Writing in The Guardian, Charlie Skelton has produced a remarkable piece of journalism aimed at unearthing the connections among the Syrian opposition and their friends in high places in the West ( “The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?“). The take home message is that there are two groups of non-Syrians who are promoting regime change: globalists and neocons—two powerful forces indeed. One can certainly understand that there would be disaffected Syrians—there are dissidents in every regime, and especially so in a society riven with religious and ethnic divisions with a government dominated by an ethnic and religious minority, the Alawites. But the ever greater success of the insurgency seems unlikely without powerful allies in the West.
Centered mainly on pro-Israel advocacy, the neocons mentioned by Skelton are an influential contingent in the opposition to the Syrian government. The most obvious motivation is that Syria is allied with Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy. (Dennis Ross, a longtime pro-Israel activist [he was head of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy], should be included in this category.) Prominent neocons mentioned by Skelton include Michael Weiss (“the director of communications and public relations at the Henry Jackson Society, an ultra-ultra-hawkish foreign policy thinktank.” Henry Jackson is a sainted figure in neocon lore (see here, p. 27ff), hiring figures such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz as foreign policy aides well before they became synonymous with promoting eternal war on behalf of Israel. Other luminaries of the Henry Jackson Society mentioned in the article are a Who’s Who of neocons: Perle, Bill Kristol, Joshua Muravchik, and Robert Kagan. In a manner quite analogous to the role of Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Abram Schulsky in creating the WMD myth in the lead up to the war in Iraq (see previous link, p. 48ff), Weiss’s function seems to be to produce atrocity propaganda for the media. For example,