Short on facts long on
Correcting accusations against Mojahedin Khalgh, hands down
the largest opposition group
May 31, 2005
In response to "The
other religious nuts" by Rosa
A thoughtful analysis of the MKO's role in the opposition
and criticism of their
But dismissing the largest and most
active Iranian opposition group as "religious
nuts" doesn't bring anyone
closer to an understanding of the group.
Most of the information Ms. Faiz has provided is not sourced.
She has only listed one source, Abrahamian's work, The Iranian
Mojahedin. It's interesting that nearly all the criticism of the
group that I've
writers such as Ms. Faiz, is centred on this book alone and no
other source of information. Ms. Faiz has unfortunately chosen
to draw her conclusions about the group based on one book, which
has made the factual content of her article very deficient.
Also, Ms. Faiz is assuming that the US will use the MKO as some
kind of a front to attack Iran. She hasn't taken into consideration
the fact that the MKO has rejected this option and has repeatedly
voiced its opposition to any outside intervention against Iran,
not to also mention the fact that the group's bases were bombed
and many of its members killed by the US military. Furthermore,
she has not provided any source for her claim that the MKO is to
be used as a front to attack Iran.
Ms. Faiz states initially that she will try to dissuade her left
wing friends in the US from supporting the MKO since the latter
are not "friends" of the Iranian people. I consider myself
a communist, am not Iranian, but defend the MKO based on its actions.
The fact that they set up an army with women and men fighting side
by side testifies to the fact that they're not only friends of
the Iranian people but also all oppressed people everywhere.
Iranian left opposition in exile is very fragmented. Most of
these groups spend most of their energy criticizing and attacking
groups, instead of attacking the Iranian regime. I've had personal
run-ins with these groups and have been very disheartened at
the level of disunity and infighting among them, much of which
is levelled against the MKO.
As well, Ms. Faiz has used a lot of ridicule in her criticism
of this group. Some of the information she has provided is incorrect
and she has left out a lot of other information that a progressive
might find interesting about the group.
The following are a few of the points in Ms. Faiz's article which
in my opinion need correction:
"Mojahedin leadership joined
President Bani-sadr on his airplane and flew to Paris to conduct
together the upcoming soon (just around the corner, see it?)
revolution, for which everybody is still waiting."
Interesting play on words. The airplane was not Bani-sadr's.
It was an Iranian airforce C-130 transport aircraft, piloted by
an MKO member, Moezi, in an operation to remove Masood Rajavi from
Iran. The operation was planned and executed by the MKO. Bani-sadr
owes his life to them for having had the chance to flee.
time Rajavi had flown into france, mko was waging guerrilla warfare
in parts of Kurdistan, and this continued until the summer of 1982,
when the iranian regime was able to flood the area with its forces
and unleash its wreath on the area's populous. Once driven from
Kurdistan, MKO then set up camps inside Iraq to continue its guerrilla
war."That if/when the time comes that intelligence can be
used to bomb Iranian cities, much like the "intelligence" Chalabi
provided led to the bombings of Iraqi cities and civilians; with
no lives left un-bombed."
It's correct that a US bombing of Iran, however unlikely, would
be catastrophic for the Iranian people. Unlike Chalabi, the MKO
has never supported outside intervention against Iran, if Ms. Faiz
has found a statement by the group to the contrary, she has not
provided it in her article and I'd be very glad to see it. Unlike
Chalabi's information, which has been shown to have been fabrications,
MKO's information has so far been correct, and the nuclear sites
so far cited have been shown to exist and most have been inspected
as well by the IAEA. MKO's speculations regarding the nature of
the activities that take place at the latter sites may or may not
be correct, but the sites themselves have been shown to exist.
"They (MKO) have very little public support inside Iran,
and are in fact reviled by most ordinary people because of
the patronage bestowed on them by Saddam, the invader of Iran."
I'm not sure how Ms. Faiz came up with this information as she
probably hasn't spoken with "most ordinary people". It's
likely that some people support the MKO and some people don't.
It's interesting that she tries to persuade progressives to distance
themselves from the MKO by claiming offhand that they have no support
in Iran. As well, the fact that Iran's largest opposition group
is some how hated by most Iranians doesn't make much intuitive
sense, as the group must have done something right to have retained
its above status for the past 25 years, and as hated opposition
groups don't tend to increase in size and influence.
"These armed capabilities, including tank squadrons, are
mostly rusted; much like their fighters who are by now mostly
graying men and women."
I'm not sure how Ms. Faiz found out that the MKO's equipment
is rusty, I'll take her word for it though. But information to
show that combatants refuse to give up, even when old and in posession
of outdated weapons is hardly a criticism, it only proves their
determination. In fact, most guerrilla forces fight with inferior
weapons; that's the esseance of irregular war.
"What kind of organization would so consistently try to
secure a leg in the doors of the houses of power in the foremost
Imperial powerhouses, and still call itself progressive and
revolutionary, and insist that it is looking out for the good
of the Iranian people?"
The fact that the US bombed MKO's bases in Iraq, killed up to
100 of their members and has disarmed and imprisoned them in one
of their bases, and has placed them on its terrorist list, should
be enough information to show the MKO's true intentions and leanings
with regards to the US and vice versa.
"What-on-earth kind of logic dictates that a woman has
to divorce her husband and marry a leader in order to have
a leadership role?! And Iranian women are supposed to be impressed
I don't know if all MKO women who are currently in leadership
roles had to divorce their husbands and marry a leader. Probably
not. I'm not a woman, but I'm still impressed as hell that a group,
Iranian at that, is being run by a woman... it's the only such
group to my knowledge. She is headquartered in France, is visited
almost daily by politicians and individuals of all persuasions,
and a few months ago she was invited to address the European Parliament
by its vice president.
"They (MKO) are in fact a variation on a theme demonstrated
by the regime that currently suffocates Iran."
Ms. Faiz has provided very little information to back this claim.
In fact very little information exists to show how the MKO can
even come close to resemble the Iranian regime. Ms. Faiz's only
defence of this arguement is that the MKO is religious. What explains
the fact that most MKO military commanders are women? surely something
more than a "variation" of the current regime. Ms. Faiz
has also failed to point out to the National Council of Resistance,
an organization to which the MKO belongs, and whose constitution
would soundly ground any kind of comparison between the MKO and
the Iranian regime.
" ... our women comrades raped before execution ... and
such cannot be allowed a woman daring to speak against a bunch
of sociopathic and dictatorial men. Are we to fall for the
same line again, especially when recited by an organization displaying
overt religious overtones?"
Many of the women who were imprisoned and tortured in the regime's
prisons are currently combatants in the MKO and have the physical
scars to show the extent of their struggle, the same "graying
women" Ms. Faiz mentioned with ridicule. Also, as there is
no other Iranian organization with the same level and quality of
women's participation, the MKO so far is the most progressive.
"Lacking the US patronage, at best they have to compete
on very stiff terms with most other oppositional groupings,
no matter how small and no matter how disorganized, when it comes
to vying for legitimacy among the Iranian public"
The MKO has never sought US patronage; only its removal from
the terrorist list. It also doesn't need to compete with any other
group as it is hands down the largest group, the best proof of
which is the fact that the Iranian regime makes no mention of any
other opposition group in its propaganda than the MKO.
account of the MKO would have been more plausible had she used
facts to back her claims, the most important of which is her
claim that the MKO will be used as a front to attack Iran. Her
use of ridicule bares her personal hatred of the group rather
than a desire to present a factual and constructive criticism of
largest and most active opposition group.