By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
For centuries the colonizers exploited and dominated the third world. Today, one of the more subtle tools of imperialism is the use of value-laden language that seeks to define the Arab and Muslim world. With labels such as ‘terrorists’ and ‘Islamofascism’, they wish to establish an ‘Orientalist’ perspective of otherness denoting barbarism as set apart from Israel and the West which represents admirable qualities. It is imperative to reject this imperial imposition of characterization and for each state, individually and collectively, to self-rule, foremost through self-definition.
The case of Mojahedeen-e Khalg (MEK) showcases the ever present imperial influence of the West in defining the ‘other’ due to the ownership of language. The hypocrisy is stark given that the U.S. with the help of her ally the British waged a ‘war on terror’ which has resulted in the death of over a million people to date. Yet, a certain Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, a member of the House of Lords from Gordon Brown's ruling Labor Party, has coauthored an opinion piece with Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), both of whom promote the terrorist organization of the MEK. In their opinion, these two argue that engagement with Iran would risk, among other things, a “support for international terrorism”[i].
Lord Colbert does not do his title justice; to paraphrase Samuel Butler, a degenerate nobleman is like a turnip. There is nothing good of him but that which is under ground. Else how can he explain throwing in his lot with terrorists who are in the employ of Israel? "Israel is said to have had a relationship with the M.E.K at least since the late nineties, and to have supplied a satellite signal for N.C.RI. broadcasts from Paris into Iran” [ii]. Their servitude to the Israelis was after they had committed treason, murder, and terrorism while under the tutelage of Saddam Hossein – the man that the Americans and the British considered a threat to world peace, and whose demise and the invasion of Iraq has now caused a threat to world peace.
While innocent Iraqis were being killed en masse in the ‘war on terror’, the Commander in Chief gave ‘special persons status’ to Saddam’s pet terrorists in Camp Ashraf while an associate from the powerful Republican lobbying group of Barbour Griffith & Rogers invited Neil Livingstone, the C.E.O. of Global Options, an international risk-management firm, and Gregory Minjack, who was an executive at Public Strategies, a Washington-based crisis-management company” to remove the group from the FTO designation. The lobby group was not without help. Congressman Filner has been on the Hill promoting the group. But perhaps one of their most ardent admirers is Cuban-born Congresswoman Senator Ros-Lehtinen who is not new to the game.
In February 1988, Orlando Bosch had been arrested in Miami and implicated in the 1976 Cubana plot, a terrorist act which had resulted in the downing of flight 455 killing 73 passengers. Joe D. Whitley, associate United States Attorney General at the time, called Bosch “a terrorist, unfettered by laws or human decency, threatening and inflicting violence without regard to the identity of his victims”[iii], had the distinct advantage of having Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Bosch’s release as one of the cornerstones of her 1989 congressional campaign. This murderer of 73 innocent lives had the more good luck. Ros-Lehtinen’s campaign manager was Jed Bush, the President’s son. In July 1989, a month after meeting his son Jed and Ros-Lehtinen to discuss the Bosch case, President Bush rejected his Justice Department’s recommendation and authorized Bosch’s release who became a resident of the United States two years later.[iv] In granting the MEK terrorists asylum in Iraq, George W. is following a family trend.
Bosch’s terrorist partner, Cuban-born, Luis Posada Carriles dedicated his life to the over throw of Fidel Castro and was a CIA recruit who participated in the calamitous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, “he was part of Operation Southern Front…and he worked for the Hammer [Oliver North]…From 1967 to 1986, Luis was a compensated agent of the CIA. And George Bush, the vice president, knew what he was doing.”[v] Yet for blowing up a plane and causing 73 people to be killed, he was arrested in 2005 on immigration charges and released in 2007[vi] . It is interesting to note that George H.W. Bush was director of the CIA when the Cubana airliner exploded. What makes the Cuban-born Ros-Lehtinen support the MEK terrorists, does she have a fatal attraction towards assassins and murderers? Or are she and the rest of Congress following the leader of nation that has waged ‘war on terror’?
Perhaps they believe that by imposing the colonial language of calling the ‘other’ ‘uncivilized’ and state sponsor of terrorists, their mass murder and moral annihilation will go unnoticed. “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – J.F. Kennedy.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an Iranian-American studying at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is a member of World Association of International Studies society, Stanford. Her research focus is U.S. foreign policy towards Iran, Iran’s nuclear program, and the influence of lobby groups. She is a peace activist, essayist, radio commentator and public speaker.