Camp Liberty residents must be taken to safety now
Al-Monitor’s Congressional Correspondent Julian Pecquet writes that the “leader” of the controversial Mojahedin Khalq is going to testify before Congress next week. The subject of the House Foreign Affairs terrorism panel is “ISIS: Defining the Enemy”.
A careful reading of this informative article reveals just how wrong it is for anyone in the American political establishment to be associated with the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) – masquerading here as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – in any way and for any reason.
Firstly, for the record, the MEK is still led by fugitive leader Massoud Rajavi who is the cultic mastermind behind the group. Maryam Rajavi, his wife, is not particularly clever or politically minded and has acted essentially as her husband’s public mouthpiece in the west since she arrived back in France in 1993. She will now testify to Congress by videoconference rather than in person. After trying for two decades to obtain a visa to visit the USA and/or the UK, wise people in those countries still refuse her entry, for good reason.
The fundamental contradiction the article exposes is the assumption of the House Foreign Affairs terrorism panel that “Maryam Rajavi will discuss the threat the Islamic State poses to members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) at Camp Liberty.” She won’t. She can’t. Because the MEK are friends of the Islamic State (IS), they support the Islamic State. Maryam Rajavi has spoken in Farsi in favour of the Islamic State. The Islamic State do not pose any danger to the MEK in Camp Liberty. In fact, before the Iraqi army and militias drove IS back from its encroachment, it was clear to all those who know the MEK that the leaders were hoping that when IS reached Baghdad, the MEK would be liberated from Camp Liberty and join the terrorist forces.
Instead of condemning the Islamic State, Maryam Rajavi will speak about how the Iranian government wants to kill the people in Camp Liberty and is plotting every day to find ways to massacre them all. This is an old script. It has been the MEK script for thirty years. Does Ted Poe think the MEK has suddenly flipped sides and will line up with Iran against the Islamic State?
Whatever threats are faced by the residents of Camp Liberty, one thing is certain. The reason they cannot leave is because the MEK leaders refuse to allow them to leave. Members of Congress should robustly question Maryam Rajavi about that. They need to ask why the UN is unable to progress its work with these vulnerable people. Why, if they are in such direct danger, she doesn’t allow the Iraqi authorities to remove them to separate accommodation. The Iraqis have offered to place the MEK in various secure hotels and apartments in order to make life safer and more comfortable for them. The MEK have refused. Congress needs to ask Maryam Rajavi why the residents of Camp Liberty are not able to make contact with their relatives. Hundreds of families have travelled to Iraq since 2003 attempting to make contact with their loved ones. The MEK have accused them all of being ‘agents of the Iranian regime sent to kill them’. Is this plausible? Most of the family members are old people; the parents and siblings and in some cases the children of people trapped in Camp Liberty. Are they really desirous of massacring their loved ones?
If this is not enough to convince members of Congress that this is a group which lies and deceives, and only follows its own agenda, then there is plenty more evidence to help convince them. It is easy to debunk the myths.
Certainly the MEK has never made a public statement in English or in Farsi that it has renounced violence. If anyone knows of such a public statement, they should urgently produce it. Indeed, Maryam Rajavi’s speeches all revolve around the need for ‘regime change’. Nobody in the American political establishment is naïve enough to believe that this would not involve a violent intervention. Nor can they interpret Rajavi’s speech as other than an advertisement for her own group to undertake that violent intervention.
Sadly, for Rajavi and her supporters, happily for the rest of us, the MEK is incapable of undertaking any such task. Massoud Rajavi is, however, and this is where the danger lies, not only capable of training and advising groups like Al Qaida and IS on manipulating their own forces in terrorism, but is expert in how to spin this through deceptive media and internet campaigns to manipulate and eventually win grudging western support. He is an expert cult manipulator.
The Rajavis’ agenda may coincide today with efforts by some in America and Israel to derail the nuclear negotiations, but investigative journalist Gareth Porter has already revealed that most of what the MEK said against Iran was simply fabricated. Knowing that the Rajavis will obey no other needs except their own for their own survival, this must surely signal that any reliance on Rajavi’s evidence is profoundly misguided.
Let’s hope that Congress does its job and asks searching questions rather than acting as cheerleaders for a deeply unpopular and totally unrepresentative terrorist cult.
Anne Khodabandeh and Massoud Khodabandeh,