I was reading this article published in the Washington TImes by a British Conservative MP, support the MKO/PMOI/MEK, and then I thought to myself he has been fed a ton of bullshit about this organization. You never know, maybe he has an MKO/PMOI/MEK mistress! The whole article was filled with Myths. And for his benefit and other readers of this blog, I have made a list of 10 Myths about the MKO/PMOI/MEK that need to be dispelled.
Myth #1: They are the largest opposition movement to the IRI.
Last time I checked they the MKO/PMOI/MEK had 3000 people holed up in a camp in Iraq, with some other cult members scattered throughout the world. That contrasts with essentially 70 Million Iranians who are against the theocracy in government in Iran, and something like 5 Million Iranians in the Diaspora outside Iran – who left Iran because they hated the IRI. They ARE NOT the largest opposition movement to the government. Absolutely not! Groups as disparate as Iranian Minorities like the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Bahais all the way to organizations like the Royalists, National Front (Jebhe Melli), to even Islamic groups and factions like the Sufi’s, Reformists etc. that have fallen out with current regime have way more – much more -than 3000 members each!
Myth #2: The MKO/PMOI/MEK are a democratic movement.
The MKO/PMOi/MEK have never held internal elections, nor participated in any sort of democracy anywhere. The Rajavis (Maryam and Masood Rajavi) are heads and have been heads of this organization for over 30 years. They have brutally suppressed any opposition to their leadership, and essentially act like dictators – personally managing the group’s finances, and policies. There is no democratic “tradition” in this organization.
Myth #3: The MKO/PMOI/MEK enjoy domestic Iranian (popular) support.
All Iranians – everywhere – that I have ever met talked to …or even if you watch Iranian popular media outside Iran (except for the MKO/PMOI/MEK TV stations) …think of them as traitors. They allied themselves with Saddam Hussein and helped him attack Iran. Saddam Hussein did not attack the Islamic Regime, he attacked Iran. His goal was to annex all of Iran’s oil reserves – not to topple the regime. In the process there were almost 1 Million casualties (something like half a million deaths). Many major Iranian cities were destroyed. The Islamic Regime actually consolidated its power base because of the War and is more potent today because of the war. Iranians see the MKO/PMOI/MEK as having sided with the devil. Pure, and utter traitors – is what they are. They will never win a popular vote in Iran.
Myth #4: The MKO/PMOI/MEK are pacifists – non-violent victimsFrom the very beginning of their existence as an organization, they have supported and propagated violence. It is well established that they have organized the murder of many (including Americans stationed in Iran) during the Shah’s reign. They were instrumental in fermenting violent street opposition to the Shah’s regime during the revolution, and after the revolution established paramilitary teams throughout Iran. When they were banished from power sharing in the theocratic regime, they fled to Iraq and participated in battles against the regime in Iran. They also supported Saddam Hussein domestically by participating in the massacre of Kurds inside Iraq. They have always been violent. Armed and militarized. They have never renounced violence as a means to their political ends. They are not victims, the Iranian public are the victims of the regimes they supported (the Islamic Regime in Iran that they helped bring to power, and later Saddam Hussein), and then the war they fought against Iranians and Iran. They are terrorists – pure and simple, by every definition of that word.
Myth #5: The MKO/PMOI/MEK identified Iran’s Secret Nuclear Program.
This is total and utter bullshit. If the MKO/PMOI/MEK first publicly divulged the program’s intention that does not mean that intelligence agencies were not already aware of the details of Iran’s nuclear programs. Many aspects of Iran’s programs have actually NOT been divulged publicly and the MKO/PMOI/MEK are not and have never been even closely aware of these non-public details. Specific details of war head components and sub-assemblies from former Soviet Republics; specific nuclear tests conducted in 2003 …none of those details have ever been divulged by the MKO/PMOI/MEK. They did not even know about it. Quite simply stated, the MKO/PMOI/MEK did not do any favors for the West or for that matter Iranians. If they shuttled some people across the border or delivered some sensitive messages into Iran on behalf of the West – that surely – is not a ticket to stardom. Maybe, at best, it’s a plea for mercy (i.e. a home in Iraq, and protection from the people of Iraq, who would otherwise kill them. Remember they massacred Kurds, and fought for Saddam Hussein …Many people in Iraq hate them too).
Myth #6: The MKO/PMOI/MEK support a “Western” agenda and share goals with the “West”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. One can start by simply looking at the hammer and sickle in their group’s banners and logos. To reading the writings of their founding leadership purporting a blend of Marxism with Islam. To carefully listening to the speeches Maryam and Masood Rajavi give their comrades in arms. This is nothing short of a Marxist rebel movement (or cult, as I like to think of them). There is nothing about their beliefs and values that they truly share with the West. They are not about freedom and democracy. There is nothing in their ideology that supports freedom of speech, freedom of enterprise, freedom of choice … To put it another way, handing Iran over to them, would be like handing Cambodia over to Pol Pot or like handing Zimbabwe over to Mugabe. Do not be fooled. This would be not only a mistake, but lead to widespread horror – that in the end would be highly embarrassing… bordering on tragic.
Myth #7: The MKO/PMOI/ MEK is the enemy of my enemy …therefore a friend!
Yes, the MKO/PMOI/MEK fell out with the Islamic Regime in the aftermath of the revolution. Yes, they became mortal enemies. But in fact the IRI uses them now as a useful enemy. There are such things in politics. There are good and bad enemies. A good enemy is someone that you can point to, to make yourself look better. The IRI can say, boy if you topple us, the MKO/PMOI/MEK will come to power …look they are Marxists, look they are terrorists, look they are autocratic…so therefore we are better. When the IRI says “oh they are the largest opposition force we have” they are painting all their opponents as Marxists, terrorists and autocrats. I say, the MKO/PMOI/MEK actually reinforce the IRI. It’s politically valuable for the IRI to point to them as their most significant enemy. If you sleep with dogs you get up with flees. The MKO/PMOI/MEK are dogs. Do not sleep with them. Every true opponent of the regime needs to run away from them as far as possible …Iranians, the West …all who oppose the IRI. These are bad friends… Dogs, Beware. Find other ways to get your missions accomplished, don’t count on them.
Myth #8: The MKO/PMOI/MEK led the recent protest movements in Iran in 2009.
This is “holy crap”. The opposition to the regime in Iran is widespread and deeply rooted. Had the MKO/PMOI/MEK actually been clandestinely involved, then they would surely have done one very critical thing …handed out arms and ammunition to the protestors. The street protests were ineffective precisely because the people were impotent and unarmed, and in the end largely ineffective at dealing with the regime’s thugs on motorcycles. The protests in 2009 were nothing like the ones in 1979 – where people were throwing Molotov cocktails, and had machine guns- and also where the MKO/PMOI/MEK had a large street presence. The MKO/PMOI/MEK cannot take credit for anything in 2009. If they were involved, the protests were largely ineffective. If they were not involved, then shame on them for not opposing the regime. They have nothing to be proud of. Iranians do not take their cues from these morons.
Myth #9: The MKO/PMOI/MEK members in Camp Ashraf were civilians.
Ask anyone with some Military Legal knowledge, and there is no way that MKO/PMOI/MEK members in Camp Ashraf can be considered civilians. They were all dressed in combat garb. Look at the photos, please. They have all participated in armed combat – against Iranians and Iraqis. They were trained to drive tanks, shoot guns, etc. There is nothing about the place that looks remotely like an ordinary village in Iran or Iraq. Their status is akin to the people inside Guantanamo – armed foreign combatants. Just like the American Taliban or British Taliban or Canadian Taliban captured in Afghanistan; these guys are Iranian Allies of Saddam Hussein. They need to be individually imprisoned, tried and detained. There is nothing nice about them.
Myth #10: The MKO/PMOI/MEK are monkeys in disguise.
Well I know they keep changing their name to dispel their reputation. And their old names had at three letters shared with Monkeys; and yes the MKO/MEK men in particular are very hairy with a lot of facial hair …like monkeys. But, no they are not Monkeys, they are human beings. In the end, the status of this cult has to be finally figured out, and resolved to a point where they cannot become political footballs inside Iraq and pawns for Iraqi Shiites to demonstrate their allegiance to their IRI paymasters. I personally don’t like it when Iranians are killed anywhere, and in particular the news of the 35 deaths at Camp Ashraf saddened me. I do think folks at this camp are misguided, brain washed, and insulated from the real world. I blame their irresponsible, selfish leadership for their ills, but they are people none-the-less. The MKO/PMOI/MEK leadership are scums. Massood Rajavi befriended his best friend’s wife (Maryam) while he was in jail. Both Massood and Maryam Rajavi led literally thousands of these young, naïve members to death when they challenged the regime in Tehran (the IRI) in the ‘80’s. Many young members have been tortured, killed, imprisoned…to support their thirst for power. In fact, it is Massood and Maryam Rajavi that treat their members like monkeys – unthinking robots – in their quest for power. Government in the West, on the other hand, should show compassion and confront this issue. If they are terrorists bring them all to Guantanamo; if they are not give them a pass to any country in the world they choose. But get them out of this camp’s hell hole and free them from Iraq’s Shiites. Otherwise they will ultimately die. The IRI is now a huge force inside Iraq. They will finally become the victims they claim they once were.