The sudden, irrevocable loss of MKO leader Massoud Rajavi’s only serious benefactor, Saddam Hussein, has been the biggest blow in its history to the strategic and ideological existence of the MKO in Iraq and the other branches of the cult in the Middle East and the west
The sudden, irrevocable loss of MKO leader Massoud Rajavi’s only serious benefactor, Saddam Hussein, has been the biggest blow in its history to the strategic and ideological existence of the MKO in Iraq and the other branches of the cult in the Middle East and the west. It had been many years that the MKO had lost hope of any support from Iranians either inside or outside Iran. Now in losing Saddam the MKO has been confronted head on with the inevitable loss of support from the anti-Iranian forces both in the region and the west. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the devastating effect of Saddam’s downfall on the MKO was considered acceptable collateral damage for those who pursued the war. After all, Rajavi had received warnings over and over again both during and after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and was given the chance to distance himself from the fate of Saddam. Rajavi not only defied these warnings, but engaged his military forces in crushing the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings to save Saddam. To make the MKO’s current situation worse, Rajavi’s wife, who is second in command of the military cult, was arrested in Paris only a few days after running away from Iraq, when French police raided the MKO’s western headquarters there. She is awaiting trial on charges related to terrorism and to add to the already bloody background of the cult, she, in an effort to put pressure on the French judicial system, ordered the series of self-immolations which took the lives of two younger members and left others badly injured and disabled. Rajavi did not expect these events. In his choices, he had never entertained the possibility of losing Saddam altogether and that perhaps came from the illusion that since he had once been supported in transferring his forces to Iraq to help Saddam in his war against the Iranians, the backers would never leave him or his benefactor to cook in their own oil. Well, this has not been the first such abandonment in history; nor will it be the last. Facing this new disastrous situation, compounded by the plethora of damning documents and video tapes surfacing from the former Iraqi intelligence which reveal the depth of the conspiracies and ties between Saddam’s secret services and Rajavi, the MKO closed all its English propaganda outlets and created new Farsi websites in an attempt at damage control and crisis management. The sole purpose of these new outlets is to bank as many credulous members of the cult as possible. And although it has to be said this has met with very little success, the outlets are in overdrive pretending that: 1-The MKO has not been arrested and disarmed by the Americans, its bases were not bombed by the coalition forces and that the members are not facing expulsion from Iraq by the Iraqis. 2-It still has some backers and has not been abandoned by the anti-Iranian forces in the west. 3-Its entry in the lists of terrorist entities practically all over the world, the arrest of Maryam Rajavi, the fall of the MKO empire in Baghdad, the scandalous testimony of ex MKO prisoners held in Abu Ghraib prison, and etc are all the work of the intelligence ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The propaganda machine has been in overdrive for the last year, during which time the MKO has claimed that four hundred thousand Iraqis have demonstrated their willingness to keep them in Iraq, that thousands of Iraqi officials support them, and that the presence of the MKO (a small armed pro-Saddam group of Iranian origin) in Iraq is a potent means of fighting Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq. These claims have been dismissed in the media and political circles as naïve and desperate hype disseminated as the rope tightens around Rajavi's neck. The MKO’s absurd insistence on its own lies continued with claims that 305 imaginary British parliamentarians had signed up to support them and that over 700 members of the EU had ignored their own policy on terrorism to sign the MKO’s petition, and that hundreds of Australian politicians support them. More recently the MKO have claimed that a majority of the members of the Belgian parliament have demanded the MKO be removed from the EU list of terrorist entities. It did not take long for the media and others to see through the MKO’s ploy and discover its falsification of signatures. After all, this was not the first time. Baroness Nicholson, MEP, Vice Chair of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee had on one occasion passed the MKO’s case to the UK police’s fraud department after an MKO representative had handed her a list of obviously forged signatures in order to persuade her to add her name to the petition. From that time the MKO has not even bothered to falsify documents and signatures, it simply issues its claims. For the past year at least, their claims have never been supported by any list of signatures whatsoever. Having been placed on the list of terrorist organisation in the US, UK, European Union and other countries across the globe, it is hardly surprising that any normal independent politician would hesitate to be seen as associated with them in any way. But having said that, it cannot be said that the MKO is not active in the west. The cult managed to transfer a few hundred of its forces from Iraq to the west before the start of the war in 2003. Some of these of course we have seen setting fire to themselves in the capitals of Europe last year. And it is not true to say that they cannot find anybody to put themselves out to try to protect them from the law of the land whether in Iraq or Paris or the US. But who are these people? There are a handful of people around the world who on various occasions and over a long period of time have supported the MKO under its different guises.They have either been paid or were otherwise not concerned about their own position or reputations any more. Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, an unelected member of the House of Lords in Britain is one of these people. In Sweden we see Herman Schmid, member of the European parliament who was seriously criticised and dismissed by his own party for supporting the MKO. In the US, Richard Perle attended a meeting organized by the MKO under a pseudonym. He accepted payment for his speech, but denied any knowledge of the MKO’s involvement in organizing the event however shortly afterwards he resigned his post as Pentagon advisor. Putting aside these propaganda channels whose activities usually appear only in the Farsi language papers and Farsi websites affiliated to the MKO, there are still others who believe that the MKO could be a useful bargaining chip for confronting the ruling regime in Iran. Israel and the Israeli support groups in the US, if not the only ‘believers’, then certainly are at the top of the list. The theory that the ‘ends justify the means’ allows them to close their eyes to the bloody terrorist nature of the MKO. These of course are the same forces who did not see anything wrong with using the Falangists in the massacre of Lebanese children, and did not see any thing wrong in providing weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein to use against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish villages, and do not see anything wrong in bombing civilians to bring about a dictated regime change in the Middle East and elsewhere. For these forces the MKO can never be more than a tool. They announce publicly that they do not see the MKO as an alternative and nor do they trust Rajavi to be on their side. Apparently the utmost use that can be made of the MKO is as a mouthpiece for relaying second hand information using Israeli satellite pictures, or employing them in a place like Fox News network to transmit their own version of events out of the mouth of someone Iranian. The question is, does this kind of action against Iran weaken the Islamic Republic of Iran or does it makes it stronger and more legitimate (at least inside Iran)? As someone who has many good friends in Israel, the US, Iraq and Iran, and as someone who strongly believes that a free market economy and independent, freely elected, secular government would best serve the interests of the people of any country, including Iran, I have failed to understand this policy. And by that I mean the benefits which they think can be derived from it. Although this is not a widespread idea and is certainly not a policy that any US administration would approve, it would be informative to briefly assess the price of such line of action. To follow this policy, the first step is that you have to find a way for MKO leader Massoud Rajavi not to be brought to justice. It is no secret that Rajavi has been and remains in the custody of US forces in Iraq, and even the MKO’s own representatives accept this in their interviews. It is also no secret that the MKO, like any other cult, would not have any short term future and use if Rajavi is taken out of the equation. Up to this day, the fate of 3800 MKO members has been placed in jeopardy only to protect Massoud Rajavi and his handful associates from justice (refer to my article ‘Rajavi's hostages’ in Survivors Report June 2004). Is it going to be the case that the US will give in to the demands of Rajavi and his few known backers? And to what end? By doing this the US will have failed to acknowledge the atrocities committed by Saddam's private army against the Iraqi Kurds, Iraqi Shiites. It will have failed to acknowledge the suffering of Iranians who have been affected by the MKO’s terrorist acts in Iran, many Iranian opposition groups and personalities who have been affected by the actions of the cult in Europe and America, and the hundreds of disaffected members who have been imprisoned tortured and executed by the agents of Massoud Rajavi in Ashraf camp and/or Abu Ghraib prison. Above all by doing so have you not in fact supported and harbored terrorists who are on your own list of terrorist entities? And if so, could you really blame those people who would consequently see your war on terror as something irrelevant to their lives and problems and see it as just another tool to crush opponents rather than making the world a safer place for all of us? War on terrorism can never be effective as long as we hesitate to deal with it effectively in its every manifestation, and as long as we place other political and economical priorities above it. In this particular case in Iraq and with Saddam facing trial in near future, I must insist that it would be foolish to ignore Saddam's links to terrorism and pay the full price just for having another mouthpiece in Fox News. No wonder that among all the warnings to the Bush administration Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National security adviser, in his interview a few days ago referred to any backing of the MKO as a shameful act.

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