Mojahedin Laid Criterion for Patriotism and Democracy

Following Saddam’s execution, the MKO-run media have mainly focused on tendentious reports that reprove the dictator’s hanging. The group’s move on such a suspicious line implies that Mojahedin attempt to exculpate Saddam of his myriad crimes to compel a mentality to identify him as a national hero. They have resolved to walk on the line of the opponents to Saddam’s execution, each impelled by different motives, in an attempt to win their support to accomplish their own ends, as they did when the master was in power. No doubt, Mojahedin’s present approach has its own strategic importance but it should be noted that the reach of their siding with Saddam’s supporters lies beyond the scope of the conventional dealings which require much deeper study.

Mojahedin’s silence over Saddam and the Baath Party through the past three years for itself speaks an unspoken truth. Notably, before Saddam’s fall, the two, Saddam and Rajavi, were each other’s sole recognized supporter. Mojahedin, enjoying a strategic position in the region and hardly turning to their Western lobbies, anticipated a promising future settled on Iraq-Iran borders to play their decisive role to overthrow the Islamic regime. Although they were aware that their dream was not to be fulfilled so soon and easily as they portended, at least they could continue to survive in Iraq and keep the members waiting mesmerizing them with murmurs of an imminent victory.

Once in his meeting with Saber al-Duri, who was in charge of the Iraqi security system, Massoud Rajavi stressed that the group’s settlement in Iraq was not a temporary but a long-lasting stay:

Tell him [Saddam] on my behalf; we were and are and will remain at your home as long as possibly we can. [1]

Regardless of their sharing of strategic interests, Rajavi and Saddam’s tie was rooted in a mutual historical and ideological understanding. A passing look over Rajavi and Saber al-Duri’s interlocution reveals the kernel points that ties one to the other. In many parts, Rajavi’s references are an analyzed synthesis of Mojahedin’s ideology with that of Baath Party:

 – We share the same destiny.

– Our bloods are intermingled.

– The tie between we and you, be it either the government or the Baath Party whose leader and symbol is Mr. President, is not merely a political tie. It is an absolute brotherhood.

– Anything that is against you is against us as well and vise aersa.

– Our security and the strikes we receive are the same.

– Our progresses are also the same.

– Neither in my mind nor in my heart can I distinguish between our collective interests and losses.

– Our interests are closely associated.

– Our principles have got us together to be side by side in a front. [2]

The Iraq now turned into a country vulnerable to fluctuations with Mojahedin’s facing stalemate indicates that Rajavi was well aware of the grave consequences of Saddam’s fall and its aftermath effects on MKO. Thus, sensing his unquestioning liquidation, Mojahedin took a different turn to tie a destiny with Iraqi people at least to secure their stay in Iraq. In a sudden shift, they tried to establish the same conduct paradigm with Iraqi people, this time chanting slogans of democracy rather than brotherhood. Interestingly, knowingly or unknowingly, Mojahedin somehow consider Saddam and the Baath Party, compared with the present government in power, more democrat and patriot. Sediqeh Husseini, a ranking member of MKO, in a speech made at Camp Ashraf stated that:

Talking of democracy and a democratic Iraq, a key parameter is this same conduct with Mojahedin. [3]

She further stressed her claim in a message sent to Dayali Province Sheikhs but with a different tone:

Thus, we appraise the degree of patriotism and popularity of any movement according to the scale of opposition to interferences and, consequently, friendship with and respect for Mojahedin. [4]

It is easy to have a sound judgment on Iraq’s past situation and Saddam himself. Mojahedin’s contradictory position after the dictator’s execution and indirect expression of sympathy on his death with pro-Saddam factions that appreciate him as a hero helps a good deal to have a just analysis of Mojahedin on condition the fog of doubt has not completely evaporated. If the establishment of democracy in Iraq, as Mojahedin define, reconciles with their stay in Iraq, then, on account of Saddam’s granting them the bliss of settlement in Iraq, Saddam can be identified as the most democratic person. Consequently, not only the Baath Party represented democracy but also, compared with the current government, occupied a much higher platform of democracy. Mojahedin’s proximity to Saddam in behalf of the mentioned factors on the one hand, and their proposed criterion of democracy on the other hand are actually two sides of a coin that Mojahedin, under the vicissitude of fortune, avail themselves of it only with a little change of tone and literature.

Notes

[1]. To be judged by the history.

[2]. Ibid.

[3]. Sediqeh Husseini’s speech made at Camp Ashraf on the anniversary of Iran’s century long Constitutional Revolution.

[4]. MKO’s message to Dayali Province Sheikhs

Bahar Irani – January 10, 2007

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