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Bob Graham on CBC: War in Iraq and Syria a Result of Saudi Support for Most Extreme Elements of Islam

Oct. 12, 2014 (EIRNS)—In a major Oct. 9 interview with CBC’s "Day 6" program, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham laid the responsibility for the present conflict in Iraq and Syria directly at the doorstep of the Saudis, and said this could have been avoided had the 28 pages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry been released earlier.

When he was asked about the fact that we are heading into another major confrontation in the Middle East without a complete picture, Graham pointed out that Saudi Arabia has a long history of supporting the Wahhabi sect of Islam, and has contributed to the development of this extreme form of Islam which is now being expressed in Syria and Iraq. The war in Syria and Iraq is a result of this Saudi policy, he said, adding that the U.S. has suffered directly from this with the 9/11 attacks, and the people of Iraq and Syria are suffering today.

"The connection is a direct one. Not only has Saudi Arabia been promoting this extreme form of religion, but it also has been the principal financier, first of Al Qaeda, then of the various Al Qaeda franchises around the world—specifically the ones in Somalia and Yemen—and now the support of ISIS,"

said Graham.

"I believe that had the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 been disclosed by the release of the 28 pages, and by the declassification of other information as to the Saudi role and support of the 9/11 hijackers, that it would have made it much more difficult for Saudi Arabia to have continued that pattern of behavior, and I think [we] would have had a good chance of reining in the activity that today Canada, the United States and other countries either are or are considering going to war with,"

said Graham in an interview with Brent Bambury, host of Day 6 on CBC Radio.

When host Brent Bambury asked Graham why would the Saudis have asked for the disclosure of this information, Graham called their request a "farce." As to Biden’s comments last week about Saudi Arabia, Graham called Biden "one of the most prescient people about the Middle East," and noted that Hillary Clinton, when she was Secretary of State, had made similar comments about the Saudis.

Asked about the vote in the Canadian parliament this week to join the campaign against ISIS, Graham answered:

"ISIS is a reality. It’s brutal and it has the potential of reaching into North America through the apparently substantial number of Canadian and U.S. persons who are now fighting with ISIS. I think had the 28 pages been released 10 years ago, and had dampened the ability and commitment of Saudi Arabia to export its extreme form of Wahhabism, and exposed the Saudis’ funding of these extreme organizations, it may have avoided the necessity of having a debate in the Canadian parliament as to whether to go to war."

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