Ken Maginnis wants Western governments to jump on the bizarre pro-MEK bandwagon to which he belongs:
In adapting policy to meet the increasing threats from Iran and the increasingly obvious vulnerability of the ruling religious establishment, the West should be seeking to develop proper relationships with those identifiable moderate influences who courageously pursue freedom and democracy. Mayram Rajavi, the president of one of those rare moderate groups, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has consistently offered a voice of moderate and informed opinion. Yet the West stubbornly cuddles up to Rouhani while treating NCRI with something akin to disdain.
Maginnis’ post is a good example of the egregious misuse of the word “moderate” in U.S. foreign policy debates about the Near East. He urges the U.S. and other Western governments to cultivate closer ties with the NCRI, which is the political umbrella group that includes the Mujahideen-e Khalq totalitarian cult. He repeatedly dubs Rajavi and the NCRI as “moderate” when they are nothing of the kind. This is a reminder that “moderate” is often the preferred word to describe groups that sane people would abhor but which are deemed useful in an effort to destabilize a foreign government.
The MEK is neither moderate nor democratic, and it seeks only its the aggrandizement of its leaders. The group is understandably distrusted and loathed by most Iranians for its past record of hostilities against Iran, and it doesn’t speak for any of the legitimate opposition to Iran’s regime. Anyone advocating for Western support of this organization and its allies is not helping anyone inside Iran. All that MEK boosterim does is to try to whitewash a monstrous group that has killed both Americans and Iranians. Maginnis is just one of many current and former Western politicians and officials to be recruited into the disgraceful campaign to legitimize this monstrous group. This campaign relies on deceiving Western audiences into thinking that the MEK and its friends are something that they are not, and if Western governments are to avoid pursuing another disastrous policy of regime change they can’t be allowed to succeed.
By Daniel Larison