JERUSALEM – Egypt’s ruling military council of generals yesterday accused foreign elements of fueling unrest and civil war in the country with the goal of imposing a new regime, possibly using foreign military intervention.
While not fingering any particular group, Egypt’s Justice Minister Adel Abdel-Hamid accused around 300 non-governmental organizations of channeling money from unauthorized foreign sources to some of the protesters.
According to sources in the Egyptian military, one prime group being looked at is Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which is run in partnership with billionaire George Soros’ Cairo-based Open Society Justice Initiative.
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WND previously documented Soros’ funding of other nongovernmental organizations based in Egypt and tied to the ongoing unrest there as well as in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
WND further documented how Soros is a primary funder of the same Responsibility to Protect global doctrine used to justify the U.S.-NATO airstrikes in Libya. Currently, opposition movements in Egypt and Syria are calling for the doctrine to be deployed in those countries.
Yesterday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces claimed in a statement issued on its official Facebook page that there were “continuing plots to try to overthrow the state by accelerating protests.”
The state news agency MENA further quoted an Egyptian official saying authorities uncovered a plot to turn peaceful protests planned for the first anniversary of the Jan. 25 mass uprising against Hosni Mubarak into a “civil war” meant to pave the way for foreign military intervention.
“The plot is to drag the pure youth and losers of parliamentary elections into foiling the parliament elections and toppling the army and the state,” MENA reported, quoting an unidentified high-ranking official.
The official said authorities discovered “communications and moves” aimed at “sending the country in chaos, and a civil war between the people and the army to pave the way for foreign forces to separate between the people and the army.”
Justice Minister Hamid, meanwhile, accused so-called human rights groups of instigating violent unrest.
“The early threads shows that some people have received foreign funding … particularly among the NGOs and rights groups and distributed these funds on individuals,” Abdel-Hamid told reporters.
An Egyptian official said that among the nongovernmental groups being investigated by Hamid’s office is the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which has been widely quoted in the news media claiming atrocities and human rights abuses at the hands of the military.
That group is partnered with Soros’ Open Society offices in Egypt.
Soros also has other ties to opposition groups in Egypt.
His Open Society Institute’s Middle East and North Africa Initiative has provided numerous grants to a wide range of projects that promote so-called democratic issues across the region, including in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining in the parliamentary elections.
In September, Soros’ group was looking to expand its operations in Egypt by hiring a new project manager for its Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
The group was seeking to develop a national network of legal empowerment actors for referral of public-interest law cases. Such organizations in the past have helped represent Muslim Brotherhood leaders seeking election or more authority in the country.
Also, an international “crisis management” group led by Soros long has petitioned for the Egyptian government to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks an Islamic caliphate.
The International Crisis Group, or ICG, also released a report urging the Egyptian regime to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party.
The ICG includes on its board Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the main opposition leaders in Egypt, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a June 2008 report titled “Egypt’s Muslim Brothers Confrontation or Integration,” Soros’ ICG urges the Egyptian regime to allow the group to participate in political life.
The report dismisses Egypt’s longstanding government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as “dangerously short-sighted.”
The ICG report called on then-President Hosni Mubarak’s regime to “pave the way for the regularization of the Muslim Brothers’ participation in political life,” including by allowing for the “establishment of a political party with religious reference.”
Several times in its 2008 report, the ICG specifically stressed allowing the Brotherhood to serve as an Islamist party.
The ICG and its personalities also long have petitioned for the Muslim Brotherhood to be allowed to join the Egyptian government.
Soros is one of eight members of the ICG executive committee.
ElBaradei suspended his board membership in the ICG last January after he returned to Egypt to lead the anti-Mubarak protests.
U.S. board members include Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to Jimmy Carter; Samuel Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser; and retired U.S. ambassador Thomas Pickering, who made headlines in 2009 after meeting with Hamas leaders and calling for the U.S. to open ties to the Islamist group.
Another ICG member is Robert Malley, a former adviser to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. He resigned after it was exposed he had communicated with Hamas. WND reported Malley long had petitioned for dialogue with Hamas.
The ICG defines itself as an “independent, non-profit, multinational organization with 100 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.”
Soros himself last February made public statements in support of the protests in Egypt.
In a Washington Post editorial titled “Why Obama Has to Get Egypt Right,” Soros recognized that if free elections were held in Egypt, “the Brotherhood is bound to emerge as a major political force, though it is far from assured of a majority.”
He stated the U.S. has “much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy” in Egypt.
He claimed the “Muslim Brotherhood’s cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei … is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system.”
Soros did not mention his ties to ElBaradei.
Soros did, however, single out Israel as “the main stumbling block” in paving the way toward transition in the Middle East.
“In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks,” he wrote.
Soros tied to Mideast, North African unrest
Egypt is not the only country where Soros has ties to opposition groups that have been stirring unrest.
One of the main groups organizing protests against the pro-Western king of Morocco is funded by philanthropist Soros and the U.S. State Department.
The Human Rights Education Associates opened its offices in Morocco in 2004 with funds provided by both the State Department and the Open Society Institute.
It was a key supporter of recent protests in Morocco demanding that King Mohammed VI’s powers be limited while pushing for constitutional reforms that would allow opposition parties to join the government.
The banned Islamist Justice and Charity is believed to be the country’s biggest opposition force. It joined together last Sunday with a coalition of leftist parties that held mass protests in cities across Morocco that turned violent.
The Open Society also funded the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima, which championed the riots there that led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Also, WND reported the ICG led by Soros long 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.
Algeria has been the site of violent anti-regime protests.
Soros-funded military doctrine
If international force is indeed used in Egypt it will most likely come on the form of the deployment of the same “Responsibility to Protect” global doctrine used to justify the U.S.-NATO airstrikes in Libya.
Besides Egypt, currently, the Syrian opposition has been demanding the doctrine be used to halt civil unrest in Syria.
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.”
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, 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.”