The transfer of the control of Camp Ashraf to Iraqi forces since 2008 and the Iraqi government’s determination to make a decisive decision about the residents of Ashraf has enraged Rajavi and his propaganda machine into a broad campaign against the Iraqi government. MKO’s first reaction was arranging a series of suicidal operations. On July 29, 2009 there was a report of deadly clashes between hundreds of Iraqi police forces and the members of MKO residing in Camp Ashraf that left 11 members dead and scores injured from the both side. While the reasons for the clash was said to be unclear at first, few knew that it was a pre-organized self-destruction plan by a number of Rajavi’s devotees to provoke Iraqi forces to trigger the clash that was well videotaped and broadcasted by the organization itself.
While the Iraqi forces and their commanders were still under the shock of the suicidal and violent behavior of the camp residents, MKO felt easy to feed its propaganda machine for months. Of course, after the events the Iraqi authorities, not acquainted with the group’s self-destructive tactics, were more cautious to adopt appropriate methods when dealing with MKO. The prudential measures were aimed first to secure the rightful demands and rights of Iraqi people and second, to restrict and prevent MKO’s misinformation apparatus and propaganda blitz as its adopted post-disarmament tactic. Despite all these efforts, Rajavi was, and is, focusing on an interlocking violent-political campaign to achieve two objectives; first, to draw attention of the international community through fraudulent claims and misinformation, most of which are distributed and circulated by the group’s paid or naïve political advocates. By rising tension at the camp against the Iraqi plans that are aimed at rightful measures to have more control over the camp, Rajavi also intends to show a martyred image of the residents to question the legitimacy and capability of the Iraqi government in holding the control of Camp Ashraf in an attempt to return the protection of the camp to the US forces.
Now, it has turned to be Rajavi’s short-term strategic goal and agenda. In this hostile and antagonistic behavior against the Iraqi government MKO is also invoking the support of many Western advocates who are engaged in an endless battle of condemning the Iraqi Government and calling for the establishment of US forces in Ashraf voicing that these forces have an obligation to provide the residents’ permanent protection. But they are not the sole means to accomplish Rajavi’s ends. The best means at hand are the members of the organization themselves who are victimized as human-shields to bulwark Rajavi’s cult bastion. However, as the international community is misinformed of what is really happening at the camp and its vicinity, Rajavi at the present grabs at two opportunities to accomplish the above stated objectives.
One is feeding his propaganda machine by making groundless claims following the continued and prolonged picketing of the families of the members outside the camp, families that are deprived of their rights and prevented to meet their enslaved children and relatives unconditionally and without his security monitoring. He blames the families of being a pack of Iranian and Iraqi agents tasked with torturing and disturbing the camp residents psychologically by installing multiple speakers around the camp. Of course, the truth is that the installed speakers are the only means the families have found working to have their voices heard by the insiders to counter Rajavi’s security measures and the falsely made claims.
The patients in the Camp Ashraf suffering from a variety of chronic and acute illness are also callously manipulated as the tools of propaganda. To baffle rightful judgment by perversion and to misuse humanitarian emotions of the world and evoking sympathy of outsiders toward Ashraf residents, Rajavi claims that the patients are prevented by the Iraqi forces to be transferred to Baghdad hospitals for receiving due treatment. Of course, Ashraf residents have no problem in transferring their patients to Iraqi hospitals and the Iraqi authorities have never ceased the entrance of medicine and other necessary medical facilities to the camp. What is opposed to is the exit of attendant agents that the Ashraf leaders insist to be accompanying the patients. On the one hand they voice concerns about the worsened condition of the patients suffering from cancer, cardiopulmonary, respiratory, and other deadly diseases, on the other hand they object to sending out patients unaccompanied and unsupervised.
To justify the escort of patients, it is stated that the patients need interpreters in hospitals to help them explain their illnesses and suffering. At the first look it sounds reasonable, but for those familiar with MKO’s system of control and security it means a strict, cultic method of control that contradicts disconnection of the members from the main body even for a short period of time. And you may become even more suspicious when you come to consider that the insiders, and the patients among them, are unable to express a few Arabic and English words after at least a two-decade long stay in Iraq. And a question for sure may form in the minds that who are these claimed interpreters so liable that nobody else in whole Iraq can undertake their job. What are the cult leaders really anxious about is not the precarious condition of the patients but losing their powerful cult grip over the life and minds of the enslaved individuals in case they leave the camp alone.
What the outsiders are not generally aware of is the methods and ploys Rajavi has developed to control the members’ lives. The watching and controlling measures that monitor the members even in their privacy never permit any risk of leaving a member alone with an outsider, be it a health caretaker or a member of his/her own family. That is why Rajavi objects to letting the member out of the camp or meeting their families alone and unsupervised. He knows well that the thought-reform atmosphere within the camp that is reinforced by a collective modeling behavior of the members prevents insiders from challenging his system, but any short contact with the world outside will open their eyes to the reality in a flash.
The death of a few patients, who have to otherwise risk their life as human shields even if healthy, benefits Rajavi’s system both in winning a propaganda warfare against the Iraqi government and safeguarding the internal integrity of its cult structure. Indeed, all humanitarian claims of Rajavi and bizarre games he plays are rooted in his personal concerns and his fear of organizational collapse that has so far survived even years after the collapse of his patron dictator in Iraq.