Friday, June 16, 2006

Employing terrorists in the march to freedom

After the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) was expelled from the country. Their philosophy was a toxic brew of Marxism and Islamist fundamentalism. So toxic, in fact, that the group was thought extremist by the then new Iranian fundamentalist government (you know you're extreme when the extremists think you're extreme). The MEK immediately garnered support from Saddam Hussein; its mission then, as now: overthrow the cleric regime in Tehran. This was perfectly in tune with Hussein's and US interests during the '80's, despite the fact that the MEK had killed US personnel in Iran prior to the '79 revolution and helped support the revolution itself. Though Hussein fell out of favour with the US after the Iran-Iraq war -- preferring regional ambitions of his own -- the MEK has always been kept under wing by Washington and now enjoys the hospitality of US forces in Camp Ashraf, just outside of Baghdad.

The Bush administration has now fully embraced the employment of the MEK, both as a disruptor of the Iranian regime and as the White House's "unidentified source" of intelligence regarding the putative nuclear weapons program the Iranians have always denied and of which the IAEA has found no evidence. Devlin Buckley's recent article is an excellent overview of the Defense Department's current and continuing use of the MEK in it's efforts to rattle the regime in Tehran, while also deploring the tactics of terrorists far and wide:
Despite the Bush Administration’s adamant and continual denunciation of terrorism, the Department of Defense—under Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld’s orders—is using a terrorist organization to orchestrate attacks and collect intelligence inside Iran, according to numerous former and current military, intelligence, administration, and United Nations officials.

Government sources—according to reports by Raw Story, UPI, and others—say the militant group is being “run” by the Pentagon in Iran’s oil-rich province of Khuzestan—which has been the subject of numerous attacks and terrorist bombings over the past year—and in the opium-smuggling border province of Sistan-Baluchistan, where suspected US operatives attacked and killed several Iranian officials just this March.
This is no small band of hoodlums. When US forces first invaded Iraq, they actually attacked MEK bases and confiscated 300 tanks, 250 armoured personnel carriers and various large and small weaponry. Despite being "expelled" from Iraq by the Iraqi Governing Council in 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld had other uses and granted the MEK "protected status" in 2004.

The mainstream media, though, has generally been asleep regarding the relationship of the MEK and the Pentagon, for while blaring every claim of "nuclear facilities" by an "unnamed source," the media have never bothered to discover that the "source" invariably has been the MEK, which, at times, has actually funnelled disinformation straight from the Pentagon and into the open arms of the New York Times. (The Time's article is an excellent example, by the way, of the classic MSM story cast; tossing in a single oppositional view to make things seem "balanced" when the entire article is nothing of the sort, and, in fact, goes out of its way to reiterate that the claims must be right. And who is saying the MEK claims are right? why officials from the very government that gave them the "information.")

Buckely's article is highly recommended and today's must read. As though we needed much more evidence of it, this is simply more confirmation that the Bush administration is a band of shady, duplicitous, hypocritical war merchants, willing to employ any and all means to achieve their nasty ends. It is not entirely clear that the Bush administration will get the war they wanted with Iran, given that a large part of the world appears to have decided the rogues in the White House cannot be let loose again, but that doesn't mean that the Bush administration won't keep trying, even if that means utilizing what the US State Department has labelled a terrorist organisation, well, so be it. Because freedom is on the march!


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