A note from the Authors: We are pleased to note to our readers that the prominent Canadian philosopher, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at York University and founder and director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies, Dr. Howard Adelman, LIKED this article. (located at the end) Dr. Adelman’s WordPress site is Howard Adelman, Politics, philosophy, film, and other things…
This article was written prior to the announcement of Mr. Clooney’s intention to run for California’s Governor. However, the following quote gives credibility to our contention. “Clooney has not made an official statement, but friends close to him say he’s turned down several long-term acting projects to pursue his political goals.“
Our 14 June 2014 article…
What if we make the contention that the timing of George Clooney’s engagement is part an elaborate public relations campaign? Not manufactured in a Hollywood PR department but from halls of the White House.
Preposterous? Outrageous? What if we say that public relations-wise, Mr. Clooney has ALREADY appeared in the media and drew awareness to one of his fiancée’s clients? He used his celebrity status in December (they met in September) by making an open statement in support of the client by name, as part of the Ukrainian protesters. He subsequently used another opportunity, a red carpet event to draw awareness to the same client. The Hollywood Reporter noted: “Clooney denounced the fact that former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko was made a “political prisoner” because of a disagreement over “the way they want to govern.”
In the VIDEO message of support aired in The Guardian, Mr. Clooney said:
“…You certainly cannot have a true democracy if you take political prisoners like Tymoshenko, simply because you disagree with the way they want to govern.”
The Kyiv Post wrote: ‘US actor George Clooney arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film The Monuments Men presented in the Berlinale Competition of the 64th Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, on Feb. 8.’ He ‘was asked during a Feb. 8 news conference about his personal connections to Ukraine and why he’s chosen to support the anti-government EuroMaidan protests… He also said that he regards imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as a political prisoner. ‘
Doughty Street Chambers have represented former Prime Minister Tymoshenko while in prison. ‘Amal Alamuddin and high-profile human rights activist, Geoffrey Robertson QC, with Eugenia Tymoshenko, daughter of formerly imprisoned Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in London on November 5, 2012.’ Here
As Mr. Clooney DID use his celebrity status in different venues to raise awareness of the status of his fiancée’s client as ‘a political prisoner’, the Doughty Street position, would he raise awareness for another client? Ms. Alamuddin’s and Doughty Street’s next client in the dock was Gaddafi spy-chief Abdulla Senussi. Doughty Street Chambers, after all, DID release the official announcement of their engagement on the 28th of April. After reviewing these dates, one has to ask, is Doughty Street’s announcement of their engagement business-related? Consider the intertwining dates of their announcement and Abdulla Senussi trial:
Abdulla Senussi enters a Libyan court asks for a lawyer (14th April). Ms. Alamuddin & Mr. Clooney fly into Dubai to meet the in-laws and propose (22nd April). Abdulla Senussi asks the court for an international lawyer (27th April). Her Chambers’ announces (28th April) her engagement … and enter the frenzy of the international press. An awaited response released by the ICC about Abdulla Senussi (1st May). Back in London and into the engagement-media-frenzy as Ms. Alamuddin holds a Saturday press conference about Abdulla Senussi, failures of ICC and Libya as a failed state. (3rd May). Abdulla Senussi’s May 8th ICC submission requests that Libya be referred to the UN Security Council (8th May) and was filed just before the ICC Prosecutor goes to the Security Council on the 13th May, to give semi-annual assessment about Libya. (13th May). Either all the celestial stars were in alignment for this romantic/political/business moment or some considerable PR planning was involved.
The announcement and the predictable media frenzy suggest that the timing was to maximize the world coverage for Ms. Alamuddin’s May 3rd press conference. Although she was Abdulla Senussi’s lawyer for 1 1/2 years, prior to the engagement, she received little personal international coverage. Now, Lead Counsel Ben Emmerson now takes a backseat as all articles. So we ask, did Mr. Clooney as with Yulia Tymoshenko, allow his celebrity status to propel the Doughty Street’s engagement announcement in order to draw awareness to another of his fiancée’s clients? Client Abdulla Senussi? The press conference did give her an international forum to air her grievances with the ICC. And contrary to an ICC opinion of the Libyan justice system for her client, the world-wide press conference allowed her make contradictory, derogatory remarks about Libyan justice system. “The whole point of the ICC is to be there when national systems can’t do the job, said Alamuddin, “Instead, it is giving a flawed, dangerous process the stamp of approval.”
In direct contradict to Ms. Alamuddin’s comments in the May 3rd press conference, the ICC Judges ruled on the 11th of October 2013 that Libya IS WILLING and ABLE to provide a fair trial for Abdulla Senussi. Therefore, the ICC APPROVED of the justice system in which Abdulla Senussi will be tried. Dare we say it; the Judges PRAISED the ‘Libyan competent authorities’ in their press release. Arabic PRESS RELEASE, English SUMMARY or PDF: Senussi 11October2013
The Human Rights Lawyer representing ICC-indicted Abdulla Senussi who is Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief and brother-in-law, attends Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Abdulla Senussi, a Gaddafi regime member is indicted for 2 counts of Crimes Against Humanity plus there are US Government allegations of using rape as a weapon of war during the Libyan Revolution. His Lawyer, Amal Alamuddin attended in London on June 12, 2014. Photo Just Jared
These are the original ICC arrest warrants for Muammar & Saif Gaddafi and Abdulla Senussi. Amal Alamuddin is Abdulla Senussi’s lawyer as he is charged with 2 counts of Crimes Against Humanity as a result of the Libyan Revolution. HERE or the PDF for Warrant of Arrest of Abdulla Senussi.
Mr. Clooney and Ms. Alamuddin would be, as they say, just window dressing for the true focus of the PR Campaign. Her internationally covered press conference on May 3rd could be the pretense for Washington’s worst-kept-secret. That is the inevitable intervention in Libya, be it diplomatically with an un-elected, foreign-selected committee of 50 or militarily culminating around the 20th of June.
Under headlines like ‘Clooney Fiancee takes on the International Criminal Court’, Ms. Alamuddin will spend the summer as the new cover-girl for reform of the debilitated ICC: 12 years, 1 $Billion and as of last week, only three convictions. We, on the other hand, will be witnessing chaos reigning in the streets of Libya. We discuss this gravely serious issue by listening to the rhetoric and thoroughly examining a recent timetable with respect to Libya. The significance of the timetable is, as we suggest, point to an inevitable intervention. Consider William Burns’ unannounced visit to Tripoli: (25th April):
Senior Libyan sources revealed to Al-Araby Al-Gadeed website that the visit by deputy US Secretary of State William Burns to Tripoli two days ago included a warning by Burns that “Libyan rulers should undertake their responsibilities in overcoming the current unrest within two months, or else the country would be taken over by the international community.”
The sources confirmed that Burns warned political forces and the government during a surprise visit that if the country’s political instability is not resolved within the next two months, US President Barack Obama, in coordination with the European Union, will dispatch a special representative to take charge of the political transition in the country. Analysts interpreted this warning as a prelude to a step that may place Libya under “International mandate”.
Burns visited Libya on Wednesday and met with leaders of the “Revolutionary Room” along with the chairman of the Justice and Construction party, the political wing of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, the deputy chairman of the National Congress Gomaa Ateika, and other politicians. In his public statements, Burns said that terrorism and extremism represent a huge threat to Libya and the international community, and that the US is intent on assisting Libya to build its special security capabilities and strengthening joint counter-terrorism cooperation.
Further, credibility for the allegations comes from Libyan Ambassador to UN Ibrahim Dabbashi. He said on the 1st June and (9th June) on Libya al Ahrar TV that foreign intervention is coming and although not the only solution, there is a ‘military solution’. Mr. Dabbashi said it was the first time “military solution” was mentioned as an option. UN Special representative Tarek Mitri, (UNSMIL) discussing ‘the recent turmoil in Libya’ said, ‘…and to impress upon them that a resort to the use of force will have disastrous consequences for the country.'(9th June ) As the details became public, of a groundswell of opposition in Libya resulted in the postponement announcement by Mr. Mitri’s UN office. (11th June)
International journalists are linking these events. The Wall Street Journal wrote on the 4th June:
‘The day before President Obama delivered his national security speech at West Point (28th May) last week, the United States issued a travel warning (27th May) urging U.S. citizens to depart Libya. Washington also positioned military assets to prepare for a possible evacuation of U.S. citizens.’
Ibrahim Jathran and Khalifa Heftar
William Burns ‘warning’ of placing Libya under a ‘International mandate’ if Libyan rulers do not ‘undertake their responsibilities in overcoming the current unrest’ seems to predict Khalifa Heftar’s Operation Dignity. Mr. Burn’s warning and the timing of General Heftar’s actions may be simply coincidental. But, consider that American troops landed in Sicily on the (14th May) two days BEFORE and as if in anticipation, of General Heftar’s Friday, May 16th operation.
Toss in the year-long manufactured-insurrection by Ibrahim Jathran and his agents which were and still are “appropriate from the point of view of the foreign relations of the United States”. As we reported on (2nd April) and (18th April), the American Government’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of State (DOS) knew, approved and reaffirmed the actions of Mr. Jathran’s agents in their Justice Department FARA Registration Statements 6200 & 6202 or documents.
In their application to represent Mr. Jathran, Mr. Ari Ben-Menashe and Mr. Patrick Hughes provided an attached consultancy agreement outlining their controversial lobbying activities; seeking buyers and logistics for oil sales, seeking recognition, getting military arms & training, as well as international funding. The applicants and their consultancy agreement was REVIEWED and APPROVED in January 2014 by the Departments of Justice and State as under FARA regulations #616 as it was considered “appropriate from the point of view of the foreign relations of the United States”. This approval resulted in the Morning Glory oil tanker fiasco.
As a result of this duplicitous policy, Ibrahim Jathran and his US-registered-agents’ lobbying actions have undermined the authority of the internationally recognized Government of Libya. These US documents, 6200 & 6202, provided support to a separatist movement which triggered insecurity by encouraging insurrection within the Libyan domestic landscape. Therefore, one can assert that by definition this is an Intervention under International Law. Our previous articles HERE, HERE & HERE.
So is-it-too-much-of-a-stretch to consider that General Heftar is creating another foreign-manufactured-insurrection in line and on queue? Consider William Burn’s prediction, retired General Heftar’s connections the US, and Ambassador Jones refusal to condemn retired General Heftar’s actions. “I am not going to come out and condemn blanketly what he did,” she said. And US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki recent statement ‘we haven’t talked to him recently.‘ Therefore, no matter how you consider the actions positively or negatively of either Ibrahim Jathran or General Heftar, the timing of their actions suggests their insurrections have been orchestrated. And now it seems their actions were for an inevitable planned intervention.
In line with William Burns April 25th visit: ‘Analysts interpreted this warning as a prelude to a step that may place Libya under “International mandate“; there are allegations of troops amassing on the borders; Algerian, French and American. On the (25th May`) EU representative Bernardino Leon arrived in Tripoli saying in essence the Libyan people want the EU to step in. At a (6th June) press conference, Head of UNSMIL, Tarek Mitri, announces Political Dialogue Initiative. ‘…Mitri announced that this initiative enjoys the support of the international envoys, who have expressed their readiness to cooperate with UNSMIL in the preparation for this meeting and in helping ensure the initiative’s success.’
Into this whirlpool, President Obama (28th May) lays out his Foreign Policy for his remaining years during the West Point Commencement speech. To a graduating class of military officers, Mr. Obama said that military option was last resort and international organizations and sanction would be the shift in his foreign policy until the end. In so many words without being direct,he is explaining that the guiding principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in his US Foreign Policy. On the 28th May, the BBC reported Mr. Obama re-positioned his foreign Policy to focus on diplomacy, sanctions and international law. All buzz words for R2P:
‘His speech attempted to recast US foreign policy as one which would use military force when necessary but primarily acts on a platform of international consensus. “We must broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law and – if just, necessary, and effective – multilateral military action.’
WSJ on the 4th June continued about NATO and “…Libya represents a threat to regional security’:
‘… As President Obama argued last week, the alliance must also look “beyond Europe’s borders where our NATO allies must pull their weight to counterterrorism and respond to failed states and train a network of partners.” Libya is a prime example of where the alliance can come together to work on issues beyond Europe’s borders–yet not that far away–and NATO has fallen dangerously short on follow-through there.”
John Kerry ‘said the withdrawal plan of the U.S. will allow this country to divert resources to the anti-terrorism fight in other parts of the world. Kerry said U.S. foreign policy needs to reflect a “rapidly changing, more complex world where terrorism is the principal challenge.’
Mr. Obama mentioning of a $5 billion counterterrorism fund echoes William Burns 25th April statement that ‘…The US is intent on assisting Libya to build its special security capabilities and strengthening joint counter-terrorism cooperation.’ The BBC reported on the 28th May after Obama’s speech to WestPoint candidates said: The money would go towards missions such as… working with European allies to train a functioning security force in Libya…, he said.
Intervention and ‘International Mandate, why Libya? The Libyan Revolution is where the principal of responsibility to protect (R2P) was utilized for the first time from inception in UN Security Council Resolution 1973. Simply stated, those adamant believers want to see the resolution succeed to the end. They want closure, a success to point to. So R2P could be used in the future. Listen to Mr. Obama’s words: to ‘broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law…’ These are the principles of R2P and in the Obama White House the staunchest believer is Samantha Power. She is the architect of Mr. Obama’s foreign Policy which is shaped around this principle. She is ardent supporter of international law and organizations at the expense of national sovereignty. That would be national sovereignty of other nations…not the United States.
Secondly, the ICC cases of Saif Gaddafi and Abdulla Senussi as outlined in Resolution 1970. If Saif and/or Abdulla are tried at the ICC, the completion of the cycle; experts say that this would resurrect the ICC reputation. Now that the final judgment of ICC on Saif came out on the (21st May) and the looming UN Sanctions if Libya does not turn him over, we hope that the inevitable intervention is not a ruse to ‘rescue’ and deliver Saif and Abdulla Senussi to the ICC. A ‘rescue’ and subsequent trial would boost the reputation of the ICC? Boosting the reputation of the ICC; we’re going full circle, enter Mr. Clooney and Ms. Alamuddin.
Mr. Clooney’s Circle of Friends and his use of his ‘celebrity credit cards’.
Characteristically, in February Mr. Clooney held a private showing of his latest film in the White House and although not on the guest list, in tow was his fiancée. So in light of the events in Libya, as Mr. Clooney extended his celebrity status to draw awareness to his fiancée’s clients and her law firm, has he used his ‘celebrity credit cards’ to draw awareness to and advance the current Libyan policy of the Obama White House? Is it coincidental that Ms. Alamuddin’s widely-covered May 3rd press conference was in part about the failed state of Libya?
Further, does Mr. Clooney’s benevolence with his celebrity status extend to his other friends? A personal friend who they have worked together as political activists and who Mr. Clooney is rumored to have been romantically linked?
Consider Mr. Clooney’s quote about USE of his term, ‘celebrity credit cards’:
“If I show up places, sometimes camera follow… that is a good thing because then we can have these conversations and help perhaps the administration and the UN and all the people who actually want to do something about this but do not have the political capital.”
Consider: Mr. Clooney is sitting with the current US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.
“…and help perhaps the administration and the UN and all the people who actually want to do something about this …” Current US Ambassador the UN and Obama foreign policy architect, Samantha Power was at the time representing herself. This was in 2006. This is all before there was a President Obama. The topic was Darfur. Bush administration and Clooney is a democrat. The CNN interview was with Wolf Blitzer.
George Clooney and Samantha Power in the Obama White House
Helping each other seems to be a practice between George Clooney and Samantha Power. They go back at least 2005 or 2006. They are basketball buddies, according to The Daily Beast they were ‘once rumored to be romantically linked’ and according to the same article Ms. Power created a White House position and ‘hired George’s consigliere.’ (Think: The Godfather -Vito Corleone and Tom Hagen)
“During her time in the administration, Power has helped to create a position known as director for war crimes atrocities and civilian protection. The job was filled by civil-rights attorney David Pressman, who has been described as a “consigliere” of George Clooney—someone with whom Power was once rumored to be romantically linked; she is now married to legal scholar Cass Sunstein.”
An Aside: We take note of the effectiveness or rather ineffectiveness of the CIVILIAN PROTECTION office as it took more than THREE WEEKS to activate the White House in the case of the kidnapping of the 300 Nigerian school girls. They were captured on 15th April, it took THREE WEEKS (May 7th) before The White House twitter account-Michelle Obama to #Bring our girls Home and 5 weeks before (22 May) before US troops sent to help locate them. As of June 8th the BBC World Service reported that the schoolgirls were witnessed cooking and washing for Boko Haram troops AND still captives. Critics note that:
“Maybe if the more than 200 Nigerian girls abducted from their school weeks ago were on a ferry in Korea, a jet liner in the Indian Ocean, in the owner’s box at a Clippers basketball game, or were white, the world would pay more attention,“Boing Boing blogger Xeni Jardin said, echoing the thoughts of many. “If it had happened anywhere else, this would be the world’s biggest story,” said CNN’s Frida Ghitis.
Into this mix, we add this applicable The Daily Beast quote about Ms. Power:
‘Samantha Power is considered to be a key figure within the Obama administration in persuading the president to intervene militarily in Libya. Power argues that America has a moral obligation to examine all tools in the toolbox (diplomatic, economic, political, and military) to respond to mass atrocity.’
Samantha Power’s office of the Director for War Crimes Atrocities and Civilian Protection has failed those 300 Nigerian School girls as the office she set created DID NOT, within a timely manner, use ANY ‘tools in the toolbox (diplomatic, economic, political and military to respond…’
Who is Samantha Power? Samantha Power is the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy.
“Samantha Power is called the “The femme fatale of the humanitarian-assistance world”. She is Yale and Harvard educated, and began her career as a correspondent in Bosnia. Peter W. Galbraith, ambassador to Croatia at the time said in The New York Times, “She would argue that the failure of the Clinton administration to engage in airstrikes against the Serbs, and to take military action to stop the genocide was immoral.” We add this quote about Ms. Power:
‘Power is a scholar of U.S. foreign policy, especially as it relates to human rights and genocide. Power founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Alongside her advocacy for Barack Obama’s candidacy, Power is best known for her efforts to increase public awareness of genocide and human rights abuses, particularly in the Darfur conflict.‘
And then we add this contrasting quote From The Daily Mail about Ms. Power: It seems she was busy.
25 August 2013: ‘Samantha Power, the newly appointed US ambassador to the UN, has spent her career urging international intervention in cases of genocide. The gassing of hundreds of Syrians should have been a perfect opportunity to speak out and force quick action. However, the Irish-born academic was nowhere to be seen and failed to attend an emergency UN Security Council meeting during the week.’
Another detractor: We add this comment :
‘Within hours of the announcement, opposition to Power’s (UN) nomination began to surface. Constitutionally consistent Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statement on his Senate website:
The nomination of Samantha Power is deeply troubling. No nation has spilled more blood or sacrificed more for the freedom of others than ours, and yet Ms. Power has publicly embraced the need for America to continue apologizing to the world for perceived transgressions, going so far as to explicitly urge “instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa.” She is yet another Obama nominee who has been sharply critical of our nation’s strong support of Israel. She’s an aggressive interventionist, supporting sending our men and women into harm’s way for “humanitarian” causes. And she has strongly supported the expansion of international institutions and international law — including the International Criminal Court, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the Kyoto Protocol — at the expense of U.S. sovereignty. Indeed, Ms. Power has publicly stated, “We have to believe in international law and binding ourselves to international standards in the interest of getting others bound to those standards.” America needs a UN Ambassador to be an advocate for our own interests at the UN — not an advocate of elevating UN interests over U.S. sovereignty and the rights of the American people.’
Samantha Power and President Obama
The New York Times article entitled Still Crusading, but Now on the Inside by SHERYL GAY STOLBERG continued, ‘Mr. Obama sought her out in early 2005, when he was a new senator and had just read her book. After a four-hour dinner, they found themselves so much in sync that she volunteered to take a leave from her Harvard professorship to work for him.’ She was part of his Senate staff as a foreign policy adviser. The March 2008 The Telegraph article:
‘The reason the British should take notice of her is because of her role in the Barack Obama campaign. The would-be President of the United States texts her with, “It’s Obama, call me” in the middle of the night. She is the woman he listens to on foreign policy, she helped him with his book, The Audacity of Hope.”
Samantha Power, Barack Obama and a new US Foreign Policy
Ms. Power recalls that after the initial 4 hour meeting with Barack Obama they came up with a ‘new foreign policy‘.
“I downloaded his 2004 convention speech from iTunes, listened to it on the plane to Washington and had tears rolling down my cheeks.” The meeting went on for four hours. “At the end of it I found myself asking him if he wanted me to work in his office. We talked for hours more about how to create a new foreign policy. It is not enough to throw daggers at President Bush, you have to have an alternative vision. He didn’t just oppose the war in Iraq, he knew exactly what was wrong with it.”
“Take Rwanda, President Clinton never even held a Cabinet meeting to discuss what could be done. Obama understands that with all these tools, the diplomatic, the military, the economic, where ever that kind of carnage is occurring you need to take ownership of the issue. It’s a place by place assessment.”
In the Obama Administration foreign policy-wise Samantha Power is in control …”she is in a position…to watch him translate HER IDEAS into action.” Yet, she over shadows him and the White House staff know it. So much so the White House had to put out this. The New York Times article said that:
“Ms. Power is sensitive to any notion that she has outsize influence with the president; the White House took pains on Tuesday to say that her speech echoed the president’s, not the other way around.”
The New York Times article:
“That the president used almost precisely the same language was hardly a surprise. For nearly 20 years, since her days as a young war correspondent in Bosnia, Ms. Power has championed the idea (R2P) that nations have a moral obligation to prevent genocide. Now, from her perch on the National Security Council, she is in a position to make that case to the commander-in-chief — and to watch him translate her ideas into action.“
The new US Foreign Policy and the founding principal: Responsibility to Protect R2P?
Basically, nations no longer have a choice if they want to intervene when a conflict results in civilians deaths. It is now UN mandated that an action must now take place to protect the civilians. It started in late 1990s with the atrocities in Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Rwanda and Srebrenica. Terms like ‘ethnic cleansing” were being coined but the international community were hesitating to label it genocide thereby giving them the legal option of not acting. The outcome of 1990s conflicts with its multiple human rights abuses, was to force human rights legal issues to the forefront, i.e. UK Human Rights Act of 1998 and the birth of the modern international Human Right Lawyers. Samantha Power is just one, as a reporter in Bosnia, from that experience, she wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
Her book argues that genocides — in places like Armenia, Nazi Germany, Cambodia and Rwanda — have occurred because governments averted their eyes and individuals made conscious choices not to intervene.“The most common response,” Ms. Power wrote, “is, ‘We didn’t know.’ This is not true.”
At this time, NGOs, Western countries and human rights lawyers like Ms. Power wanted to create laws to cover civilians. The concept of R2P was about providing a legal way to prevent another Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda. At the only way to induce change is not to change the laws of an individual country but make them subject to a greater power…the UN.
Out of this fervor an international debate surfaced between the rights the international countries to intervene on behalf of civilians at risk AND the sovereignty of individual nations. In 1999 and 2000, at the UN, Secretary-General Kofi Adnan requested a consensus on if a Rwanda and Srebrenica happens again, what are the legal issues of a nation’s sovereignty versus the international community right to act to protect civilians?
An Aside: Both incidents happened as Kofi Adnan was the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) between March 1993 and December 1996 during which the Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys and the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda occurred. In either incident, there are accusations of the failure of his leadership. Read an account in Rwanda and Kofi Adnan from General Romeo Dallaire. He warned of the forthcoming massacre of Rwanda to his boss Kofi Adnan and received a ‘cease and desist’ cable to intervene. Adnan, Rwanda and Srebrenica
The concept of R2P came out of the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000,which coaxed The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, (ICISS),’ into being. Read this quote: ‘The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) was an ad hoc commission of participants which in 2001 worked to popularize the concept of humanitarian intervention and democracy-restoring intervention under the name of “Responsibility to protect.'(R2P). see an excerpt: Responsibility to Protect-Core Principals
The directive of The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS),
‘which aims to develop “global political consensus about how and when the international community should respond to emerging crises involving the potential for large-scale loss of life and other widespread crimes against humanity.” This report forms the basis for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principles.‘
A December 2001 review by the Council of Foreign Relations wrote: “This report is about the so-called “right of humanitarian intervention”: the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states to take coercive – and in particular military – action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state.
In 2004, the Secretary General Kofi Annan set up the Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. The resulting document, “A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility,” recommended that R2P be embraced and UN approved.
The real implication of the R2P is that it gives a re-positioning, actually redefining of the concept of a nation’s sovereignty. It is no longer about the rights of a state; it is about the responsibility of a state to their civilians. Therefore, the legitimacy of a state is based on how well the state fulfills the citizens’ basic human rights. If the state fails in this endeavor …they have no legitimacy.
Critics argue that the UN’s responsibility to protect civilians is now at a point where member nations must kowtow to the UN and be subject to the controlling members’ wishes by offer up their nation’s sovereignty and be regulated by the United Nations. The less developed countries saw it as a way to infiltrate and control. The developed West who saw it as a way to stop genocide by controlling ‘those countries where genocide occurs.‘ Smell like there is a tinge of racism at its heart, doesn’t it?
R2P is in practice in the UN. This quote is from the office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide:
The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty. Sovereignty no longer exclusively protects States from foreign interference; it is a charge of responsibility where States are accountable for the welfare of their people. This principle is enshrined in article 1 of the Genocide Convention and embodied in the principle of “sovereignty as responsibility” and in the concept of the Responsibility to Protect.
LIBYA, R2P, the UN and Samantha Power’s Foreign Policy
Libya is the test case for the R2P principal of “Sovereignty no longer exclusively protects States from foreign interference; it is a charge of responsibility where States are accountable for the welfare of their people.” This principal is the basis of Resolution 1973.
UN Security Council Resolution 1973 authorized a no-fly zone on 11 March 2011. ‘The resolution formed the legal basis for military intervention in the Libyan civil war, demanding “an immediate ceasefire” and authorizing the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.’ And this seems to be the heart of inevitable intervention discussed in the UN coming around the 20th of June, the resolution is still valid.
Bound together is UN Security Council Resolution 1970 that authorized the International Criminal Court to Investigate war crimes in Libya. This is a quote from academics who are lawyers:
“It is an important test for the International Criminal Court. It’s a challenging case — this is the first time the ICC has faced opposition to its jurisdiction from a national government that genuinely wants to try its accused war criminals domestically.”
And this seems to be the crux of the problem. Libya is NOT cooperating. It is putting up opposition to the ICC jurisdiction. And it seems the victors want their spoils of war.
We note that ‘under international law, a country has the priority right to try people charged with crimes committed on its own soil.’ But, as the ICC began during the revolution, it has the right to determined that Saif is not being tried for the same crimes. Under the principal of complementarity, it is not the same case and the Chambers ruled that the ICC retains jurisdiction of Saif. Therefore, Libya must surrender him to the ICC. For both of these reasons the victors require Libya to allow them to intervene, offer up their national sovereignty to the UN and surrender Saif to the ICC so that it will complete the cycle of his trial to term, thereby boosting the ICC’s reputation and the principal of R2P as an effective weapon within the United Nations’ arsenal.
‘The ICC is a young institution, and the outcome in Libya will signal whether the court can truly effect change in countries in crisis. If the court’s involvement provides an opportunity for spoilers to destabilize the balance of power, then it cannot reliably promote peace in these sorts of situations. In that case, the court’s future could be limited to addressing past crises in relatively stable countries. If, that is, it has a future at all.’
Most Western pundits and academics agree that the completion of the process of the ICC from referral of Security Council, investigation through arrest warrants resulting in a trial will resurrect the ailing institution’s lackluster reputation. We prefer to take the quote from the international Lawyer representing Libya at the ICC. A former legal adviser to the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court, Dr. Payam Akhavan prior to representing Libya at the ICC, said “for the ICC , prosecuting Gaddafi’s son will be very important to establishes it legitimacy, credibility…” (start at 1:14) Our Copy of the Video His quote:
‘For the International Criminal Court, prosecuting Gaddafi’s son will be very important to establishes it legitimacy, credibility but for Libya courts, naturally they are interested in trying to hold this case in Libya, itself where it will have much more immediate impact and perhaps contribute to national reconciliation.’
Start at 1:14 Video
A 5 November 2015 Update from the Authors:
Is Legacy is a concern for those involved in Libya’s ICC Case?
This Canadian Broadcast Company video was removed after over 400 views worldwide and four years on Dailymotion. We, however, have a copy of the CBC video. As it is so important for the Libyan people to see and hear their hired legal representatives discuss their ICC case while representing them and BEFORE, we place a video link to our November 2011 CBC copy on our FACEBOOK site to maintain the integrity and continuity of the articles that contain reference to this video. Therefore, we maintain the articles as they were while adding our copy of the CBC interview.
“..but for Libya courts, naturally they are interested in trying to hold this case in Libya, itself where it will have much more immediate impact and perhaps contribute to national reconciliation.’ Said two and half years ago, Payam Akhavan’s comment seems less likely today. And what if Saif is ‘rescued’ and whisked off to the ICC for trial, what is the likelihood of a conviction? It surfaced last week, ” In a statement issued to The Telegraph the court said it had “exceptionally decided to assume the costs of Mr Gaddafi’s legal representation on a provisional basis until such time as an assessment of his disposable means has been conducted”. So if the ICC has “exceptionally decided” to violate their own regulations for Saif NOW, what stops them from an “exceptionally decided” verdict in his FUTURE trial? By this statement the ICC has openly displayed bias towards Saif, how could The ICC be trusted to be unbiased in a trial? Sound like Libya has a case to overturn that May 21st final verdict?
The reputation of the International Criminal Court and the Principal of Responsibility to Protect in the UN and the basis of US foreign Policy. Did you notice President and Samantha Power never use the controversial term of R2P. They use similar acceptable terms that the average person’s ear will accept without becoming suspicious but it is like a code to their fellow believers. The last time we noticed this was when George W. Bush spoke in code to his fellow Conservative believers. Interesting isn’t it, how opposites sides of the political spectrum can be so similar in practice.
As for Mr. Clooney, he is an advocate of R2P. In an article he co-authored in the Washington Post during the Libyan Revolution, he mentions in reference to the Libyan revolution that “the world evoked the “responsibility to protect” doctrine to prevent massive loss of life.” But, he went on to say that the situation in Sudan is far worse:
The world has recently shown some willingness to act in Africa. When hundreds of thousands of civilians were threatened this year in Libya and Ivory Coast, governments around the world invoked the “responsibility to protect” doctrine to prevent massive loss of life…
Sudan’s north-south and Darfur conflicts have produced more dead, wounded and displaced persons than Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Ivory Coast combined. The focus in the United States and elsewhere has been on providing incentives for the Sudanese government to change its behavior and embrace peace in the South and Darfur…
Hypocrisy. It would be hypocritical for Mr. Clooney and Ms. Power to discuss the merits of the R2P and the International Criminal Court. To be an advocates for the International Criminal Court at the same time KNOWING that it NOT applicable for the United States. The United States DID sign the Rome Statute (the founding treaty of the ICC). But, it DID NOT ratify the treaty as required in Congress (a vote with a 2/3 majority). As a result, it is NOT an US Law and therefore, it is NOT applicable to Americans and the United States Government. And Mr. Clooney and Ms. Power as advocates of R2P, one can assume that they know this.
While the regulations of the Rome Statute are NOT applicable for The United States, the Rome Statute and the ICC are STILL applicable for every other nation that ratified it. Therefore, from the standpoint of the United States, the UN and its legal arm, the ICC become a tool of American Foreign Policy. And we guess that is the applicable point for Mr. Clooney, Ms. Power and Mr. Obama. And isn’t that exactly what Mr. Obama laid out as the principles of his foreign policy at WestPoint on the 28th of May. Mr. Obama said “We must broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law and – if just, necessary, and effective – multilateral military action.’
Unfortunately for Libya, it seems to be the test case to implement their new strategy in foreign policy, either the Libyans accept the 19 points of the UN declaration or there is the threat of military intervention.
Mr. Mitri said he has redoubled his efforts to urge all parties in Libya to resolve the political impasse through peaceful means, and to impress upon them that a resort to the use of force will have disastrous consequences for the country.
A personal observation: It seems there will be a September wedding. One can guess there is an assumption that the Libyan situation will be concluded by then. It will give the instigators a chance for a victory lap or maybe just-the Obamas’ fist bumps all around?
A note from the Authors:
We did an examination of the taboo subject the political dimension of The International Criminal Court during the President Obama/Samantha Power Administration. This is an excerpt from our other article: History is written by the Victors or is it the Bullies? The ICC’s Eradication of the Melinda Taylor Incident. This section is 2/3 through that article. Look for the same R2P cartoon image.
The Political Dimension of the International Criminal Court.
Politics of the ICC, a taboo subject, is rooted in the fact that the Court’s legitimacy is based on competing ideas of impartiality, neutrality and the basic idea of FIGHTING IMPUNITY.
However, the International Criminal Court due to its funding, is vulnerable to international political actors. In particular from the United States says The New York Times’ article U.S. Grows More Helpful to International Criminal Court, a Body It First Scorned. In the April 2013 article MARLISE SIMONS interviewed a state department lawyer and an academic who agree that the United States financial contributions to the Court played a role in making the ICC “an important forum” for advancing United States national security and humanitarian interests.’ We provide two excerpts from the article:
Harold H. Koh, the State Department’s legal adviser, speaking last November in the Netherlands, made a strong impact on his audience, including lawyers and diplomats, when he called the court “an important forum” for advancing United States national security and humanitarian interests. Global criminal justice “can help increase stability and thus decrease the need for more costly military interventions in the future,” he said.
Florian Jessberger, who teaches international criminal justice at the University of Hamburg, described the I.C.C. as a global court that is “somewhere between a court of justice and politics,” adding, “If the U.S. got involved without even being a member, it is to extend its influence for political reasons.” Read more…
... look for the same R2P cartoon image. (2/3 way through the article.)
Parts of this Op/ED article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Interested in Libya’s ICC legal issues? Please consult our other articles; the lawyers and law firms that represent them: