What the Hillary?

U.S. state department poised to raise chances of war by delisting MEK?


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What the Hillary?
by Robert Wright
17-May-2012
 

The State Department, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, is poised to do something that could increase the chances of war with Iran.

Let's set the context:

We're in the midst of negotiations with Iran, trying to keep it from building a nuclear bomb. Within Iran there is disagreement about how hard a line to take in the negotiations. Obviously, all other things being equal, it would be good to strengthen moderate voices within Iran and undermine hardliners--particularly hardliners who want the talks to fail altogether so that Iran can proceed to build a bomb.

Here is part of the narrative the hardliners are pushing:

Iran needs nuclear weapons to defend itself. It is beset by enemies. The Sunni states would love to overthrow our government. Just recall that Iraq, when it was a Sunni-run state, attacked us, starting a war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians. And note that Sunni states are currently trying to abet the overthrow of our ally in Syria--just one domino away from the fall of our own government. And don't forget about the American-Zionist axis: prominent Americans and Israelis openly call for regime change in Tehran, and we suspect that this is the secret goal of the Obama administration.

OK, so that's the narrative that we don't want to strengthen--particularly the America-Zionist-axis-is-bent-on-regime-change part. Here, then, is an example of something we probably shouldn't go out of our way to do: Take an Iranian-exile group that is devoted to overthrowing the Iranian government, and that has long been on America's list of terrorist organizations, and give it our seal of approval by taking it off that list.

That would be stupid, right? Yet that's what, according to today's report in the Journal, the State Department is leaning toward.

The group in question is the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, which got onto our list of terrorist organizations decades ago by, among other things, killing Americans.

Now, if MEK had, as it claims, left its terrorist ways behind, this "delisting" of it, though geopolitically unfortunate, might be legally or morally defensible. However, within only the last few months, according to NBC News, MEK agents have murdered people by placing bombs on their cars.

The murdered people were Iranian scientists, and the assassinations were apparently orchestrated by Israel--facts that may raise MEK in the esteem of some Americans. But that doesn't make the killings any more legal or less terroristic. What it does do is make them very powerful talking points for Iranian hardliners who want to derail negotiations by warning about the American-Zionist axis: "America embraces Israel's proxy anti-Iranian terrorists, terrorists who openly favor regime change in Iran, and then tells us we don't need a nuclear deterrent to keep us safe from America and Israel?"

There's more bad news: the campaign to delist MEK is well financed (the source of funding is unclear), and includes paying large speaking fees to influential American politicos--transactions that tend to be accompanied by these politicos suddenly saying nice things about MEK. And for all we know the people funding this scheme would be willing to make big campaign contributions to a sufficiently compliant Obama administration.

The good news is that the final decision may not be imminent and could be months off--and will probably be made by Hillary Clinton. And surely she knows that if she caves in to the political pressure being mustered on behalf of MEK, she'll be guaranteeing herself a place in the diplomats' hall of shame.

First published in The Atlantic.

AUTHOR
Robert Wright is a senior editor at The Atlantic and the author, most recently, of The Evolution of God, a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


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bahmani

Reply to Roozbeh: Definition of Oxymoron

by bahmani on

Contradictory Terms.

Islamic Marxism: Or what the government of Iran is.

I think we can agree it is Islamic. And uses Islam as the binding social ideology to maintain control and power.

Iran is a Marxist state, because according to Marxism, this is when the State gets rid of the Bourgeoisie (done that), in order to take over the biggest industries and production of the State, and use it's output to give the workers work and livelihood and welfare. Or the Bonyad system. The other part of Marxism is that the State controls the output of industries through a Superstructure. Or the Councils.

So Iran is a Marxist State bound by Islam as the ideological base.

MEK offers Islamic Communism or Socialism, in that Communism and Socialism are light beers compared to Marxism. So the MEK intends to be a Bud Light version of todays Iran.

So, there is no oxymoron. Islam and Marxism fit together perfectly. Is that clearer now?

To read more bahmani posts visit: http://brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Mehrdad A

Here we go again!

by Mehrdad A on

Exactly when you think that the era of political expediency and moral relativism has yielded to the obedience of the law of the land and the supremacy of the separation of powers, there goes again another optimistic think-tank author hoping that negotiations with the regime of the Ayatollahs is worth sacrificing the principles on which the very foundations of this republic were cemented. When the judiciary branch rules against a decree of the executive branch, you don't take matters into your hand as the Secretary of State or even the president.

No one knows the source of that NBC report, nor has anyone ever relied on it since it was published while ago. You might expect someone with the caliber of Mr. Wright to refrain from jumping on the bandwagon. We should safely surmise that the law of emotional relativism has caught up with him as well. I wonder what he thinks of the delisting of the Taliban, the same people who have been killing Afghan civilians as well as thousands of American to date. Then juxtapose those figures next to the MEK killings of few Americans almost 40 years ago. I guess we will never find this answer out, since the Taliban doesn't have a blog like that of NIAC's in the US, where active participation of Bob Wright appears regularly.


Roozbeh_Gilani

"islamic Marxists", "Islamic Communists"!!!

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

So 40 years since these oxymorons were used by the last shah, while his SAVAK was working hand in hand with the worst elements of Islamic Fascism, the Hojjatieh Society to combat the secular left (read marxist/communist), after the killing tens of thousands of communists and Marxists and left by Islamic regime over the past 34 years, we still hear people using the Oxymoron "Islamic marxism"!

So what makes some use this oxymoron? Is it the mindset which believes Iran's future is in the hands of Hillary Clinton and  Rajavis? Is it the kind of mindset which likes to abstract the highly sophisticated Iranian society and it's opposition to I Fascism of Velayat faghih as "green movement"? Is it the mindset who does not bother to read the daily news about the steadily rising grass root, militant opposition to velayate faghih regime?

 Or is it the kind of mindset which believes that 1979 anti-monarchist Revolution was a "plot by CIA and BBC" and had nothing to do with massive social and economical issues, coupled with brutal dictatorship, exactly what we have today under the new absolute monarch, vali faghih, Khamenei

Who knows.... 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


bahmani

I only wish this was published in the Atlantic (ocean)

by bahmani on

So many misinterpretations, so little time..

...what the hell.

First off,

There isn't one hardliner in Iran worried about Arab states or Syria. Iran wants a nuke as a poison pill strategy against a US invasion, nothing else. getting a nuke also happens to knock out Israel's attack option as well. Iranians like getting 2 for 1 bargains. Just visit Costco on a Wednesday night.

Being surrounded on all 15 points by US military bases, including the Whatchamacallit Gulf now, Iran is scared the US will lick its wounds from Iraq and Afghanistan, and when the returning GI daily suicide rate falls bellow 10 a day (it's 18 now), will come after Iran next, with an entire new ad campaign to "support the troops fighting for our liberty".

Or if you corner a cagey animal like Iran, expect nastiness. Iran (the government) is nothing if not cagey, and nasty. Even we will admit that.

Second, I would be careful calling the MEK devoted. Because we call them stupid. Because they are and have been. Repeatedly. No, really. How stupid?

The MEK are so stupid they watched all 5 Police Academy films thinking they were training videos.

The MEK are so stupid, they left Iran to fight alongside Saddam Hussein.

The MEK are so stupid, the think getting de-listed will get them off our list of most stupid Iranians.

But the one thing the MEK is not more stupid than, is an American administration or their stupider advisers, that thinks this MEK is anything we would want to replace the current stupid regime trying to figure out how air conditioning works.

Because if we ever accept the MEK's Islamic Communism, after having Islamic Marxism that we have now, we would be the most stupid of all.

Seriously? The Atlantic? Senior Writer? Seriously? Jeez, journalism really is dead...

To read more bahmani posts visit: http://brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


AMIR1973

hass-terical

by AMIR1973 on

Hass-terical (aka Cyrus Safdari): it's a little rich to castigate the MKO as terrorists when the Islamist terrorist regime on whose behalf you constantly vomit up propaganda on that garbage blog of yours is responsible for 100 times the level of terrorism as the MKO. Got it, hass-terical/Cyrus Safdari?


hass

Who put the MKO on the terrorist list?

by hass on

Was it Hass who put the MKO on the terrorist list or the State Department?


AMIR1973

hass-terical

by AMIR1973 on

Hass-terical, aka Cyrus Safdari, is a self-appointed spokesman for what Iranians care and don't care about. A West-residing spokesman for the Islamist terrorist regime, of course, for such IRI Groupies could not possibly be bothered to live in the Islamist filth and muck known as the IRI, on whose behalf they vomit their garbage propaganda.


default

MEK delisting just a part of posturing related to nuclear talks

by farrad02 on

The current news reports and statements about MEK delisting is just a part of the maneuvers and posturing that are exchanged betweek the US and IRI related to the nuclear talks!

 


mousa67

god bless the united states of america.

by mousa67 on

where an elegant and intelligent lady like hillary clinton can reach such a senior level and raise the blood pressure of every single islamist cyber bassij to the point of cardiac arrest with her decisive actions in support of democracy in iran :)


hass

It really says a lot...

by hass on

that the MKO is considered to be the "only viable" option.


hass

Who cares?

by hass on

1- None of the anti-terrorism laws have actually been applied to the MKO anyway, with members walking around the hall of the US congress and paying US officials to give lectures supporting them.

 2- Iranians don't care what the US State Department has to say about the MKO anyway. Iranians hate the MKO because of what the MKO stands for regardless of what the US State Department thinks.


vildemose

  NDAA Authorizes War

by vildemose on

 

NDAA Authorizes War Against Iran 

by Denise Kucinich

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-dennis-kucinich/ndaa-authorizes-war-again_b_1524474.html

 

 

 

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


vildemose

 Rand Paul Amendment

by vildemose on

 Rand Paul Amendment Barring War With Iran, Syria Added To Sanctions Bill

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/rand-paul-war-iran-syria-sanctions_n_1524257.html

 

 

 

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Bavafa

Wow...

by Bavafa on

If Arash Kamangir is worrying about this organization, do we need to say more.

 

Facts are that the US will alienate itself ever more so in the eyes of Iranians and fuel the distrust that they hold towards them. US has already shown that they are not on the side of Iranian people by paying only a lip service towards human rights violations in Iran at best and only focusing on nuclear issue.

 

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 

Mehrdad


Arash Kamangir

America uses Mojahedin...

by Arash Kamangir on

America is using mojahedin as it cannot find any other organised political party other than mojahedin. Most iranians dislike this organisation that is run by  a pair who are only interested in power. It is worrying to see that mojahedin are leading the opposition as they would never be a democratic political party. 


Azarbanoo

Great blog

by Azarbanoo on

Thanks for posting.  Politics is dirty and West does anything to protect his interests.


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