|Southwest Asia News Digest
Saudi Role in 9/11 Cannot Be Hidden Any Longer
July 11 (EIRNS)With the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks just two months away, the Saudi role in the events of Sept. 11, 2001 are back in the headlines. This morning, former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who co-chaired the Congressional probe of the 9/11 attacks, appeared on the MSNBC Morning Joe show and tore into the Saudis involvement, citing Prince Bandar and the BAE bribes, and the role of Saudi Royals in supporting the attacks. Graham has recently written a novel, Keys to the Kingdom, based on the 9/11 attacks.
In addition, the current newsstand issue of Vanity Fair magazine has a lengthy article, "The Kingdom and the Towers," by Anthony Summers and Lynne Swan, documenting the role of a number of members of the Saudi royal family in bankrolling al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers. The article is based on a book by the husband and wife team that is scheduled to appear later this month in the United States, providing a comprehensive account of the 9/11 attacks, with heavy emphasis on the Saudi royal family complicity, and the Bush White House coverup.
Much of the material in the Vanity Fair article will be familiar to EIR readers, including the role of two Saudi intelligence officers, Basnan and al-Bayoumi, who facilitated two of the 9/11 hijackers' efforts from the moment they arrived in Los Angeles in 2000.
Millions Turn Out in Egypt To Demand Further Reforms
July 11 (EIRNS)At least 750,000 demonstrators turned out in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday, July 8, and an even larger number turned out in Alexandria, to demand that the reform process and the prosecution of those who looted the country continue without compromise. According to one leading participant, the turnout was nationwide, with every city and large town in the country, including Mansour and Port Said, seeing unprecedented turnouts.
The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the protests, although a large portion of the youth section of the MB has split from the organization over its alliance with the Army against the revolution. "The Army alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood is a mutual-survival deal with the devil, which is not succeeding in stifling the momentum of the secular protests. This was the message delivered on Friday," the source reported from the streets of Cairo.
Every night, an estimated 50,000 demonstrators are sleeping in Tahrir Square, to continue delivering the message that the protests have a strong base of support among the Egyptian people. Reportedly, Mohamed ElBaradei has issued a draft bill of rights, as part of his Presidential campaign, and one of the key demands is that the military tribunals be barred from trying civilian protesters, and that the military is subordinate to civilian rule.
British Wars Spread Hunger in Southwest Asia
July 10 (EIRNS)Widespread hunger has emerged as one of the consequences of the British-led destabilizations of Libya, Yemen, and Syria. The conflicts in those countries, along with extreme weather and rising energy prices, have worsened already bad situations. On June 17, the World Food Program reported that it was in the process of distributing food to more than 500,000 people in Libya and expressed concern about the food situation inside the country, especially in the areas hardest hit by the fighting. "Libya is a food deficit country heavily reliant on imports with a public food distribution system under stress as food stocks in the country are being consumed without replenishment," the agency said.
Yemen is in even worse shape as 7 million people, or about one-third of the country's population, had, according to the British aid agency Oxfam, already reduced their meals from three a day, down to one, before the unrest began. Aziz Al-Athwari, Oxfam's Yemen country director, told The Media Line that "although we have no current statistics, that number has certainly increased since fighting began." The WFP recently launched an emergency operation to feed 1.7 million in Yemen, where access to food is being hindered by rising fuel prices. Al-Athwari added that since both food and water are shipped into many communities by truck, rising fuel prices have raised the prices of both food and water beyond the ability of many Yemenis to pay.
Syria's northeast has been plagued by drought since 2006, which had already resulted in mass migration from rural agricultural areas into the cities. The problem of less food in the markets was made worse when the Assad regime cut food subsidies and froze wages in 2004, although some of those measures were lifted in the weeks before the protests broke out in March 2011. Since the fighting broke out, government troops have blocked food supplies from reaching villages near the Turkish border, where thousands of refugees fled to escape the violence.
MEK Off Terror List in August Could Accelerate War Drive
July 12 (EIRNS)Noted Iranian analyst Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council raised the alarm that the MEK (People's Mujaheddin of Iran), which is still a terrorist group, could be removed from the terrorist list this August. The propaganda in this direction was featured, for example, on July 7, when House Foreign Affairs held a hearing on the "Massacre at Camp Ashraf" which had MEK supporters and members testifying including former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Parsi said that the recently disclosed 2004 FBI report shows MEK is still a terrorist group, but they have had total access to Capitol Hill, fundraising, lobbying, etc. The very detailed FBI report concludes that the MEK is a joint effort of the French DST and German security agencies. Parsi notes that MEK openly advocates and admits to planning terrorist acts, but these are directed against Iranians, and therefore are condoned by factions in USA and Israel that want to have war and regime change in Iran, and even want to use MEK for covert action inside Iran (which some say already is going on). Some neo-cons are even pushing Maryam Rajavi, the MEK head, to become the real President of Iran, in a move reminiscent of the one they made on behalf of Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.
The Green Movement in Iran is totally opposed to the MEK, and if they are delisted, they will do massive harm to the Green Movement inside Iran, which is extremely fragile because of the police state terror against them.
Among those who have supported the MEK through its front group, the National Council of Resistance in Iran, are, according to Muhammed Sahimi of antiwar.com: Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee; President Obama's former National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones; Bill Richardson, former energy secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Michael Mukasey, Attorney General under President George W. Bush; Tom Ridge, former Governor of Pennsylvania and Homeland Security Secretary under Bush; Gens. Peter Pace and Hugh Shelton, former vice chair and chairman, respectively, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Louis Freeh, former FBI director; Lee Hamilton, former Democratic Congressman; Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA; Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Commander of Central Command; Frances Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor in the Bush White House; and Brad Sherman and Dana Rohrabacher of the House of Representatives.