One of the extraordinary developments has been the way that the shady Iranian exile group group known as MEK has managed to buy the support of many influential people in the US in its attempt to portray itself as an alternative government to the current one. Mehdi Hasan writes about the group and its US backers.
Iran hawks long ago fell head over heels for the Mojahedin-e Khalq, known as the MEK, and loudly and successfully lobbied for it to be removed from the State Department list of banned terror groups in 2012. Formed in Iran in the 1960s, the MEK, whose name translates to “Holy Warriors of the People,” was once an avowedly anti-American, semi-Marxist, semi-Islamist group, pledged to toppling the U.S.-backed Shah by force and willing to launch attacks on U.S. targets. The MEK even stands accused of helping with the seizure of hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran; the group condemned the hostages’ release as a “surrender” to the United States. But after the Iran’s clerical rulers turned on the group in the early 1980s, its leaders fled the country and unleashed a series of bombings across Iran.
Hasan says that the MEK has all the hallmarks of a cult, with members expected to pledge allegiance to its husband and wife leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. He says that the people who have signed on to support the group include John Bolton, Prince Turki Bin Faisal, Newt Gingrich, Joe Lieberman, Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, former head of the CIA Porter Goss, ex-head of the FBI Louis Freeh, and former Democratic senator Robert Torricelli. What seems to be a key factor is that the MEK is able to cut fat checks to pay them off.
The MEK and its leaders are urging war against Iran.
Maryam Rajavi’s MEK is auditioning for the role of Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress: The group’s 3,000-odd fighters, according to former Democratic senator-turned-MEK-lawyer Robert Torricelli last Saturday, are keen to be the “point of the spear.”
That way madness lies. Have U.S. political, intelligence, and military elites learned nothing from their Mesopotamian misadventure and the disastrous contribution of Iraqi exiles such as Chalabi? Well, the brainwashed fanatics of the MEK make the INC look like the ANC.
There are always groups in any country who hope to get the US to throw its military might on their side to overthrow the current government and install them as leaders. These attempts have a long history and unfortunately also a pretty good track record of success in its initial goal but is then followed by long periods of chaos and suffering for the people of that nation.