The US Government has granted status as “protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention” to 3,800 persons who belong to a group, the Mujahideen-e Khalq or MEK, designated “terrorist” by Washington, according to the Czar of American Gulags-Iraq Branch, Major-General Geoffrey Miller (formerly of the Guantanamo Bay Branch.)
For a quick run-down on MEK, I’ll quote AntiWar’s own Justin Raimondo, writing somewhat prophetically last January:
MEK is a formerly Marxist group with odd, cultic overtones. Led by Maryam Rajavi, the self-proclaimed “President Elect” of Iran, and her husband, Massoud, head of the group’s military wing, they originally supported Khomeini when he overthrew the Shah, and carried out terroristic attacks on Americans, only to turn against the regime.
MEK took up residence in Iraq, where they were given sanctuary and armed by Saddam Hussein. They fought against their own country – on the Iraqi side – during the long Iran-Iraq war. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq, MEK carried out military operations in defense of the Ba’athist regime, and its main base came under attack by U.S. forces. MEK agreed to capitulate, but there was some question about to what extent they disarmed. Even today their main force remains intact.
Their fate has become a political football, pitting the U.S. State Department against the neoconservatives in Washington who now have Iran fixed in their sights. The neocons are pushing the idea that we can use the MEK to overthrow the Iranian regime: this is the same group that tried to ingratiate itself with the Bush administration by sharing “intelligence” that supposedly pointed to Iran’s intention of developing a nuclear weapons program.
U.S. law enforcement conducted a series of raids that rounded up prominent MEK cadre, closed down their offices, and froze their assets, but, operating under the protection of Washington’s War Party, these terrorists are freely going about their business, and even gaining open support from prominent U.S. government officials, like Perle. What’s interesting is that their support cuts across ideological and party lines.
Does it matter that MEK is a Marxist cult with a violent history, and longstanding links to the regime of Saddam Hussein – and that the group helped put down the 1991 Shi’ite rebellion, in which many thousands were killed or forced to flee? Does it matter to Pipes and Clawson that support for the MEK nutballs only discredits the U.S.?
Of course not. All that matters is the neoconservative goal of overthrowing the regime in Tehran.
Yes. Add this bit to the plethora of “Iran is next” speculation we’ve seen recently as well as the ridiculous “Iran helped Al Qaeda do 9/11” story currently making the rounds of neocon mouthpieces and listen carefully for the sound of neocon wardrums – they’re getting louder as they grow more and more desperate to get on with their next mideast invasion.