Read More: "masters of war", Barack Obama, Bill Kristol, Bob Dylan, Elizabeth O'Bagy
, Institute for the Study of War
, Iraq War, Kimberly Kagan, Liz Cheney, Mouaz Moustafa, Salafi, Syria, Syrian Emergency Task Force
, United States, Vietnam War, war mongering
The single most cited account of the situation in Syria over the past two weeks was an Op-Ed by Elizabeth O'Bagy
in the Wall Street Journal
Titled "On the Front Lines of Syria's Civil War," the column sought to counter one of the greatest concerns regarding support for Syrian rebels - that they are constituted significantly of Islamist jihadists.
, who has spent much time in Syria, informed us otherwise.
According to O'Bagy
, jihadists like Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq are not at the front lines leading the fight against Assad, but busy consolidating territorial gains in the North of the country, where they hope to establish an Islamist state.
characterizes the other rebel forces, collectively, as "moderates.
Never does she
explain that descriptor.
does not, for instance, say what it is they moderate between: jihadists and what the West would call "liberals"?
advises at the end that the "U.S. must make a choice.
It can address the problem now, while there is still a large moderate force with some shared U.S. interests, or …." O'Bagy
concludes with her
best description of the "moderates" as a "force with some shared U.S. interests.
What a curiously tepid and vague endorsement.
Could it be because what counts among "moderates" are Salafists, who while not jihadists seeking a universal caliphate, do wish to create a state existing under Sharia law?
You will have to ask O'Bagy
, so let's.
In this context, but absent the same clear, specific, but uncertain account, O'Bagy
now advocates support by the U.S, including "a major bombing campaign by the U.S., sophisticated weaponry, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon systems," with the "ultimate goal of destroying Assad's military capability while simultaneously empowering the moderate opposition."
was identified in the August 30th op-ed as "a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
A full week later, the Wall Street Journal
was led to offer a correction beneath her
In addition to her
role at the Institute for the Study of War
, Ms. O'Bagy
is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force
, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition.
Even in its correction the Journal was not completely forthcoming.
is not merely "affiliated with" SETF; she
is identified at its website as its political director.