The military doctrine currently slated for use in Syria is fraught with constitutional problems, according to a book released this week.
The doctrine, known as “Responsibility to Protect,” or R2P, was crafted by controversial figures. It seeks to minimize the sovereignty of nations, says the new book, “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office.”
New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott examine the R2P doctrine in the context of its use in 2011 to depose Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.
“The same doctrine is likely to be used again in the future, perhaps soon in Syria,” noted Klein and Elliott in the book in a prediction that now seems to be coming to fruition.
“Questions do need to be raised about the president’s motivation for the doctrine’s promotion in Libya and beyond and what R2P means for the future of state sovereignty as well as for the future of internationalist warfare that may not serve the defense interests of our country,” they write.
The U.S.-NATO Libya bombings have been widely regarded as a test of R2P.
The doctrine 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 used indiscriminately by various U.N.-backed international bodies – including the International Criminal Court, or ICC – which has applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in Gaza. There is also concern the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops.
Billionaire George Soros’ Open Society is one of only three non-governmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the main body behind promoting the doctrine. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the United Kingdom.
The R2P center’s patrons include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Irish 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.”
Samantha Power, Arafat deputy
The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy had a seat on the advisory board of a 2001 commission that originally formulated R2P. The center was led at the time by Samantha Power, who is reported to have heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya. Power, wife of Obama’s former regulatory affairs director, Cass Sunstein, serves as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
The 2001 panel was named the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “Responsibility to Protect” and defined its guidelines.
Also on the advisory board of the commission that founded R2P was Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a virulent denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat.
“Yes, you read that correctly,” write Klein and Elliott of Ashrawi’s involvement. “The deputy to a terrorist whose PLO is a notorious human rights violator helped to found a military doctrine claiming to protect human rights. That factoid alone should set off alarm bells about the doctrine’s true intent.”
Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy journal 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 wrote: “True sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”
Soros said that if governments “abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified.”
“By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens,” he wrote.
“In particular, 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.”
Soros activists, global rebalancing
The co-founder of the R2P doctrine is Ramesh Thakur, an activist who recently advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.”
In a piece in the March 2010 issue of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Thakur wrote: “Toward a new world order, Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”
He was referring to a U.N.-brokered international climate treaty about which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”
In the opinion piece, Thakur also 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,” which he described as part of a “much-needed global moral rebalancing.”
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.”
He 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.”
Thakur invented R2P along with Gareth Evans, president emeritus of the International Crisis Group, a Soros-funded “crises management” firm where Soros himself sits on the small board. ICG is one of the main proponents of the international R2P doctrine.
The International Crisis Group is particularly relevant, because along with Soros on the board sits former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who was appointed as the lead investigator into the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks. The ISG has longstanding ties to the opposition in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and other countries that saw their leaders deposed only to be replaced by Islamists, according to Klein and Elliott.
“Responsibility” founders Evans and Thakur served as co-chairmen 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 officially presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, U.N. General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle.