JERUSALEM – Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking military measures to prepare for a possible U.S.-NATO campaign against his regime, WND has learned.
While Assad struck a conciliatory tone in an interview today with his state-run television network, he also instructed the Syrian military to be prepared for an air or ground campaign if the international community determines his pledges of reform are not enough.
Last week, WND first reported Turkey secretly passed a message to Damascus that if it does not implement major democratic reforms, NATO may attack Assad’s regime, according to Egyptian security officials.
The Egyptian security officials said the message was coordinated with NATO members, specifically with the U.S. and European Union.
Assad has been widely accused of ordering massacres on militants and protesters engaged in an insurgency targeting his regime.
The Egyptian officials said Turkish leaders, speaking for NATO, told Assad that he has until March to implement democratization that would allow free elections as well as major constitutional reforms.
This past Thursday, Obama officially asked Assad to step down to pave the way for a democratic system in Syria.
Today, Assad states he is “not worried” about the insurgency targeting his regime.
The Syrian president repeated plans to introduce reforms to Syria. He said a committee to study reforms would need at least six months to work.
That wasn’t enough for a group of opposition leaders, who convened in Istanbul over the weekend in a bid to form a transitional “national council” to govern their country in a post-Bashar Assad era.
According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND, Assad asked his military to make specific preparations in the event of a U.S.-led NATO campaign similar to the military coalition now targeting Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
George Soros-funded doctrine with White House ties
The Libya bombings have been widely regarded as a test of a military doctrine called “Responsibility to Protect.”
In his address to the nation in April explaining the NATO campaign in Libya, Obama cited the doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
The term “war crimes” has at times been indiscriminately used by various United Nations-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip. There has been fear the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops who commit alleged “war crimes” overseas.
The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine.
As WND reported, billionaire activist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros.
WND reported the committee that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
Also the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has a seat on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect. The commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “responsibility to protect” while defining its guidelines.
The Carr Center is a research center concerned with human rights located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, was Carr’s founding executive director and headed the institute at the time it advised in the founding of Responsibility to Protect.
With Power’s center on the advisory board, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty first defined the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.
Two of the global group’s advisory board members, Ramesh Thakur and Gareth Evans, are the original founders of the doctrine, with the duo even coining the term “responsibility to protect.”
As WND reported, Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Also, Thakur and Evans sit on multiple boards with Soros.
Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.
Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have recently made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.
Annan once famously stated, “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are … instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa.”
Soros: Right to ‘penetrate nation-states’
Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article entitled “The People’s Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations.”
In the article Soros said, “True sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”
“If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified,” Soros wrote. “By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens.
“In particular,” he continued, “the principle of the people’s sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict.”
More George Soros ties
“Responsibility” founders Evans and Thakur served as co-chairmen with Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corp. Charitable Foundation, on the advisory board of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which invented the term “responsibility to protect.”
In his capacity as co-chairman, Evans also played a pivotal role in initiating the fundamental shift from sovereignty as a right to “sovereignty as responsibility.”
Evans presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, United Nations General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle.
Thakur is a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, which is in partnership with an economic institute founded by Soros.
Soros is on the executive board of the International Crisis Group, a “crisis management organization” for which Evans serves as president-emeritus.
WND previously reported how the group has been petitioning for the U.S. to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition in Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was recently toppled.
Aside from Evans and Soros, the group includes on its board Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
WND also reported the crisis group has petitioned for the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.
Soros’ own Open Society Institute has funded opposition groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including organizations involved in the current chaos.
‘One World Order’
WND reported that doctrine founder Thakur recently advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.”
In a piece last March in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, “Toward a new world order,” Thakur wrote, “Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”
He was referring to a United Nations-brokered international climate treaty in which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”
In the opinion piece, Thakur then discussed recent military engagements and how the financial crisis has impacted the U.S.
“The West’s bullying approach to developing nations won’t work anymore – global power is shifting to Asia,” he wrote.
“A much-needed global moral rebalancing is in train,” he added.
Thakur continued: “Westerners have lost their previous capacity to set standards and rules of behavior for the world. Unless they recognize this reality, there is little prospect of making significant progress in deadlocked international negotiations.”
Thakur contended “the demonstration of the limits to U.S. and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ Western power.”