Vartan Gregorian

TEL AVIV – A White House fellow served on the advisory board to the commission that founded the military doctrine “Responsibility to Protect,” used by President Obama as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.

As WND was first to report, billionaire philanthropist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, the world’s leading organization pushing the military doctrine.

Also, several of the doctrine’s main founders sit on boards with Soros.

The doctrine and its founders, as WND reported, have been deeply tied to Obama aide Samantha Power, who reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya. Power is the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights

Now, it has emerged that Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corp. charitable foundation, served on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that original founded Responsibility to Protect.

The panel is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term Responsibility to Protect.

Gregorian was appointed by Obama in 2009 to the White House Fellowships Commission.

WND previously reported documentation shows Gregorian was central in the recruitment of Obama in 1995 to serve as the first chairman of an education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or CAC.

In that capacity, Obama worked closely on a regular basis with CAC’s founder Bill Ayers, formerly the leader of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization.

Obama later touted his job at the CAC as qualifying him to run for public office, as WND previously reported.

While as president of Brown University, Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded Ayers’ Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years. Ayers was one of five founding members of the Challenge who wrote to the Annenberg Foundation for the initial funding.

Steve Diamond, a political-science and law professor and a blogger who has posted on Obama, previously posted a letter from Nov. 18, 1994, in which Gregorian, serving as the point man on Annenberg’s selection committee, asked Ayers to “compose the governing board” of the Challenge’s collaborative project with “people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago.”

Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman.

WND was first to expose that Obama and Ayers used the project grant money to fund organizations run by radicals tied to Ayers, including Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist who was a senior leader in the Students for a Democratic Society group, a major leftist student organization in the 1960s, from which the Weathermen terror group later splintered.

Soros funded doctrine

With Gregorian on the advisory board, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty first defined the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

In his address to the nation Monday, Obama cited the military doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.

Indeed, the Libya bombings have been widely regarded as a test of “responsibility to protect”

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 U.N.-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.

The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine.

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 a number of 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.”

Obama cited doctrine multiple times

In his speech Monday, aside from his direct citation of the “responsibility” doctrine, Obama alluded to the doctrine four more times.

The following are relevant excerpts from his address:

  • In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.

  • Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians.
  • To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.
  • The task that I assigned our forces – to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a No Fly Zone – carries with it a UN mandate and international support. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.

Soros: Right to ‘penetrate nation-states’ borders’

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, 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-chair with Gregorian 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-chair, 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.

Evans sits on multiple boards with Soros, including the Clinton Global Initiative.

Thakur, is a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, which is in partnership with an economic institute founded by philanthropist billionaire George 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 also 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 yesterday 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 there 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 behaviour 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.”

Power pushes doctrine

Doctrine founder Evans, meanwhile, is closely tied to Obama aide Samantha Power.

Evans and Power have been joint keynote speakers at events in which they have championed the Responsibility to Protect principle together, such as the 2008 Global Philanthropy Forum, also attended by Tutu.

In November, at the International Symposium on Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities, Power, attending as a representative of the White House, argued for the use of Responsibility to Protect alongside Evans.

With research by Chris Elliott

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