Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Should countries such as Japan, Korea, and China be compelled to patrol the Persian Gulf, given their dependency on middle eastern petroleum?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Answered just now
Questioners need to learn to draft their questions plainly.
The first question in our minds is: who is doing the compelling? The UN? The US? NATO?
Only one country has tried in the recent past to compel its allies to patrol the Gulf and that was the US. And the result was a catastrophe, because it was not limited to simply patrolling. It went much further. The UK, trying desperately to please the confused individuals who hatched this ill-begotten scheme, seized an Iranian vessel which they claimed was headed for Syria, supposedly making it fair game to be seized. The trouble is, they had no legal right to seize the vessel. The US, Israel and Saudi all have long created the illusion that the US is responsible for writing and enforcing international law. Yet international law is written at the UN and only there. The US is not authorized to compel other countries to seize vessels that are not their own, and it is not authorized to prohibit all other countries from sending hydrocarbons to Syria. The UN recognizes Syria and its Assad government as sovereign. Therefore, it was illegal for the US to demand that UK seize the vessel and it was illegal for UK to seize it.
This irrational and disastrous scheme of giving the US all power to claim any property regardless of its owner and the notion that US allies can be empowered by the US to seize property that is not theirs is much more dangerous than any of Iran’s actions. In fact, the US’ pull out from the Iran Deal was an act of war, and yet, Westerners are so indoctrinated that they simply allow the US to write its own laws enjoining them to do illegal things. Because they just assume without giving it much thought, that the West, led by the US, is moral and always justified while the East is evil or at best misled. They think this way because they have never been forced to think otherwise. Before now, that is.
So if the questioner was thinking along the lines of allowing the US to compel them to patrol the Gulf to protect the oil from Iran, then he or she is part of the problem and is partly responsible for the havoc wrought by the US throughout the Middle East by its irrational and, let’s admit it, immoral and even criminal, actions.
But if we are speaking of patrolling the Gulf, then there need to be patrols not aligned with the Western criminal enterprise that believes it is entitled to simply seize other people’s property without any basis in law or rationality. The brazen statement by Donald Trump that he simply plans to steal oil belonging to the impoverished and downtrodden people of the war torn country that has already endured so much at the hands of the Western warmongers is a perfect illustration of why nations must unite militarily to protect their interests from what the Russians justifiably call US banditry.
However, the questioner inadvertently raised this possibility in his question and it is no longer just a plan because Iran, China and Russia have in fact joined forces and are planning joint naval drills in the Gulf in the unspecified future.
The US has been pretending to be the world’s boss for so long that it forgot there are other powers out there that can counter its compulsive seizure of things that do not belong to it.
Washington needs to adjust to a new world with a new set of rules and new enforcers. And as it does so, the rest of the world must also begin to think for itself and not be led around by the nose by an aging hegemon who, like the bully on the school yard, has long forgotten the golden rule.
Answer requested by Harry C Bash