WSJ op-ed depicting Syrian rebels as moderate written by author from group with alleged Islamist ties

( A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Syrian civil war that argues “moderate opposition forces” are leading the fight against the Assad regime was penned by an author who works for a group with alleged Islamist ties.

Elizabeth O’Bagy, identified by the Wall Street Journal as senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, wrote in her op-ed that the Syrian civil war “is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al Qaeda die-hards.”

“The jihadists pouring into Syria from countries like Iraq and Lebanon are not flocking to the front lines,” she wrote. “Instead they are concentrating their efforts on consolidating control in the northern, rebel-held areas of the country.”

But Daniel Greenfield wrote Sept. 4 for FrontPage Magazine that the Wall Street Journal op-ed did not disclose that O’Bagy is also the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force—making her an advocate, not just an analyst, on the issue she wrote about. The task force’s board of directors includes officials of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim American Society, the Hamas-linked Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center mosque, and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago, which advocates for a boycott of Israel. Mouaz Moustafa—the task force’s executive director and a Palestinian Arab—on Twitter has called for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and on YouTube marked an anti-Israel video from a channel called “JewsExposed” as one of his favorite videos, according to Greenfield.

The Syrian Emergency Task Force arranged for this May’s meeting between Syrian civil war rebel leaders and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

“It’s strange that no one has called attention to the fact that a group headed by people with such extreme ties and beliefs is dominating American foreign policy on Syria and controlling the itinerary of senior senators like McCain,” Greenfield wrote.


Posted on September 8, 2013 .