NEW YORK – Evidence is mounting that the strategy by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Secretary of State John F. Kerry to cast members of the Free Syria Army as “moderates” among the rebel forces opposing the government of Bashir al-Assad was the brain-child of Elizabeth O’Bagy, a 26-year-old graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Arab studies and political science at Georgetown University, who is working on a dissertation on woman’s militancy.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry cited O’Bagy, arguing that the war in Syria is “not being waged entirely or even predominately by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida die-hards,” but rather the struggle is being led but “moderate opposition forces – a collection of groups known as the Free Syria Army.”
Kerry was citing an opinion piece O’Bagy wrote for the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 30 titled “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War.” It ran with a tag-line “The conventional wisdom – that jihadists are running the rebellion [in Syria] – is not what I’ve witnessed on the ground.”
The O’Bagy narrative, however, is contradicted by intelligence estimates and experts specializing in the region.
After Kerry’s testimony to Congress this week, Reuters reported: “Secretary of State John Kerry’s public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and non-governmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/obama-relying-on-students-spin-on-syria/#TFH4tcg45v2Y7mp0.99