artificial islands, it is a plan of extreme cunning and patience. NATO seem to have discovered their new enemy by reading Ian Fleming.

Let me tell you something that actually is true. I cannot think of any instance in world history of any power enjoying the level of economic dominance currently enjoyed by China, and yet showing such restraint and lack of interest in Imperial conquest.

It is not China which is sailing aircraft carriers towards Boris Johnson, it is the other way round. In fact, the restraint China shows in not carrying out the simple task of sinking Johnson’s silly aircraft carrier, undermines the propaganda of thousands of NATO press officers and social media operatives, including the U.K.’s very own 77th Brigade and Integrity Initiative.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center, hosting an Armed Forces Day reception in the garden of No. 10 Downing Street in London, June 24. (Tim Hammond, No 10 Downing Street, Flickr)

Russia’s Decline Matches G7

It is even sillier to attempt to terrify us all with the thought that the Russians are coming. I know it upsets fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin when I say it, but Russia’s share of the world economy has declined just as the G7 share has. As Russia was always, and still is, poorer than the poorest of the G7 nations. The NATO attempt to portray Russia as a great threat is really rather silly.

If there is truth in the story of a couple of super military intelligence officers traveling widely but not killing many people, and of cunning Russian computer hackers engaging in cyber warfare while leaving Cyrillic fingerprints behind — in a manner strangely identical to the CIA guidance on how to lay Russian false flags as shown in the WikiLeaks Vault 7 release — then it is still difficult for me to understand why this would all require trillions of dollars in military hardware to stop it.

Interrupting hacking with Trident missiles seems neither cost effective nor proportionate. But then I am not an ace NATO military strategist.

Follow the money. Of course, the NATO show is all about diverting simply incredible amounts of our money and resources into the military industrial complex, which is permanently profitable for politician backhanders; the arms industry remains the only “legitimate” industry more corrupt than banking, which is quite a feat.

I shall sleep safe in my bed at night knowing that the money NATO spends just this year to keep me safe from the Russian and Chinese tanks which are absolutely poised to roll up Princes Street, could have eliminated malaria forever. God bless our glorious leaders.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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7 comments for “Craig Murray: The Decline of Western Power

  1. July 22, 2021 at 00:18

    My heart aches and a drowsy numbness pains my sense… and I can’t dig the grave for the good old West with the poems of Keats, and the music of Beethoven and Bach. What the heck happened to the West after their Industrial Revolution? Capitalism was the poison? What?

  2. K.J.Noh
    July 21, 2021 at 12:20

    Excellent commentary by Ambassador Murray. He is right that China does not pose a threat to the west or its neighbors: no other global power in recent history has risen as peacefully as China.

    There is one quibble, however: UNCLOS cannot determine territorial sovereignty–that is a matter for the ICJ or bilateral negotiation. The SCS dispute is about territorial rights, not whether specific maritime features generate rights, because land rights (under customary international law) determine maritime rights, not vice versa.

    Furthermore, the arbitral tribunal ruling was irregular, because China had excluded mandatory arbitration–as have over 30 countries–when it joined. Article 298 of UNCLOS states:

    “When signing or ratifying, or acceding to this convention, a state may declare in writing that it does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for in Section 2 (Arbitration) with respect to a) a sea boundary dispute which is to be settled in accordance with a bilateral or multilateral agreement binding on both parties.”

    To force an arbitration–through a private, for-hire court–on a matter that has been excluded from arbitration by one of the parties, is a violation of legal norms and customary international law. Furthermore, the issues of maritime rights in the region involve 5 other countries, whose claims bisect, trisect, quadrisect, so the ruling by the private arbitral tribunal resolved nothing, other than to smear China, which was the point.

    The suit was managed by Foley-Hoag, a white shoe Washington law firm with very close ties to–a revolving door with–CSIS, a “deep state” think tank focused on countering China. The UN itself disavowed the ruling the following day.

    Last but not least, as a point of comparison, the US claims 11.4 M sq. km of ocean territory, France 11.7M; UK 6.8M. Even tiny New Zealand, with 0.4% of China’s population, claims over 4M sq. km. The UNCLOS is written to favor former colonial powers. If all of China’s claims to the SCS were to be successfully negotiated, they would still be less than 3M, less than Chile’s ocean claims.

  3. July 20, 2021 at 18:03

    You’re the man Craig. Your common sense plus all the knowledge you have about how our idiotic foreign affairs works (both UK and US) makes for great reading. I wish we could all just forward it to our Joint Chiefs of Staff and our semi senile president and the simple minded Blinkin secretary of state and force them to read it, and then answer a few pointed questions. But unfortunately this is real life and our determined stupidity will continue.

  4. William F Johnson
    July 20, 2021 at 16:52

    Outstanding article and I love the satire.

  5. coup63
    July 20, 2021 at 14:12

    Mr Murray, I love your writing style!

  6. July 20, 2021 at 11:28

    Well, at 83 I can plan to die happy, because nothing has been achieved.

  7. TEP
    July 20, 2021 at 00:48

    Russia’s economy may not be huge but it is stable despite the western sanctions and it is growing. Their mitary, however, is leaps and bounds more advanced and efficient than anything NATO could cobble together, including hypersonic missile technology that is at least 2 generations ahead of the US and it’s vassals. It is THIS that has the anglozionist elite in hysterical anxiety, and Russia will be confidently pleased about that.

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