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Will the MKO Go to the Good-Terrorists Side?

Only a few weeks are left to the deadline a US Court assigned for the State Department to make decision on the terrorist designation of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization. Whether the State Will the MKO Go to the Good-Terrorists Side?Department will delist the group or not depends on the US government’s approach about terrorism. The US reaction towards terrorism has been propagandistic.

“The common American tendency to view the outside world in starkly divided Manichean terms between friends, allies and good guys on one side and adversaries and evil-doers on the other side arises in many circumstances but seems especially marked in discussions of terrorism, writes Paul Pillar of the National Interest.[1]

A few weeks ago the US black listed the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. Designation by the State department as a foreign terrorist organization would bring sanctions including criminal penalties for anyone providing support to the group and seizure of any assets in the US, reported Guardian. [2] Haqqani group is linked to al-Qaida .

Paul Pillar believes that listing or delisting of a particular group gets promised by those with an agenda that has nothing to do with enforcement of a criminal statute. “This has been seen most obviously with the well-financed campaign to delist the Iranian cult-cum-terrorist group the Mujahedin –e-Khalq,” he writes. He suggests that pushing for a particular group’s listing in this case the Haqqani group, is a way of making a statement. [3] Perhaps not because of the attacks it launched in Afghanistan but for the recent attacks on the US embassy in Kabul and on other US troops in the region. The listing might complicate the US-Pakistan relations.

On the other side of the issue of terrorism, we got the news of the removal of Nepal’s Maoist Party from the DOS’s blacklist. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maosit) was founded in 1994 and from 1996 through 2006 it waged a bloody insurgency against the government, during which about 16000 people dies, according to Moscow Time.[4]the group laid down their arms in 2006 and engaged in legal politics but the US government delisted it six years later. The Boris Volkhonsky writer of the Moscow Time article asserts that the first listing of the Maoists by the US was due to the murder of two US embassy security guards not for the 16000 people murdered by the group. He also notifies that as a China –leaning party, the Maoists will help the US to start its own game on the prospective battlefield of regional politics in which China’s influence is growing. [5]

About the MKO probable removal of the FTO list, Moscow Time reads: ”It was reported recently that the US is mulling over the possibility of lifting Iranian Mujahedin Khalq (People’s Mujahedin) not because they ceased to be terrorist, but for the simple reason that its main foe is the ruling regime in Iran, which suits Washington perfectly.”[6]

The writer also refers to Baloch separatists in Pakistan and Syrian opposition as real terrorist attackers who are supported by the US as levers to exert pressure on government of the region. [7]

Besides numerous acts of violence the MKO committed against the Iranian civilians, it killed 6 Americans in Iran in the 1970’s. After the Islamic Revolution, the group supported the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran and opposed the release of the hostages. They even called for a protest to ask for the execution of American diplomats as imperialist hands in Iran.

Years passed and the MKO turned out to be an ally for the US. Seymour Hersh’s investigative report on the New Yorker revealed that the Bush administration has offered the MKO elements with military and intelligence training in the US territory, Nevada desert. [8]

“Like so much of US foreign policy, the idea that the US would legitimize a crazed cult like the MEK sounds like the plot of a bad thriller,” writes Justin Raimondo, editor of the antiwar website. [9]

The difference between what we call “terrorism” and what the US government does is that terrorism for the US is the term you use when people not on your side do it. Seymour Hersh reports on long-standing ties between Mujahedin Khalq and the US Special Operation force. The MKO is now on the America’s side.

By Mazda Parsi

[1]Pillar, Paul, Dividing the World into Terrorists and the Rest, The National Interest, September4, 2012
[2] Guardian, US set to blacklist Haqqani as terrorist organization, claims report, Septemeber7, 2012
[3] Pillar, Paul, Dividing the World into Terrorists and the Rest, The National Interest, September4, 2012
[4]Volhonsky, Boris, the US-Nepal: good terrorists and bad terrorists, Moscow Times, Septemeber7, 2012
[6] ibid
[7] ibid
[8]Hersh, Seympour, Our men in Iran? The New Yorker, April6, 2012
[9]Raimondo, Justin, Hillary’s Terrorists, antiwar.com, May16, 2012

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