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Expert McCain and Kerry Used to Claim Syrian Rebels are Moderate Opposed Designating Al Qaeda Terrorists

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 10, 2013 @ 10:16 pm In The Point | 5 Comments

Elizabeth O’Bagy received a lot of attention when her Wall Street Journal editorial claiming that most Syrian rebels are moderates and that the Al Qaeda in Iraq spinoff, the Al-Nusra Front, is mostly irrelevant,

O’Bagy was quoted by McCain and Kerry as an expert on Syria. As Charles C. Johnson revealed, O’Bagy is actually the political director of the  Syrian Emergency Task Force.

The SETF is a group run by Syrians abroad, some of whom have Muslim Brotherhood ties, and is lobbying for an American attack on Syria.

Now as Cliff Kincaid of AIM points out, Elizabeth O’Bagy opposed designating the Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist group.

“I’m not saying they aren’t a terrorist group. But given the circumstances and given their cooperation with the opposition as a whole, designating them now would be disastrous,” said Elizabeth O’Bagy, an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War who recently returned from touring rebel-held areas to research Nusra and other Islamist groups.

That’s the standard Syrian opposition position. It also reveals that the Syrian opposition is integrated with Al Qaeda. It also contradicts Elizabeth O’Bagy’s claims in her WSJ editorial that, “The conventional wisdom holds that the extremist elements are completely mixed in with the more moderate rebel groups. This isn’t the case. Moderates and extremists wield control over distinct territory.”

The editorial, which McCain and Kerry both quoted as evidence that intervention is a good idea, also said, “Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al Qaeda die-hards… Moderate opposition forces—a collection of groups known as the Free Syrian Army—continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime.”

If so, why did Elizabeth O’Bagy oppose designating the Syrian-Iraqi franchise of Al-Qaeda a terrorist group because of its close cooperation with the opposition?

Elizabeth O’Bagy told the truth before. She’s lying now.


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