June 23, 2014

It's like the American-Soviet Compact all over again.

Since they don't teach this in schools and colleges anymore let's just say I refer to the formation of Allies against the Axis powers of World War II which brought the United States and Britain together in an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union. The result was that at the end of the war the entire Eastern half of Europe was given over to Stalin for him to create nine-Soviet satellite nations and put them behind his Iron Curtain.

Today, the United States looks to be partnering with Iran in the hopes of curbing the takeover of Iraq by radical zealots intent on creating a Caliphate in Iraq. The recent major offensive of the Sunni Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) jihadis upon Mosul and central Iraq and subsequent drive towards Baghdad, with the goal of a theoretical toppling of the regime of the Shiite Nouri al-Maliki, has served at least to awaken Washington, D.C.  

Fearful that the al-Qaeda breakaway might succeed, the Obama administration decided to broker a deal with the devil: the State Department was instructed to contact the Iranian regime and suggest that the president was amenable to Iran’s sending units of its Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Sepah-e Qods (Qods Force) to reinforce the Iraqi defenses of Baghdad and the Shiite sacred cities such as Samara, Karbala, and Najaf.

If the Iranians were neutral, the move might have been justified.  But the Iranian regime has been actively fighting the United States – overtly and covertly – for the last thirty-five years, literally from its inception.  It has changed neither its rhetoric nor its anti-Western, anti-American posture for one moment during all that time.

Obama’s illusions about flipping Iran to our side seem logical only after falling on one's head from a four-story building.  

While Iran is only too happy to renew its war with the Sunnis, we should be under no illusion that either the Sunni jihadis of ISIS or the Shia jihadis of the Sepah-e Qods are in any way our friends – even temporarily. Both wish to destroy this nation and both wish to eventually dominate the world. They differ only in which branch of Islam is the rightful claimant to world dominion in the name of the prophet.

With our typical lack of foresight, we have sanctioned that Iran send its special black-ops forces to protect Baghdad.  How conveniently we have “forgotten” that on Baghdad’s western flank, a kilometer north of the Baghdad International Airport, sits Camp “Liberty,” where some 3,000 Iranian refugee opponents of the Tehran regime reside – in what was supposed to be a temporary domicile as they were processed for resettlement out of the region.  

The Iranian government of Supreme Leader Sayed Ali Khamenei regards this group – the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, MeK) – as its greatest enemy and has used numerous occasions in the past two years to attack the residents.  Last September’s attack on the remaining occupants of Camp Ashraf left 52 dead, including six women.  An earlier attack resulted in 36 fatalities.

The State Department and the White House seem to have forgotten several important facts about the PMOI.  The group was falsely accused of terrorism against this country during the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  As a result, eighteen years later, because of political considerations – a failed attempt to get the Iranian regime to defrost relations – the group was placed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.  

The PMOI renounced violence in 2001 and following “Operation Iraqi Freedom” – in which its camps were attacked by allied forces and yet the PMOI did not return fire – was disarmed in May 2003.  Its members were cleared of any ties to terrorism and granted “Protected Persons” status in November 2004.  

The PMOI used the American court system to exonerate itself – all during its “terrorist” status, it never once harmed a single U.S. citizen, and in 2012, it finally was removed from the list, following similar victories in the courts of the United Kingdom and the European Union.

This group, while residing in its home base of Camp Ashraf, was responsible for bringing Iraqi Sunni tribal leaders to sit down with Shiite and Kurdish leaders already in 2006 and 2007.  The Sunni “Tribal Awakening” that led to the defeat of al-Qaeda in 2008 would not have been possible without the groundwork done by the PMOI in bringing the Iraqi factions together to oppose terrorism and fundamentalist Islamic sectarian rule.

If the U.S. hopes to keep Iraq from splitting irrevocably into sectarian regions, it must  not allow the Iranian regime – itself or through its proxies in the Bader Organization or any other proxy Hezb'allah-Iraq creation of the IRGC – to harm the PMOI membership residing in Ashraf and Camp Liberty.  No other group was able to foster discussion and cooperation among the Iraqi faction.  And we must not forget that the Iranian regime dearly desires to execute the PMOI's leadership and imprison its rank and file.

It is time for the United States to exercise some moral leadership once again.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants American aid to fight ISIS.  A minimum price tag on that aid should include ironclad guarantees for the safety of the PMOI, and an improvement in their current living conditions at Camp Liberty.  

To hell with asking for help from Iran. Swift passage of House Resolution 3707 will help facilitate the safety of the PMOI members still located in Iraq.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.