The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

An Open Letter to a Supporter of the Syrian Opposition

with 4 comments

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
December 13, 2012

It is remarkable that Syrian American Council (SAC) board member Hussam Ayloush appears to be unaware of, if not indifferent to, the trojan efforts of Israel lobbyist David Pollock to promote the Syrian opposition (see, for example, my article, “Fikra: An Israeli Forum for Arab Democrats”).

As for Mr. Aylosh’s doubts that the rebels have any contact with Pollock, the following should be of interest.

In a May 30, 2012 Wall Street Journal article entitled “What Does the Syrian Opposition Believe?” Pollock seeks to allay concerns that the opposition to Assad is dominated by religious fundamentalists, which he describes as one of the main remaining obstacles to international intervention. Citing “a confidential survey of opposition activists living in Syria,” he stresses that “Islamists are only a minority among them,” many of whom “even widely admire the United States.”

Pollock goes on to explain how the survey was conducted:

Pechter Polls, which conducts opinion surveys in tough spots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, completed the Syria opposition poll in December 2011. Respondents were contacted over a secure Skype connection by someone they could trust — all native Syrians — who asked them to fill out a short questionnaire anonymously in Arabic. Interviewers were selected from different social and political groups to ensure that respondents reflected a rough cross-section of overall opposition attitudes. To ensure confidentiality, the online survey could be accessed only through a series of proxy servers, bypassing the regime-controlled Internet.

Given the survey’s unusual security requirements, respondents were selected by a referral (or “controlled snowball”) technique, rather than in a purely random fashion. To be as representative as possible, the survey employed five different starting points for independent referral chains, all operating from different locations. The resulting sample consisted of 186 individuals in Syria identified as either opposition activists themselves (two-thirds of the total) or in contact with the opposition.

The brief bio at the end of the WSJ piece describes Pollock as “the Kaufman fellow at the Washington Institute and a consultant to Pechter Polls.”

Like the AIPAC spin-off that employs Pollock to promote the Syrian opposition in Washington, Pechter Middle East Polls, LLC is clearly a creation of the Israel lobby. President and CEO Adam M. Pechter is a former deputy publisher of the Middle East Quarterly, the Islamophobic pro-Israel “journal” produced by Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.

Such are the freedom-loving forces that the Syrian opposition is prepared to collaborate with.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship.


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

December 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. US-handpicked opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib wants US to reconsider terror listing for Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front


    December 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

  2. I have nominated your blog for Blog of the Year Award, no worries you do not have to do anything if you do not wish or have time, just wanted to recognize your blog. Thank you for your efforts towards truth, Carina


    December 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  3. Thank you for the very kind words.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    December 14, 2012 at 7:06 am

  4. thank you


    December 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: