Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Daniel Pipes, founder and director of the right-wing Philadelphia-based think-tank the Middle East Forum, is one of Republican Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani's main foreign policy advisors alongside Neoconservative godfather Norman Podhoretz and right-wing Israeli academic Martin Kramer. Pipes also publicly supports the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a large Marxist-leaning Iranian exile organization which has been involved in a decades-long insurgency of sorts against the Iranian Revolutionary government since the early 1980s.
The Mujahedin, who supported the overthrow of Iran's last monarch, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, have carried out hundreds of attacks on Iranian government targets with blatant disregard for civilian casualties. Government members have been assassinated and embassies and official buildings have been bombed. In the 1970s when the Mujahedin, who originally coalesced around Iranian leftist intellectuals as an anti-monarchy movement, killed U.S. military advisors and civilian contractors in Iran and in 1979 they supported the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian university students.
Pipes neglected to mention this in his July 10 article in the right-wing newspaper The New York Sun, "Unleash the Iranian Opposition (the Mujahedin-e Khalq)," (http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4747) in which he claimed, "But the MEK poses no danger to Americans or Europeans, and has not for decades." Pipes also failed to mention that the Mujahedin were allowed to operate in Iraq by Saddam Husayn and in fact helped the Iraqi Ba'thist dictator by serving as an internal security mechanism. He weakly attempts to explain away the fact that the group is listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State and Pipes' claims that it all can be blamed on former President Bill Clinton ignore the fact that despite President George W. Bush serving his seventh year as president, the group remains on this list. Americans are thus forbidden to work with or be engaged with the group.
Quick looks at the Council on Foreign Relations' terrorism web site, http://www.cfr.org/publication/9158/mujahadeenekhalq_iranian_rebels.html?breadcrumb=%2Fissue%2Fpublication_list%3Fid%3D456%26page%3D3, and GlobalSecurity.org, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/mek.htm, portray the organization in a more truthful light than Pipes' selective puff piece on an organization which at its core uses violence to achieve political ends.
Pipes' crowing about the Mujahedin's popularity in Iran is wildly overstated it would seem since the organization has failed to launch any successful rebellion against the current Iranian government and is based largely outside of the country.