Middle East studies in the News
Another Stunner Behind Obama's Libya Doctrine [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
A staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late PLO leader Yasser Arafat served on the committee that invented the military doctrine used by President Obama as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
As WND first reported, 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. Several of the doctrine's main founders sit on multiple 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 Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi served on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect.
That commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term "Responsibility to Protect," while defining its guidelines.
Ashrawi is an infamous defender of Palestinian terrorism. Her father, Daoud Mikhail, was a co-founder of the PLO with Arafat. The PLO was engaged in scores of international terrorist acts and was declared a terrorist group by the U.S. in 1987.
During the First Palestinian Intifada, or war of "resistance" against Israel, in 1988, Ashrawi joined what was known as the Intifada Political Committee, which sought to advance Palestinian goals through both politics and "resistance." She served there until 1993.
In 1991, Arafat appointed Ashrawi to serve as the PLO's Minister of Higher Education and Research. The Palestinian school system is notorious for its glorification of "martyrdom," or suicide bombings, and has long preached against the existence of Israel.
Discover the Networks notes Ashrawi has long defended the Hamas terror group as a legitimate component of the Palestinian "political spectrum."
She has stated she does not "think of Hamas as a terrorist group."
"We coordinate [with Hamas] politically," she said in April 1993, "the people we know and talk to are not terrorists."
In 1998 Ashrawi founded MIFTAH, a nonprofit that seeks to undermine Israel's legitimacy and refers to that Jewish state's 1948 creation as "Al Nakba," or "The Catastrophe."
Ashrawi has long been a Holocaust denier. In the July 2, 1998, edition of the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, she published an article calling the Holocaust "a deceitful myth, which the Jews have … exploited to get sympathy."
In 2001 Ashrawi became a spokeswoman for the Arab League.
Notably, Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, served as an adviser to the same 2001 commission that invented the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine.
Ashrawi, meanwhile, was a protégé and later colleague and close friend of late Columbia University Professor Edward Said, another notorious apologist for Palestinian terrorism.
Said was replaced by Rashid Khalidi, a close personal friend to Obama.
Soros funded doctrine
With Ashrawi 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 on Monday, Obama specifically 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 also 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 global group's advisory board members, Ramesh Thakur and Gareth Evans, are the original founders of the "Responsibility" doctrine, with the duo even coining the term "Responsibility to Protect."
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
Aside from his direct citation of the "Responsibility" doctrine in his address explaining why the U.S. is acting against Libya, Obama alluded to the doctrine four more times in his speech.
The following are relevant excerpts from his address, with references to U.S. "responsibility" in bold:
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," he concluded.
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 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 also reported that doctrine founder Thakur recently advocated for a "global rebalancing" and "international redistribution" to create a "New World Order."
"Toward a new world order," Thakur wrote in a piece last March in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, "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 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."
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.
Then last 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 ElliottNote: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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