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The Obama administration and its allies and international partners have begun “serious discussions” about possible military action in Syria, the Washington Post reported today.

Last month, WND was first to report NATO countries were strongly considering the possibility of an international deployment to Syria if the Syrian opposition does not make major advances.

The Post reported possibilities for international intervention include directly arming opposition forces, sending troops to guard a humanitarian corridor or “safe zone” for the rebels, or an air assault on Syrian air defenses, according to officials from the United States and other nations opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

WND, meanwhile, reported the U.S. and other countries have been arming the rebels for weeks.

Egyptian security officials outlined to WND what they said was large scale international backing for the rebels attacking the embattled regime of Assad – including arms and training from the U.S., Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Several knowledgeable Egyptian and Arab security officials claimed the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.

The security officials also claimed Saudi Arabia was sending weapons to the rebels via surrogates, including through Druze and Christian leaders in Lebanon such as Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, Saudi-Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, who recently served as Lebanon’s prime minister, and senior Lebanese opposition leader Samir Farid Geagea.

Syrian sources claimed to WND that Jordan’s fingerprints can be seen on the opposition forces entering the country. They claimed that just this week they shot dead 15 armed smugglers coming into the country from Jordan and that Jordanian forces helped to cover the smugglers’ tracks on the Jordanian side of the border. They said the incident did not make it to the news media.

NATO war in Syria in March?

Meanwhile, according to the Middle Eastern diplomatic and security officials speaking to WND, the international community is considering launching NATO air strikes on Assad’s forces as soon as this month if the opposition does not make major strides toward ending Assad’s regime.

The NATO members, however, have been satisfied with the momentum of the opposition, which saw a number of defectors from the Syrian military join the rebels, a move that also precipitated the downfall of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime before the NATO campaign in Libya.

Similar to Gadhafi, Assad’s regime has been accused of major human rights violations, including crimes against humanity, in clamping down on a violent insurgency targeting his rule.

Mass demonstrations were held in recent weeks in Syrian insurgent strongholds calling for the international NATO coalition in Libya to deploy in Syria.

Last month, 50 foreign ministers from Western and Arab nations got together in Tunis to demand that Syria allow aid to be delivered to civilians in the absence of any international force to resolve the conflict.

Damascus officials claimed to WND that NATO troops are currently training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria.

Any deployment would most likely 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.”

George Soros-funded doctrine

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 cooperation. 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.”

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