The Corner

Why in the World Would We Want to Support the MEK?

According to Fox News, a group of smart, experienced people speaking at a panel in Washington yesterday had two things to say about U.S. policy toward Iran: Abandon all hope in negotiations with the Tehran regime; and support the regime’s internal enemies, notably the MEK, which has long been on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

I’m not sure the Fox account is quite right. I spoke to two members of the panel and both said they had argued for delisting the MEK, not for supporting it. That’s a big difference, although even delisting the Mooj would be interpreted as an act of political significance. In any event, supporting the MEK would be a monumental blunder. First of all, it’s a cult of personality, not a pro-democracy opposition group, and we should be helping democrats in Iran. Second, most Iranians hate the MEK, because it is based in Iraq and operated on behalf of Saddam Hussein, killing many Iranians. Doing anything that looks like an embrace of the MEK would foolishly antagonize the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people, above all the broad-based coalition that fights under the banner of the Green Movement.

Several speakers (indeed, maybe all of them) at yesterday’s panel called for supporting the Greens, but this was not featured in the Fox report. That’s where our energies should be directed. Whatever you think of the MEK, whatever the merits of the “delisting” debate, it’s foolishly counterproductive to spend so much energy on the MEK — whose “army” numbers in the thousands or perhaps a few tens of thousands — instead of the Greens, whose followers are counted in the tens of millions. Support the Iranian people, please, not a small fringe group.

Finally, one would like to know who sponsored the panel, how many of the panelists received fees for participating (some certainly did), and who paid for it. You know, that “we report, you decide” thing.

Michael Ledeen — Michael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Book Comey Wanted to Write

Making the click-through worthwhile: the book James Comey had wanted to write, Facebook starts to feel useless to some writers, an infamous D.C. city councilman manages to make everything worse, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign finds its wish granted. What Did James Comey’s First Draft of A Higher ... Read More
White House

James Comey’s Stellar Windiness

A Higher Loyalty, by former FBI director James Comey, is far more fascinating for its odd omissions than for what it says. For starters, after 277 pages, readers still don’t have a clear picture of what Comey thinks of Hillary Clinton. Early coverage of the book focused on the former FBI director’s ... Read More
White House

The Real Case of Collusion

As the likelihood that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of collusion seems headed upward toward certainty. The Russia-collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump's dealings in Russia and candidate ... Read More
Film & TV

Pro-Life Feminist

My paisana at the Human Life Review are hosting an event in NYC on Thursday, May 3, at the Sheen Center (18 Bleeker Street) for the airing of director Jim Hanon’s half-hour documentary, Pro-Life Feminist. After the viewing, he’ll join the trio of castmates -- Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, Aimee Murphy, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Good News for Pompeo

Looks like he's in, as he should be. https://twitter.com/TomCottonAR/status/987050849317867521 But this fight has been a hint of what life will be like for Trump if the Democrats somehow take the Senate -- they'd refuse to confirm anyone for anything. Read More
Culture

What Self-Help Guru Tony Robbins Was Trying to Say

Tony Robbins must have known immediately that he'd made a huge mistake in how he responded to a question about #MeToo. Last month, at one of Robbins's popular, sold-out seminars, audience member Nanine McCool told the self-help guru that she thought he misunderstood the #MeToo movement. You can see the entire ... Read More
Sports

The Dominant-Sport Theory of American Politics

I think it’s safe to assert that President Trump has an unfortunate tendency to do and say (and tweet) embarrassing things. When he does, we all join in the condemnation, and often it’s not so much for the substance as for the style. The president of the United States should be dignified, measured, slow to ... Read More