President Bashar Assad
JERUSALEM – Russian military technicians were in Syria in recent days to inspect the country’s missile and army installations, a top Egyptian security official told WND.
The move comes amid Syrian fears a Turkish-backed NATO military campaign may try to target the regime of President Bashar Assad, who is widely accused of human rights abuses in attempting to quell a four-month insurgency.
The Egyptian security official said Russia and Syria both backed an Arab League deal, signed by Damascus yesterday, that called for observers to oversee Syrian troop withdrawals from insurgent strongholds. The deal also requires Assad to implement democratic reforms, including the holding of elections.
The opposition Syrian National Council, however, claimed the Syrian regime will not adhere to the peace plan.
Opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun dismissed the announcement as a “ploy,” saying the country’s leaders had no plans to implement “any initiative.”
“The Syrian regime is maneuvering to try to prevent the Syrian file being submitted to the U.N. Security Council,” Ghalioun said on the heels of an opposition conference in Tunisia.
The opposition is looking for diplomatic recognition as Syria’s government-in-exile.
On Sunday, opposition leaders called for foreign military intervention to end Assad’s bloody crackdown.
Yesterday, tens of thousands of Syrians reportedly rallied in Saba’a Bahrat Square in Damascus to voice their rejection of foreign interference in Syrian affairs while expressing support for Assad’s signing of the Arab League deal.
Arab League diplomats previously told reporters they might recognize the opposition as the sole representative of the Syrian people in a move that would symbolically isolate Assad’s regime.
If such a step is taken, it would mimic the diplomatic initiatives recently utilized to isolate Muammar Gadhafi’s regime before the NATO campaign in Libya.
Damascus officials claimed to WND last month that NATO troops were training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria.
Any deployment would come under the banner of the same “Responsibility to Protect” global doctrine used to justify the U.S.-NATO airstrikes in Libya.
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by President 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.”
A Turkish-U.S.-NATO strike could have immediate implications for Israel.
The Syrian president warned in a recent interview with a U.K. newspaper that foreign intervention in Syria would cause an “earthquake” across the region and create another Afghanistan, while directly threatening the Jewish state.
Assad reportedly made similar comments in a meeting in early October with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu. He was quoted stating, “If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv.”
Assad also reportedly warned that “all these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”
George Soros-funded doctrine with White House ties
In his address to the nation in April explaining the NATO campaign in Libya, Obama cited Responsibility to Protect doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
The Global Center 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 Center 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.
As WND reported, Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Center 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 Center 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 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 titled “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 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 Center 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 and 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.”