Late last month two U.S. congressmen — Democrat Bob Filner and Republican Dana Rohrabacher — declared the American government should be doing more to back the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) in an effort to affect regime change in Iran, despite the fact that the MEK is considered a terrorist organization by the State Department.
Here’s an excerpt from my latest piece for Antiwar.com on the lawmakers’ call:
[C]iting the internal unrest in Iran over last month’s disputed presidential election and the fact that an invasion “is not an option today,” Filner said the U.S. government should be doing much more to support “one of the biggest resistance groups in Iraq, the so-called MEK.
“They say, ‘Let us do the job; get out of our — just get out of our way,’ because we have not helped the internal resistance movements,” Filner said. “We can help internal resistance movements in Iran, and we should not stand in their way of trying to get rid of the present regime.”
Joining Filner in the call for greater U.S. support for the MEK was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who briefly fought alongside the Afghan mujahideen in their war against the Soviet Union. Though declared “freedom fighters” by the Reagan administration, the mujahideen proved to be fertile recruiting grounds for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Conceding that, like the Afghan mujahideen, the MEK is not “perfect,” Rohrabacher said that “during the American revolution there were a lot of imperfect organizations around too. But the fact is, the mullahs are what now — they are the ones who are murdering their people. They are the ones who are threatening world peace.”
Rohrabacher also rejected the premise of a question about whether overt U.S. support for terrorist groups opposed to the Iranian government might undermine future U.S.-Iran negotiations.
“Who wants to cooperate with Hitler or the mullahs who are murdering their own people? We don’t want to cooperate with those bums,” Rohrabacher responded. “They’re murdering their people. They’re threatening to blow people up with nuclear weapons. We don’t want any — to establish a relationship with the mullahs that’s going to make it more cooperative with them.”