Danny Postel make some very good points on the forged myopic alliance between the MEK (aka MKO, NCRI, PMOI) and Iran-war advocates in Washington.
The U.S. State Department officially considers the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) a Foreign Terrorist Organization. While those honors date back to 1994, they’ve been renewed during the Bush years. Indeed in 2003 Foggy Bottom went further, including the National Council of Resistance of Iran — an MEK alias — under the terrorist designation. (The MEK is also known as the People’s Mujahedeen.)
To make a long and bizarre story short, the MEK got its start in early 1960s Iran, helped overthrow the Shah in 1979, but quickly turned on the revolutionary government it helped bring to power. Employing an ideological blend of Stalinism and Islamism, the tactics of a paramilitary guerilla faction, and the organizational structure of a cult, the group went into exile, eventually making their home in Iraq in the mid-1980s. Not only did Saddam give the organization cover: he armed, funded, and utilized them for a variety of ends over two decades.
The group’s wicked political brew was on spectacular display on the old MEK flag (see below; since abandoned), with its sickle and Kalashnikov positioned atop of a Koranic verse. (Not — to state the obvious — that the mere presence of a Koranic verse in and of itself implies Islamist political commitments, but in this case the shoe very much fits.)
Here you have virtually everything the Right claims to oppose all rolled into one: Islamism, Marxism, terrorism, and Saddam. Naturally, then, neoconservatives would utterly deplore the MEK and everything it stands for, right? The MEK would in fact make an ideal target for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week and Terrorism Awareness efforts, no?
Well, no. At least one of the carnival’s acts, it turns out, is rather fond of the Islamo-Stalinist-terrorist cult group, and has repeatedly argued for the removal of the MEK from the State Department’s list of terrorist groups and indeed urged the U.S. government to embrace it. Daniel Pipes, who will be speaking at Tufts on October 24th as part of the Horowitz high jinks, has made the MEK a recurring theme in his writings going back several years: here, here, and here.)
Pipes has also gone to bat for the MEK right in the pages of Horowitz’s house organ.
But Pipes is far from alone on the Right in championing the MEK. He co-authored the first piece linked to above with Patrick Clawson of the right-wing Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Right-wing commentator Max Boot has argued not merely for the removal of the MEK from the terrorist list but for funding and unleashing it to do battle with Iranian forces — this while casually acknowledging that it is a “political cult.”
As an indicator of how disingenuous news outlets like FOX news are, they regularly have former MKO spokesperson Alireza Jafarzadeh playing the role of Iranian Ahmad Chalabi (his official title is “foreign affairs analyst“)
Below is a short clip of the MEK’s close alliance with Saddam to commit acts of terrorism in Iran.
Irancove @ October 20, 2007