Self-Annihilation, an Ideological Drift in MKO

MKO cultivates homicidal tendencies with an emphasis on suicidal ones

Showing a disposition towards violence is known to be the supporting one among many fundamental pillars of Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCR, NLA). In fact, violence and death is a working strategy, either killing others or committing self-annihilation. The group’s early booklets explicitly chart the worldview as a basic ideological mentality which is repeatedly referred to in group’s ideological instructions. The members are encouraged to either kill or be killed, and in contrast to the mainstream of similar opposition groups, MKO does not seem the least concerned for the safety of its members that frame the main upholders of its structure.

MKO cultivates homicidal tendencies with an emphasis on suicidal ones in a struggle to counter its adversaries and exclusively invest on the tactics that highly risk the lives of the insiders. Whenever MKO plots to make a stand against some adversary to advance with a heavy hand, the first priority is an aggressive militarism. However, it recoils to typical forms of self-destruction and self-slaughter when some bottleneck blocks its advance. The most common forms recorded are self-immolation and using members as human shields.

Being a product of Rajavi’s own mind-set, the use of unconventional terrorist and violent tactics are what Rajavi concludes his organization has the potentiality to carry out to achieve certain goals. Thus, the member of such organization can easily sacrifice his life when he receives the order. The recruited members are taught from the very beginning to make no distinction between killing others and being killed when they receive an order for an operation. Just in the same way that operators exploit the vulnerability of the victims, they themselves are being made victims.

Before the US invasion against Iraq and when threats were nearing the action, Rajavi was sensitive on two things; defending Ashraf against external threats including closing the camp and expulsion from Iraq and second, adopting an appropriate means to defend Ashraf and resist. He specifically reiterated that Ashraf had to be defended tooth and nail. But the premise developed into more objective form of defense when Saddam collapsed and the suggestion of human shield to protect Ashraf as the beating heart of the organization turned to be a serious option on Rajavi’s table.

In one of his messages to Mozhgan (Parsai), a ranking commanding member in Ashraf, Rajavi recapitulated that the members had to stay, die and bury in Ashraf but never succumb to the threats of being moved. It was a question of resisting or dying if the Iraqis ever decided to transfer members from Ashraf to another location. The human shield was one of the opted options; mass suicides could effectively frustrate any effort that aimed at dismantling the integrity of Ashraf. It included any other threat like forced entry of American or coalition forces to temporarily close or deactivate the camp. The first orders were using non-firing weapons; needless to say that the organization actually made no resistance against the American forces and succeeded to take the control and hegemony of the camp in its own hands. The question of suicide operations and human shield were all directed at safeguarding the entity of the organization and its hierarchical order; it was the red line that could not be crossed and all members had to preserve.

On occasion, MKO has issued statements warning the outbreak of human tragedy in the case of any attack against the camp. The statements conveyed a different meaning for the insiders; they implied that the real human tragedy happens when members began to display their self-annihilation potentialities for defending Ashraf. 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 enraged the group’s leaders and soon MKO propaganda machine initiated an intensive 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. The clash, however, was not the last but the beginning.

At least through the past three years and since the implementation of decision by the Iraqi government to relocate members from Camp Ashraf, MKO has proved to be determined to preserve the insiders as human shields to construct a secure bulwark against a national and global decisiveness. And through a few clashes, leaving many casualties from the both sides, with the Iraqi forces who had the responsibility of controlling Camp Ashraf, MKO proved it really means what it says. The recent clash that broke out on September 1, is known to be the most tragic one and a real demonstration of a terrorist cult’s potentiality of causing a human tragedy. 52 out of the 100 remaining members of MKO have been killed in Camp Ashraf.

The bloodshed is condemned but the responsibility is mainly on MKO’s leaders. The provoked clashes never stop unless practical measures are adopted to rescue members from the instilled cult mentality of self-sacrifice and dying for the cause of organization. Nearing the end of its life in Iraq, what MKO needs at the present to fuel its propaganda machine for a full move is sacrifice and multitude of martyrs. Where else can MKO leaders find a better slaughter house than Camp Ashraf or Liberty to make as high as about 3000 martyrs? To condemn this and that and to put all responsibility on the Iraqi authorities, grappling with the intensified wave of internal terrorism, provide no solution. The only way to stop similar human tragedies is a global decisiveness to help MKO members to survive and recover from the cult’s mentality.

 By Sattar Orangi, September 11, 2013

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