Costantino Ceoldo, Pravda, August 26 2019:… The MEK is not independent of Washington. The Ashraf-3 base opening was attended by many senior-level U.S. officials. National Security Advisor John Bolton told the MEK at its 2017 conference in Albania, “Before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran”. He was wrong. But John Bolton still intends to overthrow Iran. I am not convinced that Iran was behind the tanker attacks. The attacks seemed staged and implausible. In one case, the State Department insisted the Kokuka Courageous was damaged by Iranian magnetic mines. But tanker crew said that flying ordnance pierced the ship’s hull. The holes pierced the ship above the waterline. That means the magnetic mines had to jump up from the water and cling to the ship’s side. It seems that a covert intelligence action was the more likely source of the damage. Camp Ashraf 3 Albania . MEK , ISIS , Al Qaeda Joint Terrorist Training Camp
Camp Ashraf 3 Albania . MEK , ISIS , Al Qaeda Joint Terrorist Training Camp
Richard Black speaks about Syria (and not only)
Syria is still torn by the conflict that has endangered its very existence since the distant 2011. It is a war that has never been simply internal to the Syrian society but that has involved, on the contrary, numerous players each moved by own interests and own purposes. The official West has always stood firm against the legitimate government of Damascus, endorsing every possible lie against it. But some voices of dissent have also been heard: Richard Black of the Virginia State senate is the only Western politician to have spoken openly in defense of Syria and its people, immediately highlighting the Western absurdity of trusting that international holding of terror headed by Al-Qaeda.
For some months now, international diplomacies have been in flux over the possibility of an open war between United States and Iran. It would be a war that would drag the entire Middle East and the Western hemisphere into a conflict with devastating and unpredictable results. There is something tremendously irreconcilable between Washington and Tehran, an antagonism that also sees Israel as co-protagonist: the Jewish State in fact lives the Iranian presence in Syria and Iraq as a clear existential danger and craves to eliminate that danger once and for all.
I asked Senator Black to express once again an opinion on the current Middle Eastern situation, which develops its tragedy having as a background, also and unfortunately above all, the moral decadence of the West. There is indeed a subtle and hidden thread who connect Jeffrey Epstein’s perverse behavior with the stolen children scandal of Bibbiano, Italy, to which I have dedicated a previous column .
1) Do you feel that Syria is making progress in the war?
A) Yes. In particular, Syria is making excellent progress in recapturing Idlib Province. This month, the SAA, led by the Tiger Forces, skillfully outmaneuvered al Qaeda in Syria near Khan Shaykhun. They attacked from the east and west, creating an untenable salient, which was then choked off, besieging the Khan Shaykhun pocket. Syrian forces are rapidly clearing the pocket, and they are poised to advance more deeply into enemy-held territory.
2) The war in Syria has entered its eighth year and yet there is no end to it despite the successes of government forces and their allies. In your opinion, who still hinders the end of this terrible conflict?
A) The war would end if the United States left Syria. Throughout the war, the U.S. has sent arms and equipment across Turkey’s borders into Syria. We needlessly keep the war alive in order to squeeze Iran, which has lost many men fighting against ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria. General Westley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, described a 2001 meeting with a high-ranking general in the Pentagon War Room. The General said, “I just got this down from upstairs today.” He was referring to the Secretary of Defense’s office. “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” So U.S. planners sought to overthrow Syria as early as 2001.The U.S. war plans developed quickly afterwards. In 2006 William Roebuck, chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus, issued a cable outlining strategies for destabilizing and exploiting perceived weaknesses in the Syrian government. His objective was to instigate and uprising and overthrow Syria. Under the bloodthirsty regime of President Obama, the United States relentlessly pursued their war plans. After toppling Libya, we quickly started the Syrian War. We did this by shipping stolen Libyan arms through Turkey and Lebanon immediately after the U.S., U.K. and France destroyed Libya in 2011. The war against Syria began within months of Libya’s fall in 2011, when the CIA established a “Rat Line” to infiltrate stolen Libyan weapons into Syria. This was a top-secret plan code-named Project Timber Sycamore. Tunisian terrorists became the first foreign fighters sent by Turkey and the West to fight the ill-prepared Syrian soldiers. However, the United States is not the only obstacle to peace in Syria. Turkey is a major stumbling block. Turkey provided most of the military hardware to ISIS, and supplies heavy military equipment to al Qaeda in Syria, which now controls most of Syria’s Idlib Province.
3) The Iranian front is being added to the Syrian front, with provocations that seem a prelude to war. Do we see a war between United States and Iran in our future?
A) John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to the President, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would like to trigger a war with Iran. However, President Trump knows the American people are tired of fighting wars in the Middle East. I don’t expect anything dramatic to happen with Iran before the 2020 elections. Predicting what will happen after that is difficult, but I do not think President Trump is anxious for war. However, a number of provocations have already been staged and others are likely. Bolton and Pompeo would like nothing better than to see the President forced into a war with Iran. Of course, going to war with Iran would be disastrous for America.
4) Is there a risk that MEK, the Mojahedin-e khalq, will openly take in Iran the place that ISIS has had in Syria, giving way to a bloodbath in the Islamic Republic as well?
A) That is a distinct possibility. However, Iran is a cohesive, unified nation. Despite their internal political disagreements, Iranians are patriotic and even its dissidents are generally unwilling to undermine the unity of the nation. For that reason, I do not believe the MEK will find fertile ground to grow like ISIS did in the deserts of Iraq and Syria. Nevertheless, the West has decided to employ MEK-led terrorists to overthrow the duly-elected government of Iran. The Ashraf-3 base has just opened in Albania. Its purpose is to coordinate terrorist training, logistics and military action against Iran. The Ashraf-3 facility will be used to plan the infiltration and destabilization of Iran. It may use both MEK terrorists and battle-hardened ISIS and al Qaeda troops who are moved there from Iraq and Syria. The massive Ashraf-3 base is a complete city. It has parks, shopping centers, conference centers, and a luxury hotel. The heavily-guarded facility will be home to 3,000 MEK terrorists and families. If MEK succeeds in toppling Iran, Maryam Rajavi has already been designated as its first interim president. The United States designated the MEK as a terrorist organization in 1997. However, the push to overthrow seven Middle Eastern countries (including Iran) began to move forward rapidly in 2011 with the invasion of Libya. MEK was removed for the list of terrorist organizations in 2012 in order to bring about a violent regime change in Iran.
5) Has the west had much success working with organizations like MEK or al Qaeda in the past?
A) Employing the terror weapon has not produced good results for Western countries. The CIA fielded a quarter-million-man army of terrorists against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia built a vast system of madrassas to indoctrinate youth in Wahabism, a remarkably murderous version of Islam. Although CIA’s jihadists did defeat the Soviets, they also gave birth to al Qaeda, which attacked the U.S. on 9-11 and went on to spread terror across the globe. Every time the West and its Gulf State allies use terrorists to overthrow governments, the results are disastrous. By recruiting and supplying affiliates of al Qaeda in Libya and Syria, we flooded Europe with a tidal wave of culturally-incompatible refugees. This gravely damaged countries like Germany, whose people were startled when foreign immigrants assaulted and raped German women with wild abandon soon after their arrival. The resulting crime and social disorder shocked Germans and Scandinavians, who may be permanently afflicted by these unpleasant social conditions.
6) Some investigations made by Iranians point to a MEK responsibility in the recent oil tankers attacks. Is Washington still trusting this organization?
A) The MEK is not independent of Washington. The Ashraf-3 base opening was attended by many senior-level U.S. officials. National Security Advisor John Bolton told the MEK at its 2017 conference in Albania, “Before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran”. He was wrong. But John Bolton still intends to overthrow Iran. I am not convinced that Iran was behind the tanker attacks. The attacks seemed staged and implausible. In one case, the State Department insisted the Kokuka Courageous was damaged by Iranian magnetic mines. But tanker crew said that flying ordnance pierced the ship’s hull. The holes pierced the ship above the waterline. That means the magnetic mines had to jump up from the water and cling to the ship’s side. It seems that a covert intelligence action was the more likely source of the damage.
7) Recently, you wrote a letter to President Trump . Why did you feel the need for such a step? Have you got any answer from the White House? Or from the media of your country?
A) I was concerned that covert actions were being undertaken to trigger a war against Iran. I sent the letter to President Trump through certain channels. I also sent copies to every member of congress. I hoped to educate the Members about the actual situation in Iran. My goal was to block Bolton and Pompeo from drawing the nation into a war that would kill thousands of American servicemen and perhaps a million Iranians. It would also destabilize the entire world, and that could lead to a world war involving Russia, China, Europe and the Gulf State dictatorships.
8) “But the CINC does not ‘hope’, he commands” as you wrote about Trump’s hope to avoid a war with Iran. Do you think there is a lack of firmness by the current American President?
A) President Trump has only a tenuous hold on the government’s foreign policy establishment. The House of Representatives is firmly under Democrat control. Large portions of the federal court system are under Democrat control as well. The Senate is narrowly divided 53-49 in favor of Republicans. However, many senators in both parties are quite hawkish and anxious for new wars. Moreover, the State Department and CIA are heavily invested in war. Furthermore, unlike Presidents Nixon and Reagan (who were masters of foreign affairs) this is not Trump’s area of expertise. And since he surrounded himself with hawkish advisors like Bolton and Pompeo, he has little support for peaceful initiatives. Because of this, Trump has very limited maneuvering room in matters of foreign policy. For example, Trump announced a total, immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria on Dec 19, 2018, saying, “Our boys, our young women, our men – they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.” Within a week, John Bolton had flown to Tel Aviv and rescinded the President’s order. Today, there is no evidence that any troops ever left Syria. They even remain at the isolated outpost of al-Tanf, which plays no role in fighting ISIS and probably never did. Bolton sometimes exercises powers that are the traditional domain of the Commander-in-Chief. That’s especially ironic, since Bolton was a Vietnam draft-dodger who shirked has duties and avoided the dangers of combat.
9) The case of Bibbiano is similar but not the same as that of Epstein who ran an environment of pedophiles for political blackmail. Don’t you think our Western decline has passed a terrible level of watch?
A) President Obama ordered the rainbow-sodomy flag flown directly beneath the American flag at U.S. embassies across the globe. He even bathed the White House in rainbow colored lights to celebrate sodomy in America. Under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. State Department was ordered to promote gay sodomy as a human right. Naturally, this offended nations with strong moral values. Fortunately, the situation has improved a bit under President Trump, and the rainbow-sodomy flag is not flown over U.S. embassies today. Nonetheless, Western morality has suffered enormously by elevating immoral sexual behavior and permitting homosexuals to parade in various states of nudity, while committing lascivious acts in the presence of families with children.
Homosexuals seek out youth and children. We now permit homosexuals to serve openly in the military. The practice allows homosexuals to dominate young men and women. Incorporating homosexuals into the military has undermined good order and discipline.
I know a young Marine woman who was mocked for her Christian faith and for refusing to participate in lesbian sex during boot camp. That is a far cry from the high standards maintained when I attended the Marine Corps boot camp as a young man. Integrating homosexuals into the military ranks was designed to force waves of recruits to accept homosexuality in order to spread this acceptance throughout society. Today, homosexuality has been forced into every facet of life. Homosexuals are even allowed to adopt children, despite their well-known inclination toward sexual activities with minors. Public schools in my own county provide children with books that describe a six-year-old transvestite child performing illicit sex acts with older youth. So, the cultural decay is evident everywhere. The U.S. suffered a grave moral collapse in 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court created homosexual marriages. Although such marriages are an illusion, that illusion is a toxic one that has far-reaching, destructive ramifications. There is little evidence that open homosexuality and Christianity can co-exist. And since Christianity is the moral bedrock of Western Civilization, it is unclear whether civilization will survive this reckless social experiment at all.
Costantino Ceoldo – Pravda freelance
Camp Ashraf 3 Albania . MEK , ISIS , Al Qaeda Joint Terrorist Training Camp
MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy
Massoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, June 18 2019:… This is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the US—a front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.” MEK Impunity Undermining America’s Democracy .
MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in America
Even before its inception, the Trump administration was accused of foreign interference and repeated counter allegations that such charges are fake news. Now, even as House Democrats are squeezing whatever advantage they can from the Mueller investigation into Russian influence, a fresh allegation of foreign interference has emerged.
An investigation by The Intercept revealed that the White House used an article written by “Heshmat Alavi” to justify President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. After probing the propaganda element in Alavi’s other articles, former members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) have confirmed that the group is linked to the article. According to one such former member, Hassan Heyrani, “Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK. This is not and has never been a real person.”
Heyrani said the fake persona has been managed by a team of MEK operatives in Albania, where the group has one of its bases, and is used to spread its message online. Heyrani’s account is echoed by Sara Zahiri, a Farsi-language researcher who focuses on the MEK. Zahiri, who has sources among Iranian government cybersecurity officials, said that Alavi is known inside Iran to be a “group account” run by a team of MEK members and that Alavi himself does not exist.
This new scandal—Heshmatgate—involves a wide political and media class that has become so besotted with an unrealistic anti-Iran agenda that it has left the door open to an unchecked, unverified flow of MEK propaganda throughout American politics and the media. Thanks to these regime-change advocates, a foreign group funded by a foreign government has easily manufactured a false narrative aimed at sending American soldiers to die in a war with Iran that is against U.S. national interests.
The MEK’s target audience is not Iran or Iranians. It barely services its Farsi language outlets. The MEK is almost universally hated by Iranians everywhere and has no credibility among them.
After 2003, the MEK’s military strategy in Iraq under benefactor Saddam Hussein gave way to an intelligence-based strategy under the patronage of Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia. The MEK is now based in Albania where, under more favourable conditions facilitated by the Trump administration, it has been allowed to build and equip a troll farm using the infamous slave labour of its hapless members. Its aim is to influence people in the English-speaking world through online activity.
The Intercept revealed just one case of MEK’s deceptive anti-Iran work. But this is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the US—a front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.”
In America, warmongers and regime change pundits, John Bolton and Rudi Giuliani in particular, openly support the MEK. The MEK exploits this impunity to the full. Critics of the MEK are subjected to character assassination and defamation campaigns. Journalist Jason Rezaian writes, “These efforts actively sought to undermine our credibility about the best approach to deal with Iran and resorted to personal attacks in order to do so.”
This revelation comes at the tail end of another scandal, the Iran Disinformation Project.This project, funded by the State Department, was ostensibly launched to expose and counter Iranian government propaganda. It paid for social media accounts to smear and discredit Iranian-American human rights activists, academics and journalists who criticize the Trump administration’s hard-line policies on Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo must answer for the actions of the State Department, but who is behind the MEK and the mysterious Heshmat Alavi? How much influence does the MEK wield in Washington? And on whose behalf?
The formula for MEK activity is “the MEK and somebody’s money.” This explains how, back in 2014 just before the European Parliament elections, “somebody’s” money was used to fund the campaign of an Islamophobic far-right party called Vox. Investigations into electoral misconduct revealed that “at least 971,890 euros” was gifted through thousands of contributions ranging from 200 to 5,000 euros from individual MEK members and supporters. The money did not originate with the MEK, but the money laundering was facilitated through the organization by Vox co-founder Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a long-term MEK advocate while he was vice-president of the European Parliament.
In Albania, enjoying the freedom granted by such money and impunity, the MEK is playing out in microcosm what it does in North America and Western Europe. After the MEK arrived in Albania, local journalists were disturbed by its bizarre behavior and filed reports on this activity. In response, the MEK used bribery and corruption to buy publishers and a broadcaster there. They use intimidation tactics to silence journalists. One journalist confessed to me he felt afraid in his own country when the MEK, accompanied by hired armed Albanian security personnel, followed him. In a public space, they photographed him and made verbal threats, demanding that he hand over his phone on which he had earlier filmed activity outside the MEK camp gate.
MEK corruption and deception is insidious and highly dangerous. In America, neoconservatives use the MEK as tool to destroy the Democratic Party. MEK members inside the Albanian troll farms have admitted to me that, in addition to the usual “regime change” and “nuclear” tags they use, more recent additions include the names of various U.S. political candidates and “Virginia” with a view to swaying electoral opinion in the primaries. Since the MEK is not a benign group, it is under heavy surveillance. It would be naïve to believe that the intelligence services do not know the identity of the three individuals behind the Heshmat Alavi persona as well as the others who work in the troll farm.
Saudi money and U.S. political advocacy help the MEK exploit America’s democratic systems to expand its influence. According to The Independent, “MEK articles were picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service.” In 2003, I gave testimony to the UK parliament that the MEK’s cult nature was an even greater threat than its terrorist or violent behavior. The MEK regards its needs superior to any considerations of law, morality, or mortality.
Back in 2001, commentator Elizabeth Rubin warned that the MEK “is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us.”
Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet.
MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in America