Shock admission by author of doctrine used by White House to justify attacks
By Aaron Klein
The author, Ramesh 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. Thakur is also closely tied with other Soros-funded initiatives.
WND was first to report last week that Soros is also a primary funder and key proponent of the global organization that promotes the military doctrine "Responsibility to Protect," cited by the White House as allowing the use of force to attack Gadhafi's forces.
The joint U.S. and international air strikes targeting Libya are widely regarded as a test of Responsibility to Protect – 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.Now WND has learned that Thakur, one of the principal authors of and original commissioners of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine," argued recently for a global realignment.
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."
Soros fingerprints on Libya bombing
Thakur's International Governance Innovation Centre is in partnership with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, or INET, for which Soros is a founding sponsor.
The philanthropist agreed to provides $25 million over five years to support INET activities.
Just last week, INET was in the news for its announcement of its annual four-day economic symposium to be held next month in the mountains of Bretton Woods, N.H.
The gathering of economic giants will take place at Mount Washington Hotel, famous for hosting the original Bretton Woods economic agreements drafted in 1944. That conference's goal was to rebuild a post-World War II international monetary system. The April gathering has a similar goal in mind – a global economic restructuring.
Reporting on last year's event, the Business Insider related, "George Soros has brought together a crack team of the world's top economists and financial thinkers."
"Its aim," continued the business newspaper, "to remake the world's economy as they see fit."
Thakur, meanwhile, serves on the advisory board of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, the world's leading champion of the military doctrine.
Activist Gareth Evans, who sits on the global group's advisory board, is widely regarded as the other founder of the Responsibility to Protect principle along with Thakur.
Soros' Open Society Institute 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."
During his tenure as Australia's foreign minister, Evans served as co-chair 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.
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."
Evans sits on multiple boards with Soros, including the Clinton Global Initiative.
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.
Power pushes doctrine
Doctrine founder Evans, meanwhile, is closely 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.
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 Brenda J. Elliott