Michael Weiss and Nancy A. Youssef attack the Iran Agreement via ‘The Syrian Butcher’: Episode CCC of The American Political Melodrama

Mr. Weiss and his co-author Ms. Youssef have produced an impressive piece of propaganda, using Assad as their starting point, except that they eventually become immersed in quoting from their  dubious political allies:

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:


In 2011, ThinkProgress published FDD’s Form 990 documents[33] that revealed where FDD funding came from, from 2001 to 2004. Donors included:[31]

ThinkProgress concluded, “Most of the major donors are active philanthropists to ‘pro-Israel‘ causes both in the U.S. and internationally. With the disclosure of its donor rolls, it becomes increasingly apparent that FDD’s advocacy of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, its hawkish stance against Iran, and its defense of right-wing Israeli policy is consistent with its donors’ interests in ‘pro-Israel’ advocacy“.[31]


Frederic Hof, a Senior Fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Atlantic Council :

This group is a relic of the Cold War, that has seen a revival since the inception of the New Cold War, Mr. Weiss being a major voice in that revival, in response to ‘Russian Revanchism’

‘In February 2009, James L. Jones, then-chairman of the Atlantic Council, stepped down in order to serve as President Obama’s new National Security Advisor and was succeeded by Senator Chuck Hagel.[3] In addition, Council members Susan Rice left to serve as the administration’s ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke became the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, General Eric K. Shinseki became the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Anne-Marie Slaughter became Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Senator Chuck Hagel stepped down in 2013 to serve as US Secretary of Defense. Gen. Brent Scowcroft served as interim chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors until January 2014, when former ambassador to China and governor of Utah Jon Huntsman, Jr.[4] was appointed.

The Atlantic Council has influential supporters, with former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calling the Council a “pre-eminent think tank” with a “longstanding reputation”,[5] and former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) noting that the Council is “held in high esteem within the Atlantic community”.[6]

Andrew Tabler, a Syria specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

‘The organization has strong ties to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC and was founded by former AIPAC employee.[3]


But in the end this essay devolves into exploitable political emotionalism, provided by Syrian blogger Maysaloon. This emotional appeal is central to their propaganda enterprise.

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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