29 August 2007

Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar or Dunce and Propagandist?

Its laughable that the AEI call Ledeen a ’scholar’. I mean he can’t even get elementary facts straight.

In an excerpt of his new book featured on the website of the Jewish Policy Center, and commented on by Jim Lobe in his blog, Ledeen states:

Shortly after the revolution, in November 1979, Iranian-supported “pilgrims” on the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, occupied the Grand Mosque, took several hundred hostages, and called for the overthrow of the ruling Saudi family.”

Of course this actually took place in July 1987, if we are to believe GlobalSecurity.org:

In July 1987, however, more than 400 people died as a result of a serious riot instigated by thousands of Iranian pilgrims. Khomeini called for the overthrow of the Saudi royal family to avenge the pilgrims’ deaths.”

In fact 402 people, mostly Iranian pilgrims, were killed and 649 wounded when security forces clashed with Iranians staging an anti- U.S. demonstration.

The November 20, 1979 incident had nothing to do with Iran.

Again according to GlobalSecurity.org:

at least 500 dissidents invaded and seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca on November 20, 1979. The leader of the dissidents, Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaiba, a Sunni, was from one of the foremost families of Najd. His grandfather had ridden with Abd al Aziz in the early decades of the century, and other family members were among the foremost of the Ikhwan. Juhaiman said that his justification was that the Al Saud had lost its legitimacy through corruption, ostentation, and mindless imitation of the West–virtually an echo of his grandfather’s charge in 1921 against Abd al Aziz. Juhaiman’s accusations against the Saudi monarchy closely resembled Ayatollah Ruhollah Musaui, Khomeini’s diatribes against the shah.”

So the ’scholar’ manages to re-interpret the resemblance of Abd al Aziz Juhaiman’s accusations to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s diatribes against the shah as being proof that the “”pilgrms” were “Iranian-supported”.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t criminal.

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