view

Many leading American officials want the U.S. to support MEK because they are an enemy of Iran. According to a new New Yorker article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the Bush administration gave MEK money, guns, and even training at a Nevada base starting in 2005.

The Atlantic
A New Yorker article reports that U.S. Special Forces funded and trained a group called MEK, extending a long history of short-sighted, enemy-of-my-enemy foreign policy.

American foreign policy can get complicated. In the 1980s, the U.S. supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein because he was the greatest enemy of our enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran. He's dead now because the U.S. invaded his country in 2003, a war heavily premised on claims that he was supporting terrorism, namely al-Qaeda. He wasn't supporting al-Qaeda. But he did support another terrorist group, called Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MEK.

Now many leading American officials want the U.S. to support MEK because they are an enemy of Iran. According to a new New Yorker article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the Bush administration gave MEK money, guns, and even training at a Nevada base starting in 2005.

In other words, if Hersh's story is true, then the U.S. supported the terrorist ally of its enemy, whom we killed in part because we thought he supported some other terrorists that he actually didn't, because those terrorists are the enemy of our other enemy. Got it?

Even if Hersh is wrong, there is a long list of U.S. leaders and officials who would like to make him right. Members of the "MEK lobby," as it's often called, support at least removing the group from the list of officially designated terrorist groups, and often some combination of arming or funding the fighters.

They include: two former CIA directors, a former FBI director, a former attorney general, Bush's first homeland security chief, Obama's first national security adviser, Rudy Giuliani, and Howard Dean. A House resolution calling for MEK to be de-listed as a terrorist group has 97 co-sponsors.

It's not a coincidence that the pro-MEK position can seem confusing, even contradictory. The world is too complicated and interconnected for "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to work as a foreign policy mandate. It leads the U.S. to work against its own long-term interests, "solving" short-term problems by creating bigger, longer-term problems.

For example: supporting Arab dictators to suppress the Arab Islamist parties that may soon take over, supporting Latin American rightist who ended up being murderous dictators, supporting anti-Soviet fighters who later turned against us, and so on. Sometimes, the U.S. even supports enemies-of-our-enemies who are actively and currently also our enemy: Afghan drug ring leader Ahmed Wali Karzai, for example, or, starting in 2003, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi.

The U.S. has a long history of arming rebels, insurgents, and outright terrorists who want to fight our enemies for us. Even when it works -- and it often doesn't -- the U.S.-sponsored fighters often spread small arms, exacerbate anti-American attitudes, and entrench a cycle of violence that can continues for years and sometimes spin out of control.

When Congress shoveled millions of dollars into CIA programs to support anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, much of the guns and money by design went to the extremists. A December 1984 CIA memo identified "fundamentalists" such as Mujahideen leader (and current American enemy) Gulbidden Hekmatyar as "the best fighters" and thus best recipient of American backing.

Even the Afghan extremists who didn't turn against the U.S. did use their arms and money to rampage across Afghanistan, sowing the chaos, violence, mistrust, corruption, crime, and poverty that has plagued the country for now 30 years.

New Articles

Iranian film sheds new light on security services

 The Iranian film "Midday Adventures," directed by Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian, begins in Tehran on June 19, 1981, 26 months after the Islamic Revolution and nine months after the outbreak of...

Iran Parliament firmly approves anti-US bill

Iranian lawmakers on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to approve a bill aimed at countering Washington's adventurous and terrorist activities in the region.

President Meta receives US Senate fact-finding delegation

President of the Republic Ilir Meta on Saturday received and held talks with a visiting US Senate delegation led by Senator Roy Blunt on a fact-finding trip to several Western...

We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq: SNS Respond to a Conference of the Iranian Opposition

Dr. Raz Zimmt investigates Iranian social media responses to the annual conference of Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group whose support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War remains a searing...

The Trump administration wants regime change in Iran. But regime change usually doesn’t work

President Trump is no fan of Iran. As a candidate, he had promised to tear up the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Having been frustrated in his attempts to do that —...

Most viewed

Jihad 2.0: the Making of the Next Nightmare

 “Albania is being turned into the center of MKO. John Bolton was recently in Tirana, with other international supporters of MKO, and they are attacking Iran and calling for regime...

Iran terror attack: Who gains?

No terror group could have executed on operation of this sort without the help of one or more state intelligence agencies.

ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran

Saudi Arabia’s finger prints are on every trouble sport in the Middle East. Not only did Saudi Arabia support NATO attacks on Libya, it also provided "Arab legitimacy" for it...

The Sordid History Of State Sponsored Terrorism Against Iran

For decades, Western empires have waged a silent war against Iran, using tactics ranging from supporting known terrorist groups to deposing the country’s leaders and leveraging regional rivalries. The war...

Iran and the Holy Warrior Trap

Is the West about to make the same mistake with Iran that it made with Afghanistan when it backed the Sunni mujahedin against the Soviet invaders? The Soviets ultimately were...